Be Happy (English and Japanese)

Be Happy Title

English only version here.

Be Happy Title

All of us want to be happy. But sometimes we lose hope, and it feels like the world and its problems are overwhelming. Being happy is easier and more simple than you realize. Here are a few pieces of advice to help guide you, so that you too can be happy.

幸せになりなさい。時には希望を失い世界中の問題に圧倒されるだろう。でも幸せになるという事は君達が思うより簡単でシンプルな事なんだ。君達も幸せになれ るように、ここで幸せになる手引きをしよう。

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, because it doesn’t last forever.

若いという事を楽しみなさい、それは永遠には続かないから。

Don’t waste your entire youth in cram schools and studying too much. School is important, but too much isn’t going to help you become a better person. Spend time learning about other people, falling in love for the first time, trying new things and exercising your creativity. There is more to learn in life than what you find in textbooks.

若くある時間すべてを塾や勉強だけに無駄にしてはいけない。学校は大切だ、でもそればかりが君達を良い人間にするわけではない。他人について学ぶために時間 を使いなさい、恋に落ちるために時間を使いなさい、新しい事を試み、想像力を働かせる事に時間を費やしなさい。人生にはテキストブックの中に書かれた事より 、より多くの事を学ばなくてはいけないから。

Don’t worry too much about what school you get into. Don’t buy into the illusion that attending one school makes you a better person than  someone attending a different school. It doesn’t. All people are born equal. The most important differences between us are in our actions; not DNA, not family, not wealth, not political influence or anything else. One school is only better than another if it does a better job of  helping you learn. Competing for status is an empty goal.

どの学校に進学するかについてあまり悩んではいけない。一つの学校に進学する事が他の学校に進学するより、良い人間になれるなんて幻想は信じてはいけない 。全ての人間は平等に生まれたのだから、一番大切なのは私達の起こす行動である。DNAではなく、家でもなく、お金でも政治の影響でもない。君達が学ぶ事を 助けるのが良い学校というものだ。ステータス競争は虚しいゴールでしかない。

Life and Indecision

Dream. Dreams are what challenge you and the world to have a better future.

夢を持ちなさい。夢が君達の挑戦を生み、世界により良い未来をつくる。

Don’t worry about the future. Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an math equation by chewing gum. It’s better to accept that the future is out of your control, but know that you can still work towards a better one.

将来を心配する事はない。心配は数式を解くためにガムを噛むくらい意味のない事だ。未来はコントロールできるものではないのだと、受け入れる方が良い。でも より良い未来の為に努力出来る事は知っておいた方がいい。

Sing.

歌いなさい。

Do one thing everyday that scares you. Maybe you’re afraid of speaking in public, or standing up to a bully, or just afraid of the dark. Fear can be conquered.

自分が恐れている事を毎日一つづつやってみること。君は人前で話す事を恐れているかもしれない、いじめっ子に立ち向かう事を恐れているかもしれないし、暗闇 を恐れているかもしれない。でも恐怖は乗り越える事ができる。

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are careless with yours.

他人の心を踏みにじってはいけない。君達の心を踏みにじる人たちに我慢してもいけない。

Don’t waste your time being jealous about what you think other people have; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, but in the end, it’s only with yourself.

他人が持っているものに嫉妬する事に時間を無駄にしてはいけない。時には君の方が先を歩いている事もあるし、時には君の方が後ろを歩いているかもしれない。 でもこのレースは長いし、最後には自分自身との競争なのだから。

Smile. As often as you possibly can.

できるだけ多く笑いなさい。

Hand with love script

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; compliment others, don’t insult them, even behind their backs.

人から受ける賛辞を覚えておきなさい。中傷は忘れる事。他人を褒めること、中傷をしてはいけない。たとえその人がその場にいないときであっても。

Don’t smoke. Smoking kills, and second-hand smoke kills friends, family and co-workers. Science and medicine have proven that.

タバコはやめなさい。体に悪いし、他の人にも悪い。それは科学的にも医学的にも既に証明されている。

Some people are selfish, some people are rude, but the first step towards more kindness in the world is to be kind to others first.

自分勝手な人もいるし、失礼な人もいるだろう。でも世界中の優しさの第一歩は他人に優しくなる事からはじまる。

You are not as fat as you imagine. In fact, you may be too thin. While you don’t want to be fat, being too thin is not sexy or healthy.

君が思うほど君は太ってはいないし、事実痩せ過ぎかもしれない。太りたくないと思っているけれど、痩せ過ぎは健康でも美しくもない。

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old income statements.

古いラブレターはとっておきなさい。収入証明書は捨てる事。

Be kind to your teeth. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

歯を大切にしなさい。なくなる頃には寂しく思うから。

Don’t be afraid to do something just because you’re not good at it. Everyone was just as bad at some point, and sometimes that can be a lot more fun. You will get better over time.

苦手な事をやってみる事を恐れてはいけない。みんな最初はうまくいかないものたのだから。時にはそれが楽しいときもあるし、時間がたてばうまくできるように なる。

Hug. 

抱きしめなさい。

Love couple romantic heart

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 40 and still confused, but if you don’t know, go out and try new things in order to find out.

自分が将来何をしたいかわからなくても心配することはない。16だろうが40だろうが年齢は関係ない。やりたい事がわからなければ新しい事をやってみればい い。

Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer to help others. They may be shy at first, but you never know just how much good you can do until you try.

他人を助ける事と、助けを求める事を恐れてはいけない。最初は恥ずかしいかもしれないけれど、やってみるまでそれがどれだけ良い結果を生むかわからないのだ から。

Drink milk, eat cheese, bok choy or even hot peppers, whatever you want, but get plenty of calcium for strong bones.

牛乳を飲みなさい、チーズを食べなさい、体菜か唐辛子を食べてもいい。食べたいものを食べればいい、でも強い骨を作るために沢山カルシウムをとりなさい。

There’s more to life than accepting someone else’s idea of what you should do with it. Find something you want to do passionately, something you believe in, that makes the world a better place, and gives your life meaning.

他人の理想を受け入れるよりも、もっと多くの事が人生にはある。情熱を持てる事を、自分が信じられる事を探しなさい。それが世界をより良い世界にし、人生に 意味を与えるから。

Exercise. It’s the most effective way to stay healthy, and be beautiful. Your body is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

運動をする事、それが健康と美に一番効果がある。君達自身の体は君達が持つ事のできる最高の楽器だから。

Fit couple piggy back

Finding the right person to share your life with means finding yourself first. Being alone is easy, but not being alone is easier than you think.

人生を分かち合いたいと思う人を見つけるという事は、まず自分を見つける事。一人になるのは簡単だけど、一人にならない事は君達が思うよりもっと簡単なこと 。

Dance.

