52 Weeks To Optimizing Yourself 2014 – Week 5 – Going BIG with Seeing Instead of Looking at Things


Going BIG with Seeing

Going BIG with Seeing

As technology speeds up, we look at an increasing number of images every day, and often don’t really see them, or allow our minds to absorb them.

In the visual overload, we miss the sensory experiences: the texture of a painting in a museum, or the smell of a book in a book store, and lose part of the tactile experience.

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to attempt to see things by paying attention to them and contemplating them.

Children have the ability to see things differently  – when they look at something, they explore it with their imagination, their curiosity, and their senses, to see it.

Here is a story about seeing from the creativity post:

WE SEE NO MORE THAN WE EXPECT TO SEE. Our stereotyped notions block clear vision and crowd out imagination. This happens without any alarms sounding, so we never realize it is occurring. Not long ago, a man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin.  It was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station.

One man stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule. A little later, a woman threw a dollar into the till and without stopping continued on her way. The first person who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only the children it seemed wanted to stop and listen.

When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it.  No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.00.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment. Because he was playing in a subway station, people assumed he was a street musician playing for handouts and paid no attention to his music. They saw and heard what they expected to see and hear from a street musician.

Thumbs up to the children who had the awareness they were listening to extraordinary music.

I will let you know how Going BIG big with “Seeing instead of Looking” goes next week


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneworldgallery/4344737491/”>daystar297</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

Review of Week 41 – Bettering Yourself – Make My Tomorrows Magnificent


I studied the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne this week, and the story of one of its’ contributors, Bob Proctor who  built a multi-million dollar company, although he had been working as a firefighter a few years earlier and was in debt the equivalent of a year and half’s salary.  He says he accomplished everything with the power of his mind.

According to Bob, the majority of us live in the 97 percent who haven’t achieved their dream life, and to get what we want, we have to know what we want, believe we can achieve our dream, visualize it in our mind, and be willing to pay the price to achieve it.

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I have been sorting out what I want to improve  in my life, and eliminating the obstacles in my mind to getting it. He says repeat your dream to yourself and visualize it in your mind three times a day for 90 days to make it stick.

Please see my blog post on this topic:  http://annhoy.com/my-4-tips-to-dreams-come-true/

Bettering Yourself – Week 41- Sept 30 – Oct 6, 2013 Make My Tomorrows Magnificent

Make your tomorrows magnificent

Make your tomorrows magnificent today!

“Whatever feelings you have in you are attracting your tomorrow”

This week I am going to re-read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, and work on attracting more of what I want in life.

I have read the book many times, and am familiar with the law of attraction that the book is based on, but I haven’t observed what my ‘feelings’ today say about tomorrow.

Rhonda says by being grateful for what we already have is the first step in the process to attracting more good in our lives, and that feeling of gratitude attracts more good to us.

What if we could make all of our tomorrows magnificent?

This week, I am going to use the  teachings of the secret to observe my feelings, and put the program into action in my daily life.  I will let you know how it goes next week.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/owenandbrendacooper/4431677151/”>Brenda Cooper</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>


Review of Week 40 – Bettering Yourself – To See The Best in Others


“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” -William Arthur Ward

Researching this topic captivated me so much that I wrote a separate blog entry about it.  Seeing the best in others and yourself makes all your relationships better.

I discovered that I needed to stop judging others and myself.  Choosing to interpret my relationships in a positive non-judgmental way improves all my relationships.

I saw the best in others this week on so many occasions – in my family who are willing to pitch in and help when I ask.  In my neighbours across the street who were trimming the hedges and making the garden look nice for everyone to enjoy, and the teachers and students who were helping my son and I carry and set up sound and lighting gear for the pep rally.


Week 40 – Bettering Yourself – Sept 23 – Sept 29, 2013 – To See The Best in Others

See the best in others

Look for the best and you will see it

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to see the best in others.

Each person that I encounter this week, I am going to focus on seeing their best qualities.

I will let you know how it goes next week.

Review of Week 39 – Bettering Yourself – Do Something Creative Every Day

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I did something creative each day.  My inspiration for this topic came from Deepak Chopra and Rudoff Tanzi’s book “Superbrain” about ways to inspire your brain.

