Simple Pleasures

The most joy in life comes with the simplest of pleasure…just think about it!

  • Good Food
  • A Friend asking about your Day
  • A Wonderful Sunrise or Sunset
  • A Perfect Night’s Sleep

Anything that puts a smile on your face or in your heart.  Or something that makes you feel at ease with yourself or the world.  Some things do not cost money, in fact – most are free – they just take time.

We should have several simple pleasures throughout our day.  Moments in time where we can just say or think “awwww” this is really nice. 

But too many times we rush around, meeting deadlines, hitting traffic jams, listen to ringing telephones, face long email lists – thinking this will never end.  Face each day with yesterday’s left overs.  And the pile never ends.  When is enough – enough?

Today!!  Today is the day!  Tomorrow isn’t here yet, yesterday is gone – you need to start today!  Take a moment to find that simple pleasure today.  What will bring you the simplest pleasure?

With winter approaching, I like a large cup of hot chocolate, a cold night with a blazing fire and a good book! And I just sink into a comfy chair and “ahhhhhhhh.”

Samples of Other Simple Pleasures: (these things are meant for the moment…not while multitasking)

  • Handwritten Note from a Friend or Love One
  • The Smell of Fresh Great Tasting Food (not processed food)
  • The Smell of Fresh Flowers (not refrigerated ones)
  • The Smell of Fresh Fruit
  • A Telephone Call to a Good Friend
  • A Stroll in the Park
  • Listen to Music and Relax
  • Read a Book
  • Cuddle by a Fire
  • Long Hot Soak in the Tub



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Time Management – Running Through Life

How many times do we get up, go to work, come home, deal with personal issues, go to bed and start all over when the sun comes up again?  Some call it the “rat race” or what I like to call it ‘running through life’ without a second glance.

Where does the time go?  We try to spend time with friends and family but next thing we know another holiday is here and gone.  At work — we rush through, hoping we can catch up and take a breather.

Here’s a great little video created by Jacob Frey and Harry Fast called “Bob” that provides a wonderful visual example… Enjoy!  (Please watch all the way to the end!  You’ll see why.)

Next time you’re on a mission…

1  Know what it is you want to accomplish. 

2.  Know all your facts.

3.  Know all your restraints.

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You’re Not Alone – Taking That First Step

You’re going through life or your business career and everything seems just fine — then all of a sudden boom!  Things change.  What was once familiar is now all different.

In life it could be a change in personal settings, in business it could be a promotion or it could be a move to a new area — but things are no longer the routine you set up for yourself…things like this can become scary and set fear in our hearts.

Where do you turn?  If you go to the bookstore — is there a ‘self-help’ book?  No. or Maybe.  or Yes.  but Not Always.  Are you the type of person that reaches out to others?

Did you realize that Dr. Ruth uses the ‘turtle‘ as her symbol because the turtle has to stick his head out of his shell each time he wants to take a step.  I never thought about the turtle before I heard this.  Now I love the turtle — just for this reason!

Everyone has to take that first step sometime!  The glory about it, we are never alone!!  We just need to know where to look to find that hand to help us.  To guide us.  To help reassure us — to let us know if we fall, someone will lend a helping hand back up.

In our lives, no matter whether it’s personal or business, we have made first steps for ourselves and have lended helping hands to others by providing examples.

The two key elements in life and business are:

1.  Know when you need a helping hand

2.  Provide an excellent example for others

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It’s All About Choices

Ever wonder how some people seem to make it further in the world than others?  It’s all about making the right choice.  But how do they do that?

Think Before You Act

First, don’t make any decision with haste.  Weigh out all your options.  When you think you have enough information — look for more.

Review your situation.  Take a long hard long look at your situation from all angles — you could be missing something by looking at it from one angle.

Talk it over with friends, family or someone you trust.  Sometimes just talking it over will bring about new options or areas you didn’t see before.

Create a plan!  Can you mentally see your plan in action?  Or the end result with the options you have?  If not, find more options.

Finally, know when you have to make your final decision!  Don’t jump to conclusions!  Too often we think the finish line is right in front of us when in reality we have plenty of time to make the right choice.

