How do you feel about being you? Be truthful with yourself, and think about how much you like yourself right this moment. In this article, I hope to shock you into a different frame of mind relative to your happiness and the quality of your life.
There are numerous things that gauge the level of satisfaction and happiness we milk out of living. This article focuses on one’s perception of self.
Most of us are in the middle of a long progression of the days of our lives. It feels like we have been around forever, and we have a long way to go before somebody puts us in a pine box.
We live each day reacting to the forces and challenges that hit us. Some days are good, and others are bad.
We are what we are because that is what we have chosen to be. Many people go through life being unhappy with themselves and blaming others or circumstances (like if I only had smaller ears).
We have such a short time on this planet, and it would be smart to be happy with ourselves first and foremost. I suppose plastic surgeons will be applauding that statement, thinking I am advocating that people reshape their physical configuration to be more “perfect.” The opposite is true. Just like Fred Rogers used to say to other people, “I like you just the way you are,” we need to say that to ourselves many times a day.
Nobody else has to wake up with you and be with you 100% of the time, so if you are not happy with yourself, the quality of your precious life is diminished. Who would be responsible for that? Hmmm… Let me think.
My observation of our lives in the grand scheme of the universe and the ages is that human beings are all like little worms. We have to go up only a few miles and look down through a telescope, and we can observe us all wiggling around all over the world as we move through our days.
We show up and wiggle around for a fleeting 80 or so years, and then we are gone. Eighty years in celestial time is hardly a blink. We’d better make sure we are enjoying our wiggles. The possessions that we covet, the money that we lust after make very little difference in the end. All that matters is
1) how much love we have generated,
2) how much of an impact we have managed to have on others, and
3) how much we have enjoyed our wiggle.
What are some of the things that contribute to enjoying the wiggle of life? Here are a few examples. (Note: this list is not exhaustive.)
Making a contribution: We all make contributions: both good and bad. If we have provided one shred of thought that has been recorded and provided value to other people, we have made a contribution. Two shreds counts for double that value, so provide many shreds of value to the advancement of society.
Finding honest love: If we feel deeply in our soul that we have loved the people in our lives, then we go to our grave reflecting on a life well lived. This, of course, includes family, but it also includes heroes, mentors, classmates, pets, friends, grocers, ducks, lamps, books, and any other person or thing that we truly love.
The most important person to love is yourself. You need to trust yourself as well because otherwise you cannot love yourself. Without self love, then you are living a sham of a life, going through the motions but not getting the zest out of your life experience.
Believing in an infinite power: Many people think of this as religion, but it really covers the entire realm of spiritual awareness.
I do not know about you, but I really do believe that something is guiding my steps at times, and it is not just me. There have been too many remarkable surprises handed to me in life for me to take credit for thinking them up or for them to be just random coincidences.
Whatever we call it, there is an Infinite Presence there somehow. As we make our way through life trusting in the rightness of our path and the guidance of our steps, it gives us the confidence to go through the valleys of life and the motivation to keep going when all seems lost.
This is another form of trust. It is trust that we are never on this journey alone. Recall the parable of two sets of footprints in the sand. One set was the person and the other was God’s. All of a sudden one set stopped and the other continued. The person asked God why he had abandoned him in his hour of need. God said, “Oh my precious child, the times when there was only one set of foot prints are the times I was carrying you.”
Click link to view Video – Story of a lost job that probably saved my life
Helping others: Whenever we give of ourselves to help another, we feel great about ourselves. That effort is a really good wiggle in our daily routine.
The help can come in any form, and the only criterion is that at that time we were thinking more about the other person’s situation than our own. The help could be financial, physical, emotional, or even comical.
This is also where we extend our trust to other people, and they invariably reflect that trust back to us, thus enhancing the relationship.
Making something: To create a thing of beauty, or even ugliness, since beauty is subject to interpretation, is a good wiggle. Some people are really good at this, like my father, who painted over 2000 fine watercolor paintings after the age of 55.
Some people create great food or fine woodwork. I tend to get jazzed when making stained glass art.
To shape the elements into a new configuration that has never been done is intrinsically rewarding. Most creations are not marketable, but they are physical evidence that we were around and wiggling happily.
When we create something, we are demonstrating trust in our own instincts to reconfigure one corner of the world in a way that has never been done before and that may have some value to others.
Teaching or mentoring: As we seek to impart some of our wisdom to other people, we give the gift of knowledge. It is a subset of helping others, but this one is special, because we target the help on an individual who benefits from it.
A person with great insight and knowledge who keeps it to himself really wastes his wiggle time. I think it is really difficult to mentor from the grave, although some people do believe strongly in doing it or receiving it, which is part of their own wiggle.
The protégé must trust that the mentor has the intent to teach what is in his or her best interest. Learning does not occur without some level of trust.
Appreciating what you experience: This attitude is all about not being numb to the beauty all around us every day. Seeing the small acts of kindness of one person toward another brings us joy. Marveling at the beauty of a flower, the taste of raspberry Jell-O®, or the Bach B Minor Mass can provide deep joy, but only if we are awake and paying attention.
Loving what you do: The ability to look at each day as an adventure into the possible instead of the drudgery of our current agony is what lifts us up. Hope is there when you enjoy your work and your play. There is a choice you make every day as you wiggle through it.
Those are just eight examples of how to make the most out of your 80-year wiggle. Who knows, you might beat the odds and wiggle until you are older than 100, or you might check out in your 20s.
You will notice the absence of wealth or possessions on my list, because I think those things dry up and blow away very quickly after we stop wiggling.
In the grand scheme of the world and the eons of time, the only thing that really matters is what you did with your opportunity to wiggle, not how big a pile of clutter you were able to generate.
Having many years to operate and be happy makes life seem like a long adventure, but if you talk to anyone in a nursing home, you will be told the same thing; the time went by so quickly.
Just like the Lyrics in the song “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney, “Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife. Don’t blink”
So, the trick is not to focus on enjoying your whole life, but making sure you approach each and every day recognizing it is the only day you have to make a difference.
If you manage each day correctly, then the years will go well. If you lose precious time wishing for a future windfall or living in the past, then the joy of living will escape. The only day any of us ever have is today. Every day matters.
Key Concepts in this article:
1. Life is shorter than we think.
2. We are in control of our own happiness and motivation.
3. We need to pay attention in order to enjoy life to the fullest.
4. Happiness is a frame of mind we can all enjoy.
Exercises that may be helpful to you:
1. Assess on a scale of 1-10 how much you are enjoying your wiggle today. Why did you give yourself this score?
2. Over the past few years, has your enjoyment in life increased or decreased? Why? In what ways can you increase your enjoyment in the future?
3. Write out a list of the three most important objectives you need to accomplish in the next 3 months to improve your personal satisfaction with your wiggle.
4. Start a journal about how you are enjoying your ride. Be honest with yourself (why lie?) and if not satisfied, then create a resolve to change the vector
5. Ask a loved one to describe how he or she sees you in terms of enjoying your wiggle. Reason: often we are not aware of how much we complain about our problems.