How to inspire your brain

Take care of stress. Avoid dulling routine. Do something creative every day. Read poetry, spiritual material or anything else that makes you feel uplifted. Take time to be in nature. Bond with another person who is heartwarming.  Pay attention to being happy. Make sure you take time every day by yourself to relax, meditate and self-reflect. Deal with negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Focus on activity that makes you feel fulfilled. Give of yourself. Follow a personal vision. Attach yourself to a cause that is bigger than you are. Take the risk to love and be loved.

Deepak Chopra – book Superbrain written with Rudoff Tanzi

This week I picked a brain inspiring creative activity each day:  I was studying spirituality and taking notes, helping with a construction project, writing, reading inspirational material, reflecting on my personal experience on a topic, walking Rocko, helping set up music gear for a dance, and experimenting with waffle recipes.

These creative activities were hard work, but energized me, unlike dull routine tasks that zap my energy.

Week 39 – Sept 16-22, 2013 – Bettering Yourself – Do Something Creative Every Day

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to slip away from my routine activities each day, and do something creative every day to inspire my brain.  By using my imagination, I am going to unlock my creative potential and lose some stress by choosing an activity to do daily that is creative.  I will let you know how it goes next week.

Review of week 38 – Appreciating All The Beauty Around Me Each Day

This past week I took the time to appreciate the beauty that is around me each day.  I was appreciating the beauty in the record breaking warm temperatures, and also the cooler air in the evenings which created the perfect sleeping temperature.

I was also appreciating the beauty of the little bright green bird that hit my window and landed in a little hammock in my yard after falling.  Watching over it, its’ little eyes  looked up at me as it turned its’ head, unable to fly away, until an hour later when it flew 20 feet up into the air and landed on a branch in the cedar tree.

I appreciated the beauty of the baby in the stroller at the Walmart check-out who returned my smiles with huge smiles of his own.

I appreciated the beauty of my one year old great nephew playing drums in a video that was sent to me.

It cheered me up to focus on the beautiful things around me more.

Week 38 – Bettering Yourself – Sept 9 -15, 2013 – Appreciate All the Beauty Around Me Each Day

Appreciate beauty each day

Being present with beauty

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to take time to notice and appreciate all the beauty in my surroundings daily.

Sometimes I am too busy completing my to-do list to notice the little starlings flying by, or the gentle late summer breeze, but this week I am going to pay attention to the beautiful things and I will let you know how it goes next week.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dexxus/2831284691/”>paul bica</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

Review of Week 37 – Bettering Yourself – Do a Fall Clean up.

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I did a Fall Clean Up, and got a surprising amount of chores done simply by setting the goal for myself.

I cleaned the bathroom ceiling, trimmed the tree branches near the roof, and pulled the weeds.  I also mopped the floors, vacuumed the rugs, and put the air conditioner in storage.  Lastly, I raked some fallen maple leaves up off the grass.

Unfortunately, I did not get all of my chores done for the fall cleanup, so I have some more to finish this week.

I learned that making a conscious effort to prepare for fall in late summer, helped me to feel relaxed about the tasks.

Week 37 – Bettering Yourself – Sept 2 – 8, 2013 – Do A Fall Cleanup

Fall Cleanup and organize

Fall cleanup is a natural

We obsess about Spring cleaning, but fall is another time, 6 months later, to Clean and organize.

According to Houzz.com we should: Vacuum and mop floors, spot clean rugs and wipe surfaces throughout the house. As you clean, set things aside to give away — aim to free up about a third of the space on shelves and in closets.

Also, Remove window A/C units. Remember to drain them and clean or change the filters before storing them for next year. Keep any hardware in a labeled plastic bag taped to the unit.

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to work on getting my house in shape for fall, and I will let you know how it goes next week.

photo: morguefile

Review of Week 36 – Bettering Yourself – Embrace My Shyness

This week I embraced my shyness, by changing the way I think about it.

Anxiety or shyness comes from fear of looking silly in front of people, says The Dalai Lama, who speaks to many people worldwide, but admits to feeling shy himself.

He says he “can reduce this fear before giving a talk by reminding himself that his motive is to be of benefit to others and not to show off his knowledge.”

This week I stopped focusing on my shyness when talking to people, and instead, focused on my motive, which is to be helpful, and remembering my motive taught me there was no need to feel anxiety.