5 Tips for Having a Great Day

Today I thought I’d share 5 things you can do to have a great day, or at least give your day a better chance than usual at being great.

1-wear something you feel good in. Obviously, for some this has to be work appropriate, but work attire has changed dramatically over the past decade and even in the more conservative industries there are still lots of ways you can wear something you feel good, confident, comfortable and maybe even sexy in but still fit the company dress code.

2-pack snacks. I looked in my bag the other day and discovered I was out of snacks and was extremely disappointed. I make it a point to always have a granola bar of some kind or trail mix in my bag, in addition to whatever snacks I pack in a separate to take with me on my adventures that day. If you bring the snacks, you control what you eat and that’s not just about eating healthy, it’s about eating happy too.

3-have your favorite drink. Is there a type of tea or coffee or juice that you keep for special occasions? Starting your day with that is a great way to remind yourself how special you are and that your day ahead is worth enjoying.

4-watch a cute animal video. Yes, I totally went there. One of the first things I do is not check my email or the news when I get to my computer, but rather to stop in and see what’s new on my favorite Explore cameras or the latest pet videos on Care2 or the latest cute selections on YouTube. The emails and (bad) news will still be there after I’ve had a smile or two.

5-tell your partner you love them. Maybe it’s a text because they leave before you get up or a quick call while you’re both driving in to work (hands free of course) or maybe even a note on your pillow or by the coffee pot for them. Starting off the day expressing love is always better than starting with a fight.

What are your secrets for setting your day up for success?

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Open to Exploring

This month one of the topics we’re going to be talking about is the topic of exploring. There are some people who were practically out into the world on their first adventure the moment they were born, while others of us are more home-bodies. I’ve done some exploring out into the world and I’m sure I’ll do some again in the future, but I really enjoy my corner of the world. But that’s not to say that I don’t spend time exploring, because I do tons of exploring, but not usually in the physical sense. I explore online on websites, blogs and social media, I explore through books, I explore through TV shows. The exploring I do is often through the thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of others. Why? Because I’m able to learn so much through what they (and you!) see in the world!

Much of the concept of exploration is about being open to what else is in the world. That means being willing to relax your preconceived opinions and experiences, and being open to seeing or experiencing things in a very different way. Of course, my exploration through your photographs of your hiking trip will be a very different exploration than you experienced. Sometimes people explore through others because they physically can’t explore, don’t have the financial means to physically explore, or don’t have enough interest to really dedicate that amount of time and resources to a true physical exploration.

The challenge that we face as we enter this new month is really about openness. How open are you to what else goes on in the world? How open are you to hearing the stories and experiences of others? How open are you to learning or experiencing something new? How open are you to doing things a different way? Are you at all open to being wrong or outdated in your knowledge? I’m not suggesting that we all pack our bags and head to NYC so that we can experience “The Big Apple,” or travel to some other destination like The Amazon, Robben Island, Chernobyl or Area 51, what we’ll be taking a look at this month is exploring ourselves, our lives, our relationships and our world. Sometimes that does mean getting up and going somewhere, but it also means making time to learn and grow and be exposed to the other people and ideas of the world. What will you explore this month?

Reality Reflection: Worth

Today I want to talk a bit about a topic that many of us struggle with: self-worth. I don’t know about you but I usually struggle with feeling less-than 5 star during the day at least once. Maybe it’s that I just can’t figure something out, maybe I can’t get something to work the way I know it’s supposed to work, maybe I don’t understand what someone is saying, or maybe I do something wrong and fail. It’s not easy to be reminded that you’re not perfect!

We determine our worth through many things, including how capable we feel we are to do something, what others say about us, how we match up with others in the world, and how successful we are. But the thing that Wayne Dyer teaches us this week is that our self worth shouldn’t be determined by looking at the world.

“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” Wayne Dyer

A large part of how successful you are, how happy you are, and how worthy you feel is all determined by how and what you think about yourself. So all those times you call yourself stupid or talk down to yourself are chipping away at your self esteem and self-worth a little more each time.

No, you won’t always get it right, and you do need to take responsibility for the failures and mistakes in your life. But once you’ve learned your lesson it’s time to move on and focus on what you do right, and working hard not to do the same thing again. You can have good things in your life, it’s up to you to accept them and believe that you are worthy of them, and not just deserving of bad things.

In the week and month ahead I encourage you to pay extra attention to how you talk to yourself, catch yourself when you are talking down to yourself too much, and do a better job of coaching yourself to success, health, fulfillment and happiness in your life.

Reality Reflection: Helplessness

I think one of the reasons I don’t watch the news very much is because when I really think about what’s going on I feel helpless to really do anything. I’m not a cop, I can’t chase down bad guys; I’m not a medical doctor, I can’t cure crazy diseases; I’m not a politician, I can’t change or help a vote; I’m not a conservationist, I can’t save a forest from logging destruction; I’m not a political scientist or foreign emissary, I can’t help avoid WW3. But it’s not just about the big things, it’s about feeling helpless when there’s an accident near me or someone’s struggling to walk to their car or someone’s lost a dog.

Yes, we’ve talked and will continue to talk about how important and invaluable the little actions that each of us do throughout our lives. Yes I can call in a tip about a bad guy I saw from the news, I can donate to medical research facilities, I can vote in every election, I can plant trees, I can drive safer myself, or I can help someone cross the road. I can do something in each of the situations mentioned, but when they’re presented on the news or on a video and there’s nothing I can do in that moment, how can I not feel some amount of helplessness?

I think feeling that helplessness is healthy and normal. It’s a good indication that you’re still feeling and emotionally connected with the world. It means that you’ve got concern for your fellow humans and everything else that makes up this great world of ours. Unfortunately, for most of us though it also means that we have to accept being uncomfortable and unhappy with some things in life. Most of us simply can’t fix everything, no matter how much we rant, rave and feel bad.

