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Life balance is a quest for all of us.   How do you find balance in your life when you are juggling so many things?  If you do too much of one thing and too little of another are you going to feel out of whack?  Perhaps not-because everything overlaps to some degree.  Achieving balance in life is a lifelong process.  How do you know your life is in balance?

Having a balanced life means that you have things that fulfill you in key areas:

  • Relationships
  • Love
  • Money
  • Work
  • Helping Others
  • Spiritual Fulfillment
  • Learning
  • Fun and Enjoyment
  • Health

Every one of these areas is important – focusing on one to the exclusion of all others can be life-threatening – living an imbalanced life can be harmful to your mental and physical health.  Life is messy, it cannot be compartmentalized.  Every aspect of your life is interconnected, it is how you put it all together that makes the difference.

There is no quick and easy recipe for living a balanced life but taking a look at where you are now, where you want to be and how you can get there is not as hard as it may sound.  One of the first things you need to do is decide what areas you are devoting most of your time to and what areas you have no time at all for, keeping in mind that every area overlaps.

Having a job you love provides fun and enjoyment, you learn new things, you develop relationships with others, perhaps you help others, and you are making money.  But the job cannot be the be all and end all.  Being in love with someone can be all-consuming and wonderful as well but relying on that love to fulfil your every need is a sure recipe for disappointment.  You have to make time for the people in your life, for doing things you love,  for your emotional, spiritual, and physical health, for focusing on you and growing as a person.

Questions to ask yourself to see if your life is in balance.

  1.  Are you generally happy?
  2. Do you like your job?
  3. Are you having fun in your life?
  4. Are you in good health?
  5. Are your relationships with others good?
  6. Do you love other people and feel loved back?
  7. Do you help others in some way?
  8. Are you happy with your level of knowledge?
  9. Do you feel at peace with yourself?
  10. Do you have enough money to live comfortably?

If you answered yes to all of these questions your life is remarkably balanced.  Congratulations!

Unfortunately, time is limited in life and it is easy to forget to do the things that can make you feel better on a daily or long-term basis.  If you feel like you are in a rut, if you are always tired or hate your job, your life is not in balance.

There are only so many hours in a day (last count was 24).  On the average workday, once you have worked eight hours, slept eight hours, and showered and shaved, you have approximately six hours left in the day to eat, exercise, spend time with your loved ones, get together with friends, pursue your hobbies, read a book, watch TV, whatever it is that you do in your free time.  How do you make the most of your time?  What do you do with your five or six free hours?

7 Steps to Achieving Life Balance

1.     Make sure you have a job you enjoy – if you hate your job you are going to be miserable in other areas of your life as well.  Make the most of the job you have –  if you absolutely hate your job, start planning on how you are going to get a new one.  You are spending at least 25% of your time working so you need to figure out a way to enjoy it even if it isn’t your dream job.

2.    Schedule time to be with family and friends at meals – without the television on!!  Eating together or preparing meals together is a great way to connect and share.

3.    Get into a fitness routine of some sort – even if it is going for a half-hour walk each day – as my mother used to say, “Get outside and blow some of the stink off.”  You can combine exercise and social activities – play sports or work out with friends or you can use the time to clear your mind or get back in touch with yourself.

4.    Schedule “date nights” or days out with your family, friends, significant other.  If you don’t take the time to schedule it, you are almost guaranteed to find something else to take up your time.

5.    Take time to meditate or pray, whatever brings you into better touch with your inner self or your faith-you can combine this with walking to kill two birds with one stone.

6.    Plan at least a few hours a week to pursue your favourite hobby or interest.  Take advantage of your creativity, explore it, rediscover the things you love, play!

7.    Combine, mix and match your activities to get the most out of every hour.

Life balance is one of the keys to happiness and success – it’s not a science, it’s an art and only you know what your goals are and the mix that will work for you.  Manage your time well and give yourself permission to make the most of every minute.

