Be productive with your time

Be productive with your time

rev kane, slower pace of life, can make you happy

A slower pace of life can make you happy

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ~ Bertrand Russell

What is life but time.  We know this inherently when we talk about the things we care about, we always talk about time spent with family or friends.  That time we did something or went somewhere.  Time is also our most precious resource, it is the one thing we cannot manufacture more of.  We know this inherently as well, for people that we love, who we have lost, we often talk about what we would be willing to give for just one more day with them, one more word, one more chance to hold them.

But humans by nature are paradoxical animals and as much as we may inherently know that time is a precious resource we often act as if it isn’t.  We wait, god how we wait before doing things.  We call it procrastination so it doesn’t sound so bad but we do far too much of it.  All of us have waited before letting someone know how we feel, waited before starting that degree or changing jobs or getting out of a bad relationship.  One of the things I do in order to battle against our natural tendency to procrastinate is to remind myself of the very precious nature of time and how fast it can go by.  That reminder often is enough to push me into action.

During the pandemic I found myself just wasting time.  Essentially I would work and then just sit down, relatively mindlessly in front of the television for the rest of the night.  Now, I’m not one of those TV is bad people, I’m a TV watcher.  After the end of the day, when I’ve done all of the things I want and need to do, I thoroughly enjoy watching an hour or two of good quality TV.   It allows me to be entertained, and to relax in a relatively mindless way.  One of my biggest issues is difficulty in slowing my mind down, TV allows me to do that in a way that is satisfying.  So if I’m taking time at the end of the day to watch a quality TV show that’s productively using my time.  When I’m tolerating mediocre TV just to have something to watch, well that’s actually wasting time.  It was this realization and reminding myself about my precious and limited time that snapped me out of my funk and got me moving back to using my time more productively.

So what am I saying, that we should all work like dogs every waking moment of our life?  Absolutely not.  To be very clear what I’m pushing when I say be productive is that I believe we need to be purposeful in how we use our time.  Make sure that the way you use your time accomplishes something that you need.  The obvious things in that are things like taking care of your family, your relationships, building your wealth, your health, doing things that will improve your quality or quantity of work, even your side-hustles.  But relaxation is also something you need, entertainment is also something you need.  So  purposeful relaxation is a productive use of your time.  As the quote above says, time you enjoyed wasting, is not wasted time.  I love this quote, I love the sentiment, I love that within the quote there is this judgement of what wasted time is, but that the quote also says that, that particular judgment doesn’t matter.  Remember, it is you who determines whether or not what you are doing is unproductive or wasted time, not others.

So my friends, find ways to make your time productive even if it’s just to relax.  If you are thoughtful about what you do, you won’t wasted your precious time and you’ll have happier days. ~ Rev Kane

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Building each other up to be happy

Building each other up to be happy

hug, happiness, be happyIf you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody. ~ Rev Kane

Being around happy people

Happiness is a decision we make for ourselves, but it is certainly easier to be happy if you are around happy people.  The way I best relate this to them is to ask them to think about what it was like when they were a child.  To think back to when they were a child and their parents were fighting, I ask if they remember the way they felt, that knot in their stomach.  I also ask them to think about when their parents were happy and having fun and to think about how they felt then.  It’s the best way I know to illustrate the raw power and impact of being around other happy people.

The importance of being happy

Being happy is a reward on it’s own, but being happy also helps make the people around you happy, whether that is family, friends or coworkers. But what are the specific benefits to you of being happy beyond just feeling better.  From an article about the benefits of being happy, we know several things.  From studies they found that people who are happy have the following benefits related to their happiness.

    • Lower heartrate and blood pressure
    • Strengthens your immune system
    • Combats stress
    • May help you live longer

How to be happy

First, you need to get back to basics

  • Eat right
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Staying hydrated
  • Shelter and safety
  • Human contact (hugs)

I’ve talked about these in more in my post, getting back to basics. The second thing of course is to stretch yourself, to get yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can experience things that will truly help change you.

How you being happy helps others

The first thing I would do is to refer you to the quote above, the surest, fastest way to feel better about yourself is to help others.  So there’s a good formula to helping the people you are around be happy.  First, work on being happy yourself.  Then, find ways to help others by showing kindness.  Studies show that, giving makes you happier because it stimulates the same center of the brain that responds to food and sex.  So you can make your colleagues happier by doing things with or for the people you work with.  This means that things like volunteering with your co-workers is a way to build more happiness in all of you.

