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.
No matter who you are or where you live, you have an effect on those you interact with. Your energy sends a message to the people and other beings around you. Do you exude knowledge, wisdom, excitement, innovation, fun, happiness, contentment, kindness, compassion, and/or love? Or...does your energy give off arrogance, stubbornness, ignorance, hate, intolerance, negativity, paranoia, lack of confidence and low self-esteem?
Whatever it is that you convey, others (both human and other animals - and some may argue...even the greater energy of universe) can readily "pick it up" and feel its effects. Having others look forward to your presence and feel comfortable around you is not always an inherent trait. It can be, rather easily, learned if you're willing to spend the time to open your mind and heart to understand you strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
The first step is to understand who you are. "Look" at yourself when you converse with others. How and what does your tone of voice, body language, content of your message, and use of words, convey to others. Step back and watch yourself. Are you a person who displays the type of energy that evokes positive emotions, or do you repulse others and cause them to rapidly move away, physically and/or mentally, from you. If you are too judgmental, it can be relatively certain that those around you will "turn you off" after your negativity has been on constant display.
The easiest way to have a positive effect on others is to listen to them. We live in a world where listening has become a prized commodity. Since so many of us are pulled in an ever increasing amount of directions (see my previous post), our ability (or desire) to listen to others has - from a societal perspective - been stymied. Showing that you are willing to listen non-judgmentally, and REALLY actively doing it, can create a positive effect on how you are viewed and...make you one of the people that others want to interact with.
Listen and you well, most certainly, see.
With the moon's spectacular display last night, once again I thought about how incredible our universe truly is. The heavenly bodies enable us to watch an amazing show every day and every night. The sun, the moon, the stars, and other entities floating in space, allow us to experience both the vastness of the heavens and how tiny, yet powerful, each one of us really is.
The Earth is but a "grain of sand" in the hugeness of space and we are only tiny individual inhabitants of that "grain." Yet...our intelligence and abilities to dissect information, as well as recognize that we are those tiny inhabitants, gives us a perspective about ourselves and our place on this planet that will, hopefully, bring some humbleness to each of us.
Perhaps we, as a species, need to spend more time thinking about how "small" we are in addition to the "bigness" of our hopes and dreams. Maybe, if we spend more time realizing the oneness of everything, we'd be able to understand how important it is to appreciate each other and the things that bring us pleasure, without bringing harm to those people and things around us.
And, then...we might even find that we can revel in the wonder of a peaceful existence and be in awe of things that enable us to see the beauty of life - like...a full moon on a June night.
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.
Yes...it's true. Size really does matter. In fact, it not only effects your life - but it will certainly effect the lives of others as well.
No, I'm not talking about an outward physical trait. What I'm addressing here is the size of a few things that are far more important. How "big" is your heart? How "broad" is your mind?
Living with a "big heart" and a "broad mind" enables you to spread good energy, see things in a more accepting manner, and allows you to learn more easily. A "narrow mind" and "closed heart" tends to drive people, who may add texture, love, and kindness, to your life...away. What you are left with are only those with the same "closed heart" perspective and "narrow mindset" as yourself. That will, most assuredly, limit your view of life and will stunt your ability to grow as well.
However, the toughest part is to be able to admit to yourself that you have a "closed heart" and a "narrow mind." It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to recognize one's shortcomings. And...even more to want to change. A "broad, or open, mind" and a "big heart" may cause a person discomfort at first because it goes against what one has "stood for" his or her entire life. Yet...once they are achieved a person frees himself, or herself, from the negative energy and the physical affects that a "small heart" and a "narrow mind" causes.
If you've ever be around negative people (or you are one yourself), their faces emit the affects that their negativity creates. A positive person is lighter, happier, and less stressed. Closing one's heart and one's mind will, ultimately, increase one's stress and also cause physical ailments.
So...be aware of the "size" of your heart and mind. Open them both. It will allow you the freedom to pass on an overly stressful and judgmental life. And - give you the rewards that go with a "big heart" and a "broad mind."
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.
Or...banking on the fact that: "People can never get enough of what they don't really need."
For years I owned a marketing firm. Still dabble in it. In fact...I teach it at the university level.
During my firm's early years I had a partner who had worked for a well-known national magazine. He was the publisher of special guides that would come out during the year focusing on different categories of products. Cars, electronics, clothes, etc. would be the highlighted in all their beauty. I remember him saying that they would be lighted and displayed in such a way as to make them "sensual."
Yes...sex (and anything else that gratifies the senses) sells, even when that sensuality is transmitted through things. Mind you, I'm not talking about some beautiful being standing next to an automobile or holding a bottle of wine...I'm speaking about the things themselves.The textures, colors, designs, and other facets that go into the manufacturing of an item are often more important than it's function or reliability. And - the lighting and positioning of that product when it's photographed do as much to make them desirable as their design.
People are easily seduced...very easily seduced. Most consumers buy first with their eyes, then...secondly, with their minds. How does one avoid the trap of the "sensual seduction of things?" Initially, one has to realize that it exists. Next, I would suggest asking the question, "Do I really need this?" The answer is probably "No!" Then...comes the "want factor." Ah...the naughtiness of it all. Marketers depend on that. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But - I'm certainly not saying it's a good things either. The job of the marketers is to get you to buy what, quite often, you really don't need. I regularly add to that statement: "With money you don't really have."
Motorcycles, cars, clothes, shoes, electronic devices, food, as well as just about every other area of "Thingdom," is made to make you want to salivate, desire, caress, "love," and possess them. They are our substitutes for the real thing...other people.
As I teach, write, train, discuss, and guide people in their pursuit of building their businesses and selling their products, I am not ignorant to the fact that, if people truly love other people and have a wonderful relationship with their friends and loved one...the need for things often diminishes. But - I also know that we are beings who also love to create as well. So - balance, it seems, is the key. Work towards achieving entrepreneurial Nirvana, while making sure to remember that people are always more important than things. That - should help make for a totally "sense-ual" existence!