Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world, and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.

–Walter White

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In light the series finale, our Monday Morning Message is from Breaking Bad.  We can certainly learn a lot from Walter White, our everyday high school chemistry teacher, but this is one of the more valuable lessons he shares.  When you are done with fear, when you can move past it and confront your challenges, nothing more can stand between you and your empire.

Have a great week.

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“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”

— Jewish Proverb

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“If you don’t like your fate, change it. There are no shackles on you.”

-Aida

This is from Elton John’s rock opera Aida, which I played a part in when my high school performed it in 2006.  I’m the one second from the left dressed like Elton John’s dominatrix.

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“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

Ben Franklin

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Personally, I am most comfortable when I can get into my routine.  I am very careful to plan my week on a calendar, create a to-do list with sub-to-do lists just to make sure everything gets accomplished.  And it’s the deviations from this routine that causes stress and makes me uncomfortable.

But is that really living life- commuting to work from 9-5, getting in a workout, and catching a few reruns of the Big Bang Theory before bed?  Is that as good as it gets?  Honestly, that’s the trap that Ben Franklin realized a lot of 25-year-olds (okay, I know you’re just pretending…) fall into.  And, after all, isn’t that why we call it ‘the grind’?

Ben Franklin was definitely a character with many interests and hobbies.  I think he encourage those of us who have sailed into the doldrums of life to bypass the Lethargians and find some ways to spice things up.  It might not be a big life-altering decision, but maybe there are some little place you kind add excitement in your schedule.  I’ll help you brainstorm.

Wake up early enough to enjoy breakfast in a new restaurant, or leave the lean cuisine at home and try a new restaurant for lunch.  Cook a new recipe- autumn’s here so why not something pumpkin?  Host a dinner party for some friends, or suggest a Friday night dinner outing at a new place.  Switch out the Coors Light for a festive microbrew.

Try a new kind of workout- can you rent a kayak or a bike?  Give a spin class or zumba or fly-wheel a shot.  You could even change up the route you always run or just run it backwards.  Find a mountain, and take a hike.  Go fishing.  Maybe you don’t work out- take a walk or a swim.  Ben was an avid swimmer.  Invite someone new to join you.  Really not into working out?  What about following a new sport- become the expert.

How long has it been since you read a book?  What about a mystery or a new genre?  What other hobby’s could you find interesting?  Homebrewing?  Ben’s recipe was called “Poor Richard’s Ale.”  I just brewed my first batch last weekend.  It’s not that hard to get into, and I’m confident you could do it.  What about canning?  Maybe it’s just an arrangement of fresh cut flowers on your desk.

Could you take a course in something you’ve always been interested in?  Join a bible study or a small group?  Join a book club or start an investment club.  Meet some new friends.  Travel.  Take a day-trip or a long weekend.  Find out what beautiful landmarks are around you and go photograph them.  Then make a rainy-day hobby out of photo editing and make some art out of it.

I don’t know what it is that will make your life more fulfilling and exciting, what that something is that will make you excited to get out of bed.  And honestly, one thing probably isn’t enough.  If it’s just one thing, it’ll become part of your routine.  But always be learning.  Experiment.  Live.  These little things are what make life worth living.

Have a great week, everybody.

-R

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“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

–Abe Lincoln

Abe was one straight-faced dude with a lot on his plate, but he still knew how to be happy.  If you can’t find anything else to be happy about, take a walk around the park in the sunlight and a few deep breaths.  Then rejoice in your ability to do just that…

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“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible… I think it’s in the basement, let me go upstairs and check.”

M.C. Escher

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“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

 Benjamin Franklin

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It’s easy to be lost in the darkness and to hide in the shadows.  When a stream of light is pouring through the window, move your work and your thoughts into its beams and exist in its glow.  Let its warmth radiate in all that you do and melt away your worries and troubles.  If you teach, open the blinds and let your students learn by the same light by which history’s great minds have studied.  If you are a student, take your book under a tree in the grove and let its pages be illuminated by sunlight.  And when you feel a drop upon your head and the rain clouds block out the sun, when you’ve rushed back inside to take cover, remember to turn on the light.

Have a great week everybody.  Do great things.

-Ray

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