Monday, June 9, 2014

Bill Murray's Advice

I read an interesting article on The Huffington Post today and found it to be true.  They interviewed Bill Murray... now he's a funny guy, and there's people in this world who I wonder how they get to be the people they are. 

Okay, I collect biographies and autobiographies, but some of those books are so darned thick, I'm better off using them as doorstops than reading them - no matter how thrilling they are.  
So, I scrolled through his 8 things he swears by which has made his life better for himself; and you know, I can see a lot of his advice working out for a lot of people if we just take a step back and work things better for ourselves.  Now, you can read his 8 Things that make his life better here... but I'm going to write down what makes my life better; and it's only begun to be better over the last few years.

1.  No Daytime Television

Yep... turn that damn boob-tube off.  I don't have it switched on at the wall even so I'm not tempted to find out what's on with the remote.  This way, I'm forced to look for other forms of entertainment, other things to do around the place that need doing and to get in and work on projects that I want to do that will get done and make me feel accomplished - even if they take a long time.

2.  Read Books

Okay, I'm a reader.  But you don't have to read vampire or sci-fi action to enjoy reading.  You can read whatever you're into and make it your passion.  If you love historical fiction, well read it.  If you're into tim travel, okay, go out and get the entire collection of Jack Finney... who's stopping you?  Just get into reading, it's a great thing for your brain.

3.  Random Act of Kindness

I do random acts of kindness all the time.  It doesn't matter what it is.  I could hold the door open for the next person at the post office or pick up a child's pacifier for their Mum at the shops, it's something that's small, nice and doesn't cost me anything to do.  

4.  Give to Charities

This is something that I started doing in high school... and my fellow classmates thought I was a dork for doing.  Of course I didn't care, because there's people out there who are less fortunate than me and well, if I didn't who else would do it?  I door-knocked for MS... and this is where it started.  Now, I do The World's Greatest Shave (colouring my hair instead of shaving it) and raise money for blood cancers.  If only people knew how common it is, they'd give more to the cause.  
Not only do I raise money for great causes, but when I want to get rid of stuff around my house, and it's still in good working order, I pack the car and take it to a charity store.  Somebody out there is struggling more than I am; and they'll use it when I no longer have a use for it in my life.

5.  Love the Small Things

I've spent time watching the small things in my garden burst into flower, spiders spin their webs, butterflies flutter around in circles before leaving my garden and taking their wandering path into the next.  Yes, the small things in life are wonderful; and when I've had a huge, busy week, there's nothing more satisfying than being able to pull the weeds out in my garden and knowing I created this little bit of heaven... it's just great. 
You don't have enough room for a garden?  Create a terrarium.  This is a garden inside a bottle... doesn't cost much and if it's a sealed one, it needs little to no care and you can watch it as it cares for itself... wonderful stuff.

6.  Make Your Inner You Happy

Okay, I left the most difficult until last.  This might take years to accomplish.  However, it's not that hard to do really.  What you do is:  ask yourself exactly what made you happy the last time you were totally blissed out?  Was it music?  Was it fashion?  Gardening?  Cooking?  Art?  Then, figure out what part of that made you happy... was the creating part of it or the end product?  Was it the modern music or the old music you loved - or a mix of both?  Why do you love gardening?  What makes you want to cook?  Is it the flavours, the idea of creating that ultimately-one-and-only-creation-that's-purely-yours?  Or is it learning new things?  Once you've figured out what has made you happy (it'll be a few things - not just one), go out and find that happiness again... it's not hard to find it.  There's record stores that stock only vinyl.  There's book exchanges popping up everywhere.  There's art stores that sell good quality supplies dirt cheap... and there's websites galore that will assist you in anything you want to learn.  Making your inner YOU happy is something of an on-going project; and you'll find that once you start on making yourself happy, everyone around you will notice you're changing externally.  Some will embrace this new you, some won't... this is where you'll figure out who your real friends are.  Believe me, this happened to me when I started doing this happiness trip... it's not a bad thing to lose a few friends.  And you know?  I have found that I love the 1970's era - just when everyone else is catching onto it... 

Well, there you go... my rendition of Bill Murray's advice.  So, do tell.  What are your steps in your life where you've made yourself happy?  Or are you still a work in progress and you're not ready to tell us yet? 

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