I am not a shrink, nor do I intend to become one. I do feel one of the biggest issues facing society is the value of the individual. The value and the purpose we feel as individuals and how we can be of value in an ever increasing technological world. I feel personal self-worth contributes to some mental health issues, substance abuse issues, employment rates, obesity rates, among many other things.
So how do we overcome this huge obstacle? There is not a magic pill to flip a switch and solve this issue right now...but the answer to solving these problems is simple. By getting back to doing the little things that, when added together, become big things. So here are my 5 simple things we can all do to make a big difference.
5) Diet and exercise. There is a great feeling of accomplishment and personal pride after completing a good day of diet and exercise. It does not have to be a huge undertaking. Catelog how we feel right now, today. Start by making a conscious decision of everything we eat... is it a want or a need? If it's just a want, then set it down and walk away. For exercise, just start with a walk or an activity you feel comfortable with. Try to do just a little bit more every day. Do this for one week and then catalogue how we feel again. My guess is we'll all feel better about ourselves....now it's up to each one of us to make a choice to continue do the things we need to do to feel better.
4) Develop Personal Relationships. I know we are all connected by social media and we are tethered to these devices but how impersonal has our social life become? This week lets set down our personal cellular device and reach out to someone to meet with them face to face. Take a walk, have a real conversation, play a board game or cards. This could be a friend, neighbor, relative, spouse or child. Let's take the time to develop personal relationships.
3) Turn down the 24 hour media- Some of the most unhappy people I have met are entranced with the 24 hour news cycle. They fret over everything being said and are terrified about what tomorrow might bring. Always consider that we can only control what we do. I am not saying we should be ignorant, but consider that the news media's #1 goal is money...which is driven by advertising...which is driven by ratings...which is driven by headlines. Do ourselves a favor and turn the news off for a few days. I bet we'll feel better (see Matthew 6: 25-34).
2) Treat others well - Stop worrying only about ourselves and start putting others first. Have integrity and do the right thing. Become a mentor by setting a good example and helping others accomplish some of their life goals. Set aside our egos and empathize with others. Put others first and good things will happen for everyone.
1) Connect with something bigger than ourselves - Faith, Religion, Community, Family are all things that may help us get a sense of purpose, give us humility and keep us humble. Being part of something bigger than ourselves allows our light to shine on others and theirs to shine on us.
Here's to a great 2018!