Happy Birthday to You, a purposeful life is in your hands
I wish the very best in life for you. May you be soaked with blessings today, tomorrow and throughout your life, and let today be a new beginning.
You can make your life purposeful, meaningful and enjoyable, and can choose to be the driver of your life or be driven by circumstance and others. The choice, as well as the excuse, is yours. I pray that we retain the ability to choose what we want in our lives.
You and I, like everyone else, spend considerable amount of time doing things for others, sometimes out of joy and sometimes reluctantly. We also spend time watching TV or just chatting with someone aimlessly, and sometimes we regret, oh what a waste of time. Well, it is time now not to waste the time.
Don’t waste your time
It is time to invest an hour of your time on your birthday on you! I hope you can take out an hour, just one hour a month to spend with yourselves and you’ll find it productive once you make your mind and do the needful.
Success is living the life you want to live with or without things. Success is not necessarily driving a Mercedes, having a luxury home, yacht, or making a six-figure income. It is not about doing better than your friends, classmates, siblings or parents either but it is living the life you set yourselves for you.
Nothing in life is more important than knowing yourselves, who you are, what is it that you want, and how do you get it. Remember, no one knows you better than you.
I am pleased to share my experience with you, hoping that you can relate with it.
Once upon a time, I was an ambitious guy and was driven to conquer the world, and simply did not have the patience with people who lacked ambition. A divorce and the death of my mother had humbled me down, as other things have humbled others. I started understanding the varying ambition levels in people and decided that there was no need to drive oneself nuts. I have learned to respect the otherness of others and have accepted the God-given uniqueness of each one of us. This has brought peace, tranquility and happiness to me.
I urge you to consider spending an hour with yourselves creating a purposeful blueprint through your next birthday, a new milestone in your life.
Where to Begin?
The most important thing is to commit yourselves to actually sit down and write out what you want in life. I am serious. If you make that simple commitment, you will find yourselves a life that you can enjoy. If you are afraid of making that commitment, then it is time to challenge yourselves. You got nothing to lose, but gain.
Goethe wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy… Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred…. Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Here is a Step-By-Step plan.
Grab a napkin or open the note pad on your cell phone or simply write on a 3×5 card — Hell, if you can’t find anything, write it on your palm — the following seven things in any order you want.
It should not have taken you more than five minutes to write this down. Now you can get back to your work, driving, eating or whatever you were doing.
When you get the next coffee break or have to go to the rest room, think of other items that are important to you. Register it in your mind and let go of it, and don’t worry about remembering it. I guarantee you; it will come back to you because you have made the commitment.
Number One Family
If you were to select Family as your number one item — please understand that many people are hurt. Some you have money but not trustworthy relationships, some have both, and yet some you’re a combination of both. Some of the relationships are good, bad and ugly, and unfortunately that is a fact of life. You still have a life to live and how you want to steer it forward is your choice. Let that be your choice and don’t let anyone to run over you, as it may have happened through this date.
Select 5 of the most important relationships in your life now. Start with each relative. Give at least a minute to each one of them, but don’t hesitate to dwell on them as much as you want. Whether you believe in God or not, those are incomplete transactions of life that will bite incessantly until they are closed.
Closure comes with death. There is nothing you or they can do, and the ugly transactions do close upon death. Do we want to live in agony till then? We owe it to ourselves to have freedom from that bondage now. Forgiving is the most powerful tool available to humanity — there is nothing like it. It brings freedom.
If you are religiously inclined, and are Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Wicca, Pagan, Zoroastrian or from a native tradition, your tradition has a lot to offer on the subject. Heck, your common sense is good enough too. God’s love is not denied to anyone who seeks it. Every religion is beautiful — it is our understanding that is flawed.
Number two Friends
On your way home, work, gym or grocery store, think about your item number one and don’t let anything crowd you, not even item number two. Let’s say your item number two is Friends.
Select three friends and spend the next few minutes reviewing about your friends, and what you need to do. Think about a friend who can listen to you, encourage you, and uplift you.
Do you have a friend that you really like, but resent his or her criticism of everything you say or do? It is time to be straight forward. Good friends will not go away if you gather up the courage to say, “Joni, I need your help. When I say something or do something, please hold on to your temptation to critique me, and kindly listen to me and encourage me with positive thoughts. I am having difficulty in coping with criticism at this time.”
If they don’t like it and want to break the relationship, let them. If you fear a loss of a relationship, then you really did not have the relationship to lose it. You don’t lose good friends, no matter what happens, unless you steal their spouse.
Consider reducing your close friendships to a few who can take and give crap without affecting the relationship. Good friends can tune in to your moods or listen and be gentle to you when you want them to be, or brutal when you need them to be, but always be truthful.
Please remember, no one knows what is going on in your mind and you don’t need to be afraid of seeing all the possibilities from useless to useful and everything in between.
Have you thought of being a good friend to them to expect them to be good friend to you?
Number three, four, five and six….
Once again they were: Family/Friends, Financial, Professional, Spiritual, and Volunteerism
Number Seven Health
Now that you have thought about each one of the seven major items, it’s time for you to take an hour out — and invest in your well being. Imagine the endless amount of hours you have spent on others, and it is time to give one hour to yourselves.
Go to the nearest library, star bucks, or a restaurant and camp it out there for an hour. Go where have no chance to run into any one you know, you need one full hour, not the diluted hour, but solid quality hour for yourselves.
Sum up your thoughts in bullets or paragraphs — it is entirely up to you about where you are with each one of the 7 items and where you want to be – from doing nothing to advancing to newer levels. The choices are yours.
You Are Done Now.
It is a great feeling to know oneself — it is liberating. The mere exercise will put a blue print in your hands. Now you are ready for your next birthday. You have a good idea where you are heading and once you see the pathway, you just have to walk on it. If you get in the car, you need to know where and how to go. Your blue print can be simple or more detailed.
Those of us who can free ourselves from tension, pain, anxiety, apprehension, hostility, malice, pressure, tension, stress, strain and conflicts, are showered with blessings of peace and joy. It is good to be free.
As an example, I am pleased to share about my life. Of course, this is the generic information and not specifics, which will remain private. By the way, there is not much that is private about me. Here is the Ghouse formula for happier living — Happiness and secretiveness are inversely proportional (i.e., greater the happiness, lower the secretiveness and vice-versa).
- Family wise there needs to be an improvement and more time needs to be spent with family members.
- Relationships with friends have been steady. I have not added any new friends. However, this coming year, I will have considered adding at least one new friend. I will work on mutual growth of at least three friendships to grow into my venture of teaching pluralism.
- Financially, I have not improved a bit over the last year and I plan to restore the financial status I had several years ago.
- Professional goals:
- The release of my book, Standing Up for Others, is delayed to July.
- Failed to open a session at Capitol Hill with pluralism greetings and prayers.
- Workshops on pluralism at Capitol Hill and Senate will be conducted.
- College campus tours to talk about building a cohesive Americ
- The Pluralism Journal and Pluralism Institute is planned, patrons invited.
- Spirituality has become boundary-less for me, i have zero bias towards another human
- Volunteerism will continue for me, it is a part of my life.
- My future is what I make with the blessings of the spirit around me, and from my friends and well wishers.
We will never go to any place if we don’t have a place to go and we will never have the joy of knowing ourselves, if we don’t make an effort.
Please share your goals with your close family members and or friends to hold you accountable, and to keep you on the tract.
A variation of this was published at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/2014-a-blueprint-for-a-pu_b_4517662.html
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on Motivation, Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him (63 links) at www.MikeGhouse.net and www.TheGhousediary.com for his exclusive writings.
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