Seeking happiness

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With the ever-changing financial landscape and advancement in technology, we have less time for ourselves because we are constantly connected.   Our employers are faced with the challenge of doing more with less and that translates to either longer work hours for their employees or finding more effective and efficient ways of getting things done.

One thing is certain: the days in which we have abundance of funding are gone.   Fiscal responsibility is front and center focus and the need to do more with less is being used as a competitive advantage.   Unfortunately, at times the laser-like focus on the bottom line shifts the need to think longer term to short term, thus missing some critical points. Hence the outcome is not always pleasant.

Amidst all the above challenges, is happiness attainable? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Focus on your dream – Your dream serves as an inspiration to keep you going.   By keeping it front and center, you’ll be able to keep things in perspective. More importantly you’ll be able to prioritize things that come your way.   Remember the big rocks (see my prior post on it) in your life. During challenging times, it helps to keep our dream in mind, because it will enable us to buckle down and dig deep.
  • Make other people happy – When we add value to other people, it also helps lighten our mood. It does not take much to do this.   Showing appreciation, gratitude, and being there for others are simple ways that have lasting impact.   For people who are managers, seek to understand your people.   Understand what they seek to achieve in their work.   Work with them to accomplish their personal goals. Remember that a happy employee will ultimately benefit your customers.
  • Always strive to do your best – This is very important.   It does not matter how smart you are; if you don’t apply yourself, you will not reach your full potential.   The key to doing your best is not perfection.   It is the effort, commitment and dedication. Sometimes your best does not yield great results, but as long as you strive to be your best you can live with the outcome. More importantly, the progress you’ve made will keep you focused on moving forward until you achieve your goal.
  • Take care of yourself – Your body is your temple. No matter how much money you acquire, if you don’t have your health, nothing else matter. Because all the money you earned will be used to pay for healthcare costs. So take the time to take care of your body.   This is my biggest challenge. As I want to achieve many things in life, I often sacrifice sleep.   I’m fortunate that I’m still healthy, but I know that I need to correct this pattern. .   Akin to people taking medicine but continuing to eat greasy foods—if they slow down the intake of greasy foods, perhaps they would not need the medication altogether.
  • Don’t do the same thing over and over – As it relates to progress, at times we do something the same way, but expect that the results will change. There is a saying that it is insanity to expect different results from doing the same thing.   When you’re stuck, step back and evaluate your situation.   Maybe you need to rethink your position.   Evaluate and assess the situation and apply corrective actions; this way you can see the progress you’re expecting.
  • Be yourself – I’d like to remind that you’re not obligated to live up to everyone‘s expectation.   Being yourself will definitely lead you to being happy.   Sometimes we live to meet other’s expectations. That makes us feel like we are being watched and not measuring up to their expectations.
  • Life is not perfect – At times we want to make it better to the point that we obsess about it. By obsessing on it, we becomes rigid and lose our ability to adapt to change.   More important, we lose the ability to have fun with what we are doing because we focus on the score and nothing else. Just like in basketball, sometimes your best players are the ones that do not score. Your best defender can shut down your opponent and give you the chance to score and win.   I suggest, aspire to improve you each year, but don’t obsess and keep score to maintain your awareness and focus.
  • Change is constant – Expect that change will happen all the time. The best way to succeed is to understand what’s in it for you. If you believe in the change, help facilitate the change.   If you don’t buy in to the change, leave and walk away. Don’t stay if you don’t agree, because change will be done on your behalf and it is never good or pretty.   Your ability to adapt to change is key to your success.

Remember that happiness is a state of mind. When we focus on the positive aspect of the situation, we do see opportunities amidst chaos.   Negative emotion can consume and paralyze us to the point that we are oblivious to our surroundings.   To be happy, we must understand our priorities in life and act on the things that come our way based on our priorities.   There is no perfect situation and perfect time. What you have is the current situation to act and make decisions on based on what is important to you.

Everyone on this earth was given the same 24 hours.   What’s different between a happy and sad person is their awareness and the choices they make.   As Jim Rohn says, “The same wind blows on all of us. What matter is how we set our sail.”   The sail in our life is our attitude. To be happy, we need to understand our priorities and make decisions as it aligns to our dream.

Writing is a labor of love. If you like my post, share it with others. If you disagree, share your perspective as I look forward to learn and grow each day.

“For some people, they live through life seeking happiness.  Waiting for that day – the perfect moment.  What they don’t realize is that happiness comes from within, it is also a choice.  A choice to be happy with what you have and appreciate the things around you.    Don’t wait another day to be happy.  Count your blessing and be happy today.  For tomorrow is not guaranteed and you’ll miss the opportunity to share that beautiful SMILE 🙂  that can brighten someone’s day and have a lasting effect in their life.”

