How do I rank in getting my life in order . . .

Posted: December 3, 2010 in Indulgent Commentary
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 Continued from:

This is an evaluation how well I rank with the list on a post called  50 Ways to Get Your Life in Order written by Mark Foo in his blog called Litemind: Exploring ways to use our minds efficiently.  See my comments below:

PART 3:  (21-30)

21.  Spend time with yourself each day. Susan Taylor states that “spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” 

I actually think this is what is wrong with me.  I spend too much time with myself in my head.  It is maddening.  This topics just makes item 12 (Meet with a professional counselor if there are issues you need to discuss) that much more interesting and a problem.  It is also the reason I don’t do well with professional counselors.  Nobody knows me like I know me.

22.  Practice breathing exercises or meditation. Stress can have an overarching effect on our overall productivity levels. When stressed, I personally forget to breathe at times. Take the time to take deep breaths and improve oxygen flow to the brain. 

This one is very similar to number 21.  I do believe in meditation, but the things I have going on in my mind are best left alone.  Stress.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have stress.  I once had a doctor ask me if I have had any of these events going on in my life:  Financial problem, yes.  Marriage conflict, yes.  Stressful job, yes. Moved your residence, yes.  Medical problems in the family, yes.  Maybe meditation would work.  This is another item I might try.  The key is to make the time to do it. Hmmm I have to work on that too.

23.  Speak and act with honesty. Are you able to stand by what you do and say? If not, it may be time to reexamine your own words and learn to articulate your thoughts in an open, honest way. This helps eliminate mistakes down the road.

This is one aspect of life that I live by, and is probably the smartest thing this author has said so far.  I live by my beliefs.  And number 23 is right.  I think John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  Dishonesty always leads to trouble down the road.  I have also learned, whether it be good information or bad information,  people appreciate honesty.  Some times honesty is hard to accept, but eventually there is an awakening and recognition of the value of the honesty.

24.  Learn from past mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Usually, we make a lot of them during our lifetime. As long as they aren’t repeated too many times, and are looked at as a learning experience, they can in fact be a good thing in the long run.

Sometimes this is easier said than done.  I do really well at recognizing a mistake and I can even tell you the “moral learned from the mistake.”  The problem occurs when you have to make a change in behavior at the right moment, and preventing the mistake from happening again.  Sometimes there are other influencing factors that prevent you from catching the trigger that may cause you to make the mistake.  Factors such as always seeing the good in people or trusting them with your heart and then getting burned.  Bitter.  Probably.   Another reason number 12 could be useful.

25.  Volunteer to help others in your community. Helping others is a rewarding way to get your own life together.

No disagreement from me about number 25.  Everyone needs to pitch in and help those less fortunate.  It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t even have to involve money.  Kind deeds are always treasured.  I have watched my son help an elderly person with a door, and you can see the gratitude in their face.  Sometimes it is quietly lending your ear to someone who needs to talk about something on their mind.  I say quietly because many times it is not your opinion they need.  Instead they may need a caring heart and some empathy for the situation. 

Of course if you have the money there are many organizations that need financial help.  I, personally, prefer to support organizations that help children, because I view as it as an investment in our future.  One other comment and then I will shut up on this topic.  There are people in this world that need help 365 days a year, not just on holidays.  I know holiday time is special, but helping others year round is very important and very rewarding.

26.  Take up a new language or hobby.

I like this suggestion, but I am not sure how it helps me get my life in order.  I would love to learn new languages, but one really needs to make a commitment to this otherwise you end up only knowing phrases in a tourist guide-book.  “Wo ist die Toilette, bitte? ” or “nna-ewo.”  Maybe in my retirement I can work toward this item because then I should have the time.

Time seems to always be an issue in my life.  I should say availability of time is the issue.  I think they call it “free time.”  I have repeatedly made efforts to learn a new language or starting a new hobby.   Unfortunately, the remnants of these attempts are intermingled with the clutter in my house and I think that brings us back to suggestion 1 on the list.  I always have brilliant ideas about how magnificent my creation will be.  I have wanted to paint.  I have wanted to sculpt.  I have wanted to take great photographs. Then I get into the project and I find out that it is harder than it looks.  The end result may not be in the realm of “magnificent,”  and instead is mediocre, which is kind of disappointment and causes me to abandon ship.

