Motivation for the Marketplace
 
Motivation for the Marketplace
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Happy New Year!?—It All Depends


    Whoever first sold the notion that "happiness" should be our primary goal and consideration in life did us no great favor. Citizens of the United States of America trace their quest for happiness, as well as their sense of entitlement to the same, all the way back to the sacred words of the Declaration of Independence. You remember, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Please note the subtle difference between happiness and its pursuit. Possibly Jefferson and the other signers knew happiness could never satisfy a person quite like the daily quest for it.

    Still, during this special week across the nation and around the world, people will begin and end conversations and correspondence with the encouraging phrase, "Happy New Year!" Given the disclaimer that happiness may not be the best choice of goals for the next twelve months, what can be done to make the new year happier or better for all of us? Consider these suggestions for a "better New Year."

  • Donít tailgate. I know, I know. Youíre in a hurry. Your daily agenda is crammed packed. Your life is very important. But, the same is true of the person in front of you. The space between your bumper and hers is not only about safety, it is about respect. Back off. Slow down. Breathe deeply. Pushing the limits of someone elseís personal space will not make your day better or happier.

  • Look for the wealth in everyone you meet or observe. Material standards of measurement mean far too much in this nation. Judging people by categories like checkbook balances, stock portfolios and brokerage reports sells people far short of their actual value. The child who attends an "underachieving" inner city school might be classified as "less fortunate" if you judge by material or environmental standards alone. But, evaluate the same child on the basis of his ability to share, to create joy or to take responsibility for a younger sibling; and you discover great ability and astonishing human capital. The principle works the same for everyone you meet: successful business person, beggar at a busy intersection or homemaker driving the neighborhood carpool. Everyone possesses unique human wealth. Look for it. Decide not to settle for the stereotypical quick glance.

    What can be done to make the new year happier or better for all of us?

  • Use your own human capital to demonstrate and to express love to others. Start at home. Work out from where you live. Your mate and your children deserve first portion. As you work at love, remember: love means action, not just sentiment. Allow love to flow from your life into your part of the world. Genuine spirituality always involves concrete acts of loving kindness. Draw your loved ones into the process of expressing love in a world of pain and isolation. Act decisively and selflessly for others. Give twice as much as you take. Resist racism, classism and every form of hatred.

  • Get in touch with your heart. Try to move out of your head when talking with those closest to you, as well as to enemies. I retreat to my mind and to my thoughts when I feel unsafe or threatened. Bad decision. My feelings often provide a better measure of reality than the defensive, self-justifying world of my mind. When I move out of my head and into my heart as I communicate with others, often I find that barriers fall quickly. What works with my wife, also turns out to be very effective with apparent adversaries. Admit your fear. Confess your anger. Acknowledge your passion. Own up to your love. Communicate your feelings. The world will be better.

  • Take a walk. Get outside. Jog. Make the serious commitment to begin working out on a regular basis. Walk five days a week in a local mall. Join a health club. Take an after-dinner stroll with someone you enjoy. Lift weights. Play pickup basketball at a Boys and Girls Club. Recognize and do not neglect the powerful connection between body and soul.

  • Meditate/pray. There is more to life than what you see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. As you move out into the beauty of the world, decide to move in as well to touch your own soul and the Soul behind and beyond the physical limits of this world. Youíll discover that your own sense of awe and wonder will grow.

    Find joy in your journey. And by the way, Happy New Year!

  
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
When Christmas Becomes Real Let the Christmas story touch you.
A Memorable Pair of Shoes A powerful reminder of our common humanity.
Thankfulness & Courage When Things Don’t Work Out We all fail. But we can learn, too…
Joint Venture in Opportunity Go beyond traditional “charity.”
We Need New “Saints” Welfare reform: where do we go from here?
Responsibility & Opportunity Welfare reform: where do we go from here?
Unsung Heroes People making a difference.
Rx for a Better Me The Doctor is IN.
Admitting a Hard, Persistent Reality Then let’s deal with it.
Welfare Reform, Families, Children and Business The problems won’t just go away.
The Burden and Distraction of "Stuff" Don't let "stuff" stop you from truly living.
Leadership and Team-Building How do you put it together & how do you make it run?
The Magic of Opportunity A wonderful win-win-win situation.
Needed: A Business Ethic That Values Community Saving money, but at what cost?
Life On Either Side of America’s Glass Walls Take a look around you.
Forgiveness as a Way Of (To) Life Yet another inspiration to forgive…
The Gratitude Ledger Add it up…how does it look?
How to Live Like a Saint A saint? Me?
The Joy of Giving, the Purpose of Work Christmas insights on the value of giving of yourself.
I’m Gonna Ask Santa for a Bike This Year Learn about CDM’s exciting Christmas programs.
Common Problems, Common Cause Even with our differences, we can work to find common ground.
It’s Time for Action…Together Let’s work together for solutions.
Power Lunch It’s amazing what can happen over a meal.
Strangers Caring for the Community Two very different men, one very important purpose.
Village or Family? What do we really need today?
Stable Homes and Champions What is the secret of Michael Johnson’s success?
He’s Still Somebody’s Child Value based living.
Friends Count Everyone needs a friend.
Making the Case for Being  “Unreasonable” The unreasonable can change the world.
Hate Must Be Overcome This senseless violence must end.
Making Progress in Confusing Times Let's find some solutions!
Kids are About the Same, but Something Else …no matter where they live
“Please, My Son Needs a Warm Coat” Meet Ruth…
Beyond Charity to Community-Building Get involved!
Seeking the Elusive Common Good Strength in diversity
The Power of Simple Kindness A little goes a long way
Hunger-Up-close and Childlike It just shouldn’t be like this
Esteem Building for Teams Pull your team together
The  “Blame Game” Personal responsibility
Purpose in a Washpot Small things matter
  

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HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1997, Larry James. Used by permission.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.