Giving small counts

Giving doesn’t have to be something grand, you don’t have to go build a house with Habitat for Humanity or anything that big.  Small acts of kindness and yes, to be cliche, random acts of kindness can have a huge impact on people.   What sorts of things am I talking about?  A simple smile or a hello, a small compliment and for people you know a simple hug, the act of caring human contact has more of an impact than you can imagine.  At work, something a college I worked for did, was to allow people to nominate co-workers for a thank you.  A small group of folks would show up in their office with a small gift and a balloon and just let them know that they are appreciated.  A small but powerful thing.

So, one more reason for being happy is that it helps make the people around you happy too and that will always make for a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other posts about how to be happy

Believe in yourself to be happy

Remember the Sweet Things

Overcoming demons to be happy

Fear is killing your happiness

 

 

 

 

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Happiness Resources: Living a Happy and Fulfilled Life

Happiness Resources: Living a Happy and Fulfilled Life

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there         ~ Will Rogers

fulfillment

So in today’s tour around the web I went to check out Mind Body Green, a friend recently turned me on to the site and much like some of my other favorites like Zen Habits and the Tiny Buddha it’s chock full of good pieces.  So I sorted through some of the ones that specifically related to living a happy and fulfilled life.  So take a look and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Twelve things you should do every week

Six ways to create your own happiness

Fourteen Mantras To Help You Build Positive Self-Talk

Four steps to stop worrying about what people think about you

Fifteen essential truths for a beautiful life

The one question to ask yourself to live a fulfilling life

Five habits of highly fulfilled people

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Happiness & Hugs

Happiness & Hugs

bliss happiness burning man

 

 

 

 


You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug.  ~Author Unknown

Hello friends, I just recently returned from my latest to trip to Burning Man in the Nevada Desert.  I’m still decompressing from the experience and there will be much more to write about and many images to share over the next couple of weeks.  Right now however I’m sliding through the transition phase from the Burning Man world to what burners call the default world.  There’s a natural dip that occurs when you come back into the world and one of the key factors is human contact.

At Burning Man, on the Playa people rarely shake hands when they meet, the custom is to hug.  So during that week in the desert you get far more hugs than normal.  This raises your mood and makes you feel better about yourself and quite frankly humanity in general.  So I’m sitting here tonight writing this piece wishing for a nice big hug to make me feel better and the thing is, if there is someone near you right now, they’re in need of one as well.  So get up and go over there and give them a great big hug and you’ll both feel better and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Related Articles

Post Playa Depresssion

Simplest Formula for Happiness

Happiness is Staying Positive

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It’s the little things

It’s the little things

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When you’re traveling in the developed world and particularly in the western world there are a lot if similarities. People are very similar, you might not know the language but very often you know the interaction.  Siblings, friends, parents with children react to each other the same way you are used to seeing them act.

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There are lots of little differences, like there rarely being ice in your glass.  The fact that breakfast is either more food than you can comprehend or just a pastry and coffee.  It’s the little differences like saying wee instead of little.

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One that always hits me is how multilingual people are outside the US. I was in conversation with several people and watched a woman effortlessly switch between, french, english, german and spanish.  The host at the hotel’s breakfast this morning did the same.  It makes me feel incompetent frankly, that I only speak one fluently and 3 at a rudimentary level at best.

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These little differences are one of the things I really love about travel, especially when I get to bring them back to my default life.  Those tend to be new types of foods or phrases but serve as little reminders of my life on the road, have a happy Monday my friends.  – Rev Kane 

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What will be your next moment of joy?

What will be your next moment of  joy?

joy quote

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy lately.  Not happiness, but joy, that childlike feeling where you’re so happy in the moment you’re actually giddy and giggling.  Over the last couple of years I’ve experienced a lot of happiness.  Some amazing travel experiences in Scotland, Morocco and Oaxaca.  I landed a good job, have come to a place of acceptance on some personal issues.  Most recently I had the opportunity to trick or treat with my little nephews and meet their four month old little sister.  Holding her for the first time and having her laugh and smile at me in my arms was amazingly special.  But as incredibly special that was, it was not that feeling of joy.  There’s a component of excitement when a situation comes to joy that just isn’t present in the quiet special moments.

I can remember vividly my last moment of pure joy.  It was two years ago in December while traveling in Jordan.  It was my first time ever swimming in the Dead Sea.  I had wanted to do that since I was a young child, and even as a trained scientist and completely understanding the science behind it all, I was amazed.  When I jumped into deeper water and started bobbing around like a cork, I was giddy.  A fifty year-old man giggling like a toddler.  The experience was incredible I was so amazingly happy.  I had expected it to be fun but not like it was, pure joy.