踊りなさい。

Get to know your parents, they’ll be gone all too soon. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

親の事をもっと知りなさい。彼らは早すぎるくらい早くいなくなってしまう。兄弟には親切になりなさい、彼らは君達の過去への繋がりで、将来もずっと一緒にい るだろう人達だから。

Understand that friends come and go, but for a precious few you should work to hold on to. Do not underestimate how important they are to your life.

友達は出会っては去っていくもの、でも一握りの大切な友達を手放してはいけない。彼らの存在の大切さを決して侮ってはいけない。

Take vacations. Visit new places, eat new food, try new things. Spend quality time with your family. Doing these things will make your life richer in ways more important than making money can.

休みをとりなさい、新しい場所を訪れ、新しいものを食べ、新しい事をしなさい。家族と大切な時間を過ごしなさい。これらの事はお金を稼ぐよりもっと多くの裕 福さを生むだろう。

Travel. There are unlimited ways to live life. See how people in other places are living their lives. Experiment with the way you live yours.

旅をしなさい。人生には限りなく沢山の生き方がある。他の場所で生きる人達の生き方をみて、自分の人生をどう生きるか実験してみなさい。

Being different isn’t a bad thing. But as different as we are on the outside, we all share the same basic experiences and emotions. Despite differences in gender, culture, social standing, wealth, language and clothing, we are inherently united in ways far more important. Being different doesn’t make you less normal, it just makes you a different kind of normal and that’s ok. Identity doesn’t come from what other people tell you that you should be. You can be anything you want.

他人と違う事は悪い事ではない。外見が違っても同じ感情と経験を分かち合っているのだから。性の違いや文化、社会性、貧富の差、言語、服装の違いを省いても 、みんなもっと大切な形で結ばれている。他人と違う事は君達の普通性を欠く事にはならない、ただちがう種類の普通の人になるだけだ。個性とは他人に押し付け られた理想からくるのではない。自分がなりたい自分になればいい。

Scars are ok, even emotional ones. It means the wounds have healed and you’re ok now. Maybe a little wiser.

傷は悪いものじゃない、たとえそれが心の傷であっても。残った傷は、それが治った事と君達がもう大丈夫で、ほんの少し賢くもなった証。

World in hands

We’re beset on all sides from natural disasters, corrupt politicians, war, famine, disease, laziness, selfishness, greed and misery. The world is unpredictable, and no matter how much we try, we can’t hide from it,  even by living on an island. Life can be mean, but it isn’t about how hard life hits you. It’s about how much you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you experience and keep moving forward. That’s how we grow. That’s how winning is done.

私たちはいつだって天災や堕落した政治、戦争や飢え、病気や堕落や放漫、欲や惨めさなどの問題を抱えている。世界は予想のつかないものだ、どれだけ努力して も隠れる事はできない。人生は残酷になりえる。でも大切な事は人生がどれだけ残酷かではなく、君達がどれだけそれに耐え前進できるかだ。みんなそうやって成 長するし、勝利とはそういうものだ。

The world does not need weapons and conflict. We need schools and health care and art galleries. Putting the past behind us and working towards a closer, happier future with our neighbors is the best way to achieve world peace.

世界には武器も衝突も必要ない。必要とされているのは学校や健康保険や美術館だ。過去を置いて、仲間と一緒に幸せな未来へと努力する事が世界の平和への第一 歩だ。

Accept that certain things will always be true: economies fluctuate, the political system always needs improvement, you too will get old, and the world will change. None of these should stop you from fully living your life.

ある一定のものが変わらず事実である事を受け入れなさい。経済は変動し、政治のシステムはいつも改善が必要で、君達だって年をとるし世界は常に変化している 。でもこれらのどれをとっても君達が一生懸命生きる事を止める事はできない。

Never give up.

あきらめてはいけない。

Living in a democracy means we all have a voice. Using that voice isn’t a privilege, it’s our duty. Speaking out against injustice and corruption and bad government is the first step in making our country better.

民主社会に生きるという事は私たち一人一人が声を持つという事。これは特権ではなく、義務である。不正義や堕落、悪い政治に対して立ち上がるという事は国を 良くする第一歩である。

thing-called-love

We only have one planet to live on. We all share it and we all have an equal responsibility to help care for it. It’s the single most important thing you’ll ever pass on to your children.

私たちが住む事ができるのはたった一つの惑星だ。みんなが同等に責任があり、君達が自分たちの子供に譲る事のできる一番大切なものだ。

Be careful whose advice you take. There are plenty of parents and politicians, tv shows and newspapers that all want to tell you exactly what to do in life, but you don’t have to do exactly what they say. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. You are always free to decide for yourself.

誰の助言を信じるかに気をつけなさい。沢山の親や政治家、テレビや新聞が君に人生で何をすべきかを伝えたがる。それは時には正しい事もあるし、間違っている 事もある。君達には自分で決める自由がある。

Be careful which rules you follow. Don’t follow blindly. All rules should have a valid reason for being. If there is no valid reason for a rule, the rule should be changed or removed. Rules should be made to help us, not hinder. Sometimes they can do more harm than good. Learn to question rules and authority and make sure that these are in place for your benefit, not your detriment. Rules can be changed. You can change them.

どのルールに従うか気をつけなさい。盲目的に従ってはいけない。全てのルールには意味があるし、もし意味のないものであれば改善されるべきだ。ルールは私達 を守るためにあって、邪魔をするものではない。時にはそれは良い影響を及ぼし、時には悪い影響を与える。まず疑問を抱く事を学びなさい。ルールは変えられる 事ができるし、君達が変える事ができる。

Love. With all your heart. Never be afraid to show it, or tell someone how you feel.

愛しなさい、心の底から。自分の思いを伝える事を恐れてはいけない。

Life is a challenge. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it feels all too hard, but in the end, it’s always too short and we wish we did more with it in the time we had. Don’t waste your time. If you want to be happy, you can. All you have to do is try.

人生は挑戦だ。楽な時もあるし、つらい時もある。でも最後には人生は短く、時間があった時にもっと色々すればよかったと思うだろう。人生を無駄にしてはいけ ない。幸せになりたければなれる。やってみる事だ。

Smiling Happy face emoji emoticon

 

Download: PDF – Be Happy

We Need To Understand Christmas Better

by Timothy Baril

Happy Holidays Christmas village at night

Sometimes - in scripted text Christmas isn’t always the stuff of dreams. Sometimes it falls rather short of our hopes.

Santa and reindeer looking in window at a happy family

Maybe we’re without loved ones, or far from them this year. Maybe we’ve lost friends, or moved to a new city and don’t know anyone yet, or for whatever reason, just feel really alone this Christmas. Can you imagine what it’s like to wake up Christmas morning and have nothing under the tree? No one to share Christmas dinner with? It’s a heartbreaking feeling.

