I have a confession to make. During the summer, I started watching the TV series “Glee.” Maybe some of you have been watching it all along, but I never got into it even though I heard from a number of people that it was fun, touching at times, and worth the trouble. But because we were out-of-town for the last couple of months and away from our usual DVR programs, we turned to Netflix and I started watching the entire 22 previous episodes online. The main reason I’m sharing my new Glee addiction is because a primary theme of the show is “Don’t Stop Believing.” And that has me thinking a lot about what I do and don’t believe—and how that has helped co-create my life.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I’m taking a chance here that there are some of you who read SMART Living 365 who don’t already know about TED.com. But if you don’t, then it is definitely time you did. TED.com is mostly a website that posts videos of people who speak at TED conferences held annually around the world. The very best of those talks—called Ted Talks—are condensed versions. What is TED? TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. But a better way to think of TED is explained on their website where it says they are, “Ideas worth spreading. Or Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” How SMART is that? [youtube LTO_dZUvbJA] [Read more…]
Yesterday evening Carlsbad, California began its Annual Music Festival with a free Village Music Walk. Similar to free art walks held regularly in cities around the county, the music walk was an introduction to the music to be performed at different venues over the weekend—and just like most art walks—it was absolutely free. Now, most of us know deep down that the best things in life aren’t “things.” But until we stop, think about it and then start enjoying the many free experiences that bring us joy, we might be missing out on the good right in front of us.
We are all creatures of habit. Don’t believe me? This morning Facebook came out with yet another change to its layout and the comments are: “If I was Facebook’s mom I would ground it for a month.” Or: “HATE: the new Facebook Newsfeed,” or “How do you like the new Facebook layout? So far I can’t stand it! Boooo Hiss Facebook, Boooo Hiss!” Unfortunately, while habits can make our lives easier in many cases, it is also a recipe for a life of boredom, routine and a diminished creativity and brain capacity. When you know the facts, you might consider that Facebook is doing us all a favor.
Happy SMART Day everyone!
A key part of SMART Living 365 is sharing—and because I find so much great information on the Internet, why not share some of the best resources I can find with all of you? That’s why I am going to regularly—once a week at least—provide a link to other websites that are helping to increase the quality of my life, others lives, and make a difference on the planet. In other words, I believe visiting these websites on a regular basis (just like this one!) can help you create a SMART Life 365. [youtube Bc6WW1GGjbk] [Read more…]
A big part of living a SMART Life 365 is practicing simplicity and sustainability every single day. While the old KISS acronym is considered derogatory, let’s create a new KISS that is a daily reminder to arrange our life and circumstances in a positive way, make sustainable ongoing choices and habits, and develop a consciousness based on the SMART Living model. How do we do that? Let’s begin with the idea that is it fairly easy and that the payoff can be extraordinary. And guess what? The idea has been around for centuries. [Read more…]
There is an old Zen story that uses the comments, “Where are you going? Don’t know,” to make its point. For those who may not know, Zen is an ancient spiritual practice related to Buddhism that frequently uses stories, parables or “koans” to explain and deepen its teachings among followers. Many koans are paradoxical and used to shock the mind into enlightenment. So, when you hear a Zen Koan for the first time, it may not make any sense at all. However, at exactly the right time and place, the truth behind it suddenly becomes clear. That’s what happened for me after a few recent events.
Most of us are drama queens—yes, even you, my macho friends! While it is pleasant to hear good news from others, most of us are more easily sucked into situations where something unusual and oftentimes dreadful occurs. Psychologists say that urge comes from an inborn biological imperative in place designed to keep us safe and constantly on the look out of danger. But for most of us, our lives are routinely safe and secure. So, instead of looking out for lions and tigers and bears, we are drawn into the dramas around us with amazing fascination. And instead of choosing something saner or more helpful, we frequently pass it on to others rather than taking the high road and doing otherwise. That’s why it is SMART to let go of your inner drama queen and instead become a queen of calm.
“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” –Buddha
Do you realize how much power you possess every time you open your mouth? Or what about when you post something on Facebook or send out that email? Every communication we have with others carries with it the ability to bring a smile to someone’s face and potentially lift one’s spirit. Or, we simultaneously have the power to create fear, doubt, or even worse. While we usually can’t turn another person’s life around without their cooperation, we can, with the simple words we say or write, instantly shift the energy in a person or in a room. Let’s start remembering that the words we share with others are like a wand bestowing blessings or curses.
With the new school year fast approaching, I think it is useful to recognize that people generally have one of two different mindsets when it comes to learning. Some people think you “just have what you were born with” as far as smarts or intelligence goes, while others live their lives with the belief that you can always learn more and become more with effort. Which are you? Sort of like a brain “operating system,” believing and behaving with either a growth mindset or a fixed mindset will go a long way towards determining your success and happiness in this lifetime. The good news is, if you haven’t been getting the results you crave, you can always change your mindset and go from there.