The Friday Dose #71

If you just want a quick two-minute way to get really happy then just watch this first video. It’s a lot of fun. But if you’re looking for some longer term solutions then watch the video and keep reading.

Pretty cool huh? Okay, are you ready?

We’ve got to clear up some confusion here on Earth. A small part of the planet is doing extremely well but they’re also famous for being completely unhappy about it. Meanwhile half of the planet is struggling with things so basic that only a few dollars would change their lives. One group has so much it’s a culture that is actually comfortable calling each generation 700 FD Relax and Succeed - One day we will realizeincreasingly lazy, increasingly entitled, and increasingly selfish because it’s fully aware of those truths. Meanwhile 35 million—the largest number of people in history—are actual slaves, working brutal hours at backbreaking work with their only reward being they are allowed to continue being barely and painfully alive. And still the human spirit goes on in both groups. One group feels lost, disconnected, lonely and meaningless, while another would benefit so much from compassion that their gratitude would extend for their entire lives.

While it seems difficult to believe, more men, women and children are disabled or die from domestic abuse and sexual violence than from malaria, car accidents and war combined. If a woman where I live has someone break into her house to rape her she can call 911 and she at least has a chance of being saved and of the attacker being brought to justice. In a poor country the rapist will not only succeed in the rape, they’ll also take the home and all of the possessions too. And why? Because the odds are that person is painfully poor as well.

The hoarders aren’t happy, the weak live in fear and these are two sides of the same problem. I often have business friends ask my aid friends how they can work in refugee camps or do that “sad” work. What they don’t understand is that the reason these 700 FD Relax and Succeed - It is not happy people who are thankfulpeople can sustain themselves in those jobs is precisely because it is so much more rewarding to actually help a fellow human being than to purchase another object. Your new clothes will never look so good in a mirror that they will ever allow you to feel as good as you do when you see your good works reflected in the face of someone who really needed your help.

It’s not our fault. We got confused and it’s difficult to understand parts of the world that we only see snippets of. But take heed—nothing improves a life more than the feeling that you have enough to give, because that must mean you most certainly have more than you need. And that is the only abundance we can truly appreciate.

Yes, parts of these are hard. But like the gym or school, they’re also very rewarding and it’s easy to enjoy the results. You have more to offer than you realize. And the act of offering it is one of the healthiest spiritual acts anyone can undertake so I do hope you’ll consider changing your life in this direction. Thank you.

Jack Black and Felix on Red Nose Day:

Gary Haugen explains the hidden reason for ongoing poverty:

Be grateful today. Take note of all of the things you would not have or be able to make use of if you weren’t living in one of the richest places on Earth. Feel so much good fortune that you bubble over and your happiness spills on to others as good works. Because we can not only change the world, but we can get happier doing it too. I do hope you’ll join us.

Have a wonderful day.

peace and love, s

The Friday Dose #28

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Enjoy.

443 Relax and Succeed - You were born with all the unique

There are have probably even been times where you were sick and tired of listening to yourself. Well often other people are sick and tired of it too. We’ve all been slowly convinced that our value comes from our suffering, and that the most respected among us should be those enduring the most pain, versus those who share the most love. It’s time to put away our petty complains for our sakes. Doing this really, seriously, truly and honestly will make a difference. It really will:

45 Things No One Wants To Hear You Bitch About Anymore

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Next is a fascinating radio documentary featuring James Carse, an author and philosopher who makes a powerful and extremely well-thought out case for how we interact with our own beliefs and both the absence and presence of religion. His book Finite and Infinite Games is one of the best I’ve read on the subject of understanding how the principles I impart on this blog come alive in our societies, cultures and personal lives. There’s some big thinking in here, but if you’re the right kind of person these are fascinating meditations that will encourage your growth:

James Carse on After Atheism: New Perspectives on God and Religion

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And after all of that seriousness we need to feel free and enjoy ourselves. People can judge and comment and have their opinions, but enjoying yourself is enjoying yourself and I never get tired of watching this human being have a great time being himself:

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And finally we’ll close with a graphic. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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443 Relax and Succeed - Science of Happiness

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peace. s

The Friday Dose #14 – Sweetness

359 Relax and Succeed - The first sign

This Friday Dose is all about gentle smiles and life’s little pleasures. We’ll start with a simple quick one: even in the wild there humorous little bits of life. You can’t help but wonder if the others actually think this is funny:

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Next we’ll move on to a quieter scene that is super sweet. Like any Mom dealing with a nightmare, this little kitty knows just what to do to comfort her little one. It’s totally enchanting:

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And finally we’ll end on a more energetic, humorous note. It certainly keeps getting better the longer it goes and it even has a little button on the end. Enjoy:

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Take these nice feelings and carry them into the rest of your day. If you really enjoyed one or more of these consider sharing it with a friend having a heavy day. Keep the tone of your consciousness in your awareness. It’s easy to impact, you just have to be aware enough to do so. And often times simple little videos like these can completely transform the direction of your day. Don’t underestimate the power of positive feelings.

No go create yourself a wonderful weekend!

peace. s

Inspiring Freedom

253 Relax and Succeed - Life begins at the end
Once people learn to quell their own fearful thoughts they suddenly become aware of everyone else’s. You suddenly realise that people are constantly arguing for their limitations. They love music, they sing in the shower every morning, and yet when you go to karaoke they don’t want to sing. Sorry. Bullshit. They do want to sing, it’s just they didn’t realise that if they had stopped thinking that fearful narrative into existence, they might have picked a song and sang it instead.

People: it’s the new millennium. Seriously, it’s time to drop all of this unnaturalness. I’m not saying put anyone in serious physically danger. But if it’s just a matter that someone doesn’t like what you do or say; well that is their issue not yours. The dissatisfaction with your choices exists in their consciousness and only they have control over that, just as only you have control over your thoughts.

