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Questions That Got Me Thinking

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So, I was stumbling on Stumbleupon when I stumbled upon an interesting post that was all about asking questions intended to expand your mind. Out of 50, three questions inspired this post. Perhaps you can ponder and reflect on your own answers to these fun and thought provoking nuggets.

1. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Wow, right? One of my biggest fears has always been to live a life chosen or expected by others. For instance, a friend of mine became a Dentist because her father wanted to be one and transferred that dream on to her. She ended up hating everything about it even though the money was good.

On the other hand, my cousin became a Pharmacist for similar reasons, but the difference was, she was very specific about what kind of environment she wanted to work as a Pharmacist. She was absolutely adamant about not doing retail pharmacy and she didn’t. Today, she works as a Pharmacist for the VA system, consulting and counseling veterans who are discharged from active duty. I truly believe she’s the kind of person that would go back to work the very next day even if she won the lottery. She finds purpose In what she does and that is part of the recipe for happiness and higher existence.

That is also how I measure my level of happiness in the work I do. If I were to win or be given a wind-fall, would I still continue to do what I’m doing? If my answer is yes, then I am doing what I believe in.

2. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

I asked my husband this question and he said, no, because one, he doesn’t want to be famous and two, he said, “I’m already extremely attractive”. I laughed at this because he was absolutely serious. Though I personally find him very attractive, he wouldn’t make People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People…perhaps in an alter universe. He ‘believes’ he is attractive however, and that is one of the things that attracted me to him. He’s extremely confident and thinks very highly of himself, something I have struggled with my entire life on account of my daddy issues. When a little girl doesn’t have her father to tell her that she’s beautiful, it makes it hard for her to believe it.

Ask me this question 10 years ago and I probably would’ve said yes. Ask me this question five years ago and i’d probably still would have said yes. in my mind, losing 10 years of my life for happiness would be an excellent trade off.

It strikes me as sort of sad now, however, because the only reason I’d take that deal was because I wasn’t happy with my life and who I was. When you’re not happy with who you are as a person you’d be willing to trade places with anyone at anytime especially when the grass seems greener. It’s only since my recent quest to self enlightenment, freedom, success and happiness that I have learned to embrace myself in the now, and accept my flaws not as flaws, but as the little details that make me unique.

Now it just seems foolish to lose 10 years of my life. Extraordinary things can occur within a span of a decade, and that is 10 years of missing out on helping others, 10 years of not eating and laughing with loved ones, 10 years of lost living. When I think about it, there are millions of attractive and famous people who would gladly give up 10 years of their life for a crack at happiness, because having those things don’t guarantee anything.

3. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

Early on in our lives we learn that getting too close to the fire will get us burned, and if we ever get burned, we try to stay from anything that could start a fire, including matches, gasoline or anything possibly flammable. We avoid anything that could ever cause us to feel that kind of searing pain again.

Well, mistakes can feel like a burn sometimes. The more severe the mistake, the more painful and the more we are determined never to feel it again. The safest thing to do is to not put yourself in that position again.

Most of us live in the space of fear, relegating ourselves to a life of safe bets, security and mediocrity. The problem is there are no real safe bets. The security you think you have isn’t security at all and everything you do has you running right there in the middle of the herd.

Nothing extraordinary can be gained if you haven’t ever fully committed to walking through the fire. Yes, you may get burned, but once you’ve come out the other side, a stronger, more resilient and empowered version yourself, you’ll be astonished by your invincibility. I truly believe that for myself and living it as I speak. It’s hot and sometimes it hurts like hell, but not so much that I cannot endure it.

I have a few questions for myself that I will try to answer during my journey. Here they are:

1. Are the things I desire and wish to acquire for my own happiness, or do I want them because of what people will think of me?

2. Am I living the life that will have people saying the things I wish for myself at my funeral?

3. Is the truth worth saying if it hurts the receiver more than it frees you?

4. What extraordinary task can I accomplish today?

5. I’m I really being different, or just being stubborn?

I’ll keep adding to this list and come up with my own list of 50 questions. Questions are a great way to get the answers we didn’t even know we were seeking.

Have a great weekend!


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WHAT I WILL AND WON’T DO FOR SUCCESS & HAPPINESS

ImageIn my last post, I mentioned that I would talk about some of the things I was willing and probably not willing to do in my pursuit of happiness. 

One of my favorite movies comes to mind, Gone With The Wind, (I assure you, I am not as old as I sound). The lines that stuck with me since the first time I heard it came from the privaledged Scarlett O’Hara. Set during the American Civil War she comes back to find her childhood family home burned, and deserted. She learns her mother has died of typhoid and her dad starts to lose it due to the stress. They have lost everything and everything seems to fall on her shoulders, including taking care of what they have left as a home and even tending the fields.  She has never experienced such hardship, but being the beautiful, bull-headed manipulative brunette she’s always been, she makes a declaration while on her knees in the middle of her wreckage saying, 

 “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

 I absolutely love that line and although it was a fictional story, I do believe in the power of declarations. There are several instances in which the ‘be careful what you ask for and say’ warning has proven to be sound advice that should be heeded. 

