#230 Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

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.

#230

Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Yesterday I suggested that you re-read your favorite book and if you take me up on that suggestion…. Great! I hope you enjoy. Afterwards – or in the event that you don’t want to re-read it – write a note about why the book stands out in your mind, tuck it inside and give it to a friend (without giving away the ending).

Sharing Is Good

You might share why you are giving this particular book to that particular person. Is there something about the story that reminds you of her/him, or the relationship  you have with them? Is there something else that you think resonates within the story? Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

Connections

This gesture is a small example of how we might foster social connections. Sharing is an integral part of connecting with others. Research tells us that when we share, the pleasure centers of our brain are activated – the same areas that turn on when we eat food that we enjoy or have sex. Because we take time to step outside of ourselves – out of our selfish perspective – we may also improve elements of depression or anxiety.

Kindness

Perhaps the best benefit of all is that we promote kindness which, is known to be one of those things that create forward ripples; kindness begets kindness. Not to mention that the gesture promotes reading. You may never know what goodness happens after you…

Give the gift of your favorite book.

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

#233 Find a Long Lost Friend

Whether it’s a series of adventures in the neighborhood on bicycle, prank phone calls to radio D.J.’s, or late night whispers about the cutest guy in math class… this person from your past knows a part of you that people in your life today may not have any knowledge of.

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.

#233

Find a long lost friend

When you think about your childhood, is there a person – a friend – that you’ve lost touch with? Someone that you’d like to connect with again, if only to know how their life turned out?

The Internet

Once again, the internet makes finding old friends rather easy if you know a full name. Websites such as Google, Facebook, & LinkedIn are great places to start. Women can be more difficult if they’ve married and changed their last name. Likewise, common names such as John Williams or Sara Johnson can be challenging without additional information. The website Classmates.com and those similar charge a small fee but organize names by high schools and graduation years. Some of these sites offer a small period of time where you can use the resources free.

Motivation

As you think of finding the friend you’ve been thinking of, consider what your expectation is once you find them. Those of us who were besties in high school may not share similar interests once 20 years has past. Will you be disappointed if that person who knew all your secrets no longer enjoys the things you do? Will you feel let down if they aren’t receptive to your inquiry? What if they want to establish a relationship yet you discover you’ve only looking to satisfy a curiosity?

History

One of the great benefits of connecting with an old buddy is that they share a piece of history with you. Whether it’s a series of adventures in the neighborhood on bicycle, prank phone calls to radio D.J.’s, or late night whispers about the cutest guy in math class… this person from your past knows a part of you that people in your life today may not have any knowledge of. It can be comforting and downright healing to connect with pieces of memory that remind you of good times past and the energy, dreams, and spirit of youth.

Who is it that comes to mind as you think about what it would be like to …

Find a long lost friend.

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

#261 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We all have countless recollections of mishaps and momentary errors in judgment that are retrospectively funny or immensely satisfying. Sometimes…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#261

Remember when…

This recommendation might sound a bit like the idea of savoring that I presented earlier but it’s a bit different in its goal. The idea here is to recall random shared memories of minor debacles when you are with another person with whom you have some history. Ideally, you’re thinking of a time that you can laugh about now. A time when you had solved a problem, survived a hazard, or preserved through a challenge.

The goal is laughter or at the very least, an appreciation for the lesson learned. It’s an opportunity to review a moment in time from another perspective and share a sense of satisfaction of a previous experience.

‘Remember when we got that flat tire and…’

‘Remember when I left the cake in the oven for an hour…’

‘Remember when we took the wrong bus…’

We all have countless recollections of mishaps and momentary errors in judgment that are retrospectively funny or immensely satisfying. Sometimes, just recalling the collection of awkward moments we shared with another strengthens our appreciation of their role in our life. It’s another type of walk down memory lane that can have you rolling on the floor laughing or being grateful that it is over now.

Pick up the phone today and share a blast from the past with an old friend or randomly bring it up at the dinner table tonight… “Hey honey…”

Remember when…

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

#295 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

If you are thinking about someone – phone them; say hello and let them know you’re thinking about them or leave a message.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#295

Phone a friend

This suggestion works nicely if you are playing a television game for a million dollars but it’s also important if you are interested in maintaining friendships. With our evolving habit of texting conversations – some of us have all but eliminated vocal interacting. Why not phone a friend?

Think of someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. What has prevented you from chatting? I occasionally hear that a friend hasn’t called because “I didn’t know if you were busy”. Frankly – that’s why voicemail was invented, wasn’t it? If I am busy, I will let the call go to message but I’ll know that you were thinking about me.

I’m miffed when someone says “I’ve been thinking about you forever…” but I have no way of knowing it because there’s been NO communication to that extent. If you are thinking about someone – phone them; say hello and let them know you’re thinking about them or leave a message. It’s simple really.

