Welcome to my thoughts on Living with Joy, Purpose, and Conscious Choice. Please subscribe free on the form to the left.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)

The content of all my blogs/websites consists entirely of personal opinion.
See a medical professional for all issues of physical and emotional health.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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Smile - Choose Happiness - Live a Great Life


Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Smile and the world smiles with you.
- Anonymous

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.
- Andy Rooney


Does smiling come from choosing happiness, or does happiness come from choosing to smile? Either way, the end result is a long happy life.

Watch the video below on the benefits of smiling.



Further reading: Quotes about Smiling

Thursday, May 19, 2011

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Is Now a Time to be Reasonable?


To go against the dominant thinking of your friends,
of most of the people you see every day,
is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.
- Theodore H. White


Mostly, life works out best when you are reasonable - that is, when you approach life with sound judgement (as defined by average people in your community).

But is it always best to be reasonable? Heroes are not reasonable. Sound judgement does not lead people to risk their own lives to help others. Poets and philosophers are not reasonable. Social activists are not reasonable. Gandhi, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa were not reasonable. Explorers and inventors are not reasonable. Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein were not reasonable.

The problem with "reasonable" is that, by definition, it depends upon the average values found in your community, and not on your own values.

Is today a day to do something unreasonable? At most times and in most matters, community standards are the best guideline for what to do and what not to do. This is true both because your community's standard of reasonableness has successfully evolved and survived, and also because your community will punish you if you deviate from its norms. That punishment may be severe if the standard is codified in law, or it may be more subtle, such as people avoiding you, but there is always punishment for being different.

The time to move beyond being reasonable is when you have something very important at stake. When your commitment to your purpose, your values, your cause, or your ideas becomes a roaring bonfire within you, stop being reasonable, and do whatever it takes to advance your project.

An issue doesn't have to be world-changing in order to be worthy of confronting "reasonable" community values. As an example, today it is "reasonable" for parents to maximize their income in order to "best" provide for their children. But what if your values dictate that your children would be better off with less money but more of your time? Go ahead and make the "unreasonable" decision to become a stay-at-home parent, or cut back to half-time work if you are a single parent, or find work you can do from home. If an issue is important, do what you feel is right, rather than what is reasonable.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

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How to Make Good Decisions

To reduce the probability that you will regret your decision.

Carefully consider whether the question you are attempting to decide is really the best question.

Consider the consequences of making a poor decision. Is this really an important decision.

Write down all the alternatives and the criteria for making the decision.

Read the whole article at How to Make a Decision You Won't Regret

Saturday, May 14, 2011

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How to Share Your Thoughts With the World

You feel very strongly about some subject - perhaps politics, the environment, or sharing your poetry. You have already told all your friends, but you want everyone to know. What are the most effective and easiest ways of sharing your passion?

Some of the easiest channels may still be worth trying...

1. A letter to the editor. Chances are that your letter won't get published, but if it does get published by your local newspaper it is likely to create a significant impact.

2. A letter, phone call, or email to an elected official. Understand that the politician isn't going to notice exactly what you say. But your opinion will be counted as for or against some position. If 10,000 people weigh-in with the same opinion, that might make a difference. Letters and phone call carry a lot more weight than emails, but take more of your time.

3. A comment on an on-line news article or blog. Unlikely to get read by more than a few people, but it may make you feel better to vent your feelings.

4. Facebook. Certainly this is a great way to tell your Facebook friends how you feel, but no one else will see what you share. If your friends share your passion, they will spread your ideas.

5. Facebook Groups. Yours just might catch on. It is pretty easy, so give it a try.

6. Petition websites like Care2's www.thepetitionsite.com - For environmental activism and similar causes, this may be a high-leverage resource.

7. Squidoo. There are a number of websites that offer blog-like capabilities without setting up your own blog. Most of these sites have major limitations and drawbacks. Some, like eHow, have recently stopped accepting articles from the public in favor of in-house writers, and have simply dumped previous submissions. www.squidoo.com is probably the best of these not-so-great websites.

8. Helium. If you are a creative writer, check out www.helium.com

9. Quotesdaddy. If you write your own inspirational or motivational sayings, look at www.quotesdaddy.com - They are one of the few major quotes websites that accept any quote you choose to submit.

10. Ezinearticles. www.ezinearticles.com is the biggest player in article marketing. Not only will your article get read, but you can build links to your blog, which is the real answer to being heard.

If you really want to speak to the world, you need a blog.

Blogs are much easier to begin than websites, and they are free. I am a big fan of Google's www.blogger.com Both my inspirational blog http://www.jlhuie.com/ and this blog (www.mind4joy.com) are Blogger blogs. Yes, I have done some extensive customizing over time, but the initial setup was really easy, and I have never had to pay a dime to Google for these blogs - even though they have high traffic, run ads, and have custom url's.

