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The Kid Who Taught Me Something!

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I have been off the grid for a little while now doing research for a new book I’m working on.  It had required me to take a step back from a lot of outside influence and really spend a good bit of time in deep thought and reflection.  It has been a very rewarding time and it has allowed me to really gather insight and a deeper understanding of what I have learned over the years.  I find it funny how as soon as I plug back in and go online to do some research, I stumble upon a boy genius with an extraordinary story and an amazing IQ.  I have to say that my time away from all the outside influences made me extra receptive to what this young teenager had to say.  

In my quest for new information and some deep subject resources I stumble upon this young man named Jacob Barnett.  He was diagnosed at a very young age with moderate to severe autism.  The doctors said he would never be able to function on his own let alone even be able to tie his shoes.  Jacob however defied the doctors predictions and after being removed from the special education programs, he went off and learned on his own and today he is regarded as the hottest upcoming scientist of our generation with expectations of rivaling Einstein, all at the age of 15.  What a far different prediction then the ones saying he would not be able to tie his shoes.  

My story with Jacob came from a youtube video that I found.  Jacob was speaking on TED TV.  I had came across some articles about Jacob in my research but had never heard him speak.  I was intrigued to here what he had to say and how he communicated with an IQ reported at 170 or above.  My interest was even greater after reading several articles from skeptics who questioned his ability.  This made me more interested to see for myself.  I can tell you that after watching this short video of him speaking, I came away with an enormous amount of information that opened my eyes to an wonderful idea.  Jacob simply blew me away.  Perhaps it was the fact that I avoided external info as much as possible over the last couple months or perhaps because my brain just was clicking, whatever it was I GOT IT!  A fresh concept!  A very new approach and I owe it all to a 15 year old young man who was told he would never do a thing.  Here is what I learned from Jacob.  

Learn, Think, Create!  Jacob spoke about the exact thing that I was doing over the last few months and he actually explained the validity of it.  Jacob said his story required him to STOP LEARNING and START THINKING.  That was exactly what I was doing.  I had stopped learning and absorbing the outside influences.  Jacob told his own story of being removed from school and that allowed him to finally stop learning and start thinking.  

Let me explain this as simple as I can.  The message was to move from LEARNING which is just memorizing existing information and into the realm of THINKING and then finally to the place of NEW CREATION.  His message reminded me off a saying that I heard in my younger years, “Forget what you know and remember what you don’t.”  That was kind of Jacob’s message.  Forget all the programming that we have been uploaded with and start THINKING AND CREATING ON OUR OWN.  Steve Jobs was legendary for this and so have all those who come before and challenge the status quo.  It was radical at first to here but it made so much sense and to be honest it was also exactly what I was doing.  Jacob had to unplug to actually begin to thrive.

Let me close this article for now.  I will however leave you with a challenge I took from him and I will give to you.   Move from LEARNING to THINKING to CREATING.  Below is the process!

1. THINK about the field you are passionate about!    THEN…….

2. Instead of THINKING about the field. BE THE FIELD……… This allows you to finally begin to…

3. CREATE – Creation is something that the Wright Brothers did with the AIRPLANE and what Einstein did with MATH!

Go get to it!!lightbulb

Think and Grow Rich – by Napoleon Hill

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Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) - Blogging...

Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) – Blogging Bookshelf (Photo credit: The Booklight)

This was a most amazing book. Andrew Carnie, of steel manufacturing fame, charged Napoleon Hill with writing this book. It was written in 1937, took 28 years to complete the research, and was the summary (I guess that’s a good word) of the 500 most successful people of that time including greats like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, etc.

What an impressive book. I’m going to provide just a brief summary and I do encourage EVERYONE to read this.

Most of the book is directed to the state of mind. I truly have realized, during my journey in my quest for quality of life, that our mind is what imprisons us, what causes us to become a victim. It’s most important for us to exercise as much control over the chatter that enters as it can totally bring us down.

