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Book Review: The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness by Henrik Edberg

Book Review: The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness by Henrik Edberg

    “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle

    “Life wasn’t all too bad really, but I wasn’t that happy either,” recalls Henrik Edberg, creator of The Positivity Blog and author of The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness. “I think the problem was that I didn’t understand myself or the world around that well. I didn’t understand what I needed to do to create a happier life for myself.” Well, now he does:

    1. Choose Happiness

    “Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

    Misery and happiness aren’t about external circumstances; they are a conscious choice. “You choose each day what you focus on and how you interpret your reality,” Edberg writes. So instead of seeing the world and yourself “through a lens smudged by negativity”, you consciously choose to look outwards and inwards “through a lens brightened by positivity”. This could involve being grateful for what you have, spending time in an environment of happiness with people who lift you up, and choosing positive information such as personal development reading over negative information like endless news reports.

    For more, see The Gift of Gratitude and Thoughts on Happiness

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    2. Get Your Physical Fundamentals in Shape

    “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

    “How we manage our body has a huge, huge impact on our thoughts, emotions and everything that happens in our personal world,” Edberg explains. This is why we need to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

    For more, see No More Stress: Part One and The Secret of Dreams by Yacki Raizizun

    3. Create an Action Habit

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

    It’s been said that the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. We need to stop waiting for other people to solve our problems and take action in order to see results. Use a morning ritual, do things even if you don’t feel like it, and take responsibility for the process, not the potential results.

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    For more, see Get the Edge and The Seven Habits: Part Two

    4. Be Here Now

    “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

    Guess what? The past and future don’t exist. They are simply thoughts arising in the present moment. By focusing on the present, we can improve our social skills (no more thinking of what to say when you should be listening to what’s being said), improve our creativity (no more worrying about what others will think of our work), and release stress. And by focusing on what’s in front of us (through practices like guided meditation and breathing techniques), we also learn to appreciate our world more.

    For more, see Focus by Leo Babauta (Part 5 of 5) and Carpe Diem!

    5. Help and Make Other People Happy

    “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.” – Chinese Proverb

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    “When you do the right thing and make people happy you feel good about yourself,” Edberg points out. “When you make someone else happy you can sense, see, feel and hear it. And that happy feeling flows back to you.” Give value by bringing a positive attitude to your interactions, giving useful advice, or offering a listening ear to someone who needs it. And let’s not forget about smiles and hugs! Even though people may not always appreciate what you do or feel compelled to reciprocate, you should still persist and feel good for doing so.

    For more, see People Policy and Relationship Review

    6. Do What You Love to Do

    “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

    The fact that you’re working at a full-time job doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) pursue your passions on the side. “There is always time,” Edberg explains. Things won’t always be great but the work won’t feel as hard nor will you have to force yourself to perform. Spend some time exploring and asking questions to bring clarity. Most importantly, remember to add value to the world and not simply to yourself. “By using your talents and skills and at the same time helping people and giving them value in some way you can find the opportunities to both do what you love and to earn money to support yourself from it.”

    For more, see Seven Keys to Discovering Your Passion by Jonathan Mead and Success Built to Last

    7. Let Go

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    “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

    So much of our suffering is caused by our clinging. We hold on to who we are and what we believe to the point where we must always be right. We hold on to things that are impermanent and things we think will make us happy even though they never really do. Sometimes we simply need to accept things as they are and then let them go. We need to stop trying to control everything and stop fussing over things that don’t even matter. And while it may be hard at first, it gets easier as time passes. Our happiness depends on it.

    For more, see You’re Worth It! and No More Stress: Part Three

    Conclusion

    Edberg admits that this book won’t solve all your problems or make you happy all the time. But he firmly believes that with some effort and persistence, focusing on one aspect at a time, you can start to see major differences in your life as was the case for him. What do you think? Are there any other habits of happiness you would add? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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    Last Updated on October 17, 2018

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    Successful people “think” success all the time. That is why their goals are firmly lodged in their subconscious.