Sometimes it helps to find what’s ‘glass half full’ in the situation, and even doing that little something like I mentioned earlier can help you feel a little less helpless. Unfortunately, until we all find that magical spider or the DNA to make us a superhero, we can’t be everything to everyone everywhere in the world. We have to stick to being superheros in our own part of the world.

Happiness and Help

This month one of the topics we’re talking about is help. One of the concepts and sayings that everyone knows but many still struggle with is that of putting on your own oxygen mask before putting one on your child or whomever is in the situation with you. Especially recently we’ve been hearing and talking about all of the natural disasters going on around the US from multiple hurricanes to fires. One of the things that was noteworthy to me was how many people didn’t take the recommendation of getting out while the getting was good and called for rescue during or immediately after the dangerous storms. For the storms that followed the first storm, it was made clear that once it was too dangerous rescuers weren’t going to be coming out no matter how many times you called until it was safe for them, which makes a lot of sense because you can’t be rescued if your rescuer is dead, right?

Yes, there are times that being selfless or giving of yourself and your resources can be beneficial. There are tons of people around the US who are incredibly thankful for the donations that were made in response to the hurricanes. Some people who made donations didn’t have much to give, but they chose to give anyway because someone else had greater need than they do. But there comes a point in time that you have to stop giving selflessly and recharge and take care of yourself.

One of the biggest areas that you’re responsible for in this regard is your own happiness. Yes, if someone gave me a dog I would be happy (unless it fit inside a teacup). Yes, when I see my partner I’m happy (almost all the time). Yes, I’m happy when I read a story in the news about how good triumphed or someone was saved or rescued. None of those things am I really creating or able to influence, but they make me happy. But since the universe isn’t giving out dogs at the moment, I don’t spend all day every day with my partner and the news is full of lots of other types of stories, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of my day that isn’t influenced by those 3 things, which means that if I want happiness in the rest of my day I’ve got to do something about it.

No, I’m not pretending that every moment will be good, there are lots of challenges, both large and small, we have to face each day. That’s the way life goes right now. But we can choose to have a good attitude, take the high road and look out for ourselves and others. You can either help yourself be happy, safe, fulfilled and healthy or do your best to hurt the world. And you don’t just hurt the world by throwing bombs, killing people, or defacing national monuments, you hurt the world when you’re so self-centered that you no longer do anything to help others be happy, safe, fulfilled and healthy too.

Today I encourage you to take a step back and consider what your life needs right now. Do you need to take a step back for you and focus on yourself for a time, or is it time to step up and help others?

“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness…” Jane Austen

Helping Others

This month the topic we’re talking about is one that’s become more appropriate with the events of the past few weeks, the topic is helping. It’s something we’re seeing in a major way in Texas and other southern states following Hurricane Harvey. It’s something we see and do as a regular part of our daily lives. We also make choices not to help those who need it, sometimes for reasonable reasons, other times because we’re lazy, selfish, or just plain mean.

There are countless ways you can be a help. You can start a business and sell something someone needs. You can raise dogs as part of a seeing eye, mobility or veteran organization. You can hold the door for someone. You can donate to a cause. You can recognize the good work someone did. You can add boxes and cans to a food drive. You can volunteer with a home building organization. You can babysit for a family who just lost a grandparent. You can plant a garden. You can offer to drive a coworker whose car is in the office to work. You can help paint a neighbor’s fence. You can do your least favorite chore to help a family member who is sick or injured out. You can tutor kids. You can run a support group.

I could probably come up with hundreds of ways someone can be a help. There are plenty of excuses that we put out about why we’re not doing something to help, but the fact is with all the technology today, something even as simple as sending out a Tweet or Facebook post can be a help to someone. The biggest thing to remember about being a help is the attitude and willingness behind it. No, you don’t have to help everyone or in every situation, but when a situation comes along that you can be a help with, you should. How will you help someone today?

Healing and Assumptions

The past few weeks we’ve been hearing about many tragedies around the world, something that isn’t really new, but seems to have taken on another level of activity again recently. As humans we struggle to understand how people can be that violent and inconsiderate of human life. As spiritual people we struggle to understand how anyone could kill another person, or could live with the hate that’s being slung around at people regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

I know that until Jesus comes back we will continue to have wars and violence, that’s part of the sin experience. But I believe we can do a lot more to heal our country and world, and it starts with having faith that the people we share this planet with are worth working towards a better future for and are just as human as you or I.

It starts with not believing we’re just defined by our race, religion beliefs, political opinions or social status. Yes, those things do define us, but they should not be our bottom line. Using a very publicized example that means that just because you’re black not everyone is out to get you. You have to take the first step to see yourself as something other than what someone could define you as.

Why? Because many people are capable of treating each other as average/ordinary human beings without a specific label, but some people escalate and force them to profile them that way. For example if a police officer pulls you over and you get all angry and curse at them saying that they pulled you over because you’re black, when the reality is the police officer may have had no idea what race you were, but pulled you over because you had a taillight out or were on your cell phone or you were speeding. If you pull the stereotype card that’s how others will often treat you.

However, we’ve got a choice to begin our lives, our days, and our attitudes in a different way.  We can choose to make fewer assumptions, choose healing and love rather than hate and judgement, and choose to listen and learn before reacting. Unfortunately there will always be people who stereotype others and treat them based on some factor like race or religion that really may have very little to do with who that person is.  But for the many people who don’t see you and me specifically or only as our race or religion, working on treating them better and making fewer assumptions could really go a long way to healing many of the issues in our world.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave for the next generation? One of perpetuated hate or one of healing, growth and opportunities?