Freedom Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is Happiness?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

What is Happiness?

Written by Steven Griggs |

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Albert Camus

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
Carl Jung

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.”
Romana L. Anderson

If someone asks you if you are happy, what do you say? What is your definition of happiness?

Can you honestly say you’re happy? And when you say it, do you really believe it?

I think for most people the answer tends to be tentative or conditional. It’s almost as if we’re afraid to say unequivocally, I’m happy!

This is not to say there aren’t many very happy people, I’m sure there are.

I’m just asking you to watch how you answer this question. Watch and see if there is any hesitation or a need to explain or clarify.

I think when most people think of happiness, they view it as a destination or a place somewhere in the future. “When I’m rich then I’ll be happy”. “When I meet the person of my dreams, then I’ll be happy”. When I have the right job, the right house, the right friends, the right car, etc., it goes on and on.

Get these items and you will be happy.

It’s always conditional.

We been programed and conditioned by our culture to always look for happiness as something “out there”, a set of circumstances that will bring happiness.

I believe that real happiness is to be found moment to moment, in brief experiences.

This could be a series of experiences or it could just be brief moment of it here and there, but I don’t think there is any extended, never ending experience of bliss.

It’s just not the nature of our experience here on this planet.  

We face challenges.

This is part of our journey. If everything was totally blissful and perfect, why would we need to be here? What would be the point?

Personally I try not to define the future or regret or mourn the past. Any time you are looking forward or looking back, you are not looking at now.

You are missing out on right now.

Try to be here, right now, in this moment. Really pay attention to everything in the here and now.

If you can capture the joy and beauty and irony and humor in the small everyday moments, I believe you will experience happiness.

How do you find those moments? You pay attention, you are appreciative and open hearted. You try to embrace every experience with all your senses. You try to really “be there” and be thankful that you are.

Find those moments. You’ll know them when you feel them.

This is the real treasure that we call happiness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Whining!

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

No Whining!

Written by Steven Griggs |

“I will not be as those who spend the day in complaining of a headache, and the night in drinking the wine that gives it” 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do”
Joe Walsh

“Do not listen to those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious”
Og Mandino

“The people who live in a golden age usually go around complaining about how yellow everything looks”
Randall Jarrell

Do you ever find yourself whining?

I do.

Sometimes I find myself in a huge whining session, droning on about people, situations and problems.

I think we are all guilty of it at one time or another.

But what is really going on? Are we really complaining about the person or situation?

Is that the real issue?  I don’t believe so.

I believe that whining is merely a symptom. It’s a red flag letting you know that something is out of whack, something within you needs adjusting.

As a rule I try to always remain an observer of myself. I watch. When I see that I am reacting or having an emotional response that is way out of context with what is really happening, I ask myself, “Why is this pushing so many buttons?”,“What is really going on here?”

I try to step back and reevaluate what is happening. Then instead of reacting emotionally I reconsider and modify my response.

It’s not easy and sometimes I fail completely and fold into the emotion of it. But with time you get better and you can actually see yourself detaching bit by bit.

Basically you can’t really control your circumstances, only your reaction to them. I don’t mean you can’t change your circumstances, you can over time, but I mean reacting to the things that “happen” to you in your daily life. Change Your Mind 

This is the major cause of unhappiness and discontentment. You rail against any circumstance that contradicts your wishes or desires. For example, you want to go to the beach, but it starts raining or you want to take a road trip but your car breaks down.

The next time you find yourself whining, take a hard look at it. Look underneath what it is that you are complaining about and try to see the real issue. I’ll bet you’ll see that it always comes back to you.

You feel unappreciated or unloved. You are frustrated with your home life or job situation. You feel stuck. You are surrounded by dysfunctional people.

It goes on and on. But the common denominator is always you. These are all issues that you can change or modify. It’s never about anything else.

So if you know you are the source are you willing to change your responses? Or is it much easier to stay in place, accept the situation and wallow in your pool of self-pity and whine?

Watch yourself. When you start to whine, stop, take a deep breath and either modify what you were going say or don’t say anything at all.

