Fantastic Friday: Altruism

Giving helps. Researchers confirm what we already know: giving benefits the giver as much or sometimes more than the receiver.

On this Fantastic Friday, exercise your altruism muscle so that your heart stays strong.

Ho Su Kim was recently honored for his volunteer work at The Center for Pan Asian Community Service, Inc., where he founded the Food Pantry program providing food assistance to families and seniors in need in metro-Atlanta. His fantastic act of care – building a sustainable program of giving selflessly so that others will have food to eat is worthy.  Mr. Kim decided to get busy and exercise his heart muscle by doing something that now benefits hundreds of families per week.

You too can do good by giving with an altruistic spirit. Look around, identify a need, and share what you have.  It may be a random pay-it-forward act or it could be using a hammer at a Habitat build, or helping the elderly or a child with homework for free.

The options you have for altruism are as open and unique as you are. The main thrust here is to give and to give with heart. Your altruism may be a one-off act or it could be longer term like Mr. Kim or similar to Karen White and her family, whom I admire so much. They adopted two children from Africa and life is great for the family.

Whatever act of altruism you choose this Friday, do it and feel fantastic!

 

52 Ways to BOSS It or TOSS It

 52 Ways to BOSS It or TOSS It©

 (A once a week (or daily) method to live your best life.) You can add enriching control in your life, do it NOW!

  1. Plan ahead.  Keep pantry staples list, keep gas tank at least ½ full, make copies of keys. Check it off.
  2. Say NO!  Don’t over schedule your time with extra events, projects, or invitations.
  3. Get up fifteen minutes earlier and/or go to bed fifteen minutes earlier.  Give yourself a big hug.
  4. Don’t procrastinate.  Do it NOW! Schedule projects, events, vacations, or even dinners ahead of time.
  5. Prepare for the morning the night before.  Plan the first hour or two of the next day.
  6. Write it down!  Don’t rely on your memory.  Write each appointment on a calendar on in your PDA.
  7. Learn.  Take a magazine, inspirational book or tapes/CDs with you while you wait.
  8. Add $8.80. Buy an extra book of postage stamps.  Then your mail/bills won’t be delayed.
  9. Get a good night’s sleep or take a short power nap on the weekend.  20 minutes of real rest is divine.
  10. Ring, ring. Let the answering machine/message service take the call.  But promptly retrieve messages.
  11. Slow down!  It is permissible to stop and smell the roses, swing in the park, swim or relax.
  12. Simplify!  Enlarge your file 13 (garbage box) so that you keep the things that you only need.
  13. Give gifts.  Give away good items that you no longer need or want.  Someone else may treasure it.
  14.  Make personal or family time a priority.  Build in some “me or us” time every day.
  15.  Make one night a week family fun.  Do something exciting with a member of your family.
  16. Turn off the television/video games.  Tune into yourself and each other for real conversation.
  17. Adopt a hobby.  Paint, build, exercise, practice an instrument, or make crafts together.
  18. Schedule household assignments.  Create a simple reward system.  Create a checklist.
  19. Volunteer!  Research and commit to a volunteer project.
  20. Laugh, laugh, laugh!  Keep a jokes file or watch a funny movie.  Laughter is medicine for the soul.
  21. Stretch.  Take mini stretch breaks after long meetings or sits.  Stretch and breathe deep.
  22. Write weekly goals.  Look for gaps and over commitment.  Eliminate tension builders.
  23. Use email or voice mail reminders to yourself and others to cut out any stress.
  24. Enjoy a good meal or dessert or snack.  Don’t just rush.  Savor each flavor.
  25. Take breaks.  Do NOT work through lunch.  It is important to leave your desk.
  26. Look at your color choices.  If you see that your predominant color is neutral or black, add color!
  27. Delegate.  Choose responsible people, designate specific tasks, and let it go.  Don’t micro-manage.
  28. Journal.  Keep a journal.  You will be amazed at how much you achieved in a year.
  29. Be a friend.  Care about others and lean on them for comfort too.  Confidential sharing relieves stress.
  30. Vacation.  Plan relaxation days (bookend to a weekend) or plan a longer vacation to rest, relax, restore.
  31. Visualize.  See your success in exact, vivid detail.  Plan what success is and looks like ahead of time.
  32. Avoid negativity.  Negative people or situations should be avoided.  Maintain optimism.
  33. Worry less.  Don’t deny your concerns, but spend minimal time worrying.  Decide what must be done.
  34. Change.  If your routine is reflexive, you do the same things.  Change where you go or what you do.    
  35. Be private.  Allow time every day for privacy, quite time or solitude to reflect on what’s important.
  36. Do the hardest first!  Get it out of the way so that you can pleasantly, leisurely enjoy the rest.
  37. Count.  Count to fifty (50) before you speak.  Pausing a few minutes before an outburst saves anxiety.
  38. Forgive.  Standardize your expectations of yourself and others.  Expecting perfection is stressful.
  39. Smile.  Be optimistic and project joy.  You will feel good and so will others around you.
  40. Gather loose change.  Count all of your coins and give yourself a treat.
  41. Say Thank You!  Express gratitude.  Appreciate and recognize the goodness in others.
  42. Make something.  Try origami; build a kite, ceramics, pottery.  Find a creative outlet.
  43. Dance.  Turn on the music.  Dance, step lively for a few minutes a day.
  44. Talk positive.  When your words are positive and encouraging others respond in kind. 
  45. Sing.  Let the melody flow.  Even if it is only in the shower, add vocal rhythm to your day.
  46. Meditate.  Be still.  Listen to earth sounds, hear the birds chipper, connect with nature.
  47. Cry.  Release tension with a good cry.  Let it all out and let it go.
  48. Try something new.  Candy-making, belly dancing, sign-language, fitness, weights, bike riding, skating. 
  49. Take a bath.  Fill the tub with warm, soothing water and chill. Maybe add candles or aromatherapy. 
  50. Redlight.  While stopped at a red light, say to yourself, “I am happy” or “I am an achiever.”
  51. Take a class.  If you are challenged in the kitchen, take a class.
  52. Renew every day.  BOSS or TOSS something in your life everyday and live anew.    

