#35 Make a Movie

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#35

Make a Movie

Creativity and imagination are some of the things that came naturally to most of us as children and for some, they develops – for others, they morphs or die. Why not try your hand at combining creativity and imagination again by making a movie? It’s easier than ever and there are a number of smartphone apps that practically do it for you. In fact, there are a number of movies presented at festivals that were entirely filmed on an iPhone. An idea and some ingenuity can go a long way.

Facts

For most of us, the most obvious choice is to record a home movie. Many of us have a collection of video clips that we’ve accumulated from special moments that could be strung together in a fantastic memory video. If we don’t have anything to start with, it’s super easy with phones, tablets, and portable video cams that are inexpensive and easy to use. It could also be a ‘movie’ that’s simply a collection of photographs with title cards and sound effects; a live photo album of sorts. This is a standard these days at weddings, graduations, and funerals but why wait? A collection of Johnny’s little league days is just as much of a keepsake as his high school graduation.

We have hours upon hours of Christmas day videos through the years that was shot when you placed a huge contraption on top of a tripod and left it there for the 4 hours it took to open presents…. Watching those things is almost painful. Digitizing the tapes and editing them to create something worth watching is a chore to be sure but also a pleasant treat that will be treasured for years.

Fiction

You could also create a story line, employ some actors/actresses, and direct your first feature. You could be part of an elite group who is recognized early in the career process and with raw talent. It may be as easy as going with your gut and allowing creativity to flow through you. Why not? If you play the lottery, the odds may be just as good.

Creative Energy

The point here is to step outside of your comfort zone, create memories, have fun, take a risk, embody creativity and honor your imaginative side. With any of those efforts, you are enhancing elements central to the happiness principle. So, go ahead and step out of the box….

Make a movie.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#84 Go Solo

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#84

Go Solo

In a world where we talk so much about belonging, I am going to recommend that – at least for some time – you ‘go solo’.

What does that mean?

Depending on who you’re talking to, the term ‘go solo’ may refer to a number of things. Some people immediately take it to the far side and assume you’re spending some ‘intimate’ time with yourself. Others wonder if you are going to ‘go out on your own’ professionally. Still others conjure visions of sitting in a movie theater or a restaurant by yourself. A few may even imagine travel.

Being Alone

No matter the definition, in fact, any of the above can apply… the goal is to find a comfort level with spending time with yourself – and only yourself. This may be uncomfortable for some of you if you think of this from the perspective of sexual pleasure and yet as we narrow down these 365 days, I’d be remiss to leave out this discussion. Indeed, personal pleasure time is very important to a healthy perspective about sex and a satisfactory sex life. If you don’t understand how your body experiences pleasure, how are you ever going to introduce another person to it? The key is to explore and experiment in the privacy and safety of your own company so that you can engage more fully when you are with a partner.

Out & About

In almost every memory I have of attending the movies, I recall seeing at least one person there solo and I’ve always admired their courage to sit there by themselves. My mother preferred going to the movies by herself because (she said) no one would interrupt her experience by asking questions or talking in the middle of it. Another friend prefers to eat lunch alone everyday and seeks restaurants that are quiet and less crowded. She asks for a booth where she can ‘hide’ from the world for that hour and she considers it a reprieve from her stressful job.

Professionally

If your career is in the trades or professional services and you’ve considered or made the decision to ‘go solo’ – bravo to you for taking the initiative of entrepreneurship. It takes considerable courage and commitment to step outside the safety of a group or organization and accept the risk of not knowing where or when your next client will surface. Not everyone can or will be open to existing in that arena but for those that do… the reward is often worth the risk.

Travel

I’ve read blogs and talked to people who have experienced solo travel as “one of the highlights of their lives” and indeed, some prefer it. I stepped out on my first solo travel trip this past summer with much trepidation and had fun although for me… the jury is still out. I love adventure and hesitate to submerge myself in unfamiliar situations without a safe harbor close by. It’s part of my current development plan and a ‘work in progress’.

Self Care

Learning to spend quality time with yourself is vital to your overall emotional health. It’s too demanding on social systems to provide 100% of the comfort that we need as individuals and so it’s imperative that we learn how to be still with ourselves. No matter the platform, consider including some ‘solo time’ into your self care plan. Eventually, you’re sure to establish some comfort in your ability to …

Go solo.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#188 Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#188

Ride in a hot air balloon

Is this one of those things on your “before I die list”? Have you done it? Maybe the question is ‘why’? Why would someone leave earth in an open air contraption without any intent of going from point A to point B? Shortly after the USA was born as a country, the first hot air balloon was launched in Europe. By the end of the 18th century, balloonists were crossing the English Channel and traveling for thrills sake. It took almost 200 more years for ballooning to make significant impacts in terms of height and distance. Even though they’ve been recorded at speeds close to 250 mph., they do not allow for convenient transportation. So why bother?

