What Would You Do With a Year Off?

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that you had a year — 365 days, 8,760  hours, 525,600 minutes — to do anything you please, with $100,000 to cover your  expenses. Would you travel? Would you continue working and give the money to  charity? Would you take the time to simply do nothing, maybe go on retreat?

Last week, Mallika encouraged readers to consider what they would do if they  had a year off. I have to say, my first inclination was default to the  “make-the-world-a-better-place” answer– give it to charity, of course! I mean, I  know this may sound crazy, but I love working. Even if I had a year off, I don’t  think I could bring myself to drop my job and do nothing. So if my ideal year  would include working anyway, why not give it away, especially when we know  that contributing to others’ happiness is a much greater source of joy and fulfillment than anything  money could buy?

But as I thought about it more, I remembered the words of a friend I have who  keeps trying to convince me of the important of “leisure” and “pleasure” in my  life. I know, foreign concepts for the modern workaholic, right? A few months  ago, when I went to visit her in Miami, her assignment for me was to get a  pedicure once a month — which has been surprisingly difficult for me to actually  follow through on. I have a hard time slowing down, relaxing, engaging in an  activity simply for the sake of enjoying it.

have always wanted to travel. I’ve never ventured outside the  US (not even to Mexico or Canada), and I’ve long wanted to visit other cultures  — learn about how they find happiness, purpose, and meaning in their lives.  Taking a year off for travel… now that would be cool. But would it be  fulfilling? Would I be mentally, physically, and spiritually satisfied with  taking a year off to travel?

What if, I thought, I could combine those three things somehow? Create a  year-long project that would combine the work I love (writing), giving back  (service/charity), and the leisure (travel)? What would that project look  like?

Here’s what I came up with. If I had $100,000 to take a year off, this is  what I would do:

  • Take a writing tour of charity organizations in four different countries  around the world, spending three months deeply immersed in each community
  • Listen and learn about how each organization’s programming is benefiting the  community and transforming individuals’ daily lives
  • Document the experience through a series of articles that synthesize  personal stories, scientific research, historical background, etc
  • Highlight major social issues affecting underserved communities  (poverty, violence against women, water shortage, climate change,  HIV/AIDS, etc) and what people are doing to help
  • Record interviews with staff, volunteers, scientific researchers,  and other involved professionals at each nonprofit to shed light on best  practices
  • Compile all the articles into a book at the end of the year

So that’s my dream year. Heck, maybe that’s my dream life. I think it’s a  good recipe for happiness: find meaningful work, connect with people, give back  to your community, and take time to enjoy the ride. I guess, really, you  don’t need $100,000 to do that.

What about you? What would your dream year look like? What do  you think is a recipe for a happy year and fulfilling life?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving  person to do whatever — whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a  nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of home. To enter,  you can fill out the application on their Facebook.

The Daily Motivator for June 19th – Enjoy more

The more you enjoy, the more you accomplish. Truly enjoy every moment, and  you create a positive momentum that is unstoppable.

It is not success that brings happiness. It is happiness that brings success.

Enjoy life, however it may be, and you open yourself to the very best  possibilities. The more sincerely thankful you are for what you have, the more  value there is in it.

Let yourself enjoy yourself, your life, your world and all the people in it.  Enjoy, and the awesome power of gratitude comes easily and naturally.

Reality is what it is, and yet you can always choose how to respond to it.  Respond more and more with enthusiastic enjoyment, and watch that reality  steadily improve.

Life is yours and it is beautiful on this day, in this place. Enjoy, and make  it even better.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator 

Happiness is here now

Happiness is here now

Happiness is here now, today. Live it.

The possibilities for greater and greater fulfillment are immense and amazing. Explore them, and claim the best for your own by acting on them now.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, now is the time to get moving. If you’ve been wanting a change for the better, now is when you can make that change happen.

Your dreams and desires are real and alive in this moment. Use this time to follow where they lead.

Your unique and priceless journey has brought you now to this point. Pay sincere tribute to all that rich experience by making meaningful use of it on this day.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment are now yours. Live them today in your own special way.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

How Happy Are You? (Quiz)

How Happy Are You? (Quiz)

  • Shubhra Krishan

When you have a few quiet moments, do take the time to answer the quiz below. It should give you an idea of your Happiness Quotient:

  1. Is your home a calm, soothing place?
  2. Do you enjoy doing what you do for a living?
  3. Do you have at least two close friends?
  4. Are you part of a group or club that enjoys the same activities as you do?
  5. Do you have some goals for personal growth?
  6. Is your relationship with your family a positive one?
  7. Would you say you are in good health at this time of your life?
  8. Are you satisfied with your financial situation?
  9. Do you like what you see in the mirror?
  10. Do you laugh often and heartily?

