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Be Happy Be Healthy Self-Help

work it.

Work is part of our lives, and it starts from the day we are born. As brand-new infants, we have to figure out a way to drink that milk that will keep us alive whether it comes directly from our mother or from a bottle, and for a little person, it requires effort and hard work getting through that bottle. As a toddler, we have to work our way through a nursery. As a child we have to start doing some real hard work going through school to learn A, B, C. As young adults we leave high school with our diploma to walk straight into university. After a few years on Campus, we leave with a degree to walk straight into a job that will keep us busy for the next 30 to 40 years, whilst working on building a family and a home at the same time. Finally, we get to have a break in our olden days to enjoy some peace and quiet time during our retirement, where the only work we have to do is to babysit our grandchildren from time to time.

We can’t escape the fact that work is part of who we are and what we do. Some people say work is a curse, and labor is a misfortune, and for sure if we are given the choice to laze around or to do some work, most people would jump at the chance to laze around. But how long can you stay satisfied laying down on your sofa doing nothing? What if we can make work our passion? I say, work it and let’s make our life a work of art.

Work it.

Hard work is always the baseline of great achievements. Photo by wayhome Studio via freepik.com

Being successful at something requires hard work, sweat, tears, discipline, and patience. In the olden days, if you wanted to enter a profession you had to find a master who was willing to take you under his wings and enter into an apprenticeship to learn the craft. The normal length of an apprenticeship was 10 years; learning the craft required patience, discipline, and dedication. The modern concept of this is the 10,000 hours required to master a skill as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. Hard work is always the baseline of great achievements.

Robert Greene called this Mastery. He wrote a whole book about it. “

“Anyone who would spend ten years absorbing the techniques and conventions of their field, trying them out, mastering them, exploring and personalizing them, would inevitably find their authentic voice and give birth to something unique and expressive. Embrace slowness as a virtue in itself.”

Robert Greene

Olympians become at the top of their games by investing years of their lives into training, by getting their body ready to perform at its optimum level, and by building the strength of character and mental toughness that is necessary to become a champion; the same applies to your life as well. There is always work to be done and this is best describe by Maya Angelou who wrote a poem titled Women’s work. Below is a short extract from that poem.

Women’s work by Maya Angelou

I’ve got the children to tend. The clothes to mend

The floor to mop. The food to shop

Then the chicken to fry. The baby to dry

I got company to feed. The garden to weed

I’ve got shirts to press. The tots to dress

I gotta clean up this hut. Then see about the sick

And the cotton to pick…

Work of art.

Make your life a work of art. Photo by Wayhome Studio via freepikc.com

For a lot of people, work is just something they have to do to earn a living, put a roof over their head, pay their bills and put food on the table. For the lucky ones (a small minority) work is their passion. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to turn their passion into their work? For some people finding their passion is easy, they were born knowing what it was; what is less easy is to get started and to do it consistently. For others, finding their passion is not so obvious. The problem is that a lot of people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. The truth is that our passion comes first from doing things, and then doing them right.

We should get into the habit of injecting passion, not all the things that we do. If we do this consistently, a time will come when something stands out above all the other things, and that is the very thing that we should devote more time to doing passionately. That’s all there is to it, just do it. Work it! But what if you have no passion to create anything? In that case, the only thing you have to do is to listen to the philosopher Carl Jung.

“If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.”

Carl Jung

How about turning yourself into a work of art? Maybe the healthiest person you could be? Or maybe a deep philosophical thinker? And when you got it, flaunt it.

“Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of. Make your life a work of art!

Richard Taylor

Work-In-Progress

I like to think of myself as Work-In-Progress. I work hard, perspire a lot during the process. I cry many tears along the way, get deflated when the outcome doesn’t match the input of energy I invested in the project, but I made it my quest to make my life a work of art. When you glance over my work, you are catching a glimpse of my soul. I march to my own beat, and wildly dance to my own rhythm, as I turn my passion into my work. Make your life a work of art.

And this my dear friend is your Quest.

Personal Note

DDI Chat – Personal Growth – One-to-one Chat with Joanne Reed

In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication.  DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice.  DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category.  Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Categories
Be Happy

The Art of Living from A Dog’s Perspective

The Art of Living from A Dog’s Perspective

Dogs come in all shapes, colors and sizes. There are the posh types, the ones who come with a pedigree which can only be claimed after a thorough genetic analysis followed by careful match-making arrangements. Then you have the rest, the ‘mutts,’ who see the light of day after some hush-hush, fast and furious random encounter.  Whatever type of dog you come across; they will always be present ready to serve as a guide dog, police dog, guard dog, or just a loyal companion and cute addition to the family unit. If you pay close attention to their behavior, dogs can teach you valuable lessons in the Art of Living.

Meet Louis – My best friend

Dogs are considered man’s best friend and they give their owners undivided attention, companionship, and love each and every day. But, despite this, most dog-related expressions seem to have a negative connotation like in the story below.

A Dog’s Life

If you fall in the category of those who are unhappy with their lot in life, then you will be leading a dog’s life.’ Walking the streets looking defeated and without purpose.  For those who find themselves in that category, the only thing that can cheer them up and get their tail wagging again is if some kind soul offers to get them out of that torpor, take them to the park, get some fresh air, get some exercise, have a run around, give a kick to that torpor and play fetch instead.  A dog’s life has its ups and down. Just make sure the down time don’t last too long. Snap out of it.

If you work in the Corporate world and wants to make it big in the City, then you will learn very quickly (if you are one of those whose mission in life is to go up that Corporate Ladder) that ‘dog- eat-dog.’  But to be successful you will have to ‘work like a dog’, days in and days out and sometimes at night too,there is no way around it.  So, you spend the early years of your adult life doing just that, waking up early, working all hours of the day and night (sometimes), till the day when you become as ‘sick as a dog’, because let’s face it, it is not realistic to expect someone to maintain that kind of rhythm over a long period of time.  So, you take a couple of days off to recover and stay in bed all day not feeling like going out at all as it ‘is raining cats and dogs’ outside.  Still, ‘every dog has its day,  and once back in the office after a couple of days off, you feel re-energized and ready to get back into the swings of things; you rejoice and find solace in the knowledge that your hard work is paying off and is taking you where you really want to be, i.e. on top of the Corporate Ladder.

But once you reach that place up there on top of the Corporate Ladder, you will have to stay alert because there are a lot of people who have a strong desire to take that spot from you.  If you don’t up your game, learn new skills and keep yourself current, you could find yourself fighting for your survival. For the most resilient types, you will be well placed to teach all those ‘newbies’ a lesson in resilience by showing them that ‘you can never teach an old dog new tricks.’  You may have to be ‘meaner than a junkyard dog’to keep them from taking over that nice spot at the top from you.

Advice From a Dog

To avoid your days being like the story above, you may want to have a conversation with your dog. From their perspective humans are a strange species, they do strange things and seem to get themselves stressed-out about all kind of stuff.

I asked my dog Louis for his best advice to humans, he says:

My advice to you humans is as follow

Work Hard, Play Hard,
Pull your weight when requires,
When you lost your way, dig deep
Sniff out the right opportunities
Chase out the bad ones,
Trust your intuition,
Learn new tricks no matter your age,
Growl and bark when the situation requires desperate measures,
Guide the blind souls who cannot see clearly,
Celebrate small victories when they come your way,
Love what you do,
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk,
When love ones come home,
Always run to greet them. © Joanne Reed

This my dear friend, is how a dog lives his life. Maybe we can learn some new tricks from our canine friends, they have it all figured out!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.