PART 2: A Review of Time Rich Cash Optional, a book by Cliff Harvey
Hap.pi.ness ~ state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Un·con·ven·tion·al ~ not bound by or conforming to convention, rule, or precedent; free from conventionality.
Cliff is the Author of Time Rich Cash Optional (an unconventional guide to happiness) and Choosing You! ~ How you can choose to live the life of your dreams.
I have spent the last week nose down, knee deep in Cliff’s book “Time Rich, Cash Optional. An Unconventional Guide to Happiness,” and seriously I cannot put it down.
Apart from the raw and down to earth feel, ability to paint a clear and “unconventional” picture of how to tangibly achieve our purpose, and even getting to the root of how we place meaning on words like: “TIME,” “RICH,” “CURRENCY,” “HAPPINESS”… etc. – this book offers well-crafted exercises helping you along your own journey to the age old mantra…. “Don’t worry, be happy.”
I would like to share with you a couple of my favorite chapters.
Chapter 3: Becoming Unconventional “Why being normal doesn’t work”
“If you are not living the way you would like to, you have to ask yourself: why not? What ever you are doing is leading to a set of results. If those results are not the ones you want, then you obviously have to change your actions. Taking this step is not easy. We have been told over countless years that normal is good and abnormal is bad. We have been conditioned, and we have told ourselves that “fitting in” is the best way to progress in life. The problem is that this isn’t even remotely true.”
Fitting in is safe. Fitting in provides the anonymity to “fly below the radar” and not open yourself up to criticism; however, no one who ever changed the world did so by being normal”
“There will never be the “perfect” time to do something.”
I love this chapter! Why? Quite simple really, I have never tried to be normal, quite the opposite actually. Many of my students enjoy the “unorthodox or unconventional” nature of my classes and workshops and my whole life has been centered on being authentic and unique to the best of my (at sometimes eccentric and nutty) ability. However, with that being said, I have also found myself straying from my real purpose to fit others definition of “normal” and so this chapter truly re-affirms self coaching strategies to hone in on staying true to your path and your own truth in life.
Chapter 4: Work, Live, Play “Becoming a ‘Life Artist’
“Our relationship with “Work” defines how we feel about it. The idea of work provides a lot of mental stress to us – it is our relationship with our work situation that makes it stressful. The approach that we take to our work day defines how we actually perceive it. We can love what we do because we enjoy the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment it gives us. When we are very good at something, and we are able to translate it into a career, it can be as if that’s what we were put on this earth to do.”
What if we don’t have this? What if we do not know exactly what we want to be doing?”
We have all pondered these questions, and luckily practices like yoga and martial arts, even long distance running (since I do this, I can preach its value), enables us to tap into the center of the brain that starts to process… the larger, more profound questions of life. Ultimately, Cliff, and other wise peeps before our time, distinctly state that we, and we alone have the power to change and manifest our purpose – our happiness in life.
As Cliff so valiantly puts it; “your job is a conduit for your life’s purpose. Creating YOUR art, expressing YOUR truth,’ it’s pretty simple when you take away all the smoke and mirrors and fluffy stuff we humans like to put forth to make it all so dramatic. Reality is this – if you loved your job, loved how it made you feel, well, would this not make you in essence “happy.”
Happiness is an experience, a connection, not a store bought item. It’s a fragment in time, and if we choose to live and love to the fullest in every moment, then we can string all of those moments along to make a lifetime of – happiness. Dalai tells it best…
Consider this passage from one the Dalai Lama quotes on happiness:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.
Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances or events- at least once one’s basic survival needs are met.” – Dalai Lama
Last week we introduced Cliff and his message of lasting “awesomeness.” I gave snippets into his life, and why he chooses to pass on his experience to help others live happier, healthier lives through his lectures and workshops. Read the following Q&A segment to learn more about Cliff’s up coming workshops and book tour.
Part 2: Interview with Cliff Harvey
Q. In writing your book Time Rich Cash Optional, what was your ah-ha moment? What brought you to write this book about time, currency, and unconventional means of achieving happiness?
A. I think the ah-ha moment actually came well before actually writing Time Rich. The most profound awakening (in this respect at least) came when I was traveling inSouth America. I spent many months wandering, and in some respects I think I was trying to reconnect to my purpose.
I absolutely love what I do, and at the time I also loved what I did. But I felt like I could do so much more and was struggling to get a handle on ‘how’ I could work and be in order to be of the most service.
I came to realize however, that the most important thing that I can do in my practice, life, writings and teaching is to encourage happiness. I can do this moment-to-moment, day-to-day…in any job! And so finding my ‘perfect’ job or work-life path completely imploded in upon itself as a concept, and all that was left was each breaking moment.
And so in many respects even as I was writing Choosing You!, Time Rich Cash Optional was beginning to formulate in my mind and many of the themes began appearing on cliffdog.com (my blog).
Its eventual form was heavily influenced by what I could see occurring in the world economy at the time and the situation that we are still playing out (with the GFC and its aftermath.) Many, many people have begun to re-evaluate what actually drives their happiness, passion and purpose…
Q. “Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust…stop being who you were and become who you are.” – Paulo Coelho (The Zahir). This quote resides on your facebook page and considering this article is about being “Unconventional” I am told you religiously wear no shoes, you prefer bare-feet. How does a strength coach winning world records in weightlifting, stay so zen and balanced? How do you regulate this duality?
A. Ha ha ha. They key is that there is no duality, and no dichotomy. The moment is the moment, whether sitting in meditation or lifting 380lb with one hand from the floor! We can so easily fall into the trap of seeing thing as being of the mind, or of the body, or of the soul or spirit. But in reality these are all aspects of the human condition and cannot be separated. Although we may have a focus there is no such thing really as a solely physical, mental or spiritual exercise. The bare foot thing is interesting. It was only when I lived in Vancouver that I realized this was something out of the norm. Growing up in Aotearoa (New Zealand) it is pretty common for people to not wear shoes for a good portion of the year (although this is declining.) There are so many health benefits in my opinion for this, but also other subtle nuances. Being barefoot is a great metaphor for a simpler, less material existence. Walking barefoot is also a beautiful, mindful exercise – one that connects us with Mother Earth. Finally it’s a great way to encourage people to walk more softly (another great analogy for taking care of this planet we share…)
Next week we explore, “Conscious Communications with the self and other” and relate this to how we explore our meaning of communication and connection on and off the mat.
Time Rich Cash Optional: an unconventional guide to happiness: http://www.timerichcashoptional.com/