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7 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Today

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” ~Unknown

During the first week of July 2012, a storm left my little town and nearly one million other people in the Mid-Atlantic Region without electricity. The outage lasted eight days for Buffalo, Ohio, and we saw triple digits (F) each day.

I spent much of my free time in a hammock practicing my watching skills. I watched as I breathed in. I watched as I breathed out.

I watched thoughts pop up out of nowhere as I watched the leaves of two young oak trees dance in the hot, humid July breeze.

I think that week here in Ohio was as impactful as the 10-day Thich Nhat Hanh Retreat I experienced in October 2011.

It’s amazing to me the amount of perspective one can gain in such a short period of time. 

The day the electricity was restored I decided to limit myself to just a few minutes on the Internet, which turned into an hour. I then returned to my hammock to watch my breath and my thoughts.

I wanted to make sure I understood the lessons of that week, and most of all I wanted to take with me the peace of mind I had rediscovered.

So, there I was—under those two trees listening to birds chirp in the absence of gas generators and watching my thoughts.

I brought with me a pen, a legal pad, and a few questions I thought would be helpful to answer before I plugged back in and continued to do what I do.

Question 1: What Brings Meaning to Your Experience?

As I asked this question to my “self,” I started to realize that my focus has been all over the place.

I have a long list of goals. I spent most of my life goofing off, and never thought I could do much of anything. Since I realized that I can do whatever I decide, setting and achieving goals has been fun for me. 

After spending enough time asking this question, I realized that I have three major goals and a list of desired outcomes based on me reaching those goals.

This realization has narrowed my focus a great deal.

What brings meaning to your experience?

Question 2: How Do You Spend/Invest/Leverage Your Time?

Now that I have an idea of what is meaningful to me, it’s easy to look at my daily habits and see where it is I am being mindful of my use of time.

I love me some Facebook, but is it really helping me develop my primary goal—being calm, peaceful, and loving—or is it falsely fulfilling my “need” to feel connected?

I quickly realized I am better off by scheduling social network time as I do appointments. It’s actually been more effective in connecting with people.

This question is proving to be very valuable to me daily, and has morphed into “Is this the best use of your time and energy?”

Question 3: How Do You Feel?

A lot of my research lately has been focused on the limbic system. I’ve been studying stress hormones and breathing techniques that will bring the system (mind/body) back to a state of calm being.

I ask this question each morning and the answer greatly determines how the rest of my day goes.

My primary goal in life is to be calm, kind, and loving. All of the other goals I have listed are things I’d like to do or things/experiences I’d like to have. If I’m feeling a little anxiety when I wake up, my best course of action is to get myself relaxed and calm.

Make sure you ask this question before any coffee. This leads to the next question.

Question 4: What If You Die Tomorrow?

This question actually morphs into a few more.

If you die tomorrow do they know you loved them?

If you die tomorrow are all your apologies said?

If you die tomorrow do you take any forgiveness with you?

If you die tomorrow did you do something today that was meaningful?

Many things in my life are meaningful to me.

On my last day on this planet I hope to wake up and write, eat a variety of fruits, nuts, and oats for breakfast, take a nap, hug 20 people, paddle on my standup paddle board, catch a wave or a wake, tell some people I love them, make love, and enjoy a nice cup of tea.

What if you die tomorrow?

Question 5: How Can You Brighten Somebody’s Experience Today?

Hugs are proven to produce a sense of well-being in both people. Smiles are contagious. Sometimes a kind word from a stranger makes the difference in a person’s day.

It’s so easy to allow our attention to spin out. Most of us are overstimulated, overcommitted, and overly concerned with getting more stuff.

A lot of people have their eyes fixated on the tiny screen of their smartphones. They answer texts and update Facebook while they are in the company of loved ones.  The world passes them by as they scroll through so called newsfeeds.

I rarely take my phone out of my house. I know that the ease of access will have me staring into the abyss trying to fulfill that sense of connection while missing the chance to connect in person.

Whose day can you brighten today?

