Looking to the future

So what does my future look like?  Most of the time I try to focus on being in the present.  Now I want to think about my future.  This is a difficult task.  I think about the future in big grand terms or general terms.  The focus on details is crucial and important.

Just like a business you can’t grow unless you have goals.  A business will have short and long-term goals.  Like a business you need personal short and long-term goals.  You need be forward-looking in life with direction to set these goals.  I saw this phrase on Facebook recently and it really resonated with me.

The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”

This is something I’ve heard many times in life.  I’ve heard various people say this and I’ve seen the results of it time after time.  The thing that it indicates normally is that the person/group/company doesn’t think outside the box.  They don’t thinking in what I would call solution based.  I’ve always been a big picture kind of guy myself.  Why or how did I get this way?  It sure wasn’t taught at home during my childhood.  Unless you count the times where as a family we had to make ends meet when we didn’t have much.  I guess that’s one way I learned it.

So what are some of the things I want?

Well there are the basics that everyone wants.

  1. Love
  2. Respect
  3. Money
  4. Home
  5. Retirement (sooner please rather than later)

I need to focus on how I get there.  Each person has a different idea of what this looks like. Now I’m trying to define this for myself.  The question is what do these things mean to me?  Respect is really vague.  So what does it mean?  That’s more about how you’re treated.  You have to ask for and demand it at times.  You don’t have to be rich, glamorous, tall, thin, have great hair or the whitest teeth to be respected.

I’m going to build a page to start putting down what I want.  I think this will help me quantifying or qualify what I want in the future.  I’ll be able to start with something generic and through refinement get to a more specific detail.  I can also use of some images to define what I want in life.

I keep telling myself it shouldn’t be that difficult. I feel like some of my items are superficial but I imagine if I had it then there would be something else.  Does that mean there are stages of desire?  I imagine that concept is pretty true.  There’s always stages in your life, right?

Leave a suggestion in the comments below.  What kind of tools do you think will help? How can I figure out what I truly want in the future?  Tell me about my bad grammar or just leave a polite supporting message.  It’s all good in the grand scheme of life.

I’m grateful for …

  1. I’m grateful for Susan letting me use her car so I can get to work and then later get to Orchestra rehearsal.
  2. I’m grateful that I got to go on a whale watching cruise this past weekend.
  3. I’m grateful that the weather is warming up.

I’m curious about …

  1. I’m curious about how to create passive income for future success.
  2. I’m curious about the effects of the drought here in California.
  3. I’m curious about what my future holds.

I’m surprised by …

  1. I’m surprised by how much I really want a car.
  2. I’m surprised by how close whales will get to the shore
  3. I’m surprised by how much my mind wonders.

Taking in the positive

Buddha QuoteSo I’m still reading ‘Just one thing’ by Rick Hanson and I’m working on integrating his practices into daily life.  You know I just read the second practice and there were some extremely important take aways.  For example if you’re going to try to do any personal development you need to fully invest yourself.  It’s funny how it makes complete sense when you think about it.  It’s no different than if you were going to learn to play an instrument or learn to program for computers.  If you’re going to do any anything involving learning you have to engage fully.  If you don’t invest you won’t fully learn or development the skills you’re working to achieve.

So the second practice is to ‘take in the good’ or focusing on the positive.  No big deal right?  Oy! I don’t think this is easy at all.  In reading this section in the book I find solace in the fact that this book is written from a scientific point of view.  Scientifically they have noted that we respond better to the negative influences in our life.  If you look at the development of humans we’ve learned to survive by avoiding the whatever it is that going to hurt us.  So by reading this you find that it’s not something to beat yourself up about.  It’s centuries of human development.

Take in the positive!  Every little positive thing that happens your day should be noted and you should praise yourself.  EVERY LITTLE THING!  Don’t let the negative voice pull you down and talk poorly about your achievements.  I read all my email today.  I responded to all my email today.  I wrote a blog post today.  Someone may say well that’s no big deal.  You can dismiss this kind of negative response. This is negative and NOT something to affect you.

So my task for this week is to focus on the positive in my life.  I can see how I don’t give myself credit for all those small things that I do/get done in a day.  You know it’s the whole “day in a life of” thing.  So no matter how small of an accomplishment it is I need to recognize it the accomplishment and celebrate it.  For example, yesterday I went on a 3 hour walking tour of restaurants, stopped to visit my fiends at Eye a, went to the grocery story, prepared some pasta sauce, went to dinner with Susan, did a load of laundry and relaxed for an hour at the end of the day.  That’s a lot going on in a single day.  I have to remember that I do as much or more than most people.

If you like mental imagery the way I’m going to start thinking about this is to picture myself with a kind of bubble around myself.  This bubble helps filter out garbage (negative thoughts).  While the bubble lets the positive through like water or air.  The positive thoughts should refresh you and make you feel warm.  I’ll close my eyes and feel the positive accomplishments warming my body.

This is going to be a great week.  I will focus on the positive.  I will let the positive warm my insides.  This feeling will not leave room for negative garbage.  The negative will just slide off like a fried egg from Teflon.  I will work to make this my truth.

If you had something you want to share or add please leave a comment below.  I am interested in hearing what others think.  I’m sure many people have been through something similar.

I’m grateful for:

  1. I’m grateful for the fun opportunities that I’m afforded here in San Francisco like the Mission restaurant tour that I took yesterday.
  2. I’m grateful for my boss who is a great person.
  3. I’m grateful that I am a good cook.

I’m curious about:

  1. The extinction of honey bees.
  2. What my friend Bob is doing today.
  3. Why people don’t try to change their lives like I have.

I’m surprised by:

  1. The science that I’m reading the book, Just One Thing.
  2. How many NPR stories deal with California.
  3. How I miss the steamy hot weather of New Orleans.

How do you treat your friends?

It was suggested that I read the book Just One Thing, developing a Buddha brain one simple practice at a time by Rick Hanson, PHD.  I read the first chapter today and wow does it hits home.  The main question out of the first chapter is “Do you treat yourself like you would treat a friend?”

Many of us don’t treat ourselves nearly as good as we would a friend or even a stranger.  Why don’t we do that for ourselves?  I know I’m guilty of treating others better than I treat myself.  I’ve been seeing this theme come up a lot though on places like Facebook.

I like the way the book’s chapters are laid out. It’s met to be kind of a workbook.  You can read and process as fast as you want or take it slow and digest each practice it talks about.  Each chapter states the practice like ‘Be For Yourself’.

The first part of the chapter talks about the practice in your standard self help fashion.  Then it talks about how to apply it in daily life.  It gives you general times and ways that it may apply in your daily life.  Then it tells you how you might apply the practice.

I would recommend the book to those who are looking to person growth and development.  I am finding the book easy to read and apply to my daily life.  It presents the practices in easy to understand terms.  Then gives you specific examples of how to apply the practice.  Check it out!

When you take good care of yourself, then you have more to offer others, form the people close to you to the whole wide world.

I’m grateful for …

  1. Catching up with old friends (Myron) that you run into at the grocery.
  2. Old friends (Diane) who are still in your life.
  3. Current friends who will always be in your life (Susan).

I’m curious about…

  1. Being self employed
  2. Living abroad
  3. How to manage my day better

I’m surprised by

  1. How I treat others better than I do myself.
  2. How it’s so foggy in June.
  3. How I can be hungry an hour after eating lunch.