Tag Archives: life lessons

The Secret to Being Happy Is…

Stop chasing the money. Stop chasing the ‘American Dream’. Chase your dream, your goals, your happiness.

"Follow Your Dreams" by Banksy

What if someone told you that the secret to being happier than you’ve ever been was to quit your job tomorrow? Would you do it? Would you have the guts to step into the unknown and give up your security blanket?

If your job is keeping you from doing what you love, find a way out. Don’t be scared, because things will work out in the end. It may lead to a complete shift in lifestyle and it isn’t easy, but overcoming that fear is the single greatest gift that you could give yourself.

First of all, your life will never be perfect, so stop chasing perfection. What you should chase are the experiences that lead to a more fulfilling life. That new car, those new jeans, that new pair of underwear and make your butt look super cute, don’t mean anything in the long run. In the end, your car will break down, your jeans will wear out, and that new underwear will become old and threadbare just like all the others out there. However, the experiences that you have will last for a lifetime.

Experiences don’t ever expire. They won’t ever make you feel fat and they won’t ever go out of style. The sooner that we’re able to realize that spending our time and money on the pursuit of these positive life experiences, the more quickly we can advance on the road to real happiness.

One hard truth is that the American Dream was manufactured. It’s something that’s been designed as a marketing tool to portray the greatness of America and our way of life. It’s a dream that’s perpetuated by consumerism.

Buy more, buy better, trust us, we know where you should spend your money.

Trying to keep up with the Jones’ will only leave you stressed and leading a life that’s filled with material things. Find your own path. Set your own goals. Smash through any obstacles that get in the way and fully dedicate yourself to the pursuit of real happiness.

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Habitual Niceness

What if we made it a practice to be nicer to each other? What kind of effect do you think that that would have on the people around you? I have a theory, that’s not so much a theory as just something that we know, but don’t practice in our daily lives.

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Respect the Old School

I come from five generations of blue collar workers. Men and women hardened by harder work. I’m the first one in my entire family to have a Bachelor’s degree and to have a white collar job. And you know what? I don’t know how much I like it. 

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(My Grandfather leaning on his 1940 Buick)

 I grew up in a household where it was respected and expected for you to work with your hands. As soon as I was old enough, I was out helping my grandfather dig post holes and mend fences for the horses. It was hard work, and I’ll admit, as a young kid it wasn’t how I really wanted to be spending my summers.  Throwing hay was the worst. It was dirty, hot, and itchy. It made me strong though and with the calloused hands, came strength of cahracter and values that I still stand on.

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(At 75, when things need to be done, they get done. Even if it’s eight degrees outside)

So off I went to college. “Four years of this and I’ll be set for life” I thought. I wanted the life, the money, the cool job title.  I always thought that my route to happiness was through networking my way into a corner office somewhere with a bloated paycheck and an assistant to answer my emails.

The more I work towards that goal though, the more I realize that I’m not truly happy. I haven’t been happy with it because I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the world. I know that  I’m doing good work and that I’m helping people. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work, but it’s not fulfilling. I’m the faceless voice of a faceless corporation. I don’t get to actually meet the people I help. I don’t get to tell them thank you face to face. 

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(My Grandmother at 18)

 

To them, I’m just a robot, answering questions and taking shit and making sure that their first world problems are properly acknowledged and dealt with in a timely manner. Otherwise the world might end.

I’m realizing that I’m beginning to resent the office environment. Everything is political and everyone is too important in their own eyes for their own good. It becomes a dance on eggshells to make sure that no one’s upset or offended. 

When you’re digging fence post holes, there’s no time for politics. Don’t like someone? Don’t talk to them. Angry about something? Go swing a sledge hammer for a few hours and you’ll be too tired to be angry anymore. 

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(My Grandfather on our horse Champ)

As I get older, I feel a deeper need to feel fulfilled by what I do. I’m continually looking for deeper relationships with my friends and am trying to figure out what really matters to me. I love my dogs, my family, my girlfriend,and working hard. It’s in my blood. I can’t help but want to bust my ass. 

I think that we’ve forgotten to respect those that keep this place running, the people who built this country. The road pavers, the ditch diggers, the welders, construction workers, and plumbers. Somehow we’ve lost respect for manual laborers. We look down on people who work with their bodies like somehow they’ve been dealt a losing hand. Men  and women like my grandparents made it possible for me to sit in an office chair and deal with issues that in the grand scheme of things may not be that important.  It’s their blood and sweat that has made my life relatively easy. I can’t ever forget that.

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