#HappyNewYear #changes #vote #elections
Most of us look at a new calendar year as a time to reflect on what’s good in our lives, and examine what we need to change.
The coming year could be one of big changes worldwide.
How we vote in the upcoming year could be extremely consequential. Regardless of your opinions on various candidates and issues, it is extremely important for EVERYONE to vote. For some, it could be the difference between life and death. For others, it’s our best way to change what we want changed, though, to paraphrase what the Rolling Stones have sung, we don’t always get everything we want.
Still, you have to participate if you are eligible. It should be as critical a task as anything you do in life.
But, aside from voting, what else do you need to do this year?
To determine that, first figure out what you want from life. Is your life good now? If so, marvelous. If not, what needs to change?
Are there things you can do to make a good life even better? Are there things you must do to make a not-so-good life good?
Circumstances befall all. But circumstances do not, or should not, dictate outcomes. Bad circumstances can turn into good outcomes with thought, hard work and a good attitude.
We all tend to blame bad things on other people or things. Blaming takes energy, and zaps emotional strength from everyone. Generally, it’s counterproductive.
It is not what happened to you that matters. It’s how you react to it that determines your life.
Dwell less on things you can’t control and focus on things you can control. Yes, some would be amazed, when they think about it, how much of their lives is in their control.
We also tend to presume the worst, When bad things happen, we may think we can never recover. Or, we may tend to think that things will only get worse.
Sometimes, optimism requires work. You may have to look for the pony who produced the pile of manure. You may have to be open to new ideas, and new ways of doing things.
You also may have to accept some outcomes. If you get injured or ill, you must work to get better. If someone close to you dies, you must grieve in your own way, then find a way to move past your grief. Some grief lingers for a lifetime, but you can face that grief each time, and still live the rest of your life. It requires strength that many may need to acquire.
To quote from Queen’s lyric from “We Are the Champions,” life often is no bed of roses or pleasure cruise.
It may come with serious thorns or turbulence. But, as people, we are strong. We can face adversity without wallowing in pity and blame.
It takes effort. It takes work. It takes determination. It takes persistence.
So, this year, show that strength. Vote if you are eligible. Show that if you are slapped down, you get up and move forward.
Happy New Year!


#Christmas #gifts #holiday #ConsumerSpending #joy #faith #celebration
A Nissan ad for the Christmas holiday shows two people chasing a delivery truck in a race to get a hot item for Christmas.
The custom of gift giving for the holidays started with the three Wise Men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.
It has turned into a frenzy of consumer spending, something retailers look forward to.
There’s usually one hot item that seemingly everyone wants, and people rush to the stores to get one of those items before they run out.
And, yes, people have been known to follow delivery trucks to stores to make sure they are among the first to get an item.
As one observes such behavior, it begs the question: why?
Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, a time of faith and a time of celebration.
It’s also supposed to be a time of peace on Earth and good will to people.
But, it has evolved in many instances to a time of stress, unfriendly competition, dinner-table arguments and obligation.
It’s also a time of difficult travel, either by road or air.
Who wants it to be this way?
No one, really. But, that’s what has evolved.
Therefore, we must pose the question: Is it worth all the stress and hardship to gather for the holidays?
Many would say, of course. But, many of those same people, when asked point blank whether they are doing it for pleasure or obligation, would answer the latter.
Is the peace, joy and celebration of the holiday turning into a family battle that has no good outcome for you?
The lesson here is that we should do things, whether traditional or out of the ordinary, because we want to. No one should make anyone feel guilty about whether to do something or be somewhere.
If you know it will be difficult to enjoy a holiday celebration, why put yourself through it?
Naturally, if you look forward to gathering for the holiday, by all means do whatever you need to do to get there.
But, if you are going through the holiday stress because you feel you have to, stop and think.
Being somewhere with other people for a holiday not only can be stressful, it can be expensive.
Make sure the pleasure of that gathering is worth it to you.
Celebrate the holiday in a way that gives you pleasure, and gives pleasure to those you care about.


#anger #politics #votes #politicians #ideology
Today’s politics is not about doing things to make people happy.

For many, it’s more about making people angry.

It’s less about ideology, and a set of sincere beliefs, than about personal grievance.

It’s almost as if politician X is just trying to get you mad at, or just to not like, politician Y.

In the past, politicians of all ideologies and parties conducted themselves like ladies and gentlemen, pointing out clear differences in ideas with their opponents. But, they refrained from attacking their opponents as bad people.

