Then someone paid me a compliment, and it completely changed my perspective.
I was tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and hungover. The last thing I wanted to think about or talk about was my (potentially failed) blog. I had all but given up on the idea of the Blessed Bohemian being read by anyone – much less making an impact – but a few kind words turned
That’s the power of a compliment.
We are constantly presented with opportunities to give compliments, and we should give more of them. They take almost no effort. They don’t cost a thing. They are perhaps the simplest kindness that we can offer to anyone – even a complete stranger – and they really can make all the difference in the world.
I love you Mom, but I reject the idea that I am incapable of saying something nice. I think you raised me better than that.
Go compliment somebody. Then go compliment somebody else. Give compliments until you feel a little awkward about it, and then give a couple more.
Tell people how wonderful they are, how nice they look, and how great a job they’re doing. Make a habit of it. Do it all the time, no matter how crappy you think you feel.
You’ll feel better, and you might just make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Thanks for reading.
A great many of my contemporaries don’t seem to like the way things are. They complain about this. They complain about that. They are in a constant state of wanting things to change.
There is a pervading sense of hopelessness that seems to hinge on some other, greater power that has its finger on the button, and that but for this “power’s” selfishness and greed, everything would be better. They gather, the bearded masses, at major intersections across the land in order to make heard their complaints. They shout until they are carried off to jail (or until it’s obvious they’re being ignored). Bystanders on street corners and laptops across our nation complain in support of the complainers, saying “Yes! We believe in you! We complain of these things, too! It’s all so unfair!”
And what happens? Nothing.
We have gotten extrememly proficient at identifying what precisely is the matter with everyone else in this world. We blame the Democrats. We blame the Republicans. We blame the rich. We blame the poor. We blame the corporations. We blame the consumer. We blame the Devil. We blame God.
If we can carefully and honestly assess questions such as these, and have the courage to make choices based on our responses, the results are life-changing. This is of course far easier said than done, but that’s why I’m here – to make the case that we can all do it.
I have pushed as hard as I could in the opposite direction. It didn’t work out. We will never experience the kind of joy and contentment that we are capable of experiencing if we try to fit into roles that don’t match who we are, and the harder we try, the more painful it becomes.
Take my law practice, for instance. Easily the most miserable experience of my life, and a cautionary tale that I will share at some point in the near future. Suffice it to say I wanted to be an attorney for all the wrong reasons, and I tried like hell to be a good one. It very nearly killed me.
It turns out that I very much like being alive. For the past year I have been reading and thinking about these ideas, and the things I have read have fundamentally changed my perspective. I have concluded that it is time to make a change. A number of changes, actually. It is time for me to begin living in harmony with my values, talents and passions, and thereby begin living in harmony with the universe. This is what I am calling the Way of the Blessed Bohemian.
My wish is that The Blessed Bohemian will serve some very specific purposes. I want to share my journey toward contentment so that other people will see that there is a way to get there, and as a way of holding myself accountable for the changes I’ve committed to making. I want to provide a means for like-minded individuals to connect with me and one another, because I think that changing the world will be easier for all of us if we have a little help. Finally, I want to inspire and encourage others to live in harmony with their values, talents and passions.
I think we can all find our purpose. I think our lives can have more meaning. I believe we can cultivate freedom, and in the process, redefine prosperity. I believe that we can be happy.
Blessed: An adjective meaning blissfully happy, contented, or fortunate.
Bohemian: An adjective describing a person who lives free of regard for conventional rules or practices.
These terms will define the scope of our discussions here. The old way simply doesn’t work. This is the Way of the Blessed Bohemian. I am committing to defining the scope of my life by these same terms, and I hope you’ll join in the discussion.
And every last one of us – myself included – fails to blame ourselves. We are all just one person. Each and every one of us. And the only person we can change is ourselves.
Our complaints do and will continue to go unheard because those in power have no incentive to listen. We give them no compelling reason to change, because they know we are complacent. They have heard our compalints time and again, and watched as we waited for our moaning to bring about some change in them – and they laughed, knowing full well that, eventually, we would wander back to the gas station or McDonalds or Wal Mart. They smiled and nodded and heard us out and then patted us on the head and told us to get back in line. And we did.
The complaints that I hear fail to recognize one simple truth: The people that are in power are in power because we put them in power.