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20 Truths To Guide You To Happiness

20 Truths To Guide You To Happiness

Old legends and folklore say happiness can be found at the end of the rainbow together with a pot of gold. Unfortunately in today’s society, happiness is wrongfully measured and is directly proportional to material gain, financial wealth, status, sex, power and influence; and it is often seen as something external, something outside of us or something that will come down from the clouds or to become a golden age.

I am in favor of all the above mentioned virtues however; if we place all of them at the core of who we are we still have the main ingredient missing, happiness.

“Happiness does not depend on what you have

Or who you are. It solely relies of what you think” – Buddha

Happiness is a state of mind, an energy or vibration internal; it is very individual to each of us. It is a choice we make on a daily basis.

Here are the 20 Truths To Guide You To Happiness:

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See how beautiful you really are

You are an individual with a divine spark that makes you unique and wonderful. If you are having trouble understanding this, look in the mirror without judgement, without condemnation, without prejudice smile at yourself; tell yourself you are beautiful no matter what you look like. Think of the many times you have been shown kindness, love, compassion, take yourself back when you were a little boy or girl; tell that little boy or girl everything about them is OK and in your mind’s eye hug them, you will be pleasantly surprised. There is no doubt about it; there is no one else like you…..

Live in the present

We live in turbulent times, and the stresses of life cannot be ignored; often there are very few things we can control. Worrying about the future is as useless as regretting the past; we only have control of the now. There is wisdom in: “As you reap, so shall you sow” because every act of love, warmth and kindness will come back to you, often tenfold.

Tap into the power of your mind

We are all directors and script writers of our own lives; what we think about (or fear most) will manifest into our reality. Thoughts, images and emotions are very strong and only if we learn to control them can we use them to bring about what we want. The law of attraction is not just a New Age concept, this has also been covered in many Holy Religious texts such as The Bible.

If you constantly visualize success, abundance, love, peace and kindness you will bring it about.

I never thought I would find a positive use for the term “Thought Police” but this is what we must do in order to have happier and more fulfilling lives.

Allow yourself to feel

One of the things I love most about my wife is her ability to feel. While watching a movie right at the moment when the boy and girl find each other and kiss, tears of joy flow down her beautiful face. We have been conditioned by society to be cold, indifferent and suppress our emotions. Allowing ourselves to feel is what makes us human. There is no right or wrong in feeling the way you do.

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Let your faith be bigger than your fears when chasing dreams

Every great achievement started with an individual having a dream, please do not think for a moment you are a single drop in an infinite sea of humanness; you are powerful, beautiful and divine and all you need is a plan.

Writing down your goals and dreams is not enough, they must be broken down into measurable and easy to achieve steps. If you want to be a writer, start by researching, join a writing group and start small to build your skill set. Poetry is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

Start acting like a writer, believing it is part of the process. Bring this simple analogy across to anything you want to manifest.

Reward yourself

Every now and then it is nice to treat ourselves to a small reward. Life is not just about working, there has to be time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Personally, I treat myself when I have done a good deed or when I have achieved an important goal. When rewarding myself It gives me more of an incentive to keep achieving the goals I set for myself and do more acts of kindness. I must admit, I generally forgo my reward and buy my boys a nice toy, video game. trinket, etc. My wife also gets to benefit from this, it makes me happy.

Let go of what and who no longer serve you

Along life’s journey we have accumulated, beliefs, habits and people that at some point become irrelevant. Look back when you were twenty, do some of these beliefs still hold truth to you now?

We make friends along the way, but as life happens we change, do not be afraid to let go of people who do not bring out the best in you or are still in your life due to a sense of obligation; bless them and let them go, that is one way to heal and often the relationship takes on a much positive turn if you decide to stick around.

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Do more of what makes you happy

Doing more of what makes you happy is blissful and fulfilling. Our creativity is increased when we feel happy and purposeful. Hobbies are a great way to tap into that creative energy. Nature is a great place for de-stressing, hiking, surfing, playing sport, video gaming, movies, friends, wine, dancing, arts, etc. are awesome ways to give you a break from the daily grind.

Become your own best friend

Part of becoming our best friend is going easy on ourselves. Some of us have a tendency to be our toughest critics and not forgiving ourselves makes it harder to grow. Be kind to yourself, when a negative thought pops in your mind, ask yourself why you feel this way and then mentally embrace yourself and correct the negative thought. Find positive things you have done recently and focus on them. If you do this on a daily basis you will develop a healthy image of self and it will be impossible not to like the person staring back at you in the mirror.

