The Importance Of Smiling :)

It was a rainy day once again. NOM felt happy because of his quotes. They had kept him happy all week long when it had been pouring with rain. Especially one of them:”Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

That’s exactly what NOM had done. Literally. Everyday he had gone outside, stepped into the pouring rain, danced, laughed and felt happy. Afterwards he had taken a long hot bath in his cardbaord box and made sesame seed tea.

Because of that NOM was in high spirits. Today he decided to go to town for a change. He needed to go to the supermarket to buy some sesame seeds and other groceries. NOM got out his green shopping bag and put on a rain coat. Then he skipped off to town in the pouring rain. The colours of the clouds were a grey-ish black and the grass and leaves were dripping wet. Add the mud and a downward hill and the fun could begin (for NOM)! Because it was way to slippery to walk, NOM simply slid down the hill sitting on his rain coat. He laughed and waved at the birds that flew past him taken aback by the sudden movement.

mud!! (pic from google images)

By the time NOM arrived in town he was completely covered in mud. His yellow raincoat was no longer yellow, it looked like a big muddy leaf. NOM’s fur was all tangled and knotty and looked awfully brown. But NOM didn’t care. In fact he still laughed when he stepped into the town square. “That was fun!”, he said and walked into the supermarket his feet leaving trails of mud behind. Inside people glared at NOM. Everyone looked cranky and moody. ‘Why is everyone so grumpy?‘ NOM thought. ‘Is it just because of the weather or what?’ He wished he could help them but didn’t bother about it anymore. He had to go shopping!

NOM stood in front the sesame seed section of the supermarket and started picking out different flavours. Plain, caramel, chocolate, vegetable flavour…

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING HERE???” a voice suddenly screamed behind NOM.

NOM flinched. He turned around slowly to find one of the shop assistants staring at him in disgust.

“YOU ARE MAKING THE BIGGEST MESS IN HERE! This mud is DISGUSTING. Who told you you could go SNEAKING around the supermarket thinking NOTHING of this MESS you made here??!!” the shop assistant yelled so loud, there was spit flying out of his mouth. ‘Jeeesh he’s in a mood!’ NOM thought. “t’s just a little bit of mud…”

“NO, it’s not just a LITTLE bit of mud!!” the man kept yelling.

‘Oops..did I just say that out loud?’ NOM thought. ‘Okaay I have to come up with a solution to calm this man down otherwise I’m not going to get my sesame seeds…’

“I’m really sorry I ma….”, NOM started.

“NO YOU ARE NOT SORRY. I KNOW IT!”

Ok, so a simple apology doesn’t work…what else could I do?’ NOM really had no idea how to get out of this.

“If you don’t leave in ten seconds I’m going to report this to my boss and there will be some SERIOUS consequences.ONE….” the shop assistant threatened.

‘Oh ok…’ NOM thought… ‘Now he’s getting seriously angry.Keep thinking, keep thinking…’

“TWO….”

What can I do? Uhm Uhm Uhm…’

“THREE…FOUR….”

‘Why is it so hard for me to think of an excuse? I need my sesame seeds…‘ NOM was desperate now.

“Uhh well I could uh clean the floor?” NOM said unsure.

“FIVE…SIX….” the assistant kept counting.

‘OK that obviously didn’t work…’ Then he remembered one of the post-it notes that were stuck to his mirror back in the cardboard box: SMILE! It always works! ‘Yes that’s it!’

NOM started smiling at the shop assistant and said: “You know I will clean the whole mess, I really don’t mind and then I can give you a hand and work in your shop for today, cheer everyone up a bit…and later I’ll invite you for a little coffee at the cafe up the road, the one with the pretty lamps. You know I really am sorry I left mud all over the floor. It’ll all be clean in less than one hour. I just want to take one thing: sesame seeds. Thank you.” Throughout the whole speech NOM smiled brightly at the assistant.

