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What is time? I posed that question to my father when I was a young boy. His answer has been with me ever since. "Danny," he said..."Time is the rich man's way of telling the poor man when to be at work."

I can't argue with his definition. Of course, he was being simplistic and answering only one aspect of that thing that measures our lives. In fact, it really is the primary measurement of our entire existence. "How old is she?" "How long has he been working here?" "Ahh...what a cutie - and he's grown so quickly in 15 months!" "When did the Earth come into being?" Our questions and statements about time are constant. You've probably checked the time an 
inordinate amount today - just like most people.

We live our lives governed by time. Meetings, deadlines, benchmarks, and other markers of life, are all gauged on, and by, time. But...what REALLY is it in the grander scheme of our everyday lives? How could we measure things without time? 

Time, to me, is just the constant presence of now. That's it. Our time measurements can only happen in the now. As I'm writing this article each moment is a new now. The future only exists in our minds - as does the past. Time is a floating "now" machine. Yeah...I get it. You're gonna say, "Wait a minute - I lived yesterday - I know it for a fact. And...I'm planning for tomorrow because, hopefully, I'll be able to do the things I've posted in my planner." To that I say, "You're absolutely correct!" However, they only happened, or will happen, in a particular now.

When you leave this wonderful spinning globe, will time have any meaning? No. So...time is relative (as Einstein stated). Can it really be wasted. No. Only the efforts you deem necessary and the deadlines you self-imposed are judged, not the time you lived doing (or not doing) them.

With that said, I hope you've enjoyed your time reading this post and perhaps you'll give time a bit more thought. After all...for us it's finite - and now.
 
Contentment is a very special state. It is beyond happiness, residing in a place that calms the soul and brings wisdom to one's existence. A person can live in "poverty" and be perfectly content - just as an individual who is extremely wealthy can be in constant discontentment. So...how does one become content?

It's easier than one thinks. Contentment is based (like so many things in life) in perspective. The secret is to recognize what is really important (not some importance that is thrust upon us by our society or through marketing) and what is not. The ability to laugh at one's self and the absurdities of so many things in life is another aspect that enables a person to become content.

There is a difference between material contentment (living a life of material plenty) and "spiritual" contentment. The first deals with possessions, which...if they should go away, so does the contentment. The other is based in the ability to live beyond the material world and understand that it is the contentment of the body, mind, and soul, that enables a person to travel through life in a contented state.

It also contains elements of that old expression, "Don't get too high with the highs, or low with the lows." Of course, we all experience great joy and happiness, as well as sorrow and tribulations. And yes...our emotions deal with those things in many ways. However - once one understands that these things too shall pass, the recognition that we are living in a journey that is finite helps us see that mellowness, balance, and calmness, will enable us to enjoy all the aspects of life in a deeper, more textured manner.

If you realize that contentment is already inside of you and that all you have to do is reach in, discover it, embrace it, and then live it...you will have found the magic of an incredible way of life.
 
Our society is filled with "noise." Of course...that word is relative. One person's "noise" is another person's "music." However, the constant sounds of our communities - whether one lives in the country, city, or suburbs - can constitute an ongoing, and often unconscious, "hum" that we have all become accustomed to.

That hum sets a pace for each of us. Therefore, to truly clear one's mind...cleaning out the hum is essential.
How is that possible? It's actually easier than you think. In fact, many of you do it without even knowing how or why. Have you ever "zoned out?" It's that state when everything seems to have disappeared from your surroundings and enables you to exist on a level that puts you in a place of relaxation.

Many of us fall into it without any provocation. It just happens. Yet, it's possible to do it on your on. You can facilitate it by staring at an object. closing your eyes and visualizing something such as a beam of light, yourself sitting, the top of your head, or any other myriad of things. The trick is to not focus on items that are emblematic of chaos. Some call the exercise meditation, some call it a form of yoga, and some call it both - by intertwining them. I call it concentrating on peace and serenity.

It may sound difficult. Since we're so used to "noise." And...it also means being fine with being with yourself. Even if you're not...try it and soon you'll find that you're perfectly okay with being alone. Calmness will begin to encompass you as time seems to stop and peace and serenity engulf your being. Once you have accomplished the ability to remain calm on your own, then you will be open to even "higher planes" of existence.

It all starts with recognizing the "noise" and your desire to remove yourself from it. Once you've done that, you're on the path to peace and serenity.
 
Life for most people, especially those living in metropolitan areas, has become a frantic affair. So many things call for our attention. Work, play, school, family, friends, apps, social media, cell phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, televisions with 800 channels, radios (both satellite and broadcast), CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, books, and on and on and on, are constant diversions.

When I was "growing up" there were no computers or cell phones, television meant watching four networks. Then..."UHF" came along and three more channels were added. One's telephone transmission was apt to be over a "party line." Meaning, your family shared the line with another family and if you picked up your receiver you could hear the conversation of the people who shared your line. Sometimes, you'd have to interrupt them to ask if they were almost finished speaking so that you could make a call. Progress was achieved when you could afford to have a private line. Then REAL advancement came when "party lines" ceased to be.

Newspapers ruled. They were packed with stories and the Sunday edition weighed "a ton." For "paperboys" like me, it was the hardest day. Music came over your favorite radio station or on your turntable (we called them record players or victrolas), via records that were either 45 RPMs, 33 1/3 RPMs, or 78 RPMs. RPM stands for revolutions per minute.

Families ate dinner together. Food wasn't processed as it is today, there were no GMOs, and...the days events were actually discussed at the dinner table!

ADHD, as we know it, wasn't around back then. Perhaps it was because there were relatively so few things diverting our attention. Folks who did numerous things, seemingly at the same time, weren't thought of as multitaskers, they could just do lots of things "at once." 

