Should We Spread Our Joy?


Let me just get my answer out there. OF COURSE!

Sometimes I meet people who are traditionally happy and joyous throughout the year, but who, for reasons of not wanting to upset other people, suddenly downplay their natural positivity in the month of December. As I say, these are the kind of people who are naturally upbeat, positive and happy. Having empathy for others who may not be going through the best of times around December, and Christmas in particular, they go against their nature and act subdued.

I believe there’s another line of thinking which justifies sharing our own happiness and joy with whomever we interact. This is the act of being true to ourselves, and if that means our actions, words, tone of voice, smiling faces and overall positivity is in stark contrast to some others, it can have a startling affect.

For starters, being positive can uplift people. After all, do you want to be around people who are gloomy, sullen and suck energy or would you rather choose to be around people who energize you, make you smile,  bring you happiness just by being in their midst? These are the very people Scrooge once said, “…should be boiled in his own Christmas pudding”; the ones who go around wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

Now I’ve also heard the argument that because unemployed and impoverished people are affected so greatly by the season, which often accentuates their feelings of want and need, we should scale back on spreading our personal joy. Well, again, I disagree. I’m not insensitive, it’s just that being impoverished or out of work doesn’t automatically mean a person must go around looking down. In fact, some of the happiest and most positive people I’ve met live in poverty. They aren’t happy about their financial status of course, but they’ve realized that their financial status is only one part of their lives. There are many other facets of their lives which bring them joy. Why allow this one area to dominate who they are and how they view themselves? They choose happiness and positivity.

Yes, I’d rather be known as a fellow who wears a smile, stays positive and is good to be around than the opposite. Of course yes, one has to exercise some good judgement here too. When someone is talking about their bleak situation and out of politeness asks how I’m doing, I wouldn’t go over the top telling them about plans to have some big extravagant party to celebrate the season or how my investments were tripling my income. (They aren’t by the way; oh to be so lucky!)

No, I’d exercise some decorum; show some restraint in what to share, but I’d still have a smile on my face and tell them in answer to their question that I was just fine and thank them for asking.

The second argument I make for being positive, happy and merry is that it reminds people of what is possible when they may have forgotten. Don’t assume this is a given. Sometimes when we lose what we once had, we all need reminding of it’s value and in the case of happiness, merriment and positivity, they can all come again; for everyone.

When I’ve worked Christmas eve at work, those making the choice to drop in to our employment resource centre are typically either in for solace and sanctuary or to wish us the greetings of the season; a very merry Christmas. If they can do so, I certainly will wish them nothing but the same; that they too find merriment and happiness both then and the year ’round. Sometimes we’ve sat down not as clients and staff, but as people – (a rather significant distinction) and shared a drink, a bite or two and some laughs.

Being poor doesn’t mean one must by association be of any one mood. You’ll find sadness, regret, joy and happiness, neutrality and the entire gambit of emotions. Why? Why precisely because the opposite is true. Among the wealthy you won’t universally find decadence, happiness, positivity and an entire void of stress. It isn’t money that brings happiness; it’s within us to be what we choose to be – that which makes us feel as we choose.

I will continue to positive, be happy and be joyous. Don’t think me insensitive, don’t attempt to shame me into being anything I’m genuinely not. My smile is there for anyone that chooses to see it as an outward expression of my state of mind. I also find that a smile on one face tends to bring one out on another. The opposite is also true by the way..

So do I wish you a merry Christmas on this fourth of December? Do I hope you have the best day possible? Do I trust you find happiness this day and each other day? YES!

By the way, ever been served by someone in the course of conducting some business who is robotic? You know, they do their job but there’s no human emotion, no smile, no genuine appreciation for your business. Have you not thought to yourself, “It wouldn’t hurt you to smile a little?” Ah, you have? Then you understand entirely and you get it. Good for you.

Be that beacon of happiness, that one person who goes about their work with a smile and is genuinely appreciative of others. It will work wonders for your mental health.

“How Do You Always Stay Positive?”


8 people sat before me yesterday, only 1 of whom I’d met before. It was our first of a 7 day journey, embarking together on bettering knowing ourselves and then looking at the possible occupations that we might pursue. I include myself in that phrase, for although I am employed, I too will confirm what I know already and discover new things about myself as I facilitate this workshop.

