Tag Archives: growth

Principles of Purpose:  Plan Ahead

Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.

PrefaceIntroductionTrusting Your GutUse Good Judgement
ListenRegulate EmotionsSet BoundariesBe Mindful
Practice ModerationManage ExpectationsResolve ConflictPlan Ahead
Have Patience

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”

Joyce Meyer
The Elements of Patience
The Elements of patience.

Patience is essential to daily life—and might be key to a happy one. Having patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity, so anywhere there is frustration or adversity—i.e., nearly everywhere—we have the opportunity to practice it.

At home with our kids, at work with our colleagues, at the grocery store with half our city’s population, patience can make the difference between annoyance and equanimity, between worry and tranquility.

To have patience is to have the ability to endure difficult circumstances. It is the presence of positive behaviors in the face of adversity. There are several elements to being able to practice patience.

Perseverance in the face of delayForbearance when under strain
Tolerance of provocation without angerLevel of endurance of frustration

In effect patience is not taking action in situations which are distressing. It’s an absence of action during times when situations become challenging. To have patience is to exhibit self-restraint and resiliency when the circumstances may challenge one’s sense of well-being. By not responding in an adverse way to a negative stimulus, you are exhibiting a suppression of emotion that would otherwise result in negative consequences.

Patience Is A Virtue

Having patience is virtuous in many modern religions.

religion and practice patience.
  • Judaism–Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.
  • Christianity–patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life.
  • Islam–Allah is with those who are patient, more specifically during calamity and suffering.
  • Buddhism–patience is one of the “perfections” (paramitas) that a bodhisattva trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment (bodhi).
  • Hinduism–Patience, in Hindu philosophy, is the cheerful endurance of trying conditions and the consequence of one’s action and deeds (karma).
The Science Of Patience

Religions and philosophers have long praised the virtue of patience; now researchers are starting to do so as well. Recent studies have found that, sure enough, good things really do come to those who wait. Some of these science-backed benefits are detailed below, along with three ways to cultivate more patience in your life.

Reframe the situation. Feeling impatient is not just an automatic emotional response; it involves conscious thoughts and beliefs, too. If a colleague is late to a meeting, you can fume about their lack of respect, or see those extra 15 minutes as an opportunity to get some reading done. Patience is linked to self-control, and consciously trying to regulate our emotions can help us train our self-control muscles.

Practice mindfulness. In one study, kids who did a six-month mindfulness program in school became less impulsive and more willing to wait for a reward. The GGSC’s Christine Carter also recommends mindfulness practice for parents: Taking a deep breath and noticing your feelings of anger or overwhelm (for example, when your kids start yet another argument right before bedtime) can help you respond with more patience.

Practice gratitude. In another study, adults who were feeling grateful were also better at patiently delaying gratification. When given the choice between getting an immediate cash reward or waiting a year for a larger ($100) windfall, less grateful people caved in once the immediate payment offer climbed to $18. Grateful people, however, could hold out until the amount reached $30. If we’re thankful for what we have today, we’re not desperate for more stuff or better circumstances immediately.

Living Life Well: Having Humor

living_life_well_on_recoverywise

Gems for living a life of wellness. Lessons I have learned, or am learning, during this crazy journey through life.

As we struggle through this life–and it can be a struggle–we need to keep a sense of proportion about it.  What we do and what we take seriously can often be so far removed from what it is actually all about that it is laughable.

laughter1

So today, we want to try to the best we can and have a sense of humor.  We get bogged down in trivia, lost in irrelevant detail to such an extent that our life can whizz past and we don’t even notice.  By letting go of things that really aren’t important, we can put ourselves back on the right track.

And the best way to do that is through humor–laughing at ourselves, laughing at our situation, but never laughing at others–although it’s hard some days lol–they’re just as lost as us.

Life is for living, enjoying the sunshine, big things–not getting in a terrible mood because you dropped some eggs on the supermarket floor, someone didn’t hold the door open as you were approaching.

GIFSec.com

Laughing at yourself and situations you find yourself in has a double positive effect.  First, it diffuses tension and helps regain a sense of proportion; and second, it has real physical as well as mental benefits.  Laughter causes the release of endorphins, which make you feel better and give you a better perspective on life.

If you observe any aspect of human behavior, you can see the ridiculousness in all of it.  Learn to find the funny side of everything.  It’s the best technique for instant stress relief and dissolves anxiety and doubt.  Try it!

Principles of Purpose:  Plan Ahead

Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.

PrefaceIntroductionTrusting Your GutUse Good Judgement
ListenRegulate EmotionsSet BoundariesBe Mindful
Practice ModerationManage ExpectationsResolve ConflictPlan Ahead

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

Yogi Berra
What Does It Mean To Plan Ahead?

According to Wikipedia, planning is “the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It is the first and foremost activity to achieve desired results. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills.

I was never much for planning, except when I was forced to do it in the automotive business I worked in for nearly 25 years. And I was very successful in that business. When my alcoholism didn’t get in the way that is. There were many times in life when I failed on a personal level because of my lack of planning.

