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Of Childhood Dreams and the Midlife Crisis…

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Below is a piece submitted by a very good friend who has agreed to post on carolasbucket.com as a guest contributor.  Enjoy

Post By Guest Contributor Alejandro

Have you achieved your childhood dreams?  Have you considered that your dreams need to be adjusted to adult reality?  Mines were: 1) Cool fast car with awesome music (check), 2) Beautiful, healthy, smart children (check), 3) Good paying job that I love where I were a suit (check), 4) A home in an awesome neighborhood (check), 5) Friends that I love and they love me back (check).  Happiness level = 6 out of 10.  Why are so many of us unhappy and depressed when we have so many things to be happy about?

Well, this blog post will not answer that question, as I am no genius on life and love matters, but I will lay out my thought process for how I want to live the rest of my life and achieve true, and long-lasting happiness.  Is that even possible say you?  I say it is.  I see it every day, it’s a state of mind, a journey, not a destination.  This is something that is easier for some to achieve and harder for others depending on your background, personality, life skills and social upbringing.

 To start, you must know yourself, you must know your personality… for men, here is a start:

http://manofthehouse.com/relationships/communication/dr-helen-fisher-4-personality-types-men

For women, here is a start:

http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/meeting-women-six-personality-types

These profiles are not designed to match you exactly, but they will give you the basics, so you understand why you like to do certain things and why you behave in certain ways in certain situations.  We can have any behavior that we want and desire, but it takes practice and effort, if it is not your God-given natural gift.

 After learning more about you, decide on what is most important to you.  If your own happiness is not number 1 on your list of priorities, think again.  If you are not truly happy, you cannot make your partner, children, friends and others truly happy.  If someone really knows you, they KNOW that you are not truly happy, even if they don’t tell you.  Once you have the realization and understand who in your daily life is happy and who is not, it is extremely easy to see.  We all know that really cheery person that doesn’t need six cups of coffee to get through life, and that is usually in a good mood.  I ask her why so happy, she says: “I have a husband that loves me and the best children in the world, what is there not to be happy about.”  If in doubt, just ask, those “happy people” are usually more than willing to tell you how happy they are, why and how they achieved it.

 Here are important questions in key areas of your life that you should consider:

  • Relationships.  Which ones are important?  Are you spending time on the right ones?
  • Spirituality.  Do you meditate, pray or contemplate life?  What motivates you?
  • Financial.  Are you managing your money correctly?  Prioritizing your expenses?
  • Professional.  Is your job rewarding?  Are you doing what you like to do?
  • Health.  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you exercising enough?
  • Lifestyle.  Are you living and doing the things that matter and fulfill you?
  • Knowledge.  Are you learning the right things?

 Concentrating in just one area is not the path to happiness, neither is trying to balance them all.  Each of us must pick what is important, set goals, find the resources needed to succeed and start to change our lives to what we want it to be, only then can we start the journey to happiness.

 Here are some resources that I have found useful in my quest:

 Good luck… See you soon.

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A Little Fun Goes a Long Way

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Random Thoughts:

…On Childhood and Joy
Now why is it that I have misplaced my capacity to enjoy life “just because”.  I mean, memories of my childhood are mainly made of carefree days filled with giggles and adventures.  It was easy to find something to be excited about.  Pure and simple joy.  I long for that. Yes, I get it; grown-up-ness comes hand in hand with tons of responsibilities and commitments that capture our time and resources.  Nevertheless, If I could retrieve something from my past it would definitely be the innocence of mind and the un-shelled heart, which allowed me to just smile and laugh at the meekest of things.

Pardon the quality - Pix taken by myself with my non-state-of-the-art cell

This past weekend I went to the skating rink with my children.  Roller skating was definitely one of my favorite activities as a kid.  I use to spend much time skating around the block along with my childhood BFF Marlin.  It made me happy.  Last Saturday I tried roller blading instead; a little intimidating at first, but really easier than its predecessor.  Despite the fact that my feet hurt from the grip of the blades, I was able to really enjoy myself.  The kids had fun too.  You know, a little fun goes a long way in the way of unwinding; most importantly, it helps build the moments we will cherish forever.

Now, borrowing from fellow blogger Phil Echols and his site 2 Words: Become Better, sometimes in life we just need to Choose Happiness.  Phil recently did a series of posts on how to integrate a little fun into ones life.  He suggested Mini Golf, Go Karts, and Playing Jenga.  Below is a list of fun activities that I would enjoy doing more of and would love to find a way to incorporate into my Bucket List and my life:

  • Rollerblading
  • Bowling
  • Playing Pool
  • Ice Skating
  • Riding a Bicycle
  • Flying a Kite

How about you; are there fun activities you have neglected and would love to retake?  Also, do you prefer Roller Skating or Roller Blading?