It’s my practice to ask each person their name, why they are present and what they hope to get out of the experience. This is an excellent check for me to ensure we’re on the same page. It’s great confirmation for each participant, knowing they won’t be disappointed on our final day because if there is something they are expecting beyond my own objectives, I have time to build it in.

After hearing from them, I typically tell them about myself. Why not? I mean I’m a part of the group too. I know I always wonder about the backgrounds of  facilitators when I attend their presentations. However, yesterday I went about it differently. Rather than give them my career path, I opted to give each person an opportunity to ask me one question, which I promised to answer as best I could. This way I reckoned, each person would get at something they wanted to know, and I’d get an early glimpse of their thought process.

I was pleasantly surprised with one gentleman’s question. We’d only been together for about 20 minutes when he asked, “How do you always stay so positive? You have a lot of energy and I believe you are always positive.” I was surprised because as I say, he’d only met me 20 minutes earlier and had already picked up on my positivity. Here is the power of the first impression and I was understandably happy he’d picked up on both my energy and positivity.

I gave him a spontaneous answer; “I choose to be.” I went on to tell him and the group listening in, that we make choices not just each day, but hundreds of times a day. When things don’t go as we’d expect, we have a choice on how we react. Now the location I am in this time around is not my usual work destination but rather what is for me, a satellite office. I had technical issues with my computer login and as it turns out, had to download a new operating system which would take about 2 hours. My choice was to go around and express this frustration with 6 or 7 nearby co-workers, or – and this is what I did – contact IT and had them walk me through the process. This choice got me the result I wanted sooner, (connectivity) and conserved a finite amount of energy I’d otherwise have poured into complaining. My choice.

Now I know this sounds trite doesn’t it? I mean just choose to be positive. However, it’s the simplest explanation why any of us are typically positive; we choose to be. One thing I did share was an admission that I’m not always completely positive and yes there are some times I choose wrongly; later regretting I didn’t make a more positive choice. Thankfully those times are few.

Last week we had a snowfall which made the commute in messy and a coworker told me how much she hated the snow. I told her how pretty it looked to me and how it covers up so much dirt and grime of the city. “You’re always so positive”, she too said. Well, it’s a choice again isn’t it? I mean the snow has arrived and is now a factor for us all to interact with. It’s our response to the snow that makes it welcomed or something to complain about. We interact with the event in either a positive or negative way. I chose positivity and that choice makes traveling through it a more pleasurable experience.

Now as for you. Would you describe yourself – and would others generally describe you – as a person who comes across as typically positive? I tell you this, being perceived as positive in general is so much more attractive than the alternative. Given that premise, why wouldn’t we all choose positivity over negativity? And if not negativity (for that’s the other extreme), I’d rather be positive than fluctuating back and forth all the time to the point where others are never quite sure what mood I’m in from one day to the next, from one moment to the next. I like consistent positivity.

And here is a poorly kept secret of mine. I have found that surrounding myself with people who are generally positive and upbeat feeds my own energy and positivity. I get what I give, and I hope being positive attracts others who make the similar choice to me.

When you first make the choice to be positive it’s a change. When you repeat that choice a few times it becomes a pattern. When you come to act positively on a regular basis it becomes your reputation. This is perhaps why after only 20 minutes, this gentleman picked up that positivity was in my nature. How observant of him and what a kindness he gave me in both recognizing that quality in me and asking how I do it. Hopefully, he thinks about my answer and tries it out for himself. Positivity can be learned and it’s contagious.

Coming To A Decision


All through your life you make decisions. By their nature, some of those decisions are bigger or smaller than others. Some are so huge they affect the course your life runs as a consequence. At the other end of the spectrum are those decisions you make automatically; seemingly without much thought or difficulty; like switching on a light when you enter a dark room.

It’s important to acknowledge and affirm you make decisions; that we all do, because when you linger over making a choice for what appears too long, you may just say outloud, “Why can’t I make decisions without all this stress?!” And it’s then, at those moments, you have to remind yourself that yes, you do make decisions. It’s just the gravity or importance of what you’re weighing over that has you paused until you choose.

Have you ever considered just how many decisions you make in a day? I’m not surprised you haven’t. You’d likely miss many even if you tried to recall all the decisions you make. What time to get up, to shower or not, turn on the light or stumble in the dark? Which pair of underwear? Slacks or skirt, shave or not? Cereal or toast and if it’s toast, butter, jam or peanut butter? Do the dishes now or when you come home at the end of the day?

