(filling in for Zoltan Nagy who is on vacation is our Immediate Past President Tony Parziale)  During these challenging times, we need to keep a little perspective. We need to keep our minds clear and we need to focus on keeping our happiness drive alive! I’d like to share a few things that I’ve found helpful.
First - Be Grateful: For our own well-being, we need to keep our minds and hearts filled with gratitude. Let’s appreciate the people whom we love and the blessings that we have in our lives. Things are often seen as both good and bad. It depends largely upon our outlook.  Think about it; would you trade places with anyone else if it meant giving up the people, places and things that are part of your life? Let’s focus on our blessings. It will help us to face our challenges with more determination and courage.
 
Second - Make Progress: Since I’ve been home on my Covid-19 sabbatical, I’ve been trying to knock out as many projects as I can. The most recent undertaking involved painting a back room. Whenever I exercise, or work on a project around the house, I like to listen to something inspiring at the same time. It’s a great mind-body combination.
As I was getting ready to paint, I found a Tony Robbins seminar on YouTube that I had not seen. I queued it up and then the painting began. I’ve listened to Tony Robbins many times over the years, but somehow I missed this presentation. As the program began, I heard him say, “We feel happiness when we’re making progress in our lives.  We feel despair and depression when we’re not making progress.” I found that to be a true and powerful statement. “Of course,” I thought! It’s also something that we can be mindful of and control.
 
Third - Smile: Here’s an experiment that you can try. Sit In a chair and breathe normally for a couple of seconds. Don’t exaggerate your breathing; just pay attention to the amount of air that you are breathing in and the amount of breath that you are breathing out. Next, try the same thing only this time smile. Your top and bottom teeth should be slightly separated like they would be in a big genuine smile. Try it. Hold the smile and pay attention to how you’re breathing while you smile. You’ll notice that you breathe fuller and almost immediately you’ll feel an energy buzz. This can be done easily throughout the day to relieve stress and help you to create energy. It can also be done while you’re exercising or doing something strenuous. It will change your oxygen intake and provide a measured amount of additional energy on the spot.

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” – Phyllis Diller
 
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale
Immediate Past President
Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill (NJ)
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