Thursday, March 10, 2016

Don't Worry...Be Happy

Genuine Happiness Comes from Within

Sometimes, when we feel like the world is just too heavy, we look around and find people who continued to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into our minds like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably sweet? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” 

As we pause and observe for awhile we may realize that they started to work on a place called ‘self’.

So, how does one become genuinely happy? Step 1 is to love yourself.

A theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.”  To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections must lie a great ounce of courage to be able to discover ways on how to improve our repertoire to recover from our mistakes.

Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are contented with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”

When we begin to discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life like  and looking for the negative in everything, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.

I believe that life is about finding out about trying and failing, wining and losing, right and wrong. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

You may be at a down point in your life at the moment and wonder, how can we be genuinely happy in spite all these?

Take one step at a time.

Every time you exert an effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, failing on board exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.

Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in the NFLs. Every time you take a step forward, you make scoring points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got a point today. I’m glad I gave it a shot.”, instead of looking at it all blank and murmur “Geez, I didn’t even hit a score today. I wish I had the guts to try out. We could have won!” and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest 13th month pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life don’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best.

So, how do you become genuinely happy? 

Every one has their own definition of ‘happiness’. Happiness for a writer may mean launching a best selling book. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean finding a lot of money. Happiness for a business man may mean corporate success.

So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. Its about doing and making the best out of every single thing. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistake and telling your self “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, your willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project “how to become genuinely happy”.

Love and accept others as you love yourself.  Laugh at your foibles.  Be empathetic and kind to others.  Do something for someone else and do something for yourself.  Don't give so much away that you have nothing left for you.  It takes courage to be happy.  Be of good courage.


Fran Watson

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"Un"? What is an "un"?

Have you ever had an "un" day?  A day when you felt unappreciated, unwanted, unknown, unloved?  It could be that you are too busy and have gotten too tired.  It's easy to do.  Our lives can easily become overwhelming if we let the outside world take over.  We have constant demands to "do this", "go here", "buy this", "watch this",.  It can make us crazy. 

When our lives are too busy it is easy to neglect the one person who should be upheld and supported - ourselves.  We become unable to cope. If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of anyone else properly.  We've seen the ads about how to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before trying to help anyone else and in the Bible Jesus said "love your neighbour as yourself".  If you don't love and care for yourself, how can you truly love and take care of your neighbour?

If we spend too much time in an "un" stage, we may end up with a feeling of depression that is difficult to get out of.  We may need to consult a professional to help us.  If you are feeling a little "un" today, take a look at what you have been doing lately.  Have you been "doing" instead of "being"?  We are "human beings" not "human doings".  It is important to take some time to relax and "unwind", to move from "unconscious" to conscious as we understand what it is we are doing to ourselves when we allow ourselves to become too busy.

When this happens, when you feel unappreciated, it's time to appreciate yourself for who you are and what you do, but you can't do this if you are constantly rushing around.  You need to give yourself a break.  Take some time to yourself.  Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and think about all the things you have done.  Think about the times that people have said thank you for things you have done or said.  Think about the things you have done for others and be grateful that you were able to do what you have done. 

If you can, give yourself some time to find out what you like to do.  Spend a morning thinking about the things that you "don't have time for" and figure out ways to make that time.  Be unavailable for a little while. 

We speak about "carving out" time for ourselves, and sometimes that is what it feels like, that we have to see our busyness as a block of marble that needs to be reshaped to reveal its true nature.  We need to carve away the unneccessary and keep only what brings us joy and peace and love.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Time Management

I sit here this morning feeling good about some of the things I have done recently, like learning how to set up posts on Facebook so that each hour there is a post, and being more dedicated to posting on my blog. 

However when I got up this morning and realized that today is the 4th and that in order to get paid at the end of the month my invoices need to be in by Monday, my heart sank.  It is unlikely that Canada Post will get my package there in time. 

But I can't really blame them.  It was my lack of time management, of setting a note in my Day Timer earlier in the week that said "Do Closures". 

