In several previous posts I have discussed how settings or places influence what we do and how we feel. In one post, I invited readers to share some of their own habits and routines that help them enhance their comfort, well-being or happiness. People create living environments that please them, they decorate with art, with colors and fabrics and even views that are interesting, satisfying or pleasant. So it was not surprising to me that many of the comments related to creating quiet places or adding pleasant scents or music. Some people describe how they surround themselves with sounds and objects, while others preferred quiet, simplicity and solitude. Some people described how they change their locations or conditions to suit their moods and what they are trying to do at the moment.
Thinking about this brought to mind several thoughts. James Taylor, one of my favorite musicians, once wrote a song called "Secret O' Life." The lyrics began with the lines: "The Secret of Life is Enjoying the Passage of Time...any fool can do it, there ain't nothing to it", with the implication being that each person has the power to create their own happiness through what they choose to do, where they are, and who they are with. Of course, how we think about our experiences is also important.
The wonderful book written in 1993 by Jon Kabat-Zinn titled "Wherever You Go, There You Are" emphasizes the important message of mindfulness meditation, or being attentive in the moment as a way of reducing stress, improving enjoyment and contributing to everyday well-being. When we pay attention to creating the world we want by making our surroundings comfortable, it makes sense that we can more fully enjoy them if we are "in the moment" and enjoying every second. We can define each moment as a present and experience it as the term is also defined, as a gift. Life is amazingly short, so dwelling on what is not is squandering opportunity that is lost forever. Another writer, Eckhart Tolle, writes on the same theme in his "The Power of Now." Tolle discusses the habits of mindless thought that get in the way of attention and mindfulness. His message was that being in the moment takes practice to rid ourselves of habits of thought developed over years. Tolle, too, talked about how environment can support such practice. So, we come full circle to James Taylor. When it comes to being where we are fully, any fool can do it, but it takes practice and will to make it happen.
DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.
Great Links About What, How, Why, Where and How Often People Do Things
- Calculate your Life Expectancy
- O*Net - A terrific resource to get information about work related occupations
- Wisdom—A must see project of shared experience
- Brian R Little- About Personal Projects
- Authentic Happiness - Take the Work-Life Questionnaire
- wdydwdyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
- Calculate your weekly Time Use
- Bureau of Labor Statistics -American Time Use Survey
- ▼ March (6)
- ► February (7)
Interesting Books about Doing and Not Doing
- Bateson, Mary Catherine—Composing a Life
- Bruner, Jerome—Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures On Mind and Culture
- Christiansen, Charles & Townsend, Elizabeth—Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living
- Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly— Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Diener, Ed, & Biswas-Diener, Robert—Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
- Edgell, Stephen—The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work
- Gini, Al—The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon—Whereever You Go, There You Are
- Little, Brian; Salmela-Aro, Katerina; and Phillips, Susan D. — Personal Projects Analysis: Goals, Actions and Human Flourishing
- Matuska, K & Christiansen, C. — Life Balance -Multidisciplinary Theories and Research
- McAdams, Dan P. —The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self
- Robinson, John & Godbey, Geoffrey — Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
- Seligman, Martin—Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
- Tolle, Eckhart—The Power of Now