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Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

This is a fabulous post from tiybuddha.com written by Lisa Illichmann. I just absolutely love this! It just goes to show that our attitude, and our attitude alone, can make the difference between a good day and a very bad one. What’s your perspective?

One Experience, Two Stories: Interpretation Is Everything

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” – Pema Chodron

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner—hopeful I was headed in the right direction—I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head-first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

What a jerk! What was he doing on the sidewalk with that bike? And anyway, what was he doing on a bicycle in the first place, when he clearly wasn’t able to ride one. He should be off learning somewhere else. The nerve.

He could have killed me! How unbelievably dangerous. What on earth did he think we have streets for? Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not bikes – especially not for out of control ones. What if an old lady had been in his way? She would have had no chance at all. Imagine. The gall of this guy.

And look at my clothes. I was a mess. My jacket was torn, my knees were scrubbed, my hands were dirty and I broke one of my heels off. Damn shoes were expensive too. I couldn’t possibly go to my appointment like this. I was really pissed off, and rightly so. The cyclist was clearly at fault.

I pulled out my telephone, which probably was broken, although it looked okay and cancelled my appointment. I found my briefcase lying in the dirt next to the bushes. The leather was scratched and all my papers had fallen out. The laptop was probably ruined, but I decided to check that later. I gathered all my things, took the broken shoe off and limped back to my car.

What a jerk.

… One more time…

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office, and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well and so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner, hopeful I was headed in the right direction, I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

Wow. That guy could have killed me. I couldn’t believe it. My response time was unbelievable. Imagine. I was in those bushes within a fraction of a second. Incredible. And with high heels on. Oops. Make that high heel – one of them didn’t survive. I broke the heel off of the other shoe so I could walk straight. Thank goodness I bought expensive shoes—they even looked good without heels.

I was impressed. My years of working with horses had definitely paid off; I could really get out of the way fast. I gave myself an emotional pat on the back. I’d like to see my son move like that. Downright elegant the way I dove into those shrubs. I brushed the dirt off my pants, pleased I had worn brown.

Most people I know would have been flattened. They wouldn’t have had a chance. I snickered smugly and plucked the leaves from my hair.

Feeling ever so athletic, I gathered all my scattered papers, shoved my laptop back into my briefcase and checked the address. Yep, this was the right building. Wasn’t even late. I wiped my hands on the lining of my jacket and rang the buzzer.

Look out world, here I come.

Same bike. Same bush. Different meaning. Different day.

Happy diving.

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I’ve been paying close attention to my emotions lately as I seem to go from happy to miserable in a moments notice and I didn’t know why. 

It turns out that I get very offended, hurt and even angry when an expectation of mine is not fulfilled. I take things quite personally and will often ruminate for days or weeks after the incident. 

Please don’t take me for a drama queen that freaks out if I don’t get what I want. I’m quite the opposite actually. I’m usually rather easy going and don’t expect much from people. I try my best to accept things as they are and look for the positives in each situation. However, I find that there are still times when I increase my expectations just a little bit and then I find myself incredibly disappointed when they aren’t met. 

The last few times I’ve felt myself getting angry, I’ve looked at the situations surrounding me. Each and every time I’ve had a certain expectation that wasn’t fulfilled to my satisfaction. Here are some examples. 

A friend of mine is doing a charity walk to raise money for cancer. Of course I donated money to help her meet her goal but I made the mistake of expecting a thank you. I must state that I did not donate for an ego boost. I just wanted to do what I thought was the right thing (support a good cause while also helping out a friend) but I really did expect some sort of acknowledgement of what I did. When I didn’t hear anything back from this friend, I got pretty mad. 

Another example is when my husband says he’ll be home at a certain time and isn’t. Now, I’m pretty accustomed to this by now, I generally always assume that he’ll be later than he says but on some occasions I will expect him home at that specific time. When he doesn’t show up, I’m hurt. 

The biggest example of this is my birthday. Every single year on my birthday I feel depressed and disappointed (and not because I’m getting older). I’m disappointed because I expect my friends to call or send me cards (and most don’t), I expect my Facebook to be filled with birthday wishes (but it’s not) and a little part of me always hopes for a grand gesture from my husband (I usually get pajamas and a card). Now there absolutely nothing wrong with pajamas and I am very grateful for the few cards I do get or the number of birthday wishes that are sent my way but it’s never enough. My birthday is the one time I really allow my expectations to get the better of me. 

