Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Be ambitious but not too ambitious

When I used to surf we had a saying (and I am sure it is still out there but I don't hear it any more) "Go big or go home" If you were not pushing yourself to go after bigger waves or bigger tricks there was no point in being in the water. If you were not there to be a better surfer every time you got in the water why get in the water. The scale of big differed from one person to the next, the novice was going big paddling in to a four foot wave or even getting to his feet consistently, more advanced surfers might be going big at teen feet or making a good bottom turn.

If we are to grow we must be ambitious. Setting our sights on things that are near at hand and trying to achieve those will get earn us successes but they will be small ones. We will only grow a little, gain a small amount of confidence and not cover much ground towards our larger goals. On the other hand if we push to far the risk of not meeting our expectation rises, our chance for disappointing our selves increases as does our potential to give up. So what we need is realistic ambition.

The key to realistic ambition is to know yourself. Know what you can do, know what you can probably do and know what is beyond you. The target area, once confidence is built, is the probably do. We must however be honest with ourselves about which is which and not find ourselves trying to do too much to impress others or to little because we are scared. Ego is better served through successes for ourselves and fear should be faced unless it leads to injury or death.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On not being a kitten

Kittens are hyper exited little balls of fluff however they do not use all that energy for much of anything creative. The run around the room pouncing at shadows, running in to walls, jumping on anything that move or that they think may consider moving in the next few minutes. In other words they have no focus to their energy. Often times I can find myself acting like a kitten, well not so much anymore but I still have my kitten like days.

Whether it is because I am restless and can't settle on one task or because I don't know what will work I do find myself putting my energy where it is not needed. Whenever we find ourselves with energy to burn it is much better to focus that in to productiveness or fun rather than wild flailing. While I am not suggesting the kitten does not enjoy the running around he also winds up slamming himself in to walls and doing things that get him a squirt from the water bottle.

So how do we focus our selves at times like these? In my case I like to have a to-do list, that way if I come to that point where I need to take action on something I can turn to the list and say I will work on that. I keep a list of productive projects and my friends and I are talking about doing the same for all the fun stuff we want to do. Sometimes a bit of wild flailing is necessary as we learn new skills but we must also learn to move beyond the kittenish tendency towards distraction.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The personal laboratory

Sometimes we chase our dreams and find them to be other than what we had hoped for. This is not disaster this is the process of learning about our self. Life is an experiment all we can do is pose theories about what will work and then figure out ways to test those theories. We set out on journeys and travel to distant places, both internally and externally to find what will work for us. We change the clothes we were the way we style the hair, the slang we use when talking our friends. We try to change with the methods are big or small, some of them work others do not but either way they have their rewards.

There are really two possibilities that we face any time we make changes in our life: we get the results we expected or we get results that we did not expect. Sometimes these results are positive others they are not but no market what we learn something about ourselves. The changes in our life should not be viewed in a pass fail mentality but rather in terms of what understanding of myself did I get from this.

So for all of those of you beginning and ending epic journeys in your life: Look for the learning, look for what part of yourself rings true, how do you shine through the change of scenery, the change of action or the change of appearance. Out of all of it what is it that makes you. That is the result of the experiments of life a greater understanding of ourselves.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Something old

Here is a guest post I had written for uplift antidote. I was hoping to link to it yesterday but found that Uplift Antidote is no longer on-line. So here it is.

The power of inspiration is that it rekindles your fires; it gets you going and sends your mind racing like a dog after a rabbit. You fly off the trail following your nose going where it leads you. You splash through muddy puddles and finally come to a halt somewhere panting and happy.

The best news is that inspiration is everywhere. All we have to do is look for it, and the more we look for it the more often we will find it. So often we go through our days not putting our full attention in to what we are experiencing. Our minds are not in the present they are stuck in the past going over what might have been, or they are off in the future worrying about what might be. When we bring our mind back to the now and actually watch the world around us we become open to a new way of thinking.

Let me ask you how many blogs do you read a day? How many web pages do you load up and let your eyes wander over? How many of them stick with you, how many change your life, how many inspire you? More importantly how may do you give enough attention to allow them to inspire you?

