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26 Things To Remember To Pursue True Happiness (From A To Z)

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26 Things To Remember To Pursue True Happiness (From A To Z)

You want to be happy. Whether or not you know it or believe it, you desire complete and utter contentment in your life.

It is the reason you get up in the morning. It is why work so hard to provide for you and your family. It is the reason you undertake hobbies that enrich your life. It is the reason you pursue things you are passionate about.

Happiness isn’t necessarily your main purpose in life but you aspire to live joyfully whenever possible because those are the moments that you really relish.

Why not institute these joyful moments all the time? How do you go about doing that?

I present you the A to Z ways to cultivate genuine happiness into your life everyday.

A is for Acceptance

Acceptance- Accept yourself first and foremost for who you are. Until you accept yourself you will never cultivate genuine happiness. Change when necessary but accept the wonderful being that you are.

Accept others because you can’t change them. The more you accept and the less you try to transform others, the happier you will be.

B is for Believe

Believe- Believe in yourself. You are capable of accomplishing amazing feats. When you have a goal or a dream believe you can achieve it. Believe in others as well. Believe in your family and your friends. Believe in society as a whole.

Imagine how happy the world would be if everyone believed in one another?

C is for Compassion

Compassion- Be compassionate for yourself and other people. Altruism is the greatest gift you can give yourself and other people. Don’t pity other people, rather have compassion for them.

More compassion leads to more understanding. More understanding leads to less judgment.

D is for Dedication

Dedication- Dedicate yourself to something noble and worthy. No matter what you do in life, dedicate yourself to it. If you are dedicated in life you will always be fulfilled.

E is for Elation

Elation- Be elated when great things happen in life. Celebrate birthdays and other meaningful holidays.

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Don’t hold back in the joy you feel when you are surrounded by people you love. Demonstrate elated happiness as much as possible!

F is for Forgiveness

Forgiveness- You are going to make mistakes. Other people are going to hurt you. That is a part of life. How will you respond to yourself in these situations?

Holding a grudge against yourself or others is not the answer. Forgive and do your best to forget. Move on because life is too short to be unhappy!

G is for Gratitude

Gratitude- Be grateful for every moment you are fortunate enough to have in this life. Don’t hesitate to express gratitude to your loved ones.

Show gratitude to strangers or to anyone you feel is deserving of it. Most importantly, be grateful for you.

H is for Hope

Hope- Remember even in the darkest of times there is always that ray of light called hope. Don’t ever lose hope. Hope keeps you going when you think you can’t go on. Hope saves lives.

Share a message of hope with those people in your life who are especially going through rough times.

I is for Involvement

Involvement- Be involved. Don’t isolate yourself. The happiest people in the world are able to find a balance between solitude and social situations.

Become involved in your community. Immerse yourself in hobbies and extracurricular activities that are challenging and fun. Reach out to your coworkers. Simple involvement with other people can be a solid foundation for genuine contentment.

J is for Joy

Joy- In order to live a happier life you have exude joy and jubilation on a consistent basis. It doesn’t just happen.

You have to make the effort every day to live joyfully not because someone or something makes you express joy. Live with joy because you are alive. What a gift!

K is for Kindness

Kindness- Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Do random acts of kindness for your fellow man.

Being kind to others is much more beneficial to you overall happiness than being unkind.

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L is for Love

Love- There is no greater emotion than love. If you display love frequently and experience love with open arms you are going to live a happy life. It is as simple as that.

You can either be in a loving state or a non-loving state. Think about how each one feels. Which one would you prefer to experience?

M is for Mindfulness

Mindfulness-Be conscious and aware of who you are and what you are doing. Be conscious and aware of the people around you and the world you are living in. Introducing more awareness into your life will help you bring about positive change you seek and desire.

Meditate, spend time in nature, observe your mind and the thoughts that are running through it, and continue to learn.

Mindfulness takes practice. The more you train yourself to be aware of your mind, the better understanding you will have your emotions.

Instead of living a reactive life, one in which you continually react to situations with common negative emotions, live an active life.

An active life is one in which you are aware of your emotions and you experience them as you choose.

N is for Nurture

Nurture- Breed the things you desire in life. If you wish to handle negative situations in your life with more balance and dignity, than cultivate genuine happiness.

When you are genuinely happy you aren’t going to experience such drastic highs and lows. You will notice more equanimity because you have nurtured awareness. Anything you want in life can be nurtured for your benefit. Things will not always go the way you want them to but your ability to deal with adversity will be more profound.

