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Richard Branson’s 10 Favorite Quotes on Happiness

Richard Branson’s 10 Favorite Quotes on Happiness

What is the key to success? Who wouldn’t love to know the answer, right? I believe many of you know Sir Richard Branson. He is one of the most successful entrepreneurs nowadays. He built his Virgin empire from scratch, expanding from his music label Virgin Records to the aviation company Virgin Atlantic to his ambitious project Virgin Galactic. He has gained the type of success many of us only dream about. Richard revealed his secret: he believes that success comes after happiness. So show us your beautiful smile and read Richard Branson’s favorite quotes on happiness.

1. “Happiness is not a goal… it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

How many times you found yourself saying “I just wish to be happy”? Being happy is our natural state. Do what you love, smile a lot, forgive yourself and others, be grateful, and serve. This is a simple recipe for happiness.

2. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” (Andy Rooney)

Did you know that it takes approximately 10 years of hard work to become an overnight success? Ten years of failures, small successes and lessons. On the way up you learn the most; you grow. Be happy on your journey and do not give up. You will eventually get where you want to be, so just enjoy the trip.

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3. “Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness.” –  (Drew Barrymore)

Ah dear Drew, you couldn’t be more right. Happy people are spreading so much positive energy around. You become happier just by being the right company. If you are happy and beautiful inside, you reflect it on the outside. Just take a mirror, smile and have a look at how beautiful you are.

4. “If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.” (Chinese Proverb)

The entire proverb goes like this: “If you want happiness for an hour take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.” This ancient wisdom has already been proven by science. People who are helping others have significantly higher levels of endorphins, the hormone of happiness, than those who are treating themselves. Every day offers a lot of opportunities to help someone.

5. “Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”  (Steve Maraboli)

Happy people have their own problems. If there is one person in the world without a single problem, I would love to meet them. The only thing we can do is to deal with all the problems and learn from them.

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6. “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” (Benjamin Disraeli)

We all deal with fear. But it shouldn’t prevent us from doing what we consider important and what makes us happy. Go out, do, kiss, laugh. Do not be afraid; take action. If it hurts you, you will learn. If it doesn’t, you will be just purely happy.

7. “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” (H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

Money cannot buy happiness, nor can the new yacht or beautiful villa. Happiness is an inside job. How long are you happy when you get a gift? Probably a couple of moments or days. When you are giving, your body fills with warm feeling of happiness.

8. “The greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” (Martha Washington)

Whenever we are sad, we tend to blame it on a situation or person. I know I have been doing it for a long time and sometimes fall back into it. You cannot change the situation, but you can always change your reaction. You are the one who choose to be happy or unhappy.

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9. “Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” (Bernard Meltzer)

Imagine you share something and it multiplies. That’s what happiness and love is doing. Pretty amazing, huh? Share your happiness with your loved ones.

10. “Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.” (Dalai Lama)

Happiness is not waiting anywhere for you. You become happy if you decide so. You must do what makes you feel great. If you forgive past sins and practice gratefulness, you will find happiness.

Maybe you will build another Virgin empire, maybe not. Being happy will make your days fuller and, as Sir Richard Branson is saying, we all take it very seriously. You will attract all the success in the world just by being simply happy. Have a beautiful day and put smile on your face.

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Featured photo credit: Richard Branson/D@LY3D via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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