Today, the ladies and gentlemen of the political world have suddenly become unlikeable, per the messages of their opponents.

To be clear, these messages, in many cases, are filled with untruths. It doesn’t matter what you say about politician X, as long as it makes him or her a bad person.

The civilized is devolving toward the uncivilized.

Until that stops – it won’t stop until those who use such tactics find they aren’t effective – civilization will continue to devolve.

The question becomes: do we really want that? Are we really so angry as individuals that we have to find something, or someone, to blame?

Certainly, for some people, circumstances have not treated them well. They have lost a job, they have lost a business, they have lost someone close to them etc.

Is the knee-jerk reaction to get revenge? For some, it is. For others, soul-searching, or necessity, helps them move on.

Here’s a rule of thumb: when something bad happens to you, stop. Think about what you are going to do next. Don’t let bad impulses take over. Those impulses can turn law-abiding citizens into non-law-abiding citizens.

We, as a people, are better than our raw impulses. We KNOW right from wrong. We KNOW impulses get us into trouble. We KNOW things happen for a reason. We KNOW that often, when a door closes, a window opens.

We may not see the goodness of ourselves instantly. But we should not fill that delay with seeing perceived badness in others.

Resisting impulsive behavior is much easier said than done. It requires work. It requires thought. It requires us, as necessary, to stop before we act.

Anger comes easily to many. Therefore, having goodness triumph over anger requires effort. It requires not seeking revenge, but seeking, and finding, what’s next.

Not every calamity or tragedy produces happy endings. But revenge only compounds bad results.

If two wrongs don’t make a right, two tragedies don’t make a desirable solution.

It’s often said that success in life requires action, and it does. But when terrible circumstances hit us, a pause before action may be needed. Thinking before leaping may get you over a hurdle faster, and more smoothly.

We all get angry. Those who turn that anger into a positive effort will be rewarded handsomely. Those who vent first, and think later, will be punished.



#do #perform #recognition #jobs

Are you a doer, or a performer?

A doer takes action because he or she wants to get something done, wants to do it well and doesn’t care who, if anyone, is watching.

A performer does something because he or she wants the recognition, or is required to take certain action by whoever is overseeing him or her.

Obviously, those in entertainment are performers, but successful entertainers are also doers, because, mostly in private, they practice to hone their craft.

Workers often find themselves in jobs in which they can perform. They do what is required, but don’t necessarily have a vested interest in the results. They simply do what makes the boss happy.

Other employees deliberately invest themselves in their jobs. Doing great work becomes a matter of pride. They go the extra mile regardless of whether they get credit, or paid extra, for it.

It’s not that doers are necessarily better people than performers. As with entertainers, performance can be necessary. But in ordinary work situations, performance can be a facade.

In other words, what “looks” good may not necessarily “be” good. If something “is” good, the person who did it knows it. And, to that person, it’s all that matters. If some credit comes with it, so be it. If some blame comes with it, so be it.

Whatever job you have, or whatever work you do, try to be personally invested in it. Sometimes, that can be difficult. Sometimes, that can even be impossible. In the latter case, you would be wise to find something else. But, in the former case, you should find something about the job that makes you want to do it, regardless of your orders.

Many employers, though they profess to want doers working for them, are content with performers. They just do what they are told, whether the employees like it or not. If they don’t like it, they know where the door is, and someone else can come in and perform.

These employers usually get what they expect – unhappy workers, high turnover etc.

In decades past, employers valued continuity. They had systems in which longevity and loyalty were rewarded. They hired well and retained well, and didn’t have to retrain frequently.

That mindset disappeared as companies figured that employee longevity was too costly for them. In fact, they came up with theories about how long a person should be employed before the costs of that employee were greater than the employee’s value to the company.

Then, they offered no incentive to stay in one company for a long time. The company saw no future for that employee. That increased “job-hopping,” making it difficult for a worker to plan for his or her future when work was over.

From there came frequent reorganizations and more bad managers. That made even doers – good employees – vulnerable to unforeseen departures.

That converted doers to performers.

The message here is that if you are an employer, and really want doers working for you, do your level best to give them reason to be doers. Better yet, give them reason to be long-term doers.

If you are an employee and a doer, look for a situation that makes it easy for you to be a doer. Yes, you have to have a good amount of self-motivation, but a combination of internal and external motivators is ideal.

So, do your best to be a doer. If you have to perform certain tasks, know the real reason you have to perform them and don’t lose sight of the reason you are a doer.