Lonely at Christmas in winter

Yet, not all Christmases were like this for us in the past. We know how good they can be, which is why, when a bad year comes around, it makes us appreciate just how good the holidays can be. A sad or lonely end to the year makes one reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s an understanding that’s lost to so many of us, a holiday we sometimes take for granted.

Christmas SucksI hate Christmas, grumpy cat

People often become too burned out from their daily lives, or overwhelmed by the demands of daily life which have nothing to do with Christmas. It’s easy for them to set aside this time of year and forget about it, or get negative about the holiday, especially when it gets too commercial. Or, we often just glaze over it, going through the motions without much reflection.

A lot of people grow out of childhood and think that Christmas loses it’s magic, it’s appeal.  It’s just not ‘fun’ anymore. They think, Christmas used to be all about the excitement of getting presents, but when you’re old enough to buy things for yourself, the magic fades. This is all tragic, because it all happens when we simply fail to understand why Christmas is really the best time of the year.

The - calligraphy text true meaning of the holiday season makes Christmas so special and enduring, universal and timeless; makes it something we should never forget. We need to pull ourselves back from the commercialization and shopping, set aside the bustle of daily life, and focus on something more important.

The meaning of Christmas is this: Christmas is about the Appreciation of Other People. Goodwill towards man; gestures of love and peace; presents and Christmas cards; charity donations; family gatherings; and Christmas parties – they’re all just a variety of different ways for us to say Thank You to each other. To say I Love You. The greater joy of the holiday comes from giving, not receiving.

Santa hugging little boy at Christmas at night.It’s saying, I just want to take a little time to show you how much you mean to me, and how much I appreciate you. I want to thank you for the time you’ve given me by taking a little of my time and giving back to you.

You know how hearing all that from other people makes us feel amazing inside? That’s how we can make everyone else feel! Isn’t that wonderful? What an amazing opportunity that is.

How do we give back? It might be by inviting people to a holiday event, and by accepting invitations to another’s event. Hosting, or attending, a Christmas party is a way of saying, I value you, and I want to spend the most precious time of the year with you. I want to celebrate our relationship, our friendship, our bonds, by being together at this special time.

Classic Christmas party art illustration of a couple with food and drinksNow, we might see each other many times throughout the year, but at Christmas, the entire spirit of the season’s gatherings and exchanges are not just about having fun, or getting drunk or the food, or the games or any peripheral things. It’s foremost about people and relationships. It’s about giving of ourself.

People in calligraphy text often go shopping at Christmas like it’s some kind of chore. Or, recently, it’s become the fashion not to shop at all, not to give presents to very many friends or to donate to charities. People latch on to some excuse about not wanting to buy into the commercialism or they hate the crowds but that’s not really true, is it? It’s laziness. It’s a failure to properly value each other. It’s the very reason Christmas was created, and is needed – to battle very hopelessness and depression and negativity that routinely builds up inside us.

Wrapped Christmas gifts and presents under the tree.A present is not just a present. When we give someone a present, it’s more than just picking some random thing up at the store, and going through the motions of a traditional exchange of things, this time with wrapping paper over them. A present has meaning. Do not give it lightly! It’s a symbol of our respect, friendship, family bonds, love and affection. We could write on the face of it: “Here, I thought of you, and I wanted to make you happy. I hope this present does just that. I hope it gives you a smile, or makes your life just a little easier, or a little nicer. I appreciate you.”

The more someone means to us, perhaps the bigger or more expensive the gift, or, better, the more thoughtful. We can spend a fortune on the biggest, most expensive gift, but if doesn’t say anything about our relationship, or does nothing to make the recipient happy, it’s a waste.

Let’s take a moment to think about our choices this year. Think about each one of our friends and family. Are we planning to get each one a gift? If so – great! If not, why? Don’t we appreciate them being in our life? Will we show our gratitude another way? Will we invite them to spend time with us? Will we plan something together? Will we call them up for no more reason than to say thank you and Merry Christmas? Snow covered pine spruce tree in winter at Christmas.

Or are we not planning to make a special effort for the people in our life this year? Why? Are they not worth it? Not good people? Then why are they in our life? Or, what does it say about us that we aren’t the type of person to give back to those who have given of themselves to us? What type of person are we that we don’t give first, but wait for others to give something to us before we respond? Let’s think about how we’ve been this year and ask ourselves, is this who we want to be? Are we being good family, a good spouse, lover, or friend?

So many gifts are a waste. When people say “It’s the thought that counts.” they’re right. We love being thought about. We love that someone cared enough about us to put thought into a gift, put their love and energy and time into it. They only do that when they value us, and we love being valued.

It’s very easy for a lot of people to give gifts without putting any thought into it at all, and these gifts are a waste. And, it’s becoming increasingly common to not give a gift at all. Either we’re giving gifts to the wrong people, or we must be pretty hollow individuals if there’s no one we really value in our lives. How heartless we are! How unappreciative of everything that people do for us. Why, we don’t even realize what they’re doing for us. We’re taking them for granted. Admit it, we’re all guilty of taking a few of the people in our lives for granted.

Putting thought into a gift means putting thought into a relationship. Selecting a present is a time to reflect on how good of a friend or family member we’ve been to others, how good of one they have been to us, and all the good ways we’ve been there for each other over the year. How many laughs have we shared, how many times have we used each other’s shoulders as support or to cry on? Were we there for each other’s birthday’s, for a wedding, the birth of a child? How many heartfelt compliments were exchanged, how many deep conversations, how many hugs and handshakes? All that reflection, on ourselves and on them and our relationships, goes into each present. That’s what makes a present so special. That’s why we should be overflowing with desire to give them, and why we should be moved and humbled to receive them. Opening Christmas gift present and experiencing magic

It’s not always financially possible to buy presents for everyone we want to, or ought to. Though it’s become out of fashion, it’s perfectly acceptable to make a present as well. Bake some cookies, draw a picture, make a song. If we’ve got a talent, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but using it to say Merry Christmas as a gift to another is touching and charming. Put something of ourself into our gifts, for that’s what people really want.

Christmas cards hanging on a string on the wallIt’s also perfectly nice to send a holiday card. Be careful it’s not another empty gesture, though. Just signing a name to a mass produced product is a waste, and shows no thought. A few honest, caring words, some specific details about our relationship in the past year, a desire to spend the future with that person, these show far deeper meaning. A card like that shows someone that they have value in our life.