I realize that we all have busy lives and it takes time to maintain friendships. I find that most of us don’t need extended conversations and deep, meaningful interactions to sustain an existing friendship but we do need contact – real – live – connection. So, think of someone you haven’t heard from in a while and …

Phone a friend.

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

 

#314 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Food is often a neutralizer of gender, age, and differences. It can open people’s hearts and consequently, their minds to new experiences, ideas, and conversation.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#314

Make dinner for your neighbor

What a special treat it is to come home in the evening and not have to worry about making a meal! Demonstrate a gesture of kindness by doubling a recipe tonight and taking the extra to a neighbor so they won’t have to cook tomorrow!

We are generally good about supporting the dining needs of our friends and neighbors when they are sick, have a baby, or a death in the family but why not… just because? Not that I think we should be feeding the whole block or that our next door friends can’t take care of themselves but why not treat them to something completely unexpected?

For practically no extra effort and very little expense, duplicating a pan of baked ziti or an oven roasted chicken might just make the day for a family with very little time or a single dad exhausted after a long work day.

If your neighbor is single or elderly, invite them over to share the meal or offer to stay and provide company while they eat what you delivered. Food is often a neutralizer of gender, age, and differences. It can open people’s hearts and consequently, their minds to new experiences, ideas, and conversation. If nothing else, it is an extension of generosity that might just also make or fortify a meaningful, connection. Give it a try. The next time you’re making a crock pot or casserole type meal, double the recipe and …

Make dinner for your neighbor.

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

#328 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Are you able to share a piece of yourself? Do you have an hour a week to make a difference in someone’s life? Perhaps they could use a friend.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#328

Befriend someone

Do you know someone who doesn’t have a big social circle? Do you know an older person who is lonely or actually… alone? Are you aware of someone who recently experienced a traumatic loss? Is there someone in your environment, at work or at church, who appears to be alone more often than not?

Are you able to share a piece of yourself? Do you have an hour a week to make a difference in someone’s life? Perhaps they could use a friend.

While carving out an hour from  your week may seem cumbersome or downright impossible, imagine bringing a summer of sunshine to someone else’s grey cloudy life. Imagine that someone chooses to live – actually makes the decision to stay alive – because you take an hour from your week to share kind thoughts and a little light. Imagine that someone counts the hours that pass by until your presence graces their path again next week.

Maybe it’s a kid who doesn’t have anything to go home to… or a widower who is tired of eating alone night after night. Your kind gesture to behave in a friendly manner to this person who may feel isolated and alone could mean the difference between a life of loneliness and a life of hope.

Be mindful of the people in your periphery. Pay close attention and then offer your friendship. It’s free to give and relatively cheap to maintain. The benefit is amazingly measurable when we take the time to…

Befriend someone.

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

#352 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Best friends call us out on the shit we dish up for ourselves. We tend not to defend ourselves to them the way we may our spouse or partner. Because we don’t question their love for us, we generate very different reactions by their challenges and we take in more of what is said.

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#352

Schedule friend time

This is one of those happy life tips that we innately ‘know’ and yet it is the one most frequently thrown on the back burner. As we build careers, family, and homes it seems that friendship moves steadily down to the bottom of our priority list.

I say… move it on up!

I postulate that the reason our friends stay our friends for so long is that we don’t live with them 24/7. Unlike our life partners and children, our friendships get space. When we are frustrated with our friends, we go home. When we are disappointed, we let a few days go by before we call. If we aren’t really on the same page- we take a break until the memory fades. And then, regardless of the pejorative infraction, we rally back together to enjoy the connection that is often impervious to the daily stressors we experience in our familial relationships.

Our friendships ‘feed’ us because they are often without expectation. They can be a ‘resting ground’ where we go to step back and gain perspective. Our friends are almost always voices of reason while simultaneously having our back. Spending time with friends allow us to regenerate and realign our attitudes. They provide a platform for fun and laughter; for stillness and acceptance; for reflection and honesty. And spending time with them needs to be more important than weeding our garden or changing the sheets.

Best friends call us out on the shit we dish up for ourselves. We tend not to defend ourselves to them the way we may our spouse or partner. Because we don’t question their love for us, we generate very different reactions by their challenges and we take in more of what is said.

If your life is short on time (like it is for many of us), double duty some of your errands by asking a friend to tag along and have lunch or dinner along the way. Chores are more fun and often more productive when shared with a friend and laughter. Some of my favorite memories are those everyday tasks that were shared in friendship.

Don’t forget a weekend trip or two throughout the year as well. Time away from home where your focus is on yourself and wrapped in friendly acceptance and fun cannot be undervalued. One’s ability to be a better parent, partner, and worker is elevated when friendship is also valued and incorporated into life.

Take a quick look at your calendar and …

Schedule friend time.

 

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

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