When I was a car salesman, at the beginning of each month we had to project how many sales we were going to do that month. And you better not overshoot the mark; the dealership was projecting their numbers based on what each salesperson stated their goal was.

I always projected based upon many factors: what month it was, what I had been trending up until now, the number of referrals I thought I could get, etc. At the beginning of each month many salespeople just meandered the dealership, waiting for an “up” (customer) to walk onto the lot. Not me. I spent the early days of each month planning on how I was going to get to my magic number.

To be successful I set goals for the number of customers I was going to call, asking for referrals. That included me planning on how many cold leads I was going to pursue from our computer lead generator. I planned my daily activities around the day to day “walk-ins” there might be on any given day. I then executed my plan and tried to stay true to it so I could avoid trying to catch up during the last week or so of any given month. That’s how I became successful at my work.

Planning Ahead In Life

Life really does require a lot of planning ahead in order to be successful. You’ve got to plan ahead in the morning so that you won’t be late for work. You have to plan ahead to make sure you pick up the kids from their activities on time. So much of our daily lives centers around planning.

doing things last minute

Doing things last minute is not the best approach to life. If you are always late to work or important functions, you probably won’t last long at your job. In college you’ve got to plan school work appropriately so that your grades don’t end up suffering.

Flying by the seat of your pants during a family vacation will probably make for a confusing time. Any time I am going to go visit someplace, or someone, I always map it out on google. That way, I know where I am going. But it also helps me to manage the timing of these visits.

Before my wife and I even stepped foot in France I had the entire trip planned out. here is a cool feature on Maps that allows you to plan and record your trip on the app. When we arrived in France, I simply went to the Maps app and started our trip. Everything went perfectly. We got to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral all in one day! Planning ahead made our trip enjoyable because we weren’t flying by the seat of our pants. We made a plan. We executed that plan.

Not All Planning Requires Goals But All Goals Require Planning

Setting goals always requires planning. Afterall, setting a goal for yourself requires you to map out how you plan to achieve those goals. Planning to be on time for work doesn’t really require goal setting. I’m talking about life goals like saving a certain amount of money for a large expenditure. Setting a goal to get your Masters. Setting a fitness goal.

Smart Goal Setting

It’s one thing to say that you want to lose 25lbs before a special event. Setting the goal is merely the first step. How do you plan on achieving it? Planning to workout 3 times a week is a good start. Limiting the amount of processed food you eat is another good plan. Keeping a daily journal of your progress would be a good part of the plan.

Achieving goals requires an execution of a well thought out plan. Want to get ahead at work? That’s the goal. What’s your plan? Thinking about running the Boston Marathon next year? Better have a plan.

It’s super easy to set a goal: simply state what it is you want to or must achieve. Executing a plan is not the same. To plan ahead is to be creative and also to be realistic. Wanting to run the Boston Marathon next year is a great goal. Only running 2 days a week is not a good plan.

Smart Goal Setting
SpecificMeasurableAttainableRealisticTime-Bound
Be specificIs it measurable?Is it achievableAre you being realistic?Calculate the time required
Lose 25 lbs.YESYESYES3 Months

In the example above the goal is to lose 25 lbs. Is that measurable? Certainly is. Just get on the scale every few days. Is it attainable? It should be if the proper plan is executed. The goal is also realistic if enough time is given to achieve the goal. If you were to say you were going to lose 25 lbs in 30 days it would not be. However, if after researching safe weight loss goals, you determine you can lose 2 lbs per week–and you adjust your timeframe to 3 months–then the goal is realistic.

proper planning

But I digress. This is not a blog about setting goals. It’s about how you can plan ahead. Planning ahead can be as simple as getting up 15 minutes early to ensure you get to work on time. Or, it can be as complex as planning to run the Boston Marathon. Either way, don’t sabotage your efforts by being apathetic, lazy, short-sighted, or unrealistic.

Some plans do go astray. But it shouldn’t be because you failed to execute them properly. External forces can derail your plans. Just don’t let YOU be the reason why your plans fail. Don’t plan to fail ahead.

Living Life Well: Make Your Bed

living_life_well_on_recoverywise

Gems for living a life of wellness. Lessons I have learned, or am learning, during this crazy journey through life.

Every action you take, every decision you make, everything you do causes an immediate effect on those around you–and on you.  And this is the important bit.  There is such a thing as instant karma.  It is your bed, and you are going to have to lie in it.  Therefore:  Choose How You Make Your Bed!

bed1

Your actions will dictate whether in general your life is going to run happily or badly, smoothly or as if the wheels have fallen off.  If you are selfish and manipulative, it will rebound on you.  If you are generally loving and thoughtful, you will get your just rewards–and not in heaven (or the next life or whatever you believe) but right here, right now.

Trust me.  Whatever you do and how you do it will come back to you in spades.  This isn’t a threat for living.  It’s an observation.  It’s happened to me time and time again.  Those who do good, get good.  Those who do bad, get bad.

bed2

I know we can all point to people who seem to have it made and are still pretty vile.  But, trust me, they don’t sleep well at night, if at all.  They have no one to really love them.

