Before we begin

First, before we begin, a few words about this blog.

Not too long ago I was laid off. Don’t worry, the feeling was mutual. It was time to go. I volunteered and someone else got to keep their job – that simple. But it began a more complex journey.

Stepping out the door, on the last day, I took a breath… and that breath was great. An instant warmth and smile. The proverbial weight lifted. And coincidentally, without any change to routine, weight disappeared. The waist line was excited too. Body and mind happier.

We, my family and I, took some time off. Burned through savings. Drank too many daiquiris on the beach. Happy weight made an appearance. Sun tanned and warm. Things were great… but I couldn’t shake the feeling it was temporary. Burning through everything and running to the Caribbean? Certainly that’s a great Jimmy Buffet song but not sure it makes for a productive life.

Happiness was easy in that moment. Moments, like youth, pass. Trying to capture that time felt like folly. So how to become a better person? Grounded. Strong. Happy. Steadfast.

Things weren’t clicking. Maybe if I got a more engaging job? I don’t know, maybe I’d feel better? I was searching, and picked up a book that would normally be ignored: “How I Raised Myself Up from Failure to Success in Selling.”

The book has some good points but the best part was the introduction of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues – of which I had never heard. In the book, the author committed 1 year to follow Ben’s 13 virtues. Seemed easy enough. So I borrowed the idea.

It seems silly in retrospect, but I didn’t grasp what I was doing. Now it makes sense. It’s a commitment to re-build your life and base that new life on virtue. Friends who know me well may laugh. But chasing toys, money, jobs wrought nothing but anxiety, depression and separation. Why stay on that path?

This choice is another path. A choice to become more mindful. A commitment of one year, one week at a time, to build a better self and construct happiness within.