Question 6: What Choices Can You Make Differently?

My brain is programmed to recognize every stupid thing I do, and I still do some pretty stupid things. I recognize them, and do my best to change my behaviors. Some habits seemingly take longer to adjust.

The main reason I haven’t shaved my head and gone to devote myself to mindful meditation at some Thich Nhat Hanh Monastery is that I really think I gain more from the challenge of living a regular guy’s life mindfully.

I think sometimes conflict brings resolution. I’ve learned more about myself through dealing with people I don’t particularly like than I have from my time on the yoga mat or the meditation pillow.

I recognize myself in all that I see. So, I ask myself this question so that I am able to see more and more beauty each day.

What choices can you make differently today?

Question 7: What Can You Give Today?

I spend very little of time trading hours for dollars. I’ve reduced my expenses and lifestyle to afford me the time to work on me, and to write.

As my marketing of books and services takes hold I’ll have more money to give; but for now I have so much more than money can buy.

I have an able body and some helping hands. I have two ears to listen, two arms to embrace, and a mind full of useful information.

I have an endless supply of encouragement when I see people on a mission, and an infinite supply of love when I spend the time to clear.

I have a great smile, which I sometimes forget to show. I’m witty, goofy, and geeky enough to give the gift of laughter.

I really have all that I need in life and so much more.

What can you give today? And what important questions would you add to the mix?


Note: Tim has offered to give away 5 autographed copies of his book It’s All About Me: A Soul Surfer’s Guide to Happiness. Leave a comment on the post for a chance to win! You can enter until midnight on Friday, August 31st. (You can access the PDF version for free on Tim’s site here.)

UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha for free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!

Photo by Gane

Avatar of Tim McAuley

About Tim McAuley

Tim McAuley’s debut book It’s All About Me! Illustrates that we each have the power to live a lifealigned with harmony, happiness, and love; he freely shares his book, a 6 week video tutorial and weekly tips, to learn to ride the metaphoric waves of life at soulsurferschool.com.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • John W. Rivard

    My question – How can I best not judge? I try to always mindful of judging others because I know that when others tell me why I am doing or saying something they are nearly always wrong. I have no reason to think I am any better at guessing the reasons why other people do or say things.
    Responding in the way most helpful to the other person tends to improve their connection with me while providing me with the most personal satisfaction and happiness. Responding to percieved meaness or anger with more of the same degrades the personal connection and provides no sense of satisfaction.

  • Katharine

    “My primary goal is to be calm, kind & loving”…….love that!

  • rockymtranger

    My challenge is to use technology in a positive way rather than losing myself in it. I have been fortunate to have met so many wonderful people through a lot of travel, and things like Facebook and email help me stay in touch, but one minute leads to ten which leads to hours. Thanks for the well-timed post.

  • http://twitter.com/chancebuddhism Renata

    This is a wonderful post. Your questions really spoke to me, especially questions, 1, 2, and 6. Like you, I also have many goals and things I want to do with my life. I think you were right to focus on the ones that bring the most meaning to your life, and then have fun pursuing (perhaps smaller) goals that also bring joy. I also very much agree with your points regarding thinking critically about how one’s time is spent, and dealing with daily challenges in a mindful and constructive way. Sometimes I too would like to join a (looooooong) spiritual retreat to ‘get away from it all’, but then what would I be learning about myself and others? Learning about the world around us is one of life’s most precious challenges, tasks, – and also gifts. Thanks again for this wonderful article, and for sharing your wisdom and experiences here. With Metta, Renata :)

  • Fiona C

    I love the way you describe having an able body and two helping hands. Ears to listen, arms to embrace and a mind with useful information. Encouragement, love and a great smile.
    What an awesome approach to life.
    Love your post it is inspiring to say the least.

  • harrietcabelly

    What a unique piece. I love your questions – especially 4,5 and 6. We are so missing the chance to connect in person, as you say. It’s so sad that as our technology sky-rockets, our humanness seems to diminish. We’ve got to live more consciously of this since clearly our advances are not going away or lessening. It’s up to us as the human species to create that good yin-yang and not forget that no matter what, we the people count the most. That’s where the love and connectedness begins, remains and ends.

