Shut Up and Be Happy

A happy baby, minduflness, learn to be happy, happiness, create happiness, happy fitness, mindful fitness, mindfitmoveCircumstantial
It’s easy to think happiness is circumstantial. If I only had the right partner, the right job, lived in the right city, or had the right diet and fitness plan, then I would be happy.

But as we live our lives, we find it’s hard to get things just right.

Maybe we get one part of our lives how we want it, but we can’t keep it that way. Or something else in our life gets out of wack instead. Or it’s doesn’t feel as good as we thought it would.

This is what the Buddha called the truth of suffering. But today we might better understood as the truth of dissatisfaction. Let me explain what I mean.

Choose Your Own Adventure
A few years ago, I was living in Nashville, Tennessee and I wasn’t happy. I felt like my life wasn’t going the way that I wanted. I needed to make a change.

I wanted to go on an adventure. I wanted to mix things up. So, I took out a map and plotted a long road trip to Portland, OR.

I had been to Portland only once before, and I loved it. It had a great music scene. There were mountains for skiing. And it was filled with cute hippie girls.

The Plan
I’d drive across the country and get to Portland just in time for winter. I’d get a job as a ski instructor. And while I worked as a ski bum, I’d look for a job in the music business.

Before I knew it I was on the road, camping, hiking, and loving it. I got to Portland and bagged a ski instructor job. Everything was going just as planned.

Only there was one problem. I wasn’t happy.

Mountains and Molehills
I planned to live on the mountain, but I soon realized I couldn’t do it. All the ski bums I met were obsessed with skiing. (Big surprise right?)

They would wake up, work on the slopes, and go skiing or boarding all day.
Then at night, they would come home, drink to excess and talk about skiing. They would watch skiing videos. They told stories about skiing.

Now I love skiing but seriously, there’s more to life. I remember thinking to myself, “Don’t you want to talk about politics, or literature, or even TV? “

My plan was going awry, but instead of realizing my error, I pushed ahead. I worked double time to find a gig in the music business.

I contacted everyone I knew. I met with dozens of people. And it worked. I got a small gig at a music venue.

I worked hard and when the house manager quit, I applied. I nailed the interview and got the job. I thought, ”It’s all working out after all. “

Except again, it wasn’t how I thought it would be.

The Working Life
The job was brutal. I worked over 70 hours a week. I had two bosses who gave me conflicting instructions and then criticized the results either way.

I was doing the job of three people. I was being paid half what I should. And I was constantly told I wasn’t meeting expectations.

Then I caught one of my bosses doing something super unethical. I didn’t know what to do. I confronted my boss and lost the job.

Again, my plan had unraveled before me.

A Come to Buddha Moment
But this time was different. I realized that the way I had been living was crazy.

I had made plan after plan. And it didn’t seem to matter whether the plan worked or not. At the end, I’d found myself right where I started.

For the first time I saw the problem in a new light. I kept looking for the right circumstances, but I couldn’t find them. I wondered, “What if I could never get them right?”

What if I was looking for happiness in the wrong place? What if what I needed wasn’t ‘out there’ at all?

This may seem obvious, but for me it was a revolution. I had heard things like this before, but I have never felt the truth of it. And wisdom doesn’t mean much unless you experience it directly.

Bone Warming Truth
When I really felt the truth in my bones, I knew I had to find something different. I had to find a happiness that wasn’t based on my circumstances.

Soon after, I discovered meditation and mindfulness practice and I haven’t looked back.

Do circumstances matter? Yes, of course, they do, but you can’t rely on them to make you happy. It’s up to you to find the path to living a deep and satisfying life.

MindFitMove Practice
Make a list of everything you think you need to be happy.
Then write down what you would need to feel and who you would need to be to find happiness where you are right now.
There’s nothing wrong with working on list one, but it’s the second list that creates lasting happiness

Let’s Talk: What truths have changed the way you look at the world?
I’d love to hear about it, comment below!


Do Stuff You Don’t Like

Do Stuff You Don’t LikePicture of Ship Wreck Door Hanger

I hate doing stuff I don’t like. I know BIG REVELATION, right?