I am self-employed, working from home, on contract with an EAP.  Each month I have to have my closures in by the 7th and the 23rd in order to get paid on time.  If I had perfected my Time Management skills, I would never have to work.  Alas, despite the fact that I teach Time Management skills, I sometimes fail.

That's the way it is in the world.  Often despite our best intentions, we fail.  So what we need to do is fail forward.  Take a look at what happened and take steps to ensure that it won't happen again.  So today I am entering a note into my Day Timer on the 18th of this month that says "Closures".  That will ensure that I will get them done on time.

Right now I will get back to working on my closures and send them away today with hope and prayers that they will arrive in time.


Fran Watson

P.S.  If you would like some information on Time Management, or get a copy of a Time Management log, email me or comment below

Tuesday, March 1, 2016



A - Action.  Take action to create the life you want.  Avoid negative people, things and places. Achieve your dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

B - Believe in yourself, and in what you can do.

C – Consider every angle and aspect of a situation. Motivation comes from determination. Once you have conceived the solution, take action.

D – Determination.  Don’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed over and over again before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb.

E – Enjoy life. Work as if you don’t need money. Dance as if nobody’s watching. Love as if you never cried. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation is easier when you are happy.

F – Family and Friends – are life’s greatest ‘F’ treasures. Don’t lose sight of them.

G – Give more than what is expected.  

H – Hang on to your dreams. These little stars will be your driving force.

I – Ignore those who try to destroy you. Don’t let other people to get the best of you. Stay away from toxic people – the kind of friends who hates to hear about your success and only wants to talk about their failures..

J – Joy. Experience joy in some form everyday. 

K – keep trying no matter how hard life may seem. Take one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

L – Learn to love yourself. Sometimes this may be difficult, but look at things you do well, ask people what they like about you and really listen to what they say.

M – Maintain your momentum. Make things happen. Motivation is putting your dreams into work clothes.

N – Never lie, cheat or steal. .

O – Optimism -look for the positive in every situation..

P – Positivism.  Practice makes perfect. Prepare for your future.

Q – Quitters never win. And winners never quit. Get started now.

R – Regrets - get rid of them.  Ready yourself to move forward.

S – Smile.  It is amazing how much a smile can change your day and also other people's days.  Share your smile with everyone you meet. 

T – Thoughts.  Take control of your thoughts and you take control of your life.

U – Understand others. Seek first to understand and then to be understood. 

V – Visualize what you want for your life.  Really visualize ALL of it - what you want, what you need.

W – Want it more than anything. If you want it enough, you will achieve it.

X – X-tra The "X Factor" is what will make you different from the others. When you are motivated, you tend to find time for “extras” in your life like extra time for family, extra help at work, extra care for friends, and so on.

Y – YOU are unique. No one in this world looks, acts, or talks like you. Value your life and existence.

Z – Zero in on your dreams and go for it!!!

To your personal success

Fran Watson

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Happiness -- Who Needs It?? How Do I Get It??

Be As Happy as You Want to Be

Almost everyone have heard the hit single 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' by Bobby McFerrin. The song has a very catchy way of conveying its message of being happy to everyone. Bobby Mcferiin's simple message surely made a lot of people by telling them not to worry.

Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

One of the better things ever said is - 'The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change'. We have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too can change.

Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along well with the person.

Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy.

To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook will be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy.

There are several ways by which you can do this.

Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mail, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive.

News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people say they just can't start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do.

A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace.

Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.

Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -'Laughter is the best medicine'.

Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger or frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone.

Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time.

Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.

Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.

Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.

These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy.

As Abraham Lincoln, said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

So, be happy

Enjoy your life and make other people happy too.

Remember, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown

To your happiness

Fran Watson

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Who Is In Control?

I woke up late this morning, after a very peaceful night's sleep. I read and meditated for about half an hour and when I came downstairs I began my task of filing and then dong some cleaning and I realized that sometimes it is the simple tasks that can be the most important in clearing my mind to be able to take on more difficult tasks later. By clearing my "working space" I also clear the working space in my mind.  