  • Jeg

    What brings meaning to your experience? I am going to set this as my intention. I am currently working on taking a passion and brining it to the next level. I need to focus on the steps to do that and do them one at a time. One-at-a-time. This will allow my focus to remain calm and head me in the right direction.

  • Kathi

    A wonderful post and another example for me of how to make the best of a bad situation. I have friends in Ohio that went through the same storms and power outages you did and they inspired me with their ability to get through a really tough time. Here in NE Wisconsin, we “only” got into the upper-90′s and when I heard people complaining, I couldn’t help but think, “but we have electricity and water! Don’t take these things for granted!” Every time I was tempted to complain, I focused all of my energies on all of you, hoping that things would work themselves out quickly.

    Thanks for brightening my experience today!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauragrafnj Laura Graf

    Hi Tim,
    Good perspective. I especially enjoyed this line “I’ve learned more about myself through dealing with people I don’t particularly like than I have from my time on the yoga mat or the meditation pillow”.
    I think of ‘those people’ as emery boards or grinders, roughing us up – end result – turning us into gemstones! If you look at it from that analogy it makes perfect sense!
    Laura

  • http://twitter.com/TielaTiela Tiela Garnett

    Loved the suggestions and perspective in your post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anitaczyz Anita Bowers

    “Whose day can you brighten today?” – this one’s pretty important, I think. Nice post, thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    That’s an awesome question; and great insight! I’ve had to work very hard at the getting my inner judge to be a loving man….ok, still working on it a little bit! ;)

    Have you studied anything on Neuroscience. That judgement part us may just be part of the limbic system! What has been working for me is to remind myself in the morning what my values are….kind, loving, caring, supportive and when the judge kicks in….I can look at it and realize that’s just my brain sending up a signal.

    I get to choose if I give my attention to those thoughts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thank YOU! Big internet hug to you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    My challenge too! Hi I’m Tim….I’m a facebook Junkie.

    I’ve learned to set a time chunk for just about everything I do. Once the timer goes off I have a few minutes to wrap it up. Keeps me focused and intentional…productivity has been raised to a whole new level!

    Thanks for connecting with me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Much Metta to You Renata!

    I’m learning that life itself is a spiritual retreat or a living hell…..my choice! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thanks Fiona C! It took a while to for me to come to grips with all of that….until early 2000s I could stand to look in the mirror! Your comment is much appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    very cool Jeg! Next level is a great level! I’m cheering for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Kathi, I love your perspective! thanks for sharing it. My dad moved in with me last year and he gets a kick out the way I talk to the faucet and water filter. Once a week I say “HOLY CRAP! I can turn this thing right here and out comes fresh clean drinking water! DUDE this is amazing!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Diamonds were once coal put under intense pressure…and the most beautiful flowers on this planet grew from a big pile of S…. (oh, wait this is Lori’s website…keepin it clean! ;)

  • lv2terp

    GREAT blog with wonderful questions to ponder, thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thank you so much Tiela!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    well, you can check me off your list Anita!

    That one is the one I overlook most often. I forget when I’m in a store that the cashier may need a smile, my attention or even a hug. Sometimes my brain is just too busy trying to take over the world to allow for the natural flow of the present moment to emerge…..I’m working on kiddo….thanks for the encouragement and support!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Balance between virtual and real are necessary indeed. but I feel that the connection we get through tech is going to drive us into a better future.

    We can connect and plan events in the real world with just a few key strokes. Share our journey and our thoughts with the world and hopefully by doing so we’re going to leave this a better place for future generations.

  • Briana Villafuerte

    This is so beautiful and so poignant to me, particularly right now in my life. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thanks you for taking the time to comment and share.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    And these comments fulfill my purpose! woo hooo!

    big internet hug to you Briana! you’re changing the world!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    And thank you for taking the time to comment and share! Much appreciated

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Very cool! This makes me able to check “meaningful” off the list for the day.

