On Building A Better Human

Be a Better Human Being © denissimonov stock.adobe.com

Welcome to 2020. It’s a new decade bursting with opportunities. Show of hands. How many of us actually thought we’d make it this far? Many of the older SCI/FI stories didn’t paint a rosy picture of our chances. Other, more hopeful authors imagined we would advance to levels humanity has not achieved as of yet. I admire their faith and would love to walk in the world they’d envisioned for us.

Don’t get discouraged. We still have time to grow! Let’s get started.

Building a Better Human (Inside Ourselves)

Human Beings are complex creatures with aspects of the Dark and Light inside our hearts. It is our capacity to monitor our intent and choose appropriate action that provides us with the opportunity of enlightened growth. But where to start? Here are a few basic suggestions to target for 2020:

Be Kind– Don’t strive for Sainthood. Kindness means thinking of other creatures who walk the world with us. Do the little acts of giving and thoughtfulness without expecting personal gain

Be Trustworthy– Be a fortress of integrity and honesty to your friends. Keep hurtful gossip from your lips

Be Forgiving– Don’t forget that others are walking life’s path without a handbook just like you. Be patient with their frailties and understanding of their falls

Be Loving– Perhaps the greatest gift humanity as to offer the world is our capacity to love

We can do it, fellow travelers! Let’s help each other grow.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Get Your Holiday Hygge On

#christmas2019

Hygge Christmas © almaje – stock.adobe.com

Hygge (Noun)

“A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”

 

Folks who live in the frozen North experience cold Winters. The days and nights can be long and unbearably gloomy. December’s holiday glow helps, but the chill can still spoil our mood. When Winter’s chill gets me down, I look to the Danish for examples of beating the gloom.

Our Danish friends have the Hygge lifestyle. They embrace Winter with fun outdoor activities and take indoor comfort to a whole new level. Here are some tips from the Danish to make your Christmas brighter:

Four Ways to Achieve Hygge This Christmas

Christmas goodies © mizina – stock.adobe.com

Be Warm: Light a fire in the fireplace. Have plenty of pretty candles around the room

Be Fuzzy: Put your fuzzy “couch socks” on and wrap up in a warm blanket

Be Festive: Enjoy eggnog, spiced tea, mulled wine and other favorite seasonal treats

Be Light: Read a good book or enjoy a favorite holiday movie. Play board games with friends. Do an activity that will lighten your mood

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Wearing White After Labor Day and Other Acts of Rebellion

You Be You. © cristovao31 Stock – Adobe.com

It’s September in Colorado. This year is unseasonably warm even hitting a record 100 degrees on Labor Day. I hate being hot. It’s one of my least favorite things, especially when you’re stuck behind the wheel during peak traffic. I decide to grab a silk tank top and my white summer sweater.

Then I hesitate. It’s after Labor Day. I can’t wear white. My other blouses are too warm. What should I do? Coming to my senses, I grab the white sweater and the tank top.

Whoever came up with the weird rule of no white after Labor Day clearly never struggled with Colorado’s fickle September weather. I’m no fashionista. It’s still unclear why I even care. Life is a struggle. Laundry isn’t self-cleaning. Comfort is Queen. Leave me alone, I’ll wear what I want.

Acts of Rebellion

We have a great deal of faith in the “tried and true” sayings of experts. Hey, they’re experts. Of course, you should carefully consider what they say. Sometimes, however, you have to rebel a bit. Challenging the status quo can bring about new innovations and positive change.

Write What You Know – Stay in your box. Don’t push the boundaries of your knowledge or imagination. Phooey to that! Writers are intelligent and inquisitive. We love to learn, so we may share our knowledge with readers. Besides, hard facts can add depths of realism to works of fiction.

Do your research. Interview experts in your subject area. Ask them to read what you’ve written for a reality check.

Biting Off a Bit Too Much – I encourage you to push your boundaries, but I caution you to know your limitations. For instance: You shouldn’t try writing a complex mechanical engineering textbook on your own if you don’t have any background or knowledge of the subject. Partnering with a mechanical engineer would be a better approach.

You Must Have Natural Talent to Write – Hmmm. Maybe. It certainly helps. BUT:

Love is a powerful motivator. If your passion is writing, you’ll do what it takes to learn, improve and grow in the art form. Failure and criticism will not deter you on the path toward publication. Why? Because it’s fun (most of the time) and fulfilling. Writing feeds your soul. What could be better than that?

Don’t discount natural talent. We all know or know of someone with an amazing natural gift for the written word. Rather than struggling over every word, they make it look easy. These are the Mozarts or Beethovens of the Literary World. You will never be better than they are. Neither will I. AND THAT’S OKAY. Don’t compare yourself to these seemingly supernatural artists. Or anyone else.

Remember: We each have our own stories to tell. You were given your story for a reason. Keep Writing!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

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Top Five Ways to Keep Creative Projects Fun

Joy in Creativity © Vjom stock.adobe.com

We live for our art, don’t we? Sharing our work with the world is a way to give back to the community. It can be gloriously fulfilling and at the same time an overwhelming responsibility.  Keeping the joy in our art is important in encouraging our productivity.

Remember: The world needs your art! Don’t let anything stop you from creating – including YOU!

Top Five Ways to Keep Things Fun

  1. Plan Your Events Around a Favorite Holiday: My latest Dark Fantasy Novel – Creed of the Guardian– comes out October 18th. I’m having a blast with Halloween themed gift basket ideas and marketing
  2. Get Your Friends and Family Involved: Great ideas often come during group discussions.
  3. Don’t Take Yourself or Your Project Too Seriously: Art is hard work, but it should also be fun. Don’t suck the joy out of your creativity by taking it too seriously
  4. Plan Well and Finish on Time or Early: It’s a wonderful feeling when you check off all those tasks on the way to completing your creative project. A job well done!
  5. Don’t Forget to Celebrate! Completing that crappy first draft or a preliminary rough sketch is a major accomplishment. It gets you one step closer to a full creative piece of work. Reward yourself with a nice meal or a spa day.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Keeping Your Cool While Your Hair is on Fire

Is your hair on fire? Relax

Is your hair on fire? Relax! © SFIO CRACHO – stock.adobe.com

Have you started a new job, project or training program? It’s tough being the newbie isn’t it? The first week is the worst. You stumble around trying to complete tasks to impress your new boss, but you end up feeling awkward and ignorant.

Here are some things to remember while you’re running around with your hair on fire.

Five Things to Remember Your First Week:

  • Everybody was the New Guy Once
  • You are your harshest critic
  • Seek Out the Gurus Who Are Willing to Help You
  • Be Kind to Yourself
  • Take a deep breath. It gets better with each passing day.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.