Time in calligraphy text is the only true currency. Money and things are nothing more than physical representations of our time. Our time is very limited, and the only thing that’s truly priceless. How we spend it says so much about how much we value and appreciate each other. Be it in the form of giving a present; writing a card; singing a song; hosting a party; attending a dinner; traveling a long distance to be together; giving up something else to be with someone; or any other sacrifice or choice, these are all, in their most basic expression, gifts of time. How much time is spent on someone is the only true expression of our appreciation for their value and worth. It says as much about us, as it does about whom we give it to. A person who gives nothing does not appreciate anything. A person who gives everything, must truly have the warmest of hearts. What kind of person are we?

When we raise our children, we know how important it is to praise them when they do good. The older we get, the more that practice seems to disappear from our lives. We’ve developed work cultures that tell us not to expect praise, and that a salary should be enough for us. We take family for granted. We often don’t work to give back to our friends because in such a busy, increasingly connected world, an exciting new friendship is just around the corner, so we don’t make effort to maintain the ones we have.

Sexy Santa girls in Christmas costume with presentsYet, as adults, we’re just as busy making choices and learning and growing as when we were kids. We had parents and teachers to give us feedback then, and it gave us confidence and strength, affirmed us as good people, and this, in turn, breeds compassion and more growth. Maybe we forget, but we need all that praise and feedback just as much when we are adults. And just as importantly, it’s now our turn to start giving that feedback to others. Christmas is a time set aside for just that purpose.

We forget to show appreciation, or affirm the goodness of others, for much of the year. Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, these are all small events when we should be giving back to each other. Christmas, however, is a wonderful time of year that lasts not a single day, but weeks. We shouldn’t complain that the Christmas season seems to start right on the heels of Halloween or Thanksgiving’s passing. We should be grateful for whatever excuse has extended the most compassionate time of the year for an even longer period. Just like the lyrics in so many songs, wishing for Christmas every day of the year.

Christmas is a magical time where we’ve all agreed that at this time we need to set aside everything else in life and really focus on what’s most important to us – each other. It’s a time for sitting down with family and saying “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me this past year!”Adorable and cute snowman couple at Christmas

For taking a friend by the hand and saying “Hey! You’re a great person. I believe in you. The way you do this and that is really special, and thank you for this, and I’m so sorry that happened to you but don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith in yourself, and let’s do our best to spend more time together in the future.”

Two happy little girls children hugging and smilingIt’s a time when we can walk up to each other and we don’t have to be shy or embarrassed or afraid to say “Here I am! I love you. I’m here for you. Lean on me. Ask me for help. I’m here – just here for you – whenever you need me.”

It’s a time of year when we take our partner’s hand and it’s not as much about romance and lust as other lover’s days are, it’s about all the times we were there to support each other and be a team and communicate and share life, to share time.

 

One in calligraphy scriptof the worst feelings we can have is to feel alone. And we can feel like that all the time. Even with a family, we might feel like they just don’t understand us, or argue too much with us. Even with a partner we can feel like a distance has grown between us and at the end of the day it’s just us against the world after all. That feeling can be a hundred times worse after a breakup. Even with friends it might feel like they never call, never invite us to anything, never make time for us, never come to our events, never buy us gifts, never seem to value us at all. We show up at the same parties, we hang out and watch movies together, but in the end, when push comes to shove and things get hard, or at the moments of our lives when we really need others, or moments are really special to us, it feels like no one is really there.

 

Lonely girl at Christmas art illustration from DeviantArtLife is busy. Really busy. And it’s not getting any less so. We work too much, we allow ourselves to take on too many obligations we don’t really want. We split ourselves up between too many casual friends and acquaintances, so we neglect to spend the right amount of time with the people who are closest to us, or should be. The people who give us the most, who help us grow the most, who make us happiest, we ignore in favour of some other distraction. We spread ourselves out with TV and cell phones and the internet, thinking we’re being social, but neglecting face time with each other. We get so excited about meeting someone new that we forget to appreciate those who we’ve shared so many good memories with already. Meeting new people can be a good learning process, but maintaining old relationships is a life affirming process.

Relationships are so important. They take away that loneliness we’re so prone to. They help give us confidence and self respect. Having friends and family let’s us know that there are others similar to us, or who approve of us, and by extension, that means we’re good people. It’s social confirmation that we’re making the right choices in life, at least more often than we’re making mistakes. It’s confirmation that we’ve got a good heart, that we’re valuable to other people. It’s confirmation that our lives have real meaning, beyond our own selfish desires and personal achievements. It shows that we’re creating value in the lives of other people.

Beautiful Christmas tree at night with lights under snow

The sheer number of people we know, or who casually call us friend, isn’t important. We can have a thousand people around us all the time, be a real social butterfly, but in the end, these relationships aren’t going to give our life meaning, and aren’t going to really affirm us as a person. It’s having long lasting, deep relationships, relationships we work to maintain, people we put effort and time into. These relationships are what really reflect on us as a person. By going out and showing our appreciation for others, it’s a way of saying, “Hey, the world is a better place because of you, and how you’re living your life, and I hope you keeping on being a part of my world for a long time to come.” That very expression will brighten the lives of everyone we touch. That is what makes the world a truly better place.

Having a tight circle of friends and family that really understand us, that we choose spend a lot of time with, and who choose us back, this really tells us what kind of person we are. And Christmas is the time of year when we set aside everything else that might have managed to get in the way the rest of the year, when we go out of our way to be together with those people, and show them all the love and appreciation that’s bursting in our hearts to give, and all that they deserve to receive.

Happy mother showing Christmas ball  to baby near Christmas tree

Don’t we want certain people to know just how lovable they are, how cute and funny, how cherished, how supportive, how cheerful, how amazing they’ve been this year? Don’t we want to reach down to those mired in sadness, loneliness or depression and raise them up by reminding them of how good they really are, and that we want them in our lives? Or how good they could be if they didn’t give up on themselves? Don’t we want to put smiles on face, joy in hearts?

Appreciation breeds humility and compassion and love in ourselves and others. Don’t we want to be a source of all that? Don’t we want to help encourage that in the people who matter most to us? Don’t we want to feel just a little bit like Santa for a while?

Cool Santa Claus at Christmas with sleigh and bag of presents
Art by Genzoman.

What more meaningful way could we possibly spend our time than to do all that for someone we like?

This in calligraphy script year, and every year after, when the holiday season is once again upon us, let’s remind ourselves of the true spirit of Christmas, and think about who means the most to us, and why. Then let’s go out and tell them, or far better yet – show them. Appreciation is so much more meaningful when shown with actions, not just words. Let’s celebrate with them, exchange presents, write cards, raise a glass, share a meal. Let’s take some of our time and give it to them. When we have given all of ourselves and more, then we’ll have become, to them, the kind of person we want in our own lives.

That is the magic of Christmas. That is what makes the world a better place.

