Saturday, August 09, 2008

Free Time & Loser Alert

In the past 18 hours, I have seen folks who are doing too much and others are doing too little.

These two posts are from the Dumb Little Man Blog and was in my email today. Perhaps it will help you sort out your life and see how to take charge and do the things that really matter.

Simplify Your Life: Delete Unwanted Commitments

Posted: 07 Aug 2008 11:27 AM CDT

Written on 8/07/2008 by Jonathan Mead who writes about the less boring side of personal development at

Doing what you love is the most common sense way to enjoy life more, we all know that. Removing unwanted commitments and quitting things we hate, however, isn't as obvious.

There are lot of things that we would rather not do that we perceive as required and unavoidable, but in reality, are optional.

Just as we hold onto emotional baggage from past relationships, we also hold onto a lot of baggage from previous commitments and unwanted so-called "obligations" that are no longer relevant.

In reality, you don't really have to:
  • Stay on the job-related committee that makes you feel important.
  • Accept every "extra project" from your boss and co-workers that makes you feel more responsible.
  • Be on the PTA or be the neighborhood block party organizer (unless you want to).
  • Hang out with the friend you only "kind of like."
Think of how many other promises you make to people, or yourself, that you don't really want to do, but you didn't know how to say no. Think about all the projects and times you've helped other people when you really didn't have the time and it was probably detrimental to your health to accept.

Much of this conditioning of accepting unwanted commitments comes not only from not knowing how to say no, but from living your life based on a template. If other people are doing it, that means I should too right? Well, if you just want to be another cog in the machine, be my guest.

Removing all the things from your life that you don't want, is just as powerful as adding to it the things you love doing.

Here are 4 simple ways to find out if it's something worth keeping:
  1. Can you remove it without becoming homeless?
    If something you'd like to take off your to-do list is quitting your dead end job, you'll probably have to find a replacement first. There's obviously some things we have to do to avoid serious consequences. Like paying the electricity bill.

  2. Does it make sense?
    This is one of the most important questions, but people always leave the "me" part out. They think it makes sense from a societal point of view, from the point of view of their friends, family or some institution. But if it doesn't make sense to you, quit. Have the courage to trust your own common sense.

  3. How important is it... really.
    A lot of people justify doing things that make them unhappy because they label it as important. The fact is, keeping all your underwear and socks color coded isn't very important if you almost have a seizure when the blue is mixed in with the pink. Seriously.

  4. Does it make you feel alive?
    Our negative responses are there for a reasons: to tell us somethings wrong. But how often do we stifle that little voice that says "why the hell do you keep doing this?" In order to create a beautiful life, we have to be honest with ourselves. Ask yourself "is this something that I really want to do?" and actually listen to the answer.
By removing all the unwanted things from our lives, we create room for new, authentic endeavors. If you feel your life becoming stale, monotonous and everything seems like a chore, you probably need to shed all the unwanted musts clinging on to you.

There are a lot of other ways we can use shedding to improve our lives. De-cluttering and organizing our workspace. Removing all old, unused and irrelevant things from our space. Shedding emotional baggage and mental clutter can be extremely liberating.

Have you ever noticed that when you clean your workspace or your home, but you don't change your habits, in a few days or weeks it's right back to the way it was? It's important that we remember to fill what we left behind with joyful pursuits, otherwise the clutter and garbage will start to seep back in (just give it time, trust me).

The purpose of removing all the unwanted baggage from our life is not to create a vacuum, but to make room for things that make us feel alive.

Just think about what else you could do with all that free time.


10 Traits of Losers: Are you One?

Posted: 07 Aug 2008 07:39 AM CDT

Written on 8/07/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.

What is a loser? Well, many people define it differently. Some believe that a loser is someone who has no money, no job, no family and no friends. I happen to think that a loser is someone who does not trust, does not love, and does not respect others. Perhaps the latter leads to the former but for this article, we'll skip the semantics and use my definition as the basis.

