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I like making these lists.  Many of these ideas I have tried to put into practice, some just come to me and I share them with you so we can implement them together.  Let’s see what I have today…

1. Less is More

My favorite Priest and George Carlin did the same stand-up routines about people and their “stuff,” not sure you copied whom.  Anyway, modern people have an over-abundance of things, items, and stuff weighting them down like anchors.  Clean out the clutter!  Here’s how to do it: look around your home and see what items you have not used in the past six months.  By and large, those are things you just don’t need.  I have never been a pack-rat but about a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to look through most of the things I owned.  I got rid of the majority of them.  Now, I’m happier and I never miss anything I scraped.  You’d be amazed at the things people will buy from you.  Sell what you can, donate as much as you can, and can the rest.  Once you start, it is very easy.  Get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in your life.  Then, see number five, below.

2. Get Back to Nature.

First I recommended walking around, then hiking.  What I’m referring to here is more than just taking a hike.  It means slowing down and enjoying the natural world around you.  Modern conveniences are great at times, but they usually lack a human feel.  To reconnect with the world just try sitting quietly outside.  Look around, count squirrels.  After your hike, pitch a tent and camp out.  Cook over a fire.  At home, plant a garden and eat what you grow.  It’s better for you and gives you something to do that makes you feel truly accomplished.  It’s pretty easy too. 

backyard-vegetable-garden

(Play in the dirt!  Google.)

3. Take Some Time Off to do Nothing

People rush around like rats in a maze nowadays.  That may be the life for some but I figure there’s more to life than just rushing.  Usually, folks only stop their day-to-day madness for a specific event – a sick day, vacation, or some special event.  I say, just every once in a while, take a day to do nothing.  Call in sick one day and spend it loafing.  Odds are, you need it.  Time off refreshes the brain and will enable you to tackle your chores with greater vigor – tomorrow.  Americans, despite chronic unemployment and diminishing incomes, are still the hardest working people on earth.  Reward yourself with a little “you” time.

4. Start a Hobby With a Useful Skill

Everyone has a job – teacher, architect, lawyer, driver, etc.  Imagine, if you will, that one day the world changes and your profession is no longer in need.  Then what?  Wouldn’t it be great to have something else to fall back on?  Pick a trade or hobby that will always be in demand (gardening/farming, sewing, carpentry, etc.) and add it to your vocational repertoire.  You’ll learn something, have fun, and have an edge if things change – they always do.

5. Give up Something You Don’t Need

Yes, this is kind of related to number one but, instead of letting go of a physical thing, give up something you do that really isn’t that important to your life.  You’ll improve yourself thereby.  Over the past ten years or so I’ve been trying as hard as possible to put as much distance between myself and our idiotic popular culture as I can.  I have no interest in vapid celebrities, boring television, statist-organized movies, and music which is really just noise with a price tag.  With the exceptions of watching golf and the Dawgs, I have stopped paying attention to all competitive sports which do not involve me cranking a reel, squeezing a trigger, or physically improving myself.  Recently, I decided to cut my last tie with professional sports (excepting golf) by giving up pro football.  The NFL is no longer a sport, now it’s a soap opera with injuries, time-outs, the TSA, and pink everywhere.  I don’t need to watch overpaid prima donnas clad in pink play a child’s game for four hours.  I’d rather smoke a cigar, pump iron, or fry the fish I catch.  Besides, pro sports were specifically engineered by the elite as our “bread and circuses” in order to keep us pacified.  I’m not easy to pacify and impossible to control.  Rebel against something!

pink

(So manly. Not.  Google.)

6. Spare Someone the Advice

Most people do not listen to your advice, solicited or otherwise.  If they do, they usually ignore it.  This even happens if they pay you for your advice – I know all about this.  Note: I am in no way talking about great blogs here…  Cassandra was the Princess of Troy.  She constantly gave advice and made predictions.  Despite being correct 100% of the time, no-one ever listened to her.  Don’t be Cassandra.  People will usually do as they will, it’s their nature.  Let them be.

7. Re-Evaluate Where You Stand

Where are you?  Who are you?  Are you a middle-aged man in a small, crapulent city you hate?  Do you always vote for a particular party of ticks just because they’re “your party?”  Going to school because you can’t think of anything else to do?  Sounds like it’s time to do some soul-searching and maybe make a change.  Change is good.  Read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, http://www.amazon.com/Who-Moved-My-Cheese-Amazing/dp/0399144463/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365124623&sr=8-1&keywords=who-moved-my-cheese, do understand why.  If what you’re doing isn’t working for you, stop.  If it is, rejoice and continue.

8. Cut the Processed Food

I lost 50 pounds of unsightly fat (probably more setting aside muscle gain) in the past 6 months.  Part of my plan, which I didn’t really plan, was to stop eating out and to eat unprocessed or fresh foods at home.  It just happened for me and the results are astounding.  Fast food is loaded with fat, grease, poisonous additives, and carbohydrates (which turn into fat).  It also costs a lot of money.  A burger or ice cream every now and then is okay.  It won’t hurt your diet and, in moderation, tastes the way it’s supposed to.  Try replacing half of your processed/fast food intake for a week and see what happens.  I think you’ll thank me the week after.

9. Check Your Insurance

We insure ourselves against everything these days.  Part of this is common sense, part of it is peer pressure, and part of it is a reaction to all the fear we’re force-fed by society.  For instance, “they” say everyone needs life insurance in case one dies leaving behind obligations.  This might be true.  But, what if you have no obligations and no dependents?  Who benefits then from all those monthly premium payments?  And, in that case, should you die, why care about what happens to the world when you’re gone – you’re gone!  Also, if you have accumulated sufficient personal assets to cover any post-demise incidentals, what’s the point in giving some unregulated bank your money?  Check your situation and see if you really need that policy.  Or, any kind of policy.  See if you could save money by switching companies or cutting back on services you don’t need.  And, always remember – insurance companies are in business to take your money, period.  If a time comes when they have to pay out, they will avoid it at all costs.  Plan your coverage accordingly.

10. Hypnotize Yourself

providence_hypnosis_ri

(Crazy but true.  Google.)

This sounds a little wackier than my usual rambles but it’s possible, it works, and it will help you.  It relates to many of my previous points.  The problem is, I can’t exactly explain how to do it.  That’s up to you and your brain.  Really, it’s just psychological conditioning, I suppose.  I have mastered the ability to command or trick my brain into ceasing all worry, any negative thoughts, or any conscious processes I wish to halt for the time being.  This is great a bed time when the mind is still in high gear.  I order it to stop, it stops.  I then order my body to sleep, I sleep.  Perhaps someday I will master the science of relaying the process.  Until then, remember that if i can do it, so can you – without instructions.  Try one night when you can’t sleep and you’re out of NyQuil.

As always, pass these along if you care.  Try to come up with great suggestions of your own (in spite of seeming like a Cassandra).  Sleep long and prosper!