Have you ever heard the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” That great quote comes from former President Teddy Roosevelt. And I completely agree. But this week I realized that comparison is also a thief to feeling grateful—and without gratitude, how can we feel joy? Of course, like so many issues of awareness, this seems obvious. The key is to remember it on a daily basis. Because if you are anything like me, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing and comparing what others have or are doing—and then overlooking the good in my own life. Fortunately this week, two great examples popped up to drive this idea home. Even better perhaps, they happened to others rather than me. Ever notice how we can often catch behaviors in other people far more easily than in ourselves? [Read more…]
I doubt it is a surprise to many of you that one of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. But once the official day is over, it’s far too easy for us to let it slip away and get busy preparing for the slew of holidays to come. Making matters worse are all the retailers and advertising companies doing their best to sell us things for others and ourselves. That is why I decided this year to spend a little more time focusing on what Thanksgiving means to me on the day and week after. And what better way than by sharing the SMART words of many of my favorite writers and speakers?
With that in mind, here are ten quotes from my collection that I believe have the ability to help me the most.
My older sister Ann passed on this week and rather than make myself crazy with everything I am called to do, I decided to share a post I wrote many years ago instead. It was, and is, a simple and SMART reminder for us all.
This week Thom and I experienced a dramatic reminder of this truth—don’t take anyone for granted and share your love with those you love every single day. While most all of us would agree that this is an important part of SMART Living, everyone—me included, can use a reminder
Our “lesson” in this regard came this past Monday evening. There was nothing special about the day—nothing bad, but nothing amazingly wonderful either. We’d finished dinner and Thom was in the kitchen doing dishes. I could see that the sun had finally set so I knew it would be getting cooler outside. Our small mixed-terrier Kloe was watching me closely to see if it was time to go to the dog park before dark. But before we did, Thom decided to take the garbage out to the trash bins with Kloe trailing behind. [Read more…]
Happiness research by Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert teaches that most of us aren’t good at predicting how happy we will be in the future. Not only are our predictions based upon current feelings and events, they also flow out of our previous experiences—none of which necessarily explains what will happen, or how we will feel, far into the future. Instead, Gilbert recommends that we study and learn from those who are living the experience we say we want to mimic. Could it be that only the oldest of old living today can offer us clues about living a very long and happy life? That’s exactly what John Leland suggests in his new book, Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a year among the oldest old. For those of us who see a very long life as a gift we want to embrace, this book is a window into the wisdom of several elders with a great deal to teach.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~Thornton Wilder
I believe being grateful and thankful is a big part of a happy and SMART Life. In fact, in case you didn’t know it, the “T” in SMART stands for thankful. Because of that, during November for the last three years I have challenged myself, and any of you who are interested, to a monthly gratitude practice that I’m convinced will increase our awareness of its importance. If you are interested, here’s what I did for the 2012 Gratitude Challenge and the 2013 Gratitude Challenge. For this year, I have gravitated to the idea of several other bloggers here on the web promoting what they call TToT, or Ten Things of Thankful. Using their example, I intend to simply write out ten things for which I am grateful for each and every day for the entire month of November. [Read more…]