Want A Lifetime of Happiness? An Exercise in Communication, Love and Family

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Is it possible to spend forty-three years of your life, fifty weeks a year, 86,000 total hours, 8600 plus hours commuting, 1375 hours in travel in a place and be satisfied?? More importantly, can you leave behind a legacy that makes yourself and your family proud of the career you have made?

That was a mouthful to swallow.? Let me take a step back.? How many remember exactly what they did at work yesterday?

Sometimes that is even a hard question.

We work our little butts off making crafts and climbing robes in elementary school and junior high.? Then we fight for a reputation in high school and then start right over again redefining ourselves in college.? If we are lucky, we get to stay a little longer in graduate studies.? Then the big decisions happen.? What do I do next?

What do you like, you ask yourself?

  • Sleeping in
  • Drinking, partying and dancing
  • Hanging with the friends
  • Ultimate frisbee
  • Afternoon naps
  • Road Trips
  • Playstation

Not the most transferable skill sets.? We obviously have a dilemma.? How do we translate current state to future state and still find the same level of happiness we had for the first twenty-two years for the next forty-three?

happy2If there was a simple answer, we wouldn’t have all these blogs and articles on career planning and career management and happiness in the workplace, blah, blah, blah.

Throughout history, we have seen very content and satisfied employees that have had roles ranging from extremely complex to overly simple.? From Thomas Edison to Fred Flintstone, Einstein to Homer Simpson, one constant is true, finding value in your work and balancing it with the true elements of happiness:? Love and family.

Maybe we found our variable.? Love and family.? So, we have two wandering puzzle pieces:? Crazy fun you and responsible consistent you.? Both are running for the hills in opposite directions.? What if….What if, there was a magnetic glue that could push the two together and then hold it tight.? Love and family.

I believe we have solved the greatest mystery of life.

Let’s take five minutes to do a little assignment.

Take these three categories and list five things you love about them and five things you do not love

  • Social / Play Life
  • Work Life
  • Family

Next, find the common elements in all three.

Put those common elements on a piece of paper or index cards with the title “Things that make me happy in my social, work and family life.? What are yours?”

Now mail these cards to five of your closest friends and family members.? No texting, no emailing, no cloud sharing.? Mail!!!!!? Stamps and all.

Add a post it asking them to find five things that make them happy at work, life and family and then share it with five people.

Besides the fact that this is a great way to communicate and a unique and fun exercise, it will open some eyes.

One of the areas so many of us fail at in life is communication.? We hold back and bottle up our feelings in fear of confrontation, loss or disapproval.? This is a passive method of letting others know, there is happiness in all we do and sometimes we need to look to others to harness this.

This is an exercise that can be done at work in a team building session as well.? Don’t rule that out.

Love and family may be the glue, but communication is the fuel that will lead down the road of a lifetime of happiness.

Don’t forget that.

A Lifetime of Happiness: Communication, Love and Family – The Glue and the Fuel

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Is it possible to spend forty-three years of your life, fifty weeks a year, 86,000 total hours, 8600 plus hours commuting, 1375 hours in travel in a place and be satisfied?? More importantly, can you leave behind a legacy that makes yourself and your family proud of the career you have made?

That was a mouthful to swallow.? Let me take a step back.? How many remember exactly what they did at work yesterday?

Sometimes that is even a hard question.

We work our little butts off making crafts and climbing robes in elementary school and junior high.? Then we fight for a reputation in high school and then start right over again redefining ourselves in college.? If we are lucky, we get to stay a little longer in graduate studies.? Then the big decisions happen.? What do I do next?

What do you like, you ask yourself?

  • Sleeping in
  • Drinking, partying and dancing
  • Hanging with the friends
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Afternoon naps
  • Road Trips
  • Play Station

Not the most transferable skill sets.? We obviously have a dilemma.? How do we translate current state to future state and still find the same level of happiness we had for the first twenty-two years for the next forty-three?

happy2If there was a simple answer, we wouldn’t have all these blogs and articles on career planning and career management and happiness in the workplace, blah, blah, blah.

Throughout history, we have seen very content and satisfied employees that have had roles ranging from extremely complex to overly simple.? From Thomas Edison to Fred Flintstone, Einstein to Homer Simpson, one constant is true, finding value in your work and balancing it with the true elements of happiness:? Love and family.

