Leave Organization At Home, Return to Organization at Home

The neat thing about personal systems is that they have a structure and a memory so that when we are away from them and then come back home the order of the system is still there.

(I was wide-awake, but you instantly put me to sleep with the beginning of this post.  How does this personal system has structure and memory stuff have anything to do with being interesting, let alone anything fun?)

OK voice in the ( ), do you believe in ease and comfort?

(Of course!)

Well, I’m talking about personal systems because they can create ease and comfort.

For example, your house is a system.  If you leave a clean house and go on a weeklong trip, when you return it’s still clean.  It doesn’t just make itself dirty during the week you are gone.  Your house retains the order you leave it in.  And coming home from a great trip, this organization gives you a sense of ease and comfort, right?

(Yes, coming home to a clean space is nicer and more relaxing than coming home to a dirty one.  I can just plop down on the couch and reflect on how wonderful my trip was instead of worrying about how dirty the house is.  But Jason, when did you become Mr. Better Homes and Gardens?)

Hey ( ), instead of calling me names, pay attention, this stuff could help you enjoy more peace in your life.  Then you wouldn’t feel so inclined to resort to picking on me.

As I was saying, our personal systems retain the order we put them in as long as they don’t get disrupted or flooded with new information.

(Flood!  What flood?  I’m so confused one minute, I’m snoring because you are waxing boring on this personal system blah, blah, and the next minute you are shouting, “Flood”.)

Let me tell you what I mean by ‘flood’.  Say when you left on your vacation, you left organized by emptying your email box.  However, when you return your email box has ninety new messages in it.   So a flood occurs when a system that you left in order, through external change is flooded with new information while you are gone.

By comparison, when you return home, the furniture in your house will have retained the order you left it in, except possibly for a new layer of dust.

When you are gone, your furniture represents a static system and your email box represents a fluid system.

(Static, fluid, kind of catchy Jason!  But what does this all mean for your readers.)

Glad you asked, ( ).  It means that with a focus on creating organization before you leave home, you can return to organization.  When you return to a clean living space, you can really relax and feel the comforts of home.

Then when you are ready to do something, instead of the laundry on the floor or doing the pile of dishes on the kitchen counter, you can attend to bringing your fluid systems like your email and snail mailbox back into order.  This way your fluid systems get reorganized and not more flooded.

(Makes sense, but why are you so keen on this personal organization stuff anyway, Jason.)

I’m so interested in it because for most of my life I resided in spaces I chose to let become highly disorganized.  Now that I live in a home that I spend time organizing on a daily basis I notice that I’m much more relaxed and happier.  And I’ve found that cleaning and organizing is fairly simple, I just have to choose to take the time to do it consistently.

(Well said…Mr. Better Homes and Gardens!)

Game of the Day

How and when do you organize your static personal systems?

How and when do you organize your fluid personal systems?

How do you like to feel when you return home after being away?

What, if anything, could you do to make organizing before you leave home more fruitful and satisfying for you?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

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What Habits Put The Brakes On Your Happiness?

Have you ever been somewhere that you know is really, really good like on vacation or at a party, only to be frustrated that you couldn’t enjoy it because you were so focused on worrying about something?

I sure have!  Fretting about whether I had locked my car doors frequently distracted me at times when I wanted to be having fun.  Or I should say that I LET the profoundly uninteresting experience of worrying about whether or not I had locked my car doors spoil many potentially amazing experiences for me.  (I did this even before I owned a car.  I would worry about whether or not my parents had locked their car doors. Kind of pathetic!)

In thinking about whether or NOT my car doors were locked, I was trying to prevent the possible very hypothetical idea of someone taking stuff from my car or stealing it.   All the while, I was actually inflicting DEFINITE pain and distraction on myself in the present moment.  (From a common sense standpoint, this approach to life didn’t have much common sense.)

Not only was I inflicting pain and distraction on myself in the moment, I was missing the good stuff AND being a drag on others as they were trying to enjoy the moment.  (In fact, I was being a royal party-pooper!)

Now is locking your car doors a good idea?  Yes!  It’s an idea that now with automatic door locks takes a second of attention to implement.

But by walking away from the car and beginning to worry about whether or not I had locked the car doors, I was turning a good idea into A HABIT THAT PUT BRAKES ON MY HAPPINESS.  

My old Did-I-Lock-The-Car-Doors-Worry is what I like to call a REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT.  A REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT is a habit that keeps us focused in the opposite direction of our happiness.