The point here is that if we want the fire and spark of joy brought about by feeling inspired we need to let it happen. We need to allow ourselves to be open to the lessons that are there before us. By setting aside time to plan and to remember the pleasant moments of the past we can spend the rest of our lives in the moment. We can be here being open to inspiration.

So have I inspired you today? If so now I challenge you be open, let inspiration find you and when it does run from the path and chance it. Let inspirations direct your thoughts, direct your hands and fill your heart with happiness. You can have this if you allow yourself to.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ninja inspiration

Yesterday I watched the movie "Ninja Assassin". It is a dark, gory, brutal action flick that does not bring anything really new to the genre. However in the spirit of inspiration everywhere there is something that I noticed. A portion of the movie is a character piece about this young renegade ninja and the force that drove him to betray his clan. We watch as he is trained to be a brutal, emotionless killing machine. There is a little girl who is also being trained as a ninja and as they grow the inevitable happens and they begin to fall in love. She can no longer take the brutality of the place and decides to leave, a crime punishable by death. She asks the main character to go with her but he does not. She is caught and killed. He turns his back on the clan that tried to rob him of emotions and begins his quest for revenge.

The lesson here is not the revenge but instead that no matter what we have learned our entire life we always have the ability to choose which voice we will listen to. No matter how we have lived up to any given point we can say I am done with this or that and start living differently. Is it easy to break with the past? No and this plays out in the movie as the clan tries to hunt down our hero but through struggle and triumph we can make our lives what we want them to be.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Self analysis

What is it that drives us to take control of the person that we are, to desire to change in a quantifiable, observable and continues way? There are many reasons, probably as many, if not more, then there are people reading this but I want to talk about the forces that make me want to change.

I want a scenes of control over my future, rather than letting things slip by me and just picking the easy fruit I want to have the life that I want. To do this I need to improve myself, my education needs to increase, I need to be consistent with my strengths and find ways to minimize my weaknesses. To do this I need to grow.

Also change is inevitable. It is a standard element of movies the executive who one day relies they are not where they want to be. That is the person I have never wanted to be, and maybe one of my greatest fears, being trapped in a job I hate. However I have drifted so aimlessly, so afraid of being trapped that I have not latched on to much of anything in my life. By being continues of my growth and the path I am on I hope to find stability and not wind up in a place I feel trapped.

Lastly I do not want to stagnate. It happens to people they live in the past focusing on their glory years be it high school or college, the times when they had fun. Life should be fun the entire time you live, not every moment of every day but every day should have moments of fun. The only way to prevent stagnation and longing for the past is to grow in the present. Growth gives us a chance to struggle, to succeed and to achieve.

This is why I want to change, why I want to control the change. How about you what is your motivation?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What did you expect?

Expectations can be a road bloke to happiness.

By way of example let's look at the "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace". If you were like me and had grown up with the Star Wars then you had certain expectations for the movie, expectations it did not live up to. Because of this when we left the movie theater we felt hurt, disappointed and to some extent offended by what we had seen. This sort of reaction happens to us every day.

By being aware of what we expect, keeping those expectations realistic, and understanding that expectations are not reality we can avoid letting them affect our happiness. Before we go into a situation we are excited about, or nervous, or scared for that matter, we should take a look at what we think will happen. When I am in this situation I ask myself is that really what I think will happen? Am I setting myself up for disappointment? If I answer no to the first or yes to the second question I try to adjust my expectations.

In my experience I find that I get the most disappointed, or worried when I let my expectations become unrealistic. I hope for too much and then it is never delivered and so no matter how good something may have been it is not good enough.

Down grading your expectations while keeping your hopes high is the key, this is an important distinction to make: Expectations are things we plan to experience. Hopes are things that we want to experience. This is why we feel let down when our expectations are not met, we had planned on those experiences happening and when they don't in some small way it breaks our heart. That may seem overly dramatic but think about it. We feel let down, like the other does not care what we want, we feel excluded from what is going on because our own expectations of the event where not met.

We can never keep absolute control over the actions of others but we can control what we expect to happen.

Monday, June 21, 2010

When it can’t be fixed now

Some days things go wrong, and worse we can't do anything about it for a few hours, a day, a week. This should not crush all happiness until the problem is fixed. When we know that we cannot deal with a problem we must learn to let it go. If we spend our time stressing cursing and fiddling with the problem even when we can't effect it we lose the moment we are having and impact the mood of those around us.

