15 April 2010

Thursday Morning Quote - April 15, 2010

"Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well." - Mary Cholmondeley

13 April 2010

Stuff won’t make you happy, experiences will

Two weeks ago, one of my favorite web sites unclutterer.com had a great post (click here) detailing something that I have believed in for a long time now: "Over one’s lifetime, it is his or her experiences that are more valuable than any product ever owned or purchased." A great site and excellent article.

12 April 2010

Monday Morning Quote - April 12th, 2010

"Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will be powerless to vex your mind." - Leonardo da Vinci

11 April 2010

A Call for Honesty

I am so tired of fabricating stories, libel, perjury and all the other hundreds of way to describe lying. Lets just call it what it is - lying. The opposite of truth. That all important character trait that my grandmother tried to instill in me as a child.

I am making a call for honesty. Try it, you may find that it's a whole lot easier than you thought. My grandmother was a very wise woman. She would tell me "You need to tell the truth because you can never remember the lies. And then you will just create more lies." When you lie, you create a false reality; one that that never happened. Then when reality does conflict with this false reality there are two options (1) admit it and say "I lied" or (2) create another lie to cover the first.

Now both are bad, but the second is so much more destructive and dangerous. This is because the liar has now begun to bury him or herself deeper in to lie and it becomes harder and harder say "I lied" and pull themselves out. The further they go, the more likely they are to hurt other people to maintain this string of lies. It's also dangerous because the liar had now begun to build up an alternate reality and their grasp on the real reality becomes skewed.

I have seen this first hand and it is not pleasant. I have seen friends get pulled into lies and when they later find out they were lied to and used to perpetrate the lie, they end up hurt and angry.

So this is a call to just end lying. Telling the truth may hurt at first, but it's nothing compared to the pain you or others will feel when you lie. So do the right thing first.

08 April 2010

Thursday Morning Quote - April 8, 2010

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else." - Peyton Conway March

06 April 2010

What adults can learn from kids

Every parent should watch this very powerful and inspiring 8 minutes speech by Child prodigy Adora Svitak. You might think about your child a little differently.

05 April 2010

Monday Morning Quote - April 5th, 2010

"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." - Malcolm X

04 April 2010

The Problem with Over-Buying

You may be wondering what I mean by over-buying? Well over-buying can be many things: (1) buying the 1 gallon jar of mayonnaise because it was such a great deal; (2) deciding you are going to get a new toy for your child and buying every accessory available for it at the same time; or (3) deciding you need a new computer and buying the most expensive one that has the most RAM, largest hard drive, fastest video card, biggest processor, etc.

I'll explain the exact problem with each of these things, but let me first explain the overall problems with over-buying. The first issue is that it creates a lot of unnecessary waste. We are filling up landfills at alarming speed and filling them up with plastics that will last for hundreds of years. Plastics never actually 'decompose', they merely break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Being an inorganic material, in never will compost. But I digress. The second issue is that it wastes energy. It takes a lot of energy to create the things we buy, energy to produce, energy to transport, energy store, etc. The third issue is the waste of money. I know that we have been taught that our consumption is what drives our economy, but we have seen what unchecked consumption has caused. Instead, maybe redirecting this money to have experiences instead collecting stuff. But once again, I digress. (I see another blog post, here).

So let's talk about the three problems I listed above.
First, think about when you buy a jumbo size of anything or 3 of something because when you buy 2 of them, you get a third for 50% off. Are you really saving any money? Don't you throw out most of it when it goes bad? Don't you hate storing all that extra stuff. There are times when buying in bulk makes sense, If you use a lot of batteries, buying the extra large pack saves money. But if you use that many batteries, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy rechargeable ones?
Second, when you buy something new like a game system or new new camera, you go out and buy everything to go with it. All the controllers, all the games, all the accessories, lenses, flashes, etc. But what happens? You don't use all the accessories, you play 3-5 of the games most of the time and the rest collect dust, you only use the camera as a regular camera and all the expensive extras you bought sit in the boxes they can in.
Third, you spend money to buy the biggest or best that you find. But you find out later that you don't really need it and could have bought a less powerful one for what you need.
Now, I'm not trying to berate people for buying what they buy, but I feel that people should take a step back and look at their spending and consuming habits. As for me, I would much rather have experiences (vacations, day-trips, seeing a show) than buy things that I really don't need. The experiences will stay with you so much longer than those things.

19 March 2010

No Sympathy

Why do some people feel the need to have sympathy from others? I can't understand this behavior because sympathy is not something that would want to elicit from anyone. Sympathy, in my mind, means there is something wrong and that I cannot deal with it. This is different that support, where there may be something wrong, but others support you in overcoming the challenge.

So back to my original question. I know someone that seems to need sympathy from other. So much in fact that they will create situations for the sole purpose of garnering sympathy. They will even go so far as to create fictitious stories to achieve this. A close friend told me that it is futile to try and understand this behavior as it has not rational explanation. Even trying to analyze it from an emotional view will result in the same state of futility.

Instead, I have come to the conclusion that I need to avoid this person, or if I cannot avoid them, to go into any interaction with the knowledge that sympathy is their goal and to not acknowledge it. It's not that I'm trying to be mean, it's just that present a front of dispassion will both protect me from being drawn into the drama invariably occurs and will eventually cause the other person to stop since they do not get what they want from me.

I'm still wrestling with this and I'm sure I will write more about it as time goes on and we see how this develops.

18 March 2010

Thursday Morning Quote - March 18, 2010

"People love others not for who they are but for how they make them feel" - Irwin Federman

17 March 2010

Coming out the other side

In the book Zen And the Art of Happiness, Chris Prentiss asks you to imagine that God appeared before you and said: “I promise you that everything that happens to you from this moment forward will be of the greatest benefit to you and will bring you the utmost fortune. Even though what happens will sometimes appear unfortunate or hurtful, in the end your life will be wonderfully blessed and hugely benefited by whatever happens.”

Well my life has taken a complete left turn over the last four months. Well, it's actually taken a left turn, detour and run over several potholes. I've learned a lot about myself through these few months. I've learned that you can't take anything for granted; that trust, once broken, can only be restored if the person has to want it back; and that you can find a positive in almost any situation.

I've had to do a lot of soul searching, trying to find new or re-newed meanings in my life. I'm learning to overcome pain and look out the other side to see the green meadows. This has provided me a wealth of blogging material for Strive On With Diligence, which I will be posting for months to come.