Archive for February, 2012

Flowing in the mainstream

February 22, 2012

Go with the flow or go your own way?

I was having breakfast with a good friend and talking about how to achieve our goals for 2012. We spoke of prosperity, success and happiness, and how our lives would change if we achieved all we set out to do. A fun conversation over several lattes while enjoying the early morning sunshine and watching the flow of people rushing by towards another day at the office.

We were setting short-term targets to hold ourselves to account over the next month when my friend asked if achieving success guaranteed our happiness. Good question. My answer was that it depends on how we define success – if success is more than financial then it makes sense that our definition would include the things that make us happy.

My view of prosperity is that it includes multiple elements that will lead to personal satisfaction and happiness. So how, my friend asked, do we define happiness? And after we define it, how do we find it?

Life is full of contradictions. We have more things but enjoy them less, more technology but less time.  We’ve multiplied our possessions but reduced our values and we know how to make a living but not a life. People are searching for happiness but having trouble finding it.

While many of us have the trappings of success, true prosperity remains elusive. An underlying feeling of disappointment in life and a yearning for something more is all too common. Our society’s obsession with seeking happiness through conspicuous consumption often leads to the very opposite of satisfaction.

We’re promised great things; the benefits of modern life swirl around us and our pursuit  of them encourages us to jump in and go with the flow. We’re lead to believe that living in the main stream brings happiness and abundance. While tempted to swim cross current and take a stand on terra firma, we allow ourselves to be swept along in the illusion of making it to an ocean of prosperity.

The main stream is the easiest option but not always the best. If you have been going with the flow, living up to other’s expectations and still feeling dissatisfied, then it’s time to try something different.  Sometimes you need to get out of the water and find your place in the sun.

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It’s random

February 7, 2012

My daughter’s favourite word at the moment is ‘random’. In her world, everything and everyone appears to be a ‘random’. So here are 10 random ideas of my own:

  1. Prosperity comes with a clear vision of your direction.
  2. You know the cliché ‘when one door closes, another opens’; but I think we often look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
  3. Even a happy life can’t be without a measure of darkness, and success would lose its meaning if it weren’t balanced by the occasional failure. So take all things as they come along, with patience and composure.
  4. Stop comparing what others do, where they live and how they live, how much they earn, or what job they have.
  5. If you want to feel successful, decide whose life you want to live and start creating goals you want to achieve. Don’t live to only please others.
  6. Write down what you really hate about yourself in big black letters on a piece of paper. Hold it up and look at it in the mirror. Now tear it in half, throw it on the floor and jump on it. Take it outside and set fire to it. Watch it burn and see the embers fly away.  Now it’s gone.
  7. If we want change, we can’t stay the same. Yet often we say we want to change, but we don’t. Why?
  8. Before you can change your life you need to change what’s inside you. If you focus on what’s wrong you’ll get more of that again. To make positive changes you need to think differently and feel differently. Ever notice that when you feel good everything seems to go well for you?
  9. Why does ‘fine’ never actually mean fine? Why do we say we don’t care when we do? Why do we say it doesn’t matter when it does?
  10. If yesterday was better than today, what’s in store tomorrow? Make today and every day the best you can make it.

So there’s 10 random thoughts.