If we go through life with all of these unachievable expectations, we are bound to be disappointed time and again. But if we lower those expectations, or better yet, drop the expectations completely than we will be filled with unfailing gratitude. 

From now on, I’m going to try my best to drop the expectations. I’m not suggesting that I become a doormat or allow others to treat me poorly, I’m simply stating that I won’t expect others to make me happy. If I don’t expect anyone to remember my birthday, I’ll be appreciative of the few people who do instead of angry at those who didn’t. 

Do you fall into the trap of high expectations (of others or even yourself)? If so, give this a try. The next time you find yourself expecting a certain outcome, stop, drop and let it go. 🙂 Your life will be a lot more enjoyable when it’s filled with boundless positive surprises instead of never-ending disappointment.

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August – Love Thyself 

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball 

Some people may think that putting yourself first is a selfish thing to do but I beg to differ. I believe that in order to be the best person that we can be, and therefore be able to help other people, we need to put ourselves first. What good are we to anybody if we are stressed out, frustrated or just plain burnt out? This month I am going to focus on me and do all the things I need to do to rejuvenate and renew myself. 

The resolutions to focus on this month:

  • Take supplements every day
  • Floss
  • Improve posture
  • Read
  • Plan an at-home spa day at least once/month
  • Talk nice to myself 
  • Make a positive argument
  • Check in with my emotions

I have broken down my resolutions into three categories: Health (take care of myself), Indulge (pamper myself), and Love & Kindness (love myself).

Health (take care of myself):

Take Supplements Every Day

I am supposed to be taking four different vitamins/supplements twice/day but I’m lucky if I remember to take them even once each day. I know these supplements are for my own good, and they help me to live a healthy lifestyle but I just can’t seem to consistently remember to take them. I really have no excuse as the bottles are sitting right there on the counter and yet time and again I’ll go a day or two without a single pill. Well that stops today. I’m hoping by making this a goal for this month, it will be fresh in my mind and I’ll actually remember to do it.

Floss

You know how at every dentist appointment, the dentist always asks, “Have you been flossing regularly?” Well, each and every time, I blush, look away and say “well…ummm…no, not as often as I should…” aka ”pretty much never, except the odd time I get a kernel of popcorn stuck in my teeth that drives me bonkers.” We all know how important it is to do and yet most of us don’t do it. In preparation for this month, I’ve started to sporadically floss to get the hang of it and I’ve realized that I really hate using floss. My solution: I bought a big bag of those tiny floss picks so I won’t have to wrap the damn floss around my fingers anymore!

Improve Posture

I go to a chiropractor every two weeks. It helps tremendously but I also realize that I’m never going to decrease my appointment intervals if I don’t start doing something on my end too. Needless to say, my posture sucks. Because it hurts my lower back to sit up straight, I slouch at every opportunity. I really don’t want to be that little hunched lady when I grow up so it’s time I start consciously making an effort to straighten up and look my best. Besides, I’m hoping that by standing a little taller and holding my head a little higher, I may just indirectly boost my self-confidence too. 🙂 

Indulge (Pamper myself):

Read

Reading is by far my most favourite thing to do. It involves no exertion, which is terrific when I’m feeling lazy, and it provides big doses of entertainment, laughter, tears and insight. I’ve actually been reading quite a bit lately, as I have a stack of books calling my name, but I’m still not reading as much as I’d like. This month I’m giving myself permission to read as much as I want with no nagging guilt trying to pull me towards a more “productive” task. 

Plan an At-Home Spa Day at Least Once/Month

I have oodles of “spa” stuff from beautifully scented bubble baths, to everything you could possibly want to give yourself a fantastic pedicure, to my own personal microdermabrasion kit and ice eye roller. The problem is, although I love all this stuff, I rarely ever indulge in the awesomeness of it all. It sits, unused, in my closet just taunting me every time I look at it. I’m trying to be realistic here by only saying once/month as I honestly don’t think I can commit to more than that (If I have some spare time, I’ll most likely be reading 😉 ). However, with that said, I will try to use some of my products on a more regular basis but I’m certainly not promising anything. 

Love & Kindness (love myself):

Ok, this is the biggy! If I have any hope of becoming a better, more compassionate person, I need to first be kind with myself. So here goes a month of truly loving myself, unconditionally.  

Talk Nice To Myself

This one is pretty self-explanatory. No negative self-talk. Period. From now on, I will do everything in my power to build myself up instead of stomping myself down. 