Okay, so you’ve given yourself credit over the small ones. Good. Now, to the bigger ones; maybe one you’re fretting over now for all I know. Okay so let’s look at that process. First of all, if you’re upset that it’s taking too long to make your choice, consider on the positive side of things that you won’t be upset with yourself for having made a rash, spur-of-the-moment decision without giving things the time and reflection they require. Every made a rash decision without thinking and regretted it? Hopefully it wasn’t over something huge; yes, hopefully it was choosing one ice cream flavour over another; something with small consequences.

When considering 2 or more options, we generally weigh the pros and cons. We look at the benefits of each choice, (the good) and the negatives (consequences). Can I suggest by the way that we both remove the word consequences as a negative. Make a good choice and the positive outcomes are consequences of having made that decision. Consequences go both ways. Too often someone warns us of consequences in our decision-making and like the word stress, we come to associate it with a negative. But stress and decisions can both be positives.

Okay so you’ve got your pros and cons. If you’re looking for a choice that has all positives and zero negatives, you’re not likely to find it. Just as obvious is that whatever you don’t choose in the end likely has some upside or positives too. Believing there’s an option with nothing but positives, where everything is a win, just doesn’t happen much of the time when you’re faced with 2 or more big choices and you have to decide.

Take choosing a school to go to as an example. Is it the College or University close to home or the one across the country. One close to home might mean you could continue to live with your parents and save on residence costs, but then again, sometimes the freedom to do what you want without the constant scrutiny of your parents would be a welcome positive. You might mature faster by doing your own shopping, washing and cooking. On the other hand, you’ll miss dad’s barbeque and mom’s lasagna. As for programs, they may be similar but one has a slighter better reputation but comes at a higher fee. One’s in a densely populated city and the other isn’t. Maybe your family encourages you to go to one over the other, but the other is close to those ski hills you’d love to get out on. Ah decisions.

Consider that having decisions to make is a privilege. Some on this planet are fighting passionately for the rights you enjoy; the right to choose. Be it school, a political party to vote for in an election or if and whom to marry. Never wish you didn’t have to decide; that others would make decisions for you. Coming to a decision helps you grow. Some of your decisions, yes, you’ll regret those choices. This makes you human. We all make decisions we’d like to reverse, and yes, some of those are big ones. While you hope to learn the lessons that go with those choices you wish you could have back, the key is to look forward and make better, informed choices, not relive and beat yourself up over choices made in the past.

Go ahead and get information when weighing your choices. Pay attention to your gut too. If you flip a coin between two important options, do you feel hopefully of one over the other as the coin is in the air? What does that tell you? Grab the coin and put it in your pocket without looking at how chance might have played out.

In the end, DO choose. Spend the time you need but please make a decision. Don’t run the risk of missing a deadline, losing an opportunity, then feeling bad because you waited too long.

In the end, go with the positives of your choice and feel good!

Picking A Career: The Pressure To Get It Right


It usually starts when we’re children and asked of us by well-meaning family members. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Then our parents friends and the parents of our own friends are asking us the same question. Soon, the idea that we should place a lot of importance on thinking about our life-long career is reinforced in school when elementary teachers tell us to choose wisely the level of classes we select as we approach high school. Maybe they even have us do career assessments.

In your personal life you’re body is going through some weird physical changes; puberty. Your hormones are changing, you get that first facial hair, the period arrives, the physical attraction to people you used to just see as friends is changing how you hang out together. What you and your friends think is groovy, hip, cool or down with is constantly changing and you don’t want to be left out and fall behind. Things get awkward as you switch back and forth between being a kid and doing your best to look and act 5 years older.

So there you are newly arrived in high school; experimenting with your teenage drive to test some boundaries, making some decisions (a few of which you’ll regret and a few you’ll be happy work out) for the first time. You think you’re mature, all you really want to do is have fun, bond with your besties and have the time of your life, but suddenly you’re doing serious work looking at further career assessments, picking out Universities or Colleges to further your education and positioning yourself along the path to that career goal. People older than you, smarter than you, are laying out your next 5- 8 years of your life; finishing high school and 3 or 4 years of further education.

