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Tuesday, January 12

Don't Forget To Live

I finished designing my next set of shirts, so I was getting all of my files prepared to send to a manufacturer in India. Once I got everything finalized and packaged up, I went to the post office and sent it off.

I immediately came back home and emailed the manufacturer so that my contact there would be on the lookout for my package. He emailed me back the next day, and said he was anxious to receive it. But he wanted me to be aware that his office would be closed for the next four days for a local festival.

My initial thought was, why are you shutting down for four days for a festival? You have a business to run, and I certainly don’t want my process to be delayed because of a festival. Then I started thinking, that’s pretty darn cool! Why don’t we have festivals in the US that cause local businesses to shut down for four days?

Then I was watching Oprah the following day, and she was interviewing people from all over. In the interview, she uncovered that people from Denmark are said to be the happiest people in the world. When interviewing a Danish couple, she asked why they are considered the happiest people. The man answered, “less things, more living.”

After thinking about both of these situations a little deeper, I concluded that they carried the same message: don’t forget to live.

As Americans we can get so accustomed to the rat race that most thoughts preoccupying our minds relate to money—how much we need, how we’re going to get it, and what we’re going to do to keep it—so much so that we leave little time to just be happy and enjoy life. We’re always worried about having the biggest house, newest electronics or most luxurious car. So, we work and work and work, trying to make enough money to get the things we want. And we tell ourselves that we’ll be happy once we get some of these things. What we don’t realize in the moment, however, is that once these things become outdated, we’ll set our sights on the newer, flashier, slicker versions and continue the rat race. So, we’ll never truly be happy under our currently mentality. Sad.

Ask yourself, “In my quest for happiness or success, am I forgetting to live?” I bet that most of us are. So, it would benefit us to take a hint from our brothers and sisters across the seas and focus on less things and more living.

2 comments:

Kaya Cassan said...

You went to church with this one. I had a manager from Australia once and she would always tell me that Americans were crazy for having now work balance. She would literally make us take vacations. It was awesome and our group was much happier. You could just go to her and say I'm burned out can I take Friday and Monday off? And, she would say of course you can now you're acting more Australian.

Candace Avont said...

I love it!!!! I need an Australian manager!