Here is the real problem he more we worry about it the more it frustrates us, the more it frustrates us the more we worry and our mood gets worse with each cycle. The trick I have learned is to say yes this is bad but it will be fixed but not now, then I put the problem out of my mind until the time it can be dealt with. Then I try to enjoy what is going on around me. This is not the same as trying to hide from a problem since the goal is to deal with an issue when it can be affected not to just hope it goes away. If a problem is solvable now, solve it now. If it is not find when it will be solvable and let it go until then.

If our actions cannot produce positive effects then they are a waste of energy and time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Things I learned from my father

Well Fathers day is almost here and I wanted to share a story about my dad and a lesson he taught me, even if I did not get the lesson until late in life. As I have mentioned in the past I'm play role playing games. This is a hobby that I have been into since I was a kid I received my first Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) set for Christmas when I was in third grade. I will get back to that.

One thing you must know about my father is he is a quiet, peaceful man. He enjoys his art, being outdoors and playing sports and word games, needless to say D&D was not going to be his thing. However that Christmas morning we sat on the couch together as I unwrapped the plastic from the red box and he read the rules with me, helped me make a character and ran a little bit of game for me.

The lesson here is kindness. The ability to put aside his distaste for the game and play it with me just make me happy. This is a quality I have seen in him time and time again the quiet kindness shown not through words but actions. This is something I struggle with today, this kind of quiet powerful kindness. Thanks for lesson dad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Change happens

Change is going to happen whether we want it to or not. There are the inevitable changes of age, seasons and mood. There are the changes we work to creat promotions at work, personal growth, or getting good grades. Whatever the type of change we must understand that it is going to happen, we can not stop things from changing but we can control how we react to change.

We really only have two options when it comes to dealing with change and neither one is correct in all situations. We can fight against the change or we can accept it.


When we fight change we are struggling to keep things the way they are, and this may be in some situations a losing battle; this however is not a reason not to fight it. Let us look at the example of our health, something we all want to preserve, age diet and activities (or the lack there of) will take a toll on our bodies this is inevitable. By taking proper care of ourselves we can slow this process; this is a losing battle that is worth fighting.

Not all fights against change are worthwhile however we must understand what it is costing us and what we are gaining. Learning how to let something good end in its natural course rather than foolishly clinging to something that is dying can be one of the biggest reducers of stress and regret you will ever find. As we struggle to hold on to things our relationship to them change they become sources of stress, heartache and sorrow. On the other hand when we release them and let them go in their natural course we leave the memories of the good untainted with the bad of the end.


The other way we may react to change is to accept it. This is more than just resigning ourselves to the fact that things will be different from here on out, this acceptance is bringing the change in to our life and accommodating it in the way we live. Let us look again at the example of aging. As we get older we may develop sore knees, backs, hips whatever and we are presented with a choice we can load ourselves up on aspirin every day and keep trying to do the things we have always done or we can modify our life to minimize the pain. This may mean cutting back on a beloved activity or in some cases cutting it out altogether. However is some cases not doing so may make the bad back worse and in the cores of a life time give you less time to do the things you love. By making a place for the pain in your life you can get more enjoyment as well.

When we are not putting our energy in to resisting change it frees us up to experience the change and find the opportunities in it. As we struggle to hold things close we become focus on what we are losing. By tuning our focus not to what we had yesterday but to what is before us today we can see possibilities, new friends, time for new activities, new challenges to attempt and opportunities to learn.


Each time we encounter change in our lives we have the choice of how we will deal with it, fight or accept, there is not one answer that is right every time. To know which is the best option at any given time is to be aware of ourselves in the moment, be aware of the costs we are willing to pay and the gains we can realistically achieve from each cores of action and how much risk we are willing to take on in order to achieve less certain gains.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Open thought process: Generosity vs. Kindness

Giving of ourselves and of things is something nice to do, it can even be a kind thing to do for others but being generous is not the same as being kind. Generosity is the ability or the inclination to give what we have to others to help them meet the needs and wants in their life. Kindness is the ability to understand the emotional needs and feelings of others and acting in a way to protect them.

