I know! Who would possibly think you could fix all of the world’s problems in one article? Well, I’m not so naive as to believe that you can improve the world with the following seven ideas, but I’ll guarantee you, these seven would radically make our world a better place to live in.
Seven ways to FIX THE WORLD.
- SLOW DOWN. Seriously, slow your life down and get off the hamster wheel. Constant hurry robs you of your peace and happiness. Always running creates health and emotional sink holes in our lives. Science and faith agree on this. Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveal how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity. The Scriptues remind us of our need to “be still.” I find myself, and many of my circle of friends are addicts. Addicted to productivity to the degree that productivity hacks become our life’s theology. That’s a dangerous slope to live on.
- DON’T BE A BUTTHEAD. I’m passionate about this one. If every morning we chose to not be a butt with each other, life would be so much better. Here are a few thoughts that might apply to you.
– Don’t Be a Butthead to “That Annoying Person in Your Life” – I think of dealing with annoying people like managing a dam on a river. Every annoying thing they do is water flowing into the reservoir. You can manage that by letting water pass over the dam, or you can let it build until the dam breaks. The dam breaking is you being a jerk and screaming, “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR DIET! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY?!”
– Don’t Be a Butthead to a Butthead. When presented with butthead behavior, just take a deep breath and put yourself in their shoes. Your responding in kind just escalates whatever negative stuff that’s in the air. If you can help it, do so.
-Don’t Be a Butthead Because You’re Having a Bad Day. We all have bad days. Maybe your child is sick, a project is late, or a supplier sent parts that were all damaged in transit. Stuff happens to all of us, but not everyone responds by being a butthead. If the bad thing is your fault, own it, and move on. The worst your employer can do is fire you, and I’d rather be fired for messing up (as we all do from time to time) than for being a butthead. The people around you will see that you handled this setback with grace, and it will be remembered. If you handle stress by being a butthead, that will also be remembered.
- TURN OFF YOUR DEVICES. Imagine a day without answering every text like your life depends on it. Or stopping at a traffic light without checking your email. How about this – can you imagine talking with your family rather than comparing your likes and follows with everyone else?
-Your brain will work better. By now most of you have heard of the many scientific studies that show the brain can’t actually multitask. What feels like multitasking to us is actually the brain switching rapidly among tasks. It feels good, and provides plenty of stimulation–something the brain tends to like. But it makes us the opposite of productive.
-You’ll get better at solving problems. The biggest concern with constant connectedness is that people stop thinking. It’s very hard to think when you’re constantly interrupted, or distracted.
- FIND YOUR SACRED SILENCE. Two ideas with this one: 1) Every day, we all need to have a few minutes to meditate prayerfully, and 2) We could all talk less and make less noise. What a wonderful world it would be if we had less noise in our lives?
–Silence offers opportunities for self-reflection and daydreaming, which activates multiple parts of the brain. It gives us time to turn down the inner noise and increase awareness of what matters most. And it cultivates mindfulness — recognition and appreciation of the present moment.
– Silence also has physical benefits. “When we’re frazzled, our fight-or-flight response is on overload causing a host of problems,” says Dr. Sullivan. “We can use calm, quiet moments to tap into a different part of the nervous system that helps shut down our bodies’ physical response to stress.”
– That means, being still and silent can help you: Lower your blood pressure Decrease your heart rate Steady your breathing. Reduce muscle tension. Increase focus and cognition.
- LEARN THE POWER OF GRATITUDE. We humans are naturally selfish, greedy, and ungrateful. If we were to experience widespread gratitude, we would become aware that when you are grateful, what you have is more than enough.
– “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” – Harvard University
- EXERCISE MINIMALISM. When we become grateful, we exercise minimalism. Minimalism is the art, and appreciation of less is more. We stop buying what we do not need, and we stop comparing what we have to everyone else.
-Minimalism isn’t just a concept that helps us reorganize our homes and lives in a more effective and aesthetically pleasing manner. In fact, minimalism can be a helpful way to combat mental illness of all degrees of severity, from anxiety to schizophrenia and back.
- PRIORITIZE JESUS. I know this to be true. When we get Jesus in the proper priority within our life, we will get every other issue right. Notice that I didn’t say, get your going to church life, right? I didn’t say, look more christianly, or talk more like a church person. It’s this simple – properly prioritize Jesus and watch how all the world’s pettiness and angst are replaced with peace, contentment, and gracious living.
– When asked what was the most important commandment, Jesus dropped the mic, when He said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
I never said it would be easy, but it is simple.
Seven personal steps to better the world – immediately!