Turning Dreams Into Reality

Everyone wants to become successful in life. But what is success? Ask a group of people individually, and I’m sure we will receive an assortment of answers. Does this mean we do not know what success is? Not at all; it shows that we have different views. Although we have multiple perspectives on the subject, there are five steps everyone can take to reaching their goal.

Set a course

What is it that we want? This can be a career, a state of mind, or even a material object. What are the requirements for obtaining said goals? We may want to look at the cause and effect of reaching our goals. A new career may mean less time with our family. A luxury vehicle may mean high state taxes every year. Be sure to look at the pros and cons.

Make a plan

After selecting our goal, it’s time to make a plan. How do we get to our dream world? One goal at a time. Remember to take baby-steps at first. No one runs a marathon in one step. We must have alternate plans and periods of assessments. Play the “What if” game. Obstacles may appear, and we’ll have to divert around them. What if we had to drive one hundred miles to pick up our dream car. Are we willing to go the distance? Right now, the answer may be no. But after some time has passed, we may change our minds. This is where the assessment comes in. Plan for small pauses and verify that we are still going towards our goal.

Execute the plan

This may be the hardest step for most. We can have a dream, but that dream will never become a reality if we don’t execute our plan. How can we run a marathon without taking a step? This is where we will fail. Dreams are not perfect, and we may need to try several hundreds of times to hit the mark. That is normal. Hitting every caveat in the first attempt is not normal. This is why we made alternate plans. Be patient and do not get discouraged. Everything will work out if we stick to the flexible schedule.

Assess the direction

At this stage, we pause and verify that we are still going towards our goal. We make changes accordingly and push on. When to do the assessment is up to the individual. But, I would warn against doing it after every step. Assessments are planned delays. Don’t overload our dream with delays. Once the changes are made, get back at it and stick to the plan.

Repeat

So we reach the end, now what do we do? We make another plan. We are not one-dream heroes. Instead, we are a lifetime of dreams. Some are worth chasing, while others are best kept in our imagination. For example, my favorite corvette is this year’s model. With each changing year, I’ve enjoyed seeing the changes and improvements. I would love to own one, but there is a sense, so magic lost once some dreams are no longer dreams but reality—that something to keep in mind. Once we obtain our goal, it becomes a reality. Some plans are better kept in our imaginations.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy and don’t forget to like.

Make The Workplace Worthwhile

The most common reason for changing jobs is the individual felt as though it was time for a change. Beyond money, there are caveats that we must meet to feel satisfied with our employment. This means that there are ways to motivate employees to want to work. 

Let’s be honest. No one wants to work. However, we have bills to pay and things that we would like to buy. This takes money, and it so happens that employers are willing to part with their cash in exchange for our work. Notice I didn’t say time. I know a lot of workers that show up to collect a paycheck. Anyone can show up.

When a person has a sense of purpose in their work, they know why they are doing their job. There is a means to the madness, as one may say. Take that purpose away, and people will start to ask, “Why do I have to do that?” And that leads to my favorite, “Not my job, not my prob.”

Positivity in the workplace is another bonding force that keeps employees motivated. It’s easy to complain about everything. We all can gripe about the weather, sports, news, and don’t get us started on the year 2020. Besides, people have a strong inclination to listen to constructive criticism if presented positively. We all want to improve ourselves and are willing to become more of an asset to others. We just need the right motivation to get us going. 

This leads me to recognition. We all may not love the limelight, and that’s alright. But, we do need an occasional recognition for the work we do. Otherwise, what difference are we making in this world? We should see some form of positivity from our bosses. How else are we to know that we are going in the right direction. It’s a form of positive feedback. Speaking of feedback, don’t give it in front of their peers. If we only call people in to criticize them,  their peers will know what is going on when we call people. This doesn’t mean stop praising in public. 

Another item that keeps people from jumping ship is training. Just because we graduated from high school, vocational school, college, university, or the academy of awesome heroes, doesn’t mean we stop learning. It’s only just begun. Training and development can lead to a better career path. After all, we are driven by self-improvement. 