Another component of the book was about “nay-sayers” that told some of the greats of our Country that things were impossible, could never happen, etc. Believe it or not, “Doubting Thomases” even told Henry Ford he could never be successful producing the automobile! I have learned, over the past years of my quest, and had reinforced through Mr. Hill’s brilliant work, that “the mind could produce anything the mind could conceive and believe” (p. 285). This book has helped me see that. I know I’ve been held back believing in people who have told me “no” or that “it can’t be done” or “why would you bother”. Although I feel bad that I let this happen, I know you can’t go back (you know, the Eckhart Tolle Power of Now philosophy – there is no past, there is no future, there is only the present). So, we move forward.

What do you want in life? Feel it, believe it. Write it down. See it. Make it happen.

In Think and Grow Rich Mr. Hill reviews 13 principles which lead to success. I considered going through and summarizing each one, but, as stated in the preface, “this book contains the secret, which as been put to a practical test by thousands of people from almost every walk of life. [Andrew Carnegie] believed the formula should be taught in all schools and colleges, and expressed the opinion that if it were properly taught it would so revolutionize the entire educational system that the time spent in school could be reduced to less than half.” (p. vi)

He noted that the secret will appear in the book as you read it if you are ready for it.

Therefore, I chose to not divulge it. 

The book is an experience, one that I am pleased to have taken part. It created clarity and pulled together ideas and education I have been acquiring during these past two years in my quest for quality of life.

A final thought from the preface, written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 (p. xi): “All achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea! If you are ready for the secret, you already possess one half of it; therefore you will readily recognize the other half the moment it reaches your mind”.

Hmm. . . does that wet your appetite?

Happy reading!

Doreen

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Embrace the www.timetoplay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  Check out www.timetoplay.com to get tips and read articles from amazing professionals to help you have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life!

Happiness for Dummies: Hardiness (Chapter 6)

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The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

This book makes you think! The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do marvel that Happiness for Dummies is not a “dummies” book, that it does have valid content that makes you think!

Dr. Gentry described hardy personality in Chapter 6 of Happiness for Dummies– people who are resilient, who are survivors.  He noted that hardy people grow stronger, happier and more competent over their lifetime (p. 73).  Dr. Gentry described the 3 “C’s” – control, commitment and challenge which are traits of hardy people.

People with control are masters of their own destiny and take ownership.  They have commitment which helps them have a sense of purpose.  Interestingly, on page 77 of Happiness for Dummies, Dr. Gentry described how cultural changes have caused people to become disenfranchised.  Some months ago I started to realize that so many people have become isolated — maybe due to the internet, texting, etc.  He speaks of the need for people to reconnect, which is a goal I have for the timetoplay site.  Last is challenge — Dr. Gentry described this as how people look at stress.  He noted that conflict creates missed opportunity, and instead of people considering situations a challenge, stress promotes negativity which creates the downward spiral we’ve read about in past threads.  Instead we should all see stress as opportunity.

I did love this statement:  Anything worth doing is worth doing well (p. 78).  I recently went to a training seminar where they used “The way you do anything is the way you do everything”.  It’s a really visual, though provoking statement.  It should make you strive to achieve.  I know I’ve implemented this into my thought process and have noticed a marked difference in my day. Happiness for Dummies is a great read for anyone!

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Embrace the timetoplay philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to enjoy life.  It’s time to enjoy your life.  Be sure to check out timetoplay.com for resources for a better life.

Happiness for Dummies – W. Doyle Gentry, PhD

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed,...

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Resized, renamed, and cropped version of File:Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.svg. (Photo credit: Wikipe

It’s been a while since I posted in this blog, mostly because I didn’t want to supersede the last blog post, Learning:  the Key to Enjoying Life.  But, I started reading the book, “Happiness for Dummies”, and figured I’d post what I’ve gleaned.  I’ve also put this on the www.timetoplay.com forum if you want to participate in the book review / discussion there. . .