The man stared at NOM speechless. Then he managed to stutter a few words: “Uh well if you…you do that…that would…be..uh..yeah”

NOM just kept smiling. The shop assistant didn’t know what else to say so he just stuttered something and turned around to go to some sort of room that had a sign saying ‘Staff only’ on it. NOM thought he could see the trace of a smile playing over the man’s mouth as he disappeared into the staff room.

‘Did it work?’ NOM wondered. He chose all the sesame seeds he wanted and a moment later the shop assistant returned carrying two mops and a bucket full of water. He handed one to NOM and kept the other one for himself. Then he started sweeping the floor whistling.

Wow what happened to him?’ NOM couldn’t stop gaping. Just minutes before the man had yelled at NOM like he was some sort of thief…and now he was whistling and sweeping the floor.That smile trick had actually worked! NOM started sweeping the floor too and an hour later, everything was spotless. NOM found out that the man’s name was Paul and he worked here everyday except for Mondays.While they had been sweeping the floor people had passed them,  looking grumpy at first but when NOM smiled at them they cheered up and smiled too.

Two hours later NOM sat in the cafe with Paul and some of his colleagues who had been just as cranky and were now happily chatting and sipping their coffee. The afternoon had turned out to be really fun. Everyone had been in a mood, but when NOM smiled at them they cheered up. Smiling was the key to making people happy. Especially on rainy days. Then, later in the afternoon, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared on the sky.


Good Quote #2

It had been a very uneventful week for NOM. All he’d pretty much done was to read magazines and books about cooking and occasionally he’d taken a trip to the top of the hill to catch some sunlight.

It was early morning and NOM had just woken up. He got up off his bed and went over to the laptop hoping there would be another quote in the mail.

And there was! When NOM opened the mail program there were 2 new messages. One from his turtle friend Smart and one from the goodquote team! (https://kathialf.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/quotes-and-how-they-inspire-you/)

He opened the quote e-mail first:

Hi NOM

This is the second quote and we hope you enjoy it! Let yourself be inspired!

The goodquote team

That is true! NOM thought. “And that’s what I will do for the whole of next week…I will subtract all the negative from my life and make room for many positive thoughts and feelings!” NOM printed out the quote as usual and stuck it to the wall. He then opened the other e-mail. It was from his turtle friend Smart.

Heyyaaa NOM!

What’s up? I found this really cool photo and I immeadiately thought of you. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it (you have to read the speech bubble, then it’s more funny).  And I know how much you love quotes and all.  The quote is very true for me too by the way. It happens to me a lot.. (the ‘turtle lying on its back’ part :P)

See ya (and enjoy)

from Smart 🙂

NOM laughed at that. Smart was right. This was funny…He laughed for 5  long minutes and that totally made his day.

Optimism; it’s the best way to see life.

PS: In case you can’t read it, the turtle says: “Omg I’m flying!”

Good Quote #1

It was late and NOM was really tired. Before he went to bed, he went to check his e-mails. 3 new mail messages!

NOM opened the first one but soon deleted it after reading the logo. It was one of those advertisements. The second e-mail was no different. The third one  was more interesting. NOM opened it and read the heading: A quote for you!

“This must be from reading day when I signed into the quote e-mail list!”, NOM said.  (read the post here: https://kathialf.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/quotes-and-how-they-inspire-you/) He waited for the whole message to load  then opened it:

Hi NOM!
We are sending you your first quote here! We hope it inspires you.

the goodquote team 😉

NOM smiled. “Great quote!”, he thought. He printed out the picture with the quote on it and stuck it on the wall next to his vision board. Then he went to bed and dreamed about quotes and a happy life full of rainbows. 🙂

 

Quotes and how they inspire you

NOM was excited. Today was reading day in town. This was one of the best days in the year for NOM (after Christmas and birthdays of course). Reading day was a day where authors and other inspiring people came to the town’s library to read out great stories or present their new books. The attendees sometimes got free books and other goodies which NOM thought was pretty cool. He loved reading and read every book he could lay his hands on.