These are not new ideas by any means, but it’s nice to hear them as a reminder. It’s easy for us to get in a rut and forget the basics of satisfaction. So take the time and assess the current workforce attitude. This is particularly important if we work from home; get organized, and find that satisfaction.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

Stop Saying “I’m Fine.”

Stop saying, “I’m fine.”

Two words have never been easier to say than “I’m fine.” With this quick-phrase, one can effortlessly avoid attention. If only it were always this easy to dodge our peers. 

Man's Hand in Shallow Focus and Grayscale Photography
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

But there are times that we are not okay. We aren’t afraid of help; we don’t want people in our business. Who wants others to take control of our lives when they have their own to run. Then there comes the pride of knowing that someone had to stop what they were doing because we couldn’t control our situation. We’re adults, just like everyone else. We can manage our own lives. 

Anxiety, stress, and depression are not typical. We hear that everyone deals with these. Since everyone is dealing with anxiety, having stress must be expected, right? Nope. Think of it as body pains. We all have our moments of aches, but having a spasm is not the norm. 

As with body pains, emotional pain needs time for healing. If we sprained our foot halfway through a 5K run, we wouldn’t continue running. We would slow down or stop. And just when we were about to lose all hope, a supermodel would run to our side, ask in a calm but caring voice, “Are you all right?” 

“I’m FINE.” we’d reply as each pain riddling step forces a whimper. “YEP! I’m okay! There’s nothing to SEE here!” And with a simple “Well, okay.” Our glamorous assistant disappears, leaving us with two new words (or expletive). “Fudge Nuggets!” 

Never be too proud, modest, or embarrassed to ask for assistance. And since we are on that word, I prefer to ask if I can “assist” others. Mental people need help. We are not mental, but we may need an extra pair of hands or another strong-back. See the difference? 

Until the next blog, live life and be happy. 

I Want You To Hurt As I Do

Have you ever faced an overly happy person just minutes after waking up? We may even growl a little to warn sunshine pants that they are on dangerous grounds. Notice the mismatched attitudes versus the reactions of both parties. One is a bundle of joy while the other is a bowl of good-gravy; I’m not there yet.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This is important to note. How often do we encounter someone with a polar opposite attitude? Now imagine a person who just received news that they are getting laid off and they are in a roomful of people celebrating So-and-so’s birthday. Bad-news-bear may not want to stay for the party and may project their feelings and emotions onto others if forced to do so.  

There is a primal mindset that will question the situation. Why should we be the only ones hurting? We want others to know the pain we feel. This is why we often say or do things that we don’t mean. We don’t want to be alone, and we shouldn’t be alone. 

There are times that we have trouble expressing our feelings. How do we tell others that we hurt without sounding petty? We should ask a trusted friend to lend an ear, but make sure to let them know that we don’t know how to express how we feel. This affords them an upfront explanation of the jumbled words that will follow. As we speak, it is essential to breathe. Hey, emotions can leave us breathless. Keep calm and speak clear if you want the listener to understand what is said. I once had a junior sailor tell me his whole life story while sobbing through every word. To this day, I cannot tell you anything he said. However, I let him finish. When he appeared calmer, I informed him that I couldn’t comprehend any word formations. To my surprise at the time, he just smiled and said, “That’s all right.” 

Photo by Tan Danh from Pexels

Misery does love company, but a pained heart also loves a good ear. We often forget to check on each other. Our routine wraps us up, and our focus is on everything that is an arm’s length away. Perhaps if we took the time to look up and asked how everyone was doing, we could alleviate the isolated feeling others feel. This would also afford others a chance to unload their thoughts; just make sure we are ready in case they do choose to unload everything onto us.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy. 

A Better Life

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In my youth, I concluded that poverty doesn’t provide happiness. So, I started a quest to find a better world. I wanted to be happy and have a life I could enjoy.

Is there such a thing as a better life?