I figured this book would be kind of fun and light — it’s not. The author summed up the book’s intention in the introduction: “Happiness for Dummies tells you how to fight for, create, and live a long and happy life. It makes you the master of your own happy destiny!” The book appears to be educational and thought provoking. The author (based on what I have read so far) has provided examples of happy people and ways to identify, learn, experience, and change. By the way — he’s noted Type B personalities are happier than Type A. I’m a type A. I expect a lot from myself. Hmmmmm. Something to consider as we go through this book.

LEARN — here’s that concept again. I’ve decided the key to enjoying life is to learn. Don’t just sit there. Identify what you need and then learn. Find out all the information you need to change, and then implement it. In the introduction the author also included this sentence re: happiness and its pursuit: “You wait for it to find you instead of exercising your right to pursue it”. Let’s not wait. Let’s learn and implement.

OK — so, let’s start the Happiness for Dummies discussion.

This is CHAPTER 1: Anyone Can Be Happy — and it’s going to be long.

Beginning on page 12, Dr. Gentry reviewed findings on 4 people who professed to be happy. Their common attributes were a strong family and parents who loved them and taught them to be positive. They volunteer and give back to others. They SMILE an encourage others around them to smile back. They are POSITIVE thinkers (that was worth repeating). One interviewee said he looks for opportunities to be happy and that he has a motto “only you can make it happen!” (p. 13). He also goes to bed each night reflecting on the positive things he did that day and wakes up each morning thinking positive thoughts. We’ve heard about being grateful and feeling grateful and making lists like these before. . . maybe something to implement? These people all participated in religious services. One said his wife taught him to loosen up and enjoy life and see the glass half full instead of half empty. The author summarized that they all believe happiness is something you have to work at — it doesn’t just happen. So, that’s definitely important to consider — all hope’s not lost, right? Another points re: the commonalities of these people that Dr. Gentry interviewed — people believe happiness comes with age. He went on to review statistics on p. 15, where 28% of people 18 – 27 felt happy whereas 38% of people 68-77 felt happy. He noted that people who are older realize that life’s not perfect, they realize you have to accept it for what it is. I guess that means they don’t put as much pressure on themselves as people who are younger do. They’ve accepted things for what they are. . .

Dr. Gentry briefly introduced that married people are happier, something that will be embellished in chapter 16 and chapter 20 — so we’ll get to that shortly.

Dr. Gentry discussed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Something I remember studying in college. Now I wish I paid more attention! I’m going to interpret the hierarchy of needs to being a journey — 5 levels that Dr. Maslow identified — 1) meeting your basic survival needs; 2) safety — including financial (see? timetoplay.com philosophy is on the ball! if you don’t have money, at least to eat, you can’t enjoy life); 3) feeling loved and needed by others; 4) having self-esteem – liking yourself and feeling respected; and 5) feeling like you got “there”, that you’ve reached your full potential. Maybe people get stuck and #5. I know, since starting timetoplay.com, I’ve realized I had been stuck at #5, not feeling like I had made “it”, evaluating my situation and feeling like I still have to strive or prove something to myself. I know this feeling was based in my childhood. That’s a story for another time. Like Mr. Tolle, Dr. Gentry notes that you cannot look for happiness in power, status, wealth and success. That if this is how you’re trying to get to happiness you will end up being unhappy. I realize that now and have, through the learning journey of developing timetoplay, have been learning to enjoy life and live in the moment. It’s not been easy. It’s a process, right?

Dr. Gentry goes on to discuss how negative emotions narrow your thinking and cause frustration, how positive produces a “high”, feelings of excitement, and an increase of productivity. He discusses the importance to release positive endorphins through creative activity, exercise, fellowship with others, prayer, laughter (noted to be very effective for pain management and healing, too!), being surrounded by things of beauty and healthy sexual encounters (I know people are thinking about that last one).

This was a great tip — replacing negative emotions with positive emotions. It was noted that you cannot feel angry, upset or sad if you replace it with a positive feeling, that you can’t be angry and happy at the same time. DEFINITELY a good tip that all of us can easily try.

