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Easy As Pie: A Poem On Happiness

Easy As Pie: A Poem On Happiness

The great Julia Child once said:

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.”

We might not master the art of cooking, but this quote reminded me that life works the same way. Sometimes things go awry and yet we still have to go along with it. We are the ones expected to find a way to fix it and to make it “taste” better. This is not something easy to do but we can always find solace and comfort in the sweetness of words.

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Some days, I wish life would be as easy as one, two, three. It’d be nice if life was as easy as following a recipe, but because we’re all different, it would need to leave some room for a twist, to make it personal, and add our very own flavor. It should be delicious. Life is sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, and (at worst) bitter, but then easily fixed with some spices and tasty tricks. It’s something that needs to be made by us with all the things that we are. It can’t be a take-away or a ready meal because you still have to make the adjustments for yourself – a little bit more of this and a tiny bit less of that.

I wish life was as easy as pie. If it really was, I think my very own recipe for happiness on my bad days would be something poetic like this:

The Recipe For Happiness

If happiness was a cake
I’d simply start to bake
To give my life a sweet taste to enjoy
And fill my mouth with a ton of joy.

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Yet, it happens too many times a day
That I let unhappiness walk my way
And feeling comfy in the midst of my blue mood
It decides to stay and I decide to brood.

And for too many days and too many nights
I just cry while it sneakily turns on all the lights
And casts a shadow upon my heart so dark
That sometimes I almost forget about the spark.

But then I remember what it takes
To get rid of all these painful aches.
I get up and stumble with one foot in front of the other
My inner dreamer finally finds a temporary shelter.

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And so I put on a nice apron and get going.
Indeed, I would start something out of nothing.
I take a bowl and I take a spoon
And of course, I put on a good tune.

All the ingredients are somewhere within
What’s worth cherishing and what’s worth the bin
It just takes a good scale to find the right balance
And only keep under the light all your talents.

I peel my problems away
And place them on a tray.
Then I chop my worries in pieces
And color sprinkles my bruises.

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I stir and stir and wait ’til it stops being so heavy
And when it all lightens up and my mix is ready
I let it cook up and melt all my troubles
While happiness burst like golden bubbles.

I grab a bite and say a little thank you.
Indulging in gratitude for not being so blue
And for having within me the little tricks
That somehow showed me the way to mix and fix.

Nothing can be too bad or too dark
If you do it right from your heart.
It can be easy as pie
If you just give it a try.

Your ingredients are all waiting and ready
You just need to make your own recipe.
Happiness is a cake
So simply start to bake.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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