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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.
 
For so many individuals a balanced life has become as elusive as catching a cloud. Society's pressures and stresses have moved people away from being in balance with themselves and their surrounding and into a frantic position of constant - and often needless - motion. People have become spinning tops caught in a perpetual state of inertia.


Relaxation even has to be scheduled! What does that say about our view of life and of ourselves? Balance is not something that one does on a mat for a few hours a week, it is a way of life. Prioritizing one's health, family, love, contentment, and living in the now, are all important elements of balance. How can one feel balanced when he or she is always looking at what needs to be done in the future and...when they have not really lived in the present?

What happens if the future doesn't come? Will you have spent your "nows" ignoring their importance for the sake of something that never happened? That doesn't mean that a person shouldn't plan for the future. But...it does mean that he or she shouldn't be obsessed by it. 

To be balanced, at least by my standards, also means to understand the difference between "working to live" and "living to work." It means looking at what's around you and understanding that it could change at any time and that you should "take it all in" and enjoy it. In addition, it is an ability to create a "level plane" for yourself, so that you don't get too high with the "highs" or low with the "lows." And - to be able to laugh robustly - especially at yourself, as well as recognize how to put life in perspective. Plus...it takes a realization that life is always changing. That's just inherent in the state of existence.

One of the things I have learned over the years is that (and I've said this many times before) we create our on constructs, then...often live by them, stress over them, and lose sight of what's truly worthwhile in being alive on this planet. The secret is actually not a secret at all...it's staring you in the face. It's in every person you see, love, and care about. It's recognizing that those you love and who love you in return want you around and not some fancy toy in your stead. It's the mountains, rivers, streams, and sky. It's everything in the universe. And...it's admiring all that while you're here - not letting it pass you by in the humdrum of running around as you focus on what can be, as opposed to what is. 

Balance is enjoying now. Knowing that each now will never be here again. Balance may include planning, but...it's overwhelmingly about being present every moment of your life.
 
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!
 
Business should be about passion. It's as simple as that. You should look forward to starting, building, working at, or conceptualizing your business and/or business day like you do when you think about, or have, your morning coffee or tea. Even if your business IS coffee and/or tea.

Why else would you want to go to work? Yes...I know it's about money. But, life only comes around once and if you're miserable at work, what's the point?  Business success is derived from the energy you, and your team, put into it. 

"Homework" is the drudgery of business, yet...it's essential. When I started my optical company I spent a lot of time dissecting the industry, its affect on population, the pricing policies and marketing of other companies, and the overall concept that people had of the field. Then, I "went to work." And - it worked! Researching if your product or service is needed may seem like it's taking time away from your goal, but...if you love what you're doing yet no one needs or wants it, I suggest you rethink your idea.

Once you've decided to "jump into the game" - and remember, business is a game - stay focused. Lay out your strategies and tactics, gather your resources, put your management and marketing plans together, and start rollin'! Whether you're creating something entirely new, or "improving" on something that already exists, you have to let people know. Marketing is the key! 

Study marketing; it's effectiveness, when and how to use it, and who your customer/client base is. It doesn't have to take a lot of money, but...you should definitely be tenacious if you want to be successful. And...be sure you're ready to handle what you just told the world you're selling! Otherwise, it will all be for naught. I'm sure you don't want that to happen.

As we move forward, in both my blog posts and my videos, I'll be writing and speaking about the different aspects of creating business success. So...I suggest you check out my new video series, Soaring to Success™ on my youtube channel: DanG4u2 (as well as take a look at my other videos), follow my blog posts on the subject, and send me your questions and comments both here and in the comment section on youtube. I look forward to hearing from you. And, I invite you to get involved, but please - don't get stressed. After all...it's only business!


 
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." 


 
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.

 
For the entrepreneur, business is more than just the promise of making money, it's the realization of one's goals. Most entrepreneurs I know, including myself, are goal driven - as opposed to money driven. Any entrepreneur worth his or her salt will tell you that their businesses are a reflection of their dreams. And...if they're lucky enough to make those dreams into reality, and that reality becomes a success (in whatever form that takes), then...the money follows.

As many of you know, I've had some wonderful experiences and successes in my business life. I've also had some endeavors that taught me what not to do. Yet...I still consider myself a serial entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Some have a higher risk tolerance than others, however, as we've all recently learned - even working for someone else brings with it enormous risks.

When I look at my classrooms full of students, or sit on the stage at commencement, viewing hundreds of graduates as they get ready to go out into the business world, I wonder. Will they be able to find jobs? Will those jobs make them happy? Will their desires be fulfilled?

Today, more and more people have to think about going into business for themselves. Everyone I know...and that includes you, has brilliant ideas - things that could change the world in small or big ways. All it takes is direction, focus, knowing one's strengths and weaknesses, being able to realize when to partner with others and when it can be done alone, and having the tenacity to stick with an idea, set a plan, gather resources, and forge ahead. 

I've coached and trained more entrepreneurs than I can count. I've helped them "get on their feet," given them advice, coached them through problems, and guided them so that they could avoid pitfalls and seize opportunities. It's part of what I love to do and is integral to my own entrepreneurial dream. 

Sometimes, being business brave can be one of the most invigorating endeavors of a person's life. In today's environment it may be the best choice one can make. So...think about your desires, your plans, your wishes, what motivates you, what inspires you, what makes you (or would make you) want to "get up and go" each morning, and start conceptualizing your future endeavor(s). Life is finite...one's business journey should make a person happy and as contented as possible. 

In the societies in which we live, economic survival is based (whether one agrees with it or not) on business and money - yes...they are both mental constructs, but - as with so many mental constructs, we make them real. Therefore, with that reality in mind - think, grow, innovate, and work on building your business dream. There is a sea of opportunities out there. And...you can acheive your business objectives while still being kind, compassionate, sustainable, and also by putting people before profits. Because when people come first...profits usually follow (especially if you understand what it takes to have the margins you need to be successful).

If you can handle the risk...it just might be worth it - in so many ways!