After breakfast ( sweet sesame seed muesli of course) NOM got his book bag and headed to town. It was a short walk and he always enjoyed it. He arrived in town and started looking for the library. Finding the library in this town was hard as it changed spots every year. No one knew why, including NOM, but he didn’t mind.

Finally he found it. The library was hidden behind some trees next to the new supermarket “Aldi”. He made his way toward entrance and was soon swallowed by a crowd of people. Once inside NOM looked at the different stalls in which authors presented their books or talked about other cool things. NOM watched a presentation about a cooking book that even included some sesame seed recipes. He got a free sample of the book and an autograph from the author. Then he walked along the stalls looking for other interesting books and authors. There was one about poems, one about a new fiction book, some about fashion, and another one about quotes… quotes! NOM stepped closer to the stall and sat down to watch the author speak. He was tall and had a black moustache. His speech was really inspiring:

“Hello everyone! Thank you for taking the time to come here and learn about something quite interesting. Quotes! I’m sure you all know what quotes are and some of you might even have a favourite quote that really inspires you. For those who don’t know, a quote is a phrase or a sentence that is really inspiring and contains some sort of message. You see, quotes can be a great tool to get you motivated. There are many great quotes out there, some are informative, some are inspiring. What I encourage you to do is to find one quote that speaks to you. One that inspires you, motivates you or just makes you happy. Once you’ve found that quote; and by the way we have some great ones here for you to have a look at or you can buy our quote book if you don’t have a favourite one…anyways once you have that quote, I want you to stick it on your mirror or vision board (https://kathialf.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/noms-vision-board/ ) and read it everyday. And I don’t mean for you to read it in your head, I want you to read it out loud and really think about it. Let it sink in and feel how it makes you happy or motivates you. If you do this for a few weeks I guarantee that you will find more peace and happiness in your life.”

“I need to find one of those quotes.”, NOM thought and smiled. He looked around the tent and noticed that there were many post-it notes with quotes on them stuck to the walls.

“I hope you enjoyed my speech and I thank you for listening. If you want, you can now take a look around the tent and find your quote. Or I can add you to my e-mail list and you will receive one picture quote every week. Have a great  day and enjoy reading quotes. Let yourself be inspired!”

NOM and the audience clapped. Then NOM got up and made his way towards one of the tables. He put his name into the e-mail list. Now he would receive one new quote every week by mail!

“I just need to find my favourite quote now.”, NOM said. He looked at the walls and read through each post-it note. Every single quote was good but there were none that really spoke to him. He shrugged. “Well then I’m just going to have to wait for the first quote e-mail.” NOM was about to turn to go when he saw a post-it note stuck to the bottom corner of the wall. It was blue like all the others but looked a bit crinkled. The quote on it was perfect:

NOM was stunned. He immediately knew what it meant. “This is my quote!”, he said.

NOM went over to one of the assistants and asked him if he could have that quote. The assistant handed NOM the post-it note with a smile and said: “You picked a very good one! It’s special!” NOM thanked the assistant and felt proud.

He stayed until the very end of reading day, and enjoyed all the great talks while searching through books and poems. Tired but happy NOM finally made his way home. Back in his cardboard box he put the quote on his mirror.

Every morning and night when he walked past the mirror NOM would look at the quote and think about it. “I have to create my life. Which means that I will try to be a better or different person everyday and stretch my comfort zone. I will create myself the way I want to; perfectly awesome! And I won’t think that I can just someday find the perfect me. Life is  about growth. Yep that’s what the quote means.”  And NOM did all of that. This one quote changed his life.

Now find your own quote and do what NOM did. Or do you already have a favourite quote? What is it? Comment below!