This question frequents my thoughts. And yes, there is a better life. If we lack food and water, shelter, or clothing, then we are in need. If we have them, then we are looking for comfort. Think of a person with no shirt,  a cotton shirt, and a silk shirt. Most of us will agree the silk shirt feels the best. But is it the best shirt?

What is a better life?

Thresholds and boundaries define our happiness. My dreams may differ from yours, and that’s all right. But in our search for improving our lives, we should keep a reality check. Living in a big house with luxury cars sounds cool until it’s time to pay the taxes. Perhaps we should lean towards a simple home and car. It’s not glamorous, but it fits the bill. 

How do we achieve a better life?

If we want more things, then we need more money. Happiness requires fulfillment and satisfaction. These do not go hand in hand, as most people believe. Ever hear of the lottery winner who wished they never played those winning numbers. Money can buy material things, but the joy fades, leaving us wanting more. Welcome to the nature of humanity. But that’s a different blog. For now, if we want a better life, it is essential to enjoy the one we have. Stop the hungry eyes and daydreaming. Somewhere, someone wishes they could have our lifestyle. 

Another aspect to remember, as we get older, our wants and dreams will change. Our goals and passions in our sixties will differ from when we were forty, which differed from our twenties. This means our definition of a better life will change. Buying a single-story home may prove more beneficial when it comes to aging hips and climbing stairs. Knowing our present and future limitations will pay in the long run. Be honest and truthful. 

Is it wrong to want a better life?

If we are looking to impress others, then our quest for a better life is foolish. It is petty and juvenile to want a better lifestyle in the name of gloating. “Look and me and my things” are the words of an imbecile. Don’t do that. Instead, stop worrying about others. They are not worried about us, and our happiness should be for ourselves. We deserve to be happy. 

Find happiness and contentment within the present to enjoy our future.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

Stop Yelling

When I was a child, I was taught people only learn through pain. So, I learned not to touch fire only after getting burned, and specific actions brought on corporal punishment. If I didn’t repeat the deed, and my bottom was safe. The Department of Human Services (DHS) visited our home on occasions due to a reported bruise or two.

Since physical contact brought unwanted attention, yelling became the new form of outlet. Yelling for a minute or more can produce a fair amount of adrenaline, and coming down from a chemical high feels good. We know people can develop an addiction to adrenaline. This is how some drama llamas are created. In the aftermath of a scream-fest, a point was made, and a calm feeling soothes the soul as we collect ourselves. No bruising means no DHS representatives.

The irony of each scenario lies within the need for controlling a child while we are losing control. We do not need to hit anyone, nor do we need to assault them verbally. We are responsible for our actions. Others did not make us angry; we chose to get angry. Scenarios may upset or aggravate us. This is life. How we deal is this aggravation is up to us.

If we cannot express ourselves without yelling, then we need to excuse ourselves and calm down. I have stepped out of many conversations to collect myself. This, in turn, brought on newfound respect from my peers.

In my youth, I yelled at my junior peers to get the point across. I later learned that yelling at a group was less traumatic for individuals, but not for the ones observing the verbal onslaught via third-person. Third-person stress cannot be adequately controlled. Therefore, we must manage the stressors. As stated earlier, if we cannot talk without yelling or screaming, then we need to hold our tongues until we can. (not literally).

For those of us blessed with a quick or strong temper, it may take more discipline to achieve having an adamant conversation under eighty decibels. But, as with everything worth learning, it takes time and patience. Learn to express disapproval or aggravation without raising the volume. Everyone can hear us just fine. Breathe in slow, then breathe out slowly. We are the paragon of professionalism.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

Boat: Life

For years boaters have declared the word boat as an acronym: Bring On Another Thousand they state. This may sound silly to those of us who never owned a boat. Cars and trucks don’t cost much to operate. So why would a john boat or pontoon cost so much? And what does a boat have to do with happiness?

Don’t fret. The metaphor has everything to do with happiness. 

When it comes to watercraft, we want bells and whistles everywhere. GPS, fish finders, remote-controlled trolling motors, sonar, radar, weather maps, and dolphin translators. We want it all. The problem is, they cost a lot of money. And, once installed, we have to maintain them.  So, is there a perfect boat? Well, that’s like asking, is there an ideal car?

