Archives for March 2009

Start with the First Step

Moving through the introduction of the Happy For No Reason course, I have finally put my finger on the thing that drives me nuts about the course. Now that we have gotten past the introduction, we now start moving through the steps. I am an attack and conquer person – I hate the steps.

Now, understand that I already recognize that this is not a flaw in Marci’s work. It is a flaw in my discipline. It is a result of my microwave popcorn generation. The steps are necessary. The success is in the work through – not the skip around.

So, I am attempting to move through the steps instead of skipping around to the parts I think I need the most right now. And Marci certainly has it set up in steps that makes sense.

The steps to increasing your happiness set point is equated to the building of a house. The first step, therefore, is the establishment of the foundation. This step has always had point that resonated with me. During this session, Marci talks about changing habits. Within this session, there is a discussion about our choices and the idea of the quarter second gap. The idea is that there is a gap of time in between an urge and an action. It is the point of time of choice. It is where the power to live a happier life resides waiting to be tapped into.

So, here is my quarter second gap decision. I will fight the urge to skip around and glean from the corners. I will not give into my hyper reaction that says I can move faster through the material and still get the same results. That is my solid foundation. That is my first step.

Happy for No Reason

Almost a year ago, I had the opportunity to attend the eWomenNetwork conference in Dallas. It was a phenomenal event that sent me soaring into the clouds. I was able to hold on to that for a bit. As you can imagine, the high eventually deflated a bit and “normal” returned. Opened a new business and got new furniture. Things are up again. Then they level out. Got a big contract and was elated. I am again leveling back out.

Don’t get me wrong. I am very appreciative of my journey. And I understand that we don’t live our entire lives in the clouds. I am betting we wouldn’t want to even if we could. I also enjoy the levelness. What I don’t like is the height of the levelness. I think that the steady path where we spend most of our lives can be more enjoyable. I think the sound of the word “normal” should provoke a little more happiness.

While in Dallas, I picked up the Happy for No Reason course from Marci Shimoff. I had the opportunity to hear her speak and it really resonated with me. Of course, when I got home, things were so over whelming and disjointed. I attempted to apply the course to my schedule. I didn’t.

Earlier this week, I remembered something Marci had talked about – the “happiness set point.” The general concept is that our happiness is sorta like our body temperature – it has a “normal.” Some folks have a higher or lower “normal” and the temperature can always be changed by external circumstances.

The interesting thing is that a study found that the set point was only 50% genetic. What I am now interested in is the other 50%.

Not sure how much of this I will blog about in the upcoming weeks as I am not sure how personal it gets. But, I will keep you posted on what I can and would love to hear your feedback on the topic.


At some point in time before the summer is over a child in Piercefield Forest will die or be seriously injured; and it will be preventable.  It wasn’t that many years ago a child was hit and killed in this subdivision.

Speeding is prevalent everywhere, but the consequences can be severe in suburbs where the streets can appear to be empty-until a child runs out chasing a ball or a duck.  There was an interesting letter to the editor in the Bryan County News this week written by Bob Dallas, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety which addressed the issue of speeders.  Three hundred and eighty four people were killed in 2007 due to speed related issues; more than one a day.  While his letter dealt with high speed on the highways, my issue concerns those motorists who routinely speed down the suburb roads, often in excess of 40 mph.  This in a 25 mph zone.  I have seen cars going much faster.  In fact, I have seen teens actually dragging down the road after school; apparently playing a form of chicken, as there are always cars parked alongside the road.

A few years ago, this wasn’t a major issue on my particular street as the children that moved in when the neighborhood was built had grown and moved.  We now have another generation of children that have moved in.  In three families alone, close to my own house there are eleven children, nine of them under the age of ten.  At the South end of the street, there seems to be a small army of children that have moved in. 

Anyone who has raised children knows you can teach, preach, and constantly harp on the issue of looking both ways and staying out of the streets; but when the kids are energized and chasing that ball, all common sense and wisdom fly out the window.  In the spring and summer months, the streets get even more crowded with youngsters skateboarding and playing those bizarre games kids play.  There are always pedestrians; kids walking to and from school or just people out enjoying a nice stroll.

Of interest to me are those speeders who have emblems or stickers on their cars proclaiming themselves to be members of organizations that claim to support the nations and communities laws; church groups, scouts, Masons, police benevolent societies of one kind or another, or actual law enforcement officers.  A quick question.  How do you determine just which of our laws you will choose to obey and which ones you determine are not worthy of respecting?  Convenience?  That seems to call for a rather interesting moral compass.  How do you teach your children to respect the laws when you, as a speeder, are in violation of those laws and the kids know it?  It gets even worse when you argue and lie to the officer then badmouth him while driving off.  Great example for your children.

Please.  Slow down.  Do the speed limit.