One of the stories I can vividly remember my father telling me years back was related to his pride at managing his money in retirement. At the time, both my father and mother lived on their social security and some modest savings held in a 401k. Dad frequently bragged that he lived better, traveled more, and seemed to have more fun than many of his friends who retired with big homes and generous pensions. From my perspective, at least at the time, their lifestyle seemed more humble and restricted than I felt necessary. Yet now, less than 20 years later, I recognize that their simple and minimal lifestyle afforded them tremendous benefits that millions of other “hope-to-be-retirees” could learn from—including myself. [Read more…]
At the end of 2014 and just like last year, I thought it might be interesting to do a review of some of the things that occurred here on SMART Living 365. Lest you think this post is all about blogging and has little to do with you, please keep in mind that it is SMART for all of us to look back occasionally to see what we have faced and overcome, what we’d perhaps like to do differently, and how that might impact the future. So, with three and a half years of experience behind me, here are several things I learned and experienced during the past year. [Read more…]
The other day during my morning walk I was listening to a talk by Abraham-Hicks who is the author of The Law Of Attraction. I find that listening to talks while walking makes the time go quickly, and if I’m listening to something uplifting I start my day in a positive way. During that particular morning Abraham-Hicks was responding to a question from a young man who wanted to know why it was taking so long for his dreams to be realized. Like many people, he wanted to know if he was doing something wrong or if there was something he could do to make it happen faster. That’s when Abraham-Hicks asked the young man a question that made me stop, rewind my iPod and listen again. She asked, “Do you think any successful person is doing what they do just for the trophy? Or do you think they love the game?” When I heard those questions I knew it applied to most people, myself included, in more ways than we usually consider. [Read more…]
This year the Winter Solstice falls on Wednesday, December 21st, and Thom and I are invited to a celebration. I’m not sure what to expect but we’ve been asked to bring a vegetarian dish for the potluck and I’m guessing there will be candles involved. At first glance the experience might seem strange, but maybe it shouldn’t be. In a time when many of us excessively celebrate a old man in a red suit who flies through the air on a sled pulled by magical reindeers, maybe the solstice deserves more attention than we normally offer. In fact, when I thought about it, I came up with two good reasons all of us might consider celebrating it on a regular basis. [Read more…]
After spending the last 29 days thinking, reading, talking and writing about gratitude, I’m pleased to say that I’ve accomplished a big part of my Gratitude Challenge. I can now say that I’m definitely more grateful for every single thing—big and little—in my life. Similar to when you decide you want to buy a new car and suddenly, everywhere you look that same car pops into your view, I now see gratitude in all sorts of places that I never imagined before. It is my sincere hope and desire that each and every one of you reading this blog feels that your gratitude level has been heightened and improved as well. But just in case you still need a little gratitude pinch, this post will include a final thought on taking your gratitude even deeper, AND my first ever Blog Hop. [Read more…]
Back in our twenties, Thom and I wanted to be millionaires. TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? fueled the desire to amass our fortune. Then somewhere along the way someone really SMART asked Thom, “Why a millionaire?” and forced him to consider what he meant by that idea. For the first, time Thom began listing experiences and feelings that he hoped to achieve if and when he/we became millionaires. To which his friend said something like, “So it’s really the feelings and experiences you want—not the money itself?” From that moment forward, we began realizing that the labels of being rich, poor or somewhere in-between had little to do with the actual quality or experience of our lives. In fact, the things we thought most important could be realized with far less income than we ever imagined. That’s why through the years we’ve come to believe that “right-sizing” is a much better way to describe the unique and priceless lifestyle that brings you happiness, purpose and peace of mind regardless of your age. Once you have that clear picture of what brings you a happy and quality lifestyle, you can begin to figure out the second step of where money fits into your life. [Read more…]
As most of you know, a reoccurring question here on SMART Living 365 is, “how can we live a happy, healthy and meaningful life?” Another way of saying that is, “What makes a life go well?” I recently came across the work of a man named Dr. Nick Baylis who has spent his career in pursuit of that question. Baylis, a “wellbeing” consultant and psychologist, teaches at Cambridge University in the UK where he helped to co-found The Well-Being Institute. He is also the author of several books and is known as Dr. Feel Good in his column written for The Times (London). One of the first to lecture on the field of positive psychology in the UK, Baylis is convinced that the “science” of wellbeing is a practice of identifying and then utilizing the skills that lead to a life well-lived. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
In case you didn’t know, Thom and I have been real estate brokers for over 25 years. Never a good “salesperson,” I soon began writing about real estate rather than selling it. On the other hand, Thom specializes in investment and commercial properties with a big emphasis on properties that are “green” and sustainable. A recent aspect to the energy-efficient real estate industry is “smart technology” for buildings and now even cities. But even though there may be an advantage to such technology and focus—it leaves out a critical ingredient. In order for anything to be truly SMART—people and their motivations must be included in the equation. [Read more…]
After some thought I have decided to start every post on this blog in a way that reminds me–and any of you who might be reading along–that our goal is to live SMART 365. In other words “Happy SMART Day!” That means that every day we strive to live 1) Sustainably 2) Meaningful 3) Artfully 4) Responsibly, and 5) Thankfully. The combination of these qualities/actions will go a long way towards helping us to create not only a happy life, but a life that is helpful and good for everyone we touch. Obviously each category is a huge topic on its own, that’s why following posts will attempt to offer clarifications, ideas and suggestions about how we can introduce each of them into our lives. One of the best parts about them is that there is lots of room for individual interpretation so that my “SMART Living” could effectively look very different from your “SMART Living.” Yet at the same time we could both be living our very best life and helping to create a world that works for everyone else too. Meanwhile, please feel free to post comments and questions as we go along. I have never considered myself an expert about this or any other topic, but as a curious seeker I strive to make a habit of following paths that continually open doors and challenge me to reach higher than ever before. So join us and let’s get started with SMART Living 365!
Ta-Da!! This is my first official post. And while it is very tempting to hold off until I have the perfect thing to say, I think it is far better to just get started than obsess about whether it will be good enough, wise enough, cover enough, or even make sense. Maybe that is one of the first ideas that make SMART Living 365?
In other words, don’t put off doing something because you are worried about the end-product. I’ve provided a great example about how I can up with a thousand reasons not to make this first post. But every one of them is just a delay-tactic, thinking I could eventually create something so perfect that anyone who ever read it would think that I was #1 brilliant; #2 wise; #3 insanely creative; #a great writer; etc. etc…you get the idea right?