 When you say it like you mean it and you declare it, the things you feel, want and desire, good or bad, you’re essentially putting out there, sort of like an invitation and the laws of attraction finds ways to manifest them. The only problem is, there is no guarantee it will be delivered in the manner or time in which you hope for it so you had better get as specific as you can. That is what I liked most about Ms. Scarlett’s declaration, the specificity. Lying and killing made the cut which ultimately tells you that her desire is stronger than her sense of morality for honesty, trustworthiness, or even murder. She wanted it all back, at all costs. 

Perhaps once having something and losing it gives you all the more incentive you need to go completely out your way to get it back. After all, she did live a cushy, privaledged life. Now, facing hardship, she was experiencing a whole new level of low that she was willing to do anything to get out of.  Her previous life was a great motivator. For those of us however, who has never experienced the privaledge wealth can afford, it can be a little difficult to conjure up that kind of passion and unwavering conviction. 

Somewhere deep down inside, she believed she deserved everything she had and I think underneath it all, that’s exactly what you need to get the kind of hootspa you need to weather the storm. So that leads me to question, what am I wiling to do to achieve my version of “success”? Where do I draw the line in my own pursuit of happiness? Do I have a line?

 

 TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL?

I can tell you for sure that murder won’t make the list as I’m sure most of us would certainly agree with. I’m sure most people would say the same thing, but self preservation can be a bitch of a motivation. Under the right circumstances, anyone can be a murderer. I’ve suffered a loss through murder and I think it’s a gruesome end to something so fragile as life and I can’t help but think crossing a line like that would change me in such a way, I wouldn’t recognize myself. Yes, some change is good, it is a necessity for growth, but not if it affects my character in a negative way. I just don’t see how you can be a happy murderer, unless of course you’re a sadistic psychopath. 

 

LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE

I can honestly say however, that lying wouldn’t be so difficult for me, and I’m not talking little white lies. We all give little white lies now and then and some of us do it for a living. Lying is sort of part of the fabric of being a human being and I don’t care if you’re the Pope, you’ll do it as often as you feel you need to. Whether you’re doing it to protect someone, make yourself feel better or get what you want, it’s still a lie and I’m not adverse to it. I know admitting such a thing makes me seem like an untrustworthy person, but I don’t trust those who don’t admit to lying. Lying about lying makes me super uncomfortable. 

 

CHEATER, CHEATER, PUMPKIN EATER

Additionally, when I think about it, I probably wouldn’t “deliberately” steal, but I would probably cheat. I can recall an episode of the show Food Truck Race where this team of Koren college kids pretty much won almost every challenge. The one time they feared that they may not make the next round, they decided to cheat by adding their own money to the till to pad their earnings. The host Tyler Florence revealed that Korilla had cheated by adding over $2000 of their own money into their cash drawer that wasn’t backed up with the sales receipts. They were asked to leave the competition as a result. The irony is if they hadn’t added that money, they would not have placed last and would still be in the game.

I could still see the disgust on Tyler’s face as he watched them walk away in shame to their cars.  The lesson I got from that situation was not that cheaters never win…because that isn’t true, but that the majority of us will cheat if necessary when it’s something we really, truly want. So I look at cheating as the measure taken when desire to acquire something is greater than societies code of ethics as it pertains to “the right thing to do.” I haven’t had much practice in the art of cheating however. I can recall flirting with a guy to do all of my graphic design projects while in school.  I maybe heavily flirted with another guy will dating my high school boyfriend and I think I walked out of the store knowing I got more change than I was suppose to get…does any of that constitute as cheating? I’m not even sure.

This post is starting to make me sound like a bit of an underhanded, dishonest, harlette with no scruples, but I think I have one single quality that makes up for it, at least if I’m on your side.  I am loyal to a fault. I never forget the things people have done for me, no matter how small the favor or the task.  I think there has got to be a handful of people that you can always count on and you can count on them never to screw you just to get ahead. I don’t call just anyone a friend so if you are my friend, the last thing I could ever do is screw you to get ahead.  I’d rather find another way. Not only would I hate the idea of not being able to look you in the eye, I would hate to be the target on your wall that motivates you to either take me down or show me just how small and insignificant my life is compared to yours. 

So, no, I won’t do anything for success and happiness, but I am willing to find my way around everything to achieve happiness and success. I don’t think evil deeds are necessary to get there and in fact, the more honest the journey there, the sweeter the reward will be. I have a sweet tooth so I want that reward to be as sweet as it could possibly be.  So…I have no murders scheduled for the foreseeable future.