Merry Christmas writing

(This article treats Christmas as a non-religious, universal, inclusive event.)

Timothy Baril - Believe in yourself - believe in others

This Is Why I Need You

Romantic love couple

Love & Romance Couple in Water

This is why I need you.

Every day I try to be the best person I can be. The reason I do that, is you.

I want to help you become the happiest, most successful person you can be. So I share my knowledge, look for ways to make you smile and laugh, and appreciate the many wonderful things about you, all the time.

Every day I work to become stronger, tougher, and wiser than before. So I can become better for you. So I can make the world a better place for you.

But I’m human and being all that, every day, can be a challenge. Because life isn’t easy. It wears at us. Sometimes it gets mean and beats us down and kicks dirt in our face. It gets hard to stand up and be ourselves. Sometimes, we just get tired.

I’m just like you. I get lonely. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I have bad days and stressful days. Sick days and ugly days. There are times when I feel like everyone hates me, and times when I hate myself.

Some days I look in the mirror and I see nothing but wrinkles, features that are too big, and eyes that are such a boring colour. And I wonder where all this fat came from.

There are evenings I’ll sit by the phone and watch it refuse to ring all night long. And I wonder why no one wants me around.

There are days when I’ll look at my work, my chores, my art, my life and I’ll feel like a total failure. I won’t feel good enough.

And I’ll feel that way even though some part of me knows none of it is true. Six days out of seven maybe I do have faith in myself but on this day that faith is gone and self doubt gnaws on my heart until it’s only chewed ruins, bleeding hope.

That’s why I need you.

Love & Friendship & Relationships

I don’t mean need like a baby needs a parent, I’m not dependent on you. I can stand on my own. But I do need you like a teammate, a partner, because I’m interdependent with you. Alone I can survive even the worst of things. But life can be so much better than just scraping by. If you have someone to share it with.

I need your smile to help raise my own. I need your laughter to give me something to cheer about. I need your enthusiasm and your energy to brighten my spirits. I need your compliments to bolster my self esteem, your caring words to heal my wounds. I need your beauty to make me excited about the world.

I need you to ask about my day, to ask about my feelings, the way I ask about yours. I need you to want to spend time with me, the way I want to spend time with you. I need you to just call me for no reason and be silly with me and invite me to dinner and ask me to build something or make something or design something for you just because you know I can and it gives me a chance to prove myself to you, prove what I can do, prove who I am. Because when you do that, I don’t feel like a loser or a failure, I feel like a good person.

I believe in you. And I need you to believe in me, because it reminds me to believe in myself.

I like being needed by you. It gives my life purpose and meaning. I feel like I have value. I want you to know that for all the wonderful ways you choose to share our time, I value you too. You’re important to me.

Life is a whole lot better when you’re in it with me.

This is why I need you.

Romantic love couple

My 6

My 6 notepad

In following with The 6 People I Believe In idea, these are My 6:

my6

Philip

You’ve grown up to become a really solid guy. You’ve grown stronger. Now you’ve got a wife and four kids who love you dearly and want to share your life with you. You’re fantastic about supporting your wife’s dream. Mom thinks the world of you and Gary and I both want you in our lives. That’s all pretty awesome. I do see cracks in you, waiting to be healed, waiting for you to become more your own person. I can see our old man in your body language, your speech patterns, the way you deal with things. I know because I saw it in him, and I saw them in myself before I tried to get rid of them. Right now we see things differently in his regard, and I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to speak about it yet, but know that I would love to sit down and just talk, anytime. Whatever the old man’s faults, mistakes, and weakness of character, I firmly believe that you do not have to repeat any of that. You are fully capable of being your own person and a complete success. Like all children, you are capable of surpassing the previous generation. If you continue to open yourself up and grow emotionally, challenge yourself with new ideas and deeds, you will continue to evolve and become a husband and parent that your family is proud of for the rest of your life. I believe in you.

♥ ♥ ♥

Gary

You are such a great guy, and you don’t even know it! You’re smarter than you think. You’ve got a great sense of humour. You’re honest, polite, considerate of others. If you took a chance to open yourself up and let other people in, I know you’d make some girl really happy. I have no doubt about that. You can take chances, let people get closer, just be yourself and people will show you how much they like you. I sincerely hope that you make your dream to go around the world a reality. It will change you for the better like nothing else. I believe in you.

♥ ♥ ♥

Tomomi

My words are not good enough to fully express how wonderful you are. My words seem so inadequate when I want to say how much you are worth the deepest trust and respect. You’re an angel, inside and out. So honest, so loving.  You’re the kind of woman that other girls should try to become. You’re a truly valued friend. You’re an amazing partner, and I have no doubt that you’ll be the most happy, loving and skilled mother. I’ve seen you make the most extraordinary dreams come true. I have seen you fight through the toughest times. You are stronger than you know. You are braver too. I can’t wait to see your next dream become reality. I believe in you. Always have, always will.

♥ ♥ ♥

Jeff

I understand your heartbreak, my friend. I wouldn’t have wished what you’ve gone through on anyone. That said, I have seen you grow more from this experience than I saw for a long time before it. You have gained humility. You have gained perspective and wisdom. You have learned the value of precious things. I have no doubt that this has made you a better person. I would even go so far as to say that you needed this. That this growth will make you a better parent, and a better partner in the future. You can fall in love again. You can heal, you rise up and you can become vulnerable with someone else. You are capable of sharing your life again with another person, and you can have happiness again. You will make her happy too. You’re a great guy. You know the value of people. You know what’s important in a relationship. Please, don’t punish yourself, don’t hide away any longer. Your friends really miss you. And there’s a beautiful woman out there waiting to meet you, she just needs the chance. You’re ready to take back your life. I believe in you.

♥ ♥ ♥

Seamus

I have never looked at anyone else and seen so much of myself. And yet, I look up to you in many ways. You’re funny. You’ve got the ability to charm an entire room and you often do. You’re open minded, wicked smart, wise, athletic. You have the heart of a lion, and are as fearless as anyone I’ve ever met. You’re a model of virtue. You’re who other men aspire to become. Maybe you have yet to find your calling, your voice, and turn that passion into a career. But I have rarely seen anyone with as much raw potential and skills just waiting to be unleashed. I simply cannot imagine you ever being knocked down permanently in life. You’re a self-made champion, strong as an ox. When you find the ring you want to fight in, you’re going to succeed. No, you’re going to do more than that. You’ll thrive. I can’t wait to see where you take your future. I believe in you.

