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spike bullet August 2014 ~  Donít Take Life Too Seriously . . . Itís Only a Hobby!

Why do we take life so seriously?  After all, it is not permanent.  
Everything in the Universe is perfectly ordered
Why do we resist change? 
Life does not change  . . . We do.
Taking responsibility for your own life is key to the process of seeing life as blameless.
Suggestions for living a full, rich life
Resources (books)
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color bulletAugust 2014 ~  Donít Take Life Too Seriously . . . Itís Only a Hobby!

Excepts from a speech by Michael Anthony in April, 1991

I always get so excited when I get to deliver this program, about living and loving and just plain being happy.  It is after all, my own very best therapy.  I have always said that psychologists only become psychologists because they are trying to solve their own problems in some way.  Those of us who are still practicing havenít found all the answers yet.

I have learned that if you use your mind to create the things in life you want, they will come to pass ...  So each time before I give this presentation, I take time and go over it in my mind, just as if I am really giving it so it will go smoothly....  So today, I faithfully laid down on the bed and started over each word of this message. . . . and promptly fell asleep.  I just hope it doesnít have the same effect on you. 

What we want to accomplish over the next ninety minutes or so is to take a look at things in our life that are NOT NEW.  That is where we must start if we are going to understand how not to take life too seriously, and want to lighten up life. . . enjoy life.. . . find some fun in it.  I would like to take a minute from this program and read you a letter written by an eighty-five year old man just after finding out that he was about to die.  It goes like this:

If I had my life to live over again, Iíd try to make more mistakes next time.  I wouldnít be so perfect.  I would relax more.  Iíd limber up.  Iíd be sillier then I have been on this trip.  In fact, I know very few things that I would take so seriously.  Iíd be crazier.  Iíd be less hygienic.

Iíd take more chances, Iíd take more trips, Iíd climb more mountains, Iíd swim more rivers, Iíd go more places Iíve never been to.  Iíd eat more Ice cream and eat less beans.

Iíd have more real problems and less imagined ones!

You see, I was one of those who lived safely, sensibly, sanely prophylactic ally hour after hour, day after day."

Oh I have had my moments, and if I had it to over again, I would have more of those moments-moment by moment by moment for I see now that it is in the living that we thrive."

I am one of those who went nowhere without a thermometer, or raincoat or parachute.  If I had to do over again. I would travel far lighter next time."

If I had it to do over again, Iíd start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay way later in the fall.  Iíd ride more merry-go-rounds, Iíd watch more sunrises, and Iíd play with more children, if I had my life to do over again.  But you see, I donít.

Why do we take life so seriously?  After all, it is not permanent. 

None of us is going to get out of this alive.  So why do we make it so hard on ourselves?  Nothing is forever.  At least not on this physical plane we call life.  We live an imperfect life inside of a perfect Universe.  

Everything in the Universe is perfectly ordered and does exactly what it is supposed to exactly when it is supposed to.

Every event and every person that comes into and goes out of your life is with perfect timing and in perfect harmony.  Without guilt or blame or even judgment, the Universe operates in perfect order, perfect vibration.  When one segment of our life ends, a new segment begins - all without your heart skipping a single beat . . .

When I say Universe, I am of course talking about that all encompassing, omnipotent source of life and being.

When we look at the Universe as a whole, or all of Godís creations, we find that it is far too grand, too expansive and yet too minute for us to comprehend.  When we look at this great spectrum, we start to feel our own joyous insignificance.  Once we take stock of this insignificance, we feel a great weight of self-imposed, self importance lifted from our shoulders.  

In short, we realize that we have been taking ourselves far too seriously and we then start to look towards celebrating our place in this grand scheme - celebrating the wonders of even the smallest of things.

The Universe

The Universe is perfect and yet changing and we as humans resist its changes.  We resist because acknowledging its changes requires that we change with it ó a difficult step for many of us humans.

Why do we resist change? 

Because it provides us with a sense of loss . . .   A sense of coming from a place that is familiar and going to a place that is foreign.  Yet, change is inevitable.  You are here tonight seeking change, not ever considering that change is taking place as you sit here.  Of course, some change is harder to deal with than others. 