    Thanks Briana!

  • Tooley

    Thank you for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christyc66 Christy Coton Chase

    SO, as I reading this, I am in another online meeting…I teach online—Special Ed HS students, and yes, I ask myself, quite often,”How is this even possible”. Some days I even wake up, and think” No Way”. But, a little Jack Johnson, some sunshine and a few words from my students and I know I chose this positionfor a reason. As a single mom, it gives me options –
    Thanks for your article. Always a good reminder!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    it’s my pleasure Tooley

  • Pat

    Wow this is AWESOME! great questions!

  • Charminkymaine

    Sometimes in life you find something that helps you to see things differently and today you have done that thank you :))

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    thanks PAT!

  • http://www.reallifezen.com/ Real Life Zen

    Great post! My question would be “who is the you present in the other
    questions?” and does that definition of ‘you” (or “me”) make sense? We tend to invest so much time/energy into supporting/defending/propagating self-narratives that are seldom of our own conscious choosing. So often, we grow up into a sense of self that has little bearing on the greater reality of the universe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025962404 Ann Matteson

    Thank you! Just what I needed to read today.

  • fharjo

    thanks for inspiring me before going to bed… yet so simple things but hard to commit with these things in Life…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mama2Teens Patty Smith

    I love it, especially question 4, brings a lot of mindfulness…. thank you :)

  • http://www.affordable-massage.com/ linnaeab

    Hi Tim,

    you’ve got it!you’ve developed your own “secret” to a life well lived, and are sharing it with others.life is so wonderful living this way.this is truly freedom.
    enjoy,linnaea

  • casey

    what a great idea to leave your phone at home thank you~

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Charminkymaine…..you just brought a tear to my eyes! Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    You my friend are very wise!

    I’ve learned that the “ME” I’m talking too is mostly my brain.

    I’m reading a great book right now that helps make the distinction between the false sense of self derived from the Neurons and Limbic System functions. It’s allowed me to further become the watcher of those thoughts and identify less with ME!

    Awesome Comment and Question!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Ann. It’s an absolute pleasure to read this comment.

    Thanks LORI for introducing me to so many wonderful people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Fharjo…it becomes much easier with a daily practice of mindfulness, stillness and deep breaths. Combine that with some journal work and new ways of thinking will emerge! Promise

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thanks Patty! Glad I could be a helpful reminder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Linnaea, Life is indeed a wonderful thing.

    Glad to meet you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Casey, that one tends to make people upset. They expect me to text them or answer the phone at the moment the want my attention, but it’s the only way I know how to go throughout checking FB, emails and twitter all day long.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    I thought I already commented. I’m giving out 6th book now to you Christy!

    Jack Johnson is a story and part of a metaphor I use throughout this book!

    So, let Lori know where I could send the signed copy of the book! YOU WON!!!

  • Jessica

    I love your perspective in regards to taking in your surroundings and appreciating what you have at this very moment. I just lost two friends within the span of two weeks and I feel as though these words really spoke to me. It helped me to realize that we need to take time to appreciate those we love, our surroundings, our experiences, and ultimately ourselves. I am very glad that I read this today as I am currently experiencing a lot of sorrow in my heart. I now feel as though I should appreciate my empathy for others and my ability to think about my friends and smile because I am so fortunate to have them in my life.
    I

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    if you don’t win Jessica I’ll gladly sign and send you a book.

    Quite a few of my friends have passed since 2009. Dealing with death was the catalysts that made me decide to quit what I was doing and try my hand at writing. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life being anything other than a writer.

    It was my dream when I was six years old, and I ignored it for 30 years.

    SO it would be my honor to send a copy to you. May my stories continue to strike a chord that leads to gratitude and mindful loving of family and friends that are present in our lives.

