Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SMILE for uaslf

Smile, You're Rich!

Smile, you're richer than you thinkWith the media full of big diamonds and brand new cars it is easy to take a look around and be disappointed. There is an entire industry designed to show us what we don't have and make us want it enough to go out and buy it. But the truth is that there is always going to be somebody who has something newer, bigger or shinier. Growing up a friend of mine had a great shirt. It said "He who dies with the most toys, still dies." We forget sometimes that even if we did earn a huge house or a six carat pink diamond ring, it wouldn't last. You can't take it with you.

You might be richer than you think

If you ate breakfast this morning you are better off than the 800 million people worldwide who will go hungry today. And don't think that it's just happening in Africa. In the United States 9 million people "frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day." (Source: bread.org) If you eat three meals today, smile, you're rich!

Choose to look a little closer at the world around you and you'll find that you have a lot to be grateful for. I recently came across a website called The Global Rich List. It lets you type in your salary and then shows you where your wealth ranks on a global scale. The results are pretty eye opening. In the United States, in 1999, a family of four was considered "poor" if their income was $16 813/ year. If you put that figure into the Global Rich List, you'll find that that puts poor Americans among the wealthiest 9% of the entire world. You may think of yourself as poor, but smile, you're rich!

Changing our perspective

The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as "readiness to show appreciation for kindness and to return it." Gratitude doesn't mean that we see the world through rose coloured glasses, but rather that choose to see the good things we have blessed with.

We have a very skewed idea of what gratitude actually is. Gratitude is not the same as being happy. Gratitude is taking an honest look at a situation and choosing to say "even in this there is a reason to hope". Gratitude is the willingness to look for a reason to hope. There are going to be days when you can't see anything to be grateful for. Life is not a musical or a Disney movie. But if you practice gratitude, you may find that even on the really, really hard days you can find something.

There is a lot to be grateful for. But even armed with this knowledge some days being grateful is hard work. There are days when you can look out of your window and practically trip over all of the things there are to be grateful for. And there are other days when you have to look really, really hard to find it.
Cultivating a grateful spirit takes time. It takes work and for many of us, it doesn't come naturally.

Practicing gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a lot like exercising - we know we should do it, we know we need to do it and that our lives will be better if we do it, but we have a hard time fitting it into our day. How can you find time to be grateful? What would that look like?

Gandhi once said "we must be the change we want to see in the world." Can we make it so that there is more to be thankful for? Yes, but it has to start with you. If you are looking for a way to put gratitude into practice, consider trying something from this list complied by Women Today writer Sadaf LaalDin:

1. Love your family. (Does anyone need your forgiveness?)
2. Invest time and energy in your children.
3. Expand your borders - invite a neighbour for tea or coffee.
4. Visit an elderly person and listen to their stories of the past.
5. Write an encouraging note to someone feeling disheartened.
6. Go grocery shopping for a family in need.
7. Donate to your local women's shelter.
8. This month, write one letter as part of Amnesty International's efforts to speak out against injustice (Visit www.amnesty.org./actnow/index.html for more information.)
9. Decide how you can join the fight against AIDS.
10. Know you have a unique purpose in the world. Believe you can and will make a difference.

Practicing gratitude can change the way you see everything. It can help you to be satisfied with what you have. It lets you enjoy the people and things in your life. Gratitude can show you that you do have enough to be able to help someone else. You can afford to be generous - you're rich!

Around the holiday season, look for a place to donate - whether it's a can of soup, or an hour of your time find a place to give back this year. The creators of the Global Rich List challenge their readers to donate one hour's wages to a charitable cause. What could your one hour do?

Many soup kitchens put on Thanksgiving dinners that cost a few dollars a person, maybe your hour could buy lunch for a couple of people? Groups like Heifer International provide animals and training to developing nations. If you make $20/hr you could use one hour's pay to buy chickens through Heifer International that will lay eggs to feed a family all year. Do you have 5 friends with $10? You could pool your resources and send trees that can make ravaged land fertile again. The possibilities are endless. Who's world will your hour change?

If you are looking around your world and don't see a lot to be grateful for, there is hope. You can have the peace that you are looking for; there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of woman you want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Christ will come into your life as He promised.

If you invited Jesus Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5) and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you'll experience life to the fullest.

You're alone because you don't love yourself!

When it comes to those seeking love, I think the most over-used & generic phrase that everyone seems to delight in throwing out there... is "You have to love yourself first, before anyone else can love you".

WHAT exactly does that mean?

I've heard it for years, I've heard it so much that I'm teetering on the edge of being sheerly convinced that there is some kind of microchip implanted in 99% of society's brains that makes them repeat that insufferable phrase indefinitely.

Of course, it's said in various ways and not always as I've quoted word for word, but you know what I mean, surely.

