Sunday, January 27, 2008

What brings you joy?

Isn't it amazing that answering such a simple question can be so tough?  A great exercise to help you find your joy is to create a list of things that bring you joy.  This may require some thought, but it's really worth the time and effort.  Think, what did you do when you were a kid that brought a smile to your face?  Did you used to ride your bike? Play sports? Swim? Fish? Read? Sing? Dance?  
Whatever it may be, add it to the list.  The list doesn't mean you have to do them everyday, it just reminds you what makes you happy.  If you can do something once a week that makes you happy, you should do it!  Think how good you'll feel!  Live for the moment!  
We all should wonder why did we stop doing things that make us happy.  Let's rediscover our essence. Let's start living the young and vibrant life we all want.   Let's wake up everyday and review our list.  Add activities to our calendar that make us happy.  Make everyday a blessing and experience the joy we are meant to have.  
Now go get a pen and paper or open your digital calendar and start making your list......

Sunday, January 20, 2008

You're Invited To Your Funeral......

Did you happen to see the article about the South Korean company that performs mock funerals for people and calls it "well dying".  
Korea Life Consulting charges 325.00 per person and over 50,000 people have taken part in their own funeral since 2004.  Most are in their 30s and 40s.  
Participants take a class in the meaning of life, pose for portrait photos to be used at the service and write wills as if they only have three days to live.  
They then read their wills at their own service, climb into caskets, and proceed to end their lives.  The caskets are nailed shut, dirt is thrown on the top, and fifteen minutes later, the participants are "reborn" by exiting the casket to sobs and cheers from the attendees.  
The idea is that you map out a better future by reflecting on your past.  
One participant said they would live differently from now on so they would not have any regrets about their lives.   

Isn't this an interesting concept?  Some people say it's just another way to make money.  Others believe it is a wake up call for critical changes in the way one lives.  
I often tell people that if you want to determine what's important to you, imagine your own funeral.  What would you want people to say?  Who would be there?  
If someone asked you at the very end what do you want, what would you say?  
Although this seems like a morbid exercise, I think it's one that can make a difference in one's direction.  
We get so caught up in our day to day habits, that we forget what's important to us.  We lose sight of what we enjoy.  We grow numb and quit appreciating our blessings.  How sad does this sound?  This description is not the kind of life we want.  I don't think we intend to become robots.  I think we simply become habits.  We get comfortable and quit pursuing excitement, adventure, new things....  We become boring.  We even incorporate this boredom into an acceptable "age".  We're getting old, we have responsibilities, we're too busy, blah, blah, blah...

How would you describe the life you want to live?  What adjectives do you like?  
Happy, adventurous, exciting, kind, unselfish, energetic, peaceful, lovely, etc.....

I doubt any of us want to live lives that we regret, find dull, unhappy, selfish, mean, sad, mad, boring, etc.....

So wake up and make a change!  Today!  Commit to living your life with zest and love.  Make every day a blessing that you're thankful for.  Make the most of your 24 hours and make a difference in someone else's life.  End each day with a prayer where you specifically express thanks for the meals you ate, people you encountered, transportation used, clothes worn, job you have, etc..

I recently watched a movie with my family, Evan Almighty.  Have you seen it?  It's about a man who wants to change the world thru politics yet is chosen to change the world by building an ark for God. There's a moment where God (Morgan Freeman) enlightens him that the way you change the world is thru ARK.  Acts of Random Kindness.  
I believe that each of us can make a huge difference in this world by simply focusing on what's important to us and living our lives with priorities in mind.  It's really not that hard.  

If attending your funeral can provide you with that motivation, then by all means, contact the company in Korea.  
Or, you can just take some time and close your eyes, use your imagination, and make a list of your priorities.  Then, start living YOUR LIFE!   Not someone else's, not your daily habit, but YOUR LIFE.....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What do you do for money?