That’s the thing about joy, it can’t wholly be planned for, but what you can do, is put yourself into situations where you might experience it.  As for every post on the Ministry of Happiness, I scanned the web for articles on creating joy.  Unlike most topics however, I was pretty disappointed on how little there is out there that provided good advice about creating joy in your life, so this set me to thinking on how you might do it.

While I don’t think there is anyway to guarantee you will create a moment of joy for yourself, I think there are certainly some factors that can help to lead to moments of joy:

Something new – a new situation, a new place, a new activity the ability to go from not knowing but thinking you like something to having the experience can often be a nice platform to create some joy.  Joy often comes off a moment of surprise.

Something simple – moments of joy often happen in really simple situations, tasting a new food or drink, experiencing a new place, even just jumping  into the Dead Sea.

Having children involve –  children, with their lack of experience in life, experience joy at a much higher level than adults.  So having children around and seeing things through their eyes or even just experiencing their joy with them can often get you there as well.

Low stress environment – you’re highly unlikely to experience joy if you are stressed, traveling under a deadline or are having to be highly structured.

So what will be your next moment of joy my friends?  Or how will you create one for someone else?  I’m in search of my own and trying to build one before the holidays are over.  I’ll keep you posted, drop a comment and let everyone know about yours and as always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Happiness Moments: Floating on the Dead Sea

Happiness Moments: Floating on the Dead Sea

 If you don’t love the sea, the sun, all the simple pleasures, what sort of life are you going to have? ~ Marty Rubin

I have never been able to float on my back, it was something that used to irk me quite a bit when I was a child.  My sister took to it quite easily but I could never do it.  Then, when I was eight or nine years old, I saw an episode of 60 Minutes on the Dead Sea.  The story was focused on the healing effects of the mud or something, all I really remembered from the story was that they said ANYONE, can float in the Dead Sea.

Now I’m a trained scientist, I get the science, I fully comprehend the concept of buoyancy and that given the conditions in the Dead Sea floating there should be quite easy.  It’s one thing to know something theoretically, it’s another thing to actually experience it.  So on a little bit of a chilly morning I set out down the steps of the resort to the shore of the Dead Sea.  It was in the low 50’s, so a bit chilly but the water was in the high 60’s and quite comfortable.  I stepped into the water walking on the rocks with a pair of reef shoes the bottom is not very pleasant.  I hit the point where the bottom dropped off and as I stepped forward I lost my balance a bit and BAM, my feet kicked up and there I was laying on my back, ON TOP of the water!  I started laughing like a child it was absolutely amazing.

 In the Dead Sea you float like a cork, you can literally float upright in a standing position without treading water.  I sat in the water with my legs crossed, floating like I was sitting on a pool noodle.  You’re actually so buoyant that if you tip a little to one side that side pops to the surface.  It was so much fun, had it been just a bit warmer I would have stayed in the water all day.  However, it was a little chilly and I had a head cold, so after a short float I came out of the water.

The Dead Sea is both beautiful and wild and I highly recommend it as an experience you’ll never forget, I know I never will.

  The salt formations along the shore and really beautiful.  So my friends, get out, travel and have happy days.  ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Catching Leaves

Happiness is Catching Leaves

leavesIt’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them ~ Paulo Coelho

It’s finally Fall, my favorite season of the year, the weather turns sunny but cooler, there is that smell on the air, fallen leaves, wood smoke, Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon.  It’s a great time of the year to be outside in nature and I’ve always spent more time in the forest this time of year than any other.  Driving today in the country I passed lots of signs for apple picking and pumpkin patches, the roadside stands in addition to selling fruits are now well stocked with pies as well.