Maybe we found our variable.? Love and family.? So, we have two wandering puzzle pieces:? Crazy fun you and responsible consistent you.? Both are running for the hills in opposite directions.? What if….What if, there was a magnetic glue that could push the two together and then hold it tight.? Love and family.

I believe we have solved the greatest mystery of life.

Let’s take five minutes to do a little assignment.

Take these three categories and list five things you love about them and five things you do not love

  • Social / Play Life
  • Work Life
  • Family

Next, find the common elements in all three.

Put those common elements on a piece of paper or index cards with the title “Things that make me happy in my social, work and family life.? What are yours?”

Now mail these cards to five of your closest friends and family members.? No texting, no emailing, no cloud sharing.? Mail!!!!!? Stamps and all.

Add a post it asking them to find five things that make them happy at work, life and family and then share it with five people.

Besides the fact that this is a great way to communicate and a unique and fun exercise, it will open some eyes.

One of the areas so many of us fail at in life is communication.? We hold back and bottle up our feelings in fear of confrontation, loss or disapproval.? This is a passive method of letting others know, there is happiness in all we do and sometimes we need to look to others to harness this.

This is an exercise that can be done at work in a team building session as well.? Don’t rule that out.

Love and family may be the glue, but communication is the fuel that will lead down the road of a lifetime of happiness.

 

Are We Becoming a Society of “Text Therapy”?

By Mark A. Leon

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” – Graham Greene

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

What is “Text Therapy”?

If you search the truth (aka Urban Dictionary) you will find several self-imposed definitions of the growing phenomenon in our social sphere. Some view it as the consolidation of emotions into a small phrase on Twitter, Facebook or text to a discriminate or non-discriminate audience. The thought of pouring your emotions to faceless millions does sound appealing to some and almost crazy to others.

In a time where social courage is running rampant, it is no surprise that this is a growing trend. We can meet and reject dates without ever meeting them in person via dating sites, dismiss a friendship with one click, share a new relationship to a global community without making one call or expressing sorrow over the loss of a loved one to the masses. Voices are silenced but never have they been so loud.

When was it acceptable to extend the arm of vulnerability in one hundred and forty characters? Is the first thought on our minds after a divorce or break up to tell anyone in front of a computer or smartphone that will listen that it is over, I am a free person and he/she does not know what they are missing? Are we looking for a reaction from the audience that clearly, by being a friend, paid admission to witness this comment? Does the immediacy of the reactions lend a higher weight to how valued you are by your social community? Are we so in need of virtual and immediate comfort that we don’t even take the time to let the situation sink in and accept the normal course of reaction time?

All valid questions that require a much deeper evaluation of the individuals participating in this ritualistic trend. But, if this piece exceeds 800 words, we will lose the core audience and thus eliminate any value that could be served.

I would like to shift gears away from the non-discriminate form of emotional up chuck and move to a targeted approach and what I believe is “Text Therapy”. Using the small sample size of my circle of friends, I have in the past been a shoulder of comfort to some creating the grand illusion of an open ear and voice of rational thought. The acceptance of friends coming to me for advice and consultation is not new in my world. What I have begun to bear witness is the exceedingly increasing use of text therapy sessions where I would receive a long text indicating depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, heartache and trauma.

My first reaction is to offer phone time as these are not local friends, but rarely is the offer accepted. Without the ability to give a true and sensible response via text, I offer comfort through only a few simple words. Then a few more texts may ensue or silence. I will follow up and often times I get a “I feel a little better” or “I’m ok” but no clear sign of recovery from the drama that began with the first text.

Can this free and immediate consolidated therapy provide any long term help for the distressed. I am not a doctor, but my analysis is no. I sense that the social revolution has not only brought the world closer together but created a “right now” mentality that has corrupted our ability to feel.

I vividly remember the Challenger Disaster, September 11, 2001 and the announcement of the Death of Osama Bin Laden. The first two still leave vivid details in my memory box and lingering emotions for days and years. Bin Laden was very different. First, I found out 30 minutes before the President made the announcement as it was leaked out through various channels and within 5 minutes after the announcement, the bar did a round of free shots, some continued talking about what had transpired, but most of us moved on other subjects of sports, school, dating and life. We have almost turned ourselves into drones who are incapable of feeling for a long period of time.

That is a scary thought. The ability to feel and connect is what makes us human and thus the most intelligent beings on this planet. If we lose that, we are robots, void of emotion and void of feelings of love and compassion.

Let that sink in next time you reach out and request your next immediate text therapy session.

PS – 785 Words