Make a Positive Argument

As humans, we have this incredible ability to argue anything. We pull up example after example to support whatever cause we’re trying to push. A unique factor of this ability is the fact that we can usually shift to the complete opposite argument and still come up with examples. With that being said, I believe that I can successfully come up with a positive argument for every negative thought that may pop into my head (although no negative thoughts should be popping up if I follow the goal up above ;)). Here’s a simple example: today, while drinking from my water bottle, I spilled water all down the front of my shirt…again. Negative self talk: “Geez, I did it again! I’m so clumsy. I always spill my water!” Positive argument: “Well actually, I don’t always spill my water. I must drink from it at least 50 times per day and I’ve only spilt it once today. That’s pretty good odds. I’m awesome! :P” 

Check in With My Emotions

When I attended a women’s emotional healing retreat last year, we would all sit around in a circle and “check-in” with ourselves after each break. Our guide would have us close our eyes and lay our hand on our heart and pay attention to our emotions at that very moment. We would then go around the circle and name that emotion with one word…calm, anxious, sad, content etc. It was an incredibly powerful exercise and one I have not done since leaving the retreat. In an effort to become more aware of how I’m truly feeling, I’m going to resolve to “check-in” with myself at least once a day (if not more often).

I’m really unsure how this month will progress as most of these goals are completely new to me. But I have hope that everything will work out and I’ll be loving my awesome self in no time!

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Today is the last day of the seventh month of my Happiness Project for 2011.   

To recap, I chose to focus on Doing What Ought to Be Done. My resolutions for the month were to:  

  • Donate blood
  • Register to become an organ donor
  • Donate money to a cause
  • Sponsor a donkey
  • Replace my incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s
  • Buy a collapsible reusable bag to keep in my purse
  • Go vegetarian for one day each week
  • Program my thermostat
  • Get rid of all my excess stuff…responsibly
  • Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
  • Create an emergency kit 

This month proved to be a lot more work than I had initially thought. It sure does take a lot of time and effort to do the ‘right thing’.

Donate blood

It makes me very sad to report that I was unable to donate blood this month. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I have been battling some sort of cold/flu/crappiness for this entire month. Since I am not allowed to donate while feeling sick and/or tired, I haven’t been able to book an appointment yet. This resolution is very important to me though and I will definitely be donating blood as soon as I feel 100%. 

Register to become an organ donor

This I was able to do and doing it made me feel soooo happy! Although it didn’t take any effort at all, and technically I haven’t really done much (as I haven’t actually saved a life or anything) it was still a huge mood booster! I highly recommend that everyone does this; not only could you save up to 8 lives but you get a fantastic “pat on the back” feeling for doing the right thing.

Donate money to a cause

I took awhile to get to this goal as I couldn’t decide what to do with my money. Do I donate x amount of dollars to one charity or do I divide it between a number of charities? Which charities do I want to support? Obviously they are all worthy causes but what really speaks to me personally? 

Since I already donate to the local humane society on a monthly basis and I gave money to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (see below) I felt that I needed to broaden my charities to one that wasn’t necessarily saving animals. After spending hours searching for charities online, I chose to give my donation to Canadian Tire Jumpstart

Jumpstart provides funds for disadvantaged kids to participate in organized sports and recreational activities. What I really liked most about this program is that parents can’t just sign up for it (thus eliminating the possibility of people taking advantage of the program). The kids that get funded are ones that are found through volunteers working through local chapters (ie: Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Canada, YMCA etc). These community leaders discreetly identify financially disadvantaged children that might benefit from the program. Once identified, Jumpstart will grant up to $300 per child per season for whatever activity/sport they want.

I chose this charity over all the other equally worthy causes because of my husbands’ poor upbringing. As a child he had always wanted to play ice hockey but his parents could never afford it. Now at 31 years old, he has finally started playing and is happy as a clam! Because of this I felt that this Jumpstart charity was the perfect cause to support. 

Sponsor a donkey

I am very happy to report that I finally stepped up and made the call to sponsor my sweet little donkey…well, actually, she isn’t technically a donkey, she is a beautiful little mule named Ginger. On Friday I received my official sponsor certificate as well as an adorable picture of Ginger that is now proudly hanging on my fridge. 🙂 

Replace my incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s

As I mentioned in my update, my husband and I replaced 20 of our incandescent bulbs with CFL’s. Although some of them don’t produce as good a quality of light as the old bulbs (we purchased a few “white” lights instead of the “yellow” lights as they were cheaper), I’m still very happy that we will start to save money on electricity and we can carry on with our day knowing that we took one small step to make this world a better place.

