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Being More Spiritual in this Life

There’s much to appreciate in the world, especially in nature.

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No matter how long you live, you’re on this earth for an exceedingly short time, relatively speaking. Perhaps an afterlife exists, but who can say?

There’s so much to appreciate in the world, especially in nature. Whether or not you believe in God, nature is awe-inspiring. 10,000 years ago, heck, 4.5 billion years ago, the sun rose in the east as it does every morning, all over the earth and across your front lawn. It will be the same 5.0 billion years from now until the sun’s composition swells up, engulfs the earth, and dies as a small white dwarf star.

Life is exuberant throughout the universe, and each of us is part of this massive chain. Millions more species exist than we have been able to catalog. Currently 7.9 billion people inhabit the planet, soon to be 8 billion. The more densely populated urban and suburban areas become, the more vital it is to be kind to one another. We might not all get along all of the time, but for now this one planet is all we have.

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Where Learning Occurs

All major civilizations have had something to impart to humanity, be they cave dwellers, Sumerians, Egyptians, early Greeks, Goths, Seljuks, American Indians, and Papua New Guineans. We can learn from everyone. Many aspects of ancient wisdom are still applicable today. When you add it all up, our commonalities are enormous, much more than our differences.

Whether or not you are religious does not equate to whether or not you are spiritual. Some people attend a house of worship on Sunday, but leave their spirituality at the door. Ideally, being religious and spiritual is a blessed combination, but if you could only choose one, perhaps lean toward spirituality.

You can practice spirituality all day in many different ways. Helping others in the smallest of ways can make a difference. Appreciating nature, even if it’s tending to your garden, has an impact on others who pass by. Here are other ideas each of them require very little effort:

* Pick up litter you see on the road or in a neighbor’s yard.
* Allow someone to get ahead of you in line when their need seems urgent.
* Be gracious with someone has overcharged you.
* Offer a thank-you note to someone who helped you.
* Be a person of your word.

Extraterrestrial Life

If we ever encounter extraterrestrial life, our concept of and relation to the deity will irrevocably change. So will our perceived role in the universe.

The universe is mysterious and vast, to say the least. For those who are highly spiritual, an extraterrestrial encounter won’t upset the apple cart because, in many respects, spiritual types have contemplated all along the existence of other intelligent species.

If you are so inclined, now is the easiest time in history to find and affiliate with other spiritual individuals. Through simple online research, you can find groups in your area be they meditators, chanters, or visualizers, etc.

The Opportunities Abound

You have the opportunity to read up on spirituality via many blogs, articles, and books. Countless numbers of videos produced by an array of practitioners, spiritual guides, and leaders offer timely and timeless messages on many aspects of spirituality as well.

As you begin to develop a more spiritual mindset, you realize that surrogate family members – people you have met on your journey – can be as close as nuclear family and blood relations. Except for the accident of birth, you could be ‘first cousins’ with some surrogate family members.

You can extend your spirituality to mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. They have a place on earth. Are elephants, which have the ability to exhibit more than 200 different emotions any less worthy than you or me? I think not.

Finding the Quiet

Habits that you can develop can become most comforting and bring great peace of mind. If you’re able to carve out a little time to have quiet mornings and/or quiet evenings, how rewarding that can be might surprise you. Many people have the opportunity in the morning or possibly the evening to spend 10 or 15 minutes apart from their previous routines to be contemplative, thankful, observant, and reflective.

Clearly, it’s not the one with the most toys who wins, it’s those with the most joys, and happiness comes from within.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Four Reasons to Be Reflective at This Time of Year

Regardless of what kind of year you have had, there were undoubtedly many triumphs as well as setbacks

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As one season ends and we make way for the next, it is the perfect time to reflect on our careers and our personal lives.

Regardless of what kind of year you have had, there were undoubtedly many triumphs as well as setbacks. If you are a career professional, particularly if your career is thriving, you have many reasons to be thankful.

Perhaps you get to arrange your office in the way that you choose. You work with people who share, presumably, your vision in terms of advancing the organization. Perhaps, you are able to take off numerous weekends, not to mention have some extended vacations.

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A Little Reflection

It behooves each of us to stop and reflect as to how lucky we are. Regardless of any current challenges, on balance, most of the time, each of us experience a life that intermittently contains excitement, disappointments, wonders, triumphs, sorrows, and moments of pure joy.

If it has been hard for you to be reflective over the years, but you nevertheless recognize the benefits, here are four reasons why it makes sense to do so now:

1) If you have your health, it has been said, you have everything. While that might not be exactly so, health is still one of the individual treasures of our existence on earth. Everyone who deems themselves to be healthy, myself included, should acknowledge this truly great gift on a continual basis.

2) Consider your family, friends, peers, coworkers, and other professional associates. Within that broad swath of humanity, clearly there are people whom you care about deeply. There are people who make a difference in your life. There are good friends and peers who add great value on a regular basis. For this, we can be thankful.