Try to remember this mantra: “Never complain, never explain”.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Take Massive Action

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Take Massive Action

Written by Steven Griggs |

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Thomas Jefferson

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.

John F. Kennedy

“Action requires forward movement. If you stand still for too long you will eventually fall over.”
Steven Griggs

In past articles I’ve talked about taking action by using action plans Are You are Finisher or a Fumbler? and sub goals and using SMART methods to reach goals.

The type of action I am talking about today is a bit different. Today I am talking about taking massive action. This means a very aggressive, almost attack like approach to accomplish something.

It could be a full court press on a business opportunity or a start-up idea.  It means focusing 100% of your mind, energy and resources on a situation. It means having such total commitment and laser like focus that you are almost acting like a crazy person, that you are almost disconnected from reality.

I have just been there myself.

Recently I’ve been involved in negotiations regarding a property I sold several years ago that have required me to take immediate massive action.

According to our contract the buyers were to refinance the property shortly after we closed the sale. The refinance would pay off a loan that I had placed on the property and the balance of the sales price that I was still owed.

After trying for the last three years, for a variety of reasons they were unable to refinance the property. During this time the original lender, who had been working with the buyer, began to have financial problems and sold the mortgage to a vulture investor.

Vulture investors are opportunistic bargain hunters and seek out distressed situations. They usually start by buying the debt of the property or company at a steep discount and then use that position to force the property or business owner to pay them off at face value. They also sometimes take title to the business or property through a foreclosure or negotiated (forced) sale.

Either way the vulture investors make a fantastic return.

The vulture that bought this note filed a foreclosure. They contacted me and demanded that I pay off their mortgage.

I have been managing this property for the past three years while I was waiting to be paid off. Because of my efforts and being on site I was able to keep tenants in the property and keep the property going.

But things were changing. Old tenants were moving out and new tenants were not moving in. The property was starting to look shaky.

After dealing with the buyer for three years and having had several conversations with the bank I knew this situation was going nowhere fast.

I also realized that I needed to take massive action to send a message to the buyer and the bank.

I don’t know if it was because I had just had it with the buyer’s incompetence or having had to listen to the demands of some banker, but I felt a wave of clarity sweep over me that told me I was done!

I notified both parties that I was done and I was moving out of the property. They could have the property and deal with the tenants and problems themselves.

I really meant it. I actually packed up my office and moved out.

This served two purposes. One, the bank and buyer could verify that I was really gone, that I had actually moved out. Secondly, because I really was done emotionally, when I spoke with them they could feel it. They knew I wasn’t playing their game anymore. It was for real.

Now, moving out was a pain and I didn’t really want to but I knew I had to.

Consequently, the buyer has since approached me about transferring the property back to me and the bank is considering modifying the mortgage if I take over the property.

Of course this could all change and if it does, I’m OK. I’m OK because by going through this process I have detached myself from the outcome and I’m looking forward to my next step, whatever that may be.

So next time you are faced with a situation, one that seems insurmountable, think about taking massive action.

You don’t necessarily have to go crazy like I me or do something dangerous or hurtful, you just have to remember the power inherent in taking massive action.

So take action!

Monday, May 7, 2012


No Limits | The Freedom Blog


Written by Steven Griggs |

“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.”
John A. Simone, Jr.

“When you are through changing, you are through.”
Bruce Barton

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
Henri Bergson

“What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.”
Mignon McLaughlin

It is said that the only time you are growing is when you are uncomfortable.

This is true.

In my experience, the very things that I feared and eventually accomplished now seem like small milestones. Well, not all are small, some are actually fairly big.

But in each case I can look back and remember the fear that held me back and all the ways that I rationalized or made excuses to keep myself from ever having to do that scary thing. 

But each time as I conquered one fear, I gained a little more self-confidence and a little more urge to try other scary things. It can actually become a little addicting.

It’s an interesting feeling.

It’s a bit like sky diving or bungee jumping. You can’t over think it or try to wrap your mind around it. You just have to do it. You have to step off into the abyss.

