Happy Independence Day I hope you are all enjoying the summer so far! So, I’ve had this blog post in the hopper for a few weeks. My husband is really into stand-up comedy, so I usually go with him to see different shows or comedy festivals. Most recently we went to the TBS “very funny” comedy festival and saw quite a few hilarious shows including Nick Offerman, otherwise known as “Ron Swanson” from the show Parks & Rec. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it ended up being a comedic take on a motivational speech peppered with musical numbers in which Nick gave “10 Tips for Prosperity”. I thought they were good tips for the most part, so I thought I would share! See below for his 10 tips with my commentary in italics.
Nick Offerman’s 10 Tips for Prosperity:
1. Engage in romantic relationships. Developing a connection with another human being, making that connection a priority, and taking care of it is one of the most meaningful things that you can do. And from the perspective of mental health, loving connections with others protects us from things like depression and anxiety. Love that he started with this one!
2. Say please and thank you. This one is so simple, yet something easily forgotten. Treat everyone with kindness and courtesy. In Shambala Buddhism, this concept is so important that entire meditation practices are devoted to practicing loving-kindness towards ourselves and then extending it to others as we are ready (including our enemies….eventually)
3. Get a hobby or discipline. Cultivating meaningful activities turns out to be an essential part of human happiness according to the research. I wonder if Nick has read the latest happiness research?
4. Eat red meat. Ha! This one is hilarious because I am a vegetarian. However, I think this tip is about enjoying, savoring, and being grateful for food. Things like “farm to table” and the “slow food movement” are all about restoring our connection to food, where it comes from, and the people who cultivate and grow it for us.
5. Have a relationship with god (especially if it gets you sex). Another comedic tip, and this one was accompanied by a juicy story from Nick’s adolescent years! But in all seriousness, cultivating our relationship to a higher power or a larger meaning for our lives, however you understand that, is also an important ingredient to emotional well-being.
6. Go outside and remain there. Connecting with the outdoors in a culture where most of our lives are lived indoors is another factor in feeling content, grounded, and connected.
7. Avoid the mirror. This was my favorite tip of the night. He talked about representations of physical beauty that we see in film, TV, and magazines and the impossibility of measuring up to those representations. What we look like could cause us suffering, or we can choose to accept ourselves and believe we are worthy of love and belonging because of who we are vs. what we look like. This makes me think of a song by Ani DiFranco where she sings,”Love is all over the place. Nothing’s wrong with your face.”
8. Carry a handkerchief. The girl scout motto – Be prepared! Personally, I always make sure to have a wad of