Buy a collapsible reusable bag to keep in my purse

I was lucky enough to find an adorable little black polka-dot bag at the Scenic Caves gift shop, of all places. I didn’t even notice them at first but since my observant mom was with me, and reads my blog, she knew that I had been looking for one and pointed it out to me. Now it is living a nice life in the bottom of my purse just waiting for the day it can unroll and spring to life to carry my newly purchased belongings.

Go vegetarian for one day each week

I have been sticking to this for the whole month (even sometimes going vegetarian for two days out of the week). Although my meals still aren’t all that creative (egg salad sandwiches or toast with peanut butter for lunches and pesto pasta, grilled cheese or vegetable fajitas for dinner) I’m making a point to include a vegetarian option when buying groceries each week. I can’t say that I’m feeling any healthier but I do feel that I’m making a conscious effort to take a step in the right direction.

Program my thermostat

Hmmm, well I can honestly say that although this was a good idea, I really shouldn’t have resolved to do this. I knew at the time I didn’t feel like looking for and reading an instruction manual but I believed that setting it as a goal would make me do it. I was wrong. I’m so not a manual girl, I don’t like reading technical stuff nor do I want to learn how to program a thermostat. So for now, until my husband (hopefully) does it for me, I will just keep the temperature set high and suffer in the heat in an effort to save some electricity.

Get rid of all my excess stuff…responsibly

I still have a bit more stuff to physically get rid of but I have made a lot of progress on this goal. Between friends, co-workers and strangers on Kijiji, I have been able to give away a lot of “stuff” (PS2 games, DVD’s, CD’s, a lamp, a teddy bear, scrapbook magazines etc). I have also donated 5 pairs of old glasses and sunglasses to One Sight, a big box of “construction” stuff to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and a bunch of old dishes to Goodwill. I also recycled some old electronics responsibly by dropping them off at an official e-waste recycler. I still have more stuff to get rid off but I’m currently just waiting and watching the Wanted section of Kijiji hoping to find someone in need of what I have.

Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

I looked everywhere for one of these darn stickers. I couldn’t find any online that would ship to Canada, our local humane society didn’t carry them and I had no luck at the first two pet stores I tried. However, the third pet store did carry a Rescue magnet. It’s not as good or as big as the Rescue Alert sticker I wanted, plus I had to add “x2 and a cat” in black marker after “Please rescue my dog” but it will do the trick.  

Create an emergency kit

I don’t know if any of you out there have created an emergency kit for yourselves but it’s a LOT of work! I can’t believe how much stuff you’re supposed to keep available. Just for my husband, our pets and I, we are supposed to have over 24 liters of water (plus an additional 12 liters for cooking/cleaning). Add that to the 3 days worth of canned food, can opener, flashlight, batteries, candles, matches. radio, blanket, keys, cash….plus all the pet supplies, it makes for a very, very large kit. I don’t have the kit fully constructed yet but I do have the basics ready to go if an emergency did occur. We’ll be happy little campers eating our cold Zoodles and Beefaroni for the next 72 hours. 😛

Although this month was aimed more at getting certain tasks done instead of creating new behaviours, I still felt that these goals gave me a big boost of happiness. Most of these definitely took work and time but the good you feel from doing the right thing is definitely worth the effort.

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If someone asked you for just one simple piece of advice to live a happy life, what would you say?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and besides the obvious like find a job you love, follow your passions etc, I think I would tell someone to Prioritize Your Happiness. By that I mean make time for the things that matter and stop wasting your time on the things that don’t. 

I was recently telling a workaholic friend of mine about my zip line adventures. He was really interested in the whole Eco tour and said numerous times that he would love to do something like that. I told him to go ahead and do it, because, really, why not? If you want to do it, just do it! His response was “maybe someday…”

The next day I jokingly asked him if he had booked it yet and he once again put it off saying that he wishes he could do it but it’s just not an option right now. I said “with that attitude you’re going to be on your deathbed still wishing” and all he did was shrug his shoulders and gave in to the fact that this was the way his life was and he had no control over it. 

Hold that thought! Let me tell you, you most certainly DO have control over the path your life follows. YOU, and you alone make the choices. You choose what job to work and if you work overtime each and every day. You choose to spend your little free time vegging in front of the TV or constantly checking your Blackberry. You choose to put work before your family, friends and your own personal needs and wants. It is all you, and you alone. 

The good news is that your life doesn’t have to be this way any more. 

Because you get to make all the choices around here, you can choose to follow your dreams. To do all the things you love to do. To spend time with friends and family. Or maybe, finally, book that zip line tour. The choice is yours. 

