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#249: How Imaginative Are You?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Are you an imaginative person? Do you think creatively? When people talk about thinking “outside of the box” do you ask them what box? emoticon

Remember when we were children and a stick became a magic sword that helped fight fierce enemies and an empty cardboard box was turned into an impenetrable castle?

Where did such thinking go as we aged? What happened to our imaginations? Simply watching children play or color or draw or see wonderful shapes in overhead clouds emoticon will open our eyes to the vast universe of their young minds and open our minds to possibilities that, at first blush, might not have been obvious.

We often can not see a solution to our problems because our thinking is too stagnant.

Let’s test your insight for a moment. I caution that this example will sound really, really stupid at first. Heck, it’ll sound really stupid afterwards, too, but it will get your mental juices flowing.

Imagine being in a room with solid walls, floor and ceiling. There are no doors or windows only a mirror and a table. How do you get out?

The answer? Look in the mirror to see what you saw then take the saw and cut the table in half. We all know that two halves equal a whole, so you then crawl out of the hole. emoticon

Boo hiss. I warned you. emoticon

But doesn’t it get the creative mind working? Yes, it stretches the imagination to figure a way out, but, you know what? A truly imaginative thinker would have asked, “How did you get in there in the first place?”

Won’t you stretch the boundaries of your thinking today and let your imagination run wild, like it did when we were kids playing mighty pirates, slaying dinosaurs and traveling to new faraway worlds in our minds? emoticon

Let’s not become stodgy, set-in-our-ways grownups.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOSPELCLOWN 3/9/2010 5:07PM

    Mirror, mirror on this table
How'd I get stuck in this fable?
If I sit and pray and pout,
Won't some Knight come get me out????

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TINKERBELL200 3/6/2010 9:29PM

    emoticon blog Lou! That's why we're called children of God, or have child like faith, because God wants us to have an imagination as we did when we were a child! Beyond what we could ask or think of! emoticon analogy! I really enjoyed this and it got my imagination going! Thanks Lou!!

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YATMAMA 3/6/2010 7:46PM

    I love this blog. My husband adored it. He is SUCH a word confuser. Makes me nuts. lol It also means he's a lotta fun! I enjoyed the responses every bit as much as the blog itself. Thank you, Lou!!



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TEDYBEAR2838 3/6/2010 4:05PM

    I try always to use my imagination. I feel I have a great one. I love thinking of crazy things about every day ordinary stuff. Keeps the mind young I think.

Good Post my Friend! emoticon

No one accuses me of being set in my ways :)

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JPANESE 3/6/2010 2:22PM

    My DH has a great capacity to "think outside the box". I have the good sense to follow his lead when he comes up with another one of his many imaginitive solutions.

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CAMEY13 3/6/2010 1:26PM

    I was thinking like sparklove, about the mirror. My first thought was that the mirror was magical and the person went in through the mirror and then the mirror closed completely. In order for the person to get out they had to break the mirror and then there would be an entrance.

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SPARKLOVE 3/6/2010 11:08AM

    You could find yourself in a room with no windows or doors if someone build the room around you -which is what I was thinking could be possiable. I was thinking -now I will have to break the mirroe and use it for a tool to cut a window or door . LOL

I liked your answer -that was so funny! emoticon

Thanks for starting my day off with a laugh. Hugs, Joy

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GABY1948 3/6/2010 9:19AM

    Lou, this is a great blog. However, I was never blessed with a great imagination. I have always been a great follower but not a leader...except of myself. I am an extremely good worker but would rather be taught what to do. Maybe I should pray about this to open my imagination.

