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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

Smart Move in a Rough Economy: Help Your Boss to Shine

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives

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Making your boss look good can only reflect favorably on you. Both your boss and his or her supervisors will appreciate this.

The best way to make your boss look good is to handle your work efficiently and thoroughly. If your boss is fair, he or she will give you credit for the work, increasing your chances of promotion.

If your boss is not doing his or her share of the work, leaning on you unfairly without giving you the credit, it’s still likely that you’ll be promoted when your boss is promoted. That person knows you’ve been doing more than your share, and he or she won’t be able to take a new position without your help.

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Becoming a Mentor to Others

Maybe you’re only 27 years old, or perhaps you’ve only been with your present firm for a year and a half. Yet, with your previous experience and achievements, you may already be in a position to serve as a mentor to junior members of your organization. This can be accomplished on an informal, ad hoc basis, and you can literally choose the amount of energy you’re willing to commit. Helping junior members always looks good to those above you, especially at performance review time.

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives. This three-way strategy includes reviewing your job description, deciding precisely what your department’s goals are, and determining your company’s objectives:

Your Job Description

First, knowing your job description and honoring it, or amending it if necessary, protect you from any misunderstandings. It will also give you an idea of the part you play in the total picture of the organization, an important factor in your work satisfaction and chance of promotion.

Your job description ideally contains all the important activities of your position, the knowledge you need to have or acquire to perform those activities, and some sense of your overall role. If your job description does not adequately detail the information you need to know and the responsibilities you have, now is the time to change it.

Company Goals

Second, learn and understand the goals of your part of the company. By whatever method your organization is broken into groups — department, division, project team — your group has objectives.

Goals are important to guide actions as well as to mark milestones. Knowing your group’s goals will help you to set priorities for your own work and make wise decisions concerning how jobs can best be done.

What is the Mission?

Finally, be aware of your organization’s mission. Any organization, from the smallest business to the multibillion-dollar corporation, has a mission. If you don’t already know it, find out. Your organization’s brochure, annual report, promotional literature, or employee handbook will have the mission spelled out.

The mission will unify and give meaning to all the division or department goals. Although conflicts among divisions will occur because of the nature of different responsibilities, a solid base can be produced when all employees realize the overall mission of the organization.

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Business

Lessons of the 2020s: Unanticipated Events Happen

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being as well as on our time

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By now, nearly everyone has mentally marked the first few years of this decade as strange and, for those on the right, entirely upsetting. While we can’t guard against the unknown, or anticipate radical moves emanating from Washington DC, we can seek to do our best with what we have and what we know.

Each day when you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day? No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the products and tasks unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that are going to throw us off.

How do you react when you are humming along, and all of a sudden, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on something immediately. Maybe a client calls. Maybe something gets returned to you that you thought was complete.

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To Be Flustered No More

If you are like most professionals, you immediately will become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day. Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?

I believe there is, and it involves first making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately encapsulates the new task that you need to handle. Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Anticipating the Unexpected

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations. Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions on our workday take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting.

So… when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed ‘knowing’ that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course. The key question for you is: can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions?

The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

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