The great news is that when we realize the direction that our REVERSE HAPPINESS HABITS are leading us, we can begin to take steps to focus on going in a new direction.

For example, with my car “Did-I-Lock-The-Car-Doors” REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT (Wow that is a mouth full!), I finally made the rule for myself that I would pay close attention for the seconds when I was locking the doors.  Then when I walked away from the car, I would focus on what I was doing and where I was going, instead of repeatedly badgering myself about whether or not I locked my car doors.  This easy solution took a great deal of discipline to follow when I first implemented it.  But now I lock my cars doors with confidence and move on in the direction of my happiness.  This simple solution makes a world of difference in the quality of my life.

Game of the Day

Do you find that you have a REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT?

When do you notice it?

How does it distract you when you want to be having fun?

Is there a truth that it’s trying to tell you?   (The truth in my example was, “It’s good to spend a few seconds to focus on locking your car doors.”)

How can you give this truth a little focus and then move back to focusing on having a great time?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

Five Tips For Vacation Ease

Vacations are awesome!  We look forward to them for weeks or sometimes even years.  The thrill of traveling is exhilarating- savoring new places, meeting new people, having the opportunity to experience new situations, and most of all FOCUSING on HAVING FUN!

I used to think that spending time to stay organized and maintain healthy practices on vacations was too much work.  I was supposed to be on vacation from ordinary life after all!  But I’ve found the opposite to be true, the more I stay organized and maintain healthy practices, the more I enjoy my vacations.

Over the years, I’ve discovered some great tips for staying organized and healthy while on your vacation so that you can enjoy it fully and have amazing amounts of fun.

1. Prepare For Fun: Organize Before You Go

While it can be tempting to put off packing until the last-minute and then run around throwing things in bags, I’ve found that taking the time to pack well really paves the way for having the most possible fun on a vacation.  For example, I find it easy to leave my cell phone charger at home and the last thing I want to do when I’m in Hawaii is be at Wal-Mart at 2 AM asking a clerk what aisle cell phones chargers are in.

To make packing really easy, I like to start making a list about three or four days before I’m scheduled to travel of things I might forget.  Simply put a catchy label on your list like “Items to remember to pack for my blissful vacation.”  Then take ten minutes to write down things you want to pack like, “ten shirts, razor, sunscreen, my laptop, etc.”  Then over the next few days when you think of things that you didn’t remember to put on the list when you first made it, write them down.  After that when you go pack, simply follow your list.

2. Feed Your Fun: Nourish Your Body

When traveling, I have found that I’m very drawn to eating great quantities of foods made tasty by sugar, by frying, and by salt.  Fast food has a special draw because I want to eat fast so that I can get back to seeing the sites (and also because it can taste SO GOOD)!  Unfortunately, after eating too much of it, I just don’t feel good.

So now when on a trip, I attempt to take the time to relish sit-down meals full of yummy, nutritious food, IN ADDITION to savoring the fried, the sugared, and the salted IN MODERATION.

What mix of foods do you want to eat when you are traveling?

3. Be Well Rested For Fun: Get Plenty of Sleep

While vacationing, there’s so much fun to be had that it’s sometimes tempting to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, night after night.  I find this somewhat enjoyable for a day or two, but then I just want to take a nap at inconvenient times like when my tour group would be headed out to see the pyramids.  (And that’s not a story that I would want to tell for the rest of my life – how I was in the hotel room sleeping instead of seeing one of the most amazing sights in the world.)

So now when I am vacationing, except for the rare event, I plan on getting between six and eight hours of sleep a night.

Don’t miss the sights!  How much sleep do you want to get a night to feel your best?

4. Fun On The Move: Make Sightseeing Your Exercise 

This one comes naturally to me.  I always feel much better when I engage in some form of physical activity during the day.  So when I’m in a new place, one of the main things I love to do is explore on foot.   I’ve found that the details of a place, whether it’s a city or a National Park can be best experienced through walking.  I find that when in a car or even on a bike, I’m simply moving too fast to appreciate all the subtleties of the architecture and the vegetation.  (Of course use common sense, and only walk in places where you feel safe.)

Maybe walking isn’t your thing, but biking or running is.  Then do that.  The trick is to incorporate your exercise so that it’s a natural part of your sightseeing.

5. Reenergizing For More Fun: Enjoy The Freedom To Take Breaks

Sometimes when visiting even spectacular places, I’ve found that I can get too much of a good thing.  Maybe I’m walking around a fascinating art gallery.  After about two or three hours, even though I’m loving it, I find I just want a break.

