The Importance of Being Selfish

Trust me, you want me to be selfish.

And I want you to be selfish, too.

Being selfish doesn’t seem like a good idea. Especially if building community and relationships is important to you. After all, being selfish is about being self-centered. It’s about the “me” and not the “we”. The focus on individual accomplishment and development can’t possibly be beneficial to the collective good of our society.

I disagree.

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Life Lessons from Peanut Butter and Jelly

Culinary soul mates?

One of my many duties as a father of three school aged kids is that of the official sandwich maker. Most every morning I can be found standing over slices of bread, mindlessly configuring slices of ham, turkey, or olive loaf with American cheese and yellow mustard. Or if Dad didn’t get to the supermarket to pick up some deli meat, there’s always Plan B, also known as Peanut Butter and Jelly.

I guess I could have kept track of exactly how many sandwiches I’ve made in my role as official sandwich maker, but the morning usually never affords me the time to sit down and update a spreadsheet. But I wish I had a dollar for every sandwich I’ve made over the years.

PROFOUND A recent Plan B morning, it was time to make some PB & J’s. As I was about to unite the individual slices of wheat bread, one coated with a layer of peanut butter and the other coated with a layer of jelly, I stopped for a moment as I surprisingly realized something rather profound:

Peanut Butter doesn’t need Jelly. Continue reading “Life Lessons from Peanut Butter and Jelly”

This Will Make You Think…#26

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

—  Carl Jung

So, what are you searching for, and where do you expect to find it?  All too often the expectation is that what we seek is “over there” somewhere. Isn’t that how we’ve been conditioned to think? When was the last time you were told that what you are seeking can be found within you?

Jung challenges us to look within, to connect with the contents of our hearts. To awaken to the truths within ourselves. To go beyond looking outside and dreaming about what could be by looking inside and rediscovering and reconnecting to what we were created to become.

Awaken to your real self. Expect to find the answers from within. That’s the only place you’ll ever find them.

It’s a great day to be you!

2,134 Ways To Be Happy: Confessions From The Functionally Unhappy

WARNING:

This post contains a BIG BOLD STATEMENT.

It seems like a lot of people are looking for happiness. Walk through any bookstore and count the number of times you see the words “happy” or “happiness”. If you had $5 for each time you saw those words you could probably make a mortgage payment. Just for fun, Google the word “happiness”. The last time I did, Google came back with over 75,400,000 entries. I found sites about happiness quotes, happiness poems, happiness articles, happiness blogs, happiness affirmations, happiness posters, happiness videos, even happiness retreats. I found happiness everything.

I can’t help but wonder…with such an overly abundant supply of happiness support materials, are we in the middle of some sort of Continue reading “2,134 Ways To Be Happy: Confessions From The Functionally Unhappy”

How Tomatillo-Red Pepper Relish Can Change Your Life

I don’t know how to eat.

You’d think after some 50,000 meals that I’ve had in my lifetime I would have figured out this eating thing. It’s not the physical act of ingesting food that’s got me stumped. It’s not the chewing, and my fork skills are excellent.

It’s the tasting.

Food, for the most part, is something that I simply consume. It’s no different than regular unleaded is to my Honda Accord.  When the tank gets empty it’s time to refuel. Spending a great deal of my time on the road affords me the opportunity to sample a wide variety of not-so-good-for-you fast foods.  Far too many of my meals begin with a static-filled conversation involving a speaker and a window.

Continue reading “How Tomatillo-Red Pepper Relish Can Change Your Life”

This Will Make You Think…#24

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

— Lucille Ball

Up until recently most of my own regrets were related to the things I have yet to do. Things I’ve thought about and backburnered or simply dismissed for various “justifiable” reasons. Dreams and ambitions never allowed to be anything more. In the context of our own capacity to maximize the talents, gifts, and abilities we all have been given, things yet undone is greatness unrealized. It is capacity unfilled.

What is it that remains undone for you? How much of your own greatness remains unrealized?

Today is not a time for regret. Rather, it is a time for recognizing and recommitting to fulfilling the divine promise that resides in all of us. A time to rediscover and to nurture the greatness that lies within.

Waste no energy looking back lamenting what has yet to have been attempted. Instead, use that energy to propel you to maximize all that you are capable of accomplishing. Begin getting done what remains undone. It’s the first step towards fulfilling your purpose.

It’s a great day to be you!

The Perfect Gift: 3%

Looking for the ultimate gift this holiday season?

Give yourself 3%.

I just purchased my all-new 2010 calendar. Just waiting for December to end and up on the wall she goes.

It was about this time last year that I purchased my all-new 2009 calendar, waiting for 2008 to run its remaining course. In some ways 2009 was a breakout kind of year. Certain goals, such as starting this blog, transitioned from concept into reality. LivingHalfFull.com has been read in 49 US states (hello W. Virginia?) and in 59 countries around the world. As much as I look back upon the successes of 2009, in other parts of my life, the only thing that changed was my age.

All I have gotten is older.

A STINGING REALIZATION This past year’s 365 days presented themselves to me as opportunities for growth in so many areas of my life. Yet in many areas of my life all I am is just another year older. Years, like life, can easily just slip away, one innocently wasted unfocused moment after another. I’ve incorporated the “I’m just too busy” mantra into my life for years. I’m really quite good at it. But of the 8,760 hours we have in a year, couldn’t I have found even a little time to work on areas of my life I’d like to improve upon?

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So, How Great Could You Be?

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

— T. S. Eliot

Have you ever wondered how far you could go? How much you could accomplish?

Usually, the need to accomplish is a function of ego driven by competition. Many derive their own self worth and self esteem by measuring their accomplishments against what others have or have not achieved.

I am reflective in quiet moments contemplating Eliot’s words. How far could I actually go? What is actually possible for me to accomplish? In my contemplation, ego is absent. I am no longer concerned with achieving to impress either myself or the world. I am inspired by the possibility of fully living up to my most advanced self.

Each of us has been created and sent into this world with a unique combination of talents, gifts, and abilities. With these talents, gifts, and abilities comes the capacity for fully expressing such talents, gifts and abilities. Our greatest challenge and responsibility is maximizing our capacity to express ourselves fully…to live up to the greatness that lies within all of us.

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Counterpunching Adversity

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”

— Ben Okri

The human spirit is amazingly resilient, so long as we remember that we are all stronger than we often give ourselves credit for being.

Some days the world just seems like it is out to get you. One test after another, challenging and pushing you. These tests are designed to measure your faith in many things, including yourself and your ability to deal with life’s unwelcomed jabs and uppercuts that can put you on the ropes.

At some point in life we’ve all had to overcome, to endure, to transform…relying upon hidden sources of inspiration and strength that we never even knew we had. Those hidden sources remain within, always available to help us move forward and past that which threatened to bring us down.

At times of adversity and uncertainty, embrace the source of strength which lies within you. Yes, you really are stronger than you think you are.

It’s a great day to be you!

One Common Heartbeat

“God will put a wind at our back and a rising road ahead if we work together as one.”

— Desmond Tutu

It’s amazing what happens when we work together. The synergies created by the whole quite often exceed the sum of the individuals.  Even more so when the work is based in compassion and love.

We’ve all witnessed the results when we collectively come together to aid and comfort those in times of darkness. The unity of the cause creates exponential energies. You can feel the presence of spirit which acts as a divine wind at our back.

Continue reading “One Common Heartbeat”