Do you think yourself as successful? How do you define success?
Merriam-Webster defines it as, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame“. I think Webster completely misses the mark with that definition. Success is viewed differently depending on your culture, upbringing, social situation, work environment, and worldview.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all standardized, measurable thing. No one would argue that the self-made millionaires, Edison/Einstein types, Hollywood stars, Olympic athletes, or Pulitzer Prize winners aren’t successful.
It shocks me at how many folks zip through life at breakneck speed, starting many a day behind schedule and ending it complaining there is not enough hours in the day to get it all done.
They forget to eat, don’t know how to stay healthy, or don’t recognize when they are sick.
I have been asked… what is the point? Why am I so unhappy? Where did I go wrong? How can I do this? What is the reason for it all?
Why am I here?
I sometimes feel like the wise mystic who sits atop a mountain waiting for pilgrims to come and ask,
We all want to be liked. It’s part of being human. We are social beings who need to belong, to be accepted by others. Our self-esteem and success are intricately woven to what others think about us. It is rare to meet someone who is not hurt by a rude comment, a bad review, or an insult that was neither provoked nor justified.
Just look at social media – there’s like buttons on every platform. People buy followers so they look rock star popular. I stopped following new folks because I don’t know who’s real and who’s not.
Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
William Arthur Ward
I am a thief. Well, not in the traditional sense – I don’t go around at night breaking into houses, and I haven’t stolen candy from the grocery store since I was 5 years old. But, I am doing the things Austin Kleon suggests I should be doing to unlock my creativity and produce some good stuff – I’m stealing like an artist.
In Steal Like an Artist, Austin’s definition of stealing is not unethical, illegal,or plagiarism. It’s about finding ideas out there that are good and stealing them, or “embracing the influence”. It’s the way art is done.
If you live in the Rochester area, come out this Sunday, December 28th, 2014 to Pittsford Community Church and hear my soon to be 18 year old son preach his first full sermon: Compelled.
Benny is wise beyond his years, and speaks with passion and honesty. He has a heart for those hurting and has a message all can relate to.
Come and listen, and be blessed. Services are at 9am and 10:30am, he will be preaching at both.
This morning I am groggy from a poor night’s sleep. My knee is aching, and I have procrastinated my holiday baking. I should be sprinkling chocolate jimmies and rainbow dust on my crisp on the edges soft in the center melt in your mouth buttery sugar cookies.
Yet here I sit. Bemoaning. Maybe you understand? If not you, then no doubt there is someone in your life who has pain – whether it be physical, mental, or the anguish of loss. We’ve seen the sorrowed faces in the media- the first Christmas is the hardest.
C’mon people. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Now stop listening to your Aunt Fanny or your anti-vaccine friends who insist the one year they got the flu shot (against their better judgement) they were sicker than a dog on chocolate.
Let me set the record straight.
THE FLU (INFLUENZA) SHOT DOES NOT, CANNOT, WILL NOT, DARE NOT GIVE YOU THE FLU (INFLUENZA).
Flu shots are made either with viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are NOT infectious, or with NO viruses at all!
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Teresa
Still not finished with your Christmas shopping? Don’t panic. I got your back. I post this every year when I am thinking, oh no! I’m a last minute shopper, again. Are you like me and need a delicious or marvelous gift that doesn’t require a hefty rushed shipping charge? Then here’s some ideas that should help you out.
- Amazon Gft Card: Email or print out at home.
- Instant downloads for gamers: My boys have a perennial wish list at Steam.
- Wine. But what’s a good pick? Ask the store employees to select one out for you – they have never let me down. Popular wines include: Christmas Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot. If you feel like splurging, consider Ice Wine. I once held a bottle in my hand, ah, maybe some day.
- Fruit/gift basket: Dust off a nice wicker basket or pick up one from Goodwill. Line it with a new kitchen towel and fill it with a variety of fruit from the grocery store, or pick another theme – popcorn and accompaniments, fancy pasta/sauce, bread, and some italian cookies.
- Homemade coupon booklet: I still have a few coupons left from one I got a few years ago. Coupons could be for free hugs, lawn-mowing, babysitting service, car wash, breakfast in bed, home-cooked meal. Be sweet, don’t include an expiration date.
- Starbucks e-gift card: I give these often throughout the year when I am really in a pinch. Everyone loves to get one.
- Regal e-gift: Who can afford going to the movies? Keep in mind it’s $10 or more for one movie ticket.
- I-tunes/Apple: Can never get enough of these.
- Money – we all enjoy receiving cash. Don’t forget to tip special people like your mail and newspaper carriers, hair stylist, babysitter, dog sitter, music teacher.
- Homemade goodies – We make hot cross buns, decadent chocolate fudge sauce, or caramel corn to give away to neighbors and friends. I have made this recipe a dozen times and it is absolutely delicious and tops any caramel corn money can buy. It is amazing.
Above all, do not let the hunt for the right present take from your holiday joy. Rarely do people remember what they got or didn’t get the year before. In my house, we celebrate Christ’s birth and our joy comes from being together as a family. Embracing the faith, embracing each other, recognizing that we are blessed whether we have, or have not.
Sick season is here: There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself healthy, but nothing tops regular good old-fashioned sudsy soap and water hand washing. And if your hands aren’t obviously soiled, alcohol based hand cleaners will do. Proper hand washing is vital.
No prissy hand dipping, fingertip only splash n’dry, quick soap rinse and go stuff. Your technique must be perfect!
- Wet your hands, generously apply soap, lather and clean under your finger nails outside the stream of water for at least 20 seconds – about the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice – in your head please. Rinse under running water.
- Use automatic paper towel dispensers to dry. Avoid the air dryers – they just recirculate germs. Use your sleeve or paper towel to open the door or patiently wait for someone else to do it for you.
Forgo hand washing? That’s gross and you are now a vehicle of disease transmission. Why would you want to be a germ farm? Science tells us hand washing removes some of the nastiest bugs: Salmonella, E. coli, Norovirus, Adenovirus, coxsackie, Hepatitis A, C-diff, influenza, and more.