Inside they are sad and lonely and frightened.  Those who go around sharing a bit of love and kindness get rewarded with the same coming back.

So be careful how you make your bed.  What goes around, comes around.  There is instant karma.  What you sow you reap.  Better to stand up and be counted right from the start.  Do the right thing, every time.  You know what it is.  Then when you get in the bed you’ve made, not only will you be able to sleep at night, but you’ll sleep the sleep of the just.

bed3

My Ruminations: 4o Things About Me

My Ruminations Robert Levasseur
Robert Levasseur

I was inspired by Rebecca to be brave and bold. After reading her disclosures I realized my previous list was inadequate. I had to get real after her bravery.  See her list HERE.  So, here’s a lot more stuff about me

1.  I love cereal. Healthy and unhealthy. I also LOVE smelling the inside of the Froot Loops box. How do they get that to smell so good?

2.  Noises above the norm make me nervous.

3.  I have 2 older half brothers and 1 younger half-sister. I speak to none of them.  I grew up until 12 with one of them. He hasn’t spoken to me since I was 12.

4.  I have used every drug but heroin and meth. Alcohol is my primary drug, which led to many usages primarily of cocaine and crack.

5. I love rain, especially downpours and thunderstorms. I’ve never made love during a thunderstorm. But I would like to.

6.  I loathe soggy bread.

7.  My Favorite movie is The Longest Day, a movie about the epic Invasion of Normandy.

8.  I’m 6’1″ 225lbs. I would like to lose that 25lbs.

9.  I can whistle through all combinations of my fingers. I can also whistle through an acorn cap.

10.  I am a very good swimmer. I like swimming in lakes and ponds more than the ocean, but I swim there too.

11.  My brother John got hit by a car on Christmas morning and died the following day. He was 8. I was there. I was 11.

12.  My retirement dream is to buy a small house on a lake and have a small boat. Preferably with the love of my life. I’m not Robmoji, I can last more than 9 months with a woman.

13.  I don’t like it when I’m excessively hot.

14.  My favorite season is Fall.

15.  I taught High School English for a year.

16.  I got kicked out of the Army for an OUI I got in Germany. The discharge is classified as General Under Honorable Conditions.

17.  I paid over $350,000 in child support.

18.  I have 2 sons, Nick 28 and Matt 26.  We haven’t seen each other in 15 years. But I’m working on that!

19.  I love Chinese leftovers.  One of the few leftovers I will eat.

20.  I don’t like the winter.

21.  I slept with a fan from age 22 to 52. Jail stopped that habit quickly. I no longer need a fan to sleep.

22.  A medium told me once that I had lived over 1,000 lives.  I disagreed with her.  I’ve lived many more.

23.  I met my wife on my blog.

24.  Two of my previous girlfriends from my early who’s got abortions. One of them I wrote about in A Cold White Door which turned out to be the moment of conception. I was there for one, not the other, because she didn’t tell me until after it was done–the girl in the poem.

25.  I am almost OCD clean and organized.

26.  I attained Expert marksmanship in the Army and with German weaponry.

27.  I graduated college with high honors. I spent 6 out of 8 semesters on probation for various behavioral issues related to alcohol.  I got almost failing grades from elementary school through high school.

28.  I like colored rocks. I have some colored rocks.

29.  Every time I see a clown I am repulsed.

30.  I love archangels and dragons.

31.  My middle name is Marc.  It ends I’m c instead of k because it’s French.

32.  I once had to hitchhike from Monte Carlo to my hotel almost an hour away because I missed the last train because drinking. All I had to give the guy was $1, you’d think he hit the lottery.

33.  One of my girlfriend’s was bulimic. One of my girlfriend’s pulled her hair out incessantly. My last girlfriend was a psychopathic alcoholic. She now spends her time creeping my blog and blogging about me.

34.  My Favorite series was Madmen, followed by The Sopranos.

35.  I have to shake the milk carton and then smell it before I will use it. I don’t care if the cow’s standing outside.

36.  I had 4 episodes with “suicide.” To me 3 were cried for help. The last one, while I loved with girl from #33, I swallowed over 100 pills of various medicines. I woke up the next day as if nothing happened.

37.  Prior to going to jail from May 2016-October 2016, I worked in the car business for 20 years. I managed, sold, and did finance. No, I won’t help you buy a car. But you should always by pre-owned, only use cargurus.com, and never buy anything in finance. You’re welcome.

38.  I love to collect vintage and antique books.

39.  I totaled 3 cars in less than 4 months. I totaled my Altima, Lexus ES350, and the nicest car I ever owned, my Lexus GS450. I’ve totaled 4 cars in my life and never got a scratch, never got an OUI charge from any of them. After I crashed my GS450, the police actually gave me a ride home.

40.  I believe we are cosmic beings temporarily occupying human form. I believe that once our bodies give out, we will rejoin our celestial bodies and exist in a fantastic dimension as a reward for suffering on Earth.

Peace all you lovely humans!

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