Wow, it's been over one week since my last post. That's too long........
Why does work have to be so demanding that it takes my personal time and I end up missing the fun stuff? (the stuff I like to do)

Well, I managed to have some incredible dinners while traveling on business this week. What a great perk? It made me think about how lucky I am to have the job that I have. After the fancy dinners, I returned to my very nice hotel room, watched TV on a plasma screen, and ended the day by saying a prayer. Sounds awesome doesn't it?
Unfortunately, my job requires me to make sacrifices. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not.
It's financially worth it, but not spiritually. I don't go home at night thinking that I did anything to improve the legacy I leave my family and friends. I enjoy the challenges, people I work with, and company, but I wouldn't do it if they didn't pay me. I know that's why they call it work, a job, blah, blah, blah.....but I think our time is important enough that we should do things everyday that align with our priorities.
I hope Lifetimers helps you figure out your priorities and ways to maximize your life and time.

This brings me to the title of this post. What do you do for money?
I worded it this way because I want to know if all of us go to work every day just for the money. Did we "settle" for an adequate compensation package that we were raised to think is respectable and worthy of our time?
OR, are you one of the few that didn't settle and can honestly say that your job is both financially and spiritually rewarding? If so, please post a comment so the rest of us can share in your happiness.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Weekends Are Just Too Short......why?

Have you ever had this feeling? Our weekends are just too short. Right when we're starting to feel relaxed, we have to return to work.
In a traditional work week of Monday thru Friday, people are expected to get off from work at 500pm, drive home for the next hour or so and arriving at their homes around 600pm to start the weekend.

Saturday morning is always embraced for some peace or personal errands. The day affords everyone opportunities to handle household chores, shopping, errands missed during the week, etc....then the evening comes with a chance for dining, entertainment, relaxation.

Sunday mornings are great for sleeping in. Many either wake up and go to church until noon while others elect to take advantage and catch up on sleep. Then as a sense of peace settles in, we find ourselves facing Sunday evening and thinking about going back to work on Monday.

I don't know about the rest of the country but I want more time for the priorities in my life. I believe we should work 4 days a week and have 3 days off. This is the majority of the week, affords us plenty of leisure time for our priorities, and would improve our lifestyle.

I'm not sure why we base our work weeks on 40 hours. Why not 32? If we're expected to get 8 hours of sleep out of a 24 hour day, we sleep 1/3rd of our time leaving us with 16. If we spend 2 hours getting ready and driving to work and 1 hour returning from work, we lost another 3 hours bringing our total available hours for leisure to 13. Then, depending on our jobs, we may work 8-10 hours leaving us with a grand total of 3 hours a day during the work week for ourselves? 15 hours out of 120? (24x5=120)
15/120 equals a whopping 12.5%! Isn't that depressing?
15 out of 80 awake hours for leisure.
We obviously spend way to much time working than enjoying life. (My next post will address what exactly do we do for a job and why....)

So out of 24 hours in a day, we get about 3 for ourselves? Who came up with this system? Why do we proceed to accept such a schedule? Why don't we realize the importance of our time and demand a change?

I've personally decided to take steps towards changing this in my life. After many years of thinking about it, I can no longer wait for social change. Self employment is the avenue that will allow me more leisure time so I'm starting my own business.

I'm not sure if there are other viable options for all of us to make such a change. Living within ones means is the first thing that comes to mind. Then comes passive or residual income. (income that doesn't require your direct involvement).

I would love to think that there are many others out there that share my sentiments regarding prioritizing our leisure time. In essence, this is what Lifetimers is all about.
If we're going to maximize our lives, it's not going to involve more time at the office or work. (unless you're referring to charitable work).

Now go out there and think about how much time do you spend focused on leisure time? Is it enough? Do you too want to make a change? If so, please let me know your ideas and I'll share them with all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dumbbells? Fuel? Vessel for the soul?

Good morning everyone!
Just like millions of us all over the world, I too am joining the masses regarding my own exercise program.
I have always been athletic and active. I worked out at least 3 times a week up to October 2006. Thats when it happened.
In the midst of my egotistical pursuit of excessive strength I tore my rotator cuff. (shoulder)
For the first time in my life, I was really hurt. I couldn't even lift my hand to my mouth.
So I decided to take some time off and let hit heal. It's now January 2, 2008 and I haven't lifted a weight since the day I injured myself. I've done some cardio to exercise my heart and legs, but no weights. Until today.......

