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Waiting to Be Happy Once You’ve Achieved a Goal? 21 Ways to Feel Happier Today.

Waiting to Be Happy Once You’ve Achieved a Goal? 21 Ways to Feel Happier Today.

Do want to lose weight? Or find the love of your life and get married? Or maybe, you desperately want to graduate. Do you enjoy having these goals? Or, do these desires cause you pain? Many of us obsess about goals and desperately strive to achieve them, but think it’s okay to do so because we’ll get what we want later. And then, we’ll be happy. We’ll be happy once we lose those 10 pounds, get married, or graduate, right?

There are two problems with this approach:

  1. Once we reach our goals, we’ll feel happier for a little while, but then we’ll set new goals, and go back to being unhappy until we reach those new goals.
  2. We spend most of our time being unhappy—or at least not as happy as we could be.

I can already hear objections.

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“But I really want to lose those 10 pounds! Should I not want that?” Yes, you should. Desires urge you to expand and grow.

“But then how am I supposed to be happy since I don’t yet have what I want?” 

Well, here is the truth behind goals:

We may think that our goals are to graduate, get married, get a promotion, make more money, live anywhere we want, or lose weight, but ultimately all those goals are nothing more than means to an end. We want them because we think they will make us happy; happiness is what we are really after. It’s just that some people look for happiness by losing weight, while others look for it by getting married or having kids, but in the end, everything we do is done because we think it will make us feel better.

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The problem is that in our quest to happiness, we often forget to be happy now. As we strive to achieve our goals, we postpone happiness… for later.

We somehow think that even though all we want is to be happy, it’s ok not to be happy now, yet, happiness is a feeling.

Why not feel good now as we go after our goals and also feel good later, when we achieve our goal? Why not do both?

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Today I have a simple trick for you to get happier. You can apply it right away, and you don’t need to wait until you graduate or find the love of your life to feel that happiness boost. What is it?

It’s kindness.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, has studied happiness for more than 20 years. She has found that being kind is a habit that consistently makes people happier. Her research found that performing acts of kindness once a week leads to the most happiness. So, why not take advantage of today to get that happiness boost? Choose 5 happiness acts from below and start giving generously!

21 ways to practice kindness today and instantly feel happier!

  1. Open the door for someone else.
  2. Say “thank you”.
  3. Pay a compliment.
  4. Smile.
  5. Refrain from judging others. Focus on their positive side.
  6. Stop judging yourself and allow yourself to be as you are.
  7. Be encouraging to others.
  8. Allow yourself to dream BIG.
  9. Say “good morning” to someone you don’t know.
  10. Babysit for an hour.
  11. Give away something that you could live without.
  12. Let a fellow driver drive pass you.
  13. When someone talks to you, listen. Don’t distract yourself with a million thoughts and focus your mind on the other person.
  14. Pass along a book you read and liked to a friend.
  15. Post a positive message on Facebook to inspire your friends.
  16. Say “I love you”.
  17. Send a thank-you letter to an old friend or teacher.
  18. Help someone.
  19. Care for an animal.
  20. Spend a few hours volunteering.
  21. Pick up the phone and tell someone you care.

Being kind does feel good, and as Princes Diana said:

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“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

Which 5 kindness acts do you choose to practice today? Let me know in the comments below.

More by this author

Maria Brilaki

Maria helps people create habits that stick not just for a month or two but for years and decades.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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