A story about life.

Kyrgyzstan: An unexpected accident with Life…

By Doug Smith

Life is not your heart beating or your lungs breathing, those are just physical norms we all experience and a necessity of life. Life is how we live our lives, attitudes we carry, choices we make, and the time we spend, those are what is precious.

I’m sitting here with cuts and bruises all over my face, black eyes, bruises all over my body, I can hardly breath, my right arm is in a sling because I just found out I tore my muscle/ligament and slightly fractured my shoulder, I have a brace around my back because I just found out I fractured my lumbar spine and the realization and understanding just fully flooded over me, that the next few months of my life are going to be very difficult. With all that said, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. … Keep Reading

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward … you can only connect them looking backwards”

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die … “Stay hungry, stay foolish”.

This is definitely worth the 15-minute investment of your time to watch this (even if you have seen it before). Enjoy.

I posted this speech this morning, and saw the following article on Elephant Journal tonight … Steve Jobs Final Words. wow.

Yes, this new “Happy Movement” is amazing, but let’s not underestimate the power of the occasional sh*tty day


Check out Yes, this new “Happy Movement” is amazing, but let’s not underestimate the power of the occasional sh*tty day on Elephant Journal, published November 10, 2011.

We strive for it, we all want to be it, we talk about it, and it seems to be everywhere these days. Happy.

It’s kind of like “happy” is the new “green”. Remember about five-ten years ago (I’m bad with time) when everywhere you looked there were signs/advertising/etc: “Go Green”, “We’re Green”, “Are you green?”, “Live Green”… green was everywhere for the first time … and it was cool to be green (which was great, because people actually started caring about the environment) … Now since returning back to the U.S. from India, I have noticed “green” has been replaced with “happy” (oh, and in some cases, replaced with “Gluten-Free”, but that’s another story for another time).  
For example, it seems like every commercial on t.v. is “Be Happy”, “Drive Happy”, “Live Happy”, “Eat Happy” … there are movies like “The Happy Movie”, “Happythankyoumoreplease” … and there are websites like “Choose Happiness”, “Positively Positive” and even my own “Happy Song of the Day” site … Holy God, happiness is getting exhausting. 

If you know me or read my blog, you know that yes, I would consider myself a very happy and positive person, (and consequently, I happen to love both The Happy Movie and Happythankyoumoreplease) partly because my Mom brought me up in an environment where the overall theme was “everything will always work out”, and also because I do yoga 4x a day ;) (kidding, only twice) … and yes, admittedly, over the last 5-6 months since I have returned home, I have been extra happy (at times, maybe even borderline annoying) because, well, let’s be honest, I love Delhi, but, Encinitas in contrast, is basically heaven.

Yes, living in a state of happiness is amazing (and it’s how it should be), however, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the occasional sh*tty day. Of course, when those bad days come, at least to me, I want it to end immediately (honestly, I don’t do sad very well). I go for a walk/run, do yoga, listen to music, whatever I can do to make that feeling go away as soon as possible. However, recently during a particular bad day, rather than running from it, I decided to sit in it, be in it, and in a weird way, enjoy it … and guess what, I actually did.

A reoccurring theme that keeps coming up in my life, is the realization that the happiest of moments (even the one’s filled with butterflies and rainbows – literally) don’t always lead where you think, and the worst moments can lead you to a place you never even knew existed … and regardless of what kind of moment you have, it always seems to make sense on the other side. That I do know.

So, as the world continues on with the “Happy Movement”, (which, don’t get me wrong, is amazing & I am totally on board) let’s just make sure that we are happy as a result of things that genuinely make us happy … and when we are sad, (hopefully, those days don’t come too often), we allow ourselves to be sad.

Yes, the happy days are what life’s about, but on the days where the butterflies and rainbows are nowhere to be found, good news is, you can guarantee there’s probably a good lesson in there somewhere, but the only way you can find it is if let yourself be in it.

guillemots / I don’t feel amazing now

What Mike Seaver from Growing Pains taught me about life

Check out What Mike Seaver from Growing Pains taught me about Life on Elephant Journal published November 2, 2011.

There are a few distinct moments in life that for some strange reason we remember. They can be super random, for instance, when I was about six years old the lady at the dentist’s office told me that if I don’t brush my back teeth, they will fall out. To this day that lady’s voice sometimes still pops in my head when I brush my teeth (and I have always brushed my back teeth since that day) … or more meaningful one’s like something a teacher once said or something that one of your parents said that you always think about (maybe even daily).  For some reason that moment stuck with you and instantly changed you in a very small or extremely meaningful way. Kind of cool when you think about the power of a moment.

I have another one that is so completely random … I remember watching an episode of Growing Pains when I was little (about nine years old) and Mike Seaver (a.k.a Kirk Cameron, who I had the biggest crush on, 2nd of course to Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons) had a realization that has always stuck with me.

If you have ever watched the show, you probably remember that he was pretty self-centered in the sense that his family/world revolved around him. Something we all can relate to and probably still experience quite frequently until someone kindly reminds us of the obvious “the world does not revolve around you”. “Oh yeah, thanks”.

In this particular episode Mike was sick or something and wasn’t able to watch television.  His realization went something like this … “Oh my God, I realized that even if I don’t watch t.v. the shows still keep playing, the episodes keep moving on”. Basically realizing (shocked actually) that whether or not he was actually experiencing it or involved in it, the world kept moving on with or without him.

As funny as this may sound, that was the day I realized the same thing. That the world and everything it has to offer is always there for me to experience … it’s always there for me to jump in and out of, add to it, or take from it, but it doesn’t revolve around me. Yes, that’s a lot for a nine-year old to take in, but I am happy that throughout my life on days when I felt like the world was caving in around me, or that everything is about me (good or bad) … it’s actually not. Then I laugh that this realization was born from a Growing Pains episode.

It just goes to show, there are so many random, meaningful, important, fun moments to be had (sometimes in places you would never expect) … our job is just to make sure we stay open to them.

Is there some random moment that instantly changed you? For example, my friend just told me about a time when she was about 10 years old and some New Yorker (she assumed via his accent) at a gas station in Pittsburgh yelled at her to stop biting her nails. That even though she had this habit for ten years, she instantly stopped at that moment … after she cried of course and vowed never to go to New York because people from New York are mean. Her hands and thoughts about New Yorkers were never the same.