These skills are also mentioned in our video course “Retire on Social Security“.
Meditate – Meditation is a greatly under-estimated tool for happiness and mental health. It’s about learning to control your thoughts. If you can control your thoughts you won’t be taken away by sad memories from the past or negative fantasies about the future. You can learn to be here now, in the present moment, as they say.
Whenever I bring myself back to the present moment there’s never anything to be afraid of or sad about. Sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed. Try to think only about what’s right in front of you. Don’t think about your shopping list, what a friend said to you earlier, or what you’re going to have for dinner.
If you do have random thoughts don’t beat yourself up, just bring your focus back to your body and the sound of your breath. The benefits of regular meditation are subtle, but will have a profound influence on your life. It’s one of those things you need to experience to understand. See more about Meditation.
Volunteer – Volunteering is a very spiritual endeavour because it’s not only good for you, it’s good for everyone around you. It increases self-esteem, and even helps you live longer. I learned a great deal about life by being of service to others. And the quality of my life improved significantly.
I’ve found most who volunteer are very good people, so it’s a great place to connect with people who might become good friends. If you have computer or internet skills it will be easy to find charities that appreciate your help. And if you’re careful, there are many elderly or isolated people who need your help.
The Government of Canada is looking for volunteers on this page of their website. Closing date April 24, 2020. Many different types of organizations need your help in whatever way you want to give.
Never Give Up – There’s an old saying that problems are afraid of determined people. I believe any problem can be solved, and any goal can be achieved if I am flexible and have enough time. If your life is not great now, just do the best you can and try to look at the positive side of things. Whatever you pay attention to gets stronger. You still know the negatives are there, you just don’t pay them as much attention.
In a few years your life will be very different. That may seem like a long time now, but if you keep moving and visualize enjoying your new life, it will pass quickly.
A Big Goal – I learned from one of my teachers it’s important to have a really grand long term goal. It helps you keep your life in perspective. Although this is a difficult time it won’t last forever. But your goal needs to be practical, not just a dream. And Ideally it’s not just for yourself, but something that will make the world a better place.
Your commitment to making that big goal happen will bring you knowledge and skills you wouldn’t have received without it. Your subconscious mind will be working to help you make your goal happen.
- Hope – Hope is a double-edged sword. In one sense of the word we can never lose hope. It’s a desire for the future to be better. We should always be optimistic about the future. However, if you use it like “I hope my life improves” it makes you weak and helpless. It’s the same as wishing. One of my business coaches used to say “Hope is not a strategy”.