Passion Versus Peace

In the midst of life’s challenges and desires, there is always a subtle pressure to seek and do more whether we are aware of it or not. If people stopped doing things, what would happen to the world? Let me rephrase that – what if people stopped doing negative and destructive things and replaced them with positive acts and deeds? Good news instead of bad news. I think a lot of the choices we have and end up making in life depend on the quality and focus of our intention – what do we intend to happen?

Feeling restless and discontent is something I really don’t like feeling. I am not a person who finds it easy to settle down. I always have to be running around, doing new things and challenging myself. ‘This is too easy, I’ve conquered this, I need a new challenge, what can I do now?’

Is ‘easy’ a bad thing or does it simply mean we are not trying hard enough or pushing ourselves in the way we should? Perhaps we have all learned to fight contentment as it could mean we have nothing left to strive for, no more goals on the horizon. When people ask me what I’m passionate about, I don’t know what to say. I love life, I enjoy learning and exploring everything it has to offer but I don’t have this fervent desire brooding inside of me that seems to be needed to achieve things.

In a world where we all have to be passionate and driven to do well, is it any wonder we all feel restless and constantly worn out? Feeling and experiencing passion is amazing though. It really gives us the determination to succeed at what we do. The only problem is – it burns out very quickly sometimes. Rather than being passionate about what you do, I think it is better to love what you do instead.

Life seldom works out the way you thought it would. Plans and dreams tend to waver off course, just like a meandering river, the journey of life carries us through the choices we make. There is only the destination we choose for ourselves which means – life is in our hands. There is energy behind the flow of the river. If we combine our energy with a focused intention, we find more often than not that we will be able to achieve what we want. But that’s just it – what do we want?

Desire, lust and passion are intensely seductive and they have the power to consume and destroy. You can be enslaved by your desires and ultimately destroyed by them. Look at any addiction. (Watch Star Wars). It is filled with Zen wisdom! I don’t know what I prefer really. To be peaceful and content or to be passionate and driven. All I know is – I cannot have both. Perhaps we all go through phases where we prefer one over the other.

Love stands the test of time. Look at successful relationships for example – if love is the foundation, you will go the distance. Building a relationship on passion in life is like trying to build a house on a stormy sea. It just doesn’t work. The waves are turbulent, volatile and guaranteed to throw you all over the place. In a relationship, it may be exciting for a while but the excitement is eventually overtaken by exhaustion and tiredness as you try desperately to hold on to the passion which is energy – energy cannot be restrained. It changes from moment to moment. You cannot hold onto to it.

If there is anything in life we could say is certain is that nothing ever stays the same for long. Even if it does, eventually things will change. It is the nature of the world we live in. People come and go. Lives change and people grow. Surely to stand still is to stagnate? Like everything in life, it depends on how you look at things. If you feel stuck, perhaps it is all do with luck….

‘I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.’

(Ecclesiastes 9:11)

This says it all. So much in this world is uncertain even if we do plan things. Life can give you a hand that you didn’t expect. Time and chance have their role to play. Chances come and risks can be taken but you can still never know what lies ahead of you if you do take that leap and if you don’t. To me, contentment, happiness and peace are the main goals of life. What you want may not always be what you find. It could be better or worse than you originally intended depending on how you look at things. Are we all simply just ‘putting up’ with things and settling for less than we deserve in life or are we actually happy? Now that is a tricky one…

I’m going to go with peace.

Christina McDonald 2014.

Want success? Don’t stress out – chill out! 6 simple ways to work productively

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”
― Joanne Harris, Chocolat

Life is busy, stressful and chaotic. Tell me something I don’t know right? Sure it is. We fight constantly to get our heads above water. That promotion, that property, more this, more that, whatever dream we aspire to.

If I told you success was all about simplicity, perseverance and application, would you believe me?

It isn’t about slacking off. It isn’t about killing yourself in the process either. Not at all. It is all about applying energy and focus in the right way.

Be proactive:

The goal of success is a dream. A dream that needs your attention and focus to materialise. Doing something everyday, no matter how small you think it is, will take you one step closer to realising your goals.

Be realistic in your outlook:

Make sure your goals are actually obtainable. Biting off more than you can chew creates a lot of needless stress which is of course, a waste of energy. You need your energy to do things that are within your grasp and capability. It doesn’t mean you don’t aim high…just aim to do what you can.