How Happiness Happens

Is it a plane? Is it a star? No, it’s happiness.

Questions surround the quest for happiness almost as much as people question what is up in the sky. The difference oftentimes is that the curious gazers will research and seek answers. How about you?

Are you curious about happiness?

I sure am curious about happiness (joy), especially since being happy and grateful is my daily quest. My inquiring mind wants to know – How Happiness Happens.

Researchers have found that you cannot compartmentalize happiness; meaning, I am happy at home but not a work. No, no, no. Findings suggest that Happiness Happens when you are congruent with your emotions both at home and at work or anytime there is synchronicity with your divine, true purpose.

Marshall and Kelly Goldsmith commissioned a study on happiness and reported their findings in the December 21, 2009 issue of Business Week. One validating point in the article is that “Those who were more satisfied with life outside of work were the respondents who reported spending more time on activities that produced both happiness and meaning.”

Here are some activities that stimulate happiness:
1. Exercise
2. Lovemaking
3. Challenges
4. Hobbies
5. Volunteering
6. Chores
7. Social or Religious Outings
8. Healthy Relationships
9. Travel

The list is not exhaustive, by any means. What may be a “happy” moment for you may be an experience that means little to others. The point is: doing something – either mentally, spiritually, or socially – produces happiness endorphins which stimulate joy.

You are tasked to find your happiness.

Start at Activity #1 – exercise. A moving body is a stimulated body. Fitness experts say that a mere 15 minutes of movement a day is enough to produce enough endorphins to be purposeful.

Activity #2 – lovemaking causes the coupling effect which activates a “rush” of high emotions and a rush of stimulating feelings of belonging, trust, sharing, harmony.

Moving on, solving challenges – Activity # 3 or Activity #7 – require you to engage mental, spiritual, and social muscle. This is good. Any activity that combines engagement zones is quite healthy for your body, mind, and spirit. The operative measure here is actively “doing” something.

Happiness Happens moment by moment when you are actively in a place of deliberate action, appreciation and intention. Spend time with those you love, get busy, watch less television, and find less to complain and criticize about.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Frederick Keonig

Be happy. Make happiness happen!