I have used wordpress.com - the other major "free" blog site - but (unlike many other people) I find the software less easy to customize than Blogger. Also, they make you pay to run ads, have a custom web address, or make certain kinds of customizations.

I have also used the free blogging software from wordpress.org that you can load onto your own website. Even though I run a number of websites and am quite technical, I still find that Blogger meets my needs better.

So get yourself a blog at www.blogger.com now, and start writing.

How to promote your blog.

It is one thing to start a blog. It is another to create quality content on a regular basis. An it is quite something else to get high traffic to your blog.

Here are a few tips for promoting your blog...

1. Begin with your friends, and friends of friends, and Facebook friends. Don't just tell people about your new blog, ask them what they like and don't like about your blog.

2. Build up several dozen great posts, and tweek how the blog looks before you try to approach the masses. Carefully consider the feedback from your friends about all aspects of your blog. Keep the design very basic (Blogger is good at this). Avoid dark backgrounds, music, and anything flashing or distracting. Remember that it is all about the message. Say something really important, and don't let anything distract from that message.

3. Now, get some links to build your blog's search engine ranking. Ask everyone you know who has a blog or website to link to you. Write an article on Ezinearticles. The links in your "expert author bio" and in the "resource box" of each article will drive both people and search engines to your blog. Selfgrowth.com is another of the better article websites. Writing on Squidoo is also a reasonable way to create links to your blog. Before investing effort on writing for other sites, check whether their outbound links are "no follow" or "do follow." Many sites label outbound links "no follow" which makes them basically useless for enhancing your blog's search engine standing.

Enjoy blogging. If this article was helpful, please add my blogs and websites to your blogroll. See http://www.jonathanlockwoodhuie.com/linking.php.

---------------

My Ezine articles http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_Huie

My Selfgrowth.com articles http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/jonathan_huie.html

My Squidoo experiments...

http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/jonhuie

http://www.squidoo.com/subjects-inspirational-quotes

http://www.squidoo.com/find-inspirational-quotes

http://www.squidoo.com/meaningful-quotes

http://www.squidoo.com/great-inspirational-quotes

http://www.squidoo.com/inspirational-quotes-famous

http://www.squidoo.com/daily-inspiration-quote

http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-sleep-better-tonight

http://www.squidoo.com/life-secrets

http://www.squidoo.com/inspirational-quotes-types

http://www.squidoo.com/stop-anger

http://www.squidoo.com/happier-life

Friday, May 13, 2011

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Technology Will Fail - Natural Disasters Will Happen - Prepare Yourself

All kinds of technology, from all vendors, will fail. It is just the nature of life. Communications networks fail. Websites fail. Computers fail. Cell Phones fail. Power plants and electrical grids fail. Medical devices fail. And hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods will happen.

No amount of complaining, blaming, or begging will keep systems and devices from failing, or reverse the failures. And the physical processes of our earth are equally unswayed by complaints of unfairness.

Prepare yourself. Assume every electronic, mechanical, human, and natural system will fail - just when you most depend upon it.

1. Take those steps you can to minimize the effects of failures and catastrophes. Backup the data in your computer every day. Keep a copy of data in a second location. Make plans for reconnecting with your family if communications systems fail. Keep a stock of food, water, and medicines at home, and ready to throw into your car. Consider everything you are dependent upon, and have a backup plan.

2. Even more important, prepare yourself emotionally for the probability that technology, systems, people, and nature will suddenly stop doing what you have always depended upon them to do. Prepare yourself in advance to accept the loss of any of the modern conveniences you have come to expect will always be there. If you are emotionally prepared, you will be able to deal with technology failures and natural happenings in a rational way. You will be prepared to consider alternatives and make logical choices, rather than becoming confused, complaining that it isn't fair, and demanding that someone make the problem go away.

Life isn't fair - never has been, and never will be. Your job is simply to do your best with what you are given - even when that changes from day to day, or moment to moment.

Further reading: Life is Not Supposed to be Fair

Abundance or Scarcity? Love or Fear?

Assumptions

Expectations

Life is All in the Perspective We Take on It

Sunday, May 8, 2011

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Personal Growth

Spring is the season when nature focuses on growth. Even hundred year old trees grow new leaves, and grow a little larger each year.

Take this time to consider what kind of growth you want this year. Do you seek personal and spiritual growth? Or are you satisfied to just grow a little older?

Meaningful personal growth begins with visualizing the end result you wish to attain. Your path toward any large goal will never be straight or direct, but you do need to have an end result in mind before you can make progress. Once you are taking action toward achieving your vision, you will also find that you get many other wonderful breakthroughs - which may even dwarf your original vision.

Read: How to Choose Your Life Purpose

How to Move On and Let Go

How to Find Yourself