Think about developing a personal growth map (coming soon)  that will help provide you with the balanced life you want and help you achieve the goals and objectives you want to achieve.

I started my SEE BE DO adventure several years ago, first with the simple idea of SEEBEDO or see it , be it, do it. As part of the project I created an ongoing list of sees and bes and dos as guidelines for how to live a better life. The list could probably go on and on but I stopped at about sixty because that’s two months worth of seeing, being and doing if you only calculate one a day. The principles of SEEBEDO can be applied to every part of your life. I try to apply all of them to mine, but life has a tendency to get in the way so I keep the list posted and pick out one or two things each day to focus on. It works for me. I hope maybe some of these ideas might touch you as well.

Seek love.
Seek knowledge.
Seek truth.
Seek peace.
Seek joy.
See yourself and love yourself for you you are.
See that you are special and that you have unique gifts and talents.
See who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.
See all the things you have to be grateful for, small and large.
See how what you say and do affects yourself and others.
See the beauty and good in yourself and others.
See others with compassion and without judgement.
See how you can enrich your own life and the lives of others.
See your dreams and goals clearly and set the path to realize them.
See that you alone are responsible for who you are and what you do, you are the captain of your fate.
See all you can be.
Be positive.
Be mindful.
Be thoughtful.
Be aware.
Be grateful.
Be helpful and giving.
Be forgiving.
Be strong.
Be bold.
Be brave.
Be a leader.
Be happy for the success of others as well as your own.
Be committed to yourself.
Be true to yourself, your values, and dreams.
Be strong in your beliefs.
Be at peace with yourself and others.
Be self-disciplined.
Be consistent.
Be enthusiastic.
Believe in yourself and help others believe in themselves.
Believe in your dreams.
Believe that the universe is on your side.
Believe that you have the right to happiness, success, and wealth
Believe that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve in your life.
Do what you want to do with your life.
Do lead your life on purpose.
Do take responsibility for yourself.
Do celebrate life.
Do not give into worry and fear.
Do set goals.
Do take action to achieve your goals.
Do take risks.
Do develop and nurture good relationships.
Do work hard to achieve your goals and realize your dreams.
Do get the training and education you need to do what you want to do.
Do things for others.
Do things you enjoy.
Do what it takes to stay healthy and strong.
Do something nice for someone else each day.
Do something nice for yourself each day.
Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Do not be afraid to fail.
Do not let the past dictate your future.
Do not give up.

See the best, be the best, do the best in all you do.
See it! Be it! Do it!
Make a commitment, here and now.


Choices – we must all make countless choices each day from the time we get out of bed to the food we eat to what we will do with our lives. Making choices is not so difficult with the basics. You know what you like to eat and do on a daily basis – easy. Or is it? Personally, I find making choices for the bigger things in life sometimes much easier than some of the smaller things. I know what I want to do with my life and what my life goals are – in the bigger picture, I make my choices based on the goals I want to achieve. It is when I start thinking about whether or not to go to an event, whether or not to accept a date, whether I should eat ice cream or frozen yogurt. Those decisions seem to take an inordinate amount of time. …

I happened to be logging in to a site and the captcha was “unold” – not a word, right? But it made me laugh, I got to thinking about ways to “unold” myself. I am not even going to research this one as I have plenty of ideas about how to feel younger, look younger, and essentially, not get caught in the trap of “I am too old for that”. You can “unold” yourself, I have. There are a few things to remember – you are only as old as you feel, youth is wasted on the young, and wrinkles are not wrinkles, they are experience lines. …

I often feel the need to get away, and watching short videos sometimes is just the cure I need for writers block or the doldrums. When faced with a problem that I can’t solve, I need to take a step back, regroup, destress, and relax a bit.  Under deadline, it is not possible to take long breaks or often even leave the office, so I have found new ways to de-stress and relax, put myself in another place for a few minutes.  Videos are a great way to do this, I have a few favorites for relaxation that give me just the little break I need to recharge and get going again. In under five minutes, you can escape into another world with these videos. 