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LINDA25427 3/5/2010 11:53PM

    Great blog thanks for sharing . God bless. Hugs emoticon emoticon

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    I am blessed in that I babysit my grandchildren daily. Today I was the "jailer" who guarded the jail when the "playground police" arrested those who broke the "rules" whatever the rules were determined to be. Then I was the "monster" that chased them around the "castle" while they squealed their heads off. In the pool I am usually the shark trying to eat the mermaid princesses or maybe an alligator... sometimes we are "la-di-da" ladies at the "spa" getting our hair done. I'm very blessed indeed. Thanks for a great blog. Love, Dawn PS: In the case of the room.... I was thinking, I reach into my pocket for my bag of holding, pull out my peacock feather of teleportation and pop myself out! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/5/2010 11:36:15 PM

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PEPPERLEAH 3/5/2010 10:05PM

    Imagination is SUCH a wonderful thing! And the freedom to exercise that imagination is equally as wonderful! It is necessary for all people to use their imaginations!

Great blog, Lou!

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MRSJARI 3/5/2010 9:40PM

    I love it! When I made a comment to my daughter about if she kept that upp she would fall on her tail and break it, she immediately began turning around to see her tail! She is 7.

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SPICYTHATSME! 3/5/2010 9:31PM

    Remember the new sneakers that could make us run or jump faster? One of the first things I asked myself is how did I get there in the first place??? I'll just reverse rhe process and find my way out emoticon I'm out

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#248: Positive Smile or Negative Frown -- Your Choice

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I was listening to a gospel song this afternoon, "I'm Gonna Write a Song" and heard these lyrics:

“Folks sit around with their face in a frown and gripe about the way things are...

“Well, I’m so tired of complaining, so in my time remaining, I’m going to do my best to make the world a better place to live.”

The first line struck me as true of so many people today who indeed do wear a frown more often than a smile and who are overly generous with their complaints. Some people prefer to immerse themselves in negativity, like such an attitude is a cloak of honor they can wear proudly.

Why is this?

It seems to me that it takes more energy to be in and stay in a negative mood than to be in and stay in a positive one.

And, we do tend to attract that which we give off. Be negative and most people will not want to be near you. Oh, sure, the naysayers will flock around you like you were passing out free candy. But others will avoid you like the proverbial plague.

Be like the singer in the second line though: “Well, I’m so tired of complaining, so in my time remaining, I’m going to do my best to make the world a better place to live” and watch how other's reactions to you change for the better.

There is already far too much negativity in the world. We hear and read of it without ceasing. Let's stop any of our complaining and try to make the world a better place by virtue of our positive attitudes.

Regardless of your orientation, putting on a positive smile emoticon or a negative frown emoticon is up to you.

It's your choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBIE18 3/6/2010 9:07AM

    I love this. I choose to be positive too, though sometimes it takes real effort. But it's definitely worth working toward. It makes me happy to see blogs like this.

Keep on spreading the word!

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/5/2010 7:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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QUIKSYLVER 3/5/2010 5:22PM


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SPARKLOVE 3/5/2010 4:07PM

    Lou, I hope you don't stop blogging when you reach 365. I look forward to reading your blogs each day! Thank You for taking the time to give us a interesting blogs to read. emoticon

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NANHBH 3/5/2010 2:26PM

    I choose to smile and be positive! Thanks for the reminder.


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SINGLEMOM1960 3/5/2010 12:23PM

    I agree. Thanks

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BLYNN710 3/5/2010 11:58AM

    Very true about what people think. It's funny though because I am a person that is accused of frowning a lot even though I am not being negative. My face seems to put off a frown when I am concentrating on something. So I try to remind myself not to judge people just by the expression on their face. This blog really makes a person think. Thanks!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/5/2010 11:18AM

    Great SHARE... I've gotta blog on this!!!

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GABY1948 3/5/2010 9:12AM

    I am a pretty joyful person and I do choose to always smile, even in stores while just shopping...I guess people wonder if I am all there...but usually they smile back! Great blog, Lou, as usual!~Gaye

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IUHRYTR 3/5/2010 7:55AM

    For inquiring minds, I number my blogs because on June 30th of last year I set as one of my writing goals to produce 365 consecutive blogs that would, I hope, encourage, inspire and make readers smile. Numbering them allows me to easily see how far I've come and how far there is to go. But, why didn't I set a goal of 50 or 100? emoticon -- Lou

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SEKSUNSHINE 3/5/2010 7:20AM

    I love to smile it makes people wonder what's going on, also it is infectious. I would rather catch a smile than the flu!

