Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Simple Lesson In Life: Finding Your Carrot...Placing It Before You



Song:  Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Artist:  Elton John

(I was about Alex's age when this song first came out)


I frequently just step outside our home in the hills of Reno...
just to listen to...nothing
(we live in a very quiet neighborhood).

As Reno is situated in the High Desert of Nevada...
and our house is at an elevation of a little over 1 mile up (5300 ft. or so)...
the air is crisp and clean (minus the smoke from the odd forest fire in California :)...
there are very few insects flying...
the odd fly once in a great while...
no mosquitos at all...
it is pure pleasure to just be outside.


These were taken from our front porch.

Last night, as the sun was setting...
I thought of taking some pictures for a point I frequently stress with Alex.

We live in an area surrounded by incredibly beautiful views...
all within a short drive.

So many of the simple pleasures in life...
are free (just the price of gas in most places).


As I have said before...
I am 53 years old...
and I have been retired for over 2 years now...
and for me...life just keeps getting so much richer.

I frequently look back at the happiest times of my early life.
Almost all of them were the simple pleasures I had enjoyed...
with family or friends...and frequently...alone.

Many of those happy memories were when I had very little money...
but I had met some very good people who had shared their friendship with me.

We shared one of the most valuable and simple pleasures of life together...
we shared our time.

What we enjoyed together was free...
heart to heart talks...
deep and genuine laughs...
enjoying the mountains or beaches...
a simple meal...and a sunset.


I have a special love of sunsets.

For me...
it is a time of reflection...
a time to affirm my path in life...
to assure my next day's path will lead to some sort of growth...
 a time for the setting of my old self...
a time of psychological death...
a sacred time which I had earned...
either through my actions...
or through a formulated plan for furthering myself toward a goal...
without which I had truly earned...
I would deny myself...
even the most beautiful of sunsets.

Although I am not religious...
if this is what prayer is to religious people...
I think I understand the importance of it...
the great sanctity of it.


My great love of a simple sunset...
or the sweet solitude of the stars at night...
is my daily carrot.

Some of my daily objectives include...
helping my son understand a fundamental concept in his studies...or in life...
furthering my passion for writing through the outline progression 
of several books I hope to one day finish...
refinement of plans for the future...etc.

The crucial portion of placing a carrot before yourself...
is to never lie to yourself.

Should you not truly earn it for that day...
you MUST NOT partake in the enjoyment of your carrot.

Complete all of your necessary objectives BEFORE taking the carrot.


Something which is easily gotten...
is not highly valued...
it ceases to be your carrot.

It simply matters psychologically.

We each love progress in life.

A carrot ensures some sort of reward...
something we may look forward to.

This provides the motivation to achieve...
and it provides us with the ability to suffer now...
for greater returns later.



Like so many of us...
we each have our long term goals.

And like many...
what I had done many decades ago...
was to decide that which I had most wanted out of life...
and reversed planned back to myself.

By doing so...
the necessary path becomes clear.

By holding on to that dream...
by ensuring timely progression upon it...
it becomes a foregone conclusion.

This in itself leads to great peace of mind and happiness.


Just like with anything else in life...
because of the nature of human beings...
shorter term goals...
and the objectives to meet those goals...
should also pave the way.

And so...
the medium and short term goals and objectives.

My medium goal in life was to fully retire at a young enough age...
to then concentrate on the pursuit of my longer range plans...
and to fully enjoy all of the simple pleasures in life...
to make it rich in love and adventure.

My carrot then...
is what I am fully enjoying now.

It was SO worth it!



With each shorter objective completion...
should come an appropriate reward...
and so...
my daily carrot.




The two things a person must do in life to enjoy it...
is to get rid of the negative...and to enhance the positive.

Simple in concept...
yet...
I have seen so many people not do this in life.

We are made up of three major components...
the physical...
the emotional...
the intellectual.

Each are subject to negative factors which detract from life if allowed.



The Physical

Health...without which...
life becomes so much harder to enjoy...
especially when it is done to us...by us.

Don't smoke...
Don't drink to excess...
Don't constantly over eat...

(ok...this one needs some qualification :)

I have always eaten a lot...and yes...
I really do have a relatively high metabolic rate...
especially when I augment it with exercise...
which I do.


SEE!!!

I don't have a big belly!  :)




The Emotional

Get rid of the negative drama in your life
(drama should only be Korean or Japanese TV and movie dramas :)

While we may not be able to control the actions of others...
in many cases...we may control their access to our lives.

For those situations where we can not immediately do so...
use it as fuel to improve your life for the day when you may do so.




The Intellectual

Apathy...
having no sense of urgency in life...
having it rob us of the impetus to improve it.

With just the simple realization that we have but one shot at life...
it becomes precious....
life becomes seen as too short to not fully enjoy.

Simplify life...
so you may enjoy all of the simple pleasures in it.



My long term carrot?


To die well.

To do so...
you must have lived well.

To have lived and loved fully...
to have accomplished ones dreams in life...
to have lived in the service of others...
to have lived morally...honorably...
is to die with no regrets.

To experience the sunset of life...
without regret...
 is a dream we all share.



Sorry, Sir Elton John...
I believe you got it wrong once again :)

I say...
bring on the sunset.

It is both...
my daily reward...
and my final one.















4 comments:

  1. Well said...
    I agree 100%

    P.S. looking pretty ripped nowadays, Uncle J! (don't have a big belly picture)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Chris. This is the way I always am :) In so many of my pictures...I look much bigger than I really am because I usually wear shirts which are a size or two too large. It is just a matter of comfort. I just had to show this fairly recent picture of me to dispel what many must have been thinking...since I eat so much...and I walk around in very large shirts or jackets.

    Thank you for checking in and commenting! I hope to be able to see you once again, sometime in the near future.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elton John is having a tough week here. ;)

    You are certainly living the life you have set out in your goals. May you enjoy your sunsets, though I hope your final one is still a long-term carrot. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope to make it a very long term goal. :) However, with me...quality first...then quantity. I do plan to be greedy though, I want both. :)

    ReplyDelete

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