Lifestyle defined

>> Friday, October 3, 2008

The broader sense of the word “lifestyle” pays attention to the way a person lives; a congregation of behaviors that makes sense to both you and others given your culture, geographic location and time appropriateness. Your social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress all play a part in lifestyles reflecting your individual attitudes, values or worldview. Lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasonable actions creating a self identity and cultural symbols for individual personalities.

When you think about lifestyle changes ask yourself two all-encompassing questions:

Would you continue doing what you do if you weren’t getting paid?

Would you continue doing what you do if it no one else was doing it?

If the answer to either of these is “no” then it’s time to start paying attention to finding what it is you consider enjoyable and meaningful. What gets you jazzed and humming a little tune? The opposite of happiness isn’t sadness or depression, its boredom.

Now, define your ideal lifestyle. Get a notebook and write it down if you like (go ahead, I’ll wait).

Answer this.

What does your ideal lifestyle look like? What does it sound like? How does it feel?

Are you waking up early to meditate and plan how to bring world peace? Will you be spending your days helping the impoverished in third world countries? Are you sitting by a pool with a laptop writing the next best-seller? Do you have enough money to enjoy your new life abroad in beautiful surroundings? Or is it simply not being bored with what you’re currently doing? That’s perfectly, undeniably, acceptable.

The key to change is having a crisp, bright, colorful picture of the change you desire. Just as with a roadmap…unless you know where it is you’re going, how will you ever reach your destination? Define your lifestyle or it will define you.


Zen Complaining

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A tough one to be sure but how to manage that whiny drone about the weather, your in-laws, the team that came in at the bottom and lost you $20? Let's start with the obvious - if you are griping about the $20 you probably shouldn't have wagered it to begin with. Like the old proverb, "grant the serenity to accept the things you cannot change...", there needs to come an awareness of what you can live with and what you can change.

To quote one of my favorite speakers, Wayne Dyer, "the traffic doesn't care, it will continue being traffic until it no longer is". No matter how much you rant and rave it just goes on being traffic and that's all there is to it. Same with the matter how much hair-pulling, you do, it won't change so why not turn your attention to the great song on the radio or the beautiful colors on the changing leaves outside your window. Exert your energies on the dilemmas that can bear a fruitful outcome.

For example, I belong to a Yahoo group that posts unwanted but usable items to be picked up by another member. (great group, more about that later). The group boasts over 4000 members and on any given day can send upwards of 50 emails to an already bulging inbox. Offered items are asked to be grouped together in one message to alleviate some of the this overflow. On one such weekend several member were not being very conscientious and my frustration got the better of me. I shot off a note to the moderators but, herein lies the difference...rather than just rant to the unpaid volunteers about their diligence and bellyache about the state of the group, I inquired two things. #1 - I asked if they could send out an email reminding members of the rules and #2 - I asked if they were short on help. It turned out that they were and took me up on my solicitation. In the end, I became the new list owner and have the option of sending out all the reminders I can muster.

Speak up when it can make a difference; complain when you can help solve the problem. Let all the rest slide quietly and serenely down your back.


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