27.  Read inspirational biographies. For new ideas, find out how others got their lives in order.

There are so many books I want to read.  I always have the best intention.  There is always an excuse.  No time.  Too many distractions.  Too burdensome to carry around.  I’m tired.  As I said earlier I bought a Kindle to eliminate some of these excuses.  I really love it, but it has not eliminated my excuses for not reading.  

Now regarding inspirational biographies, I haven’t really read any for years; like not since secondary school.  I think it is a great idea.  There are so many great thinkers.  Not to be a whiner, but which one should I read.  It’s getting a little warm in here.  I can feel my anxiety raising.  Have you seen the biography section at the book store?  It is huge, and overwhelming.  I really do like this idea, but I need to figure out how to jump into it without the stress.  Any suggestions?

28.  Talk to a stranger. Unplanned conversations can be surprisingly inspiring.

[I see Mark is fond of lists.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s just an observation.] 

I like to do number 28, but one needs to be careful doing it.  My favorite type of stranger I like to talk to is cab drivers.  First of all, I think they appreciate the discussion, especially when you show an interest in them.  Driving cab is not an easy job.  It is long hours for some skimpy earnings.  One of the reasons I like to talk to cab drivers is they are typically immigrants.  It gives me an opportunity to learn about another culture or a different perspective on  a current hot topic.

Being a blogger, or a tweeter, I think you must have a love for talking to strangers.  I have found on Twitter the people I have met do not remain strangers for long.  These “strangers” have been available with caring words when I needed them. We have also become a community that shares information that we know our community is interested in. For me it has been a very good experience.

I know this will sound odd, but I actually prefer talking to strangers.  Typically the encounter is short.  So, if it doesn’t go well there is nothing to worry about.  You may never meet the person again.  The other great thing about talking to strangers is there doesn’t appear to be judgement.  Now I am not stupid, there probably is judgement, but the encounter is so short it doesn’t matter.

29.  Reconnect with friends and relatives who live far away. Call those people you miss but keep putting off calling. With the Internet and Skype at your disposal, even an online chat can help you reconnect.

I used to do this, but people are so caught up in their little words that these encounters seem to be less fruitful or desired.  Over the years I have tried to keep in touch with some acquaintances who I had been close to and due to changes in jobs or relocations, our interactions had to occur long distance.  I am sure these interactions would be better today because of sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Blogs or Twitter.  Repeatedly, I found that the interaction was not reciprocated.  I was doing all of the reaching out.  I would do it for a while, and then it would just fizzle out. 

This is one of the reasons I quit using the word “friend.”  I believe if you are a true friend the relationship should not be affected by the fizzle effect.  Over 25 years of adult interactions there is only one person I have kept in touch with.  I am not sure it should be categorized as “keeping in touch.”  Months and months can go by, and suddenly we will reach out to each other, and it was as if we were talking to each other on a daily basis.  I think that the only reason that this person has remained significant in my life is she has never been judgemental about me or my life.  She would laugh if she read this post, because we had big discussions about the word “friend” and my hang ups with the word.  We had come to the point that I regarded her as a “good acquaintance,” which was a step up from just an acquaintance. 

Nothing frustrates me more than when an individual hears a five-minute discussion about an event in your life, and then they draw all of these conclusions and opinions just based on the five-minute description.    This is the same reason I don’t do well with the professional counselors mentioned in item 12.  When I sense someone being judgemental when they don’t have the complete picture, I end up writing the person off, and then spend the remainder of the interaction manipulating the discussion to see where I could take the discussion.  Sick.  I know.

30.  Change your toothbrush. It can be a hotbed of bacteria.

No argument here.  But now that I think about it, I have never heard of anyone dying from an old toothbrush.  Is this some plot by the toothbrush manufacturing industry.  It kind goes along with those expiration date.  Now that I think about it, if the old toothbrush is so bad, why haven’t they slapped an expiration date on the product.  Yes, another conspiracy theory.  Sorry.

To be continues . . .

A note to Mark Foo:  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Alva Edison


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