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.

Monday, March 19, 2012

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Needing To Feel Needed

Question: Dear Mr. Huie, It gets harder everyday to be strong yet unemotional. I would help anyone, but it is hard when no one listens to me. I feel so alone sometimes. I need to feel better about myself on my own. A special person in my life told me, "If you can't love yourself, you won't be able to love anyone else." But, I want to keep my loved ones happy and sometimes I get so deep into helping them by saying "I will do it for you. Don't worry. I'm there for you. I will help you." Sometimes I just want to give up, because I feel I'm talking to myself and I get very depressed and feel like no one needs me. Please point me in the right direction. Thank you.

Answer:

There is sometimes a very fine line between being of service to other people and being a "people pleaser." Being of service is about making other people's lives better, while being a "people pleaser" is about one's own need to feel appreciated. Often the actions we take contain elements of both - we truly do want to benefit the other, and we also want them to appreciate us.

When one does something purely from the motivation of being of service, one doesn't care whether the recipient even knows who did it. Think for example of the virtually anonymous service of volunteering to wash dishes behind the scenes at a soup kitchen.

In contrast, the motivation for being a "people pleaser" is seeking recognition from someone - or, far more harmful to one's self-esteem, fearing that saying No to someone's request might cause that person to distance themself.

There is great wisdom in the idea that you need to truly love yourself before you can successfully love someone else. Until you are filled with love, you don't have any love to give to anyone else. Also, until you yourself are happy, you really don't have any happiness to share with others. The greatest gift you can give to those you care about is sharing your own joy with them.

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.
- Bill Cosby


A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a
"Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi


Further reading: More about Pleasing Everyone

Aesops Fable: The Miller, His Son, and the Ass

How to Choose Your Life Purpose

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Sad for No Apparent Reason

Quotes about Being Needy

Life Purpose Quotes

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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A Roadmap for a Joyful Life


If you don't know where you're going,
any road will take you there.
- Lewis Carroll
(Alice in Wonderland)


If your life is filled with purpose and joy, congratulations. You are doing exactly what is right for you.

However, if you are suffering, and wonder what your life is all about, read on. These 9 steps describe my own path to joyful living, and may be helpful to others.

1. Live for a while without questioning life.

2. Question the meaning of life. The trigger for this is usually some big disappointment such as an illness, a death in the family, job loss, financial setback, or a romantic breakup.

3. Look for the meaning of life in money, fame, or sexual conquests.

4. Be severely disappointed, and question life even more strongly.

5. Look for the meaning of life in organized religion. For some, this provides a satisfying answer. For others...

6. Be severely disappointed by organized religion.

7. Look for the meaning of life in service to the less fortunate, in family life, and in a personal connection with the Indwelling and Universal Spirit.

8. Make the conscious choice to live a joyful life of service, and oneness with Spirit and all of creation.

9. Live joyfully in gratitude for all of life.

One of the secrets of life is that
all that is really worth the doing
is what we do for others.
- Lewis Carroll


I am pleased to have everyone add their comments below. I ask those who have found their own life-answer inside organized religion to add their personal testament below, but not to attack those who find a different path to joyful living.

Further reading: How to Choose Your Life Purpose

Perspectives on the Nature of God - Which of these Five Views Matches Yours?

Trust in the Light

Unanswered Prayers

Have a Conversation With God, Today

Zero-Based Gratitude

Feel Your Connection With the Infinite - a Meditation

Grant That I May Radiate

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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Life Purpose - another look

Question: You have mentioned several times about people having a purpose. And talk about it as if most do. I have talked to many friends in the last week and asked them if they knew their purpose. None of them did, but thought it would be helpful if they did.

When you talk about this and setting goals as if it were a simple task., it makes me feel like the ultimate loser. I have tried multiple times but have never succeeded.

My Reply:

Thank you for asking.

I have certainly never intended to suggest either that most people have discovered their purpose, nor that finding one's purpose is easy.

Searching for your purpose, but not yet having found it, in no way makes you a "loser." Rather, it makes you someone who cares enough to value having a purpose and to pay attention to the discovery process.

Each of us has a purpose that differs in the details, but I will take the bold step of suggesting that each of us has a purpose that is in some way related to being of service to others.

Remember that a life purpose doesn't have to be something lofty. "Being a great father" is no less worthy as a life purpose than "ending world hunger."

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:
the only ones among you who will be really happy
are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa


If you haven't already, I recommend you read How to Choose Your Life Purpose and try the Tombstone Exercise?

May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Sunday, March 4, 2012

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What a Wonderful World


The world is perfect. It's a mess.
It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
- Joseph Campbell

What we think, we become.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.
- The Buddha

Choose the World You See,
and See the World You Choose.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them.
- Louis Armstrong

What we play is life.
- Louis Armstrong


Louis Armstrong singing What a Wonderful World...



World Quotes

Wonderful Quotes

Saturday, March 3, 2012

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A flower is a weed seen through joyful eyes. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie


A flower is a weed seen through joyful eyes.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Visualize a rose bush. What do you visualize? Even though a rose bush has both flowers and thorns, most people visualize the flowers when they think of roses.

Now visualize a thistle. A thistle also has both flowers and thorns, but most people visualize the thorns when they imagine a thistle. Why is that? Suppose we could (mentally) gather the flowers of the thistle and (mentally) leave the thistle's thorns. That change of attitude could create a major shift in how we view our lives.