Of all of the Fall memories that I have the most cherished one of them all is being on the playground at lunchtime as a little kid.  Our school had a really large tree right in the middle of the playground, it always saddens me to go by there and see that the tree is now long gone.  But in the Fall, when the weather would start to turn cold and windy, a lot of the other kids would stay inside during lunch.  For me though, it was the best time, you see on those cold Winnie the Pooh type blustery days I would go outside to catch leaves.

winnie the pooh happiness

There was nothing more fun that running round and round in dizzying circles trying to catch those spinning flashes of gold.  The joy of catching one of those simple leaves was immeasurable, a feat not easily done.  I would spend all of my lunchtimes for weeks catching those leaves until that sad morning when walking into school I would look up and see only bare branches.  But that is the essential nature of the Fall, beautiful sunny wonderful days that fade into the cold grey fingers of winter.  So while those sunny days are here, go outside and catch some falling leaves and have a happy day my friends              ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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2021 will be what we make of it

2021 will be what we make of it

good vibes only

Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny. ~ Lao Tzu

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a heck of a year.  We saw a global pandemic take over the world,  We had more police shootings and protests, massive political upheaval in a very divided country culminating in claims of a fraudulent election and even to an insurrection at the US Capitol Building in the first week of 2021.  I think we all have great hope that 2021 would be different.  Of course I think we were all a bit hesitant as well, one meme I saw really made me chuckle.

2021 memeI think that we were all ready for 2021 to be a better year than 2020.  But it’s important to hang on to some reality.  You see, a lot of the bad things that happened in 2020 had parallel bad things in previous years.  The real difference for 2020 was that the pressure of the pandemic overlaid everything that happened.  This is important because what the pandemic has done, with all of it’s associated fears and stress, is to make everything harder.  People are more on edge, they have fewer emotional reserves with which to deal with any additional stress.  It also doesn’t surprise me that we are seeing more strength to conspiracy theories.  People are stressed, scared and have less to do.  So they are spending more time on social media, on YouTube and this makes it more likely they will be exposed to more radical ideas, and have the time to explore them.

Knowing and understanding this can help us make 2021 a better year.  First off, we need to keep in mind that we know, living under a pandemic we are under stress, that may even feel normal at this point, but our stress levels are at a much higher level than normal.  So it’s important to employ as many stress reduction techniques as possible.  Whether for you that is a morning meditation, a workout, a walk, a run, playing video games, reading, whatever it is, it’s a year to do more of it.  It’s also important to remind those around you to do the same.  The less stress in your overall environment, the better you’re going to feel.  And the better you feel, the better the world looks, the happier you’ll be.

Once you understand your stressed and deal with it, it’s possible to push forward and make sure that your mental outlook is as positive as possible.  Part of what can happen, especially after such a long period of difficulty, is that we can develop a bit of a defeatist attitude and we start to expect things to be bad.  So we have to adjust our attitude to make sure that we keep our outlook positive.  How do we do this?

positivityWhat we have to do is to adjust our expectations.  One way to do this, and it may sound a little silly, is to tell ourselves in the mirror every morning, that it’s going to be a great day.  What this does, if you do it every day, and try like heck to believe it, is that you start to adjust your internal dialogue.  You start to expect things to be better, not worse and given that often the way we view a situation defines the way we feel about it, this can really help us be more positive and feel better about our lives.

A second technique you can imply is something I developed to use when I hiked the Appalachian Trail, I call it simply the three questions.  The way that this works is very easy, at the end of each day I ask myself three questions.  First, what was the most beautiful thing I experienced today?  Second, what made me happy today? Third, what did I learn today?

If you do this daily something interesting starts to happen, you find that during the day you start think a lot more about the beauty around you and the things that make you happy.  By changing yourself to focus on this things you become more aware of them and this also works to change your internal dialogue to a more positive experience.  I can tell you, on the Appalachian Trail, on some really tough days, this technique really helped me out a lot and reminded me that no day is so bad that it is devoid of beauty, happiness or hope.  No year is either, and 2021 will be a year full of beauty and happiness and you can choose to focus on that, instead of the bad things.  Do that, and you’ll have happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?

Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?

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Beauty is power, a smile it’s sword ~ John Ray

Well my friends according to a study done by the University of Texas and printed in USA Today apparently it does.  However, let’s understand the mechanism, it’s been long-established that people considered traditionally good-looking, more symmetrical facial features, earn more than those who are not considered good-looking.  So all of those years you’ve been claiming your sister, brother, friend was getting a benefit from being physically attractive, guess what, you were right!

The benefit is limited to economics and things like first dates, but being more successful on those fronts promotes a better self-image, increases confidence and being financially better off reduces stress and that is why pretty people on average are happier.  However, this is an average, I know some really unhappy pretty people and some down right happy people who wouldn’t be considered physically attractive.  So all in all, there may be some merit to being classically beautiful, but there is so much more to happiness.  So even if you’re only as pretty as me:

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You can still have happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Pieces You May Enjoy!

Happiness is reducing stress

Happiness & Selected Families

Happiness, Simplicity & Letting Go

 

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