To keep the cost down, we must simplify our boat. A kayak cost less to maintain than a sailboat. After all, fewer parts equate to fewer expenses. Our lives are no different. Yes, frills are nice, but they cost. 

“So, we need to go without to be happy?”

As much as I would love to say no, there is a level of truth to this statement. Happiness is not in the “poor house”; it’s in the “simple house.”  Smaller bills leave more paycheck at the end of the month. Living within our means allows us to enjoy life. Live beyond those means, and we will always chase bills. 

Is there such a thing as too simple? I believe it depends on the individual. Some may find happiness with a canoe, while others need a gheenoe. Whatever the case, we must define our threshold. Stray too far from this point, and we’ll be unhappy. What good is a boat without some form of propulsion? Being stagnant has no “Woo” factor.  We need mobility.

Life works in a similar. When kept simple, life is easier to maintain and enjoy. Yes, a luxury yacht sounds great until it’s time to pay the crew, boat slip, and maintenance fees. We will find more happiness and satisfaction by staying within the means of our finances. This will also prevent us from Bringing On Another Thousand.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy. 

The Neutral Life

Life is simple, people make it difficult. In most regions of the world, people live in comfort. We no longer need to hunt or forage for food or water. Traveling long distances is easier. It doesn’t take us all day to travel twenty miles. And, our technology allows us to communicate with loved ones no matter where they are on Earth. But, we still cannot find happiness. We insist on complaining about how bad we have it, and how bad life is.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Life contains elementary laws that lead to our happiness. We must accept who we are. Upon realizing where we stand in relation to our morals we either need to change or maintain our habits and routines. Next, we need to control our wants. Contentment leads to satisfaction. “Want” is a bottomless pit that we will never be able to fill. We will always want more. Learn to be happy with what we have. Treat others with respect. We shouldn’t go around trusting everyone in hopes that they will do the same for us. But, it is uncouth for us to keep the world at bay assuming everyone has an angle or a plot against us. Finally, it is up to us to enjoy the simple things such as a cup of coffee and the sunrise. Find moments in our hectic life and pause. These are the things that lead to happiness.

But, it’s people who insist on not leaving well enough alone. We mettle with everything in an effort to find improvement. Our cars need to be faster, our houses need to be bigger, and our clothes need to draw more attention. That’s it. The fundamental reason for our dissatisfaction lies within the fact that we need to be noticed. We compete with those around us for the sake of saying “I’m better than you.” It’s sad that we cannot accept ourselves nor others. We must compete and strive for the attention of others. Do we really need that affirmation? Are we so shallow that we are willing to sacrifice others for a moment of fame? Yes, yes we are.  

Life is neither good nor bad, but our perception may say otherwise. Life didn’t give us a flat tire, the nail in the road did. Life didn’t give a crappy boy/girlfriend, we chose them. Life didn’t give a dead-end job, we applied for it. Life is a buffet and we choose what to have on our plate. Yes, there are outside entities that affect us. But we are responsible for how we act, react, and treat others. Life didn’t make our bad decision nor did it make our good ones. We did. 

Life is neither for nor against us. It is a stage upon which we live our lives; the good life. But what is a “good life?” Surprisingly, the answer is as unique as the person we ask. In fact, everyone has his/her own definition. Referring back to the buffet, we are making our plate. We choose who to have around. Our anger is our own. Just as our joy and happiness are ours as well. Life is not plotting against us. I’m sure Albert Hitchcock and Steven King would disagree.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

Always Keep A Hand On The Wheel

As we stand on the side of the highway of life, a low mechanical whine demands attention. Our heart begins to race as a single-car appears over the horizon. Loud, obnoxious happiness is seen as the driver waves both hands high. Each second without control adds to the emanate danger. 