The irony is that as adults themselves, those teachers know that almost every one of their students will change their careers and some several times over the course of their working adults lives. But if they stressed that message at this early juncture, the students they are instructing would question the importance of getting it laid out now. So there you are unsure really of what you’ll want in the future let alone now, but still you’ve got to start thinking about what College or University offers the courses you’ll need to get whatever diploma or degree you’re after.

There’s a lot of heat to get it right; some of the pressure – most of it really – might even be self-imposed. After all, if all these people we admire and respect are telling us it’s important to choose wisely so we don’t waste our lives, our money and our time, they must be right. The fear that you choose wrong and take  something you really don’t want or change your mind too late can be confusing!

Relax! (Easier said than done right? I know). Here’s a few thoughts for you to mull over from an Employment Counsellor who has worked for a long time with literally thousands of people.

First of all, while this might sound entirely UNhelpful, you need to know that as much as what you want now may seem crystal clear, that could very well change in your future and that’s totally okay. The person you’ll become will be influenced a great deal by people you have yet to meet, places you have yet to go, experiences you have yet to have. You’re going to change as you grow and so this notion of choosing an occupation – and the pressure to get it right – is not only a myth, it’s just plain wrong and the evidence proves it. People change jobs and careers over their lifetime.

This being said, an education is a fine thing. It’s not the only thing; you can skip the post secondary thing altogether and just start working and have a fine, fulfilling life. But suppose for a moment you head off to school and after 2 years in a 3 year program you find you’re just not feeling it. You can switch programs and people do. You can take a year off and go back. You could even graduate and then something in your life makes pursuing that career difficult or seemingly impossible. That career in the Hospitality industry with a lot of evening and weekend work suddenly doesn’t fit with your new-found role of parent. If this happened, would your education be a waste?

The answer is no. Education is never a waste. Education is not a financial burden of debt you pay off with a good paying job, but rather an investment in yourself as a person. That education is going to change and influence how you think moving forward, and it will benefit you throughout your adult life. If you consider returning to school to do something different, taking another 2 or 3 years, you might feel even more pressure to ‘get it right this time.’ My advice? Do it anyhow. Go back. Invest in yourself because your future self will thank you.

You can do this. You literally can’t choose wrong. Life has a funny way of making use of our talents, education and experience down the road in ways we can’t imagine at the present.

Whether a specific trade or a general Bachelor of Arts, it’s all good! This education you’re considering isn’t the final destination, it’s just one step on a lifelong journey.

Choices And Consequences


Not everybody wants the same things; nor do people who do want the same things want them to the same degree.

Take yesterday. So there I was on day 1 of a 7 day career exploration workshop. 7 days isn’t a long time to invest in looking at the various options and settling on one to pursue for the immediate future, but on the other hand, when you receive guidance and encouragement and go at it with some enthusiasm, you can indeed learn a lot about yourself. So yes, you could progress to the point where you move forward with confidence towards an employment goal. Even if there’s homework left to do researching a couple of options after the class has ended, this too is progress.

Now one of the things I made clear – and ALWAYS make clear on day 1 of any workshop I run, is that attendance is critically important. Missing time won’t get a person removed automatically; after all, previously scheduled appointments can’t always be shuffled around outside of the 7 days. I tell participants on day 1 that they have to be present to get the most out of the experience. While it’s true they would return from time away to find all the handouts on their desk, completing them on their own just isn’t the same as doing it in a facilitated discussion.

If a day is missed, not only would they have to catch up on the next by completing the self-assessments we covered in their absence, their voices would be missing in the discussions which occurred in their absence. So not only is the experience for the person lacking, so too is the experience of the entire group who loses out from the missed persons vocal input.

At one point in the day, one woman announced she had something to talk with me about after class. Odd to announce to an entire class I thought and not to come up at break or lunch and mention, but there it was. After class she told me she had a dilemma. As much as she wanted to be in class everyday and not miss anything, she also wanted to go with her daughter’s class on a school trip. She said she’d make up the work and asked my permission.

I told her the choice was hers to make – as I believe it always is – to be where she wanted/needed to be. I wouldn’t decide for her, or tell her what I would do in her place. Yes, I reminded her, she would get the handouts to complete, but she would not get the full value of the experience, including the discussion that accompanied each one; nor would she be able to contribute to those discussions to help others. Her choice.