A five minute break is not much, but it will feel like a lot more if you truly enjoy it. These short videos will give you a lovely mini break, and may just help you get that extra bit of umph you need to go on working.  Take a five minute vacation in Hawaii, journey to Havasu, swim with the dolphins, get back to nature with a simple click on your computer screen.

Swim with the dolphins for a few minutes.

There is often nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of an aquarium, here is your private 3D aquarium and just over four minutes of watching tropical fish. A Fish Lover’s Mini-Paradise Beautiful piano music, a wonderful scene, this video will transport you and make you smile. 

Uplifting, motivating, beautiful and joyful–five minutes in the woods. A great five minutes for bird lovers, listen to their songs and learn a bit about the birds that are singing them through the photos and descriptions, a very nice way to enjoy a few minutes in nature, so to speak.

For all you early birds! Take a short trip to Havasu and sit by one of the Havasupai waterfalls, accompanied by some introspective music, and the fantasy of a day in the canyons of Arizona.

If you prefer something more isoteric or want to take a short nap, try this geometric shapes meditation video.

Always a classic, listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine” on pan flute and enjoy some lovely nature scenes, it always works to inspire me.

Sometimes a five minute break is all you need to bring you a bit of peace to get you through the rest of the day.  Relax, enjoy, and let us know if you have any favorite videos or music to share for relaxation and rejuvenation.

I am of mixed minds about social media. I love it – I depend on it – I communicate through it. I hate it when it takes people away from me but love it when it brings people closer. I hate it when someone is more engrossed in their phone than the people in the room.  I got hooked on the power of online information before there was an Internet and the Worldwide Web opened hundreds of doors for me.  As a child, the library was my refuge.  Today, the Internet brings a world of information to us with the touch of a few keys.  But how does it affect our lives and our relationships?  Different people have different views. …

Words have power – what you say, how you say it, makes a difference. Words can heal or hurt, they can inspire or discourage. Using the right words is an art. Think of words that have motivated you, things people have said that have spurred you to action or brought goosebumps to your arms. …

Often we think of solitude in conjunction with loneliness and sometimes it is true.  Too much time alone can indeed lead to a feeling of loneliness.  But there is beauty in solitude, being alone can be beautiful. You can enjoy your solitude. Time alone can give you time to refresh and recharge your body and brain.  A long bath, time with a good book, time to write in your journal, to make your plans and to daydream are all things that you can benefit from.

Benefits of Solitude and Being Alone

I have traveled all over the world, generally alone, and while often it would have been lovely to share my experiences with someone else, I learned there are a lot of benefits to doing things alone:

  • You can do things on your own timeline. You can take things at your own pace, spend as much time or as little time as you like in a museum, sightseeing, or in any activity.
  • You don’t have to pretend you are interested in things you aren’t interested in.
  • You can go exactly where you want to go and do what you want to do. There is no need to discuss all the options with another person, or God forbid, several other people.
  • You can take time to really observe and absorb the world around you, experience the moments as they occur, stop to watch a street performer for as long as you like without being dragged away before you are ready to go.
  • You can meet new people, engage in conversation with people you might not otherwise talk to or meet when you are not within the safe bubble of having someone with you.
  • You can write your thoughts or perhaps a bit of poetry, take photographs, listen to music on your IPod, stroll slowly, walk briskly, or run.

After years of thinking that my love of solitude was a flaw in my nature, I realized that it solitude is a gift and my time alone is precious to me. It is only in solitude that you can really get in touch with your emotions, get to know yourself better and spend time in reflection.

Solitude increases productivity and creativity

If your life is in turmoil because of work or relationships,  alone time provides the opportunity to think things through, to get a new perspective, to calm down, and to resolve issues. When you have time alone, you can stop procrastinating, stop putting off projects and tasks that you would like to or need to get done.  You can put your energies into pursuing projects that are dear to you or getting things done you keep putting off.