Blood pressure: Being angry or upset can increase blood pressure. We have heard that this can cause heart attack and stroke, too. Our minds can do terrible things to our body, causing depression and sickness — Dr. Gentry referenced a study by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson who wrote a thesis on how positive emotions can undo the effects of stress, how the simple use of touch or petting a pet can decrease blood pressure. Something to look into. . .

Dr. Gentry discussed being mindful and staying in the present moment. We did learn a lot from reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle — if you haven’t read the forum/discussion on that, it is available in the book club/review section. Over 2600 people have gone into that thread, and I hope it’s helped them. I realize it’s very hard to implement this all the time. The intention is to be aware of your feelings at each moment and to change things to stay positive, to focus on how you feel, to not worry, not wait for things to happen (to make them happen), to not dwell in the past or the future because all you really have is the present moment. There is no past and the future isn’t guaranteed. Pretty pensive, right? Again, I realize I forget to stay in the present. I have to be more mindful of this. And, regarding lingering in the present moment, Dr. Gentry discusses on p. 22/23 about Type A personalities always moving forward because we have too much to accomplish. Since starting TimetoPlay.com I’ve realized this has always been me. Not taking a few minutes to see the beauty around me, to appreciate what I have, what is happening, just being present. This is not something I know I can snap my fingers and make happen. It’s a constant realization that I have to be present to absorb, enjoy, reflect. I have been trying to be more aware. I was driving the other day and realized the beauty of the blue sky, I have been noticing the buds on the trees and the way the trees and plants are becoming ready to “pop” with splendor for the spring. I noticed how pretty my daughter’s hair looked the other day. The little things. The things we miss when we’re rushing around. Dr. Gentry suggested allowing time in your busy day for a few moments of happiness. This, as well, is the timetoplay.com philosophy. Even if you can only take 5 minutes for another cup of coffee to enjoy. . . something. . . and, although I forget EVERY day to do this, I’m definitely doing it more.

Last thing for chapter 1 — something to really consider — Dr. Gentry gave an example of a man who had an abusive childhood home with alcoholic parents. He had an underlying protective mechanism that he wasn’t able to be happy because if he started to be happy, his happiness could be taken away. This was because of his explosive childhood situation. In summary, sometimes past experiences might prevent you from letting yourself enjoy life. It’s something that, after a bit of self-reflection and realization, you might need to speak with a mental-health professional to work through. I realize I had been angry for 30 years — not on the surface, but, apparently it was there. Hence the reason I had to “make it”. I never did go to a psychologist, but it is something to consider. While based on Mr. Tolle’s book, we’re not supposed to dwell in the past, I do feel that it’s important to realize that, sometimes, it’s not easy to let things go, that we’re terribly hurt deep down. However, it’s not something that should hold us back. One of the goals for timetoplay is that, in the end, we should have no regrets. That we need to enjoy life. It stands to reason that, if you live in the past and dwell on that situation, regrets will be forefront in your life. So, this goes back to learning what we need and getting the resources to change.

So much for “Happiness for Dummies” being a light, fun book. This one’s definitely going to be work, too. You would never guess it from the title as it certainly minimizes things, but I think it will be time well spent.

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Embrace the www.timetoplay.com philosophy: you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It’s time to enjoy life!

Learning: The Key to Enjoying Life

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I think I’ve finally got it.  I think I’ve finally figured out how to enjoy life.  I had an “ah ha” moment (thank you Jim Ryan for the terminology of Ah ha moments).  I think the key to enjoying life is learning.

Here’s some of my thoughts on how learning can help you enjoy life.  I realize it’s kind of simple:

  • Learn what you need so you can enjoy life – there are so many resources out there.
  • Learn from past mistakes
  • Learn from life experiences:
      • Learn who you want to be friends with, who makes you happy, who makes your life better, who makes you feel badly about yourself and, therefore, who you should not “hang out” with
      • Learn what makes you happy
  • Learn what you can to make your life better
  • Learn what you need to make your life what you want it to be
  • Learn to be what you want to be in your career
  • Learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do
  • Learn to live in the “NOW” and to observe the little things that you’ve been missing because you’ve been too busy to notice
  • Learn a new skill and how to make money
  • Learn how to eat healthy
  • Learn how to communicate with your kids
  • Learn how to be a community again.

