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Don’t be Thankful, Do This Instead

Before you think I’ve gone completely insane by asking you not to be thankful (it is Thanksgiving after all), hear me out. It’s so easy to feel thankful when you’re surrounded by friends and family, on holiday, or when all is going great in your life. According to the definition of “thankful”, the word means “pleased and relieved”, which in my interpretation means a word associated with a reactionary feeling. It’s a passive thing to feel “thankful”, and doesn’t demand much effort on your end to feel thankfulness, especially on a day that almost requires you to feel this emotion.

On the flip side, “gratefulness” is defined as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” It’s not just a reaction, but an active response to an act of kindness that requires more than just a knee-jerk reaction of “thankfulness”.

My wish for all you today is to actively carry the act of gratefulness in your heart rather than blindly celebrating “thankfulness”. Be actively grateful for all the kindness you’ve been shown in your life to allow you to live the way you do today. Be actively grateful for the kindness of friends, strangers, and family members who have paved the way for your life. Do not passively show “thankfulness” and merely be “pleased and relieved” for this one wonderous life you’ve been given. Hold gratefulness in your heart today. Hug your family members, tell your friends you love them, and be grateful for each and every amazing soul you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, as they are the ones who shape and influence your life. Today is just one day, but gratefulness can last the other 364 days of the year.

Who or what are you grateful for today?

Be Happier By Letting Go

 

Have you ever noticed how we are all in a perpetual state of chasing? Chasing after the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect apartment. Sometimes the chase is what motivates us, and sometimes the chase is what wears us down. The idea of “having it all” and striving for our definition of a perfect situation is not only unrealistic, it can be quite detrimental to our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

If there are key pillars in any job/situation (Job, relationships, apartment/home, family) there will always be something NOT ideal. You could have your dream job, a fantastic apartment with great friends, but no boyfriend to speak of. Or it’s having that amazing significant other and friends but stuck in a job you hate. When one aspect of your life seems to fall into place, another one seems to slip away. It’s maddening! If you also find yourself frustrated by this, here are some things to keep in mind:

Let Go of Disappointment.

Whenever we want everything in our life to be awesome, we inevitably feel disappointed when one part of our lives isn’t working out. Instead, pick something you CAN let go of. What is the one missing link you’re ok to do without? Or at least, ok with it not being 100% ideal. Accepting this will inevitably lead to a healthier perspective and possibly keep us from chasing our own shadow. Remember that disappointment is a self-inflicted wound.

Let Go of Perfection.

There’s no such thing as the “perfect life”, so we need to let go of this idea. Sure your job may not be saving lives, but does it afford you the opportunity to travel and spend time with friends and family? Perhaps not having a significant other could be frustrating, but at least you have the opportunity to deepen your relationships with your friends and enjoy your freedom. It’s more about focusing on what you do have and accepting that it’s ok not to have everything all at once. Life is a constant ebb and flow, and things will always find a way to balance out.

Let Go of Judgement.

Trying to seem like you “have everything together” isn’t about what you think of yourself. It’s a reaction to how you think others may perceive or judge you. You worry that others will think less of you, that you’re not smart/pretty/successful/rich enough. Here’s the brutal truth, nobody cares. Everyone else is so concerned about their own lives that the people that actually matter to your life WILL NOT JUDGE you. It doesn’t matter to them what car you drive, what your business card says, or what you look like — if you live genuinely and try your best to be a good person to the people around you — they don’t care your life isn’t “perfect”.

 

Next time you find yourself in an endless pursuit of the “perfect” anything, stop and take stock of what you can let go of for the sake of your sanity and happiness. Is this something you also struggle with? Any other perfectionists out there?

 

Life is a Sand Mandala

Years ago, I witnessed my first sand mandala ceremony. What exactly is a sand mandala? A Tibetan Buddhist tradition, sand mandalas involve painstakingly placing millions of colored sand grains into intricate geometric “paintings”. After spending days or weeks to complete the beautiful design, the monks deliberately destroy the mandala to meditate on the impermanence of life. Continue reading “Life is a Sand Mandala”

5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Happiness

When you think about “happiness,” what comes to mind? I used to think happiness meant feeling positive and successful all day every day, chasing a state of perpetual “happy” like it was the pinnacle of emotional achievement.  Unfortunately, this definition is too rigid and unrealistic to allow for those human moments when we feel less than excited about life, anxious, or worn down from the daily grind. I felt like I was lacking happiness when I didn’t feel constant euphoria, and the thought of not living the happiest and best life was a constant fear. However, I believe we all tell ourselves lies that prevent us from recognizing and honoring the happiness we DO possess in our lives. In today’s blog post, I discuss the 5 lies we tell ourselves about happiness and what we can all do to reframe what happiness means to us.

Continue reading “5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Happiness”

My Journey from Desk to Deck

I was pretty much as corporate as they come. I spent 10 years of my life working at global media agencies, advertising for major brands, managing multi-million dollar ad spends, and becoming the first head of marketing for a successful fitness start-up. Every summer in college, I interned for major ad agencies in Boston, and even competed against other schools in national advertising pitches (nerd alert!) You could say I was heavily committed to my marketing career. After graduating, I quickly found a job at a top media agency in NYC. Everything was going according to plan.

Continue reading “My Journey from Desk to Deck”