20 (or more) things you can do when you are bored

It was early morning and NOM sat on a rock in front of his cardboardbox house. It wasn’t a particularly nice day. The clouds hung in the sky waiting to pour out some rain. It wasn’t warm but it wasn’t very cold either. Everything was clean in NOM’s cardboard box so there was nothing to do in there. NOM sat on the rock doing nothing in particular. He watched some butterflies chasing each other but looked away because he was jealous of their cheerfulness. Then he picked up a piece of dry grass and played with it, but cut himself so he quickly threw it away. There was nothing else to do so he just stared into the distance.  In short: NOM was extremely bored.

Then out of the blue NOM saw a big turtle crawl up the hill towards the carboard box house. It reached the top and started cheering. “YES I made it, I made it.” and did a little dance around a tree. NOM laughed. It was funny seeing a turtle dancing around a tree like that. NOM-ilarious.

the turtle that is never bored! 🙂

“Why are you laughing at me?” The turtle suddenly stopped dancing and looked at NOM.

NOM stopped laughing and sat up. “I…I’m sorry..I was just bored and suddenly there’s you dancing around a tree which is kind of funny…I mean for when you are bored like me.”

Now it was the turtle’s turn to laugh. “You….are bored?” It laughed so much,  it almost rolled back down the hill.

“Why is it so funny that I’m bored?”, NOM asked confused. He felt a little sad after the turtle’s sudden outburst of laughter.

Finally the turtle stopped laughing and looked at NOM. “You can never EVER get bored because…”

“Because?”

The turtle smiled and crawled towards the rock NOM was sitting on. “Because there are too many things you can do in life.”

“Really? But I can’t think of anything else to do. I’ve cleaned the cardboard box, eaten lunch and finished making my new pillow. I’ve…”

“That’s not a very good excuse. There is always something to do. Always. Here take this notebook and read through the list. It’ll give you some good inspiration.” The turtle handed NOM a small blue notebook that looked like it had been used a lot.

wouldn’t it be awesome to have a book like that? 🙂

“Make yourself comfortable on the grass, read the book and you’ll soon be inspired! While you are reading I willl practise my dance.”

“Thank you turtle!”, NOM said and opened the first page of the notebook. He began to read the list on the first page:

If you are bored, this is what you could do:

  • 1. read a magazine about polaroid cameras
  • 2. bake sesame seed cake
  • 3. invent a new sesame seed recipe
  • 4. decorate your cardboard box and put new photos on its walls

‘This is odd”, NOM thought after reading the first few suggestions. “It seems like this book was written for me. Only for me. But surely other people would have read it too.” Confused, but smiling NOM kept reading the list.

  • 5. buy a new hat
  • 6. draw a picture of yourself (or something else)
  • 7. walk up the hill and take a picture of the sunset.
  • 8. visit the lake nearby and go swimming (or learn swimming if you don’t know how to)
  • 9. play with your pet- you dont’t have one? Then buy one!
  • 10. make a vision board- https://kathialf.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/noms-vision-board/
  • 11. buy a thing called ‘iphone’ and play games on it 🙂
  • 12. read a book (make sure you pick an interesting one)
  • 13. go into town and meet new people (or your friends)
  • 14. watch a moooovie (if you don’t have a TV in your cardboard box, visit a cinema)
  • 15. pick a country and find out everything about it on the internet (or in books)
  • 16. write a story or a book (either is good)
  • 17. try out a new sport (basketball, badminton, karate, volleyball, taekwondo, horse riding?)
  • 18. play an instrument (this could be any; you can even make your own 🙂 )
  • 19. listen to some good music and dance to it!
  • 20. write a letter to someone you love ❤
  • 21. write a list of your own things you can do when you are bored…. (if you are creative this list could fill up more than 10 books!)

NOM closed the book and jumped up from the rock. Suddenly he was super-excited.

“Thank you turtle! I know sooooo many things I’m going to do now! This is great!”

The turtle stopped its dance around the tree and smiled.

“I told you. There are too many things you can do in life.”

NOM grabbed the notebook and said: “Come on let’s go to the village and grab a sesame seed milkshake, then we can go for a walk up the hill and plan our invention and later at night we can make  our own board game in my cardboardbox!”

