Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

January 18, 2012

10 Secrets to Happiness I learnt from Andrew Matthews

Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 7:34 am

What is more important than being happy?” Andrew Matthews asked the audience in a seminar I attended 6 weeks back. He then started to draw funny little cartoons and continued “I learnt to draw in school during mathematics!”

Everyone bursted into laughter.

In case you don’t know who Andrew Matthews is, let me give you a little introduction. He is an international speaker on “attitude“, “being happy“, “success” and “prosperity” and the best-selling author of motivation and personal development classics like “Being Happy!” and “Follow your heart“.

1) Be happy where you are now

Right now! Be thankful for what you have, instead of moaning about what you lack. Be satisfied with what you have when you are in pursuit of what you want.

2) Happiness, more than anything, is a choice we make every day

Happiness is a conscious decision. You choose to be happy today or you choose to be miserable. Your action/reaction is determined by how you choose to perceive a situation. Andrew gave an amusing illustration of a couple surrounded by a pack of crocodiles. The man thought “OMG Crocodiles!” while his wife thought “OMG Handbags!”

3) Happiness is understanding the things we can’t change yet and working on those we can

Some things are hard to change overnight. It’s unusual to change from a pauper into a millionaire in a day. Happiness is knowing that some things take more time. We can start by working on what we can change immediately.

4) Put a smile on your face. It changes how you think.

I was teaching a friend to ice-skate last Friday evening and there was this beautiful girl I met while getting a drink. She smiled as we both walked towards the vending machine. I smiled back and allowed her to buy her drink first.

While on the ice-skating rink, we passed each other a couple of times. I was trying to keep my friend on his feet while she was falling happily on the ice with hers. Our eyes met again. She smiled and I smiled back.

Then as she was making her way out of the rink, I smiled and waved goodbye. She smiled back. I could hear her friends asking “Is that your friend?” I didn’t catch her reply but I remembered her turning towards me with another smile. I returned the smile with a wave to her bewildered friends.

We didn’t exchange a single word. We didn’t need to. The smiles were enough to brighten up both our days.

5) Whatever you get, accept it and deal with it

All too often, when something bad happens, we are too quick to point fingers and start placing blame on everyone else. Happiness is about accepting responsibility and dealing with what comes your way. Blaming the whole world is not going to solve anything.

6) Problems = Catalyst to take Action

Andrew advises to see problems as a catalyst for us to take action. Problems are good teachers, so learn to love them. Next time, when you face a problem at work/in business, remember to run up to your boss/partner and say, “We have a huge opportunity!”

7) Learn from the elephants!

How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.

What did the elephant say to the naked man?
Answer: How do you breathe through that thing?

8 ) Put everything you have into whatever you are doing now

Do your best (100%) and life will support you!

9) It’s not what you get. It’s what you become that matters

Know what to expect – Expect a better you.

10) No one else is going to make you happier. Work on yourself.

A lot of people get things mixed up. A wife thinks about all the bad things her husband does while a widow remembers all the good stuff. That is the ultimate recipe for misery! Isn’t it better to switch the lists around?

Work on your mindset. See things from a positive light.

Conclusion

Happiness is in the way you think. No one can make you happy except yourself. To conclude this article on happiness, I would like to share with you a video of an extraordinary dog (Faith, the two legged dog). I hope Faith will teach you something about happiness that goes beyond words.

5 Ways to be Happier, Steadier, and More Balanced in Today’s Upside-Down World

 

Can you remember when you last felt happy, really happy? Would you like to feel steadier in a healthy, mind-body way that does not involve pharmaceuticals? Is straddling a teeter-totter the last time you consciously considered balance in your life?

Today’s topsy-turvy world has us all running madly in every direction. We often feel overwhelmed with what’s before us — and that is, even, before our feet hit the floor in the morning. We are losing our joie de vivre; there is precious little fun and almost non-existent downtime in our lives today. We are masters at multi-tasking; we excel at doing.

Perhaps, it’s time to rethink the ways we choose to have a life and the ways we choose to fill a life. The life you are leading now is the life you passing on to your children. Is that what you want?

Here are five strategies to help you re-find the happiness, steadiness, and balance in your life:

1. WAKE UP
I don’t mean just get out of bed or off the couch, I mean become m-i-n-d-f-u-l. Happiness studies tell us that being mindful is the number one factor in creating a happy life.