Honestly, I would like to understand this strange and bizarre concept of needing to love yourself first before anyone else will love you. Who can help me make some sense of it? It has never made any sense to me and I feel as if I'm going to be 80 years old some day and still wondering what in the hell everyone was talking about when they said things like that.

You must LoVVVVVVeeeeee yourself first... Oh well it's no wonder you're alone in life, because you don't love yourself yet... and you need to LoVVVVVEeeeee yourself FIRST before you can ever be happy with anyone... **WHAT?!???!!!*

I don't get it.

And a very close second in the all-time most generic phrases that are too over-used... "When you stop looking for it, it'll happen." Again I say... **WHAT?!???!!!*

While I wouldn't go so far as saying "... it's no wonder you're alone in life, because you don't love yourself yet." I do think there may be something to this and I wonder if it is related to the many people who comment on how it seems that when it is least desired, when they are actually in a happy relationship, often it seems as though they garner more romantic interest.

When looking for a partner it must surely be a good omen if a prospective candidate appears at ease and happy with themselves. Others look in from the outside, surely from there no one can have as deep and full an understanding of an individual's character and nuances than the individual themselves? if then even they seem apparently unhappy with that keen understanding and insight it seems reasonable to assume that one less informed might take that as giving cause for concern.

That is why I do also wonder if, as mentioned above, this idea is linked to those already in a relationship being seen as in possession of some attractive quality - precisely because they are not actively/overtly looking for a partner. For if we take it to extremes even the process of someone is actively looking for a relationship might be off-putting to some, conjuring up negative connotations: Why are they so obviously looking? Are they searching so because no one else seen them as an appropriate choice for a partner? If so, again, why? It seems quite understandable then that there is at least the possibility of a number of negative questions may arise. Not, of course, that this necessarily should be so and/or is correct/desirable, just a consideration.

If though (whatever their situation) an individual walks with an air of personal happiness and contentment there are at worst no apparent negative qualities on show. (I say apparent - we should ignore the argument that they may be completely delusional for the moment). How far one takes that lack of negativity itself is up to the individual, but the argument that further to that the absence of such a negative aspect might actually be interpreted as desirable to the point of being attractive I think quite understandable.

Personally I don't like the phrase 'love yourself' I think it far too bold but I do think it an important consideration here that someone at least be in the position of not openly despising their own company.

'if someone claims to love you but is always yelling at you and belittling you, then they dont really love you.'

How to live life to the fullest?

How to live life to the fullest?
Do not take anything for granted and keep the child in you alive
Summary: Someone once said, "There is no bigger sin than a life not lived. A life not lived is by all means an oxymoron. Life has to be lived. Every human being, from the moment she or he is born, gets options to enjoy life at the fullest. So read simple tips on how to live a life full of happiness and joy. You don't have to be rich to do that.
As human beings we have more options than all other species. Besides taking the basic decisions: food, shelter and coupling, we also have choices on how we are going to live and where we are going to live, and even more importantly, how exciting our lives are going to be.

Plants cannot even move, animals only seek survival and advance primates also look for more complex relationships. Human beings have choices in most aspects of their lives. We have consciousness and our behavior can literally change the lives of many other beings around us.

Photo of a thinking man by Rodin at San Francisco MuseumWhat does it mean to live for a human being?

Does it mean we go to work, come back home, have dinner, and go to sleep? Or perhaps go to a restaurant and feel we are doing something different? A vacation once in a while? A promotion or a new job? Certainly these are some of the aspects of life and they are all important. And certainly to live our life ultimately means we are doing all those mundane activities with our best attitude and not as a way to pass life.

Salma Hayek, the famous Mexican actress, once said to Oprah something like this, “I was famous in Mexico, but I wanted to be a great actress. I decided to abandon my career in Mexico and come to Hollywood to risk everything, because my dream was to be a good actress. It was very hard in the beginning; I was rejected and almost insulted by some producers and directors. I was running out of money at the time. Some people in Mexico never understood why I took such a high risk I succeeded, but if I would have failed, it wouldn't have mattered, because I tried my best.”

What is failure and what is success is a relative term. Ultimately, probably it is the measurement of our true happiness.

If you do not fulfill your own role in the universe, one day you will regret it. Do not let routine and urgency steal your life. Perhaps an un-lived life is not an oxymoron. Let that un-lived life not be yours.
How to live life to the fullest?

* Never take anything for granted. Savor every bite of a meal, enjoy what you have, and live each day as if it is your first day of your life.
* Do not let the child inside you disappear or die. Keep your curiosity alive by being inquisitive and open-minded. No one ever regretted on their death bed what they did; they definitely regretted what they did not do.
* Change a little everyday. That way you will never get stuck. See what is happening around you, and rather than feeling threatened or getting suspicious, embrace change. Ask what change you need to make and do it little by little. Whether it means learning how to send text messages from your cell phone or living with gay neighbors, adapt yourself. You will never get old that way.