If you have no integrity and nothing but your own interests in mind, you, according to me, are a loser. Despite the large bank accounts, luxury sedans, and 5-car garage, you also may be a loser as assets don't define us. On the flip side, perhaps you're not a rich loser, perhaps you're a broke one. Regardless, let's get to the bottom of why this is so.

Qualities of a loser

  1. Inhibited integrity
    Integrity means that your values, what you think, say, and do are all aligned. You could argue that a serial killer has integrity because this person thinks, says, and murders consistently with his word. I would argue that this isn't really the core value, because the core value of human beings is to love and be loved, and a short circuit in this person's brain is creating a disconnect between the core moral values and the thoughts that lead to being a big loser.

  2. Unnecessary gossip and slander
    In Judaism there is a word for this, Loshon Hora, which means "prohibition of telling gossip, truthful remarks about a non-present person or party." Another word, Motzei Shem Rah means "slander and untrue remarks". If you're known as a person that gossips and slanders, you're a loser, and as such, people will not have trust in you.

  3. Chronic pessimism
    I'm not talking about slight pessimism now and then, but serious, consistent, and unrelenting pessimism that makes people shy away from you and causes you to miss out on the beauty of life. Such pessimism is both stifling and paralyzing.

  4. Pass an injured man
    No matter what activity you are engaged in, you must never fail to be concerned for another person. If you can pass a man bleeding on the ground, leave a child crying and unattended, or simply refuse to be there for someone that needs you -- you're a loser!

  5. No ambitions
    They say no man is an island, and as such, you have a direct influence on the people around you. By exhibiting the contagious quality of no ambition, you are very actively and directly taking away from, and polluting, anyone you come in contact with. You should read up on suicide.

  6. Mean and hateful
    Walking around like a ticking time-bomb, waiting for a look, word, or an impression to light your fuse and set you off is no way to live. It's not what's going to get people to show you reverence that comes from love, and trust; rather this false reverence can be a product of fear, which adds negatively to the lives of others.

  7. Don't believe in or respect yourself
    It's no secret, and no lie, that before you can respect someone else you must respect yourself. How can you be fully involved in the game of life, cheering and supporting other people along, if you can't even believe in yourself as a person. The fact is that this is a choice that stems directly from positive attitude, and anything else is your refusal and resignation from taking action on a higher level.

  8. Quit before you sweat
    Listen, I'm not talking about running at the gym, although that's one possible sign that you give up too early. I'm talking about chasing your dreams, finishing what you start, and being a stand for your own integrity and core values, especially if it means dying for these beliefs.

  9. Closed mindedness
    Our perception is divided into 3 parts. What we know (that's easy), what we know we don't know (for instance, we know that there's something in outer space, but we just haven't found it yet), and what we don't know we don't know (You cannot even acknowledge this because you don't know what it is you aren't acknowledging). If you're closed minded you forget about the third one, that which you still have not discovered, even conceptually. However, if you refuse to accept that you don't know everything -- your life will be dark forever.

  10. Take no responsibility
    Passing the buck and blaming others does nothing more then delay a solution and perpetuate a problem. If you're not a winner, you'll never take responsibility, and you won't be the one person that will change the world. Simply reversing this will make you a winner.

    If you tread through life being self-centered, egotistical, and not give a damn about anyone else you're a loser. Being a loser isn't about how you view yourself, or what wonderful things you can do for yourself, rather it's your unwillingness to contribute back to your fellow man.

    You don't have to donate a lot of money, stand in a soup kitchen, or rack up your community service hours. You can contribute by giving back to the world the best version of you, giving your time to a friend (without expecting anything in return), or help someone find a job so they can take care of themselves.

When you consistently exhibit the qualities of a loser, you are a loser, no matter what you think. People in your life will eventually figure you out, so instead of living in an endless cycle of insecurity, all you have to do is reverse all of the above qualities and you're well on your way to being a winner.
"If you're not a nice person, don't stop to analyze it. Just start thinking, speaking, and acting in a nice manner"~Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson


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