O is for Optimism

Optimism- If you want to live a positive and happy life than you have to live optimistically. There is more to it than simply saying you are going to be optimistic.

It takes a lot of training and discipline, but shifting your perspective can have an enormous impact on your life. If you generally view life from an optimistic point of view you are more likely to attract positive outcomes.

P is for Passion

Passion- Be passionate in your life. Engage in work that you love. Cultivate relationships that you are passionate about. Undertake hobbies and activities with enthusiasm.

If you go through life without passion and desire you are like a snail or a slug slowly dragging its way along the concrete. Don’t wait for someone else or something else to ignite the flame of passion into your life. Go find it for yourself!

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Q is for Quietness

Quietness- Spend time in quiet. Just like your physical body needs breaks from time to time, the mind needs breaks as well. Quiet the mind and just be.

Step away from your busy schedule, sit in a quiet place, and just observe yourself in the moment. A couple minutes a day will have a tremendous significance on your life.

R is for Resilience

Resilience- How resilient are you? When the going gets tough do you falter or persevere? Life is wonderful but there are going to be plenty of instances where you experience adversity.

You might lose your job or even worse a loved one. People will be cruel to you. Will you let these situations define you or will you continue to live life on your terms? Don’t let negative situations transform you for the worse.

You have the right to experience grief and other negative emotions when necessary but be resilient. Don’t allow them to derail them from your happy life.

S is for Selflessness

Selflessness- Many people are so focused on themselves that they forget what life is about. Instead of being selfish, be selfless.

It is scientifically proven that people who serve others on a daily basis and look out for their fellow man are more content with life. There are going to be times when you need to look out for your best interests.

As you go through life ask yourself how you can help others. Whether you realize it or not everyone else’s needs are just as important as yours.

T is for Tolerance

Tolerance- Much of the fear that is portrayed through the news and other media is due to intolerance. People are unable or unwilling to accept others for who they are.

You don’t have to agree with others in order to be tolerant. The more you tolerate others, the less likely you are to hate others. Spreading hatred is the anti-thesis of what you should do if you crave to be genuinely happy.

Intolerance only leads to more intolerance. It doesn’t solve anything.

U is for Unconditional

Unconditional- When you love, love unconditionally. When you serve others, serve unconditionally. Unconditionally means without any strings attached. Do good deeds for others because you genuinely want to spread joy.

Don’t expect anything in return. Don’t merely show love to your spouse, partner, or whomever because you desire them to act a certain way or give you something you want. This is not a representation of the true and authentic you.

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V is for Value

Value- Live a purposeful life. Seek meaning in what you are doing. Look for the good in people, even those people who you believe lack value.

Don’t only value your life but value the life of everyone around- family members and non-family members alike- loved ones and strangers.

W is for Well-being

Well-being- You desire to live a life full of well-being. Well-being is a constant state of happiness and contentment. The ebbs and flows of life don’t alter this state.

Negative can be expressed freely without fear of losing your ability to be happy. Positive emotions are shown without fear of losing the happy feeling.

X is for Xenial

Xenial- Xenial means to be hospitable and giving especially to strangers and people whom you don’t know. Hold the door for strangers. Let other drivers in front of you during high traffic times. Give someone hand carrying their groceries. Assist a elderly person walking across the street.

These are all examples of being xenial. Carrying out acts of kindness to people you don’t know will strengthen your positive outlook on life. Is there a greater feeling than helping someone who is need?

Y is for Yes

Yes- I am not suggesting you be like Jim Carrey in the movie Yes Man and say yes to everyone and everything no matter what. I am proposing to explore the possibilities of this word.

How often do you say no in comparison to how often you say no? Think about this because it might give you an understanding of what kind of perspective you have in life.

Do you consistently say decline invitations even when you are free and have no prior engagements? Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. If possible, say yes the next time you are invited out with friends or coworkers. It might change your life.

Z is for Zealous

Zealous- When you leave this Earth will you be able to honestly say that you lived a life filled with verve, devotion, and passion?

I think overzealous is a word that has been given a negative connotation of sorts. Maybe in certain situations being over excited or over enthusiastic is frowned upon.

This couldn’t be further from the truth when describing your life. Live your life full of zeal. Be excited and energetic. Be genuinely happy!

Being happy can be as easy as learning the alphabet if you practice, practice, practice.

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Implement these simple but powerful words into your life, and empower yourself with the ability to manifest authentic joy.

Featured photo credit: Pikdit via pikdit.com

More by this author

Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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