Tag Archive - Happiness

If I Was Free, I Would…

What if I didn’t have to work? What if I had enough money right now to quit my job and do what I want? That’s fun to imagine :) So I though I should enjoy some fun written visualization!

I sometimes wonder how we made life so complicated! Our society is designed in a way to make sure many people will be stuck doing things they hate in order to survive!

Our needs are really simple. We need food, cloths and shelter. Once we have them, we’re good to go, and good to live!

“If you wake up free of illness, safe in your community, with enough food for the day ahead, then you can say good buy to any other needs from this World!” Prophet Muhammad

Why in the world did food become hard to find for millions of people?!

Why, when land is immensly vast, did it become expensive to get a piece of land and have your home in it? Why build those crazy skyscrapers, they’re complicated and maintaining them requires much more work and resources than a normal building! Did we already use every piece of land that we have to build up and high?!

Why would a house cost hundreds of thousands after all? It really doesn’t have to be this way.

People designed a labyrinth and they got lost in it. Then they designed tools and maps and jobs to try to make life easier inside the labyrinth! How about we just get out of the labyrinth?!!!

Well, most people are already stuck in it! We have governments designing our lives, we can’t just go out there and redesign our life. It’s not even about redesigning life, it’s about getting out of the sophisticated traps and get back to normal!

We even have countries, boundaries, visas, citizenships! Someone living in a poor country has to use tunnels to come into a richer one, they wouldn’t be granted a visa anyway!

Oh, politics! Politics is the proof that we gave up our life to the greedy, the heartless, the self-centered to take care of our needs and communities! Let’s get out of there or frustration will knock down my mind!

See where my though chain took me, I started by a fun idea and ended up into a depressing look at reality!

Back to my fun visualization :)

Now if I had enough money to pay off all my debt – car loan and some other debt :( – and be free from the need to work for money, what would I do?

I will not quit my job on the spot. I hope I can give a one month notice and make sure I hand my duties over smoothly, while working on the transition:

1. I would donate/give away all the stuff that I don’t need and don’t use. I’ll go through my cloths (which I’ve been already doing, slowly) and keep only the pieces that I really love. Dealing with my books will be harder! I won’t rush into giving them away (I’m already working on a plan to deal with my bigger-than-I-need library).

2. I will get a storage in Chicago where I will keep all the stuff that I didn’t give away, end my rent, get in the car and go on a road trip! The point is to visit the places that I think I want to move to.

3. Now I need to move somewhere warm and sunny. Lots of greenery and nature required! Ideally somewhere in or close to the mountains. I will look for an apartment with a balcony, looking to an open horizon!

Once I moved into my new place. How would I spend my all-free time?

- Lots of walking, hiking and biking!

- Now that I’m relaxed, no energy wasted in going to and back from work, no energy drained sitting in a dark room staring at the computer, I can engage in the kind of slow, focused writing that I really like. This type of writing is more of an introspection. No rush to finish anything. Just listening to my inner self and bringing it out in words. The kind of writing that is like taking a bath in the light of Spirit!

- I can also breath the fresh intellectual air of focused reading! I want to read about religions, history, get back to reading great fiction (haven’t done it in almost a decade!), philosophy, biographies, and the subjects relating to our present day problems and challenges, especially poverty and the environmental crisis. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding and make my own conclusions of what we can REALLY do to REALLY make a difference. It doesn’t matter how much we will change history. What matters is do what we have to, what we really can do to end the shameful injustice and humiliation that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters in humanity are enduring this very same moment! :(

- I will read and write out in nature.

- A great lifestyle change that I will now introduce is waking up early enough, every day, to witness the powerful everyday re-begining that is Sunrise!

 

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- Now I can also feed my body the things that I love most in nature: green and sunlight! You must already know how connected these two are, no mystery here! I have time to actually touch my vegetables, cut and prepare them slowly and mindfully, and smell them in the process! :)

Now, wouldn’t you love to do the same?!

Ok, and once you do it like I just did, what’s the point? Are we then to get depressed to the immense gap between hope and reality?

The point is to look at this vision, and start doing what can be done already. No waiting intended! Surely some, if not  many, of its components can already be started today.

I can, and already started to, exercise getting rid of unnecessary stuff and spending, in order to lose all the heavy weight that’s holding me down!

I can plan more walking and hiking during the week-end, during the summer. Indeed, the freezing northern winters have nothing to do with this vision. The trees take off their greenery. Being outdoors when it’s 15 F and colder is not too much fun! But while doing more of it in the summer, I can bring the vision to the center of my plans, instead of burying it under depression and hopelessness. With the vision energizing the hope, I can make a long-term plan for moving to the Sun!

I used to post in this blog once a month. Now I’m writing more even though I have more blogs in English and Arabic. I’m also trying to improve my reading. Both will not be as focused as the above vision would like to, but they can be gradually improved and increased.

Why don’t you write down your own vision? Why don’t you start today, little by little, to introduce pieces of it into your life NOW? I just wrote a draft of my own vision. I will build on it. That’s the way out of frustration into inspiration, from surviving into meaning.