The turtle just grinned and followed NOM down the hill. It was going to be a great afternoon.

Do you ever get bored? If yes, I hope this list has given you some inspiration as to what you can do when you catch yourself lazily playing with some grass or sitting on the couch doing nothing in particular. 🙂 And besides, you can’t just be bored. Being bored is a decision. You decide wether you are bored or not. But that’s a whole other story…

NOM’s Vision Board

NOM sat on a bench in the middle of the square of the village and ate sesame seeds. A big bag full of groceries lay next him on the bench packed full of goodies for the week.

“Now I just need my decorations”, NOM said. Before heading off for his shopping trip NOM had noticed that the walls of his cardboard box were a bit plain so he decided to buy some. He needed something really colourful and inspirational.

NOM finished his bag of caramel-flavoured sesame seeds and started walking along the shops admiring the many clothes that were on sale. He looked through some more shop windows and saw delicious bread in one store, colourful fabrics and textiles in the other and books in another one. Then he came across a shop that looked particularly intersting. Looking through the big glass window NOM could see photographs paintings and stacks of magazines all either hanging on the walls or lying on the floor.

Then he saw a sign that was stuck to the shop’s entrance. It read: Make your own Vision Board here!!

“What’s a vision board?” NOM wondered. After some thinking he slowly opened the shop’s front door and stepped in. From the inside the shop looked even more intersting. Huge shelves with magazines and other pieces of coloured paper lined the walls. The floor was carpeted making it nice and cosy. NOM pulled out a magazine from one of the shelves. It was a travel book showing many pictures of places from around the world. Fascinated NOM started looking through the magazine and dreamed of visiting these destinations.

“Can I help you?” A friendly voice suddenly said behind him.

NOM looked up. It took him a while to register the face. It was a young woman wearing a big pair of black glasses. She also wore a black dress with a little sign pinned to it saying “I’m Shelly.” Shelly smiled at NOM.

“I think so”, NOM said. “I saw that sign on your front door and it said you can make a vision board.”

“Do you want to make one?”, Shelly asked.

“Well I was wondering what a vision board is.”

“Oh you don’t know. Well then I’ll better explain. Come with me.” Shelly headed towards a corner in the room where there where multiple big posters stuck to the walls. Above the posters was a sign saying: “VISIONBOARDS“. NOM quickly followed her and looked at the posters. They all had pictures of beautiful places, clothes, different sports, money, food and other cool things on them.

“Wow that looks NOMazing.”, NOM said.

Shelly grinned.”I know. These are vision boards. People make them for all their goals and visions for the future. Vision boards help people to concetrate on these goals and visions everyday and this will help them stay focused on them and eventually achieve them.”

NOM got excited. “That’s awesome. I could use one of these for my home. I was going to decorate the walls anyways and this is perfect! Can I make one here?”

“Of course! We have many magazines and photos you can use to make your own vision board. It’s also easy to make one yourself at home using old magazines and newspapers and anything else you might like to stick on your board.”

NOM decided to make his vision board in the shop. They had so many pretty magazines and photos he could use. He got a pair of scissors and a big piece of cardboard. Then he started looking through magazines and cut out photos of the things he loved and wanted to be or achieve in the future. (e.g places he wanted to travel to, things he wanted to buy, something he wanted to become and much more). When he was done he was very proud and looked at his finished vision board:

NOM thanked Shelly for showing him how to make a vision board and made his way home. Back in the cardboard box he put his masterpiece on the wall and looked at it proudly.

Now whenever NOM walked past he would look at his vision board. It made him feel more confident and he was always reminded of his goals. He wanted to achieve all his goals and dreams so he did something everyday to move closer to his goal (one of his goals was being able to make sesame waffles without a recipe and he achieved that goal in a day:) ).