I’ve realized, as it pertains to myself, that stress is brought about by the pressure we put on ourselves in our daily lives.  And, when you look at society, I think this has a big part of why people are ill or depressed now-a-days.  How many of us can be described as “tormented” souls.

So, I’ve determined that, at least for me, learning is the key to enjoying life.  And, that’s the true reason I started www.timetoplay.com.  It was my way to learn how to enjoy life.  I’ve learned so much, so far, from the amazing professionals that are part of this people-helping-people project, and know I will continue to learn how to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance because of the amazing things they write.

And, I have learned from the books I have been reading that have been recommended to me as part of this project, books I would never have read.  Learning is the answer.

There is a solution to every problem, and, as Eckhart Tolle noted in his book, The Power of Now, problems are created by our mind.  So, I will continue to seek out what I need to “fix” the “problems” that I have created because I have not taken the time to learn a better way because of being too busy or too overwhelmed.  You know you get caught up in the momentum of the day to day.

Through all of these resources, I’ve learned that I can be more in control, and look forward to continue learning.

I had a “woo hoo” type of day.  A day that was so long in coming.  And, I know there will be more to come.

I invite you to learn with me and join my journey of discovery to enjoy life.  It’s Time to Play.

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Embrace the www.TimetoPlay.com philosophy — you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It’s time to enjoy life.  Visit www.timetoplay.com to find resources for a better life.

P.S. — Totally check out the TimetoPlay.com discussion forum.  I’ve been working really hard to develop a discussion forum to include things we need to enjoy life.  It’s not a Facebook!  It’s a place to go and get what you need and then go out and do it!

The Power of Now — a journey to discovery

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Don’t know if you have had the time to join in / read the book discussion re: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, but I’m up to page 65.  Here’s what I’m thinking about so far. . .

There are a lot of thought provoking statements in the pages I’ve read.  And, I start to wonder about how I do think and the “chatter” which has brought me so many good ideas and breakthroughs.  So where do you draw the line of what is good or bad chatter?  How do you turn it on or off as needed? Hopefully as I read more I’ll learn more I’ll figure this out.

Here’s an amazing, thought provoking paragraph (page 46-47):  “As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled.  Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things.  It needs to be both defended and fed constantly.  The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious and other collective identifications. None of these is you . . . The ego’s needs are endless.  It feels vulnerable and threatened and so lives in a state of fear and want”.

Wow.  I totally saw myself in this.  Did you?  The pursuit of career, completing my masters, my job.  These things defined me, pushed me.  If I had a good day at work, I was in a good mood.  Bad day?  Bad mood.  HOWEVER, at what point do you need motivation to pursue a “life”, and at what point are you kind of a hump of flesh (very visual, huh?) sitting on a couch?  BUT, the state of fear and want sentence makes you think, too.  Is this pursuit what’s causing us so much stress?  What do we really need or want?  Is that what we need to evaluate to have a good quality of life?  At what point do we not strive?  I’m still reading, so, hopefully this will be answered.

The author continued to talk about the past, the future vs. the now.  The life situations we are dealing with, not the LIFE.  I’ll leave you with this:  (page 63) “Your life situation exists in time.  Your life is now.  Your life situation is mind-stuff.  Your life is real”.  The author notes that we need to realize that there are no problems, only situations to be dealt with now, or to be left alone and accepted as part of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with, and that problems are mind-made and need time to survive.

Hmmmm —

Book Discussion continues:  Go to Book Discussion

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Embrace the TimetoPlay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It is time to enjoy life.  Check out the resources on www.timetoplay.com to have a better life.

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

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I started reading The Power of Now yesterday.  I’m only up to page 14, and have seen some promise in this book as part of my journey of discovery.  Bare with me — I have to ramble on a bit to explain things, and I’ll get back to the reason I’m referencing this book in a few moments.  Trust me.