♥ ♥ ♥

Yuri

You and I understand each other so well. When I look at you I see the person I once once. The one who didn’t believe in himself, with a hard family life, with heartbreak. But I have seen the real you too, and she’s not so far away. You’re not the delicate flower that you think you are. Just under the surface there is a brilliant, vivacious, elegant, fun, happy girl. When you let her out, she is a vision of loveliness. She is in control, she is resilient and strong, she is powerful. Only your self doubt stands in the way of you becoming all that you dream of, all that you already are and don’t even realize. You have survived so many things in life. You have learned so much. You are completely capable of standing on your own, being a partner to have pride in. Immense pride! Any man would feel like a king walking into a crowded room with you on his arm. We see these things about you. We all do. All your friends. It’s incredibly obvious to us. Take a chance. Change your life. You can see it to. I promise. I believe in you.

♥ ♥ ♥

My 6 Friends with Dreams here.

TB-com

100 Ways To Improve Ourselves (and Inspire Others)

You are worth it - woman jumping for joy

by Timothy Baril

You are worth it - woman jumping for joy

Life is an adventure in which we never stop growing. Well, we shouldn’t, but unfortunately, a lot of people do stop growing, or at least slow down considerably.

Many of us get the wrong idea that the only time we really develop is in our school years, and the first short period of becoming ‘grown up’ in our early twenties. We spend almost the first two decades of life sheltered and forced to sit in front of chalkboards and TVs, taking in all sorts of information about the world and people, but getting little chance to see life itself in action. Once we hit some arbitrary age of majority, 18 or 21, we are finally rubber stamped with adult status and think the hard part is over. Enough hitting the books, it’s time to go put that stuff we learned into practice.

These are the fun years of early adulthood. The glory days when we’ll do things that we’ll turn into stories we tell over and over again until we’re old and gray. College/university, our first jobs, our first forays into identity and sexuality. We drink too much, dream big, break the rules and for the first time we really get to enjoy life on our terms. It’s a time when we make mistakes and not only forgive ourselves for them, but relish those blunders and laugh along with our friends over them.

What’s all this mess really about? Real Learning. It’s the experimentation and collection of real hands-on data that throws half of what we were spoon-fed in school out the window, verifies the other half, and provides us with knowledge that is actually useful. It’s the first time we shake hands with ‘reality’. And it’s a good period. For those of us who make the most of it, we really flesh out as people and start to gain our own strength and wisdom.

But after a few years, it’s time for ‘careers’ and ‘families’. Time to ‘get serious’. We settle into routines which quickly develop into dry ruts. We don’t try so many new things any more. We don’t challenge ourselves to see what we’re made of because we’re too busy being frightened of losing the jobs we so desperately need in order to maintain respect from our peers, for our status, for putting food on the table for our loved ones, for paying all the gigantic bills we’ve accumulated. Life becomes the ‘daily grind’. “Sorry, too busy with my head down getting the routine done. Don’t have time to think about what I’m doing or why.”

Learning slows down, even stops. We’re not creating the catalysts for real improvement because not enough changes in our lives. Sure, having a family presents challenges and spurs growth. But it’s not enough. We’re missing out on so many opportunities that could not only benefit ourselves, but which we could also reinvest in our marriage and children. There’s no limit to how strong and wise we can become, and no limit to how beneficial that is for everyone. But, sadly, because we don’t stop to think about what’s going on, we’re missing out.

For many people, the years are now going to start drifting by. And the older we get, the faster time flies. Where did those last five years go? How did I gain ten kilos? When did my kids start being old enough to date? Since when did hair start growing HERE? What do you mean I need to start wearing diapers again? I thought I was done with those forever!

We’re blindsided. Because we put ourselves on autopilot and stopped being in charge of how we’re living. The danger in doing that is that being on autopilot means we’re only going forward at the same level, the same speed, the same direction. We’re not growing. Without course corrections, we’re at the mercy of the winds and without realizing it, we may have plotted ourselves on course to crash and we won’t realize it until tragedy happens. Until the divorce hits. Until the heart attack. Until our kids have not only stopped loving us, but now won’t even speak to us.

Garfield - i need my coffee - grumpy cat in the morning

Until we realize there’s not a single delicious drop of coffee left in the whole house and now how the hell are we going to make our desperately needed morning caffeine in order to keep from becoming a total brain-dead zombie for the next four hours. What are we going to do now? What if we filter the empty packaging? Is chewing on yesterday’s grinds too desperate? If only we’d been more proactive, this murder-inducing coffee shortage never would have happened. “If I show up on the evening news tonight for whatever reason, it’s not my fault. The lack of coffee made me do it!”

Autopilot means we’re not working towards our potential. We’re not being the best example we can be to our peers and families. When people see us on autopilot, not getting around to reducing our cholesterol, not getting around to painting the house, not getting around to learning how to communicate emotionally with our spouse, then they learn to be the same way. Human-monkey see, human-monkey do. That’s how culture happens. Culture is defined as the decisions we all generally make in our group. And right now, a lot of us are encouraging a culture of living on autopilot, cruising along well below our potential, and missing out on all kinds of benefits. How long until we all have a collective heart attack? How long until we’re all pulling yesterday’s coffee out of the trash, giving it a cursory rinse in the sink and then running it through the coffee machine again, hoping the grounds haven’t absorbed the myriad of week old decomposing flavours from the garbage?

Look in the mirror. Wouldn’t it be great to feel less shitty sometimes? Wouldn’t it be nice like to look younger? To feel more energetic? To feel happier? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a better relationship with our spouse, our kids, our friends, our coworkers? Wouldn’t it be awesome if people looked at us with happy wonder in their eyes and said “You’re my hero (heroine).” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go through life feeling like a sex god/dess, be a bastion of wisdom for others to call on, and feel like an appreciated pillar of society?

superhero silhouette with cape

You can. We all can. Because who we are is a result of the decisions we make. Who we are can always be improved. It’s up to us. We have the power. Not the power of Grayskull, but the power of choice. No one else can force us to become anything. It doesn’t matter how boring or bad we’ve been in the past, the past doesn’t determine our future. The future is an open book and we’re the authors. We can write ourselves to become as great as we want. Our identity is a matter of our own choices.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Self improvement isn’t as difficult as it might feel sometimes.

Step 1 – Want to improve.

Step 2 – Believe improvement is possible for ourself.

Step 3 – Take action. Learn about the choices we make, and learn if better choices are possible.

Step 4 – Make better decisions based on our research.

Step 5 – Celebrate, review and move on.

This is an ongoing process that never stops, and the more we invest into it, the greater the results. It’s the same thing we did become adults for the first time and it’s a process we should consciously focus on for a lifetime. The rewards are a better us, and a better society.

So, to help, here’s a list of 100 ways to improve. No need to tackle them all at once. Bookmark the list for future reference. Pick out the ones that seem easiest and the most practical to take care of first. As these become good habits, pick new things out of the list and try those too. Don’t forget to ‘sharpen the saw’ by going back periodically to check that we’re still making the improvements we tried earlier. That’s the course correction we need to stay on track even when life tries to push us off course.

