Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Life Stock

Isn’t this great? You’re happy now, I’m happy now, we’re happy now!

How often do we really engage in conversations like the one above with friends? How often do we really stop to take an emotional euphoria inventory? Not enough. Simply put, we are so caught up in doing something that’s supposed to make us happy; we neglect to take stock of our emotions when we’re actually happy. This, I believe, is called being giddy.

Oh how things change when the sun sets on our good moods. How the hysteric vertigo ceases when bad things happen, when times are tough, we all tend to become life stock takers of the highest account. What is this life all about? Am I really happy in my job, at home, with this new red coat? Nothing is left out when things go wrong, we’re a determined bunch, ready to take account of each and every little thing in our lives. So, how come when our lives are going great, we’re too overjoyed to find our mental notepad, nonetheless take an accounting of our lives?

I tend to put things I don’t understand into the category of human nature. The reason we cry at the very movies we know are contrived to make us do just that? Human nature. How us men tend to lift our chests a little higher when we walk hand in hand with our significant other late at night down a dimly lit street, human nature of course. It’s all human nature if it’s something I don’t personally understand. But this notion of life stock, of looking at where we are at when things are going well, it’s been camped out in my mind for sometime. Why is it so hard to be grateful when things are going well, yet so easy to take introspective looks when the chips aren’t falling our way? Of course when things go wrong, we want to change, so we take these closer looks at what is making us happy, and not, in our lives. But could we be happier, or at least sustain the happiness if we did actually look at life closely when it was going well? Surely most would agree, that if we could just take the time to look at all that is going well, we’d be even happier. But why then, is it so darn tough to stop and smell the flowers while they rest in our palms? Could it be something that takes effort and deliberate action, like say the art of listening? I might be on to something.

Most people I know are awful listeners. For whatever reason, they’d much rather speak their two cents, than collect the verbal change of others. They want to share their side of things, before they even fully understand yours. In fifth grade a teacher of mine once told me the secret to making friends in life was being a good listener. Even at that age, I knew she had mentioned something profound. Few dispute the power of being a great listener, yet even fewer make a concerted effort to be one. We get carried away in our own voices, giddy if you will.

Taking life stock when things go well, listening when you have a lot to say, they’re both tough, they both take thoughtful approaches full of sacrifice. When one listens, one can’t speak. When one takes life stock, one has to be removed from the very moment that is so wonderful to take in. It’s against our, you guessed it, human nature.

On rainy days like the one we have on our hands in Columbia this morning, I can’t help but think about these things. About being better at some of the most basic things, that can surely have a measurable positive effect on the lives of any who practice them. For the past few weeks I’ve tried to start each day with a reflective prayer, and look at what good is going on in my life. To be honest, I never get all the way done with listing all the great things going on, yet for many looking in, it’d be considered a difficult time for me. I can tell you that, because people ask how I’m doing a little more often these days, sometimes with moist eyes. Through introspection, and simply taking stock of the good in life, no matter the season of emotion in your heart, so many positives can arise. I don’t need to tell you about those, because I know after you’ve counted your blessings today they’ll become abundantly obvious.


I have not lost my mind, or my company. I know this blog has been for the most part about business for the past four years, but I’ve had the itch as of late to write about more personal stuff. I appreciate you reading it, and hopefully I’ll write something about business soon, as I’m still conducting it, and have new things on the horizon to share with you.

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