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YATMAMA 3/5/2010 2:14AM

    I choose to smile!!! Some time back the Lord challenged me to do something and it has really changed my mornings. I am SO not a morning person!!! But first thing when I open my eyes, before I start making lists in my head of all that needs to be done, I smile to Jesus. I just take that moment to let Him know He makes my whole heart happy. I don't pray. I don't ask Him anything. I don't tell Him anything, yet. I just smile to Him. It has made my mornings SO much sweeter!

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PEPPERLEAH 3/5/2010 12:39AM


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PASTORKATHY 3/5/2010 12:03AM

    You are right. I choose a smile emoticon.

I choose life. I choose good health...

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PONYFARMER 3/4/2010 10:40PM

    So true! Thanks for reminding us.

Can I ask why you number your blogs? I have always wondered. Inquiring minds want to know. lol

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SPARKLOVE 3/4/2010 10:24PM

    Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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    That is emoticon, Lou! Do you know the author??? I'd love to hear that song sometime! Your friend, Lori

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IMREITE 3/4/2010 9:27PM

    I started working on that same topic this week. i was crabby most of january and i wanted out of the funk. i told a couple people that maybe we need to just focus on waht we can fix and encourage one another.

Positive attitudes can spread as mush as the negative. I want to spread the positive.

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GIBBLES5 3/4/2010 9:26PM


I am definitely choosing to smile more!!!!!!!

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#247: Judge Not Lest We Be Judged

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Isn't people watching fun? At a mall, a library, the beach, in church, wherever people gather. It's interesting to note the various clothes they wear, the way they walk and talk and carry themselves, their hairstyles, their attitudes.

Imagine for a moment that you were asked to judge people's personalities by these type of factors. Could you do it?

An except from the upcoming book, "The Search for the Authentic Self" by Erica Boucher, has a particularly interesting excerpt that asks readers to watch people and notice the almost automatic tendency to make judgments about them.

She asks observers to feel how they have been trained to judge, to make others wrong somehow, or less important or even better than us in some way. We automatically categorize others in our minds.

But if we could peel away the outer layers to reveal the true person inside, who would we see? A person brought up in a caring, supportive environment who posses a healthy self-image emoticon or one who was neglected and never received positive reinforcement, leading to a lack of self-esteem emoticon?

Those of us who are or were overweight know what it is like to be judged unfairly solely on our appearance, to hurt from the senseless comments and stares of other people. Oh, sure, many overweight people became famous -- Jackie Gleeson, Carol O'Connor (Archy Bunker), singer Kate Smith and others -- but what of the overweight people who are not celebrities?

For them, they are judged, not by their comedic abilities or singing voices, but by their lack of ability to fit within one tiny airplane seat (see TSABONIS's blog at: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
or in a restaurant booth, or in a swim suit.

These superficial judgments do not penetrate the outer layers of a person's physical self to reveal their personality, their skills and abilities, passions, commitment to helping others, skill in writing or cooking or playing a musical instrument or compassion in caring for the wounded and infirm.

It's sad that the world is so quick to judge because of a person's appearance. But, as author Boucher suggests: Shine the light of compassion on people, energetically embracing them emoticon, seeing them as another innocent soul.

Do this with everyone who walks by regardless of size, shape, color, behavior, social status or attitude. Feel how loving others results in true joy as we let down our walls of separation and our defenses and as we stop judging others.

Judge not lest we be judged.

As true today as it was thousands of years ago.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SINGLEMOM1960 3/5/2010 12:08PM

    I love to people watch. It's one of my favorite pastimes. At the beach, a restaurant, the mall. I can't help it, people are so fascinating to watch. Some times I do catch myself judging them. Maybe not so much as judging but creating a scenario in my mind of what got them to that point at that exact moment. Totally fictional, but fun. Summing them up. Is that judging?