I get that what most people want is for me to give them my blessings. I understand that single mothers such as her are highly motivated by their children; that they are their entire world. Because they live for their children, they hope that I’d see things exactly the same way and say, “Oh of course, that’s important so go have a good time and do so with my full support.” I didn’t say this though. I’m not hard or cruel either.

Life is all about choices and every choice comes with a consequence. Some of those consequences are minor and some are major. As we’re all different, and see things different, what one person might consider to be the right choice for them might not be the choice someone else would make given the same situation. Letting people make their own choices empowers them; making the choices for them or severely punishing them for making a choice we wouldn’t make does the opposite. So missing a day out of 7 comes with consequences,  but the decision is not mine to make for her.

There is however another consequence to her decision to which she is entirely unaware. This career exploration workshop isn’t the only one I run. There is one workshop which is an invitation-only, intensive job searching workshop. What participants in all my workshops don’t know is that I’m watching, listening, evaluating and re-evaluating each and every one of them throughout our entire time together. I’m watching for the words and actions that tell me people are either ready for that opportunity to be extended to them or not. In other words, although everyone might tell me they are ready to work and want to work, not everyone wants it to the same degree.

Having been told yesterday in the larger group that these 7 days were a rare opportunity to get to know themselves better and explore what kind of work would make the most of each persons talents, interests and bring them the most satisfaction, I’m looking at each person and gauging their commitment to that end. Who is putting in the time and effort, who is contributing and getting the most out of this experience which many working people would love to undertake if only they could; learning about themselves and what would make them most happy.

We shall see what she chooses, but my money goes with missing the day to attend the school trip. It’s not the wrong choice in many ways; but it is a choice just the same.

Make your choices with foresight and conviction and whatever you choose, consider the implications.

For The Beast To Stay Alive It Has To Feed


Anger, bitterness, resentment; hatred.

You might have cause to feel these emotions from time-to-time, but I hope you come to realize that in choosing to feel these emotions on a regular, daily basis, you choose to allow whatever, or whoever, stirred those emotions in you initially, to win. The sooner you release those feelings, you purge yourself of their power over you, and you regain your control, take back the power and live a better life.

Now that’s it in a nutshell. If you stop reading now, you’ll have the point.

Here’s the thing about anger, bitterness, resentment and downright hatred; sometimes they come into our lives and change us without us being aware we’ve changed. Of course the people around us, especially the ones closest to us, see the change, know it’s not change for the better and are sometimes powerless to help us regain our former selves.

When you carry any of these four with you, the surprising thing is how they change our body language and facial expressions, alerting those with whom we interact that we’re in a bad mood. This often causes us to look unapproachable, best left alone and then it follows that this can build even more resentment as we fail to win employment competitions, find ourselves passed over for promotions or yes, find ourselves removed from employment altogether.

How we then experience the world changes, because of how we interact with the world. One of the healthiest things an angry, resentful, bitter person can do is let go of the hatred; releasing the negativity; healthy yes but hard for many. Change as you know is hard for some people, and change for the better is no different.

Now on the outside; from the objective point-of-view of another person, it might seem easy to let it go. “Stop being so negative!” It’s not that simple though, and does telling someone to stop being negative ever really have the effect of having that other person just say, “Oh alright. Thanks”, and then immediately change happens in a snap? No.

Change; real, lasting change in this case, only occurs when the person holding the anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred let’s it go. In order to let it go, there has to be some motivation to release it, something they realize they want more than they want the negativity. Again, it sounds obvious. Choose not to be so negative and you attract the positive to your everyday life. Yet, not easily done.

Much of the time there’s an element of forgiveness that immediately precedes the release of these four emotions above. The last thing however that an angry person who holds resentment and bitterness towards a hated individual wants to do is turn around and forgive them. No, often these are the very things that feed the feelings. It’s true you know; for the beast to stay alive it has to feed.

So you’ll find looking from the outside in that angry people carry that anger to new situations. They have short fuses and little tolerance for others who they have no reason not to like. At the same time they can want to have fresh beginnings and new starts in new environments yet bring all the anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred with them and when what they experience is the same as earlier poor situations, they mistakenly believe the world has changed for the worse. It hasn’t of course, it’s just how they interact with and experience it.

If this were an easy thing to change, these periods would be short-lived. However, as letting go through forgiveness can be so very hard for some, these four traits can rob a person of a life of happiness. Should that anger, resentment and bitterness spread to others and stir the hatred in them, it can become infectious and linger to become generational.