Meaning is the food of the soul. We can’t be happy carrying around a soul in a coma in a polluted vehicle – the junk food bodies of modern times!

Waiting for the Now!

The following is not a breakthrough: many people spend their lives waiting. When young, we wait for when we’re grown up. When we’re single, we wait for when we’re married. When we’re married, we wait for when we’re divorced (sometimes, sadly!), When we’re in college, we wait for when we’re “free” and having a good job. When we have a job, we wait for when we have a better job! When we have a better job, we discover it’s not really what we were hoping for, so we wait for yet another job that’s even better. We get that one, then we wait for having our own business and being our own boss! We have our own business, we wait for it to pick up! It picks up, we work too much and wait for our retirement!

If we’re constantly waiting, it’s not that we’re really waiting for anything. It’s not an illusion either, we’re indeed waiting. What we’re really waiting for is ourselves! We’re waiting for something that’s within, but we seek for it outside, so we never find it. That’s where the illusion resides. We’re just heading in the wrong direction, that’s why we never seem to get to our destination.

Waiting for a change means that we did something wrong in the past, we’re still doing it in the present, which promises that it will continue into the future! Unless we take our rightful ownership of the Now, turn our faces to the right direction/destination, and embark on the joyful journey!

BECAUSE,

Waiting is a sure symptom that something is missing.

Waiting is a state of lack and poverty and incapability.

Waiting is ungrateful to all what we already have, which in many cases is a dream and a luxury for hundreds of millions of fellow humans.

Waiting is a pessimist! Don’t confuse it with the (good) expectations that come with optimism.

Waiting is an infidel! It’s an accusation to God that He is not treating us right! Because the truth is, it’s a sign that we’re the one doing, or more accurately, THINKING wrong!

Waiting is a virus, it disrupts our system and our perception of reality; it damages our to-do-list; it causes the loss of our old files, therefore keeps us from building on it; it causes our mind to suddenly shut and stare into a blank screen, as in a state of sleep-waking

SO,

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We need to stop attacking this poor Wait, right now! And focus on the real problem: Ourselves! Our Thinking, and our Focus.

We will never get what we want as long as we think it’s somewhere else, be it another time (future) or another place.

I recently wrote about my desire to get out of working for money and being stuck doing something that I don’t enjoy. That’s impatience. Impatience is counterproductive because it keeps us stuck in negative refusal of our current state, instead of focusing our energy on what we can do to improve our life.

I’m now shifting my focus in another direction: how to do what I want to do when I’m not working (week-ends, evenings), and how to embrace the challenge of making the best of my current situation. The wait can end, right now. We just need to start doing what we really want to do. We don’t need to do it full-time, we start part-time. We do it in the week-end, instead of spending it shopping or seeking distractions as if to compensate for the work week behind, and the work week ahead! Instead of renewing our energy and build something that is meaningful to us, we just destroy this time off, then here comes a sad Monday and we feel even more tired than when the week end started!

Doing something meaningful is the only sure way to renew our energy during our time free of work. Simply doing the things that we think we want to do full-time. At least this way we can make sure that we really want to do it full-time, so we don’t one day come to actually do it full-time, then discover that it’s not really what we were hoping for, and wait for when we can do something we like for a living!

Why Write to No One?

I wish I could make a living by reading and writing! Oh why not add walking in nature and taking pictures too! :) Because making a living by doing something we don’t really enjoy (working for money) is not actually making a living, it’s making a dying!

I literally feel suffocated by doing work that I don’t enjoy or believe in. I start the job, feel ok or, at times, excited during the learning and exploring stages, then once things get down to repeating what I’ve learned, I start loosing my mind for boredom! And all jobs I had stop growing after a few short months! I thought I needed to look for that good job that keeps me excited, learning, exploring and growing. I’m sure there could be such job somewhere out there. But what if I can’t find it and it can’t find me?!

In a recent post by simple living blogger Tammy Strobel where she interviewed a minimalism pioneer, Leo Babauta, he described his early stages in simplifying his life toward freedom like this:

“So I sat down, and made a list of the 4 things that were most important to me — that gave me joy. Then I started eliminating everything in my life that didn’t match these priorities, slowly getting out of commitments.”

 

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As I was read these words, I thought of the things that I enjoy, simple things. I can summarize them all in one word: BEAUTY! Reading a good book is beautiful. My love for walking is about looking around at the beauties of this world. Taking pictures is an attempt to capture Beauty as we see it through our own eyes and perspective. Having coffee with a good friend is about experiencing the beauty of genuine connection. Meditating or praying is about feeling the beauty of feeling the presence of the Source of Beauty (“God is Beautiful and He loves Beauty” Prophet Muhammad).

