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Elegant Simplicity

 "How To Find PARADISE"
  By Scott Andrews, Founder
 
 
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How do we find PARADISE?

 

If we're trying to live a lifestyle of elegance and simplicity, we're likely going to seek out some place to be akin to PARADISE. While in Hawaii one summer, I decided I didn't want to leave.  Yes, I suppose we all decide that we'd like to stay on vacation.   The reason I said I did not want to leave, was because I had "found paradise." But, as the reservation came to a close, I did, indeed, board that plane home.   

 

And, guess what? The next day, I went for a drive up into the Santa Cruz mountains, and overlooked the Bay Area views. These were views available to me at the time every day, and by many people's accounts could also be called "paradise" just like where I live now is also paradise to many... 

 

So, the thought dawned on me, "Paradise is not a location, paradise is a state of mind!"

 

If paradise is a state of mind, then how do we keep paradise when we return home from vacation?

 
 

 

And, guess what? The next day, I went for a drive up into the Santa Cruz mountains, and overlooked the Bay Area views. These were views available to me at the time every day, and by many people's accounts could also be called "paradise" just like where I live now is also paradise to many... 

 

So, the thought dawned on me, "Paradise is not a location, paradise is a state of mind!"

 

If paradise is a state of mind, then how do we keep paradise when we return home from vacation?

 

Here are five tips I've discovered:

 

1.  Consider each moment, right where you are, paradise.

 

If we are doing what we love, then that moment is paradise. If we are with our friends and family who we love, then those moments are paradise. If we are in our vehicle we enjoy driving, or walking to a location where we can smell the flowers on the roadside, then those moments are paradise.

 

2.  Look up, look around.

 

Sometimes, our mood slips because we become so serious, and when we become serious we stop looking up and stop looking around. I learned a couple of years ago that when we look up and look around, it automatically shifts our mood, and we feel lighter and happier.

 

3.  SMILE!  ;-)

 

When we smile, we feel happier. I love the Nat King Cole song, "Smile".  If you don't own it, buy an album with the song on it and give it a listen -- "Smile" was Nat's wife's favorite song.  

 

Smiling is contagious. Ever notice how happy you feel when someone is smiling through their day?  I have one friend who laughs constantly. People always eavesdrop on her, thinking her life is SO interesting. Why? Because she's having FUN!  Fun people are more interesting. There's a lot about life we really don't control, so we might as well just smile and laugh about it!

 

4.  Paradise is a state of mind, heart, and soul.  

 

Stop... breathe, then take a look right under your nose. Yep, right there is paradise in the moment! Is your heart heavy? Get out and exercise, or do something to help you clear your head and think happier thoughts. One time, I was feeling down on a job.  All of a sudden, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I was being hard on myself. That maybe, I'm better than I was telling myself. I pulled out a sheet of paper, and started writing down all of the positive comments managers, co-workers, family and friends have ever said to me.  In this exercise, it is important to not write down anything negative - just the positives! I wrote down a whole page. By the time I was done, I said, "Wow!  I'd like to meet this guy!!"  It helped lift my own mood and elevate me.

 

5.  Appreciate the past to gain a glimpse into the future.

 

Some people only look at their past with regret - all their experiences are failures, hurts, and sorrows.  However, I've learned that if we "redefine" our past to view failures, hurts and sorrows as learning experiences, and replace these thoughts with positive viewpoints, we then have a past of passion, excitement, learning, and love. 

 

This is possible!  Why view our past in a way that continues to hurt us?  When we let go, forgive, and learn to love our own past, we free ourselves up to love again NOW, in this present moment.

 

6.  If you're finding trouble finding paradise where you are, leave for a while.

 

When I left for a vacation, I gained insights into the very environment I'd come from -- a place that had beauty and environment to relax and enjoy myself, not any further than 30 minutes from where I lived. It's likely the same for you. What's in your own backyard? 

 

Sure, it's easy to feel like you're in paradise when you're in Hawaii, but most often, PARADISE is right under our nose. We just have to look around and appreciate what's in front of us.  

 
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We welcome your comments and success stories about creating your own lifestyle of elegance and simplicity. Join our ASPIRATIONS BLOG to start sharing today.

 

Scott Andrews is a life coach, business consultant, and CEO/Founder of AspireNow (www.AspireNow.com), a site helping people realize their business and personal aspirations. He is a speaker and the author of numerous articles and workbooks on business success, life purpose, smooth sailing relationships, and creating abundant lifestyles. He launched the first interactive self-help program on the Net, called the AspireNow Advisor.

 

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