Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Midlife Crisis

I'm currently experiencing the sort of melancholy that is typically experience by those, like me, that are near their 40th birthday. In movies, this is a period typically associated with a big purchase such as a sport car or a motorcycle but I've had no such desires.

My experience with midlife crisis has been one where I think more of death whether it be mine or my friends/family. If I do manage to reach old age, I wonder what sort of problems awaits me. Will I suffer from dementia? Will have knee or back problems? Will I be a grumpy old man?
Family gathering have taken on a new meaning as I'm left wondering if it'll be the last time where we will be able to all gather in the same room. Every year, we seem to loose a few members. How many more family gathering do we have left? Will we know when we've had our last one?

It's increasingly difficult for me to spend time on things that doesn't matter as there's a greater sense of urgency to everything I do. The feeling of invincibility I had in my youth is no more - there's a definite sense that life is finite. 

When we're young, life gives us everything and slowly takes it all away as we get older.

Change is inevitable.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Being Happy To Give Happy

There's a saying that says that you can't give what you don't have which is also true in the case of happiness. In the words of Les Giblin, from his book "How to have confidence and power in dealing with people";

"For many years, we have assumed that if we attempted to satisfy our own desires for success and happiness, we would of necessity deprive some other person of satisfying his own wants. But the evidence all points in the other direction.
A happy human being is more likely to spread happiness than an unhappy human being. A prosperous human being is more likely to benefit those with whom he deals than is a chronic failure. A person who has reasonably satisfied his own desires is much more generous and considerate in taking into account the desires of others than is a person whose every desire has been frustrated.
Psychologists, criminologists, ministers, and now even doctors tell us that most of the trouble and misery in this world is caused by unhappy people. They tell us that by making yourself miserable and frustrated, you are doing other people the greatest disservice you could possibly devise.”

The following are things that we can do in order to help with our happiness:

  • Sleep - This is likely the most important thing you can do. Lack of sleep, over a period of time, can be detrimental to our overall health including our happiness.
  • Exercise -  Working out is a good way to get rid of the stress we've accumulated.
  • Diet - Eating properly helps with our overall well-being.
  • Volunteer -  Feeling useful can help with our happiness.
  • Meditation/Reading - Getting into the right mindset can help with our happiness.
  • Removing Negativity - Are you watching too much negative news? Are you hanging out with people that are always negative? Limiting your exposure to these can help with morale.
  • Hangout with Friends - Being around good people can help alleviate the burdens of life.
  • Financial Stability - Being excessively in debt adds stress to life hence why it's important, for our happiness, to be financially responsible.
  • Buy Less Things - Happiness isn't found in things and usually the less things we have, and the more we realize that we don't actually need all those things, the happier we get.
  • Go Outside - Don't underestimate the power of a good hike in nature on a sunny day.
  • Have Goals - Having a goal, or a purpose, can add some excitement to your life and help with happiness.

Pleasure doesn't bring happiness...

It's important not to confuse pleasure with happiness. Orrin Woodward said "Pleasure does not bring happiness; it only brings an increasing hunger for more pleasure." Whether it be alcohol/drugs, endless entertainment (or other)... these things are nothing but traps that we fall into as a way to escape the problems of life.

Be happy to give happy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The Purpose of Relationship Books

I recently had a chat with someone who had read relationship books, such as the "5 love languages" by Gary Chapman, and was using what she had learned to distance herself from other potential mates. In her mind, if the man didn't share the same love language it meant that the relationship wouldn't work out.

This isn't the purpose of relationship books...

Gary Chapman didn't write a book on love languages for you to weed out those that doesn't share the same love languages as you. He wrote the book in order for you to be aware of the differences in love languages and the importance of learning to speak each other's love language.

On paper, it's true that relationship with someone that has the same love language as you should be easier... but also limiting you to a smaller pool of potential partners. Other characteristics needs to be considered. If someone is abusive, but speak the same love language as you, it doesn't mean that you should be in a relationship with that person.

Relationship books exist to help people have more meaningful connections with each other.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Act Poor – Be Rich

Associating objects with status is a sentiment most commonly associated with a society based on consumerism. We buy fancy jewelry, cars, clothes (...) as a way to show our wealth. 

Some brands appear fancy, as a way to appeal to the masses, without actually being that superior in any meaningful ways other than brand image. Many would consider Apple phones, for example, to be “premium/fancy” when in reality, from a technological stand point, it’s just an overpriced piece of technology. 

People buy into the status more so than the phone itself.

I will always remember when I first started working in my career. I was living in a new town, near a low income street, and could barely afford it. I had an old phone and kept meeting people, from those low income houses, that had the latest/greatest versions of these devices. The desire to appear financially successful is very much alive regardless of one’s income.

The issue with this mindset is that, by acting rich, we remain poor. The only way to be rich is to act poor. We need to live below, not beyond, our means – always.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Choosing Our Problems

I once attended a leadership seminar where the speaker said "those of you who are single have single problems and those of you who are in a relationship have relationship problems... part of life is about choosing the sort of problems that you want."

Life is FILLED with problems and we get to choose some to take care of. If we play soccer, we're responsible to resolve soccer related problems. If we choose a specific career path, then we choose to resolve problems related to that career.
A friend of mine said that she wished she was married as it would resolved most of her current problems. While that may be true, marriage will introduce a set of new problems to deal with.

Of course, sometimes life forces problems unto us, such as a disease, that we have to deal with. We must learn to deal with our problems and choose the ones that best fit who we are.

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