For an excellent book to help us improve our life and see things in a better way, read [amazon text=Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of High Effective People&asin=B00GOZV3TM]. It’s brilliant.

[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B00GOZV3TM]

Self examination focus on me with magnifying glass

100 Ways To Improve Ourselves

(and Inspire Others)

      1. Get enough sleep. Sleep flushes toxins from our brain and dreams are the result of processing information into long term memory.
      2. Drink a lot of water. Hydration helps the body work more effectively. This also helps with maintaining a healthy weight.
      3. Eat vegetables. Lots and lots. We can eat as many as we want. But we have to get a variety for best results.
      4. Read. Everything we can. But seek out authors who produce wiser words. Reading is exercise for the brain.
      5. Do math. Numeracy helps prevent the brain from manipulation, which means all those ads we see do us less harm.
      6. Smile often. When the brain registers a smile on our face, it actually releases chemicals that improve our mood.
      7. Touch others. Shake hands, hug, put an arm around someone’s shoulder. Touch reinforces trust. Don’t be shy.
      8. Get active. Regularly. We may have to start out small if we’re in bad shape, but we should always be challenging ourselves. Regular exercise is the single best way to maintain good health. It reduces illness, prevents injury while allowing more activity, keeps us looking younger, makes us feel happier, reduces stress, increases sex drive and more. Physical activity is a foundation of a healthy lifestyle.
      9. Put the toilet seat down. They’ve done the math. If the number of men in a house is equal or less than the number of women, we should be putting it down for math reason alone. And because men should strive to be gentlemen, we should be putting it down all the time anyway.
      10. Wash our hands.
      11. Clean up after ourselves. Made a mess cooking? Clean up the kitchen. Dropped something on the ground? Clean it up. Shaved? Rinse out the sink.
      12. Stop being selfish. Selfish behaviour creates all of our social ills. That’s not to say that we should ignore our own needs, but everything we do should be done with the understanding that every little action we take affects everyone around us. Positive actions create a positive society.
      13. Believe in ourselves.
      14. Believe in others.
      15. Become fashionable. We can choose any look we like, we can change it daily, but putting effort into our appearance affects our self confidence, affects the way others treat us, and makes us attractive to our mates.
      16. Girls: learn to love skirts and heels. Guys: wear jackets and suits sometimes on regular days. Looking good is not just for weddings and funerals.
      17. Get our hair done by a professional, and learn to style it.
      18. Put enthusiasm into everything. There’s no award for being ‘too cool’ to get into something. Everyone’s a lot happier when they aren’t holding back.
      19. Say no to guns. It’s an instrument specifically designed to kill humans. They do not help humanity in any way, but they sure cause a lot of problems.
      20. Drink less alcohol. It’s full of sugar, it’s a poison and drinking too much is unhealthy.
      21. Never drink and drive. One drink is too many. Take a cab or call someone.
      22. Challenge a fear. Very few fears are innate, like being afraid of spiders and snakes. Almost all are learned. The only way to stop being afraid of anything is to challenge that fear. The rewards are incredible empowering.
      23. Learn a second language. While English is a great international language, being able to speak something else opens up new opportunities, allows us to enjoy all kinds of new people and art and entertainment. Whether we’re travelling or connecting with new people in our area, nothing puts a smile on someone’s face like hearing their own language.
      24. Live somewhere else. Preferably overseas. We have no idea how much of life we take for granted. Yet people elsewhere do the most mundane things in different ways. They think and act in ways that would probably baffle us at first. But living in an entirely different culture and system is the single most challenging and rewarding experience we can undertake. It allows us to understand ourselves and our society far better than anything we could do by staying home. So much growth is only possible when we live in another culture. A must-have experience.
      25. Love, actively. Love is a verb. That means action. Love the emotion is a result of love the action, which means the action must come first. Do the many things that show someone you love them and the emotions will come.
      26. Self control woman choosing between sweets and vegetablesLearn self control. All the things on the list become possible with self control. Learn when to hold back and when to let loose. Learn when to keep our mouth shut, and when to speak freely. We shouldn’t be giving in to every impulse, every emotion, every little pain or negative thought and letting those control us. And we certainly shouldn’t be constantly sharing them with the people around us. Maturity is measured in wisdom and self control.
      27. Try to understand others from their point of view. It’s no good putting ourself in their shoes, because they aren’t us. They’re the result of a completely different lifetime of learning. So they’re going to reach different conclusions about things, and use a different set of reasoning. That’s why we’re in conflict. To resolve the conflict, we need to understand how and why others feel the way they do.
      28. Don’t pee or poo in public.
      29. Stop defining ourself by a single political party. No one party has all the best answers, so we need to be open to and listening to others. Shutting someone out because their political affiliation has a different colour and logo is nonsense.
      30. Shower. With a friend.
      31. Sing. It doesn’t have to be well, but singing is a primal activity that helps us become more uninhibited and increases social skills.
      32. Dance. It doesn’t have to be well, but singing is a primal activity that helps us become more uninhibited and increases social skills. It also makes people more attractive.
      33. Cut down on sugar. Fat isn’t the enemy. Sugar is.
      34. Stop eating so much. No more eating when bored. We only need about 2000 calories a day. Just because the tummy is rumbling doesn’t mean we should be filling it. Use foods that digest more slowly, snack on nuts and vegetables, drink lots of water or tea, take smaller portions, and eat foods that correct insulin response like cinnamon.
      35. Stop being afraid of sex. Some people like it only a little, some people like it a lot. Let people engage in it as much as they’re comfortable with and stop being hostile about it. Sex is not ruining society. Shame is. 
      36. Learn to cook something from another country.
      37. Motivation and wisdom poster - right and wrongCompliment ourself for a good reason every day.
      38. Compliment someone else for a good reason every day.
      39. Stop slut-shaming. Erotica is ok. Porn is ok. Wearing a mini skirt is ok. Slut-shaming is negative competition. 
      40. Learn about evolution, including biology and psychology.
      41. Read [amazon text=Dan Gardner’s Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear&asin=B00395ZZ1W]. You’ll worry way less.[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=0771032994]
      42. Celebrate Christmas but ignore the religious parts. A non-denominational Christmas is more inclusive. And we should use every excuse to spread goodwill to each other. Also, Christmas lights are pretty!
      43. Wear a costume. Could be Halloween, cosplay or a masked ball. Whatever you wear, put some thought and effort into it. Stop worrying about dignity unnecessarily.
      44. Read [amazon text=Stephen Covey’s The Third Alternative&asin=B004T4KX6E] and learn how every conflict can be resolved in a win-win way.[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B004T4KX6E]
      45. Demand more from our education system. We’re raising robots when we should be raising whole people. We need more art, philosophy, communication, social skills and emotional intelligence.
