Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Always Do What You Believe Is Right

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Whatever your goals are, I’m going to advise that you should do whatever it takes. However, this does not include doing things that are against the law or against your principles. Sometimes it appears that the only way to get ahead in life is to lie, cheat, steal and step on others. People who are willing to push aside ethics may have an advantage in terms of material success, but anyone who breaks the rules will ultimately be a failure regardless of how much money, power or luxury items they have.

We all know this is true. We’ve all seen examples of people who appear to have it all but yet we instinctively know them for the loser that they are. No amount of bling can cover a dark heart.

Throughout my life, I’ve been at a number of crossroads where I was given a choice between doing something I know is wrong to get a little further ahead or doing the right thing and deal with a setback. I always chose to do what I believe was the right thing. I don’t agonize over it and I don’t look back and regret it. They way I see it is that I don’t have a choice. I do what’s right no matter what the stakes are.

I’ve been accused of being self-righteous when I suggest that we always do the right thing. It’s not about “righteousness” – it’s about being able to appreciate and enjoy everything you’ve earned. If you don’t earn it the right way, you will always wonder if you could have achieved it without violating your principles.

Self doubt can be extremely difficult to deal with. We need every bit of evidence we can get to prove to ourselves that we are worthy of success. Every time you cheat your principles you are building a case against your self worth. You are providing evidence that you are a fake. On the other hand, if you take the high road and refuse to compromise on your principles, you can be proud of everything you have an earn.

I struggled for years with my principle based lifestyle. Some days, I would feel like a schmuck who was passing up on an opportunity while others did whatever they wanted to get ahead. Now that I’m older, I can look back and know I made the right choice. I appreciate all that I have and I’m proud of what I accomplished. I can raise my kids knowing that I am a worthwhile father. People who know me, respect and trust me.

Trust, respect and love are the greatest things in life. You only grow those aspect of your life by living within your principles. It take years to build trust and respect but you can lose all of it in a single day. Once you do something to violate that trust, people will question everything you’ve ever accomplished.

 

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

May 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Meditation Should Be Taught In Schools

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Just do a search on the term “benefits of meditation” and you find plenty of evidence that meditation is a good thing. Meditation is often associated with “hippies” and the new age movement. Personally, I wouldn’t care if it was part of the “My Little Pony” fan culture – if it makes my life better, I’m going to do it.

I try to fit time for meditation whenever I can but I sometimes go for weeks without meditating. I’m not perfect so when life gets busy, it’s easy to justify cutting out the activity that is basically just sitting around, doing nothing. However, I’ve found that if I don’t meditate a few days a week, things start to get a little crazy. I lose my center and stress starts to degrade my ability to think clearly. Once I get in a few days of meditation, things start to settle down and my ability to focus increases.

I came to the realization that most people are in a permanent state of high stress. This explained why it is so difficult to communicate with most people about topics requiring high levels of thought. They just don’t have the capacity to do anything outside of their routine. High stress may also be a major reason why so many people are overweight – they aren’t capable of making any significant changes in their lives.

Meditation has a marketing problem. It’s not even on the radar of the public conscience. Sure people have heard about it and will generally agree that it is a good thing, but most never make the connection that it is something that they should try. There’s not enough peer pressure to take it seriously. It’s not like diet and exercise where most people have at least tried to exercise and eat better. Most people have not even tried to meditate.

This is why I think it should be taught in schools from as early as the first grade. It would be really cheap and easy to implement and it would improve students ability to learn. I’m not saying they could get most kids to sit still quietly for more than 10 minutes but at least they would become aware of the practice so they could choose to make it part of their growth process.

However we do it, it would be a huge benefit to our society if we could make meditation an accepted part of our culture. I’m not suggesting we go overboard where we have family members and coworkers disappearing for a few weeks so they could attend a mediation retreat, but it would be great if the average Joe or Jane could be comfortable enjoying a twenty minute mediation after a tough day at work.

 

 

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Become Who You Were Meant To Be

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When getting assistance from a mentor or a coach, one may will take offense that they are being told to change who they are. But they are mistaken to feel that way.

Each of us is born with a blueprint of the person we are supposed to be. When we are young, it is obvious that we need to grow into that person. Children accept that learning and growth is part of their lives. But at some arbitrary age, society labels us as “adults”. We are considered matured and done with learning and  growing.

The truth is that we are is defined by the entirety of lives and the legacy we leave. We are not simply who we are when we reach a certain age. When we,  even as adults, continue to learn and grow, we are striving to become the person we were meant to be.

Even though I am over 40, I continue to find new ways to learn and grow. My behaviors and habits are not the same as they were twenty years ago or even just a year ago. However, I feel more at ease with who I am with the new behaviors and I’m excited to learn more about myself as I try new things.

When people reject opportunities to learn and grown, they are not defending who they are, but rather stopping themselves from being the person they were meant to be.