There is no doubt that generally you can be more productive alone.  There are fewer distractions. You can explore your creativity.  You are not constrained by having to deal with other peoples’ desires or ideas – you can do it your way. Doing things your way when you are alone has the added benefit of making you feel more independent and self-assured when you are with others.

Alone time can enhance your relationships

Once you enjoy your time alone you will also enjoy and appreciate your relationships more.  In some respects, it is all part and parcel of loving yourself.  If you can enjoy your time alone, you automatically become a more interesting person.  You can appreciate your relationships for what they are and strengthen your relationships because you have spent time alone. The independence that comes with feeling comfortable alone contributes to a higher sense of self and a higher level of confidence.  You don’t require validation from someone else when you are alone nor do you need to apologize for doing what you want to do.  You can see, be, and do whatever you want.

I am not saying that being alone all the time is the answer.  I am not advocating becoming a monk or a hermit.  We all need people in our lives and relationships are something to nurture and be grateful for.  But being comfortable with being alone can make your life richer and happier.  Once you find the pleasures in being alone, a whole new world will open to you and you will discover new ways of seeing and doing things.

Find peace and joy in hours of solitude

When you are alone you can be mindful, be in the moment, in ways you cannot when you are with others. Be grateful for the quiet hours for in the hectic world around us moments of peace are sometimes few and far between.  We are bombarded with stimuli, we over commit to things, we get so busy with the hundreds of little things life throws at us that we lose touch with ourselves.

You may not want to go as far as Henry David Thoreau who said, “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”.  Instead, you might want to keep in mind what Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

Solitude is a gift.  Treasure it and your love for yourself, your life and others will flourish in unexpected and wonderful ways.

Neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s brain scans show that yoga and meditation actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving  memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress.

In the documentary, The Connection, Sara Lazar reports the following findings:

 We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions:

1. The primary difference, we found in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind wandering, and self relevance.

2. The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation.

3.  The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion.

4. An area of the brain stem called the Pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced. The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general. That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program. The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress levels.

I have been saying “See Be Do!” since 2010, when I first started on one of my many journeys to finding happiness. There are a lot of ways you can implement see be do into your life buy I created this short list to summarize it. I have since stumbled on many different ways to implement the principles of See Be Do into life, but it all comes back to the basics as does everything in life.

12 Steps to Achieving Your Vision and Attaining Success

  1. See health, prosperity and happiness in all and communicate positively.
  2. See how special you are and that you have unique gifts to give the world.
  3. Be happy for the success of others as well as your own.
  4. Be positive and optimistic always in word and deed.
  5. Be strong in your beliefs so that nothing disturbs your peace of mind.
  6. Believe in yourself and help your friends and colleagues believe in themselves.
  7. Believe that the universe is on your side.
  8. Believe that you have the right to happiness, success, and wealth, that it is your God-given right to achieve whatever you want to achieve in your life.
  9. Do all you can to improve yourself, to celebrate life and to enjoy the journey with your vision always in mind.
  10. Do forgive and forget past mistakes and see a future that is full of promise and achievement.
  11. Do not give into worry and fear.
  12. See the best, be the best, do the best in all you do.


The 13th Step and perhaps the most important step is to make a commitment, no “maybes” or “ laters”, no half-measures. As with everything in life, to really see results  you first have to commit, say yes, and …you guessed it.   See it, be it, do it!  SEEBEDO!

Bad habits can be hard to break simply because they are what they are – habits.  I want to break all my bad habits so did some research and found a sure way to break bad habits fast.  Using these steps to stop bad habits, I quit smoking in just two weeks. These steps to stop bad habits actually work. We have all tried to quit whatever bad habits we have, whether it is nail biting, drinking, smoking, overeating, watching too much television, taking drugs, overdoing anything, procrastinating.