I went out and purchased a very nice bench with dumbbells. Many people don't realize that this setup is all anyone needs to get in top physical shape at home. It's simple, doesn't take take up a lot of space, and provides a long list of exercises for all party parts.

I may even take some before and after pics as a testimonial to what one can do with such a simple arrangement and little commitment. I can call it Joe's Dumbbells? Do you think I can turn this into a business? Sell benches and dumbbells from a website? Become the next infomercial? :o)
Maybe not......we'll see.

So, that's it for today. I'm starting my exercise plan for the new year. I'm not going to put it off any longer. I'm going to start taking care of my "vessel for my soul". I'm going to pay attention to it and make it a top priority in my daily routine. I'm going to watch what I put in it with as much diligence as what I would put in my car's gas tank for fuel. My body is going to become a lean, healthy, strong, machine. I'm doing this for me, my family, and the future that I want to have......I hope you too will embrace today and take action as well. (if you haven't already)

Make it a GREAT day! It may be our last.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year's 2008! What's your plan?

Good morning! I celebrated last night with some family and friends and Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, and Carson Daly....
We shot some fireworks and toasted the arrival of 2008.

New Year's is one of my favorite times. It affords us the opportunity to sit and think about all we experienced in the prior 365 days and thank our maker for the blessings afforded us. It makes me feel really good to think about all the happy times as well as the sad ones. That's right, even the sad ones. We shouldn't ignore what make us stronger, more appreciative, and sensitive.

My favorite thing to do this time of year is to construct a list of resolutions for the upcoming year. I write these down in my calendar or computer so I don't lose them and set them up as reminders throughout the year. I really believe it's important to write them down and hold yourself accountable. You would be surprised how many times during the year I will open the file or entry to gauge my progress. It also reminds me of what is really important to me. Taking the time to sit down and write down your goals and priorities is like cleansing the soul. It shouldn't be done while stressed or thinking about other things. It should be as clear as you'll be all year.
Once we begin the year, we all tend to let it run it's course as if its an uncontrollable time machine. Unfortunately, this may be with our direction or without, but one thing for certain, time doesn't wait for us to make up our minds about where we're headed or where we want to go......we need to make the decision to manage our direction and time.
I often ask people if they get in their car without knowing where they're headed? They always say no. Then why would you wake up everyday without knowing where you want to go? You control the vessel, you control the map, you're both navigator and captain of this ship. If you don't take control, the vessel will be more than happy to just aimlessly wonder the seas with no direction or purpose.

My challenge for everyone, even if it's not New Year's Day, is to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Write them down on a calendar and be honest about the time you need to achieve them. Spread them out in small steps.
For example, I always like to give myself the goal of reading an enlightening book at least once a quarter. Pick one yourself or go to and browse from your chair. is another one that is popular for her recommendations.
Think about your health. I know that it's almost cliche to do this around the start of the year but it really is important. Our souls are physically manifested through our bodies. The body is our vessel while here on earth. If we don't take care of the vessel, the journey will come to an earlier end. I'm always intrigued by those that do a good job of maintaining their homes, cars, toys, etc...but fail to afford the same attention if not more to the most important mechanism we own, our bodies. Develop a plan to improve your diet. Exercise daily. Transform your body into a healthy one that is reflective of your soul and demeanor. Take care of yourself and everyone around you will take notice. You will feel better and attract more positive energy in your life.
Now think about the various roles you occupy and where you want to improve. Is it as a husband, wife? Father or mother? Sister or brother? Son or Daughter? Friend? What do you want to change? Imagine what you believe to be the perfect scenario or performance in that role. Once you have that image, compare yourself and see yourself occupying that role. Take the necessary steps to move toward it in the upcoming year.

I don't want to belabor the point in taking stock and developing a simple plan for the new year. It shouldn't take you a long time to do. It should be fun and inspire you to improve yourself as a person.

One thing for sure, the pursuit of improvement is always rewarding. In the end, you'll be a better person both physically and mentally.
That's important if you're trying to maximize your life as a Lifetimer would do.....