I try to ask my self this question quite often. Unfortunately, I have noticed that our lives usually become a routine, making our life stagnant. Therefore, it is good for us to try new things; as simple as they might seem. We open the door to new opportunities and adventures, only by trying things for the first time. For example, can you remember when you had a first? First kiss, first drive, first day of school, first concert, or first bite of sushi. Remember the adrenaline throughout your body which was mixed in with a little bit of anxiety and fear? Maybe even a little bit of hesitation or resistance at the beginning? The feeling is awesome, and it is something we should continuously be feeling throughout our lives. When we are younger, our lives are filled with plenty of spontaneity; however, as we grow older we tend to conform into a routine, where we do the same things over and over again. It is easy to fall into this trap, so our job is to always look for new things to try. Even just changing the way you drive to school or work, or maybe just trying something new next time you go to your favorite restaurant. Another benefit of consistently trying new things is that it rushes creativity and imagination into our brain. Our brain becomes hit with new stimuli that it has never experienced before. This can bring new ideas and solutions to some of our problems.
Sometimes people don’t like to try new things because:
1. They are scared
2. They might not like it
3. They might fail
4. Think is a waste of time.
5. Are worried about what others say or think
However, we must understand that we actually grow and learn by trying new things. When we are babies we learn by trial and error, if we touch the stove and is hot, we will not touch it again, but we learned the lesson, we got that experience. As adults it is actually no different, we still learn a lot of things by trial and error. So go out there and do some living!
Tip of the week: This week I want you to try something for the very first time. Do something new, do something different. You decide.
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I’m reading this great business book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. The book is fantastic and should definitely be read by anyone with a business mind. Collins and his colleagues studied companies that suddenly sky-rocketed and went from GOOD TO GREAT. The purpose was to find out what the secret of these companies was and what moves were made by these companies that gave them their breakthrough. I am only a few chapters into the book, but what I want to focus on today on a particular topic that Collins analyzes in the very first Chapter: GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF GREAT. Think about it, Collins says why don’t we have great schools? To which he responds, because we have good schools, why don’t we have a great government? Because we have a good government, and more profoundly, WHY DON’T WE HAVE GREAT LIVES? Because we rather settle for good lives. I am almost 100 percent sure that everybody wants to live a good life, and I think everybody will agree with me on the 3 things that we all generally want out of life:
1. Be Happy
2. Be Healthy
3. Be reasonably Wealthy.
Frankly, I do want these 3 things and I do want a good life, but after reading this chapter it challenged me to stop thinking about wanting a good life; I don’t want a good life, I want a GREAT life. We only get one shot at this life so why should we settle for good when we can have great? Why settle and conform rather than becoming the best we can be? As they say, be the change you want to see in the world. If you want to have a better life be a better person, if you want better friends be a better friend, if you want a better relationship with your spouse be a better husband or wife, if you want better kids, then be a better parent, if you want a better boss, then be a better employee. It goes back to the law of reciprocity, that exactly what you send out is exactly what you get back. I think if we keep aiming higher every time and try to continuously be better, we will reach greatness.
One quick tip: When we are asked “Hi how are you?” we generally say “Good and you?” If you want to live a great life, then I challenge you to change your answer and from now on when people ask how are you doing respond “Great and you?” It is a very simple and subtle change, but it can make a big difference on the way you are perceived by the other person and it can set a tone for a completely different mood.
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What is happiness? Happiness is a state of mind; it is a conscious choice. Happiness is about the here and now, not about the when and where. How many people do you always hear saying “When I have this I will be happy,” or “When I do this I will be happy,” or “When I get that job I will be happy.” Is not on the when, is on the now. Now I have this, now I’m thankful for that. The best antidote for unhappiness is gratitude. It is finding the right balance between the things we have and the things we want. It is realizing that the things that are worthwhile in this life are truly free; love, friendship, and family. Our culture is so materialistic that we even tend to place our own self-value based on the things we have. We believe that by having more stuff we will satisfy our appetite for happiness, and in reality we will never reach that without gratitude. Maturity, sometimes is just realizing all the wonderful things you have around you. Realizing the opportunity you have just by being in this country where we have freewill. Realizing that you are healthy, realizing that you have people that care about you, realizing that you have the opportunity to be the person you desire to be. There is a story about a guy who did not have shoes, and all he would do is complain. He complained that the floor was too hot, he complained that his feet were full of blisters and scratches; all he would do all day was just complain, until finally one day walking down the street he saw a man with no feet; and that day he changed his perspective in life. As I said, the antidote for unhappiness is gratitude; in addition the antidote for complainers is also gratitude. Take time this day, and be thankful for what you have. Just like that guy in the story you might not have shoes, but at least you have your feet.
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