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!


Just Be Ordinary

Dedicated to Martin Luther King
an ordinary man who 
changed the world
Just Be Ordinary
Our society worships celebrity. It seems wherever we turn we are being told that we must be on TV to be exceptional. In reality, you are actually more interesting, meaningful,  and special than most celebrities. I know, because I’ve met, lived, and worked with them.
I worked for many years in the music business. I met famous people and even worked with a few ‘celebrities.’
Here’s what I learned about fame:
1. Authenticity is rare: Many famous people are very private and isolated. The reason is most people kowtow and kiss up to you. It’s hard to know if someone likes you or just likes your status.
2. Honesty is rare: Not many people will tell you how it is. They want to groom your ego. This may sound great. But people need honestyto develop trust and maintain sanity.
3. Deep satisfaction is rare: Fame is a game of comparison. There is always someone more famous. There is always a bigger tour. Even though they are catered to, very often ‘famous’ people aren’t happy. 
Whether or not someone is famous it’s their ability to be ordinary that sets them apart. By far the most amazing people I’ve ever met have been ordinary people first and last.
What does it mean to be ordinary?
 Being ordinary is about being human. Being ordinary is realizing that talent alone doesn’t make greatness. Being ordinary is a vital step on the path of transformation.
Being ordinary doesn’t mean resigning yourself to fate. It doesn’t mean giving up. Being ordinary means relying on your humanity.
What makes people like Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King amazing is how ordinary they were.
None of them were super human. They were ordinary people who were devoted, passionate, and wouldn’t give up.
Don’t Be Superman
Trying to be super human doesn’t work. Just look at Lance Armstrong, or Barry Bonds. What If they had accepted their lives and their abilities without enhancement?
 Would they would have been amazing figures of sport? Probably. Maybe not as amazing, but they would have achieved great things.
But instead they tried to be something more and ended up being something less.
Being ordinary is about embracing the everyday. It’s about affirming our life, just as it is.

 MindFitMove Practice

Embracing the ordinary is a skill. Here are 3 tips to help you be more exceptionally ordinary today:
1. Stop Comparing
We only get into trouble, when we compare ourselves with others. Ordinary life can seem disappointing compared with a semi-scripted television show. But ordinary life isextraordinary.
That’s one problem with comparison. When we compare, we always find ourselves lacking. When we compare we put others on a pedestal.
I would encourage everyone to stop comparing. Only compare if it motivates to go further. Just remember it usually does the opposite.
Run your race. Train the way you need to. Don’t worry about what that other person is doing at the gym. Focus on the work you have to do. Because only you can do it. 
2. Practice Satisfaction
 In the U.S. it seems like being dissatisfied is a pass time. We proclaim our preferences loudly and proudly. We complain, we sue, and we act offended.
We don’t have to do this. Instead, we can learn to be satisfied with less. When we learn to be satisfied, we learn to be content.
However, we have to practice satisfaction.
Try being satisfied with the substitute yoga teacher. Try being satisfied without your iPod on a run. Try being satisfied with your performance, even if it isn’t perfect.
3. Express Gratitude
Write down one thing you are grateful for everyday. Sit down with your partner, friend, or family member and tell them  why you are grateful for them in detail.
Say thank you to servers, bus drivers, and most importantly yourself.
Thank yourself for running, for doing your best to eat right, for trying something new, and for transforming your life.
These 3 simple things will change how you look at your life, how you feel about your life, and how you live your life.
Be amazingly ordinary, because it takes many ordinary people to change the world. It takes one ordinary person to transform their life. That ordinary person is you.