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The Secret to Raising Happy Kids

The Secret to Raising Happy Kids

    If you were to make a list of all the things you’d love to provide for your children, what would your list look like? Many people spend every waking hour stressing and worrying about how they can provide this and that for their children, but I want to propose that the BEST gift you can give your child is the ability to be happy and enjoy life.

    Most of you reading this are probably thinking, “Yes, absolutely. That would be my greatest wish for my child – for them to be happy and to enjoy life fully everyday.” What goes wrong then between what we genuinely want to give our children and the actual reality of what they get from us?

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    Statistics show that more and more adults and young adults are popping some type of drug in order to make it through the day. Approximately 100 million prescriptions for Valium and Librium are filled annually in the United States alone!

    The plain fact is that most of us do not know how to help our children learn how to enjoy life because we have not learned that simple secret ourselves! We can’t teach what we don’t know.

    Here enlies the problem; in order to provide our children with our greatest wish we must be able to model what we are attempting to teach.

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    It is essential to show our children a portrait of a person who appreciates the small things, the magnificence of nature and the beauty of being quiet with ourselves. It is also essential to show our children a portrait of a happy, loving, communicative relationship, not only with our child’s mother or father, but with ourselves.

    Pretend you had a video camera following you around all day. What would that video look like? Would it show you:

    * rushing around from one activity to another?
    * barking commands?
    * constantly talking or having noise around like the radio or TV?
    * speaking quickly, in a hurried, worried, stressed or anxious tone?
    * constantly providing or being the entertainment for your child?

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    OR

    * living life slowly?
    * Laughing and smiling a lot?
    * Enjoying moments of silence, not feeling the need to say anything or ask any questions?
    * Enjoying alone time while your child enjoys their own?
    * Doing an activity with your child that you BOTH enjoy?

    Maybe you feel quite good about how your daily life is being lived but recognize that the words or phrases you use could be more positive. For example, you may use the word “Naughty” or phrases like, “Oh, come on!” when something isn’t working as you’d like it to, or “Things never seem to go right!”. These phrases can definitely be picked up on by our children and eventually, become their beliefs to live by.

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    If we TRULY want to raise happy kids who enjoy life to the fullest, then the first place to start in teaching this is with ourselves.

    Right now, take stock of life and think about the speed at which you live, the tone that exists in your home and the messages that are being shared. Once you have a clear view, pat yourself on the back for all the amazing, loving things you do and then make it a priority to work on the things you feel need changing – it will make all the difference to not only your life but your child’s life as well.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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