 

 

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

March 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Snow is Nature’s Workout

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Here in Northern Massachusetts, we just got another 10 inches of snow. I spent the better part of the day shoveling the driveway, walkways and steps. With all the snow we’ve been getting the snowbanks are 5 feet high so I had to lift and throw the snow over them.

Years ago, I would have been totally exhausted and sore all over. Now I feel like I still have energy to burn. Shoveling that much snow was a tough workout but thanks to my regular fitness routine I handled it easily.

Life will push you to your limits so its best to become familiar with that territory. If you routinely push yourself, when life hits you hard its not as disruptive – it’s business as usual.

I can only imagine what my neighbors must think. After spending several hours shoveling, I still managed to play for an hour in the snow with my kid.

On my street, I have the only driveway that is down to pavement. It appears everyone else did the bare minimum needed to get their cars out.

Sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land surrounded by people who avoid physical exertion at all cost. The path to a better life is so obvious but so few walk that path.

Working out and avoiding unhealthy foods can be painful but not nearly as painful as living a life of quiet desperation.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Fitness, Life, Thoughts

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The Value of Natural, Unprocessed Writing

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I enjoy reading blogs. There is something profound in getting a glimpse into the thoughts and ideas of people with different backgrounds, cultures and vocations. The content is very different from what you get from professionally edited and packaged articles written by professional writers. It’s like tapping into the collective stream of consciousness.

I still appreciate published writing by professional or even aspiring writers. But a meticulously crafted floral arrangement, is no better or worse than a daisy found blooming on the side of a dirt path in the middle of a forest. That beauty that you find in the wild, unkempt wilderness of thoughts and ideas is what the trained artist is trying to condense, cultivate and arrange for you. An artist is trying to share with you the essence of what they see so  the work is processed and packaged to help you see what they see.

Often you have to trudge through miles of content to find that thought or idea that moves you. When you do find something special, take a moment to appreciate it and let the writer know what you think. It may just be a daisy on the side of a path, but you may be the first and only person who gets to experience that wild beauty in its natural setting.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Art, Life, Thoughts

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Things Are Not Always as They Seem

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Have you ever had a strong belief that you had to give up based on new information or growth of character?

I have.

Knowing that I have had to change my beliefs in the past makes me question that beliefs I hold now.  The truth is that you can’t be certain of anything.

So, knowing that our beliefs can be faulty, should we temper our commitment to our beliefs? Should we hesitate to commit towards fighting for our beliefs? For me, the answer is no.

It is not immoral to defend a false belief. If you believe in something, then you would not be true to yourself if you didn’t stand up for your beliefs. What is immoral is continuing to defend a belief when you know it is not true.

There’s this temptation to reject any information that contradicts something you’ve believed for so long, especially when you’ve internalized that belief and made it part of your identity. Giving up on it may mean that you are no longer the person you once were. It is terrifying to give up on long held beliefs and try to figure out who you are now they are no longer part of you. Until your figure out who you are without the belief, it can feel as if you have no identity.

It is better to struggle for years trying to rebuild your identity, than it is to take the default, false identity that came with your initials beliefs.

Too many people take the beliefs of their parents without question. This may be why we still struggle with racism, homophobia and misogyny despite the many enlightened leaders who have been giving evidence to the world that these are false beliefs and have no place in today’s society. Our culture as a whole has moved on from these outdated ideas, but there are still individuals or even sections of our society that refuse to give up on those beliefs that their parents and grandparents defended as the world changed.

I’m not asking anyone to replace their beliefs with mine. All I’m saying is that a person who wants to be true and whole, must question their beliefs. One way to start the questioning process if to ask if a belief is based on the truth as you know it or on the truth as it was told to you by those who want or demand that you believe what they do.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 2, 2014 at 1:55 am

Perfect is the Enemy of The Good

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We all want to achieve great things. This passion for excellence is what drives us forward but this same passion, when taken to extremes, can also hold us back. In attempting to achieve perfection, we risk never getting started.

To do great work, we must first do work that is just plain good. To do good work, we must first do work that is just plain bad – and lots of it. Even if 90% of what you do is mediocre, more often than not, you will be judged on that 10% that is excellent. While others are singing our praises about the excellence we’ve achieved, we need to accept it and not let our average be how we measure ourselves.

Consider the great inventors of the past. The Wright Brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk was an amazing achievement but, by today’s standard of flight, the Wright Glider doesn’t even compare. They knew that to achieve the goal of powered flight as a means of transportation, they would first need to accept good enough as a first step.

First Flight

Then consider great Thomas Edison who gave us the light bulb. That was arguably his greatest invention but it is also a product with a 100% failure rate – all light bulbs blow out eventually. Now we find that we are replacing the wonderful light bulb with a more efficient alternative. If Edison had waited for perfection, someone else would have come along and invented it and we would be praising their ingenuity.

The world does not want to wait for you to perfect what you have to offer. We want the best you have to offer right now. You can continue refining it but let us see what you have now. Finish that novel, display your art, perform that speech – whatever it is that you are afraid to complete or even start, put it out there.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

Posted in Business, Life, Thoughts

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