So stop making excuses. Stop trying to blame your miserable life on other people or poor circumstances. Stop putting off your happiness and start living your life! Sure, I know you need to pay the bills, so yes, you may need to put a good 40+ hours a week toward a job you may not prefer but that doesn’t mean you have to allow that misery to consume your entire world. You can always look for a new job. And in the meantime, while you’re waiting for the dream job to appear, make time for the things that are important on your off hours. You have vacation days. You have holidays and weekends. And you have evenings that are all for you! So start enjoying them!

If you are choosing to put work first because you truly love it and you’re happy with that decision, that’s great, but if you are waking up each day miserable, wishing you were someone else, than you are not prioritizing your happiness. Put yourself first for once. Put happiness first and go do the things you love. 

We only get one chance to live this life, why are you wasting it?

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We all have bad days. Those days when the alarm doesn’t go off, you rush to get ready, you forget something important and then to top it all off, you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. Your boss is a jerk, your co-workers are annoying and even your friend doesn’t have time for you… Well, I have a solution for you when you find yourself enveloped in stupidity and you can’t wait for the day to be over.

Lori Deschene over at tinybuddha.com has compiled a wonderful list of 51 things that will make you smile…and they are all in your control! You can commit yourself to finding something worth smiling about each and every day.

Below are my favourites but I highly suggest you read the whole happy list here.

  • Rearrange your furniture. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I do this, and I also really enjoy the novelty of creating a space with a different feel.

*I think this is almost as invigorating as a good cleaning/organization session!*

  • Give your cat a ball of yarn or give your dog a wrapped gift and watch him try to open it. Pets playing = instant smile, at least, for me!

*Every year for Christmas and their birthday, I wrap a bunch of little trinket toys for my dogs. They love the thrill of ripping the wrapping paper and I absolutely love watching them go nuts!*

  • Go out and invest in a hula hoop. It’s nearly impossible to stay glum when you get moving like you haven’t since you were a kid. (Alternative option: jump around on a trampoline and just try to not smile!

* I have a bright purple hula hoop and have a blast anytime I attempt to hula. What’s even more fun though is watching your best friend attempt to hula!* 🙂

  • For the ladies: paint your toe nails a bright color that you wouldn’t usually pick.

*If you’ve read my Thankful Thursday than you know I just LOVE bright nail polish! I always have a little extra fun when I paint my nails with my “little sister” though as she likes to go multi-colour!*

  • Blast your favorite music and dance around with absolutely no regard for rhythm or appearance.

* I do this all the time to Aqua – Happy Boys and Girls*

  • Watch a movie or cartoon from your childhood. (Smurfs always do it for me, especially when I remember how my mother called them devil worshipers because Papa Smurf did magic.)

*If you know me at all, you know I’m a HUGE fan of 80’s stuff…movies, toys, games but the most fun is certainly watching some old school cartoons. And thanks to YouTube, you can watch just about anything from your past (just last week I was catching up on some old Smoggies episodes).

  • Look at pictures from your childhood. I can’t help but smile when I see the ridiculously thick bangs my mother gave me (translate: the front of a mullet).

*Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing the hair and outfits I had when I was growing up*

  • Wear bright colored socks. If your pants are long, wear a different color on each foot. It’s like a little private joke that only you and your feet know about.

* Best. Socks. Ever. And yes, I have worn these in public. :)*

 

  • Grab your camera and go outside with a mission to capture things that make you happy.

*I take my camera almost everywhere I go just in case I see something fantastic that makes me happy!*

  • Make a list of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished and experienced this year, and then bask in the beauty of it all.

*What a fabulous way to boost your confidence too!*

  • Commit a random act of kindness and tell that person to pass it on.

* You know I love this idea! :)*

*The book is equally as awesome. I highly recommend it, especially as a nice read before bed.

  • Create a gratitude list for the day, including the smallest details (a fluffy pillow) and the biggest things (your health and your family).

*My daily gratitude journal along with my Thankful Thursdays have really changed my perspective on things and has definitely made me smile.*

Are you smiling yet? 🙂

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Here is a wonderful, powerful post I found on tinubuddha.com contributed by Declan O’Flaherty

8 Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude

For years I lived an uneventful existence. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy either. I was just sort of stuck.

I had a good career, earned lots of money, and I had great friends and a loving family. You would think that this doesn’t sound too bad, but I felt unfulfilled and unmotivated. I repeatedly lived each day like the one before.

