#257 Activate for a day

What do you care about? What cause or group of people stimulate your values or moral beliefs? What are you outraged about? What breaks your heart?

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.

#257

Activate for a day

How do you find purpose in life? One sure fire way is to become involved in a cause. Working to save the planet, animals, clean water, personal freedoms, borders, etc., will surely boost your sense of purpose. Thousands of animals are saved and replaced each year because of the love and support of people working to save them. Millions of gallons of clean water are provided to people in need because someone is dedicated to that initiative. Millions upon millions of people have marched over the years in support of a cause that they felt loyal toward.

It’s possible that activism is more prevalent today than at any other time since the Vietnam War. In part because of our current political climate but also because the need for sustainable support is significant around the globe.

What does it mean to be an activist? By definition, it is a “person who campaigns to bring about political or social change” and it can be accomplished in a myriad of ways.

  • Make a poster and walk with it; stand on a busy street corner with it; post it in your window or yard.
  • Spend a day calling the ‘powers that be’ – the president of a company, or your elected officials.
  • Engage in a letter writing campaign.
  • Find out what type of supplies your ‘cause’ uses and shop for /donate them in person.
  • Take to social media for a day and post articles and/or memes that demonstrate the needs or points of view of your ‘cause’.
  • Start a petition.
  • Start a blog about your ‘cause’.
  • Join a group invested in your ‘cause’.

These are but a few methods of involving yourself in an activity that serves something you care about and they are starting points. An argument I hear a lot is ‘one person can’t make a difference’ but truly… it only takes ONE person’s idea or love of something to get a ball rolling. In fact, most radical change is accomplished when a MINORITY of people get on the same bandwagon and make noise. What do you care about? What cause or group of people stimulate your values or moral beliefs? What are you outraged about? What breaks your heart?

Think what might change if every single one of us got up and became committed to ACT on a ‘cause’ close to our hearts. If you are not currently contributing any time or talent on behalf of someone other than yourself, I encourage you to…

Activate for a day.

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

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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

Why is this important at all? It’s a tiny thing – literally taking less than 60 seconds when done frequently – that demonstrates a clear ‘personal’ priority.

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.

#267

Clean out your wallet / purse

Purses hold much more than wallets but I’ve seen a few wallets that bulge far beyond their design. For some reason, many of us tend to collect receipts, business cards, reminders, lists, etc… in our wallets. Some of us carry around store loyalty cards for stores that we haven’t visited in years. I recently found a ‘stamp card’ for a local ice cream card that had been closed for longer than I can remember. It was tucked behind another frequent buyer card for a grocery store that I rarely frequent. Both cards were removed and destroyed.

When I was a mom with little kids, my purse was a secondary diaper bag. At any point it contained a pacifier and a package of wipes. Those items may have still been in my purse when my youngest was four because I was famous for neglecting the organization of anything personal. Today, cleaning out my wallet or purse is a weekly event and takes seconds.

Why is this important at all? It’s a tiny thing – literally taking less than 60 seconds when done frequently – that demonstrates a clear ‘personal’ priority. Your wallet and/or purse is something you reach for consistently… potentially several times a day. By taking time to organize and prioritize that thing we constantly have in our presence we feel more in control, more in the know, and aware.

All of those things contribute to overall feelings of well-being. Really… it’s a collection of little things that lead to feeling the big things. This suggestion is simple and yet so effective… find out what happens when you …

Clean out your wallet / purse.

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

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

A child doesn’t care about what they’re wearing or even if their shoes are on the right feet. They don’t care about sitting in the dirt or how much sand ends up in their britches. They play outside…

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.

#269

Behave like a child

Well… good behavior only please. One of the most endearing elements of childhood is a child’s ability to be present – in the moment – at almost any given time. They are free from the fear of judgment for a few years (until socialization kicks in high gear) and so they live freely.

A child doesn’t care about what they’re wearing or even if their shoes are on the right feet. They don’t care about sitting in the dirt or how much sand ends up in their britches. They play outside in the cold or heat without much bother and when given the chance – they’ll use their imagination to discover an entirely new world. They’ll make noise and jump around in silly ways. They laugh and cry at will.

They’ll say “I love you” and “no” without hesitation. And there is rarely an ulterior motive. For a few brief years, we all exist without the restrictions and rigidness that growing up births.

Today – or this week at least – find a playground and and swing on the swings or sit on the merry-go-round as it spins and laugh yourself silly. Grab an ice cream cone and share it with someone you love – taking turns with the licks. Sit in the grass and look for four-leaf clovers – reveling in delight should you actually find one. Or have a brownie sundae for dinner without any guilt or shame at all.

If you need help thinking of something to delight in like only a child can, spend a few minutes watching a group of children. Notice how present they are. Pay attention to the raw emotion they demonstrate at any given moment. How might your life benefit from a little reminder of what it was like before you learned not to…

Behave like a child.

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

Photo by sept commercial on Unsplash

 

 

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

And… while after a visit to Amsterdam where bicyclists have the right of way at all times because there are millions of them – really… they are everywhere and as a pedestrian, you are easily overwhelmed. But, we’re not there yet.

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.

#285

Ride a Bike

When was the last time you rode a bike just for fun?