Naturally, some habits are tiny and may be inconsequential to others while other habits turn into serious addictions that can result in illness and death.  Your bad habits may not be as bad as mine or vice versa, but if a habit is bad, it is worth getting rid of.  I have used these five steps to stop several bad habits from smoking to procrastination.  They worked for me and I am a highly addictive person, so it is likely they can work for you too.

Friendship is one of the treasures in life.  We all need friends.  We need someone we can talk to, share things with, go places with, cry and laugh with. We all need a best friend, a circle of friends, we are all “people who need people” as the song says.  Some of us are blessed with a lot of friends and some with very few.  It is not the quantity that counts, it is the quality.

Good friends are born from common interests, common values, and a commitment to one another.  A history together makes a big difference but it can often dry up, you have that original burst of enthusiasm when you reconnect, and then realize that what you had before is gone.  On the other hand,  you might find that the roots of those old friendships go deeper than you thought.

True friends are committed to your happiness and success as you are to theirs.  They will tell you the truth even if you do not like it and will not ask you to place your friendship before your principles.  Friends should be a good influence, encouraging you to live up to your full potential. Relationships are an important factor in happiness and friends play a major role in personal happiness.  Aristotle said there are three types of friendships:

  • Utility friendships where each person benefits in some way from the other
  • Pleasure friendships, based on personalities, fun, and common interests
  • Virtuous or Goodness friendships based on admiration, shared values, and striving together for the greater good

Not surprisingly, virtue-based friendships last the longest and bring the most happiness to those in the relationship.  If you want to find happiness, find friends that share your values, who support you, and make you feel good. There are some key elements to maintaining friendships that are good to remember:

  1. Don’t take your friends for granted. Be grateful for them and let them know how much you appreciate them.
  2. Don’t judge, don’t criticize unless you can provide positive criticism, and don’t talk about your friends behind their backs.
  3. Revel in your friends’ successes and support them when they are struggling.
  4. Don’t let small disagreements fester. Don’t be petty.  Be compassionate and forgiving.
  5. Be there when your friends need you.
  6. Don’t make it all about you. Friendship is a mutual affair, make sure there is a nice balance of give and take in the relationship.
  7. Be your own best friend, never take advantage of a friendship or let your friends take advantage of you.
  8. Keep in touch regardless of distances that may separate you.
  9. Respect your friends’ confidences and beliefs.
  10. Be your own best friend.

I cannot stress the importance of being your own best friend first – if you love yourself and are your own best friend, you will be a much better friend to others.  If you want to deepen you friendships and develop new ones, focus on your own personality traits and what you can give to the relationship.  Friendships take work and require that you be:

  1. Accepting
  2. Compassionate
  3. Dependable
  4. Empathetic
  5. Good Listener
  6. Honest
  7. Loving
  8. Loyal
  9. Non-Judgemental
  10. Open
  11. Perceptive
  12. Positive
  13. Respectful
  14. Self-Confident
  15. Supportive
  16. Trustworthy

There is no doubt that friendships are a blessing and also no doubt that they do require work.  They need to be nurtured and appreciated.  No man is an island and good friendships are an integral and beautiful part of the fabric of our lives.  Cherish your friendships and be open to new ones.  The more you live in a state of love for yourself and others, the happier you will be.

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“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali

Being a perfectionist is a curse. It doesn’t do you any good. I promise.And I should know. Being a perfectionist has been the reason for my successes and my failures, but I think if I were to tally them up, perfectionism has led to more failures than successes. The bad news is perfectionism may be genetic, an article in the Wall Street Journal, Inside the Minds of the Perfectionists –, says that scientists now believe that genetic factors, more than anything else, influence whether or not you are a perfectionist.

“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.”-Winston Churchill

It makes sense to me. I have a daughter who is cursed with it, has been since she was tiny. I have always been cursed with it. I used to be proud of it. But now, from the vantage point of more years of experience than I want to admit to, I have to say that perfectionism has hindered me more than it has helped. I only have to look at all the projects I have discarded because they didn’t meet my own standards, which I always set high enough to give me an excuse to give up.

