“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
When I was a kid one of my favorite things was to go down to the local used books store with my weekly allowance in hand.
I didn’t go there so much for the books, but for the comic books. For the superhero comics, the Scrooge McDuck adventures and the funny ones. I could get a whole bag of used comic books for just a few dollars.
One of my favorite monthly comic books from that time had all these odd and hilarious comics from all around the world. And one of them was Calvin and Hobbes. I didn’t always understand it, Calvin and Hobbes had strange and serious thoughts mixed in with the crazy and imaginative adventures of the small boy and his best friend.
I still return to Calvin and Hobbes from time to time. And the things I didn’t quite understand then make more sense now.
So in this article I’d like to share some of my favorite thought-provoking and witty wisdom from Calvin and Hobbes. I highly recommend checking out the comic books in your local library, on Amazon or in your own local used books store if you haven’t already.
1. Look around you and appreciate your life as it is right now.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
Take a few minutes to not just be looking at the next thing you need to do. On the goal you are focused on. Focus on those things too.
But spend most of your time in the present moment. Work and play there fully and not with your thoughts elsewhere.
Pause during your day and be still. Take those pauses to appreciate the wonderful things around you. The people, the weather, a roof over your head during winter and the food and so on. All the big but also small and good things you may sometimes take for granted in your life.
2. Everyone has bad days.
“Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants won’t help.”
No matter how optimistic or how solid your habits for getting things done are there will be bad days.
Sometimes you can turn them around by for example getting an energy kick and releasing some stress through exercising.
And sometimes you can do no more than accept that this is how things are right now. And that can actually help. When you accept and you stop feeding the issues of that day with more energy – the energy you use when you so intensely want to control and fix the issues – I have found that many of the negative feelings and thoughts in one’s mind tend to fall away and disappear. It becomes easier to think more clearly again and you feel better.
And use a bad day as fuel from creativity and learn what you can from it.
A bad day when things don’t go so well often wind up being one of my more creative days in retrospect. I rethink things on such days. I learn from mistakes and temporary failures. I get new ideas.
You can also see such a day as a reminder of how life will not always bend to your will and be perfect. A very helpful mental habit to develop to reduce stress and the pressure you put upon yourself and to live a happier life.
3. Find the time for lazying around.
“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
Life isn’t just what can be captured on a to-do list. It is not achievement upon achievement.
At least for me life is also to spend some time with just lazying around in pajama bottoms on the weekend. To spend some time every afternoon with just petting our cats. To hang out with my girlfriend or friends and sometimes do nothing much at all.
Because there is much happiness to find in doing the nothing you want to do. And because you can often find new ideas and directions when you not doing much at all.
4. A friend can help.
“Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.”
If you feel scared or worried about something then that thing tends to become bigger and more frightening the longer you hold onto it alone and in your mind.
So instead, let a friend help you.
Let what you are scared or worried about out. Talk to your friend about the issue. Just being able to vent and to get someone else’s perspective on things can make a world of difference. It can make you see things in a less scary light.
And maybe the two of you can even find a first practical step you can take to start resolving the situation.
5. Do what YOU want to do.
“What fun is it being cool if you can’t wear a sombrero?”
It can be hard to do what you truly want to do. How will people react? What will they think or say?
To just fit in is most often – in the short run at least – easier.
But the cost in the long run can become a life where you are almost always holding back.
So maybe you cannot do what you want all the time. There are consequences and responsibilities and at least temporary limitations in a regular life.
But do what you can with what have right now. Take small steps outside of your comfort zone – if the bigger ones feel too scary – in various parts of life.
And don’t focus too much on how people may react. My own experience is that in most cases they will be somewhat or very supportive or pretty indifferent. The truth is that the world does not revolve around me or you. People rarely have very much time or energy to spare for thinking much about what you do anyway. They are busy with their own lives.
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