So often we set out thinking we have the best intentions only to discover that around the corner, if we had just waited a couple more days, we would have made better decision.  If we had only known.  Research and talking things over can be our best friends!  Act only when you know you have a clear choice.

Think about it!!

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Keep Organized – Home Files

Keeping Track of Files

Get Organized

Every work day we look at tons of paperwork, the last thing we want to do is go home and look at more.  The mail comes in, the mail goes out — but where does all those papers go?

Everyone and every office store have a unique system to help you organize your home office, but does it make sense?

The last thing anyone wants to think about is — if something should happen to me will my next of kin or best friend find the necessary papers?  What are necessary papers?  Your Will, Insurance (life, health, and home) documents, car title, land deed, finance statements, safe deposit box, bills, birth certificate, marriage certificate, military discharge documents, doctor and dentist information, outsourced storage unit, etc. are all your necessary documents.

You can’t have all this information buried in a computer file — no one will find it!  But you also want to protect your information from identity theft.

Banking institutions want to go green – paperless…it saves time, money and space.  The IRS prefers everyone to keep their records for 7-years.  Credit card companies really don’t care how long you keep their records — they prefer you destroy old records (this way if there’s a dispute you don’t have a copy).

I suggest:

Use a Safe Deposit Box at you bank for all major documents (will, marriage license, divorce, birth certificates, death certificates, land deeds, all insurance documents, and military discharge documents), a list of all important people in your life: doctor, dentist, lawyer, immediate family members and their contact information, a list of all current bills with their customer service numbers and account numbers.

Credit Card Files: Keep these for 6-months to ensure you’re not being charge any unnecessary expenses.  Once you make a final payment — keep that final statement for 1-year.  I’ve seen companies try to reinstate accounts that have been closed for months with interest charges — you will need your old account number, date the account was closed, how you closed it (check, debit card, etc.), who you spoke with, etc. if the need arises.

IRS Files:  When filing tax documents, make sure you keep not only a copy of all the documents you submitted to the IRS but also the booklets you used as a reference when you filed.  Each year the tax laws change.  If you ever face the IRS in an audit — your reference materials will prove you right at the time you filed.

Last but not least:  Make sure your cell phone has an Emergency Contact listed.  Your Emergency Contact should be someone you sincerely trust without a doubt!!  And equally importantly they know you!  If you’re married or single — you have to know that whomever you choose will step up and make the decisions for you that you would make for yourself until you are back on your feet.

How does all of this lead to Home Files?  Keep them simple.  Tabs are easy to read.  Make them work for you — but most of all, if someone had to step in for you would they understand how to pay your next bill for you?  If not, it’s too complicated.

We need to enjoy life more!  Not spend it on trying to figure out our files.

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Make Someone Else Feel Good

We grow up wondering how people feel about us.  As we advance through life, that wonder grows less.  We should spend more energy telling our friends and love ones how important they are or how much they mean to us.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine turned 80.  I was faced with: What do you give someone who has everything but would have an impact?  I saw one of Oprah’s shows where you ask people to write on a card what that person means to you and put it in a box.  This was my gift to my friend.  I found a special box in Colonial Williamsburg, VA that would hold all the index cards from everyone attending the party.  Ask everyone as they arrived to write a few words to our guest of honor and sign it — please make sure she can read it.  And I presented it to her later as a gift from everyone.  People really put their hearts and soul on those cards to my friend — a treasure that could be revisited over and over again long after the candles burned out and the glasses washed.  Thanks Oprah for that wonderful idea!

Then today, I received an email from Dennis who wrote about his near death experience and decided to put a list of 10 things we could do that would make someone else feel good about themselves.

I wanted to share these ideas because I know when I put a smile on someone else’s face, it really makes my heart heat up with what I like to call “feeling good all under.”  Here’s Dennis’ list — I hope you find something you can do for that special someone you treasure.  Enjoy!