For me it was like telling myself, "OK if I pull this rip cord, I’m going to die……" and then you pull the rip cord….. .

We all have our personal fears. Things like performing or speaking in front of groups, showing your artwork, playing and singing your own songs. You know, opening ourselves up to others, showing something of our selves.

It’s uncomfortable.

But there are all sorts of other, more subtle fears that we live with that aren’t as obvious or as in your face as stepping off a bridge or pulling a rip cord.

Most of us fear change. Many of us, in order to avoid change and any discomfort have retreated into safe, rigid routines. See The Comfort of Routine . We have tucked ourselves away into predictable, never changing habits and stay safely within the daily rhythm of our lives.

But underneath that rhythm, things are changing. You can't necessarily see the changes at first, but they are coming. 

These are the changes you need in order to grow. Most of them you are creating yourself, unconsciously.They have already been requested, like seeds that you have sown. 

If you get quiet and listen to your deeper mind, you can hear whispers of the things you want changed. 

Some of these may be things you already know you need to change, so you won't have to listen very hard. See Opening Doors .

Yes, change is uncomfortable. But no matter how you bring the changes, consciously or unconsciously, change will happen.

You can't really get ready for change. You have to accept it. You just have to know that everything is as it should be. You are always exactly where you should be. 

Someday you'll look back and see that this is how you became who you are. 

Let go, step into the changes. Geronimo! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Opening Doors

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Opening Doors

Written by Steven Griggs |

“If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door - or I'll make a door.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”
Alexander Graham Bell.

“Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present. In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

I’m sure most of us have heard the saying “when one door closes another opens”. But what is it really saying? We know that it is referring to an ending of some kind. But my question is how do you know? How do you know when you’re at the end and the door is closing or when the new door opens? See Ending Cycles

Of course there are situations when the door slams shut in your face and the end is spelled out in capital letters: “HONEY, I’M OUTTA HERE!” or “YOUR FIRED!"

But usually I don’t think we really know.  We have a feeling and we’ve probably had that feeling for a while. But you have just chosen to ignore it or chalk those feelings up to a bad day or frustration with work or business issues.

But you know.

At this point we are usually in a phase of resistance. We know there needs to be a change but it is just too difficult to deal with. It is so much easier to push it aside and tell yourself, soon but not now.  It’s just too hard to deal with right now.

This is understandable because you are focusing on the pain and sadness your actions may cause. And you are also afraid of change.

But what you are doing is focusing on the closing door. You are looking backward.
You can’t step forward if you are facing backward.

But how do we find the new door? Maybe you can't right see it right now but you know it is coming. Personally, I take a long time to change. Slow Learning vs Long Learning. I have to really, really be done. But when I'm done then I move quickly.

But it’s your journey, so when it happens it happens, if it doesn't that’s OK too.

But focusing on the closing door is going to keep you in place. You will have every reason not to step forward.

That’s why you have to be clear on what you really want. What is it that’s been missing? Where do you REALLY want to be? What do you REALLY want to do each day?

I’ll bet you already know because you have been daydreaming about it. You already have a vision of how you want your new future to look.

Remember: If you are worried that you will never find another companion, forget it. There are over 59,000,000 single men and 53,000,000 single women in America. If you live elsewhere in the world there are many, many millions more. You only need one. So just know that someone is out there looking for you.

If you are afraid you can’t start a new career or change jobs, forget it. If you are really serious, you will find something. Winners don’t waiver, they make it happen!

If you can’t find a new job, or don't want one, create your own. There has never been a better time in history to create and operate your own business.

You can run your empire from your home office (or your kitchen table). Everything you need you already have or can easily find. You just have to trust and know that it will always work out. 

So get clear on what you want. If you aren't sure, start by deciding what you don’t want.

See yourself in your new life. Visualize every aspect of your new life. 

The more you visualize yourself in the future, the more that future will pull you towards it. 

And soon that vision will become so compelling and powerful you will have no choice but to step through that door.