  • http://twitter.com/sophielizard Sophie Lizard

    Question 4 is a big favourite of mine; some of the others I’d never even considered, so thanks!. Awesome post, Tim. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/deannaelizabeth76 Deanna E. Hagg

    thanks, tim! such a great reminder of what’s truly important. i smiled softly through most of the article, and my heart felt full, realizing that my daily actions are aligned with what i want my life to be. except for the whole working for dollars, thing… that’s a tough one. :) i have a nightly checklist to go back through my day and make sure i’m keeping true, and this would be a wonderful complement for a morning routine.

  • Jedidad

    Great post reminding us of what is important.

  • Adrienne Breaux

    This came at the perfect time. Gonna ask myself some of these questions today and get those answers down on paper.

  • http://www.sagegrayson.com/ Sage Grayson

    Great list. Every day I ask myself “Am I being kind?” It applies to my work, my family, my health, what I eat, everything!

  • Susan

    Ha I like the phone being left at home bit, people get wild with me because I unplug my landline and turn my cellphone off at night, I don’t see the need to be available 24/7. Enjoyed your article, yep we spend so much time rushing around in circles :)

  • Marsha

    Thanks soooo much for posting this! It spoke volumes to me! I have found myself doing the first three things regularly…. but number 4.. whoa… a great list and yes my next goal.. Buddha is new for me.. so much what I have been searching for and needing for so long. I am as happy as I have ever been in my life.. and thanks to reading things like this!

  • Laurie M.

    Wow, wow, wow! What a great article. I So needed to hear this today. Question 4 really hit me hard -”If you die tomorrow did you do something today that was meaningful?” As a middle school teacher, I try to reflect on this every day. Today, not such a great one in my classroom. However, the day did turn around as I got to experience #5….a total stranger bought my coffee at Starbucks. There was no way for them to know I was having a bad day. Turned my day and my attitude right around! Thanks again for such a great post.

  • Julie

    Thank you so much Tim for this inspiration. All too often I get caught up in the mundane day to day routines in life. Living in New Zealand far away from all our family and friends I often think have I done enough to show the people we left behind that we love them and never forget…. you have opened my eyes and made me realise I need to take the time for the amazing people in our lives no matter how far away they really are! Thank you once again!

  • Charolette

    I love this! I too am free to write and create what nourishes my spirit. I find that usually includes a fair amount of still time. This is when my uncluttered mind loses restrictive confines and sees that anything is possible. Thank you for sharing.

  • nancy

    Tim, thank you for reminding me of what really matters.

  • Laura S.

    Thanks Tim, very wise and introspective questions. The one that got me was #5 “How can I brighten someone’s day today?” I used to focus on this but have gotten out of the habit. I remember how good it would make me (and hopefully the other person!) feel, and we would have a moment of human connection. You’re right, with phones and the internet, many times we miss so much opportunity for those connections.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • http://optimalternative.com/ Mark B Hoover

    “What have I done for ME lately?”

    As I’ve made myself aware of “self” through doing for others, I wonder when was the last time I totally indulged in a luxury, anything, solely for me. I tend to look at things I do or buy through the eyes of others. It’s a fault, brought on by losses and an attitude that I really didn’t deserve what I had. So I lost it. Maybe I shouldn’t pamper myself, get myself this or that superfluous item. I should be saving for another lean time, giving back to those who helped or just denying myself simple pleasures because none of it lasted.

    I often wonder how I made it through those many years thinking only of myself, before committing to pursuit of the trappings of adulthood. After all, security and financial success are the foundation of credibility. How could I have been so foolish to believe otherwise?

    Then it hits me. I lived life. Fully. Once I began parceling myself off into other people’s expectations I began losing myself. Simple as that. I got so hung up on doing for others my world shifted to black and white, telling me one was good, the other…bad. Oh what a tangled web and all that.

    Now, in the great HERE and NOW, I am inclined to ask myself, “What worked and when did it work?” Meditation takes me there, to the feeling, to the time. Just like some pictures I held in my hand today. Maya Angelou says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So I take this to heart and ask quietly, “What have I done for ME lately?”

