ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

June 23, 2010

Eleven Essential Reflections On Happiness…

How_to_be_happy_simplified

Wow.

That may have been the sweetest ending of a World Cup game I have ever watched.

You can watch the highlights on your favorite Interweb site, but they won’t really give you the feeling of 90 minutes of tense, do-or-die buildup , culminating in a super charged score in the final minute that propelled Team USA from elimination into first place in their group!

****** I am “Snoopy Dance happy” !!! ******

But I realize this is a temporary happiness that comes from adrenaline and other juices pumping through my headmeats. Soon that rush will subside, and I will go back to reflecting my baseline happiness.

Simply put, happiness is the way.

And happiness comes from within.

Which brings us back to one of the main characteristics that defines being and becoming and the gap in between them: HAPPINESS.

Note that we are not talking about absence of pain; we’re talking presence of happiness.

A hundred days ago I created this ifindkarma posterous because bakadesuyo inspired me with his. I love to read what he writes, and in particular I love when he reflects about subjects such as happiness.

If I had to distill all of bakadesuyo’s happiness musings into essential reflections, here are the key takeaways I’ve internalized… so far

10. Happiness is increased by how much you make and lowered by how much you want.
9. Happiness is a feedback loop, not just internally but also through others.
8. So be careful who you choose as spouse, friends, and neighbors.
7. Relative wealth is more important than actual wealth when it comes to how happy you are.
6. Giving makes us happier than receiving. Outcomes trump incomes in making us happy.
5. Happy people tend to love their jobs; jobs do not, by themselves, make people happy.
4. We’re bad at realizing how good we are at adapting to circumstances.
3. When distilled to its essence, happiness is a simple process.
2. To be happy, focus on what you have, and not on what you don’t.
1. There are still many unanswered questions when it comes to happiness.

Which brings me back to me. If I had to distill all of my happiness musings into eleven essential reflections, here are the key takeaways I’ve externalized… so far

11. Read these musings, especially the one you’re reading right now. Reflect! Repeat!!! 🙂
10. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
9. People are very bad at predicting what will make them happy.
8. Our attitudes produce our luck.
7. Most success comes from being present.
6. Reflection helps us be here now.
5. There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
4. There are shortcuts to happiness, and breathing is one of them.
3. Happiness is interconnected to all things.
2. Happiness comes from what we want to include, not from what we want to avoid.
1. When it comes to happiness, lessons are repeated until they are learned.

And if all else fails, take a step back, breathe, think about a kitten wearing a tiny hat eating a tiny ice cream cone, and regroup. For tomorrow is another day, and we cannot waste today’s time cluttering up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.

Kitten. Tiny hat. Tiny ice cream cone. NOW!!!

Raindrops on roses and tiny hats on kittens aside, I want to take a moment or two to thank Jennifer Aaker and Gretchen Rubin and Tony Hsieh and Niki Leondakis and Caterina Fake for driving me to keep reflecting on happiness as I walk the earth. The tension between being and becoming has become more than an avocation for me… it’s something I’d love to work into my vocation, someday, someway. It is love incarnate.

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

To empower other people to find their own happiness, to me, is tantamount to enabling the childhood dreams of others.

There is no greater job than enabling the childhood dreams of others.

Read. Reflect. Repeat.

We conclude this tapestry with a trinity of TED talks that reflect on happiness: Tony Robbins on why we do what we do (emotion!) and how we can do it better (focus!); Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice; and Dan Gilbert on why we are or are not happy:

(Cc: @Bakadesuyo @Aaker @GretchenRubin @Zappos @Niki_Leondakis @Caterina) 🙂 🙂 🙂
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June 8, 2010

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

“We are feedback loops; we are the stories we tell ourselves…”
~ Doc Jensen on LOST  

“He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder…”
~ M.C. Escher

In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness. We all were one.

And then we said, “Oh haiLet there be light.

Cieling_cat_creates

And then we LOOK closer and more carefully. We could see that there was nothing. Which is a funny thing to say because sometimes words are inadequate, and sometimes words have two meanings.

And then expansion started… Wait!

And we added things. And the universe expanded. And we added more things. And the universe kept expanding to accommodate adding more things. And everything was awesome. Fundamentally.

It might seem like everything was added randomly. And perhaps that is the case. But that’s not what we believe.

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

This idea was kept in the dark for billions of years. Instead, the reigning belief was detachment: “I don’t really want to know how your garden grows, ’cause I just want to fly.” And so, we lived forever…

…and life was but a dream. Edgar Allan Poe waxed poetic, “All that we see or seem… is but a dream within a dream.” (Thanks Ankita!)

And we thought about the words of Rumi…

We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your
perception.

They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.

And the Primitive Radio Gods whispered quietly in the corner…

Am I alive, or thoughts that drift away?
Does summer come for everyone?
Can humans do what prophets say?
If I die before I learn to speak,
can money pay for all the days
I lived awake but half-asleep?

Suddenly we woke up with a kick. And we were no longer detached when we woke up with the idea. Not to spoil Inception, but merely to praise Inception:

What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.

For our idea, Douglas Adams offered enlightenmentSpecifically, Dirk Gently illuminated us.

I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson. Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson? No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye. 
    — Douglas Adams, Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency

And then Tim Berners-Lee — or was it Dan Connolly? — distilled the words to their essence:

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

And then Jamie Zawinski reflected on the Vannevar Bush-influenced words of Ted Nelson:

Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged —
people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can’t.

Everything is deeply intertwingled.

And then the Internet developed its own connective tissue. Which itself is unsearchable.