While biking has been a stable pastime for children since the introduction of a miniature tricycle, it seems as if we Americans ditch the bike for 4 wheels and a motor as soon after the age of sixteen as possible. Certainly, the exception is those adults who use bicycles for sport and exercise or those of us who mosey along side streets while on a beach oriented vacation; perhaps taking advantage of dual pedal power on a tandem machine and Some people have converted their primary mode of transportation at least for commuting.

But… when was the last time you just took a leisurely bike ride… just because? Most major cities have made amazing progress in becoming bicycle friendly, offering rideshare stations and dedicated bike lanes. And… after a visit to Amsterdam where bicyclists have the right of way at all times because there are millions of them – really… they are everywhere and as a pedestrian, you may be easily overwhelmed. But, we’re not there yet. In fact, the bike lanes in our cities are mostly open… beckoning us to grab a bicycle and get out there.

I rode my bike as a kid and then didn’t own one again until my 30’s… rode my babies around a bit that that resembled working out too much and so that equipment was donated to a worthy cause. Fast forward 25 years and I’ve taken up bike riding again. It’s different for me because it is purely recreational and fun. It’s not a workout (at least not intentionally), which means that I am often riding a Rail Trail (flat) or just cruising around town a bit. I meander a bit – not in a hurry – just enjoying the fresh air, the breeze across my face, and the scenery that I don’t take in while driving by at 30+ miles per hour. It’s mind time and I have two simple requests for the people who may ride with me. First… don’t push – I ride slow. Second… don’t talk – I am in-a-zone.

Biking can be simple. Do yourself a favor and find a bike share station, put on a helmet, and …

Ride a bike

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

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

I’ve sat with my children and explored the town where I grew up, the schools I’ve attended, and had a virtual ‘drive by’ of some of my favorite childhood haunts. I loved seeing where my parents were raised and places they’ve talked about.

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.

#286

Explore Google Earth

I’ve always been a map lover. My dad taught me to read a map when I was young and ever since, I’ve studied maps for fun. I enjoy knowing how to get from here to there more efficiently, with more scenery, or with a specific stop in-between. It’s no surprise then that I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being able to tap into Google Earth.

For anyone who doesn’t know – Google Earth is Google’s effort of bringing the world to our fingertips – at least visually.  Almost anywhere the Google car – with all of its virtual cameras – has traveled across the globe – you can see and explore with internet access.

Google Earth Capture
Google Earth

When a family member moved to Europe, I was able to type in the address and virtually explore the street they lived on, the park nearby, and landmarks they were excited to visit. Since I couldn’t get there right away, it was a way to feel connected to their new experience.

I’ve sat with my children and explored the town where I grew up, the schools I’ve attended, and had a virtual ‘drive by’ of some of my favorite childhood haunts. I loved seeing where my parents were raised and places they’ve talked about.

When I’m planning a vacation, I explore the area ‘virtually’ a little just to get my bearings and bolster the anticipation.  When I want to go somewhere that isn’t in my budget or when I don’t have time available but want to simulate a little vacation experience – I get on Google Earth and ‘take a little vacation’ by visiting places that seem fun to see. What does it look like from the top of Mount Olympus in Washington state? Google Earth will take you there.

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Mt. Tom, Washington, USA

Beware: you can lost in the wonders of the planet and spend far too much time exploring … but it’s amazing and fun and interesting; some would say downright educational. So, the next time you want to take a little trip but don’t have the time or money – grab a cup of coffee, a cold beer, or a glass of wine and sit down to …

Explore Google Earth.

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.

 

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

The accessory combination was more pricey than that designer dress I’ve worn dozens of times but my confidence that day was out the door and the belt was the icing on the cake.

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.

#315

Splurge on an outfit

If you’re on a tight budget, a mom, a dad, tightly focused on the future, or following a similar trajectory, there is a good chance that you fail to treat yourself once in a while. And, while I am the champion of practicality and budget focused financial achievement, there is a time that splurging on an outfit that helps you feels strong, beautiful (or handsome), and confident – is totally warranted.

Do it for your next job interview, or the next wedding you attend. Imagine the sensation of standing a little straighter or smiling a little brighter because you feel empowered by attire that is flattering, well constructed, and in fashion.

It doesn’t matter your budget. At one time, buying a pair of sandals that weren’t rubber was an upgrade for me and I felt confident in my stride. I splurged on a classic black dress by a well known designer at another point in my life and it was my ‘uniform’ whenever I had a cocktail event to attend for years (It’s still a classic and dresses up or down with jewelry accessories).

While classic purchases are the more practical consideration, an occasional splurge on something you may never wear again can be an uplifting accomplice for a very special occasion. When I finally earned my B.A. in midlife, I treated myself to a bright red patent leather belt and matching shoes. They were the perfect compliment to my black and white outfit and I just never had another occasion to for that combination. The accessory combination was more pricey than that designer dress I’ve worn dozens of times but my confidence that day was out the door and the belt was the icing on the cake.

This is not to say that what we wear is how we construct our personality or the basis of our identity but psychologically speaking, what we wear affects our mood. When we wear quality clothing that fits well, we feel better so treat yourself and …

Splurge on an outfit.

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