-Will Lukang

Be Positive

Will Lukang, CLDC, CSM, PMP

Every day we are faced with challenges that sometimes affect the way we interact with others.   Decisions are made based on that state of mind that have lasting impact.   Sometimes we lose our nerve and let the situation get the best of us.  After the fact, we regret having acted the way we did, but then it is too late.  We said things that hurt people’s feelings, and worse yet, we made bad decisions because of it.

So, what do we do?  We certainly are humans who are bound to make mistakes.   What’s the best way to preempt such a situation?   When you’re getting overwhelmed or feel like your emotion is getting the best of you, do the following:

1)      Take a deep breath — really slowly, a deep breath to help calm you down.

2)      Try your best to see things in perspective – imagine stepping back to allow you to see the big picture.

3)      Look at the positive side of the situation – as a result of stepping back, you’ll see things differently.

4)      Decide the importance of the situation – determine how important the situation is to you. Think of it in terms of value and long-term repercussion of your subsequent actions.

5)      Be positive – when we try to be positive, we’ll see the situation in a different light.  We also can see the opportunities amid the chaos.   Things get clearer when we try to be positive.

6)      Control your emotion — by letting it flow, it could take control and get the best of you.

7)      Audit what you will say – think through what you will say.  Make sure you’re are not saying things that you will later regret

Here is an example why staying positive is important.  After the Knicks lost game two (2) on April 30 to the Miami Heat, one of their star players, Amare Stoudemire, punched the case surrounding a fire extinguisher out of frustration.   It resulted in a cut in his left hand that required that a small muscle be repaired.    I understand his frustration, but by acting without thinking through the consequences of his action, he puts the team at risk of losing the series as he will not be able to return the next game.

He later apologized, but I believe it was a bit too late.   The owner of the team and fans are the ones paying the price for his bad decision.   We all at some point will experience situations that will frustrate us, but we need to take a deep breath and think through the consequences of our actions.   By being positive, Stoudemire could have channeled the negative energy to motivate himself to work harder and perhaps play better the next game.   At this point, the team is on their own.   At this point, his season is over and so may be his team and the loyal fans.

It is helpful to stay positive and assess the situation before we react to the incident.  It is easier said than done, but if we start by asking the question: How important is it to me? Then the subsequent action will be clear.  As part of this blog, I’d like to start a Be Positive movement, where someone states something that they can be positive about. Feel free to share this post and spread the word.   It takes a community to change the world.   We can do this one person at a time.

Embrace every opportunity

Will Lukang, CLDC, CSM, PMP

On a Thursday morning in February of 2012, my little girls asked me if we were going snow tubing.   I took the day off to spend time with them, but as usual I had some open items that I had to attend to and had to work that morning.

As I went about my work, my little girl came to me and asked, “When are we going snow tubing?”  I said, “Sorry, honey, I need to get something done today.   We’ll go tomorrow.”   We went and played with her sister.  It was the last of the discussion about snow tubing for that day.

The next morning it was raining.   My wife and I talked about weather and decided that since it was cold and raining it would not be a good idea to go snow tubing.   We told the girls of our decision and they were not happy about it, but went along.   A few hours had passed and my little girl came to me and asked, “When are we really going?”  At this point, I felt bad and told her definitely tomorrow, as I checked the weather forecast and it would be perfect to go snow tubing.

On Saturday morning, she woke up and was really excited.  After my other daughter’s basketball practice, we had lunch and they both got ready and off we went.  Their smiles were ear-to-ear.  We drove to the place and as they got out of the car they were so excited.   When we got to the counter to buy the tickets, we were told it was sold out.  Their smiles turned upside down.   My little one declared, “We came here for nothing.”  Not to disappoint, I inquired if I could purchase the ticket for the next day.  I was told we could and we bought the tickets and headed back home.   The trip home was rather quite because they were really disappointed.  My little one recounted on the lost opportunity on Friday.   I reassured them that since we bought the tickets, we were all set for Sunday morning.

On Sunday, my little one was up really early because she was so excited to go snow tubing.  Her enthusiasm to go snow tubing was apparent.   I told her to go back to sleep and would awake her up with ample time to have breakfast.   As she went back to sleep, I wished she embraced every opportunity with the same enthusiasm as going to snow tubing.   Because the possibilities are endless if you’re excited and passionate about what you’re doing.

As I reflected on the situation, I reminded myself that I should always start the day by appreciating what I have and embrace the day with the same enthusiasm and take advantage of the opportunity to do my very best.    In the end, they had a great time snow tubing.   They raced with each other and were smiling ear to ear as we drove home that afternoon.

In my mind, it was mission accomplished and we took advantage of the opportunity to explain that sometimes things don’t go as planned, that they should not be disappointed.  What’s important is that the promises are fulfilled and we embrace every opportunity with enthusiasm and appreciation for having such opportunity.