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SPARKLOVE 3/4/2010 10:21PM

    The false belief that "I am separated from others", leads to fighting and wars. We are all related to one another. Everyone is physically related to each other. We are all cousins . It does not matter what color you are or where you live- we are all related. There would be less hate in this world if we did not feel this detachment from one another. We are all a piece of God.

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GABY1948 3/4/2010 5:20PM

    Thank you so much for this, Lou. My son that weighs near 400 pounds and has lost a fiance and job and mow is losing his home is looked down on in public and it just hurst me so badly. I try to go out and talk to the "outcasts" I see at the stores. Ultimately we are all beautifule in God's eyes.

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CINDYHOUGHTON 3/4/2010 10:30AM

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Not so much on appearance, but because of what we have done. My daughter is a felon and will never be given a second chance by society because that is all they can see. She is a great salesman, but will never be able to get a sales job. All she can do is waitress. And we wonder why they end up back in jail and prison so many times. Thanks bro. You are so right.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/4/2010 7:46AM

    Great reminder!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/3/2010 11:51PM


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GIBBLES5 3/3/2010 10:51PM

    Lou, another fabulous blog.

This is such a touchy topic for some people, I always think about if I could walk a mile in someone's shoes. Their life might not be as nice as I might think it is.

Thanks for sharing such insight to the world, as always!!!!!!!!!!

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HAPPYWRITER7 3/3/2010 10:23PM

    Thanks for the reminder Lou. You know what gets me sometimes? How easy it is for some of us who have been judged our whole lives to judge other people, just as quickly and unfairly. (Not all, but some, self included). Sometimes, it becomes so commonplace, we don't even realize it, but it's such a wonderful thing when we do and work and pray to avoid it.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/3/2010 10:09PM

    Excellent Blog. I know I TRY not to judge, but I find myself doing it and I say, "Lord, am I really judging them?" then ask forgiveness.

It's so nice to know we Have that forgiveness, we just have to ask.

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PEPPERLEAH 3/3/2010 9:45PM

    Lou! Another amazing blog! What you have said is so true; we live in a world of people that have been taught to be judgemental. Often times that translates into cruelty and harsh remarks. I see this happen every day. I pray daily that I don't judge people.

Thank you for this blog!

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YATMAMA 3/3/2010 9:21PM

    That is SO powerful and SO true. I accept that challenge!!

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    What a wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the idea of sharing our compassion with all people. Love to you my friend, Dawn

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BIGDAD1211 3/3/2010 8:43PM

    Amen! And it is so easy to judge people too, but remember as we judge, so are we judged!
Thanks Lou!

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#246: Don’t Allow Fear of Success to Derail Your Efforts

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." George Washington Carver

* * * * *

Much has been written about people’s fear of success, that invisible barrier that is so often so impenetrable. Simply put, many people can not visualize themselves as successful individuals. Consequently, their subconscious sabotages their efforts to change.

Regarding weight loss, this refers to the person who constantly laments that they have always been heavy, or that they are big-boned, or that they tried to lose weight in the past but were not successful or that their cousin tried a particular diet plan that didn’t work. There’s always an excuse.

Their image of themselves is so flawed that even if they were absolutely guaranteed to become the fit, healthy, weight-appropriate person they desire to be, they would find some reason not to make their efforts work.

Haven’t you encountered such people?

Perhaps you have even been in their place, making excuses and refusing to believe, truly believe that you CAN become the person you long to be.

So, how do we fight such negative attitudes?

First, I believe, is to have a healthy self-ego, a sense of personal pride that we are valuable people, despite our weight.

Second, we need to develop a belief system, one that constantly tells us that we WILL overcome our situations and that we CAN become a new person.

Third, we must fill our minds and hearts with positive affirmations that we see and say throughout every day. We need to continually tell ourselves that we are good people, invaluable in fact in God’s eyes, that we are bred for success and endowed with the elements we need to succeed.

