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The Secret Of Happiness: Don’t Wait, Just Take The Chance

The Secret Of Happiness: Don’t Wait, Just Take The Chance

Lately, I’ve been hearing a new spin on the old saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” The new sentiment is that good things (like happiness) come to those who work hard and go get them. Both versions of the mantra have their merits. The original instills the idea that patience is a virtue, and not everything comes easily. The amended version clarifies the misconception that simply waiting for something good to happen is not enough; you have to work for everything you earn in life. Keep this in mind as you go through life, and understand that every moment you live is another chance you have to work for what you deserve.

1. Nothing will simply come to you

Unless you were born into an incredibly wealthy family, you’re going to have to work for everything you want in life. Unfortunately, many people have grown up with a sense of entitlement, putting hard work off until “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” We seem to be under the impression that one day everything we’ve ever wanted will simply appear in front of us for the taking. We have to realize that the house we grew up in didn’t grow out of the ground; our parents worked every day of their lives to make sure we had that roof over our heads. Furthermore, if we were simply handed everything on a silver platter, we’d find no fulfillment in life. Working hard may be tough, but it makes earning the things we desire much more rewarding.

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2. Risks are a necessity

No one gets anywhere staying in their comfort zone. Expanding this zone may be difficult, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to achieve anything. You’ll never get over your fear of public speaking if you avoid classes and jobs in which you’ll have to give presentations to a large group. Avoidance is never the answer. The worst thing that can happen when you take a risk is you could fall short of your goal. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it simply means you’ve found a way that didn’t work. When you take a risk and fall short, make the most out of the negative experience by learning from your short-comings, and changing your plan of attack the next time around.

3. Rewards make work worth doing

I alluded to this before, but it’s worth reiterating: Earning a reward is much more fulfilling than simply being given it. When you’re simply handed everything in life without having to work for it, the only thing that happens is your desire for more increases. Wisdom shows us that you’ll wind up being unfulfilled no matter how much “stuff” you accumulate. When you work for what you’ve earned, you’ll discover you’re happy with what you have. And, if you do desire more, you’ll know that it will come to you through more hard work and dedication. Even if you absolutely despise your job, you can take comfort when you come home at night to all that you’ve earned with your hours of hard work. You can look around and be proud that everything you see is a direct product of your perseverance.

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4. Don’t think “What if?” — Just go for it!

We previously discussed how important it is to take risks in order to get where you want to be in life. Of course, it can be hard to take that first step if you constantly second-guess yourself. However, it is important that you don’t ever let the fear of trying hold you back.The more time you spend thinking, “What if I fail?” or “What if I do something wrong?” or “What if I look stupid in front of everyone?”, the less time you have to actually improve yourself. Not only do you waste time, but you also waste energy, as well. You’ll find that being anxious about possible negative outcomes is actually more mentally, emotionally, and physically draining than actually taking that first step and making moves toward your goal. Just dive in, and focus your energy on the task at hand.

5. It gets easier to push yourself, the more you do it

The more you push yourself, the easier it becomes to push even farther. When I started to get serious about writing as a career, I’d read some tips from established writers which included one seemingly daunting task: Write at least 1,000 words a day. Having just started out, that number was incredibly intimidating. Having written almost every day for Lifehack for the past four months, I look back at how I felt about that and laugh. For example, it’s only 10:30 in the morning, and I’ve probably already written over 2,000 words so far.  Think of the times you’ve skipped a day at the gym. How much more difficult was it to get back into the swing of things than if you had just bucked up and gone the day before, regardless of how exhausted you were? Once you dive into something, you’ll find that consistently pushing yourself is actually easier than slacking off. You’ll also find you’re much happier with yourself for sticking with it.

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6. You control your own destiny

When you go out and work for what you want, you realize that you’re completely in control of your life. Working from home has taught me that I’ll only be rewarded if I put out the effort. When people find themselves stuck in boring, hourly-wage jobs, they often don’t feel the need to go the extra mile, especially if they think there’s not much chance of getting promoted. Why put in extra effort if you get paid the same regardless? Thinking this way hinders your chance to improve not only your work situation, but also your life as a whole. You never know when a better position will open up. If you’ve spent time and effort going above and beyond the call of duty, you’ll not only have made yourself stand out, but you’ll also have gained the skills necessary to be considered a leader. You reap what you sow. Now, go and make sure you use every chance you get as a chance to excel.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 16, 2020

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

It boils down to these four essential requirements:

  • Emotional empowerment
  • Aligned attraction
  • Sexual functioning
  • You and your partner

While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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1. Emotional Empowerment

A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

2. Attraction in Alignment

Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

“When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

“If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

“If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

“Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

  • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
  • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
  • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
  • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

3. Sexual Function

Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

Final Thoughts

The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

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