Month.

A month is a long time for some and a short time to others. Plenty can happen in a month, you could train and run a marathon in a month, you could write a book, improve your health, take a trip to a few new places, or focus on something with all of your focus. That is what I did last month, I spent some time focused on improving my mental health, I was in a rut and it was a challenge to get out of. I felt awful and uninspired, I felt weak in everything I did and withdrew myself from some of my greatest friendships.

It’s hard to struggle and not always understand why. It is a puzzle to me why I withdrew from my friends and felt the desire to keep to myself. I never know when this is going to happen either, the world suddenly feels heavy and I feel like Atlas holding the weight of the world on my shoulders. Is this something I want? No, but its something I must work through when it happens and move forward from those moments of deep doubt and weight.

Last month after mothers day I took a break from writing every day and decided to look inward and reflect to see how I was feeling, how I could find personal clarity, and how I could be in a better mental state. It was not easy to look inward as I did, writing down lists of negative self-thoughts and a few positive ones. It made me extremely sad to see how poorly I looked at myself when I know that I have heaps more to offer than I thought I did during those moments. I knew that I wasn’t feeling up to par with being my happier self, but that I could work my way through and out of the rut I had found myself in.

If you or anyone you know seems a little off from their usual self don’t be afraid to ask them how they are doing, see if they need an ear to vent to, or just need someone to sit with them in silence until they are ready to talk. Try and be there for them and make sure they know that you are willing to be there when they need. This seems like common sense friendship but it isn’t. It’s something that shows you are a friend with a deeper understanding of the feelings and needs of others.

To my friends who stood beside me through these challenging times, I say thank you. Thank you for listening when I needed, sending memes out of the blue that raised a smile on my face, and laughing with me when I needed a good laugh. Friendship is a beautiful thing isn’t it?

Know.

I know a few things about life and I mean just a few things. The things I don’t know about the world outnumber the things I do know one-billion to one. I like being able to acknowledge that I only know a few things because that allows me to be open to learning many more as my cup has plenty of room to be filled. Every day we have the opportunity to learn new things from books, the internet, and other people. We should try to always be ready to learn a thing or two when the occasion arises in front of us.

I bring this up because today was one of those days where I asked a few questions then was able to listen. Listen to peoples passion about the products and services they provide to their customers. Listening to others share their passion behind the company they work for is exciting and motivating to me. Each person who I interacted with was excited about the products and services they sent out into the world because they made a difference in educational institutions for all students who were able to have classrooms that utilized their products.

I loved hearing that students grades were increasing by 10% and teachers were taking 8% less sick days because of these products. As an employee at this company, these people knew they were using their skills to invest in the education of others. I think that was what excited me the most was hearing the feedback that these employees felt that they were apart of something bigger than just another transaction for money. They were apart of the development of future scholars, policymakers, and leaders.

It’s always a happy experience for me to be asked to audit employees of companies and see where they fit on an employee happiness scale. As employees, we look to do a good job at a great company that has a great culture within. We are a vital part of maintaining this culture as leadership often introduces ideas that we might not understand at first we are responsible for ourselves and those we interact with learning the updates and helping others understand them. If we are willing to learn new things and continue being a strong asset to the company we are apart of.

Join a culture that learns.
Help that culture continue to grow.

See where that can go.

Best.

As often as we can my dog and I go out hiking in the mountains and hills near our house. As soon as I mention the phrase “Let’s hike” my dog immediately runs to the door and begins an impatient session of whining to go and running to me as I prepare to venture out. Once we get in the car she eagerly awaits our adventure with her paws on the center console and eyes peeled on the road. Once we arrive at our destination she begins a little dance to get out and begin smelling everything, running to and fro, and keeping her stoke high. June lives her best day ever each time we go out.

That’s one of the best things about having a dog is that every moment seems to be the happiest moment she has ever had. Whenever go out she lives those minutes with bliss as she experiences the world around her. I think we could all take a life lesson from dogs by living our best days every day and every opportunity to do something is an opportunity to smile and be fully invested in what we are doing.

Too many people drag themselves from one place to another and go through the expected motions we lack enthusiasm as we go along and often do not enjoy our lives. We need to enjoy our lives more, by finding a better life balance that allows us to do the things we want to more often. Whatever we enjoy doing we need to find time to do it. Allowing ourselves to become distracted with too many other things that a corporate society demands of us. We need to spend less time following the rules for life that others have created for us and more time creating the life we know we want to live and actually believe in living.

Be like a dog heading out to hike and live your best day ever every day.

Time.

Daily we decide where to invest our time. Perhaps you spend many hours at work, a few hours at the gym, a bit with friends, working on hobbies, or some time alone. Each of us has a day that is broken up between twenty-four hours, between the hours of sunshine and darkness. We choose where to put ourselves during these hours and who we will invest our time with and the activities we pursue.

Many of us are required to work to cover our day to day expenses or the cost of living. The hours we spend at work are what we choose to make of them, you might have a job that some look down at but it might be the right fit for you. Each of us can be happy at what we do each day, even if it isn’t our life passion we can still show up with a good attitude and a willingness to accomplish our tasks. This makes our hours spent working less of a drag on our personal lives, and us less of a negative well for others to feed off in their own struggles with life. Recognize that a good attitude will bring about better opportunities and better days.

Time spent with other people can make or break our days. We have routines that are built around the lives of others, we might look forward to seeing someone at work, after work, when we get home, or tomorrow at 11 am sharp for brunch. These plans with others can increase our overall life satisfaction and help us to find a better way of living. Lives are better when we have others to support and those who can support us. Friendships allow for happiness, sadness, misunderstandings, and collaborations. Life with others can test us, break us, and build us into better folk who can be better friends when the occasion arises.

Wherever you should decide to spend your time do so wisely. Invest in real opportunities building better experiences for yourself and others. Find yourself being the best friend you can be to others but most of all be a friend to yourself.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.