    While most believe that having a long-term goal is crucial to success, successful people understand that without small, daily goals, you will get demotivated easily; success will in turn become hard.

    In this article, we will look into the importance of setting daily goals and how to having daily goals that help you achieve success.

    How to “think” success with your subconscious

    The subconscious is brilliant at prioritizing. It listens to you and gauges from your thoughts what you think is the most important task. This means that what you think about most of the time is what the subconscious will think is the most important thing for you, and will try to find creative solutions.

    If you think about problems, the subconscious will try to find you more problems. If you think about solutions, goals and dreams, it will try to make them come true.

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    But the subconscious goes even further when trying to understand what you think is important; it “listens” to your feelings.

    Luckily, it has been proven that a positive thought is over 100 times as positive as a negative thought. This makes it a lot easier to drive positive emotions into your subconscious.

    How daily goals keep you positive

    It is enough to be positive and keep your thoughts on what you want — and you don’t have to go monitoring your thoughts all the time.

    It is enough to imbue your thoughts a few times a day with a powerful positive emotion when thinking about your goals. The more you can do it, the more powerful this exercise will be.

    For many, reading their goals or making plans become a chore, something that fills them with negative emotions. This ruins the full potential of these activities; filling yourself with positive emotions while thinking about your goals will make them a lot more powerful.

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    Over the last several years, I have been taught several exercises that can help you focus more on your goals and spend more time thinking about and feeling about them. What I want you to remember when doing these exercises is to have fun. Never see them as a chore, you are living your goals, it is something to enjoy.

    If you don’t feel uplifted at the thought of focusing on your goals, you might as well not do the exercise today. Do it tomorrow instead because it will do more harm than good if you are in the wrong mood when thinking about your goals.

    Why positive thoughts inspire you ideas

    In my business, I constantly need to come up with new ways to improve efficiency, new ideas to test and new subjects to teach. It takes a lot of creative work — and creative work has always been one of my weaker areas.

    Luckily, thanks to all my work with goal setting (and because of my focus on my goals), my subconscious knows these are the things I need the most help with and that they are very important to me.

    Every day I get new ideas of things I can try out, products I can create, seminar subjects I can offer, and so on.  All of them aren’t good but when you throw enough “mud against the wall”, something will stick. And that is what my subconscious does — it feeds me idea after idea.

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    How to set daily goals for yourself

    This method is used by countless thousands around the world and for everyone who has tried it, the effects have been incredible:

    1. Each morning, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your 10 top goals. Don’t look at the day before, just think about what you want to most and write them down.
    2. Remember to write them in the positive present tense and remember to set a deadline for each goal. Just like we did when setting your long term and short term goals. (For example you could set the goal “I make 10,000 dollars per month by the December 31 next year.”)
    3. Do this for all 10 goals.

    In the beginning, writing down 10 goals might be difficult. Each day, they might look a bit different and some of the goals you write never come back again.

    If you forget a goal, it is because it wasn’t all that important and something more important has taken its place.

    What difference does it make?

    By starting your day setting your 10 top goals, you jump-start your creativity — which will motivate you for the rest of the day. You will have programmed yourself to focus on your goals and to move towards them and their completion.

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    What will happen to you?

    If you do this, you will start to realize what is important to you. You’ll see what goals keep surfacing and what goals vanish.

    You will know what you want and you will find yourself presented with opportunities that you haven’t noticed before.

    You will be more creative in finding ideas and chances to make your dreams reality.

    The bottom line

    Having goals on a daily basis can change your life for the better. It will help you keep moving faster and faster towards your goals and dreams.

    So now set your goals and make having daily goals your good habit:

    1. Buy a notebook and a pen at your local bookstore.
    2. Start writing down 10 goals every morning, without looking at the day before.
    3. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and capitalize on them.
    What’s next after setting your goals? While your routine is the key to achieving your goals, you can take these 6 simple steps to make progress towards achieving goals.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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