The more times you answer ‘Yes’, the happier you are. If the number is below five, I would invite you to read my previous post on 4 simple ways to be happy. Even the responses to that piece have elicited some wonderful ideas on the art of being simply happy!

DID YOU KNOW?

Our happiness levels swing up and down with age. Most of us start life happy, but grow a little less happy as the years roll on. Studies show that people are the least happy in their 40s. After this age, happiness levels start climbing upward again!

Smile!

Choosing Happiness, It’s actually your choice

Nature Comments & Graphics
Choosing Happiness

It’s actually your choice

From Jaelin K. Reece,

Did you know that happiness is up to you?

It’s actually your choice.

You can choose to be happy instead of waiting around for it to suddenly appear out of nowhere one day and land in your lap. Happiness is called upon and cultivated.

I am the Creator of My Own Thoughts

Now keep in mind, this is my personal perspective of happiness. You might have a different view. Everyone has a unique view point, especially where emotion is concerned. But, nonetheless, I like my outlook on happiness. It helps me to see that I am the creator of my own thoughts and state of mind. It is my choice what feeling I choose to have on any given day. This does not mean I don’t go with the flow of feelings, but that I can choose at any given moment to change what it is I desire.

For example, if I am having a hectic day, and I do have my share, I can choose to be breathless with activity or I can remind myself to stop and choose to be calm. I can go out for a walk and embrace the beauty that surrounds me and choose to experience that aesthetic as appreciation, gratitude, joy or numbness. I can choose to vacate and disconnect from my feelings, I can space out and be oblivious, or I can call upon the grace of the moment and be one with the beauty. These are all options.

We Have the Power to Choose

I think we as a society, collectively lose sight of how power-full we really are. I mean really full of power. We have the power to choose. It is something we are born with. No one has the power to take that away from us. It is our birthright.

The key to owning that power fully, is to accept that you are a rightful heir to it. Knowing that you are empowered within to choose your emotion, to choose how you respond or react to something, is all up to you. It is all choice.

Choosing Powerlessness

Many times, our childhood experiences and life learning gear us away from our power. We learned to give it all away, to quietly accept whatever happens to us, without question, without standing up and saying ‘No!’ We have become a passive society of powerless and uninspired automatons, going along with the crowd. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have been raised in. Somewhere along the line, a standard was laid out and we are ‘expected’ to magically meet this invisible ‘standard’ by compromising and living according to someone else’s perspectives. Where is the happiness in that?

I guess that leads me back to my original statement.

Choosing happiness is a choice.

Anytime you choose, you are making a decision. You are engaging your power.

Think about how you are feeling right now. How long has it been since you chose what you wanted to feel?

I am not suggesting that you go into a state of denial if you are in trauma, but I am suggesting that you insert a new option for yourself. Instead of sitting in pain, decide for 10 minutes that you will focus on happiness.

How does it make you feel? Are you lighter? Was a burden lifted? Even if it was a mere 10 minutes, it was a starting point. It was a choice. Would you rather go through life choosing happiness and drawing happy experiences to you, or by sitting in pain and expecting the worst, thereby feeling the worst?

It is still a choice.

It is your choice.

Why Not Choose to Experience Happiness?

I ask only that this stirs a thought within you. It is my hope that you will look at the power you possess and carpe diem – seize the day! Make a choice! Choose to experience happiness in your life.

It’s all up to you.

Enjoy – or not- it’s your choice.

    
~Magickal Graphics~

Daily Motivator for April 14 – How you see yourself

How you see yourself

The more time you spend feeling sorry for yourself, the more things you’ll have to be sorry about. If you insist on seeing yourself as a victim, you’ll end up experiencing your life as a victim.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Because you can choose right now, and every day, to see yourself in a positive, empowering light.

The way you see yourself is up to you. It doesn’t have anything to do with the circumstances you happen to be facing.

See yourself as the unique, beautiful, creative and effective person you know you are. See yourself as a bundle of positive, inspiring and meaningful possibilities that are well on their way to being fulfilled.

See that you are able to successfully handle whatever life sends your way. See that you are able to thrive and grow and make positive meaning out of the world in which you live.

See yourself as constantly moving forward through it all, with love and joy and purpose. And what you see, you will be.

— Ralph Marston