Friday, September 14, 2007

Two lessons from the summer...

My journey to a new career has been both enlightening and frustrating. In fact the latter has been a major contributor to the former. In other words, my frustration has led to discovery or in many cases to rediscover things about myself. Valuable experience, but at the moment it isn't paying the bills. So what have I learned that might one day pay the bills and make the world a better place. Two things immediately have become obvious to me.

  1. Joy is at the core of our existence.
  2. When you feel like crap or get frustrated, quickly find any way possible to get over it.
It goes without saying that people who are happy tend to be more productive in the long run. Are much easier to be with. And in general make the people around them feel better. Face it, its a lot of work to be sad when you're surrounded by happy people. The experience of joy makes the day less stressful, we sleep better and we physically feel better.

On the other hand feeling like crap or let things frustrate you (which quickly makes you feel like crap), can drain the life right out of you if you're not paying attention. Feeling bad serves no useful purpose, and in fact only feeds our personal self pity machine. Self pity gets old fast which often pushes others away. The loneliness helps reinforce our bad feelings and we slip into the quicksand, having pushed away the very people that could have helped pull us out of the muck.

I'd spent several days at home feeling sorry for myself. Even with my loving and caring wife Christina sitting next to me or only one room away, I felt isolated and alone. I was so lost that it was like having my life drained from my soul. An emotional Nosferatu. It was not productive and certainly not fulfilling. It had become in Christina's words, "A life, not worth living."

Those words sent a shock through my system and helped remind me of the Ghandi quote, "Be the change that you want to see in the world." As I have always believed that joy and fun can and will change the world, I only had two choices, stay and be miserable which obviously wasn't working, or be that change, to be joyful and fun.

It only took a second or two to make that shift and it was immediate. I won't say that it was easy as there were several days of muck to shake off. But like making a commitment to climbing out of quicksand, slowing things down, letting the people around me help and staying focused on my intention allowed me to break free.

Life is better for sure. I have more energy, less aches and generally sleep pretty well. From time to time I do step in a small puddle getting goo around my ankles, but its a lot easier when I feel it tug at me. I can quickly regain my footing by refocusing on the joy and fun and being that change that I want to see in the world.

In the end, life is perfect. It's not flawless but it is perfect.

Hummer photo credit -

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