And then I couldn’t believe what happened next. Free association. Say what? We’ll see.

…continuing. LOOKWe didn’t start the fire. America, fuck yeah. Freedom isn’t freeTerrible Disney lessons. The virus of faith2000″ TVYou’re the man now, dawgBlue ball machine. Facebook is a lobster trap, and your friends are the baitTrue happiness comes from within. It comes back to you, you’re gonna get what you deserve… lovin’ is what I got, remember thatThe ride does not require an explanation, just occupants. Imitation of lifeNoah’s photosI’m expressin’ with my full capabilities, now I’m living in correctional facilities. Now let me welcome everybody to the wild wild west… California love… Regulators!!! I want it all: brand new socks and drawers. Why do I live this way? Heeeey, must be the moneyAlright stop, collaborate and listen. How can I find a woman like that? Guitar: impossibleFrench bulldogs. OMG pwnies. Ready, set, bagSpeak with meMeditate. Mediate. Kick. Things that make you go hmmmShow me how to dance. Alejandro. Ra ra ra ah ah ah roma ro ma ma gaga ooh la la. Cameron Diaz dancesStephen Hawking rocks. Time travel is horrifyingOuter space sucksCrumbling cities. Pink housesIconic bras. Mad menAh, l’amourDisney perversionsEpisode 200. And 201. FreedomUnconscious trumps free will. Disney deathsSerial killers. Corporate slogans. At-atCanned unicorn meatWhat if you’re wrong? The purpose of purposeThe empathetic civilizationEmma BatesQualia. Reid HoffmanHegel’s philosophy of history. The unexplainable. Time-traveling brandy thievesLife on Mars. LOST. The Little Prince.

I love The Little Prince. Whi
ch reminds me of some of my favorite words that Robbye Bentley has posted recently

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Life and Jah are one in the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah’s gift. What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of what that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth.” ~ Bob Marley

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” ~ Stephen Covey

Thank you, Robbye. I have some favorites of my own, too.

The words of Rumi echo in eternity, “The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception.”

Which takes me full circle…

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” ~ Henry James

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for” ~ Bob Marley

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do… How would I be? What would I do?” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

We are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends. How high can the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know…” ~ Colors of the Wind

And Scott Adams said, “The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.”

So it goes…

 

And then a lot of peoples’ brains exploded. Such is rock n roll.

And then we rested. Or at least, we tried to relax and breathe and reflect

And appreciate that nothing can ever be truly, fully understood. Seriously.

Still, three fundamental questions remain:
  1. If everything is everythang, are being and becoming just limited beings’ perspective of the oneness?
  2. If happiness is part of the oneness, why is it so difficult to be here now and connect to that happiness?
  3. If lessons are repeated until they are learned, is learning just finding the right connection to the oneness?

And are there things we can never learn? We’ll see.

If some connections cannot be made, perhaps there is no spoon at all.

If Internet is the substrate for interconnectedness of all things, perhaps The Architect knows.

And are there things that cannot be taught? Richard Feynman refuses to explain how magnets work. Feynman concludesI really can’t do a good job, any job, of explaining magnetic force in terms of something else you’re more familiar with, because I don’t understand it in terms of anything else you’re more familiar with.

Breathing is neither learned nor taught. It just is. And yet sometimes we must remember to breathe. And to be here now. And to be grateful for every breath.

And then when that gratitude gets us reflecting about the meaning of life, we learn to let it go; this too shall pass

It’s one who won’t be taken, that cannot seem to give, and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live, sang Bette Midler.

So it goes.

Savor every second; enjoy every sandwich, as the dying Warren Zevon put it.

So it goes.

You need to live before you die, said Steve Jobs…

You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have
to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

So it goes…

It is through death, too, that we make a connection with Randy PauschCon te partiro.

In the end, there is no greater job than enabling the childhood dreams of others.

And in the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

And in the end, only kindness matters.

So we dance. And LOOK. And simplify. And reflect. And breathe.

Which takes us back to the beginning.

And then… Bazinga!

May 5, 2010

Everything is about inclusion.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ~ Paulo Coelho

 

The basis of most physical human confusion, is this: Everything is about the law of attraction.

Which means, simply, everything is about ‘inclusion.’

I repeat: There is no such thing as ‘exclusion’… You can’t look at something and say no, no, I want that NOT… and have it go away.

Because your attention to it, causes you to vibrate WITH IT and by law of attraction, it then comes to you…

So when you say YES to something, it comes. When you say NO to something, it comes. There is no such thing as NO in this universe.

Get up. Everything is about inclusion.

And so, your work as a deliberate creator is to sift through the data and define or decipher or DECIDE or choose… those things you are WANTING TO INCLUDE in your experience.

(Source: Abraham Hicks, Ask and It Is Given, referred to me via Michelle Thedaker; the book tells us to make notes and post them where we’ll see them often…)

 

 

 

To which I add:

Be excellent.
Let everything else go.

  

 


 

 

March 2, 2010

Let it go. This too shall pass.

Something has you feeling stressed. You need to let go.

Moses let go. Jesus let go. Socrates let go. Buddha let go.

Lao Tse espoused letting go; a jug fills drop by drop:

By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.

Paulo Coelho (or unknown) also whispered the benefits of letting go,

Everything will be okay in the end.
If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

If you need to get out of your head for a few moments to breathe and relax your mind, lose yourself in this OK Go video …

11 tips when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed:

Notes about the video:

And remember, there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

Nothing_can_stop_a_good_idea

…and then, enlightenment

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