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Richard Branson’s Secret Tips On Catching Happiness

Richard Branson’s Secret Tips On Catching Happiness

In a world of ever-increasing materialism, greed, and selfishness, it takes effort to be. To be happy, to be conscious, and to be yourself.

Perhaps early in life you were told you’d be happy if you walked a certain path. Follow that path and the happiness would flow forevermore, but deviate from that path and your happiness would cease to exist. But what if someone with a successful career and extraordinary wealth told you otherwise — would you listen?

According to Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and multi-billionaire, happiness doesn’t come from success or money. Instead, his business success and wealth stem from his happiness. For Branson, happiness is all about finding the perfect balance between doing and being. Certain actions can make you happy, even if only for a moment, but when you combine those actions with genuine consciousness, you can create your own happiness, not dependent on outside influences.

Sir Richard Branson’s beautifully penned ‘Dear Stranger’ letter has given us some wonderful insights into being happy, and here they are, broken down into 11 bite-sized chunks.

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1. Think consciously about it.

Act, don’t react, to the happenings around you. To be happy is an exercise in consciousness and self-awareness. Are you making an effort to be a happy individual or are you letting life happen to you? Conscious attitudes and behaviors can turn your act of happiness into an actual state of being.

2. Allow yourself to be in the moment.

Ground yourself to this very moment — feel each step you take and each breath you breathe. Don’t be afraid to engage in your current situation — the worries of tomorrow will still be there tomorrow, so don’t bother yourself with them today.

3. Don’t stress about nominal things.

When the sun sets for the last time in your life, what will you look back on and remember most? Stop thinking about the trivial stresses of life and focus that energy in a more useful, fulfilling way.You will look back on the moments that matter and may regret all of the moments of worry.

4. Stop and breathe.

Take it all in. The sights, the sounds, the scents, and the feelings. Breathe in, and just be, breathe out, and just be. There is a lot to appreciate when you take the time to notice the world around you.

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5. Be healthy.

Take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. You cannot be there for others and take part in your own life if you yourself are in poor health. Your work product can actually be a direct reflection of your health.

6. Be around your friends and family.

Make the memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the family dinners, the late night conversations, and the inside jokes. But most of all, enjoy the people you’re with and be grateful for that very moment in time.

7. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you.

Giving a piece of yourself and, in turn, allowing someone to give you a piece of themselves, is one of the most intimate things human beings can experience. These connections are what make life worth living. When the chips are down, show up for the people that matter the most to you.

8. Be bold.

Put yourself out there and be the you you’ve always envisioned within yourself. Sometimes the best happens when you take a leap of faith and be bold.

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9. Be loving.

Go out of your way to bring more love into the world. Even something as simple as a smile can make someone else’s day a little brighter. Take note of your coworkers, pass along that extra cupcake, or even smile at people you pass in the store to make a difference in people’s life.

10. Be grateful.

Finding gratitude, even in the smallest of things, is an act of happiness that can soon become a way of life. It takes practice and perseverance, but the payoff is absolutely worth the effort.

11. Be helpful.

Helpfulness can show itself in a number of ways, but simply asking yourself, “Is what I’m doing helpful in this very moment?” can turn you into a person that people admire and want to be around. Are the words you’re saying and the actions you’re doing helpful or harmful?

12. Just be.

Be yourself, living in this very moment. A bold, loving, grateful, and helpful individual who sees happiness for what it truly is — a conscious effort and an act of being.

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You can’t put life on hold while you take the time to find happiness, but you can find a balance between doing and being. So, in the words of Sir Richard Branson, “Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.”

Featured photo credit: Happy School Children Playing And Looking At Camera/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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