Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Bill Bryson’

Life is 650,000 hours!

According to Bill Bryson in his book, ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything,’ the average human being lives about 650,000 hours which amounts to a little over 74 years. Of course this is simply an average but it does give a person pause when you think about our life span in that context – reduced to the concept of hours. All of a sudden every hour we spend living in the past or worrying about the future takes on a whole different perspective. One hour gone …how many more do we have left?

Each of us is carrying a load of rocks from our past in our invisible backpacks. If we perseverate on them the rocks can become boulders and cause us to slow down and even bend under the weight. The question is do we have the extra time and energy to continue to carry around anger, regrets or disappointments from the past? Or is it time to decide the next hour, day and week of our life will be better than ever because the clock is, indeed, ticking.

A simple practice of training ourselves, immediately upon awakening, to think about one thing to be grateful for and put a smile on our face we start our day off with more physical and emotional energy. It doesn’t cost a thing but will reap tons of benefit. It also helps us bring our ‘a game’ to the moment, the hour in which we are living. You may be thinking to yourself that you’re not a morning person. You don’t have to be. Simply getting into the practice of waking up with a thought of gratitude and a smile can be a game changer for the day. You still don’t have to talk to anyone until you have had that first cup of coffee or tea. This practice just seems to help get our own internal house in order for the new day. After all, you are still alive and have another chance to realize your purpose and make a difference in life. That, in itself, is a big reason to be happy.

It’s a matter of intention and self awareness. The next time you pass a mirror glance at it and honestly decide what your face is showing to the world. Does it project warmth, positive energy and welcome others in? Can you see a smile in your eyes? If not, the good news is that you can decide to change. Since it takes less energy to be positive than negative it seems like a no brainer to me. Yes, it takes honest self reflection and a bit of effort but we can change just about anything in our lives if we so desire. No cost involved – just a choice to become more aware of our own happiness index and do something about it.

Living is not resisting and merely existing but rather evolving by learning, growing, and polishing the rougher edges of our personality. We all have them. We can become happier, more energized and the person we always wanted to be when we have the courage to take stock of our lives and choose to do something about it. Self improvement is time incredibly well spent. It fuels the body, heart and soul.

Today you can choose to make a difference in life – one step at a time- starting with yourself. Now that is something to get excited about!

Have a great few days!

The Art of Resiliency

Resiliency is created when we think past the primary thing we want to have, do or be and add possible options to our thinking. It is all about having a strategy – liken to playing chess – thinking ahead for possible moves in case the most obvious or desired one simply doesn’t work out. Simply put, the more options we create as possibilities in our life (plans A, B, or C) the more confident we become because we are prepared for the never ending list of changes that are inevitably thrown at us.

The author, Bill Bryson, has written many books about travel. His writing is engaging and his trips exciting – even hair raising at times. Recently, I have read two of his books, ‘Sunburned Country’ which is about the amazing continent of Australia and the other entitled, ‘A Walk in the Woods’ a story about the 2100 mile hiking trail from Georgia to Maine – the Appalachian Trail. Resiliency seems to be his first and foremost trait. Reading Bryson’s work we can live vicariously through the mental, emotional and physical challenges that continually confront him on his journey. We realize that what we know on an intuitive basis – that gut feeling of ‘this is the way to go for now’ gives us a flexibility when viewing life’s hurdles and offers us a greater sense of peace. If we are forced to take the longer road to accomplish something, we may not, at first, be happy but we know we can survive – maybe even thrive in the process. It is true, life is about the journey along the way.

I have never met anyone who hasn’t had curve balls thrown at them in their lives. In fact, some of these balls may cause serious injuries to our minds, bodies and hearts. Yet some people just seem more adept as the lyric in the song says of ‘ picking themselves up, dusting themselves off and starting over again.’ What makes these individuals different? Are they bigger, stronger or smarter than others? Probably not. But they do have a secret ingredient involved in their thinking – a survival mentality – that is the crucial difference. They have learned simply through living that rarely do things work out exactly as planned. From their life experiences they have learned the art of resiliency. They do not demand that things be different or fall apart when the ball goes far afield. They run, jump and reach higher to attain their goal. They may slip and fall along the way but they continue on – for the love of the game and themselves. They remind me of the famous saying by Winston Churchill. ‘Never, Never, Never, Never give up!’

Developing the art of resiliency is something worth considering.

Have a great few days!