So how did we become societies filled with ADHDers? Easy, we created a "world" that has countless things vying for our attention. We drift from one thing to the next, often without finishing the first, because...we are "pulled away" by something new, "more important" more attractive, more interesting, or more entertaining. The choices we have today dwarf those of 40, 30, even 20 years ago. In fact. it's hard NOT to be diverted! Yet...leave it to the pharmaceutical industry to develop drugs to control ADHD and other related "ailments."  

I have an easier solution. Slow down, don't look at your electronic devises on a constant basis, clear your mind, speak with your friends and family, relax more, stress less, and have fun. It'll save you from having to buy more things you think you "need" that you really don't, and...it may even cut down on your prescriptions too!
 
Run without pants and you'll soon realize how much calmer and healthier you'll be. It's more than you think!
 
Attitude is everything. Your outlook on life can motivate you or bring you down. We live in a world of constant change. There's no denying that life is permanently temporary. Yet...it's how one deals with those changes that can make the voyage a tough row to hoe or a incredible vista to enjoy.

We are all fortunate to be alive, and for that we should be grateful. That gratitude often brings with it a feeling of awe and can inspire us to do things we never thought possible. Having a positive attitude, along with the gratitude of our existence, enables us to make it through the toughest of times. When we are faced with adversity and have the courage to fight through the "pain," the level of fortitude we exhibit can make the result that much more enriching - a life lesson that we can carry with us until the end of our days.

Seeing those traits of greatness in ourselves leads to an understanding of what magnitude truly is. It is a recognition of our ability to endure and a realization that the results which have manifested from our actions are both satisfying and fulfilling. Those are attributes that some people have not yet learned. 

Sometimes we are given an epiphany - a special moment when we know that our attitude can, indeed, lift us to new heights, when our gratitude can enable us to intensify our senses and completely "take in" the beauty that exists around us, and when our perseverance has brought us to a place we had only previously hoped to experience. That amazing instance can change our lives forever. However, life's journey can also cause those same realizations to occur over time. Either way...they prove to us that magnitude is an entirely reachable human state.    
 
Life has its trials and tribulations, as we all know. One day a person may be filled with joy, the next day he or she may be deep in sorrow or worry. The human condition is not an easy state for many people. There is, however, a way to mitigate one's problems.

For too often a person will begin to wallow in their own "bad" situation. Negativity morphs into worry, regret, jealousy, fear, and other self-defeating and/or self-sabotaging behaviors. The more a person wallows, the deeper they get stuck in the muck. Walking in a field of muck and mire is extremely difficult. If you've ever done it you know that you can sink so far down that your shoes or boots may become "extracted" from your feet...too heavy to lift in the suction of the dense and gooey earth. Yet, some people get through it with relative ease, while others give up. Why?

Perspective helps us deal with the muck and mire of life. One person's mucky field is another person's opportunity for success. The pessimist sees a place to get "swallowed up," while the optimist sees an area to grow crops. 

When one is caught in the muck they often lose perspective. However, that soggy field is almost always just another part of a road that leads you to success. Sometimes getting stuck enables a person to stop, look around, and collect his or her thoughts, figure out how to remove one's self from the mire, and start the next "leg" of their journey.

You'd be amazed to know how many people have used "disaster" as a stepping stone to success. They've taken the lessons learned from their "negative" experience and used it to sculpt a new aspect of their life.

As I've often said, "Keep moving forward!" While, in actuality, life does that for us anyway, in the more colloquial sense...it's really up to you and your perspective. Change your mindset and you can change your life, for the better, very quickly. Don't change it, and...you may have to hope someone hears you, as you're stuck in the muck, and - that they're carrying a "lifeline."  

A positive state of mind is not just an expression, it's a way to lessen your burdens and help you deal with life's situations in a manner that enables you to grow, build, and succeed.
 
A short talk on analyzing your passions and how to make them productive.
 
A quick look at our intrinsic power and how to use it.
 
My website, as you know, is entitled: Dan Dissects Life - Practical Tips for Happiness and Contentment. Quite often people think that happiness and contentment are synonyms for each other, but...they're not. One can be very happy and not contented. However, if one is contented - they may not exhibit the traits that one thinks of when they contemplate what happiness should mean. Yet, the contented person may, indeed, be very happy.  

Happiness is a state of considerable pleasure and cheer. The happy person is often gleeful, light, and even euphoric. Happiness is wonderful. The mind and body may be overcome with elation. It is a beautiful "place to be!" However, happiness may come and go. Contentment, on the other hand, is often a way of life.

An example may be the parent who watches his or her child graduate from college. They are proud of their offspring and happy to see him or her reach one of life's great goals. Yet...even during the ceremony, the parent's thoughts may drift to school loan payments (and how they'll deal with them), whether or not their child will be able to find a satisfying profession, and, perhaps, a sadness of knowing that their child will soon be leaving home. They might find themselves being discontented while, at the same time, experiencing happiness.

Contentment is different. It is a feeling of peace with one's self and one's life, an ease of mind and satisfaction with one's state of being. Happiness adds a certain texture to the contented person...a taste of extra satisfaction to an already satisfied state. Yet - there is also a constant calmness to the contented person's "soul."

Happiness might manifest itself when one buys something "new," enabling the buyer to sense fulfillment and joy. The contented person may realize that they are fine with what they have and that just "being" and feeling nature's energy is fulfilling enough.

Experiencing happiness without contentment may leave a person "empty." But, meshing happiness with contentment can lead to a life filled with calmness, love, laughter, and relaxation...no matter how many things and how much money a person may, or may not, have.