Generosity does not necessarily come from a materialistic view-point however. We can give our time as well as our things to help others. So perhaps there is some overlap between the two if we are able to separate the material needs from the emotional needs and give accordingly. The giving is the generosity the perception is the kindness.

We normally think that being kind is an action but if we look at it as the impetus of action then it becomes something more. Kindness can be the fuel that drives us, the perception of the emotional need in people can be the thing that moves us to act justly, properly, and generously.

**Open thought process is a place where I play with ideas I am having in print. Responses are more than welcome.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two questions

Mental clutter is just as bad if not worse than physical clutter. Unresolved issues from the past haunt us day and night; anxieties about the future do the same. We worry about how we have acted, how others act towards us and how we will act or how we will be remembered. So how do we deal with this? How do we stop clear the clutter?

Two questions are all we really need: Can I affect this? Should I affect this?

If we cannot change what has happened, is happening or will happening then we need to stop dwelling on it. Any time we ask "Can I affect this?" and we get the answer "No" we should take that as a sign to move our thoughts to other matters. But before we do we still need to ask the second question "Should I affect this?" does not mean just is right for me to change the situation I am dwelling on but also should I be able to change it.

More simply put it can be easy to dwell on something we know we should be dealing with but do not want to because dealing with it is hard. In this case it is easy to give a false positive to the first question in the hopes that we can forget about the problem. However if we should be dealing with a situation and it seems impossible we need to change our point of view, look at how others might view the problem, look at the impacts of our actions and try to find a way to act. Allowing our minds to continue to run in the same unproductive grooves over and over again gets us know where. We must either be able to dismiss the problem as beyond us or change how we think about it.

And if we can and should have an effect on the situation once we have we need to stop thinking about it. There is more to living than worrying about what is already done.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My plan for summer time management

So the fun freewheeling times of summer vacation have come to an end for me and school is starting once again. This session I am taking a bigger risk then I have in the past. I have two online classes, which means it is more important than ever that I displace myself about my use of time. While in the past time management has been an issue for it is one that I am ready to tackle.

My main tools for doing this will be Google calendar and a to-do list. Google calendar will be used for blocking out me time and planning my week, the to-do list will be used to keep me on track with specific tasks that need to be accomplished to complete assignments or other projects I am working on.

My current plan is to use a color coded to do list in word or excel. The color will be tied to the blocked out time on my Google calendar, for example: let's say I set sociology as blue then the items on the to-do list that are sociology related would be blue as well. This will (hopefully) help to focus my use of time better.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Phase two

There are two phases to personal growth, one is easy and the other much more difficult. The first is we have to think about personal growth and study what we want to change and how we want to change it. During this phase we can read all the books and blogs we want. We can look in to our selves understand what we want, or strengths our weaknesses and our goals. We can do all that and still not be growing. We can even plan, make commitments to change during the first phase but without the second phase it has no effect.

The second phase is taking action. Everything else is for nothing if we do not put our plans in to action. We have to get out there and make the changes we see fit in our lives, cut down on the empty calories, start exercising, start meditating, go back to school, or start building confidence. Whatever it is if we do not start doing it then it will not be done. That moment where we begin a new project is a huge accomplishment we have overcome momentum and inertia to make something happen.

We get what we want by taking action; this is as true internally as it is externally. Personal growth can be hard at first, you may slip up and fall on your ass. Just remember this we all fell on our ass when learning to walk, but we got back up and tried again and again. Stumbling is not failure as long as we don't stop trying; but first we have to start trying.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Exercises in personal growth

If we are looking to get in shape physically we will start an exercise program. I we are looking to get our lives in shape we need to do the same thing. I have been trying to think up some exercises for myself to help strengthen my character. Today I am going to share a warm up exercise I have come up with. I try to do this one about every three months, it is good or rededicating myself to growth and keeping me in touch with what I want.

Start by making a list on a piece of paper of the things you want to achieve in the next six months. Put as many items on the list as you can think of than work down to a manageable number I would suggest putting between six to eight item. Next devise a process for achieving these things. The process should be somewhat detailed and actionable, in other words a road map for what must be done in order for the dream to be realized. Be honest with yourself when assembling the process take the time to research what it is you want; the process must be realistic otherwise it is not a proper tool for reaching the goal.

