We can all be better and believe it or not, it can be easy. I have found the answer and would love to see all of my friends and followers find it as well. As we change for the better, so will those who we come in contact frequently. Feel free to send them here as well, since I am sure that when you see the change in your own life you will want the same for those that you love. That is, after all, why I started this blog!
Ahhhh, so good to be back. It has been a rough few months in a number of areas in my life and I know others who are going to be reading this have been struggling as well. As I am reading a book called The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven, I realize that I need to share not only yhe secrets themselves, but my take on them, with my readers. I have decided that rather than limit myself by discussing the 100 secrets by the order in which they are listed in the book, I will instead choose daily which to discuss based on what I feel my readers (yes, YOU!!) need to think about. Through daily conversations with people, I have learned to be in tune with what others need to hear. So let's take a journey together and see just how happy we can get together by disecting and being mindful of these 100 secrets!
Pick a person that you have met during your lifetime. Now think about who you met this person
through. Think about who you have met through them. Think about things that you may have done or
experienced that you may not have, had you never met them. Think of things this person said to you. Think of thoughts this person caused you to think and opinions that may have either been formed or changed by this person's influence. Most people have their own little map in our lives no matter how simple or detailed that map may be. Thinking about all of these things, it becomes clear just how much effect people have on our lives in their very own way.
Now consider this. Have you ever paid an extra dollar during checkout at the grocery store? A child you will never see or meet had a meal instead of going to bed hungry because you paid an extra dollar for groceries. Have you ever left your parking spot while there was still time left on the meter? Someone was able to run into the store to quickly grab what they needed without the worry of scrounging for change or having to juggle their purse and chiled while feeding the meter. Have you ever left change in the penny jar after payment somewhere? Someone who made a purchase after you had enough money to pay for their items because you were kind enough to share.
Do you see how one person can affect the lives of not only those that they meet, but also many who they may never lay eyes on? Each and every one of you is so much more important to so many more people than you can ever imagine. Let me give you another example.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to be able to use my experiences and insight to help my friends through tough times. I could have never imagined the impact that it would have in just a few short months. I have not only made new friends, but at the point where I took a break from writing for a bit, it was those new friends who were often asking for more of my blog. My words had touched people that I had never even met. Then I met someone while I was out and when I introduced myself, they immediately began telling me all the reasons why they love my blog. I asked how they had started reading my posts and their answer blew my mind. It brought about a realization to how influential we can be without being aware of it. This person and I had a mutual friend. When the mutual friend began reading my blog last October, this person said that they had noticed a major change in their friend's mood and attitude. When they made a comment about the difference, my friend had shared the link to the blog with them. That story showed me how the number of views on my blog is not even close to the number of lives that it has affected.
This is the case with each and every one of us. Once you realize how much effect your attitude has on others, you begin to see how really powerful you are as a person. You realize how a smile between you and a stranger could be the making of a day for someone you will never meet. How can that not make you happy??
"Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are." John W. Gardner
So here it is...the big announcement!! The first secret we will concentrate on is:
Limit yourself to thinking about only one subject as you lie down to sleep.
The other night I commented on a status that someone had posted and it became very clear that I was not the only one having a hard time falling asleep that night. The book gives an example of what happens as we try to fall asleep and our thoughts wander but I have one of my own to share.
Picture this: I get ready for bed and I go to set my alarm. I work at 1:00 tomorrow, or is it 11:00?? I decide to set the alarm for 9 just in case. Do I have bus fare?? Where is it?? Do I have correct change?? Are my work clothes ready?? What bus should I take in case there is traffic to still be at work by eleven even though I think I really do work at one?? What if I oversleep?? What if I miss the bus?
How can anyone expect to fall asleep when the thoughts continue on and on and on and..... I allow one though to lead into another and another and another and before I know it, I have been awake in bed for hours and I have gone through the day ahead about 16 times in my mind. Not the actual day ahead, but the imagined one in which I have to manuever through every catastrophe known to man before I arrive safely home the following night. The problem is that I have had days like the imagined one. We all have. Days when anything and everything can and does go wrong.
**This is the part where I remind you all how I feel about worry**
Stray with me for a moment, will you? Worry has never paid a single one of my bills. Worry has never written a final for me or taken a test in my place. Worry has never gotten up for me when the alarm went off or made the traffic go away when I was running late to somewhere. In fact, what I have found, is that worry most often does nothing but complicate matters. More often than not, I have found that I have worried needlessly over something that never wound up happening. Worry will waste time, can make you physically ill, and worst of all, it will eat away at your happiness!! Remember this!!!
Back to that imagined horrible day that was preventing me from falling to sleep. Since worrying about it will not change the course of the day but to make it less pleasant, I suggest we make a conscious decision to avoid worry at all costs. The best method for avoiding worry and roaming thoughts at bed time is to pick one topic to focus on. It would be in our best interest to pick something that invokes happy thoughts and feelings. Each and every one of you need to come up with your own personal thoughts. They can change from day to day (as long as tonight's thought doesn't lead to yesterday's or tomorrow's thought.). Make sure you pick something easy at first since this is going to be something new and I want you all to succeed and get better at it.
After hours of consideration, I have chosen bubbles as my thought for tonight. Don't laugh!! Blowing bubbles and chasing them around to pop them is something that I see as nothing but fun and happy and positive. I feel that if my thoughts begin to stray to a bubble floating toward my eyeball and popping as it hits my eyelashes, it will be easy to steer my thoughts back to the joyous activity of blowing bubbles! :) Please remember that the bubbles are just my example to share with you. Please feel free to use my suggestion or come up with one of your own. I would love to see some comments sharing what you have decided to focus on before bed tonight and also comments tomorrow about whether limiting your focus helped you to fall asleep any faster.
In studies of college students, shifting between pre~sleep thoughts was found to be related to difficulty in sleeping and lower sleep quality. Better sleepers are 6% more satisfied with their lives than average sleepers, and 25% more satisfied than poor sleepers.
(Abdel Khalek, Al-Meshaan, and Al Shatti, 1995. "Themes of Pre Sleep Thoughts". Journal of the Social Sciences)
I wish you lived closer. I wish we talked more. I wish we were better at timing. I wish she treated you better and let you be you. I wish you didn't have to tip toe and hide our friendship. I wish you knew from the beginning, what you know about me now. I wish you would walk away and run straight to my door. I wish I could say everything I want to say at the exact moment that I want to say it. I wish I could address this to you instead of to your secret identity.