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Being an experience shopper makes one happy

San Francisco State University psychologists have found that buying life experiences makes people happier than buying possessions. What does that mean “buying life experiences”? It means buying concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.

concert“We know that being an ‘experience shopper’ is linked to greater well being,” said Howell, whose 2009 paper on purchasing experiences challenged the adage that money can’t buy happiness. He suggests it could be easier to change your spending habits than your personality traits. “Even for people who naturally find themselves drawn to material purchases, our results suggest that getting more of a balance between traditional purchases and those that provide you with an experience could lead to greater life satisfaction and well being.”

What do you think about this idea?

By greeting you give esteem

When we think of how we can express esteem in our daily life we can overlook the simplest ways to do it.  Smiling at people we meet throughout our day is one simple sign of esteem.  Another is to greet the people we meet.

Greeting is a strong sign to show that we “see” a person.  It creates the feeling in them that they are acknowledged in a very essential way.  When we greet someone we take notice of them.

You can grasp the the importance of this esteemful sign when you imagine being among people who don’t take notice of you.  It makes you feel invisible and unacknowledged.

Greeting shows an acknowledgment of being here and is a wonderful way to show esteem toward people.

Esteem for Somaly Mam

Fighting against criminal forces and injustice requires courage and perseverance.  People who dedicate their lives toward such fights deserve esteem.

Somaly Mam is one of these people.  For years she’s fought against forced prostitution of children in Asia.  She founded the Somaly Mam foundation with the vision of a world where women and children are safe from slavery.

For her brave and difficult work of freeing children from slavery she received several signs of esteem such as being named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2009.

People like Somaly Mam deserve our esteem because of their desire to create a better world.

Esteem for three lifeguards in Wales

A group of 36 teenagers and adults participating in a 3-day “Action Camp” were wading just off a sandbank in western Wales as part of a challenge.  Because of the rapidly moving tide the sandbank collapsed and the teenagers fell into the water.  Some of them, aged 13 to 20, were unable to swim.

 Three RNLI lifeguards were nearby when the sandbank collapsed and saw the teenagers struggling in the water.  The trio managed to rescue all of the youths in  heroic fashion and narrowly averting a tragedy.  

Jon Johnson, 21, one of the three who was on duty with his colleagues Adam Pitman, 28, and Coral Lewis, 20, said it was “the biggest rescue I’ve seen.”

These dedicated lifeguards received the esteem they deserve for their quick thinking and heroic action.

“One in 8 million”

The New York Times started a weekly series called “One in 8 million“. 

Each week one person out of the 8 million citizens of New York is portrayed with his passions and problems, relationships and routines, vocations and obsessions.

Reading the stories it reminds us that every single person is precious, has their own life story, their own personality and unique talents.

Features like this cast light on the importance of having respect toward others even when we don’t know them personally.  It makes us realize that for others we are strangers too.  As we cherish the uniqueness of ourselves, we allow the uniqueness of others.

Stories like “One in a 8 million” raise our awareness of how ordinary people deserve our esteem as much as anybody else.

Drop all pretense and be human

Life happens in stages.  We are a child, a partner, a parent, an employee, and maybe even an employer.  Early in our life we learned that it’s easier to move through life’s stages when we wear the masks of our roles.

Maybe it’s easier to walk through life with our masks, but eventually these masks build a wall between our true selves and the world.  Playing our roles means that we hide our personality behind it.  We can’t be ourselves.

We are not alone in doing this, nearly everybody does the same thing. 

When thinking of this we might realize that we never experience the real person behind the masks we meet daily.

Esteem lets us let drop our mask because we can be certain not to be hurt but to get esteem for our personality.  Esteem frees us from our masks.  We can drop all pretense and just be who we are.  Esteem gives us confidence in doing this.

Our daily life will certainly change when everybody drops all pretense and is just a human being.  Esteem can be life-changing.

Esteem in Time

We’re used in thinking in terms of time.  Some of us speak and think in future forms, others in past forms.  We wake up in the morning and begin immediately to think about what we’ll do throughout the day or tomorrow or next week.  We worry about future events and sometimes endlessly rethink past events.

What’s in between?  The present time.  It just happens, each moment.  We can’t catch it, we can’t make long thoughts about it because by then the present is already over.

Esteem also happens in present time.  Even if we could think about having gotten or given esteem in the past or about how we’ll give esteem tomorrow, the moment of esteem happens in each “now”.

So don’t waste time in future or past, make esteem happen in the present, in each moment.