Now the next stage is to eliminate half of the dreams on your list. We cannot focus on everything we want all at once. Our efforts will suffer if we try to. You should look at the costs associated with each idea on your list, both financial and the time it takes to achieve. Other costs to be considered are personal discipline, impact on those around you, and the risk. Once you have chosen a list of three to four projects to work on start work each process you have developed for yourself.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Knowing when to much is to much

If there is one key to accomplishing any task no matter how large no matter how small it is persistence. We can all do great things, make large changes and have an impact as long as we do not stop trying. As long as we are willing to look for a way to achieve the things we want in life we have the opportunity to succeed. The moment we give up, stop fighting and desired the goal is not longer worth the effort that is the only moment in which we cease to accomplish anything.

Blind persistence is not wisdom however. We must always be aware of the cost of our actions, the impact on our lives the trying to achieve something brings with it. If we do not choose wisely how to use the recourses that are at our disposal then we can find we have wasted our time, energy, money and relationships on a fool's quest. We must always before each and every attempt to reach a goal understand if that goal attempt is a wise use of the resources at hand.

This si the time to turn away from what we have fought for: When what we would give up is worth more to us then what we are trying to gain. Too often we find ourselves striving to achieve things that do not mean as much to us now as they once did because we have worked at it for so long to not finish seems silly. If finishing gets in the way of your definition for successes, no matter the effort and time put in to it, if it costs too much it cost too much.

Be willing to walk away when things no longer matter to you. Understand that this is not failure it is part of growth that the things we find important change. An inability to see the changes in our lives reflected in our desires is another way we thwart happiness.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Balance in your day

For me one of the biggest challenges to being happy is boredom. If I find myself without something to do, something to work on or something to read watch or play my mind does not go to happy memories (for the most part) Instead I start to dwell on things I regret doing. For me the challenge is not finding things to entertain myself but learning when they stop becoming hobbies and start become distractions.

Having projects, hobbies and other activities that you enjoy doing is not bad in and of themselves but when you folks on them to the exclusion of things that you need to get done to maintain your way of life they become a problem. A well lived life needs a masseur of balance, doing things for our enjoyment, doing things for our survival, and doing things to for others must all balance against each other.

Working madly every day to make money and earn statues is worthless if you cannot enjoy the rewards. Having free time to do what you want is nice but not if you don't have food to eat. And having both wealth and free time is pointless without people to share it with.

Make time for work, make time for myself, and make time for others. This way leads to balance.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Perception is important

It is not always easy but it is not always hard, was a thought I put on a list a while back. I have found time and time again that the difficulty of a situation is more controlled by my expectations then by the actual complexity of the task. If I am bringing a lot of baggage in to a situation and I expect to have to fight for every inch then that is exactly what happens. If on the other hand I come in knowing that what I am doing will be easy then, again, that is what happens.

Let's look at an example I need to find work but in part to a fear of rejection and lack of transportation every time I look through Craigslist or monster I expect there to be nothing for me there. This week I am committing myself to look with the mind set that the perfect job is waiting for me. I will not approach the job hunt with dread but with enthusiasm and see if this changes my successes in the hunt.

Who we are affects how we see the world; how we see the world affects the difficulty we face day-to-day. Being aware of how we are impacting our chance of successes gives us the ability to adjust the difficulty to some degree. I will keep you posted on how the change in my perception of the job market and my attitude towards job hunting helps me.

Friday, June 4, 2010


What do you want?

It is a simple phrase, or is it?

There are only to important words to look at in the sentence You and Want. Each is deeper in meaning then we give them credit for, and I am not going to try to sit here and lay out a functional definition of wither word this morning. Instead I want to look at how the two words play together in this simple phrase.

You: the question asks what you as an individual want. Not what your friends or family want not what your friends and family think you should want not even what advertisers and corporate sponsors think you should want. When I think about this question I must discard what others think and just focus on me.

Is this selfish? No.

If we are going to be happy we must work to get the things that we want. This does not mean for social reasons we will sometimes work towards the wants and goals of a group but we must at the same time be aware of the things we want. Forgetting what we want is a step in forgetting who we are.