3) Whether you live in the U.S. or abroad, presumably, you can be thankful for the many benefits of living in your respective country, where you are allowed to pursue your livelihood, make a decent income, are a respected member of the community, and look forward to years more of being held in esteem by those around you.

4) In anticipation of the next few months, and all the adventures and triumphs that are forthcoming, who would not be thankful? Right now represents a time of opportunity. We are not merely robot clones proceeding in life, looking through the rear view mirror, exhibiting only the behaviors and characteristics that we have previously exhibited.

Many Chances

We have many chances to proceed in new ways – to make new explorations, take on new challenges, assume new types of behaviors, and, indeed, even wholesale reinvent ourselves. For that capability alone, we can agree about the importance of being reflective and thankful.

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Business

Break Free from Your Electronic Shackles

You owe it to yourself to have quiet, uninterrupted stretches throughout the day

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As the end of 2021 draws near, it’s as good a time as any to reassess our relationship with our personal technology. I encounter career professionals in all types of endeavors who cannot bear to be away from their smart phones or mobile devices for any protracted period. Their fear is the risk of missing a vital call, one that could lead to, say, a huge business contract.

Today nearly everybody proceeds as if they are constantly at risk of missing out on something by not being near their smart phone or other communication device. Sadly, such individuals can’t consistently muster the concentration levels necessary to executive their tasks. The notion of being immersed in a project with no possible distractions is seemingly out of the question. This mind set represents irrational thinking for many reasons.

Jumping for Every Call

On most days, most of the time, no call is coming that is so critical that you have to be attuned to commutation devices around the clock. Even when a big opportunity comes your way, if you position your business correctly, you don’t need to be overly concerned with having to answer the phone call or the inquiry the moment it comes.

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Establishing notable differentiation in what you offer in your target niche increases the probability that callers and inquirers who are seeking your product or services will not abandon ship merely because you weren’t available the first moment they made contact. Indeed, my entire career, as a professional speaker has been based on this concept.

When someone calls my number to book me for a speaking engagement at their conference or convention, fortunately, they usually are calling because they want me in particular. I hold the registered trademark as “The work life balance expert” and have established this niche over the last 24 years.

Typically inquirers are not seeking a “time management speaker” or a “stress management speaker,” although on occasion that does happen. My strategy has never been to be perceived as a rank and file time management or stress management speaker. The inquirers I receive invariably are from those people who wanted something different and, in particular, wanted me.

Differentiate or Die

Likewise in your business, or in your career, when you differentiate what makes you unique and or better than the competition, the obsession with being available the moment anybody inquires vanishes.

Suppose you haven’t clearly differentiated your product or services. Even then, you don’t have to be totally attentive to smart phones and mobile devices around the clock. You merely need to establish a trade-off between the times when it makes sense for you to concentrate on the task at hand, versus those times when you are available to all inquiries.

Especially for entrepreneurs in solo or small companies, you can offer automated or posted messages that tell inquirers the best times to reach you. Most people can understand and respect that. Yes, there will be instances when the inquirer goes on to the next party down the list and you lose that opportunity. That, however, cannot be the rationale for your being a slave to communication technology around the clock.

A Lost Prospect Equals Death?

Years back in a course I attended, the instructor said that if you’re in sales, for example, and you’re overly focused on making this one sale, you won’t be at your best. The prospect can feel your anxiety. Why would you be so anxious about this sale? The presenter said, too many people unconsciously contemplate a string of potential disasters. If they don’t make this sale, they might not make quota and their income will suffer. By not having considerable earnings, they may have to do without. Their spouse might be upset. Their children might starve.

If other sales prospects fall through, they could lose they could be in dire financial straights. They could lose their home. They could imperil their company. As a result of this, they might fall ill. They might not have the funds to take care of themselves, and then they might die.

In other words, amazingly, many sales professionals, as well as entrepreneurs and executives in a wide variety of companies, approach a current opportunity with the subconscious mind set that if they are not successful at this particular juncture, it leads to death.

The Larger Toll

Missing an opportunity is not the end of the world, even missing a large contract because the inquirer went to the next party on the list. Conversely, what is the toll taken on you for being available 24/7? How effective have your solutions been clients when you are not able to focus on the task at hand, offer your complete and undivided attention, and hence do you best work?

As we proceed into an ever faster future of greater technological capability, the risk of missing something important versus being able to do our best work will become a larger issue. It’s vital to establish parameters now as to when we will maintain “an open door policy” of being accessible via electronic communication, and when we will safeguard our ability to focus and concentrate by removing or at least limiting any such intrusions.

You owe it to yourself to have quiet, uninterrupted stretches throughout the day and the week when you can think, evaluate, and make the kinds of decisions that propel your company forward.

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