I made a career out the pursuit of novelty and the art of avoiding challenges. I have a resume with over 30 jobs to prove it.
(Curious? I’ll list them all at the end of this post.)

My Life

Most of my life I have sought out the, illusive “cool job”

I always thought I was ahead of the game. I thought, “ If I’m willing to go anywhere to find happiness, I‘ll be happy.”

I would look around and find a cool job. I would purse it with vigor. I wouldn’t stop until I got it.

Once I got it, I would study it and break it down. I’d bask in the glory, because I had the coolest job in the world.

Damn You Impermanence
But, nothing lasts forever.

Inevitably, the novelty would wear off. Then I would be stuck in a job that was hard, that I didn’t care about, and that bored me to tears.

I went through this cycle repeatedly:
· Idea/Pursuit
· Acquisition
· Excitement/Love
· Stagnation
· Boredom/Frustration
· Abandonment

Eventually, I started to lose hope.

Maybe, there wasn’t a perfect job out there. Maybe, I didn’t have a calling in life. Maybe my life was pointless.

I kept looking for the perfect thing. Alas, the idea in my head never matched the reality on the ground.

One Important Thing
So, what did having all these jobs teach me?

No matter how many jobs you have, No matter how many times you change careers, you always have to do something you don’t like.

This lesson took me forever to learn. But, it taught me how I could work with doing things I don’t like.

This phrase is on a plaque in my childhood home. Translation? Quit your bellyaching!

This is the key to doing things we don’t like

As long as we bitch, moan, and complain about something, we can’t accept it. Complaining = Resisting, Resisting = Misery

When we accept:

  • We stop resisting.
  • We acknowledge a hard fact.
  • We set the intention to work with it.

I’m not suggesting you just give up and say, “OK, I’ll just keep the job I hate. Acceptance and discouraged surrender are not the same things.

Instead, we must accept that there will always be things we don’t like to do.

Great Wall

Border of Difficulty
Your border of difficulty lies at the edge of your resistance zone. Every time I do something that’s hard for me, my border of difficulty expands.

If I avoid what I don’t like my border of difficulty shrinks.

If I lived like this, by the time I’m my parent’s age I’ll be in a tiny box. My own resistance will surround me.

Choose Your Own Adventure
We have a choice. We can choose to resist and suffer and give into this cycle or we can choose to live our life.

We must embrace those hard things that make life better. We have to find what motivates us, when it’s no fun.

For me that thing is teaching, mindfulness, and fitness. Running my own business, I do things I don’t like all the time.

But I love working with people. I love helping people change their lives. So, for me it’s worth it.

MindFitMove Practice
Now it’s your turn.

Just answer this one question:

What makes or would make doing what you don’t like worth it?

Thanks for reading here is my job list (In reverse order):

  • 1. Founder of the Mindful Fitness Movement
  • 2. Political Phone Bank Manager
  • 3. Field Organizer for Political Campaign
  • 4. Enrichment Teacher At A Preschool
  • 5. Head of marketing at a Zen Monastery
  • 6. House Manager at a Mississippi Studios
  • 7. Ticket Taker Mississippi Studios
  • 8. Ski instructor at Timberline
  • 9. Merchandise Rep for Phil Vassar
  • 10. Merchandise Rep For Nashville Merch Company
  • 11.Business consultant
  • 12. Shipping Room Worker
  • 13. Stage Manager for the Gin Blossoms
  • 14. Guitar Tech For the Gin Blossoms
  • 15. Retail clerk,
  • 16. President of Indie Music Organization Start Up
  • 17. Manager of Artist Development Dist Company
  • 18. Rep for On Site Marketing firm
  • 19. Office Assistant
  • 20. Rep for Reggae Record Company
  • 21. Greenpeace Canvas Team Leader
  • 22. PIRG Canvasser
  • 23. Glass Art Salesman
  • 24. Paid High School Wrestling Coach
  • 25. White House Gift Shop Clerk
  • 26. Men’s Clothing Sales Rep
  • 27. Server at Joes Crab Shack
  • 28. Host At Romano’s Macaroni Grill
  • 29. Car Detailer
  • 30. Ran a Sumo Chicken Boxing Ring
  • 31. Baby sitter
  • 32. Bag Boy at Kroger