Getting What You Want

When we get what we want, we no longer want it.

And soon we want something else.

A lifetime can be spent pursuing some specific goal or dream, but it doesn’t take long to get used to achieving it and wanting something else – something more.

Be on the lookout for unexpected gifts – things that we may never have thought of had it not been for adversity of luck.

Not getting the job you want often leads to getting something better – unexpected, even in another field.

Pursuing riches can ruin a life when being poor can help define what riches are.  There are a lot of wealthy people who are unhappy because no amount of money guarantees happiness.

Instead of always pushing for what you think you want, try this.

Be open to what comes your way.

That way you won’t miss something that came to you as a gift that you ordinarily would have failed to recognize.

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Chris Long’s Secret to Happiness

The Philadelphia Eagles (and former Patriots) defensive end is giving away his entire base salary of $1 million this year to educational charities and causes.

Long is an outstanding football player but even a better person because he is one of the rare few who acts on the premise that money can’t buy happiness.

As I used to tell my aspiring USC students understandably anxious to get going and get rich – all of Los Angeles is filled with psychologists and psychiatrists trying to help people be happy in spite of all the money they have.

This reminds me of a special friend of mine who used to say that you don’t have to be rich to give of yourself.

The most important gift of all is the gift of your time that is certainly worth something and of great value to others.

GoFundMe accounts prove every day how willing people are to give of themselves to help others with their problems, needs and even dreams.

It has been shown that our brains are patterned by the way we think.

The gift of generosity can start today with or without money and it changes at least two lives – yours and someone else’s – if not others.

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Beating the Stress Epidemic

Gallup says 79% Americans in a recent survey said they experienced stress frequently (44%) or sometimes (35%) in their daily lives.

Just 17% said they were stressed rarely and a lucky 3% who said never.

59% say they lack the time to do what they want.

That’s in a world with more tools, more devices, more apps designed to make life easier.

Children and work are the reasons.

Women feeling more stressed than men because they still carry disproportionate childrearing workloads although men and women equally think they don’t have enough time to do what they want.

Older people (above 50) feel less stress from childrearing.

Stress is also impacting Millennials in a bigger way than previous generations.  They have high expectations, want to do more, have had fewer employment opportunities and even though they are connected through social media, they are suffering from being too connected and unable or unwilling to separate from their devices.

Balance trumps stress.

There is no such thing as good multi-tasking.

Reclaiming life by disconnecting more from phones and mobile devices is a good start.

And Millennials are beginning to have the conversation about being less connected even as older generations are staying more connected.

Phones are tools not a way of life.

Children are the responsibility of all parents in their lives not predominantly one. 

Saying no is the gift that busy, well-intentioned people should give themselves to reduce stress.

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Good Anger

Angry men from 20-40 in a recent University of Iowa survey were one and a half times more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who are calmer.

But, there is good anger and bad anger.

The bad anger is hurtful to others, striking out at them in frustration and keeps the turmoil boiling to the advantage of no one.

Channeling anger in a positive way to deal with it and to move on is also important because if there is one thing we are learning in our society it is that stress kills and harboring angry feelings is stress.

Loud screaming and yelling is not appropriate.

Saying what bothers you in a clear and honest way is therapeutic.

It is not an invitation for continued abuse but more of a declaration of independence from the kind of stress that eats us alive.

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A Guaranteed Way to Stop Texting While Driving

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Below, is Austin Ardman who died two years ago December 8th by a texting driver.  His father gave me permission to remind everyone that no message, no call, no fear of missing something is more important than the safety of our most precious assets.

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