    ~ Mark

  • Bluventures

    I absolutely LOVE your article. I’m someone who has almost died many times in my life, from car accidents that I got really lucky with to having a liver transplant due to a rare disease. Then after I finally got my life together and healed exceptionally well from that, eight years later I ended up with a lymphoma tumor on my spine, leading to infection which ultimately left me partially paralyzed from the chest down after a total of four surgeries in three months of hospital stay. Now, three years later the cancer has come back with a vengeance at a stage 4. I have already surprised my drs with how much of the cancer I have beat in such a short amount of time.

    All of your questions I felt were right on point with what’s really important in life. I lived the first part of my twenties as if tomorrow really didn’t matter. I had wonderful friends, would pick up and take a trip without a second thought. I was generous with my time to help others and always felt a sense of satisfaction in my life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up yet, so I lived life for the moment and knew one day I would figure it out. I was still always learning as much as I could just because I have a brain like a sponge and love knowledge. Through my many years of fighting one illness after another, I have always stayed positive and loved what and the people in my life. I have a calm nature that has always stopped to smell the roses and breathing has been the most important factor in my life next to love.

    I love that you feel you can learn more out of life by being the man that you are. I agree and kudos to you for making that decision. I have thought about shaving my head too but I have a daughter to set an example for on how to live life and be a strong independent woman.

    I may have missed out on the free copy of your book, but I will read it anyhow. You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Jacquellyn

  • fharjo

    nice… thanks for giving me some Ideas Tim… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    So, this makes us even for that Awesome post that made me put prices on my website. Thanks for being you Sophie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Deanna you and I are on the same page kiddo. Nightly I open my journal and bullet point the events of the day and see where I can improve, where my actions were aligned with my values and state my intentions clearly to myself before bed.

    I’ve found that it helps me out a great deal when attempting to remain mindful of each task (sometimes it’s difficult to do with so many projects and goals).

    The whole trading time for money thing warps my brain to no end. I still don’t get it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    very cool Adrienne! I hope you find some beautiful answers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Kindness! That is the one that when it escapes me for a day I feel a sense of remorse.

    Sometimes I’m not so mindful, and my level of kindness slips to almost non-existent. When I do my nightly journal, and I see myself acting without kindness I just sit with it for a minute or two…ask for forgiveness from the Universe and vow to be more kind as I move forward.

    Nice question. I’m adding that one for sure!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    I tell people hey I have a Droid it has to live on the charger, sorry.

    ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    YEAH! Marsha! You just reminded me of the day that I first discovered tinybuddha!

    I thought, “oh my GOD I LOVE THE INTERNET!”

    I may have even hugged the screen and said “Where have you been all of my life.” I so enjoy the weekly emails. Did you sign up!? Lori will send you these articles straight to your inbox!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    In my junior year of High School a teacher held me after class. She held a piece of paper in her hands and stared at me without talking. Then said, I watched you come in here and type this article in less than 10 minutes, Tim You have an amazing gift with words. You paint pictures when you write. If you practice this craft you can become a very talented writer.

    That was the first time I ever remember anyone saying anything nice to me. I wrote her note at the end of the school year to let her know that I was sitting in class that day and had decided to go home and kill myself. The timing of her saying that to me kept me alive that day.

    She told me at my book launch party that she still has that letter and it still makes her cry.

    I’m willing to bet that you do something meaningful every day.

    Thank you for choosing to help the next generation prepare for life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Julie it’s an absolute honor and a privilege to be of service!

    NEW ZEALAND!? How’s that? My friend Waka is Kiwi! I love that guy. I’ve always wanted to go there just because he’s so awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    A day with a little writing, a little stillness and some alone time on a paddle board is pretty much what I imagine heaven to be like.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    my pleasure Nancy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Laura, it’s 1:11 AM EST 8/28/12 and you just made MY day!

    So check it off the list. have a great Tuesday! Thanks for connecting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Mark, you’re talking to the guy that wrote a book of his personal philosophy titled “It’s All About ME!” I live by the idea that we should all be selfishly-selfless…..we should take care of ourselves so that we can actually participate without fear in the world and bring better change.