Keep it simple:

The most fundamental and powerful rule of all. Don’t complicate things needlessly. Other people will do that for you most of the time. Have one main goal, find a way to achieve it within reach and most importantly, believe in it!

Be positive:

Even on the days where everything sucks (you’ll have some weeks like that too), keep going. Things usually get better and more postive in time. Just keep going and remember what Winston Churchill said:

‘When you’re going though hell, keep going.’

Don’t quit. Or if you do quit more often than not, quit quitting!

Take things in your stride:

Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t happen quickly. Nothing happens instantly. Good things, great ideas and grand plans take time to come to fruition. Small steps all the way will lead to the completion of the journey in the end. Before you realise it, you will have found the success you were looking for. Just be patient….

Relax:

If you feel wound up, tense and frustrated, you will not be in the right mindset. You will be negative and then you will start attracting the wrong energy. If you’ve ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed, you’ll easily relate to what I’m saying! There is no reason for it, you just feel ‘off’ for no apparent reason. Clear your mind, get rid of any negative thoughts and replace them with postive ones. Basically, positive things will happen when you feel positive and vice versa. Smile at someone and you may just get a smile back!

Don't be a grumpy cat....

Don’t be a sour puss….

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Smile! – simple and effective….

© Christina McDonald 2014

Second rate lives and first rate dreams…..

The power of dreams… and it isn’t just ‘Honda’that really believes that. I think deep down we all do really. What would life be like without having a dream? Pretty boring I think.

Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Some big, some small, and both of equal importance. Life changing stuff. Of course, being told at a young age by a primary school teacher to ‘stop day dreaming or you’ll never get where you need to be’ really made an impression on me…

20 years later, I’m still dreaming. I’m happy as well. I have a full time job, my health, my strength and good friends. I enjoy life. To me, that ticks all the boxes.

Dreaming I often find, is instilled negatively in children and in adults. A description for someone who isn’t very reliable or maybe a bit abstract and different. Eccentric. A person who doesn’t fit in.

‘Oh, he would do better in class if he wasn’t dreaming all the time’…Maybe he would do better in class that day but be less of an inspiration in the world when he grows up…

(Dreams have no place in the classroom you see).

Targets and grades need to be met. The syllabus doesn’t really have the requirements to cover dream theory in depth…

I say let the kid dream and stop interfering…they may change the world one day. Don’t encourage him to have a second rate life with first rate dreams that go unfulfilled.

Also where is it I actually ‘ need to be?’ That’s what I love about some school teachers. Their all seeing and all knowing advice. Having dreams is what life is all about to me.

If we didn’t have visions and ideas (or dreams), humanity would stand still. Cures for illnesses would never be found. Space exploration would be unheard of. Solutions to many problems would not occur if we didn’t give ourselves the freedom to imagine ‘what if?’

The possibilities are endless and dreams are that possibility. There are no limits to imagination and creativity unless you impose those restrictions on yourself.

The world is your oyster. It always has and always will be.

Keep your positive goals and dreams a part of your life and eventually, with belief and determination, they will manifest.

Live a first rate life….

© Christina McDonald 2014

The definition of amazing….

We are all searching for something in life. What that something is, only you can know. There is endless search for a life that completes us. One amazing moment where we can say ‘Yes, that’s it. I’m there.’ Something short of a miracle perhaps for most of us. I suppose it depends what you invest your priorities in.

We all have different goals but the search for that feeling of completion is always the same.

A great home to call your own, a wonderful family, more children, more money, more love, more sex, more time, more travelling,  more studying, more, more more. It’s always more, not less somehow (unlesss it happens to be less stress). Where is that one amazing moment hiding? A week from now?  Four months from now? A year’s time maybe?

A life can be remembered in moments. Moments we choose to remember and identify with. The good moments. Not the bad. Nobody wants to remember the bad stuff. Being fired, having an illness,  breaking up with someone. I’m sure we all have our memorable lists. The good days and the bad together make up more than moments.  They constitute a life.

Everything we feel and experience is part of the beauty of being alive. All our ups and downs are a gift. An amazing gift.

Life itself.

© Christina McDonald 2014