Fourth, we must develop a never say die attitude and never, ever quit pursuing our dreams. It’s true that our day-to-day efforts are going to produce varied, sometimes up and down, results. We must not let these fluctuations deter us from our goal.

We have the tools of success within us. We simply must provide an attitude that allows us to be successful. Don’t allow fear of success to derail your efforts

Above all:



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SINGLEMOM1960 3/5/2010 11:57AM

    So true and so easily to fall into that trap. I'm guilty of it. Great advice, thank you.

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JEWELS571 3/3/2010 7:37PM


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SPARKLOVE 3/3/2010 6:51PM

    I agree Lou, 100% "Change your thoughts-Change your life!"

emoticon and We can all do it! Joy

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GOSPELCLOWN 3/3/2010 5:23PM

    Thanks for sharing. That is what we have to be reminded of- day in and day out!


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MACMOM57 3/3/2010 5:19PM

    Thanks Lou you always have the best blog and hints keep them coming.

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NANHBH 3/3/2010 5:08PM

    Amen to that! In the past, I suffered from "fear of success." And you are right, Lou. When I worked on my self-esteem, started using affirmations, the excuses went away and I was amazed at the things I could accomplish! Great blog.


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BADMAMMAJAMMA1 3/3/2010 10:42AM

    Great Blog!! So very True.

Treasure Yourself

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KRICKET4 3/3/2010 10:26AM

    Great blog!

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GABY1948 3/3/2010 9:45AM

    This did used to be me until two years ago when health superceded excuses!

This is another true and excellent blog, Lou!


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GIBBLES5 3/3/2010 9:39AM

    I feel like you just totally pegged me.... I will try to take your advice "happy thoughts...happy thoughts" and try to deem my self worth a little more because a lot of times I feel so insignificant.

But I have to admit, although this has been a major roller coaster ride for me this time around, I haven't at any time in the last several months given up completely. So, I have to say that I am dealing with the negative forces better and I am believing in me more.

Thanks for your endless wisdom.....


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WOODSYGIRL 3/3/2010 12:58AM

    This was a terrific blog! You stated everything so clearly and every single point resonated with me. Thank you for sharing such wonderful insights!

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    Excellent blog. Thanks for posting it for us. I'm glad that we're on this journey together! Love, Dawn

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/2/2010 10:40PM

    Great Blog... although sometimes I do falter, this is so intune with how my brain is really thinking these days!

And, a much needed pat on the back of support to keep reaching for my dreams!

Thank you!

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YATMAMA 3/2/2010 10:08PM

    Bullseye again, Lou!

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VXWALL1942 3/2/2010 10:04PM

    Super blog! Thanks for the inspiration and motivation.

vicki emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 3/2/2010 9:29PM

    I so agree; never give up! Never give up! NEVER GIVE UP! We can do this, regardless of any past experiences that have not turned out well. This is the here and now, and we can do it! Thanks for a great blog, Lou!

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/2/2010 9:00PM

    Absolutely Brillient and so true!

Thank you so much ... that sure goes along with my re-commit that I blogged last night.


I have copied and pasted the URL to this page to my other groups. emoticon

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    LOU! Did you write this blog just for ME? emoticon It sure came close to describing me! I don't have that much trouble with trying, but my goodness, I have trouble with succeeding and allowing myself to feel HAPPY about it! Thanks. I learned from your blog, and I'm glad I read it! emoticonLori

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#245: What Is Your Happiness Rating?

Monday, March 01, 2010

If we were to grade our general happiness level on a scale of 0-100, what would yours be? emoticon- emoticon

Mine would likely rate 70-80 with occasional dips to 40 and surges to 90 or 95.

According to a World Values Survey by the University of Michigan Institute of Social research, between 1981 and 2007, happiness and general life satisfaction has risen substantially in 40 of 52 countries tracked.

Most notable countries for rising happiness and well-being are India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea, with recent spikes in ex-communist countries as well as Nigeria and Turkey. The U.S. ranked 16th.

