Practicing Contentment

Practicing ContentmentYou are not content for the same reason I am not content.

You think contentment should be easy; but it isn’t.  Something about the very word itself, contentment, implies this ease.  After all, if you think of the last time you were content, it probably didn’t take much.  A good book, a comfortable chair, coffee.  That’s it.  That’s all.  That’s easy.  Right?

Wrong.  Contentment when it comes, and it does come, can come easily, without thought, without planning, and most of the time without cash.  But how long does it last?  What about lasting contentment?  What about a life of peace and serenity?  A life filled with easy chair moments?  How come you don’t have this?  How come I don’t have this?

Because we think about contentment all wrong.  Contentment is not like the sunrise.  It does not happen everyday whether we pay attention to it or not.

Real contentment requires practice.  Real contentment is getting up to watch the sunrise.

None of us will ever have a life packed end to end with easy chair moment.  But we can certainly have more of them.

Because even though constant contentment isn’t possible, with practice, consistent contentment is. Read more »

Zoo Humans

Today I watched one of the most moving and beautiful videos I have ever seen.

And it’s just a guy and his surf shorts.

His name is Erwan Le Corre and he has an interesting take on exercise: We live in a zoo.

The “zoo” is a modern, global and growing phenomenon generated by the powerful combination of social conventions, technological environment and commercial pressures. Increasingly disconnected from the natural world and their true nature, zoo humans are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.

You can either be a slave to the gym, or escape from the zoo.


How to Make Your Life a Vacation

how to make your life a vacationI hate it when people say: “I need a vacation”.  It makes my blood freeze.  I’m not being dramatic here.  I really do find that sentence: “I need a vacation” terribly depressing.  I think I find it depressing for the same reason I find the sentence: “Those were the best years of my life” depressing (no offence Bryan Adams).

If those were the best years of your life, there’s nothing left to look forward to.  It’s just going to get worse.

If you “need” a vacation, your life sucks.

There.  I said it.  Your Life Sucks.  I’m sorry.  But it’s true.  Try not to get too depressed.

I mean, when we say we need a vacation, what we are basically saying is we need to vacate, get out of here, get on a plane, and high tail it for the nearest beach/ski slope/spa.  Because life is really that bad/boring/tedious/unfulfilling.  You get the picture.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with “wanting” a vacation.  Wanting a vacation is an entirely different beast.  One you will probably not say in the same exasperated tone in which “I need a vacation” is often spoken in.

Going on vacation when you “need a vacation” is often a short term solution to a long term problem: ie. Your life sucks.

Which is actually a good place to start.  After all there’s nowhere to go but up from there.  It can only get better.  How?

Well, first off, identify why you need to go on vacation.  Are you children driving you crazy?  Do you hate your job?  Is your spouse just a little more annoying than usual?  Now fix it.

Sell the children, quit your job (you can live off the money from the sale of your children), and divorce your spouse (there goes the money from the sale of your children).

Okay, maybe these are bad solutions.

Read on for some good ones. Read more »

The Graffiti On Your Window

graffiti on your window to the worldWhen my wife and I first got married we lived in a small apartment in the downtown area of a large city in British Columbia.

Times were a bit tough financially, and our apartment wasn’t in the best part of the city. It was covered with graffiti tags – scrawls used by kids to identify themselves or their territory. Illegitimate marks of ‘ownership’.

I didn’t like how it made the building look, and I didn’t like that someone would claim my home as their territory, so I asked the property manager if I could get rid of it. She was more than happy to have me clean the place up, and bought me all the cleaning supplies I wanted.

I went to work one weekend and scrubbed the whole building clean. It took me almost an entire day. And you can probably guess what happened.

The very next day I awoke to brand new graffiti.

So I got out the cleaner, and before I did anything else, I removed it. All of it. Off the walls. Off the doors. Off the windows. It made me angry, and I resolved to beat the taggers. Read more »

Post Purchase Dissonance

streamHow many times have you gone out and bought some item, and before the day was done you were already experiencing twinges of regret?

A friend of mine calls this feeling ‘post purchase dissonance’.

You know the feeling. You go out and buy something that sets you back a bit of cash, and once you get it home and try it out, you realize that the color isn’t perfect. It’s missing a few features (or maybe has way too many). It’s heavier or yellower or flimsier or noisier than you thought it would be. A disagreeable conflict of emotions starts bubbling in your mind. Post purchase dissonance sets it.

My friend is fond of talking about the rare times when he experiences the opposite: ‘post purchase assonance’. Buying something and absolutely, totally, completely loving it.

I looked it up. ‘Assonance’ isn’t even a word. But the idea is wonderful, isn’t it? Read more »