Ten Reasons Perfectionism Sucks

  1. Nobody is perfect
  2. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder
  3. Perfectionism is an excuse for not finishing things
  4. Perfectionism is an excuse for not taking risks
  5. Perfectionism leads to ulcers
  6. Perfectionism is immobilizing
  7. Perfectionism is self-abuse
  8. Perfectionists are never content
  9. Perfectionism never got nobody nothing
  10. Perfection is an illusion

Doing things well is wonderful and important but setting unrealistic expectations and expecting that things always be perfect can be a trap.  Bottom line, nobody and nothing is perfect and when we expect that our own work, children, spouses, and pets be perfect we are setting ourselves up for failure.  Likewise, when we demand perfection of ourselves it can create more of a hindrance than a help.  Do what you love, enjoy yourself and don’t worry if what you do lives up to some arbitrary set of standards.

Perfect the art of non-perfection and you will find peace, happiness, and success.  Embrace your flaws and you can conquer the world.


I struggle quite often with how to solve certain problems. Problem solving for me is not easy, I tend to run around in my head and generally spend way too much time trying to solve even the simplest of problems. Knowing that problem solving was taking up way too much time, I decided to implement a new problem solving strategy for myself – Seven simple problem solving steps, easy to do and clearly defined. It actually works. …

I have started using mini-breaks on a daily basis to avoid burn-out.  The idea of mini-breaks is not new, but I have a tendency to get caught up in writing or working on projects, so much so that sometimes I go for hours without leaving my computer.  You know the feeling, you are on deadline, you have a project that needs to get done, you are on a roll. Time flies, and before you know it, your foot is asleep, your back aches, your coffee is cold, and your butt is numb.  Mini-breaks are the answer.  If you work at home, as I do, it is easy to create tiny mini-breaks that are not only good for your mind, but good for your body. …

Songs can touch your heart in many ways.  They can make you happy or sad.  They can energize you or calm you.  We all have special love songs that we share with those we love today and those we have loved.  Music talks to us, the lyrics and melody can express for us feelings that perhaps we cannot express as well ourselves. Listening to music can improve moods and verbal IQ, treat heart disease and stress, stimulate activity, thoughts and emotions, and aid in communication.  Music can evoke feelings of love, spirituality, happiness, sadness, tenderness, and joy.  It can provide solace in times of sorrow and company in times of solitude.  Sometimes it can even be orgasmic.

  1. Born to Dance – Music affects even infants as they move to the beat of the music and dancing releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in your body as well as providing a valid form of exercise.
  2. Improve your Brain – Studies have shown that certain music stimulates the brain, for example, listening to Mozart and other classical composers improved the test averages of students taking college entrance exams. Musical training also enhances verbal skills and visual abilities.
  3. Be more Colourful – Music evokes colours in our minds – embrace the colour of music
  4. Feel the Music – Certain music has strong experiential effects on people that are emotionally open to new experiences, to the extent that it can actually make us laugh, cry, feel chills, breath more deeply or move in different ways.
  5. Sing out Loud – Singing is good for you, whether you do it in the shower or on a stage, whether you are tone-deaf or pitch-perfect. It is a valid release for emotions both negative and positive and can increase cognitive memory skills.  Singing with others increases interaction, satisfaction, and happiness in relationships bringing people closer together.
  6. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Upbeat music makes us happier, participating in the music, knowing the words, dancing, singing along, immersing ourselves in it, can give us the power to be happier.
  7. Don’t Stress Out – Listening to music can reduce stress and anxiety and lower blood pressure!
  8. Sing the Blues – Sad music helps us deal with negative and positive emotions, it provides a mechanism for emotional release that provides some cognitive distance as well as helping resolve issues that we may not otherwise be able to voice.
  9. If You Just Smile – Facial expressions change when people are listening to music, your face projects the mood of the music you are listening to as do the faces of others. It can lift peoples’ moods and increase empathy and social awareness


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