But for our purpose, let’s keep the mirror with only us in it. Look at a yourself in a mirror – not figuratively but literally – and what strikes you? Do you see defiance, anger, hostility and resentment? How easy or hard is it for you to bring a smile to the face you see and when you do, does that face smiling back at you hold a genuine smile or a sneer of disgust?

While change is hard – even change for the better – it’s possible; possible always. If it’s you holding the grudges and the anger, there’s got to be something occur that becomes the catalyst for change. It’s highly unlikely you just wake up one day and say, “Huh, I think I’ll embrace positivity from now on.” If you’re lucky, you might have others who see the good in you stick by you long enough to be around when you make the change. However, often the catalyst I referred to earlier that precedes real change in the direction of positivity only happens when you lose the ones that mean the most to us. They tire of the anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, universal hatred and though it hurts them to do it, they move on.

Choosing what to feed – and it is a choice – determines how we shape ourselves and therefore how we experience the world in which we live. It’s therefore not so much what the world is doing to us but rather, what we bring to the world around us. Choose.

What Do You Want For Yourself?


From the time we are old enough to communicate we get asked questions. In fact, as an experiment, see how many times you find yourself asked a question today or tomorrow. Most of those questions are pretty simplistic, such as what you want for breakfast, when you want to take your break at work, what you want to watch on television this evening etc.

Most of the questions you will be asked come innocently enough, and you’ve probably got the necessary information accumulated in order to answer intelligently. So you know what you want for breakfast, you know when you’re ready for a break at work, and you know what you’re in the mood for in the evening as you sit down to watch the television. How exciting!

What of the bigger questions you ask of yourself? I don’t mean what to wear on a certain day, whether or not to take the umbrella or who to sit with at lunch at work. I mean the BIG questions.

When was the last time you really thought about your life and what you want to do with yours? Let’s face it, most of us go about our day without really thinking about the BIG questions. We’re so focused on what we have on our daily agendas, what we’re having for dinner, what work has to get done, who will be off today at the office, remembering what bills to pay, we don’t often stop and consider what we want for ourselves.

I suspect that many people just get on the treadmill of life and live their lives in a predictable, socially acceptable manner. We go to school, graduate, get a job, have relationships, then settle on a strong relationship with someone, end up with several jobs or careers over a lifetime, retire and hope to enjoy it, then die. It’s predictable, we’re remembered by those we leave behind who knew us, and then depending on your belief system, you go to Heaven, get reincarnated, are reborn etc.

The after-life debate aside, how often do you really give yourself the benefit of time to reflect on what you want to do based on what’s important to you? How does the way you live your life reflect what you once wanted?

Some people do what’s expected on them by others; they go to school, join and then later run the family business, and pass it on. Some are told in school they’ve “only” got the potential to work in the trades (and the trades in the way it is voiced is somehow undervalued vs. a University degree), and therefore they take on an apprenticeship and work in the trades without challenging that view.

How often does someone in their late teens have the foresight to imagine themselves as retired looking back at their work life saying, “That was a life worth living! I’m glad I (fill in the blanks).

Every time we find ourselves out of work or wanting a change in work we get closer to thinking of the big picture. Questions like, “What now?” do come into our minds, but too often don’t we just scramble for a job that approximated our previous one; or choose one that while different in responsibility is really just maintaining our lifestyle. So a labourer finds another labour job, a Healthcare Worker finds another job in the Health sector?

What of you? Have you got dreams – or did you once have dreams you’ve let go of? Maybe you had some vision of what you would love to have done, but before you could launch that dream, you were too far down the predictable path of everyday life? You got into a relationship that made following your dream difficult if not impossible in your view. Now with rent or mortgage payments, kids, r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-i-e-s… well, you know; you’ve kissed those dreams goodbye.

Now if you’re happy it doesn’t matter when it comes to dreams and hopes you once had. Truly happy people should carry on. I’d say it’s not only about being happy as you look back nearing your end, but it’s about being happy all through the stages of your life. Are you doing what you want with the time you’ve got?

What if the answer is you’re not happy? Well, what would make you happy? What do you want for yourself? It might well be some wild experience; a life filled with travel, adventure, chaos and physical challenges. It may also be a job in the city sharing your life with someone who loves you as much as you love them.