I have been learning a lot recently about minimalism, appreciating simple things in life and I recognize that I have too much stuff.  I also realized that my "stuff", the things "living" in my house are the things that are often in control of what I do.  The things constantly need to be moved, looked after, and they take up space.  Now some of these things may be important, but I recently cleaned out my pantry and at the back I found cake mixes that were several years outdated.  If I hadn''t had so much "stuff" in my pantry, I would have noticed that sooner.

I also have too much food in my freezer.  I live alone, so I don't really need to have a big freezer anymore, but since I do I often will buy things to put in it.  The problem is, if I don't eat it soon enough it gets freezer burn and is then wasted.  So who is in control? stuff.

I retired from my day job almost 5 years ago and brought home boxes of papers and books from my 25 years of career counseling.  My thought was that I would use this "stuff" as I continued to work in the field part-time from my home.  I have not yet opened some of the boxes.  They are sitting upstairs in one of the bedrooms just taking up space.  So who is in control?....again my stuff.

My kitchen table is a "catch-all" for all kinds of papers, pens,, pencils and more, and this is where I work.  Is it any wonder that sometimes I feel scattered?  I think it is time that I begin to control my life instead of being controlled.  I will begin today to spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day cleaning some aspect of my world.  This may involve giving away books (gasp, the horror, but am I really going to read them all?) or perhaps some of my material (but really, I am going to quilt some day........) or even some of my yarn?  I have a whole container of knitted scarfs and toques to give to someone or some group.  Yes, today is the day I take control.   How about you?

To your success


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What Innovation Can Do to Your Life

If you've ever marvelled at somebody's creative prowess, guess what, you can create and innovate too. It just takes time. Everyone is born creative. The box of crayons in kindergarten were not limited to those who possessed potential; because the truth is, everybody has potential.

You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to learn a new habit? It's the same with innovation. It takes a  bit of practice and a lot of time before this mind function comes easily when called. This article will provide you with a few tips on how to bring innovation into your life.

First of all, follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for the input of other people will only bring cacophony to the music you are trying to make. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand. They won't. And the "so-called help" you will get probably will come in the form of negative feedback. If all the geniuses listened to their peers, we would probably still be living in the middle ages.

Spend time on it. Exercise. Take a walk. Run a mile or two. Send all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes your mind and allows for anything to pop up.

Record your dreams. Aren't some of them just the craziest things that your conscious mind would never have thought of? If you've had these dreams before, and I'm sure have, this only shows you the untapped innovative power you have lying within. So jot down those notes. Those dreams may just create an innovative spark in you.

Find your own style. You can always tell a Van Gogh from a Matisse. You'll know Hemingway wrote something by the choice of words on the paper. So it is the same with you. People will appreciate your innovation more because it is uniquely yours and that no one else would have thought of what you were thinking. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are.

Don't hide behind nifty gadgets or tools. You don't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same way with writing. You don't need some expensive fountain pen and really smooth paper for a bestseller. In fact, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue. So what if you've got an expensive SLR camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a blinging laptop if you can't write at all? The artist actually reduces the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft: he knows what works and what doesn't.

And remember, nothing will work without passion.

What wakes you up in the mornings?

What keeps the flame burning?

What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do?

Sometimes people with talent are overtaken by the people who want it more. Think the hare and the tortoise. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. And that's true. Sometimes you just want something so badly you become a virtual unstoppable. And that is passion. Passion will keep you going.

Don't worry about inspiration. You can't force it; inspiration hits when you least expect it to, for those unpredictable yet inevitable moments you should prepare. An idea could strike you on the subway, yet alas, you poor unfortunate soul; you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world. Avoid these disasters. Have a pen and paper within your arm's reach at all times.

I hope this article has helped you bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own satisfaction and not anybody else's. But soon enough they will notice, and everything should snowball from there.

Remember... you are unique.  There is no one in this world quite like you.  No one capable of doing or being like you.  Step forward along your unique path to your unique future.


Fran Watson