According to the online publication Business Insider, the average person works over 1,800 hours per year and almost 90,000 total hours during their lifetime. That might be low because if you figure 40 hours per week for 50 weeks, it comes to 2,000 hours without even counting commuting time. An even more depressing bit of information is that nearly 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. So if we spend over a third of our life working and another third of our life sleeping, that leaves only one third to do everything else. Is that enough for a happy, purposeful and rewarding life? Maybe. If not, perhaps there is a better way to live by right-sizing your work in ways that help to create a SMART life 365. [Read more…]
Yesterday was my weekly volunteer day for the local branch of The Ophelia Project. I’ve been involved in this organization for a year and a half and it is an opportunity to mentor and meet regularly with local disadvantaged teenage girls looking for extra support. As you might imagine it is valuable for the girls, and a rewarding experience for me. But yesterday I knew we’d be short-handed with a lot planned for our 90-minute meeting, and I was feeling a bit anxious. Before I even left the house I was running lists through my head to insure that everything would be handled, and found myself thinking what a relief it would be when it was all over. Then something clicked in my head and I realized that this was exactly what I wanted to be doing—in fact I’d actually gone out of my way and signed up for the opportunity. But instead of relishing in the current experience, I was worrying over details and longing for it to be over. In other words, I wasn’t “here”—I was somewhere else.
After spending the last 29 days thinking, reading, talking and writing about gratitude, I’m pleased to say that I’ve accomplished a big part of my Gratitude Challenge. I can now say that I’m definitely more grateful for every single thing—big and little—in my life. Similar to when you decide you want to buy a new car and suddenly, everywhere you look that same car pops into your view, I now see gratitude in all sorts of places that I never imagined before. It is my sincere hope and desire that each and every one of you reading this blog feels that your gratitude level has been heightened and improved as well. But just in case you still need a little gratitude pinch, this post will include a final thought on taking your gratitude even deeper, AND my first ever Blog Hop. [Read more…]
Last week my post talked about three challenges that I think stand in the way of many of us living gratefully each and every day. What occurred to me from some of the comments and other conversations I’ve had during the week is that there are a number of people who aren’t convinced that we should live either gratefully or happy every single day anyway. What’s interesting to me after all the research I’ve done over the years about creating happiness, is how closely the reasoning to avoid gratitude on a daily basis appears the same. That led me to explore some of the more common myths that exist for happiness—and observe at how those same myths apply to living thankfully 365. [Read more…]
I took this photo at Esalen Institute on the Big Sur Coast of Northern California the year before last. We were taking a workshop on gardening and I took a break to capture this shot.
Click on photo to enlarge. For more photos go to: SMART Photos by Thom
One of my blogging friends named Bethany turned 35 a couple of weeks ago and she wrote a blog post listing 35 different lessons she’s learned during her life. After getting over the shock of realizing I’d been married longer than she’s been on the planet—I realized that with my wedding anniversary happening this week, I had learned a great deal during the last 36 years of marriage. With the hope that some of these might prove useful to others, here’s my list: [Read more…]
I took this photo just over a year ago in September of 2012 when Kathy and I visited the Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park areas of Southern Utah.
Click on photo to enlarge. For more photos go to: SMART Photos by Thom
It doesn’t take a genius or a scientist to know that music has the ability to lift our mood and make us feel happier. In fact I’ll bet every single one of us can think of a song that played at a pivotal moment in our lives and be instantly transported back to that time and place the minute it plays. Or I’ll bet you can remember a time when your all-time favorite song spontaneously came over the radio and you burst out in song and/or dance with a smile on your face. But if we all know music can make us happy, why don’t we use music more regularly to experience greater happiness and motivate our actions when necessary? More importantly, are we willing to consider that music might even alter the very chemistry of our bodies and positively influence our overall health. [Read more…]
Back in our twenties, Thom and I wanted to be millionaires. TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fueled the desire to amass our fortune. Then somewhere along the way someone really SMART asked Thom, “Why a millionaire?” and forced him to consider what he meant by that idea. For the first, time Thom began listing experiences and feelings that he hoped to achieve if and when he/we became millionaires. To which his friend said something like, “So it’s really the feelings and experiences you want—not the money itself?” From that moment forward, we began realizing that the labels of being rich, poor or somewhere in-between had little to do with the actual quality or experience of our lives. In fact, the things we thought most important could be realized with far less income than we ever imagined. That’s why through the years we’ve come to believe that “right-sizing” is a much better way to describe the unique and priceless lifestyle that brings you happiness, purpose and peace of mind regardless of your age. Once you have that clear picture of what brings you a happy and quality lifestyle, you can begin to figure out the second step of where money fits into your life. [Read more…]
Self–esteem isn’t asserting my right to do whatever I want whenever I want it—it is instead reminding me that I am okay no matter what experience may be occurring in my life at any time!
Like many other women I was raised to be nice, polite and want people to like me. By the time I was old enough to realize that those “other people” didn’t always have my best interests at heart, it was too late. That habit of seeing my self worth reflected by other people was deeply entrenched in how I thought and often how I behaved. And although I’ve made lots of progress during the last 25+ years or so—the truth is I still often take the opinions of others far too personally, and I frequently care too much what others think of me—especially when it has to do with something I hold dear to heart. That’s why when I recently came across a discussion by Deepak Chropra explaining the difference between self-esteem and self-image, I discovered there was a difference. More importantly, knowing that difference matters quite a bit. [Read more…]