    Thanks for reminding me! I think I’m going to get a massage this weekend!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Jacquellyn, I have been offering access to my book for free since January. I have no budget or skills to market a book, so I just put it out there and give it away. I wrote it to be read and shared. If I could afford to I would send every single person a signed paperback edition of the book.

    I hope you kick that cancer’s ass!

    I love your spirit.

    I wish I had a calm nature! I have to find stillness each day. I’m wired to be a snapper-head, and I’m a bit too charismatic sometimes!

  • Bluventures

    Thanks Tim. As much as I would love to have something personal from you that I can hold I had already planned on downloading it. Thank you though :)

    I have all intention of kicking this cancer’s ass, just as I’m walking (even if mostly with a cane) when the drs said I’d never walk without a walker again because I could barely use that.

    You have a ton of energy and, yes, a lot of charisma. I am glad that you took that time to spend in your hammock. Sitting outside and connecting with the nature around me while breathing slowly, even if sometimes there’s only a few trees. Luckily I live in the country and watching the tops of the trees swaying is so very calming I get lost in them quickly. That you should try sometime. You took such great advantage of a bad situation while still being mindful of everyone else.

    It’s great that you have a lot of energy. You can have that and still be able to carry the calmness inside you. Just stop, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths and reconnect with the stillness you feel in the hammock. It will become natural with time.

    You have touched me, and I will continue to follow your progress.

    Who knows, maybe the time will come where I will shave my head, even if I don’t join anyone, but just for my own representation. I could pull it off! Lol! I’ll let you know, maybe you can join me. Haha!

    Take care!
    Jacquellyn

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    ok Jacquellyn…..who are we really kidding here! of course I’m going to add an extra book to the mix and send you one!

    If I could give a hard copy to every person that wanted to read it I would without hesitation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1615776095 Kelly Brown Madsen

    Loved this, it reminds me not to fritther my life away on things that really don’t matter!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christyc66 Christy Coton Chase

    Thank you!!! Just saw this–on a grey and rainy Georgia day :)

  • Bluventures

    Ahahaha! Tim, you are too funny. I certainly wasn’t asking for one, just merely stating my sentiment, but I’m definitely not going to turn down the offer either. Do me a favor and write something in it that will make me laugh. You’re already done that so easily. Thanks for the smiles.

    Jacq

  • Soni

    Thank you Tim for the reminder and wake up call;)

    Will share this with everyone I know as there are lots of people complicated their lives ….:

    Shinning the light in their darkness.

  • Ed

    I have had some serious money problems and I’m now faced with starting over. Gratitude has been difficult to incorporate throughout each day, but I find it essential when living a nearly minimalist lifestyle.
    I appreciate your daily guideline and mindful observations.
    Staying focused and “checking in” has never been so important as it is now. Great article, Tim.

  • christen

    Thanks for reminding me to stop staring at my hammock out the window as I wash the dishes, wipe the child, prepare a meal, etc, etc, etc. My new goal is to get in it and just breeeeeeathe. I am pretty sure the dishes can wait. ;)

  • Laurie M.

    Thanks for sharing that. I truly love what I do and the connection we can make as teachers with our students. Stories like that one just make me smile and make me thankful that I get the chance to impact a life each and every day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing Soni!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Thanks Ed. If it were possible to send good money vibes to you, then you would have received them about 21 seconds ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    They can indeed Christen!

  • Tonya

    Thank you Tim. My 9 year old son and I are doing a plastic challenge. In this process, we are learning so much about the way we consume and how we can consume less. This taps in into the question IF I DIE TOMORROW, WILL I HAVE DONE SOMETHING TODAY THAT IS MEANINGFUL? I am learning that one less piece of plastic on the planet is meaningful to me. It’s not as meaningful at this point to my son, but will be later in life. I am helping him to think as well and ask himself some serious questions about his life and the meaning of life in general.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    That’s very awesome! Parenting by example; great choice.

    Please don’t let your son read my book…..some words are a bit inappropriate, content matter as well.