The Thrill

Ballooning is a fantastic hobby for thousands of people and a career for few. It’s considered a sport and there is an industry built around its competitions. Yet the real business lies in offering a thrill to those of us who rarely leave the ground outside of a commercial airliner. As you lift off the ground, there is little sound outside of the flame providing the ‘hot air’ that is generating the lift. I’m told it is a smooth rise – void of the turbulence we experience in an airplane. (No, I haven’t actually taken off in one – yet.) The scenery – often just after sunrise or later in the day at dusk – is accentuated by the sun and allowing you a birds eye (or drone) view of the countryside.

Fears

If you are like me – there’s a certain fear of flying involved when you stand in an open basket many hundreds of feet above ground level. After researching for this post, I’m more convinced of the safety elements inherent to ballooning. The pilot of a hot air balloon is trained along with the pilot of your jetliner… their aircraft is just a bit different. Indeed, it is reported to be even more safe than flying in an actual airplane.

Benefits

This suggestion relates to making your life more enjoyable, thereby increasing a sense of overall well-being. In fact, when we face fears, add variety, and accept some level of risk in our lives – we ARE happier. Perhaps this activity will help you step outside your comfort zone, allow you to cross something off your bucket list, help you surprise someone, or spend quality time with a loved one… again, all elements associated with an increase in overall happiness.

If you are looking for an activity for a ‘special occasion’ or something to add to your Christmas list why not …

Ride in a hot air balloon.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

Photo by James Besser on Unsplash

#231 Re-read your Favorite Book

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#231

Re-read your favorite book

What is your favorite fiction book? When did you read it? Why is it your favorite? Would you enjoy reading it again?

The Favorites

In my late teen years I read ‘The Thornbirds’ and to this day, I remember being enthralled by the generational story. Later, I read and loved Michener’s ‘Chesapeake’ and again, I remember the ending as clearly as if I had just finished it because it was so vividly depicted. And then there were the Fern Michaels trilogies that told of cousins in various parts of the country; stories that, to this day, are remembered and thought of as if they could be real people in real time in Texas, Las Vegas, or Kentucky.

Re-runs

Why is it that we watch favorite movies over and over, or television series – how many times have you watched the same ‘Friends’ episode – but rarely read a book a second time through? Summer is a great time to visit the library and check out that book that you remember loving from a long time ago. Did you ever pick up Sidney Sheldon’s ‘Master of the Game’?… it’s another of those memorable fiction stories that stuck in my mind because of the intense graphic visual that came to my mind as I read the words.

Comfort Zone

This suggestion is one of those things that we don’t think of often, perhaps a quick and easy way to get your mind off daily stressors and into an imaginary world that you are familiar with. Re-reading a book you’ve enjoyed in the past means you’ll go directly into a ‘happy place’ without the struggle of making it past the first few chapters as can happen in some stories. Do yourself a favor and take some time for simple enjoyment this summer and …

Re-read your favorite book.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#252 Be Adventurous

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#252

Be adventurous

Are you willing to take risks? Try new things? Test new ideas?  Enjoy new experiences? If so… congrats, you are adventurous and I suspect your happiness level reflects as much.

Adventure is about curiosity. Happiness research indicates that when we are curious in our daily life, it may elevate our happy base line. This is great news for people who tend to be glass half empty type of people. Many of us operate from a state of fear and it keeps us locked into familiar positions. When we are curious… i.e., adventurous… we step out of that comfort zone and – in many cases – are pleasantly surprised.

Adventure is personal. For some, it may be bungee jumping. For others, it may be getting on an airplane. It’s the unknown, the uncertain, maybe even the mysterious which, of course is different for us all based on experience.

Taking risks is difficult for some. Start close to your comfort level. Increase by degrees and pay attention to your body which, is uniquely designed to warn you when you are approaching the boundary of risk tolerance. Push lightly – a little at a time – and before you know it, the benefits of being adventurous will be felt.

Adventure helps us grow. When we experiment a little (or a lot), we will have successes and successes grow confidence. Yes, some of those trials will not be as successful as we hope but trying again is being adventurous and each time we try, we open the door to success and the elation that comes with it. There’s a great surge of dopamine that travels with the words “I did it!”.

Stop for a minute and think of something that would feel just a little outside of your comfort zone, or a place you’ve never gone, or a thing you’ve always wanted to do and make plans to…

Be adventurous.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.