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How to be Happy, Today, Tomorrow and for the Rest of your Life

How to be Happy, Today, Tomorrow and for the Rest of your Life

Happiness has become the latest fad. Since the Lehman brothers made their mess, we have changed. Mankind has seen the light and it comes in the form of inner bliss rather than external kicks.

We seem to finally realized that not only does money not guarantee happiness, it no longer guarantees security or position. Everything is volatile. Fighting is not an option, the only thing to do is surrender. Surrender the past life to the in vogue search for happiness.

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

What do the Experts say? How to be happy?

Paul McKenna, Hypnotist and author of “I Can Make you Happy”

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Smiling can make you happy even when you don’t feel like it. In his book “I Can Make you Happy” he says whenever you smile you release serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. McKenna also a NLP expert says that the more we repeat a thought or action and create repetition, this creates a neural pathway in the brain. The more we repeat it, the stronger the pathway becomes. Once we form the habit it’s then regulated by the unconscious mind. So what McKenna is saying is that we can create the Habit of Happiness without actually being happy.

Brian Colbert, Mind Coach and author of The Happiness Habit

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Colbert confirms McKenna’s views that Happiness can be created as a habit by training your brain to replace constant self criticism and depreciation with more useful ways of thinking. Colbert advocates replacing negative self talk with positive nurturing talk. It’s essential to become aware of how we speak to ourselves and ensure it is positive and constructive.

Martin Seligman, Positive Psychologist and author of “Learned Optimism”

Seligman also promotes the use of positive interior dialog which he says can positively impact depression, boost your immune system, develop your potential and make you happier. Human beings are generally optimists or pessimists, some of us were lucky to be born the former and the later type must work harder at being positive and optimistic. You will easily recognize a pessimist; when you get excited about something and they stomp on your dreams they will tell you they are just being realistic!! Whichever sort you are naturally it’s important to watch out for that inner dialog.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche Buddhist Monk and author of The Joy of Living

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Buddhism is perhaps the closest we have come to cracking the secret of happiness. In his book The Joy of Living, Rinpoche describes Buddhism as a way of doing things that fosters serenity, happiness and confidence and avoids things that provoke anxiety, hopelessness and fear. The essence of the Buddhist practice is not so much an effort at changing your thoughts or your behavior so that you can become a better person, but in realizing that no matter what you might think about the circumstances that define life, you are already good whole and complete.

If most happiness experts tell us that happiness is not something we can seek externally, then we must accept it comes from within, it comes from the acceptance that there is no search, that happiness is yours for the taking, all you have to do is accept that it’s yours and the present moment is all that you have.

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul
Democritus

Featured photo credit:  Smiling teenage girl reading a book via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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