Want: The things we want are what bring us joy and happiness but are not necessary for life. Wants can also be a source of stress grief and anguish. This happiness when we want unrealistically. When we feel we must have something to be happy that is far beyond our reach it diminishes the joy we can find in what we have.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This one’s for me

I want to take a moment to-day to talk about the thing I fear most in the world: Rejection.

More than anything else in the world I want to be liked, respected and approved of. This fear has hampered me time and time again in my life. Job hunting, apartment hunting trying to get a date all of it can leave me paralyzed.

Is it world ending to hear that you are not wanted. No. But it hurts like hell. To know you are not good enough for others to like to want to love.

How do I deal with this, how do I stop being scared? It is one thing to know that you are good enough but another to feel it and this problem works on the emotional level.

The place I need to work at this the most is the job market. I need to be though, be strong and face this fear. I will not fail my employers, I will not fail myself, I can do good work but I need to get past this fear of rejection.

Staring at job listings every day all I see is a list of people who are going to tell me I am not good enough for them.

Ok I have externalized the issue enough for the moment, now to deal with it:

Meet the problem head on and expose myself to more opportunities for rejection while working on things that I know I can do but are challenging. Meeting the challenge will help maintain my confidence even if rejected. The exposure to potential rejection will show me that it is not fatal, that I can survive being told this job is not for you, this guy is not for you. I can do this, fear or no fear I can do this, and more so I will do this.

I will keep you all updated. Thanks for listing, and have a great day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Need: this word is the often abused and misused. When we require something to live that is need; food, shelter, rest and companionship are the things we need. There are times we may need to get out of a situation as well but that is the limit of how the word should be used. This means we do not need that new handbag, we do not need that new game, and we do not need to go out to eat every night. If we have the basics food, clothing, shelter, a place to rest and people to share our days with we will survive.

There is one argument that can be raised against this Spartan interpretation of the word need: Life needs to be enjoyed and a quality of life must be maintained in order for us to be happy and healthy. If I accept this argument it allows me to justify the purchase of whatever I want as a necessity, new cars new clothes new toys.

The argument seems solid; quality of life is important right?

Of cores quality of life is important but it is not found in material things it is found in our attitude. No matter how much we have as long as the four basic needs are met we can have a high quality of life. If we pursue happiness through material things then our happiness will have a shelf life, as our things expire, as wear and tear take their toll on our things our happens will erode. If on the other hand we find a way to be happy without things no matter how much or little we have we can still be happy.

We must also understand what the limits of food, shelter, rest and companionship are.

For the need of food to be met we must be getting our daily nutritional needs, no more no less. Living on Starbucks and fast food every day guess what you are not meeting this need.

The need for shelter is simple enough a safe place to be out of the elements. Living with someone abusive that is not shelter. Living somewhere dirty somewhere infested with mold and rodents that is not shelter. We need a place to be safe.

Rest we must have the proper amount of sleep on a regular and routine basis. Four most of this means eight hours every night but how many of us actually get that. How many of us have fooled ourselves in to thinking 6 hours is fine or I can function on four hours of sleep? Find the time to sleep, to rest and the rest of your hours will be more productive.

We are social animals and we need companionship in order to function. A night out by yourself at a crowded bar does not constitute companionship. One night stands does not constitute companionship. What does? People you can be yourself around, people you can let your guard down around and people who will give you a shoulder to cry on when you need to or ask for yours when they need it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why personal growth

There is a difference between being alive and living. We can suck oxygen all we want and fill our bellies with food; we can consume and be productive without actually living. Living integrates many different concepts but at the core it comes down to enjoyment, fulfillment and awareness. To live we must make choice for ourselves and find the joy in the moments we can while not turning away from sadness and fear just to be safe.

Living is not safe, and it should not be, growth, accomplishment and wonder all have elements of risk and are necessary for us to be alive. When we shelter our selves' whether it is emotionally, physically or both we diminish our lives. We do not have the opportunities to succeed, to shine, to find joy. The purpose of personal growth is simply to shift from being alive to living, but not living in a reckless self-destructive way but one that decreases suffering, both personal and social, and allows us to be happy.