    Thanks sharing the plastic thing! I think about it as we fill up our jugs of water for the day how much I’ve saved over the years since I bout that 29.00$ on the tap filter. Such a great feeling to know that sometimes I make good decisions too!

  • http://twitter.com/UteLark Ute Lark

    Thank you for reminding us about these valuable thoughts. I used to be a doormat with totally low self esteem etc. I worked hard on myself and I am happy to say that I value myself and love myself now. I love spreading kindness and I love making people happy and smile. (my blog is about that). I am so looking forward to reading your book as I am always hungry for more self improvement and more thoughts.And I finally found your twitter and Facebook :-)

  • camilla

    I spend this day alone. From tomorrow I’ll have to search a new job in this foreign country I’m living. I decide to enjoy the hours, not worrying about tomorrow. I baked apple cookies and pasta for the person I love, I rented his favourite movies. Your post confirmed what I’m thinking about: life is not about money and fake connection with the world. Life is giving to others, sharing the happiness we have inside and enjoying every moment, every day. While the sun is going down on this norwegian friday, I feel happy. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1168913065 Lynn Fux

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

  • http://isitallaboutme.com/ Tim McAuley-Soul Surfer

    I’m stoked you’re my new FB buddy Ute Lark!

  • http://isitallaboutme.com/ Tim McAuley-Soul Surfer

    thank you! I loved reading “baked cookies and pasta for the person I love”….beautiful.

  • http://isitallaboutme.com/ Tim McAuley-Soul Surfer

    Yes, Lynn Polish the Mirror!

    Lotus Sutra is where it’s at!

  • Michelle

    I have been doing a lot of soul searching for the last number of months and in the process discovered that everything mentioned here in this article is true. I try to make a positive impact on other people’s days and I decided to eliminate people and things that didn’t enhance my day. It’s been a tough year, but he’s right – what if this were your last day? I unfortunately had a close friend die suddenly and unlike other people, I have no regrets regarding our relationship. Although we don’t live close and we weren’t in contact as often as we could’ve been, whenever we communicated, I always ended an email saying I loved her and we always shared positive comments with one another. Often we talked about spiritual experiences and things that are important in life, rather than the irrelevant things most people seem to talk about. A lot of people are now sharing pictures of themselves with her on Facebook but I’m happy to say that only a few weeks before her death, I shared a picture of us together just because I remembered what a wonderful friendship we had – when she was still alive to see it and know how much she meant to me. So I’m here to say that readers should embrace this article and consider these seven questions carefully. Great job!

  • http://isitallaboutme.com/ Tim McAuley-Soul Surfer

    Thank you Michelle. I’m very stoked you were able to enjoy your friend and celebrate her life.

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much Tim. I am so looking forward to the inspiration I will gain from reading your book. Sometimes heartbreaking and devastating experiences, like the loss of someone you love, to really put things into perspective. Thank you so much :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tree.albrecht Tree Albrecht

    I absolutely loved this article. Thank you. I may just read it every morning for the next few weeks.

  • indu

    i want to share an expirience which i have noticed in few of these days that god made our brain just like the computer ,if we did not install any antivirus then the virus which is already in our mind rule out and started slowly destroying your good programmes so try to protect your brain from viruses or you can scan your brain with antivirus of good thoughts …..stay healthy live healthy……gooodbye

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Did you get the book Jessica??

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    How the heck did I miss this comment!?

    Sorry @facebook-100003313883966:disqus you should know by now that I wasn’t ignoring YOU!!

    Love your face!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.s.mcauley Tim Mcauley

    Anti-virus protection requires a daily reboot, and updates. We can do this through stillness, mindfulness and acts of service.

  • http://isitallaboutme.com/ Tim McAuley-Soul Surfer

    Wow. My girlfriend sent me a link to my own post.

    How awesome is that!?

    I’m sorry to say that I’ve taken the book offline and off the shelves. And Soul Surfer School disappeared from the GoDaddy Server on 11.15.13

    If anyone wants to find my latest writings, they can at http://www.getstoked.tv