      46. Tell someone we love them every day. Never take if for granted that someone knows we love them. They need to hear it.
      47. Find a reason to be proud of someone – and tell them we are. Every day. Never take if for granted that someone knows we’re proud of them. They need to hear it.
      48. Stop defining ourselves by what we like or don’t like and start defining ourselves by our values and actions.
      49. Spend more time with friends. TV is not our friend.
      50. Stop feeling bad because of what other people can do. If someone else can do something we can’t do right now, it enables us to understand what we’re capable of. If they can do it, we can probably learn to do it too. And if not the same thing, something else just as well.
      51. Stop bullying. Start befriending.
      52. Stop competing and start cooperating. There’s no need to compete for anything in life outside of sports. Cooperation always produces better results, especially long-term.
      53. Commit, and when you do, show up.
      54. Show up on time.
      55. Stop dragging others down with us. If we’re tired, go home to sleep or drink coffee. Being grumpy and negative is just ruining other people’s days. We don’t want make our friends and family unhappy, right?
      56. Self improvement quote posterKeep a journal or diary. Don’t just vent and use it as a place to say mean things about others. Write it like we expect others to read it, being both as open as possible for our sake and as honest as possible for everyone else’s. It’ll help prevent us from falling into the trap of viewing things selfishly. Self improvement happens so much faster when we’re going over the events as they happened and taking a second look at them once things have calmed down. Writing stuff down is therapeutic and can lead us to great insights about ourselves and others.
      57. Take the bus/train instead of driving.
      58. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Even if it’s more than two flights.
      59. Stop being afraid of being naked in front of others. Stop being afraid of other people being naked. We’re the only creature in the entire universe that hides behind clothing and feels shame about our bodies. That’s just silly.
      60. Say ‘thank you’ to everyone, for everything. Science proves that it makes everyone feel better, including us for saying it.
      61. Appreciate someone and tell them about it.
      62. Support a new artist every month. Whether it’s our kids, someone we found on DeviantArt or Facebook, or someone in the community. A few kind words regularly, purchasing a commission, writing a great review on their store all mean the world to artists and help promote positive culture and creativity.
      63. Champion a cause. It could be saving the rainforest or cleaning up a local park, but investing in the community is proven to both produce better communities and help us feel better because we’re engaged in meaningful work. Just make sure the cause is a good one, and we’re not fighting for the wrong things.
      64. Adopt a pet from a shelter and love it like crazy.
      65. Use a condom. Children are our greatest responsibility so we should only be having them when we’re ready. And no-one wants STDs.
      66. Go see the Mona Lisa, eat noodles on the Great Wall of China, visit Disneyland in California, and climb Kilamonjaro. It’s not the act of seeing each of these which is most important, it’s the journey you’ll most appreciate.
      67. Write a letter to someone and deliver it by hand.
      68. Do 100 squats without stopping.
      69. Combat smoking. Stop if you do it, encourage others to quit, and demand that lawmakers make the production and peddling of this poison illegal.
      70. Let yourself cry at a movie. Even if someone sees you.
      71. Learn about your partner’s sexual fantasies, then try them – with an open mind.
      72. Demand an open, honest government, and bring them to justice when they aren’t. The simplest way is to vote. Even better, run for office and do better.
      73. Stop being a soldier, encourage others to quit. If there were no soldiers, there’d be no wars.
      74. Get our shots. Yes, vaccinations are really, really important. This is not a debate, science has proven it soundly. Or did we really want to bring back the plague? (No. No, we don’t.)
      75. Self improvement quote posterDon’t put things off. Do what needs to be done now, do things the right way the first time. It saves time and produces better results.
      76. See more live performances. Dance, theatre, bands.
      77. Look it up. Between mobile devices and computers, there’s usually a internet access close at hand. Double check what someone said. Get more information. Get curious and then satisfy that curiosity with information. Wikipedia is our friend.
      78. Spend more time with our kids.
      79. Date. Spending time with others helps us prepare for future relationships. Date our partner even when married, because couples need a little romance on a regular basis.
      80. Buy flowers. Just to make someone happy.
      81. Host an event and invite everyone we know. Even if the only eventual attendee is our cat, at least by inviting them we showed everyone that we want to spend time with them, and therefore they’re important to us.
      82. Say yes to someone else’s suggestion. Don’t let saying No be a habit.
      83. Read [amazon text=The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained&asin=B00CIZYT8Y] or another introduction to philosophy. It’s tremendous how much people have thought about life and how to live it and shared it over the past 3000 years. That’s wisdom we can use, a foundation to faster success.[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=0756668611]
      84. Trust someone. We have to take a leap of faith and give it, so someone has the chance to earn it.
      85. Never text or phone while driving, cycling, walking or are otherwise in motion. Other people are trusting us not to run into them.
      86. Get more houseplants. Don’t let them die.
      87. Self improvement quote posterTeach someone something.
      88. Eat more protein.
      89. Kiss someone, publicly.
      90. Get someone to open up to us and tell us how they feel, deep inside.
      91. Talk to someone about how we feel, deep inside.
      92. Read [amazon text=James Clavell’s Shogun&asin=B002UBRFDC]. All 1200 pages. It’s will teach you so much about life, love, adventure, learning, cultural exchange being a man or woman and more. All Clavell’s books are brilliant and incredibly instructive. [amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B002UBRFDC]
      93. Imagine doing our passion for a living as our job. Whether or not we quit our current job because it’s making us miserable is beyond the scope of this article. What matters here is that we simply think about it, which means that first we must figure out what our passion in life really is. If we could do absolutely any work or contribution to society, what would it be?
      94. Try something new sexually.
      95. Think about climate change. We all share this world and we all have a responsibility to be as informed as possible about what we’re doing and the consequences of our decisions and actions. We also must remember that the opinions of learned scientists studying data are far more valuable than smart-ass TV personalities.
      96. Hang out with our parents for more than an hour and not fight.
      97. Sit down with someone and tell them why they’re important in our life.
      98. Spend 5 minutes a day thinking about why we want to improve ourself and who we want to do it for. This reminds us where our motivation comes from.
      99. At least once a week, ask WHY something is the way it is. Search for information, and keep asking why, digging deeper and deeper into it until we really understand the root of what’s going on.
      100. Be proud of how far we’ve come, and proud that we’re going to keep growing.

Yes we can poster

You do this. I can do this. We can all do this. We don’t have to do it alone. It’s so much easier to do it together. Try it with a partner. Ask a friend. Join groups. Celebrate the journey!

Never give up. We’re worth it.

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© Copyright Timothy Baril 2014