Now it’s your turn to make a vision board! Get out some magazines and scissors and start creating your masterpiece 🙂 It’s really fun to make and will help you with all your goals and dreams. Put it somewhere you can see it everyday like above your bed. Have fun! 😀

Any thoughts about vision boards? Do you already have one or are you planning on making one? Comment below!

Happy or sad? You choose.

One day; it was a Saturday morning, NOM sat in his little jewellery box (his so called home) and read the local newspaper. NOM never really read what was in it, he just liked to look at the photos. As he flipped through the pages he came across a wonderful picture. It was a picture of a sunset, that was taken from the top of a hill. NOM was so memerized by the photo because he had never seen such a beautiful sunset. When he read the article he found out that this photo was taken not very far from here, on a hill that overlooked a big valley. ‘Wow I want to see this place!’, said NOM. He was thrilled.

In the afternoon NOM packed everything for his trip to the hill including a little blue polaroid camera he had spent his entire money on. It was one of those cameras where the photo comes out right after you take it. Taking photos with a polaroid camera was one of NOM’s favourite hobbies. He also packed some food (sesame seeds and chocolate), a little hat and a map (so he knew where he was going).

At around 4pm NOM headed off. It was a wonderful afternoon. The sun was still up in the sky, but already quite low, the birds chirped their goodnight songs in the trees and the mild breeze ruffled up some leaves in a bush. NOM was really excited to see this sunset. ‘It is going to be NOMazing’ he thought and made his way towards the big hill.

NOM had just started walking up the big green hill when he felt something wet hit his fur. A raindrop. Then there was another one, and another one that hit him right in the eye. NOM shrieked and quickly put his hat on. Soon the sky was covered in black clouds and suddenly rain started pouring down onto the big green hill, the grass and the trees… and onto NOM.

NOM started climbing up the hill as fast as he could because he needed to see that sunset! In the distance he could still see patches of the sun peeking through the clouds. NOM held onto his polaroid camera tightly, trying to cover it from the rain that kept pouring down onto them non-stop. He had nearly reached the top now, he only had a few metres to go.

When NOM finally reached the top and climbed towards the bench that marked the top of the hill, it was dark. The rain clouds had taken over the whole sky and the sun was no-where to be seen. NOM’s head sank. He sat down on the bench and felt miserable. “Now I don’t get to see the sunset. My day is completely ruined.”, he said.

NOM sat on the bench for ages, not moving and just feeling sad. “I hate rain”, he said. “It ruins everything.”

“No it doesn’t”, a voice suddenly said from behind him. NOM shrieked and turned around a little so he could see the stranger’s face. It was a human with bright blue eyes and a big nose. He looked NOM straight in the eyes and said: “You decide how you feel about the rain. You decide if you feel happy or sad, right now or in any situation. Look at this wonderful sky, it’s grey but beautiful. And look, you can see everything from up here. The mountains, the trees, the village, everything. I think it’s amazing, because I decided to do so. I decided to feel happy about the rain right now…because what’s the point of feeling sad and miserable?” The human paused and then sat down on the bench next to NOM.

“Really?”, NOM said after a while. “So if I want to feel happy about this rain I can just decide to be happy and then I’m happy?”

“Yes of course”, said the human. “If you focus on all the good things like the colour of the sky or the great view, and you decide to feel happy about it, then you can.”

“All right”, NOM said after some thinking. He looked at the sky and the valley and suddenly he realised that this was beautiful.The shades and different colours of the sky, the valley and everything else around him.

“Wow. Now I see it! This is NOMazing. Maybe even more amazing than the sunet.”

“Yes, because you decided to. You decided to make this amazing.”

NOM smiled, got out his camera and took a photo of the valley and the sky. It turned out to be one of the best photos he had ever taken!

Life isn’t about waiting for the stom to pass; it’s about

learning how to dance in the rain.

Next time, before you say: “I feel unhappy”, you can think again and decide to feel happy! 🙂 The same goes with everything else in life. You can decide how you feel about a situation, don’t blame it on other people (or the rain).

This was NOM’s first adventure! Any feedback?