Always stay close to everything that makes you thrilled to be alive

I am not advocating in favor of extreme sports, thrill seeking or any of that; but if you are into them good for you. My guilty pleasure is modern architecture, I love looking at beautiful homes, gardens and landscaping because it inspires me. I know of  people who are thrilled while helping others, others find delight in producing movies, documentaries or teaching others. What do you love doing that brings that inner child out and makes you thrilled to be alive?

Learn to love your own company

You are going to take yourself everywhere so you might as well start liking yourself. Find time to be completely alone, this can be done sitting under a tree, reading a book, listening to music, blogging, drawing, painting etc. but there must not be any other people around; make it intimate as it is a wonderful feeling being alone. By discovering who you are you begin to see yourself in others.

Don’t lose yourself in your fear

There is a lot of turmoil in the world; war, unemployment, bankruptcy, illness, zombies, end times you name it; guilt and fear are useless emotions because some of the things we fear most are not very likely to happen unless we program them into our subconscious mind. Remember that we bring about what we think of (or fear) most. I learned this from a spiritual teacher: “Some of these evils in the world might not be in your soul contract” meaning your destiny will be different to theirs. Send love and kindness to the victims of these horrible circumstances, do not be cold or indifferent, and help if you can.  Focus on what makes you happy instead and bring it into your life and the lives of the ones you love.

Don’t be afraid to give up what is no longer working

This time we will focus on de-cluttering our homes and lives. Possessions have a tendency to demand our energy and attention. Having too many possessions concentrated in one room is debilitating. Clear out your living space; give away to charity items like clothes, furniture, kids toys, etc. Not only are you freeing space in your home but also in your mind. There is satisfaction knowing some of your old possessions will be going to help others in need.

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Be aware of your position. What are you running away from, or what are you running to?

Have you noticed when you leave a job because of a certain type of boss, co-worker or working environment very often we wind up with the same type of boss, co-worker or working environment in our next job? This can be attributed to what is known as the “victim mentality” and we attract these types  of people/circumstances on a subconscious level. This is also applicable in relationships. So this is when you must have a hard look at yourself and stop the negative thoughts and programming engrained in your psyche by replacing that dated set of beliefs with ones you want to manifest in your life. If you want to work at a great company with a great bunch of people, feel it, taste it and allow it to be a reality.

Don’t allow your wounds to turn you into someone you are not

Bad things happen to good people, that is inevitable and this happens when we least expect it. Do not become bitter and resentful when tragedy strikes. When someone wronged us we must understand that by hating the person we are holding on to hate, resentment and fear which can potentially manifest in illness or even more tragedy. Mourn and allow yourself to feel angry, get it out of your system and move on, do not attract more of this by becoming sour, find ways to rise above it and be happy as we only live once.

Remember to forgive yourself

When we become the perpetrators and we wrong someone else, we can experience a deep sense of guilt even when we make ourselves believe they deserved it. If the person is no longer in your life, write a letter asking the person for your forgiveness. If you send it that is fine, but if you don’t it is also OK. There is an ethereal connection between people, and the other person somehow will begin to heal. Have you ever thought of a friend or loved one and suddenly got a phone call from them? Thought is a bridge between our minds.

Know you may not always get what you want, but you will ALWAYS get what you need

There are some things in life that no matter how much we visualize, feel and yearn for and will never be a part of our reality. We always want something, but it might not be what we need for our personal growth. Trust in the Universe’s wisdom, it knows what you need in order to flourish. There is a cause and effect for every choice we make in life. Also beware of what you wish for as it might come true.

Open up to love

To me this has been one of the hardest truths to accept, this is not just about external love but the love for myself. By opening up to love we choose it as being part of our daily lives, it can manifest in a short conversation with a stranger, being kind to our neighbors, doing something nice for your family. This also means allowing others to show love to you and feeling worthy of love. Love is not a word, it is a verb.

The world needs you as you are

I look at the beautiful people on TV and even though I admire their beauty, grace and talent, I don’t think I want to be them. They cannot do some of the things I can and they do not have my wicked sense of humor. I always had an inner knowing I am here for a reason, and as far as I know it is to love and provide for my family, influence others in a positive way with my design, writing and poetry, the world needs beauty, love and compassion; this is where I come in, how about you?

Empty your mind (meditate)

Meditation is not just sitting in a Lotus position and chanting mantras, meditation can be sitting comfortably on a chair to stare out the window, under a tree watching clouds, being in the dark looking into a flame. It is important to let your mind be passive and free from all the worries you carry with you. Your mind is like a computer; if you keep storing data at some point it is going to fill its hard drive and then will crash; your mind is no different.

By emptying your mind you can also let go of dated ideas, concepts and beliefs giving room for newer and more relevant ones. Meditation is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and we tap into a much greater source of wisdom, try it and you will not regret it.

More by this author

Louis Salguero

UX, HCD, UCD, GUI, graphic and web designer

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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