Consumed by the howls of demonic engine screaming for more gas, we watch the car pass. Within a glimpse, a young girl shoots us a wink and loses control. Screaming tires scramble for control that was never there. A late corrective steer sends the car sideways, allowing for a savage bite from a pothole. Intense pressure builds on the suspension as the wheel hooks into the road. Like a rolling log, the car tumbles within the lines as it comes to rest on its wheels. 

We cautiously begin to walk over to the scene. The young girl, miraculously unscathed, rants, and complaints about how good life was. Blame went to the pothole, then to the city for not fixing the pothole. Questioning why bad things happen to good people, she stated that she emphatically knew something terrible was going to happen.

“It always does. You can’t enjoy life for too long without something coming along and knocking us off the high-horse.”

End scene.

The girl seemed oblivious to the cause of her wreck (lack of hands on the steering wheel). Instead, she blamed the pothole, then the city for not fixing the pothole. How often do we replicate this scene in our lives? Perhaps we never engage in positive thinking, staying optimistic, or having gratitude. We may even go as far as blaming others for our misfortunes. 

If we have gratitude, then we are not whining and complaining. We are focused on the positivity in our lives. Yes, bad things will happen. But, with positive thinking, a productive solution is found. 

Like the song says, “Don’t worry, be happy.” If we are worrying, then we are not looking for a solution. It is impossible to do both at the same time. Be grateful. No one likes a complainer. If one cannot find positivity within a situation, then they need to ask someone for assistance.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and lose sight of the good in our lives. It happens to everyone at some point. But, taking the time to remember the positives allows us to have pride in our life. We are unique and special. Never take that for granted and keep both hands on the wheel.

Until the next blog, Live life and be happy.

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Mindset Of A Drama-Llama

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Solitude brings a deafening silence that forces us to take a long hard look at who we are. Some people may like what they see, but most will not. As we gawk at ourselves, we tend to focus on the negatives. 

“We don’t do this or that. We failed in these areas. And, our peers agree we suck.” 

We feed our inner demons and become our worst critic.

Deeds from the past come crawling out of their graves. Our minds begin to rationalize what we should do and what we should have done. An avalanche of “if’s” devour our confidence until we are nothing more than a whimpering soul wishing we had done more. 

Not everyone welcomes downtime and silence. Some need to stay busy to avoid the spotlight. Or, perhaps, they need to cause others trouble to prevent a judgemental eye from their peer.

The drama we create keeps others on their feet and off of our backs. At first, the troubles are small, but as life goes on, we become better at manipulating peers. We fabricate so many stories that it is hard to see the truth. And the best part is we are getting away with it. No one knows we are involved. We have successfully become drama-llamas.

No longer do we need to look at our ugliness. We have the world dancing and trying to put out the fiery rumors that burn in their world. Our intentions lie within the fact that no one cares about unseen imperfections. Perhaps we’ll rush in and save them, becoming a hero and “true friend.” How great would we look then?

Some of us are addicted to drama. Peace brings tranquillity. Chaos brings change. New people equals new opportunities. We hope things will be better. This is a prodigal dream due to our lack of self-improvement. It is selfish to change our environment, peers, or stature, but not change ourselves. Only a juvenile mind would scream, “I want others to hurt because I hurt. Why should I be the only one with pain?” A fool seeks comfort from pity. We are better than this.

To peer into the thoughts of those who are mentally addicted to drama helps us to understand the simple fact that we cannot help those that do not help themselves. It is my personal opinion that we should avoid drama-lovers. They are toxic and will cause harm until they change their mindset. When dealing with anyone, whether good or bad, be professional. Treat others with dignity and respect. Sometimes this does mean that we need to excuse ourselves before we lose self-control. 

If we feel that trouble follows us everywhere, then we need to evaluate our disposition. We must accept the fact that life is not good nor bad. Life is existence. Our motive, mindset, and attitude determine our perception. We are the reason we believe life is for or against us. Events happen every day; our approach determines how we cope. 

When an unexpected bump in the road comes our way, we can either smile and say, “That was unexpected.” Or, we can get mad and chuck expletives and everything that moves around us. The choice is ours. 

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.