 But instead of spending time with Beauty, I spend 40 hours a week in a dark office room, away from the beauty of sunshine, doing things that aren’t necessarily beautiful, adding beauty to the world or eliminating ugliness. Obviously this lifestyle is unsustainable for me. You can’t sustain an action that you don’t like and keep your sanity! I mean, we will be sane and normal and all, but we will live disconnected from our best human capabilities and potential to lead a beautiful life and to create beauty and meaning around us. That’s why we must seriously make our plan and get on the road toward Beauty!

We have to start small. As long as we don’t have a fortune and we have to work to survive, we have to build a reasonable plan in order to set our life free. That’s where simple living comes in as an absolute MUST. We have to stop wasting our money on adding just more stuff that we don’t need or enjoy. This will just keep us into the vicious cycle: working for money, spending this money on stuff, running out of money at the end of the month, having to keep working for the next paycheck, etc.

So I’m starting by trying to eliminate all unnecessary spending. Then I started to do more of the things that matter to me, reading and writing. Then I thought of what the title of this post is about: why write in a blog that is being read by a handful of people? This thought is so wrong. Because our focus should be on doing what we want to do, regardless of the outcome. Or to put it more accurately, regardless of the immediate outcome.  I’ll have all those blogs, experiment with writing, and work on being disattached from the outcome. That’s what real focus is about. I might wonder how is this improving my life. But the truth is, even while keeping my job and working for money, I’m already very slowly trying to do more of what I like to do. It’s not about getting out of my job right now. Because being in this situation is by itself a challenge. We just need to change how we perceive our circumstances.

Instead of hating where we are now, we better enjoy it as part of a marvelous journey toward our dreams!

Diagnosing TBA: The BUY Addiction

We buy stuff all the time. Some people have to buy something every single day, if not an item then at least a cup of coffee! They’re not living if they’re not entering into a store and spending some money.
 
Exercise: Count how many days a week go without buying anything, anywhere. If you buy something almost every day, or can’t go out without buying something, then you know you’re dealing with TBA!
 
Don’t you think that I am immune to that! Hey, if I write about some problem, it’s likely that I do or did experience it at some point!
 
Buying addiction is a serious problem in richer societies. It disturbs our inner balance as individuals as well as our global balance as a human community sharing one Earth.
 
We can see this global imbalance manifest in different ways:
 
1. Waste and surplus for some, starvation for many.
  
The rich societies that consume most of the resources contribute to a moral imbalance, which is a manifestation of injustice and selfishness. When food and cloths are thrown away in one part of the world, while hundreds of millions of humans can hardly eat, dress and find adequate shelter, something is grossly wrong.
 
Humans are meant to be one family with acceptable variations in wealth, but with a universal standard of dignity and availability of human needs for all, which our Earth naturally provides, if it wasn’t for the shameful greed and selfishness of some.
 
2. In order to buy more and cheap, the poor have to accept labor slavery.
  
Because money seems to be the God of an overwhelming number of businesses, they don’t see a problem meeting the needs of buyers for more and cheap by moving to poor countries where they can have labor camps. Humans who work most of their waking hours, in very poor conditions, for a pay that will barely help them survive. This imbalance is simply expressed in the fact that a worker could be paid in a week what we spend on a lunch for one!
 
All for the sake of us going into the store and buying a gadget that we might not use and didn’t need in the first place, or for us to be able to buy 5 t-shirts instead of just one. Wow, what a progress, we can have all those t-shirts and shoes in all the different colors. Boy hadn’t our life become much better with that!!!
 
3. More of the things that we don’t need end up creating mountains of toxic trash, and heavily polluted Earth.
  
Because people buy things they don’t need, they end up getting rid of them. In the worse manner possible: throwing them in the trash. Our addiction to keep buying stuff that we don’t need lead to factories producing more unnecessary stuff. Because they want to make them cheap, they use toxic material that will keep the cost low. Then this satanic cycle end with landfills full of toxic waste that no one really knows why it was even created to start with.
 
We lost, the buyers. We lost money and inner peace. They lost, the workers. They lost their life and energy to the factories. It lost, our Earth, and our future. It became full of toxic waste. The only ones who gained are the businesses, only a minority. Are those guys worth all those losses and suffering?!!

The importance of staring at computer screens!

A lot of today’s work is done in front of a computer. I spend most of my working day staring at a computer screen. We know it’s no good for the eyes. Is what we do important enough to risk the comfort of our eyesight for it? That must be a good question!

Before computers, work was being done too. People used different tools. Phones and faxes. Faxes must have been revolutionary enough when they came out. How miraculous was puting in a piece of paper here and have it come out thousands of miles away!
 
At the time of faxes, no one would have imagined something like email. The future might very well be hiding some other tools that we can’t now imagine. Those who dream those tools will make the strange realities of tomorrow. But that’s how it’s always been. Dreamers create the future. They know that things can be better. Conventional thinkers are slaves of the past and the status quo.
 
But I didn’t answer the question about our eyesight, the computer screen, and the importance of our work! Well, we can just accept the status quo. Think that there is just no other or better way of doing things.
 
But I rather be a dreamer. That’s why I know that we can do important and meaningful work, with the most effeicient, eyesight-friendly tools!
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