Did you ever get up in the morning and find a new wrinkle and hoped it was a pillow crease?  Or found a new grey hair and convinced yourself that it was just the light angle?  Or discovered a bulge in some posterior place that wasnít there yesterday.  So you see, change goes on without us . . . in the perfect order of the Universe.

The only true path to happiness is not in the words of others.  It is in the strength within your heart and soul.  Your ability to enhance that which has been given you.

You see, LIFE DOES NOT CHANGE. . . . We do.

We always want to "BLAME" life.  We seek to blame because change forces us into dealing head on with our life.  So we blame other people, our mother or father, God, the kids, our mate, and it goes on and on.  

How many times have we heard a wife say, "I just canít get him to do what I want.  I wish he would change."  That is far easier than asking the question, "What changes do I have to make to get the reaction I want?"

Taking responsibility for your own life is key to the process of seeing life as blameless.

All of us experience change ó our perception, our opinions, our views change.  Think back 5 years or 6 months, or last week and see how you feel today about abortion, gay rights, racism, police brutality, war, etc.  Are your feelings and opinions the same?  Why not?  What has changed?  How did you adjust to the change?

It is the process of change that causes us the most stress.  Most of us create phantom anxieties.  We worry about things that never come to pass.

Mark Twain said, "I have had so many troubles in my life . . . most of which have never happened."

Sometimes change causes great pain.  Sometimes this pain is  ó by itself  ó a great healer.  It is through change that we transform.  Thus it is through pain that we contemplate, examine our lives, become conscious of our direction and evaluate our value.

Adapting to Change on the other hand ó if well accepted and well managed ó can bring great prosperity and happiness.

Prosperity can be defined as a sense of well being ó  financial as well as emotional.  There is a great difference in being "broke" and "poor."  Broke ó meaning being without financial resources.  Poor ó being down in spirit.  There is an old saying that says, "The best you can do for the poor is not to be one of them."

Only you can decide when the prosperity of peace will enter your life.  You can shut it out forever if you want.

Happiness is a different state for each of us.  Many of us cannot even decide what happiness means to us individually.  Happiness is an abstract concept.  Most of us only think about happiness when we donít have it.  Yet, we are all looking for it all the time.

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

You see ó we do make life very complicated.  We do take it far too seriously and we become invested in our outcomes, rather than the peace and happiness we seek.  What we want, how we want it and when we want it is more important than accepting that there is a perfection to Godís being.

There is an order to the Universe.  We have to learn to quit challenging the Universe and live with it in harmony.

To summarize, there are just a few things we must learn to make life more enjoyable, more exciting and certainly less stressful.

  1. Know that there are natural laws.  All things are as they should be.  Donít try to fix íum if they ainít broke.
  2. Learn from your environment, especially children.  Theyíre probably our greatest teachers when it comes to understanding how to get along with our world.
  3. Donít get stuck; keep moving.  Grow, develop, find something new, change dynamically.  Keep practicing at living.
  4. Donít fight it, Baby, itís bigger than both of us.  Go with the flow!  The more you resist, the more you act like a salmon and we both know what happens to them.
  5. Mentally, go shopping for what you want in life.  See it, feel it, touch it (when you can).  Experience it daily and it will become yours.
  6. Understand that happiness is generated by the way you treat yourself.  You can be entrapped by someone elseís dogma or you can expand into what is always before you.
  7. Live for today, as if today were your last.  One day, you will be right.
  8. Forgive yourself and others always.

To be happy in our life, we must change.  It is inevitable.  It is in everything we know and are.

We must change from blaming, from judgment, from guilt.  

We must change into acceptance and understanding.

We must cooperate with the changes in our lives.  For each change is your own personal miracle.

About the author:  Michael Anthony, Ph.D., was my best friend and business partner for more than 30 years.  Michael was well known for his Organizational Development work, his unique corporate training techniques and inspiring public speaking.  His physical body died June 8, 2014 after living a rich, full life.  His wisdom and spirit lives on.

book graphic  BooksDisclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • The High Price of Manhood: A man's action plan for getting along better in the 21st century.  Michael Jay Anthony.  Lulu, 2015.  ISBN 978-1-312-29139-3 (paperback)
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor., 2008  ISBN-13: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website:  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   


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