I have to start from the beginning a little so you can see where I’m headed with this.   In 2010 Doreen (by the way, this is about me — just figured I’d tell the story about myself in this manner to make it a little more interesting) was turning 45 years old.  She started to reevaluate her life, and, through situations and circumstance, started www.timetoplay.com, her quest for quality of life.  Don’t get me wrong, Doreen has a great life.  A wonderful, devoted husband, 3 lovely children and a house.  She knows she has more than many, but there was a hole.  Having worked in healthcare for over 24 years, Doreen has seen sick and sad and people with regrets.  If you read the about us on the timetoplay site you will see that she noted that she’s always been searching, never seeing the beauty, joy, etc. around her — she’s always been just too busy.  And, at this point, she realizes she’s created this “busy-ness” as her reality.

We know that so many things get in the way of enjoying life — something I’m sure a majority of the people feel day-to-day.  We just try to get through the day, right?  Getting up, getting everyone out of the house, getting to work, being exhausted, heading home, making/having dinner, falling into bed REALLY exhausted, and starting over the next day.  Days become weeks, the year flys by. . . you know what I’m talking about.  Doreen realized she missed out on the little things, the beautiful sunny day, the smile, the bird chirping.  So, here comes the idea for timetoplay.com.  She has this brainstorm, “If I feel this way, how many other people are in the same rut?”

So, to the present — I (with a lot of help from Leta) built timetoplay.com to help myself learn how to enjoy life, and I figured I’d take a million people along with me.  The timetoplay philosophy is you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  All these areas are so important, HOWEVER, you can’t just identify / realize that you have a problem or obstacle, but you have to learn things you can do and easily implement so you can fix the problem or obstacle and . . . bottom line. . . ENJOY LIFE!  After all, we’re all here for a short time. And so many of us seem to be tortured now a days — society’s gotten so many people down. No job, no money, struggling to make ends meet. WHO HAS THE TIME TO ENJOY LIFE? We have to make this a priority. We deserve to enjoy life. Think about it. We do.

I’ve built an amazing team of professionals from whom I’ve already learned so much, and I encourage you to check out the resources on timetoplay.com so you can, as I intend to, have a better life and to enjoy life.

Back to The Power of Now:  I’ve only just started reading this book.  On page 12, the paragraph reads: “. . .The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and from the world around you.  You then perceive yourself, consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment.  Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm”.  This paragraph is regarding enlightenment.  The author is speaking about a disconnect we may feel with our God, spirituality, or our being.  BUT, I also believe it is a disconnect between each other.  So many of us feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Again, re: job, financial security or bills, taking care of the family, etc.  Even if that’s not it, maybe we feel alone.  So many of us are so isolated today.  This brings us to the discussion of prescription drugs and how people are using them as a crutch or band-aid.  I have talked about band-aids before in blogs or things I’ve written.  We don’t look for the root cause, which is one of the goals for timetoplay.com.  Now we go to a doctor and say we feel this way or that way and they write a prescription.  Is is the doctor’s fault a person is addicted to a medication (see article I had referenced, Antidepressants used by 11 percent of Americans: http://timetoplay.com/blog/?p=204).

No, it’s not all the doctors, but US, looking for a way to escape a reality we can’t handle.  A reality society has created and we have created, ourselves.  If people were happy and enjoying life, I really don’t think they would be taking the medications to try to cope.  Other coping mechanisms people use to escape or pacify themselves are eating, alcohol, sex, exercise, smoking, anything in excess.  Anything they can use to try to regain control.

So, join me in my quest.  Here’s the place to join in on the discussion forum under book club and book reviewshttp://timetoplay.com/forum/showthread.php/63-THE-POWER-OF-NOW-by-Eckhart-Tolle?p=103#post103

Are you reading something that can help someone in their journey, as well?  Please post.  That’s the ultimate goal of timetoplay.com.  We all have something we can offer each other to help each other have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life.

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Embrace the timetoplay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life.