Before we get too close to Christmas I thought it might be SMART to remind myself (and anyone else who is paying attention) to not get sucked into the holiday frenzy. You know what I mean. Ever since the beginning of September the retail outlets here in the U.S. have been pushing Santa and all things related. Just like any drug, the pushers make everything seem so harmless, tantalizing and attractive. However, the truth is what makes the season special has very little to do with stuff, and everything to do with experience. That’s why remembering why we do what we do and using our money, time and resources in the service of that which we say we support, is especially critical this time of year. [Read more…]
Several months ago I had the pleasure of doing my first live interview around the subject of simple living. A website named Midway Simplicity.com made it a regular practice to talk with a number of simplicity and minimal living bloggers about his or her version of minimalism or simplicity. I was honored to be included. [Read more…]
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Do you even know what minimalism means? Lately I’ve been excited by a number of blogs and websites devoted to the topic. That interest signals a reverse in the over-consumptive tendencies and consumer lifestyle so prevalent during the last couple of decades here in the U.S. But often when I read the posts and comments on such sites, it seems that those who are involved have differing views of what minimalism is and why it can be beneficial. Perhaps before we start calling ourselves a minimalist we should describe what we mean in the first place. [Read more…]
Anyone who knows me very well knows I’m not really into sports. Even though I have attended a number of sporting events in person—NFL Football, Lakers Basketball, Angel’s Baseball, Rocky Hockey, world-class tennis, golf and a few others—it was always about the experience. I guess I figure that if I am going to watch others play sports, then I want to be present and not just passively watching on TV. Maybe that’s why even though I can appreciate some of the 2012 World Olympics—it only partially captures my interest. It also makes me ask, why do we continue to put so much emphasis on what is physically possible, but very little attention on intelligence and creativity? Why don’t we hold a “Creative” Olympics every four years? Or what about holding a worldwide Olympics of Compassion? One can only guess what an Olympics for the Mind might foster for the people of the world. [Read more…]
Most of us are familiar with the pain of heartburn. And if you check you’ll find that news sources say close to 40% of all Americans suffer from it at least once a month. But what about cash-burn? Chances are the same numbers of Americans suffer from this common affliction as well. But what is cash-burn and how does it happen? Even more important—what’s the cure? [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
When was your last raise? Everyone I know would love to have one, but they don’t usually come all that often. Still, if we consider that a raise is just a new inflow of money—we all have one readily available. That new inflow or “raise” in income is always within your grasp by simply cutting your overhead or monthly expenses. And even if the idea of cutting back sounds like a sacrifice, you may just discover that reducing overhead—especially when unnecessary or unused—can actually be a pleasure. And your pocketbook will thank you as well. [Read more…]
Do you remember your first bike? That question was a big part of the presentation made by Dan Austin, author and founder of “88 Bikes” at the Palm Springs 4th Annual Sustainability Celebration. The event, which featured an exhibit area of local green and sustainable businesses, groups and organizations focused on promoting another year of growing and learning about ways to improve our desert community. An exciting new piece of that puzzle would be an all valley bikeway from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea–a stretch of nearly 50 miles.
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Did you know that one of the best ways to help yourself is to help others? Dozens of studies demonstrate that people who volunteer and aid others are themselves on the receiving end of both obvious and hidden benefits. That’s why this week we think it’s SMART to suggest one of our favorite “giving” websites—that website is Kiva.org. Do yourself a favor this week and help someone else. Kiva makes it easy. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
How many of you have noticed that Costco and a couple of other big-box retailers have already set up their Christmas decorations—and September isn’t even over? That’s right, sometime during the month of September Costco began moving out the summer displays and setting up Christmas trees, neon-flashing Santa’s and boxes of wrapping paper, all designed to get you in the buying mood early this year. And while I’m normally a fan of Costco, I consider their Christmas push to be obscene. As a member of the “club,” this push is a great reminder that Costco’s, (and similar other retail store’s) primary agenda is not to serve customers—but instead to generate income. And that is something very SMART for each of us to remember. [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…]