If we are mindful, we are paying attention. We can savor every moment. We are no longer robots or automatons beating down the hours as the days slip by.

Remember the 80/20 sales rule. You get 80% of your business from 20% of your customers, but your spend 80% of your time on the 20% that does not yield the results you want. Apply that to your mind. Where do you focus your attention? Do you feed your time and energy into your priorities? Or, like most of us, do the shiny things distract you and you head off in your own trivial pursuit?

Discern what is important to you and place your powerful attention and intention there.

2. CHANGE ONE THING
Choose one thing you will do differently. Commit to making that change every day for 30 days. Want to do even better? Extend that commitment to 60 days. Really go for the gold, make that 90 days. Seriously, you will be a changed person after those 90 days.

What happens when you commit to yourself and you keep that commitment? You learn to trust yourself. We are very good at giving our word to our boss, our family, and our friends, but what about ourselves? Do we keep our promises to ourselves? Frequently, we do not. Thus, it becomes harder and harder to trust ourselves.

If we want to be happier, we need to build up some energetic muscle tone and personal will power that says, in essence, I can do this: I want to; I am committed and I have given my word to myself. No matter how tiny the commitment, the faithfulness to yourself creates an avalanche of well-being.

Happiness is knowing that you can count on you.

3. STOP
I know, it’s a unique thought. To be happy and balanced, I suggest you need to stop and allow yourself to course correct and re-find your center:

May I suggest you take a few deep breath breaks during your day? You will bring yourself back to center, re-oxygenate your body, and tap into the here and now.

Ready for more ways to re-find some balance in your life and increase your state of happiness — and creativity, too?

• A few hours before bed, unplug all technology. Give yourself some time when you are not required to respond, react, or do. End the mental gymnastics for the day and wind down.

• Employ a daily ritual of quiet time. This can be 20 or 30 minutes of quiet time where you sit with yourself. You can journal, meditate, watch the flickering of a candle, listen to beautiful (melody only) music, and the like. Draw a perimeter around your sanctuary of quietude.

• Take at least one day off a week. Have a full non-work day where you can play, have fun, rest, relax, or just be a slug. We all need time to refill the well. If we run consistently on empty, our ideas, energies, and creativity become compromised. Be inventive, and find revivifying ways to nurture your overworked self.

• Say “No” — or, at the very least, “I will think about it and get back to you.” Ask yourself, does this request make me feel happy? Does it nourish or feed me in some way? Does it excite me? Think twice. Life is short. And you hold the key to your personal well-being.

4. DO SOMETHING EXPRESSIVE
Do you dance to the oldies in your living room? Do you like to create penguin cupcakes on your day off? Do you find great satisfaction in watering the garden and talking to the birds? Are you the queen of collages and vision boards?

What lights us up and turns us on is important. We all know that life does life. When we get exceedingly busy, those activities that feed, comfort, nurture, and soothe us can slip through the cracks.

5. HONOR THE BODY
It’s time. We all know it’s time, no matter how much we struggle, pout, and resist. It’s time to be pro-active and support our physical selves. So, let’s begin slowly and work ourselves up to a more optimum way of being. We know we will feel much better; we know we feel happier, stronger (in both mind and body), more productive, and balanced. Really, what’s to lose, outside of some old bad habits?

Here are a few reminders to help you kick-start some new choice points:

• Remember the importance of getting enough rest; going to bed before midnight really helps those adrenals. If your body continues to run on empty, you will eventually go clunk.

• Eat well and sensibly most of the time. Aim for 80%; it’s a good target. You know the drill: Remember to have some protein with breakfast; limit sweets to after a meal; limit caffeine; and choose colorful, whole foods. You and your blood sugar will remain steadier and more stable throughout the day.

• Move your body in any way that makes you happy; regular physical activity is a definite biochemical boost to happiness and balance.

• Make choices based on what totally resonates with you and your body. This requires that you become mindful of what energizes you and turns over your engine. It can be an “and and” not an either/or. In other words, you can have your cake and eat it, too — just not for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

• Create some space and time to treat yourself well.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves and model for our loved ones is a life well lived.

In today’s upside-down world, action is our primary modus operandi. Consider tweaking your idea of action and focus, and try these five strategies — maybe, one baby step at a time. They are proven techniques with big rewards. They cannot hurt, and they can clearly help. Your life will become happier, steadier, and more balanced — and isn’t that, what is all about?

 

A Little Black Pen

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