Happy and Wise Christmas

Christmas is a special time of the year to be with family and friends, remember  Jesus’ birth,  be kind to each other,  exchange presents, eat, dance, hug and laugh. This is the first Christmas in 13 years that I will not be with my kids. This is the bad side of a separation.  Anyway, I  will be with my kids on New Year’s Eve and we will celebrate a late Christmas. I will go to Church, volunteer, and take time to reflect about how to give more and become wiser (especially with my kids).

 

christmas.jpg

What to do if life doesn’t go the way you want?

What do you do if your life doesn’t go the way you want? You have 3 choices: 1) complain about it, suffer and make yourself miserable (probably in the way creating pain for others close to you), 2) acknowledge and accept the situation, or 3) if you can, do something about it.

I was talking yesterday by phone with Rocio, a very special soul, from Venezuela. Hearing how she takes life is inspirational. In the middle of a country that is passing through one of the toughest times I heard positive and laughter. I can see her smile shine in her face. Hearing her stories with her ex-husband and her attitude to not engage in discussion enforces in me the idea about avoiding fights that will not take anywhere.

Why do we like to complain and suffer?

When I was thinking about writing this blog earlier today, I heard two podcasts by Lewis Howes that helped me understand the root of the problem: 1) BioHacking with Dave Asprey, 2) Making the Equation for Happiness with Mo Gawdat.

Dave mentions three behaviors that every living thing needs to do to stay alive: run away from scary things, eat everything, and reproduce as much as possible. Suffering, as I see it, is a way to run away from reality, to run away to face the problem and not doing something about it.

Mo says that when our expectations are not met, the right brain signals disappointment and suffering is a response of that pain. Mo’s story about his approach to the death of his son is a great example of not getting stuck in the suffering but doing something positive about it. Mo wrote a book that is inspiring thousands and will probably inspire millions.

What can you do?

If you are disappointed about something, ask this question: Can I do something about it? If you can’t, then accept it and move on. If you can do something, then do something positive about it. Most of the times there is a lesson to be learned. Disappointments make us grow if we understand how to process the information.

In a bio-physical level, Dave provides hints about how to hack the mitochondria to make us better at responding to disappointments.  Some of them are: walk at least 20 minutes per day, get a cold few seconds shower, and push your body to the maximum at least once per week. Pushing the body might be interval sprinting or lifting weights. More about this in his book Head Strong.

In my conversation with Rocio, she told me that she was with my Mom when one of my aunts died. My Mom saw her family crying. She said: “please I don’t want anybody to cry when I die,  I want people to remember me happy and not be sad”. I like the idea of celebrating with good memories. Mo’s story is similar.  In the podcast he said his son’s funeral seemed more like a birthday celebration.

Today is also Easter Sunday, one of the happiest days for Christian followers. Suffering got converted into faith and joy. It has changed the life of billions. I just hope we can all learn to put the suffering on the past and decide to be happy.

Goals and daily affirmations with Evernote

The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, written first on 1937, explained the importance of dreaming and having faith in your desires to become rich. An important part of the process is to see your goals 2 or 3 times per day and repeat daily affirmations to engrane in your subconscious mind your desired dream. This will connect to infinite intelligence and open your creative thoughts to get what you want. The Secret Film is great movie to better understand the science behind it.

Most experts talk about how to materialize your goals in  vision boards in physical means like cork or poster boards or even small cards that can fit in a wallet. This blog will outline the technique that have been successful for me to make available goals and affimations in a digital world.

To be able to revise my goals and see my affirmation 2-3 times per day, I needed a digital mean. I travel and go to conference about 20% of my time and I work virtually mostly in coffee shops and shared office spaces. My requirements were as follows:

  • I wanted to be able to look ay my goals from my computer.
  • I wanted to able to look at my goals from my phone, even when there is no internet. I found out that when I’m flying I have the time to mediate about my goals but there is no wifi. Also, some places are still disconnected from the cellular grid (e.g. Shenandoah Valley in VA, where I had  great hike last year).
  • I wanted to be able to keep track of the different revisions of my set of goals.

Solution: Use  Evernote

I have being using  Evernote since 2008 to capture ideas, meeting notes, important receipts, wine labels, scan business cards, etc. It synchronizes almost on real time and you have access to your notes in all devices or via the web site. If you have only one goal note , Evernote will work great. For me, having one note helps me laser focus on a particular goal, that I can also combine with one affirmation.

Process:

  1. Create your goal with and affirmation as a note in Evernote.
  2. Create a shortcut based on that note. Here is a tutorial to create shortcuts.
  3. Put the shortcut on the top.
  4. Done.

This is how it looks in my mac:

evernote-1-note

 

This is how it looks in my iPhone:

evernote-1-note-iphone

Would love to hear is this works for you and if you have better ideas of how to put your goals and affirmations using other tools.

Here are some links about vision boards and affirmations: