Skip to the loo

Evidence over the past two decades has weighed in heavily on the pivotal role that a modern, sedentary lifestyle plays in obesity. My solution is to skip to the loo.

One of the reasons people these days are so unfit compared to just a generation or two ago is that we have become quite sedentary.

We spend our work days in front of a screen. We spend our leisure time in front of another screen. And too many channels on TV means more butt time and less foot time. We simply don’t move enough. [Read more…]

Three rebukes people eagerly give that you should ignore

Society has norms. That’s how we all get along. And when people around us break those norms, we sometimes feel a bit threatened, a bit uncomfortable. I am not talking about norms that are put into law for people’s safety, like murder or rape. I mean things that are simply considered by most people to be “inappropriate”.

And most of us are really quick to chide those who violate those norms. Oh, sure, most of us do so only in our heads. And when we do so out loud, we try to do so “good naturedly” so as to appear less rude than we really are being. But let’s face it, we all say or think such admonishments.

But sometimes, we reproach too hastily. Here are three very common, almost stereotypical rebukes that we would do better to keep to ourselves – and that you would be best to ignore if they are launched at you.

Get a job!

In many cases, this is more like a curse, an insult or a threat. I am not saying that nobody should have a job, but if God has graced you with the skills and opportunity and character to follow your passion without a job, so much the better.

By way of background, there are very few people with total freedom. A few people are almost self-sufficient in their homesteading and a few people are independently wealthy. The rest of us have to barter with other people to get the things we need or want.

I am self employed. I have am still dependent on other (my clients) and so much of what I do is governed by their needs. But I am much freer than someone who has a job.

Even amongst job-holders, there is a big difference one’s level of freedom. A teacher has no choice about what hours he works or what days he takes for vacation; his tasks depend on coordinating his schedule with everybody else. A clerk at a large store can usually choose shifts and co-ordiate vacation days with other people.

A freelancer can work whatever hours he wishes. What a cruel thing it would be to tell him to “Get a job!”

If you live to teach, if that is your passions and that is your fulfillment, you have no choice but to trade in some of your freedom, and you most likely feel it is totally worth while. But if you are doing something else that you find fulfilling, if you are following your passion, ignore the ill-advised advice of the get-a-job crowd.

Need a freelancer?  Click here.

Get a room!

I have no idea where this comes from. Two people are passionately kissing and everybody starts thinking “Get a room!” And often somebody will say it.


Are passion and love and romance and affection things we find distasteful? Apparently we do when it is done in our presence. I am not sure where our discomfort comes from. Perhaps it is envy or jealousy – that it is too vivid a reminder of how our own lives lack that level of passion and excitement.

I think public display of affection is a good thing. Rather than hide what we don’t do enough of, so that we can feel smug in our own comfort zones, why not be reminded of romance? Why not be reminded that we could be a little more passionate? Why not pull us out of our comfort zones and increase our own levels of affection?

Sometimes discomfort is a bad thing. Sometimes it is a good thing. Don’t get a room; share your affection with the world.

Grow Up!

This is perhaps the worst common rebuke I know of. It is typically launched when someone is acting silly or childlike. When someone is not carrying herself with sufficient dignity or maturity, often (but not always) in public.

The problem – and yes, this is a big problem – is that when we become adults we often stop acting silly. We stop kidding around. We stop joking. We are told that we have to carry ourselves with dignity. We are conditioned to believe we have to act reserved. We stop laughing. Don’t look at me that way; how many times do you actually laugh out loud in a typical day? Not nearly enough for your own basic health.

If anybody ever tells you to grow up, there is one thing I recommend you do: laugh!

Work and Play

When choosing a career, when deciding whether to remain in your comfort zone or to break out and try something new, when weighing the pros and cons of taking on a second job or starting a home-based business, remember the words of Gelett Burgess

“There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lie happiness.”

Yes, it’s not just about the money. Without happiness, money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. In fact, after paying for food and basic shelter from the elements, the only reason to have money is for happiness.

Is there some play that you would like to do for work? Is there some work that for you would be play?

My happiness blog will never earn me gobs of money, but I love writing it. I still need a real source of income (my SEO business and my writing business), but it is nice to also have “work that is play”.  And much of the writing that I do for clients is “play”, although much of it is not.

European Fraggles and American Doozers

Happiness Is Hard Work…at least in America.

A new study published in the April issue of the Journal Of Happiness Studies reveals that Americans who work harder tend to be happier. The “Protestant work ethic” is alive and well – and making people happy – in America.

Americans tend to be like Doozers:

Work you cares away,
Dancing’s for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

In Europe, the story is completely different. Europeans are happiest working shorter hours.

Europeans tend to be like faggles:

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

“Those who work longer hours in Europe are less happy than those who work shorter hours, but in the U.S. it’s the other way around,” study author Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn says. It seems that Americans are happiest working and building

The researchers speculate that happiness has less to do with actual hours spent working on each continent than about how people on either side of the ocean view success. The “American Dream” is about how anybody can make it big if they just work hard enough. Europeans seem to focus more on “quality of life”.

Not surprisingly, Europeans are surprised by the results of this study. The UK’s Daily Mail says it all in it’s headline: “America’s bizarre secret to happiness: More work”.

So what contributes to your happiness more – work or off-time?

This post was featured in the Working at Home Blog Carnival.