Have you ever had a similar experience of doing something enjoyable and then wanting a break from it?

The solution to this situation is simple.  Just have fun taking a break.  You are on vacation after all!

Game of the Day

Think about your next vacation.  What can you do to stay organized and maintain healthy practices, while at the same time, thoroughly enjoying your vacation?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

The Nemesis of Opportunity

Have you ever had a wonderful day of amazing opportunities and happenings, only to have one small “bad thing” happen towards the end it?  Have you then ever noticed your attention drifting to this one small “bad” thing instead of all the good things that happened during your wonderful day?

This one small “bad thing” is a classic “LACKportunity.” (Note to the reader of this blog, in Jason Freeman’s personal dictionary LACKportunity is the combination of the words “lack” and “opportunity.”  LACKportunity is the much less fun-loving, opposite in fact, cousin of opportunity.)

Now a quick LACKportunity story of my own– I couldn’t get into one of my on-line accounts after an amazing day of yoga and walking and conversations.  So did I take the opportunity to savor the day?  NO, at least not for the next hour!!!  During that hour, rather than taking the opportunity to delight in the day that I had, I took the LACKportunity to focus on my frustration about not being able to get into my account. I tried and tried different approaches to get login and password help, but nothing seemed to work.  So I decided to bask in the LACKportunity of my frustration.  I took this LACKportunity to wonder, “What in the world will I do if I can never get into this account again?” (Basking in LACKportunity has the tendency to make me over-dramatic.)

Opportunity abounds and so does LACKportunity.  LACKportunities seem to grow exponentially stronger the more we focus on them.  When we focus on our Opportunities, our LACKportunities seem to naturally disappear.

(I love writing LACKportunity and LACKportunities repeatedly.  I feel like I’m writing a Dr. Seuss book.  Green Eggs and LACKportunities…)

Will I have the opportunity to get into my on-line account again?  Most likely, once I clear my head of LACKportunity thoughts and focus on creating an opportunity to find a new way to reset my password.  And if that doesn’t work?  I’ll have the opportunity to create a new account.

What should you do if you ever, like I did, feel yourself suddenly fixating your Laser-Beam focus on a LACKportunity?

Quick try saying LACKportunity twenty times fast and then pick-up your LACKportunity like an imaginary softball and toss it as far away from you as you can, so that you can busy yourself focusing on your opportunities.

Next step!  Look up!  Look down!  Look North, South, East and West for even the smallest opportunity – the opportunity to smile at someone, the opportunity to notice something beautiful, the opportunity to savor a memory or look forward to a dream that gives you joy.  From focusing on the smallest opportunity, you will naturally begin to focus on more opportunities.  Focusing on the smallest opportunity is often more productive and definitely more fun than focusing on the biggest LACKportunity.

After focusing yourself on opportunity, you may still have a LACKportunity situation that you want to find a solution for.  One-way to approach this LACKportunity situation in a fresh way is to start by focusing on the smallest opportunity within your LACKportunity situation.  For example, my LACKportunity password situation has given me the opportunity to write this blog.

When LACKportunity starts knocking on your door, instead of answering, listen extra hard for opportunity.  It’s knocking!

Game of the Day

What is your Super Opportunity Plan Of Action for the next time you notice LACKportunity knocking?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Home Sweet Exploration

Can you imagine traveling to your favorite vacation destination and choosing to stay in the hotel room the whole time with the curtains shut?  There would be reasons to choose this option, of course, spending one’s whole vacation in the hotel room would most likely be more predictable, safer, and less expensive, than going out to explore.  But still we wouldn’t dream of choosing this option.

For when we’re on vacation, we’re primed to explore and try new things.  We are natural explorers.  We savor and delight in what we find.

However once we’re home, it is, at times, much easier for us to fall into routines where we basically live inside our metaphorical hotel room of the predictable, the safer, and the less expensive.

Home Sweet Home can become Home Sweet Dull.

Since we’re in our daily routines most of the time and go on vacations relatively rarely, our home territory is the natural ground for us to develop our exploration muscles.

It is natural to think, “Well I’ve done everything there is to do around where I live;” or “Where I live is just boring.”

I hear you.  I have felt like that at times.  But really consider the following two questions and see if they don’t excite your urge for Home Sweet Exploration.

  • How much of the area within an hour drive of your home haven’t you explored yet?
  • How many activities, shops, and restaurants within an hour’s drive of your home haven’t you tried yet?

Game of the Day

What is your next step in exploring your home territory as if it were your favorite vacation destination?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.