  1. Create a scrapbook about them. Most people like to be recognized. Recognize them with pictures, newspaper clippings, accomplishments, personal anecdotes and notes about how much they mean to you and how great they are.
  2. Create a Top X List of the reasons you love or appreciate them (Top Ten reasons you love them, Top 25 reasons they inspire you, etc.). Men, don’t say dumb things like “You make the best meat loaf in the world” unless she’s worked really hard to please you with her cooking. Think from the heart, not the stomach. Then buy a blank card and as neatly as you can, hand print the list inside, or even better, hire someone who does calligraphy to print it out neatly and frame it for the wall or desk.
  3. Make a romantic photo album of your best times together, then set the stage for an evening alone. Relive the happy memories together by going through the photo album and talking about the good times.
  4. Make something for them. Handmade gifts don’t have to be perfect to be special. If you don’t think you can make something yourself, hire someone to make something. A lot of local artisans would love to make something special for you and will do so at a reasonable price.
  5. Have a photo calendar made that features special moments from their life or special people in their life. Just do a search for “photo calendars” and you’ll find plenty of sources.
  6. Get some construction paper and cut out little rectangles and fold them into colorful mini-cards. Write their name on the front and “happy” notes inside and hide them in places your loved one will find over time. Tuck one in a shirt pocket hanging in the closet, in their car, in a desk drawer, inside the case of one of their favorite music CD’s, in a shoe, in the back of a book they’re reading, etc. Imagine the many happy little surprises they’ll discover!
  7. Write a poem for them or about them. Flatter them in it—make them feel good about themselves! If you play the guitar, piano, or another instrument you can sing along with, write a song about them.
  8. If your loved one’s parents are alive and live near you, arrange to take them out to dinner but don’t tell anyone the reason why. Once you are seated and have ordered, tell the parents you wanted to take them out to dinner to thank them for bringing your loved one into this world. Tell them how much their son or daughter means to you. You can expect tears of joy to flow!
  9. When your loved one has gone somewhere, do something for them that they hate to do. Maybe it’s mowing the lawn, vacuuming the whole house, cleaning their car, weeding the garden, washing the windows, giving the dog a bath or some other unpleasant chore.
  10. Buy a gift certificate to their favorite store. Take them out to lunch and swing by the store when you’re finished—don’t tell them where you’re going, but make sure they don’t have to be somewhere else soon. When you park the car just get out and start walking toward the store, they’ll follow. When you get to the door give them the gift certificate and tell them to having fun picking out whatever they want.

If you don’t like any of my ideas, don’t worry, you can probably think of other things that are even better. The point is, do something unexpected and kind for them to show how much they mean to you. It will often turn out to be as good for you as it is for them.

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I recently read an article “How to Ask for a Raise” by Madeline Vann and she clearly states it’s all about preparation ahead of time.  For example: 1) put yourself in your boss’s shoes, 2) Get input from a mentor, 3) spotlight your strengths, 4) print out your proof, 5) Consider the when and the where, 6) probe into pay, 7) lean on your network, 8 ) be open minded and, 9) keep calm.

The most important objects I found here were the preparations and keeping calm!  Like most things in life when facing any difficult situation – it’s easy to lose our heads (especially our minds and mouths) during a situation and once that happens – we can’t turn back the clock, no matter how hard we try.

The hardest part is finding all the correct information we need and then staying calm — leaving all emotions out of the situation.  To verify our information is correct, we need a trail of documents and not word of mouth, but to stay calm — that’s another matter all together different.  We hear that business isn’t personal, but when you put hours, days, months on a project — it can feel like your soul is on the line when it’s reviewed by someone else…how can this not be personal when so much of you went into creating it?

What you need is honest feedback before hand.  One or two people who can offer a list of pro’s and con’s of your presentation…anywhere from appearance, presentation to documentation.  Most importantly, you have to be strong enough to listen and understand what they are telling you, so you can make the right corrections and your strongest attributes can come through.

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I’m really excited about getting into the blog world!  I’ve tried to explain to others out there how important it is to express yourself — to get the word out and let others know some of the valuable information you’re keeping locked inside.  All the while, I was leaking my information out to one person at a time — and they were asking, “so, where’s your blog?”  Guilty as charged!!

I hope to bring you information that will help you bring balance to your life – whether it’s in your personal life or to your business.  We never know when that bump in the road will hit and when it does, it never seems to happen when we’re ready.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, if you have specific topics you’d like to see, please let me know what’s on your mind…if I know anything on that topic, I’ll be happy to share it, if not I’ll consider adding an area for links that may help.  No promises at this point…just getting started with the blog thing, but I’m hopeful, so let’s see where it leads.

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