The happiest nation? Denmark.

This is all fine for countries as a whole but what if such a study was conducted on us individually? Where would we rank?

Sure, day-to-day financial and other problems take their toll on our moods. But do everyday events need to diminish our overall happiness? Haven't we all read of people in the direst of circumstances who were genuinely happy with their lot in life?

So, what about you? How would you rate your overall happiness? If you're not satisfied with your level of happiness, what can you do to improve it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SINGLEMOM1960 3/5/2010 12:01PM

    I'm usually around 60-75. But on my bad days, when I'm in pain, then my level drops deep into the 20s or 10s. Even though I know it's an outside factor affecting me, my level is low.

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SPARKLOVE 3/3/2010 6:45PM

    I have learned to be happy in spite of my circumstances - I become most troubled when I am trying to make a decision and I am not sure what to do .....once I can get over that hump I can be happy again even if my decision leads me though troubled water.

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GEODAWG 3/2/2010 6:13PM

    My level of happiness is the best it has been. Probably an 8 or 9 with surges up to 10 frequently. I have a wonderful husband, I am retired from a stress-filled job, I am healthy as two dozen horses and for once, my children are all safe and content. Who could ask for any thing more?

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MRSJARI 3/2/2010 5:50PM

    At the moment, I think it has been about a 40 today, but is now higher, because my husband is able to help me now!

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    My happiness rating has increased steadily over my lifetime. I am healthier, happier and better adjusted than ever before. There will always be things that prevent a perfect happiness but on the whole I would say I have a 90 to 95% happiness rating. "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

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GABY1948 3/2/2010 8:36AM

    I have to agree with ALLIE...Jesus, my Lord and Savior, has my rating for myself 85-95% MOST of the time. Can't really think of a time in the past 2 years (since I began my health journey with the Lord's help) that I could say I was below 85. Reading the Bible will always lift the spirit and staying in the Word keeps all in perspective.
Great blog, as usual, Lou.

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MACMOM57 3/2/2010 7:44AM

    I would say mine is like yours Lou with dips and highs. But most of the time I'm at 85 90 takes a lot to make me unhappy.

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TEDYBEAR2838 3/1/2010 11:20PM

    Probably 80. We can't be ecstatically happy all the time or down in the dumps all the time. I think we need to be somewhere in between.

Just my humble opinion :) But it's great to realize how we feel about this

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BUSSMOM 3/1/2010 11:19PM

  I would have to say that I am generally a happy person. I believe that you can choose to be happy or you can choose to live in misery. Being happy is so much more fun and I really like having fun.

So there you go. That is the way I am.

Good things to think about.


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    Ah, Lou, this time last year, it would have been a 4.

At this time, I'd say an overall 8.

It was good to look at this! Things are definitely looking up!

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YATMAMA 3/1/2010 10:55PM

    I have some thoughts about why Denmark is ranked first that are better left unshared. For myself? I find that I am far happier with my life (about 90%) than I am with myself (far less, maybe 50% or 55%). I am not sure why that's the case, either. I'll have to think about this. Another insightful blog. Thank you!!

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GIBBLES5 3/1/2010 10:09PM

    Most of the time it is pretty low, maybe 40 -50, some highs and some lows. I am trying to figure out how to create my own happiness... I'll let you know how it goes.

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ALLIE_1969 3/1/2010 10:08PM

    My general happiness rating skyrocketed about 2 years ago when I discovered that which was missing from my life... a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I attended a program called Celebrate Recovery which helped me turn my past hurts over to God, I have forgiven everyone from my past who has hurt me (and there were lots of them) and I now keep a very short account with people. I forgive immediately and am getting better at asking for forgiveness quickly. It makes an amazing difference. I just keep remembering that "I forgive because I have been forgiven" and it makes me so much happier... most days I am probably closing in on 80-85... I see 90-95 some days and very rarely would I ever fall below 70... Thanks be to God!

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