I looked around me and saw that everybody within my own circle of friends, relatives, and immediate family were no different. They too seemed stuck. They seemed unmotivated—like they were living their lives on automatic pilot.

I began to question why this was. Why do so many people just accept this pattern as normal, as if this is the way it is supposed to be?

I read hundreds of books on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. I continued with this for a couple of years until I gradually I began to see things with greater clarity. I began to wake up. Then one day, out of the blue it just hit me, like a ton of bricks.

The key to unlocking my prison door was not contained in any books I read (although they did help me somewhat). It was in my ability to accept what “is” in this moment. So I now I make that choice.

Here are 8 tips to help you make that choice:

1. Remember that you are powerful.

Most of the time we have no idea what we are supposed to be doing, or who we are supposed to be imitating. I say “imitating” because this is what we do: We conform to the external environment.

We play roles and cover up our true selves by identifying with “things” that end up defining who we think we are. I’m a doctor, a salesperson, a secretary, a lawyer; I’m sad, happy, lonely, or miserable. I’m angry, jealous, afraid, and I can’t help it—it’s who I am.

The truth is, though, we are none of those things. They are symptoms of the sleepwalking disease. You are more important than any label. We are not our professions. We are not our feelings. We are not our circumstances. We are not even our mind.

What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are far more powerful than we think we are.

2. Choose to embrace life.

Let go and embrace the moment, whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you.

Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run.

Be bold and courageous, and make decisions that benefit your growth. Put yourself on your imaginary death-bed and realize that time stands still for no one. Start as soon as possible to make any necessary changes you may need to.

Take the first step before more time gradually passes by while you stand still stagnating. Your choice. Your life. Your responsibility. Your power.

3. Realize that you get to control your reactions.

We create our outside reality by the thoughts and beliefs we maintain about life in general. What we believe in our inner world, we see in our outer world—not the other way around. 

We all have problems, and we’re often tested by circumstances outside of our control. Even though you may not be in control of what’s going on outside of you, you most definitely can control your reaction to those situations.

We have the power because our inner world (cause) affects the influence we allow the outer world (effect) to have on us. So next time you hear somebody mention that you have great personal power, know they are 100% correct. You have more control than you think.

4. Know that no one is better qualified.

We place far too much emphasis on other people’s opinions about us, often to the exclusion of our own. This takes away from our own personal power. No matter what anybody says about you, it doesn’t hold any significance to who you truly are unless you identify or agree with them.

Stop identifying with other people’s opinions and become aware of how you see yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do. Never accept another person’s reality as your own. Always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. And, most importantly, never let another person’s opinion of you affect what you believe about yourself.

5. Believe that you are more than enough.

If you have to compare yourself to someone else, let it be a person who is less fortunate, and let it be a lesson to learn just how abundant your life truly is. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You may find that you are not entirely grateful for what you possess. You may believe that you need more than you have right now to be happy. If this is the case, then you are absolutely right—you will need more, and you will continue to need more.

This cycle will perpetuate as long as your mind believes it to be true. If you focus on what you have, and not on what you lack, you will always have enough, because you will always be enough.

6. Love yourself.

You have arrived. Everything you need is right here. Cut out the distractions, open your eyes, and see that you already have everything in your possession to be happy, loved, and fulfilled.

It’s not out there. It never was out there. It’s in the same place it was since the day you were born. It’s just been covered up by all the external things you have identified with over the years. 

Be yourself. Love yourself completely and accept everything that you are. You are beautiful. Believe it, and most importantly, remind yourself often.

7. Stay cool.

If someone cuts us off in traffic or skips the queue at our local cinema, we may feel our blood pressure begin to rise and feel the need to react in a negative manner. We get uptight with other people’s actions, and in the end we punish ourselves for their bad behavior.

We and up losing control over our own actions because of the way other people act. But we are responsible for our own action, regardless of how rude other people may act. If it’s hard to stay cool, remember: you are the one who loses in the end, if you lose the lesson. 

8. Journey well

We know life is about the journey and not the arrival. We don’t need to arrive if we accept that we are already here.

Be content with where you are today and don’t make the mistake of putting off being happy because you are waiting for the right moment to shine. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey. 

Not everyone woke up this morning and not everyone will go to bed tonight. Life has no guarantees. Every minute you are living is a blessing that has to be experienced in the moment. It’s not always easy, but it’s always an option—a choice. Your choice.

That last paragraph is so powerful! I love it!!!

Enjoy the journey people and keep smiling! 🙂

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