When I suggest that people should be free, fearful people often respond by saying, if you take the rules away what’s to stop people from taking all kinds of advantage? Okay, first off you have to recognise the presumed negativity of that statement. The assumption is that you need to stop them because they will surely try to take advantage. And yet there are far more studies that show the opposite. In most cases, most people are quite just and fair, (with accommodation made for cultural differences). Why would we anticipate the behaviour of 3% of the population in the other 97%? That’s a lot of wasted life on worrying over pretty low odds. How about we just do like the Buddha said and accept that there will be suffering? Then we can move on to the not-suffering.

253 Relax and Succeed - Doubt kills more dreams
The sorts of people that my family or neighbours used to call crazy or eccentric or weird seemed very strange to me when I was younger. But when I realised that thoughts were personal ideas, I re-examined these same people and I realised they were the only ones I could find that were just being who they were. They just didn’t care what other people thought of their clothes, or job, or actions. They were comfortable being themselves, and that seemed pretty healthy to me. They certainly seemed less bothered than the tense, judgmental egos that were defining them.

This week’s video blog is a lot of fun. This kind of freedom is infectious, as you’ll see. These people let more than a few people out of jail for a few minutes. Just try not to move your face or your body as you watch this first one. It’s really hard. He’s really evocative. And it’s because he’s unrestrained. There’s no holding back. He’s pouring everything he knows into it. And look at the people around him. They revel in it.

They’ll brag later at the bar that they were the ones sitting right near him. Because he’ll be the one that makes the news. And that’s because he’s so insanely rare. He’s free. So why aren’t you doing stuff like this? I’m not kidding. You won’t even tell people they have food on their face or that their fly’s undone—how are you gonna be free?!

Seriously. Watch this guy. Be inspired. I promise you, what he’s doing is way easier than what you’re trying to do. Life is too short to wear some mental corset. You’re a good person. Relax. You won’t rape and pillage. You’re far more likely to be even more generous than when you lived in a state of ego. So don’t worry. Be free.

Seriously. This guy is awesome. He just gets better and better:

And along the same vein, here’s another one. This actually reminds me a lot of me dancing at my dear friends Christina and Aaron’s wedding. And yes, I really was dancing a lot like that. I’m sure she still has many incredulous relatives that can act as witnesses. So seriously, relax. Forget what other people think. Be free. If I can do this at a wedding you can at least do it in your living room alone. Come on. You can do it. Turn up some music. Dance.

dance. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Think For Yourself

A student I was working with told me that he wanted more confidence—he wanted to do well with girls. When I asked him what he meant by “doing well,” he told me that most of the girls he approached at the bar didn’t seem interested in him. I asked him why that was a problem and he said that he was a young man and that he was failing if that didn’t happen. It was supposed to happen.

Okay. First off nothing is supposed to happen. What you mean when you say that is that you wanted and expected it to happen. But wanting and expecting aren’t forces that shape other people’s actions, so if you’re going to want and expect then be prepared to be disappointed. Secondly, I asked my friend why he got to order every girl in the bar around? He said he didn’t want to order them around. I said he actually did.

22 Relax and Succeed - Think for yourselvesI asked him if he found every girl in the bar attractive. “Obviously not,” he said as he rolled his eyes. Do you think you should have to dance with every girl that thinks you’re attractive? More eye rolling. “No! Just because she likes me doesn’t mean I’m going to like her.”

What?

So he’s not supposed to be hassled with the girls he doesn’t find personally attractive, but every girl he approaches is supposed to find him attractive? He thought about that silently for a second.

Blink blink. He got it.

He realized that the women weren’t rejecting him, they were simply looking for what they were naturally attracted to just like he was. He suddenly realized that the beginning of a relationship is simply when both people feel that attraction. And if that relationship moves forward it’s because both people naturally have compatible thoughts about what they would like to see happen after that. So nobody’s ever really rejected. It’s just that some matches are one-way and some are two-way.

Even if the two people enjoy an easy, mutual attraction, they still must maintain their awareness. Each will unwittingly have a definition of “the relationship” and they will wrongly assume their partner shares that definition. They probably overlap a lot. But never completely.

The people in the relationship are individuals. So a partner isn’t wrong if they don’t want the same things you do whether those things are material, social, intellectual or physical. If a 22 Relax and Succeed - Ask yourself this questionsomeone’s worked very hard all week, then they aren’t failing anyone if they want to take their weekend to relax instead of doing home renovations. They are simply expressing what’s important to them as an individual. If the identity of the relationship starts to take precedence over each person’s identity as an individual, then the relationship will move to shaky ground simply because love or no love, we cannot sustain being someone we are not. And marriage does not change who we are. It simply means that someone has chosen to live alongside who we are.

Not everything is like the decision to have children or not. There are very few instances that are so absolute that a couple cannot agree to disagree. 99% of arguments could stop simply because they are entirely pointless. But we don’t listen for that. We don’t listen for opportunities to bring peace to our relationship. We look for opportunities to be right.

Let go of your need to be right. Relax into a beautiful world of differing views where you don’t need to spend any energy winning anyone over, or convincing anyone of anything. You can do it with your parents, siblings, spouse, children, friends and co-workers. You just have to change your idea that things are right when they’re the way you want them, and instead have it be that things are right when everyone feels free to express who they are without fear of a price being exacted. Even if that truth is that they don’t want to dance with you.

The next time you hear an opinion you disagree with just relax and let it be. It won’t hurt you in the slightest and it’s better for the other person too. This is particularly important in a society where we all take turns being the other person. So open your mind. Co-exist happily with those you disagree with. Do that and you will enjoy your days.

peace. s