3 keys: Happiness in a busy city

26 07 2010

Three pointers to finding happiness amidst the hustle and rush of life in a concrete jungle… taken from an article on Psychology Today. Enjoy.


Happiness Comes from Inside. No class, event or person is ever going to make you happy. The order goes like this: Become happy. Then go out into the world and do what you need to do. You see, the high we get from our senses or material possessions lasts about six minutes. Yep that’s it. Then we’re ready for the Next Big Thing. Sounds crazy, but it is entirely possible to find more happiness sitting alone at home than running around. Get still and secure with your life first, then make decisions about what you want and where you want to be.

Focus on What You Have. My brain used to run the same script every morning, running through everything I didn’t have in my life. Now I realize that what we focus on is exactly what we get. The more I thought about not having love or a dream job, the more stuck I got. When I started waking up with gratitude for everything I did have in my life, more of that grew.

Watch What You Tell Yourself. Every thought and word you say has power. That cynic in you criticizing every situation just created his or her destiny. What we see and what we believe is exactly what we get in life. Even if you have to convince yourself, think positive thoughts and make wishful statements. Using positive affirmations is the best trick.

Living in a busy and anxious city isn’t always a walk in the park. But by looking inward and changing some of your habits and thoughts, it’s possible to live your dream life in the city. No to-do or check list needed!


Greek Heroes: Men of Honour

26 07 2010

In The Suppliants, by ancient Greek playwright Euripides, a messenger reports the bravery of five exemplary soldiers who died while trying to take back the captured city of Thebes. All the men who died were not only great warriors, but they lived commendable lives of honour.


Hear, then. By granting me the privilege of praising friends, you meet my own desire to speak of them with justice and with truth. I saw the deeds–bolder than words can tell– by which they hoped to take the city.

Look: The handsome one is Capaneus. Through him the lightning went. A man of means, he never flaunted his wealth but kept an attitude no prouder than a poor man’s. He avoided people who live beyond their needs and load their table to excess. He used to say the good does not consist in belly food, and satisfaction comes from moderation. He was true in friendship to present and absent friends. Not many men are so. His character was never false; his ways were courteous; his word, in house or city, was his bond.

Second I name Eteoclus. He practiced another kind of virtue. Lacking means, this youth held many offices in Argos. Often his friends would make him gifts of gold, but he never took them into his house. He wanted no slavish way of life, haltered by money. He kept his hate for sinners, not the city; A town is not to blame if a bad pilot makes men speak ill of it.

Hippomedon, third of the heroes, showed his nature thus: While yet a boy he had the strength of will not to take the pleasures of the Muses that soften life; he went to live in the country, giving himself hard tasks to do, rejoicing in manly growth. He hunted, delighted in horses, and stretched the bow with this hands, to make his body useful to the city.

There lies the son of huntress Atalanta, Parthenopaeus, supreme in beauty. He was Arcadian, But came to Inachus’ banks and was reared in Argos. After his upbringing there, he showed himself as resident foreigners should, not troublesome or spiteful to the city, or disputatious, which would have made him hard to tolerate as citizen and guest. He joined the army like a born Argive, fought the country’s wars, was glad when the city prospered, took it hard if bad times came. Although he had many lovers, and women flocked to him, still he was careful to cause them no offense.

In praise of Tydeus I shall say much in little. He was ambitious greatly gifted, and wise in deeds, not words.

From what I have told you, Theseus, you should not wonder that these men dared to die before the towers. To be well brought up develops self-respect: anyone who has practiced what is good is ashamed to turn out badly. Manliness is teachable. Even a child is taught to say and hear what he does not understand; things understood are kept in mind til old age. So, in like manner, train your children well.

Time management: What you’re doing wrong

21 07 2010

Time management. We’ve all heard of it, we nearly all struggle with it and have tried repeatedly to improve it or ‘sort it out’. Sometimes the most powerful and effective answers are the simplest (yet not always the most obvious). I recently took some tips from an article on timemanagement.com – a great website and resource for productivity – and found them to be extremely helpful. Check it out and apply them today! You too could be going home one our earlier…


Top Time Management Mistakes:

 1. Working from your to do list! This might surprise you, but it’s actually a big time management mistake many people make. Instead of working from your complete to-do list, it’s crucial to set a top priority list with a maximum of up to five items on the list. Set this priority list at the end of each day for the next day. You should work from this priority list, working on item one first until finished then move to item number two. Keep your to do list separate and complete items on this list when you have finished items on your priority list. Also, use your to do list as a way to remember what you MIGHT want to put on your priority list.

2. Checking emails constantly throughout the day. The biggest problem with this is that it interrupts what you are working on. Every time you are interrupted, you lose momentum and focus. Instead, check your emails in 20-30 minute blocks one to three times per day.

3. Becoming distracted by elements on your computer, for example email notifications that pop up when you get new emails.

4. Multi-tasking – doing too many things at one time and half completing all of them. This is much less effective than doing one thing at a time and completing each item before moving to the next. Every time you change to another task you lose momentum and focus. Instead, focus in solid blocks of time from 50 minutes to two hours. Multi-tasking is okay for easy activities such as driving and listening to an educational audio program at the same time, but for anything that requires complex thought, you need to focus on one task at a time. The biggest problem is leaving many tasks incomplete. Multi-tasking is actually okay when you complete each item that you are working on then move to the next, but then that wouldn’t really be “multi-tasking” if you complete each task!

5. Working in an environment where you are prone to being interrupted by other people, phone calls etc. If other people come in and interrupt you constantly, this will be a big time waster. Your train of thought, momentum and flow are interrupted and you won’t be able to focus on your priorities.

6. Starting your day by checking your emails. This can be a huge distraction. Instead, start your day with the top priority on your daily priority list.

7. Keeping emails in your inbox. If you keep emails in your inbox, you will likely read the same email five times before you action it. Your inbox is not meant to be your to do list. Instead, try to handle all emails when you read them. Either delete it, archive it, delegate it, action it quickly or if you can’t finish the task at the time of reading the email, archive your email and put the action on your to do list. Keeping your inbox clear will also help you to keep your mind clearer and more focused.

On Humility

21 07 2010

Rabbi Rafael of Barshad (19th century Europe) summed it up as follows:

“When I get to heaven, they’ll ask me, why didn’t you learn more Torah? And I’ll tell them that I’m slow-witted.

Then they’ll ask me, why didn’t you do more kindness for others? And I’ll tell them that I’m physically weak.

Then they’ll ask me, why didn’t you give more Tzedakah? And I’ll tell them that I didn’t have enough money.

But then they’ll ask me: If you were so stupid, weak and poor, why were you so arrogant? And for that I won’t have an answer.”