Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Invetory for the New Year: Finding Happiness

It is now a new year again. We’ve made it to 2013. It is a time to reflect upon the past and have hope for the future. One thing that I do is to take a personal inventory of my life. I look at relationships, finance, education and career and my spirituality. These are the chore things in our life that makes us happy and for the most part define our existence. The thing of the matter is that we should make long and short term goals in these areas. If we want to improve in a certain area, at times we should do things differently. If you do the same thing the same way all of the time you will give the same results. For example, 1 +1= 2. You can add it many times and you will get the same sum. But 1+3=4. A different sum because we use a different number. This math that we learned in first grade is very basic. But this basic method can be applied to our own lives.
     If you are in a relationship and you are unhappy with your spouse or significant other, and both of you have been going about relating to one another the same way, and you are unhappy, at some point you will have to make a decision to do things differently; either mutually or through marriage counseling. If that doesn’t work then you should make a decision about what you are going to do to take control of your situation to make yourself happy. We are ultimately in control of our own happiness. No one is responsible for that but us. Any one that we allow to be part of our lives should enhance that happiness and not create misery. A couple should either grow together or at the least move together to find the median ground to happiness. If it falls short of that it is not a true relationship. According to professional , the new year is a very difficult time for troubled relationships. You can use this time to improve it or part with it.  What ever one decides, make sure the decision you make is one that is well thought out and one that is most healthy; which is when both partners mutually end a relationship. However,if one is in an abusive situation, run like hell.  Knowing that this is easier said than done;  there are many organizations that help victims of domestic abuse. You only have one life to live so you might as well make the best of it.  
     If you are perhaps looking for a relationship, or just putting yourself in an environment to meet someone to date, and the places that you have gone have not been fruitful in that area; perhaps, change your environment. A wise woman once said that she wanted to marry a millionaire. What she did was went to a social areas, we will say it was a bar, where millionaires hung out and  she met the man of her dreams.  One should never try to pick fruit from a tree that has proven not to bear fruit.
     Financially, at the beginning of the year, one can always look at how you managed money the year before and do it periodically during the year. I look at ways that I have wasted money and look at expenses that I can cut or spend money smarter. For example, I once had a hot spot to use my internet and I very seldom used my PC away from home. So I felt it was a waist. So I got DSL again and saved $30 dollars a month. I also was at the point where I felt that I was spending a lot of money or my car note. I made a bad decision when I bought my vehicle. So what I decided to do was to refinance my vehicle and freed $250 more dollars a month. Now for some that may not be a lot of money but for me, $250 dollars is $250 dollars. That is groceries for a month.  This is just an example; every one’s financial situation is different.
     It has always been instilled in me that the foundation to success is education. People can take many things away from you, your money your tangible items, even your job and sometimes try to take your good name from you by tarnishing it with lies.  But one thing that someone cannot take away from you is your education. I waited latter in my life to go back to school and get more educated. I am still in school trying to reach my goal. When I finish, I am sure that I will always try to learn by getting Continued Education and learn about cutting edge on therapeutic research. I plan to be a successful therapist. To do this, I must plan and stick to my learning track. One example of this is that there was one, having an issue on a job that he had for years. There was a manager; we will just call her a mare for the sake of this article. Well the mare for whatever reason had it out for him. She was determined to get him fired from a job that he had for nearly twenty years. He could have filed grievances and done many things but at the end of the day when someone wants you gone from a job, management prevails because Texas is a “right to work” state. He saw the writing on the wall and applied for every job that he qualified for. Because he had his bachelor’s degree now he was more marketable.  He secured a position just short of being terminated and it was for a promotion. It was a position where he was greatly qualified for and was the very best person for this job were his skills and experience could be used. Because of careful planning he was able to escape a career assassination. The great thing about it is that he works in the same building as the mare and from time to time they cross paths and he greats her with a smile and speak. I realize that this had to happen for a reason because he finally has a job that he can genuinely enjoy with a less stress that he had been experiencing. The good book also makes reference to “no weapons formed against you can prosper. And God making your enemies your foot stool” I am sure these thoughts crossed his mind many times during and after this experience.
     The most important annual inventory that one can take is spirituality. For me ,my church and ministries in my church is the foundation of my spirituality. I understand this does not work for all people but it works for me. I spend about four hours a week out of my busy schedule to volunteer. 
     This is outside of liturgical commitments or commitments during church. I am involved in three ministries and they are trying to encourage to pick up one more that will give me something to do for a month. I also give money to the church and also other charitable organizations. I am a firm believer of the phrase that a person who has been given much has a responsibility to give. And what we give freely comes back to us multiplied. I try to give what I have been taught my time, my talent and also my treasure ( money). I feel because of this my life is rich on many levels. I may not be wealthy but I am rich in so many ways. There is a song by a local artist named Tamika Handy that sings a song “Not a dime in my pocket, but I’m rich.” I love this song and I think it will be my theme song for 2013 now that I think about it. This is not a NeNe Leakes (material) rich but a quality of life rich. It is a wealth that defines happiness in non monetary ways. One can be financially wealthy and be so unhappy. At the end of the day, that person is really poor because there is no quality of life; full of material, but no real substance. 
     Look at the time that you spend with God. Just simple meditation on a daily basis can bring you so much personal growth and can open up many ideas on how you should solve an issue. We lift weights so that our bodies can get stronger. Meditation is a way for your brain to lift weights. It can be done in many ways. Just as simple as sitting in a quiet space and just digging deep and thinking; or listening to spiritual music. Buddhist use incense and bells and beads and chants. Some Catholics use the Rosary as  a way of meditating and some folks simple go into a closet and shut out the world and get on their needs and call on their heavenly father. There are many ways to do it. It depends on what fits your life. But however and whatever you do to meditate be it Yoga, or praying or jogging, God is present. And when we allow him to become part of our lives and there are many ways we can do it, we can find true happiness.
     For there to be change in our lives, we must find different ways of doing things. This must be done through personal inventory and through planning. May this day, this week, this month and all this year be a prosperous for you all and full of happiness. 

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