Whatever you wish for yourself, if it’s not your reality, or you’re not seeing it getting any closer, what would it take to make that dream happen? Does it require more effort, a change in locale, some self-confidence or hard work? Does it take some courage to chuck it all and start again?

If you’ve been waiting for something to get you doing more than just thinking, think of this; time is passing. Take a leap. Do one thing this week other than just thinking; in other words take some action. Have a conversation, download the brochure, book the trip, contact the company; whatever small step you can think of, do it.

Life is too precious and time too short to delay. What do YOU want for yourself?

Make it happen.

That Single Second Of A Possibility


Your commute: That daily drive down deep into the darkest, dank, death-like dungeon of despair. Your destination? The job from the netherworld from which you routinely gazed up into the ceiling above, with your arms flung as wide as you can while you screamed to some unknown force in the universe, “WHY ME?!”

Ever had one of those jobs? You loathed it on a Sunday morning when you automatically without willing it realized that you had this single day of respite before you had to march into your workplace and shackle yourself to your desk with a ball and chain. You looked around and saw only resignation on the faces of your co-workers. The worse part of the entire picture was that as you saw it there were no guards, no warden, no executioner – just prisoners who chained themselves without questioning to their work and released themselves at 5:00 p.m. only to repeat the sentence upon the dawn of the following day.

Your co-workers names you no longer recall, but sympathetically refer to them now as Diablo in reception, Lucifer in accounts, Beelzebub your boss; who seemed looking back now to be as lost as yourself. Everything around you seemed so stale, so unappealing, joyless – even plants on the window sill drooped in mute capitulation.

Maybe you did have one of those jobs or worse still have one of those jobs now! Yikes! How unfortunate if you do but feel you have no options, no hope, no promise of a brighter day! Alas, is there no mercy? And what devilry is there afoot that brought you to this lowly place? What sins did you commit to become sentenced to this endless fate which drones on and ever on?

Okay enough of that. Give your head a shake and sit up straight. Focus. I said focus! You there in the front row with your head in front of the screen. Yes you! Focus!

A change in scenery is definitely required here isn’t it? Of course it is. You’re deserving of a better existence aren’t you? Of course you are! Work need not be a drudgery exercise to be repeated 5 or 6 days out of 7 for the rest of your working life. You’re not serving a sentence where you get released home for a day or two each week in an effort to integrate you back into society when you retire and can’t do anyone much harm. At the moment, it would appear you are the one in harm, and it may just be self-inflicted.

You my dear reader, in order to bring about the change you want, have to BE the instrument of change itself. Nothing changes until change occurs. Oh lovely you say, now he’s being just a tad trite. But it’s true. NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL CHANGE OCCURS. It has to start somewhere after all; that first second when something sparks a new thought that you haven’t previously had. That single second is the seed of change presenting itself and what happens next is entirely up to you.

Think of it; that single second where you see an option, a fork in the road, a possibility…and we all have those single seconds when new possibilities come into our conscious thought. Some of us nurture those thoughts, close our eyes and encourage more thoughts. We imagine, allow ourselves to dream, to consider, and then we connect those single seconds into a minute of thought, an hour, a day. We then talk with others around us about those thoughts we are having and breathe life into the possibilities which lead us to examine our skills, our aptitude, then research the opportunities suggested and develop workable realistic goals.

In others of course, that same single second of thought which is the seed of something that could be, is quickly extinguished like an unwanted light in the darkness. Change and the struggles it might bring seems somehow worse than what we have now, and what new disaster might the future bring if we error in following that spark and things end up even more disastrous than they are now? The result is no change, no movement, little hope for something better, and more of the same.

Choose.

Choice is one of the greatest gifts we have but only if we see choice as opportunity for something better. Choice can be something others don’t want – they’d prefer others choose their destiny for them. ie. “Tell me what to do with my life!”

Maybe exploring a small tiny spark of some new idea doesn’t really have to cost you anything other than some moments of reflection. After all, you have the power to explore any idea as far as you like and either go all the way with it or choose at any time to snuff it out for what you have instead of something else.

But you; you who toil timidly today, tomorrow, to the ends of the time you can foretell, why not at least consider that the next time you feel a momentary spark of a new possibility to think on it. You my friend are the single person on this planet of billions of life forms with the capacity to alter your future. Your future you is one day going to look back and either regret the moments you rejected exploring change, or thank yourself gratefully for giving yourself permission to pause and reflect.