10 Basic Ways to Find Happiness

We all want to feel happy, and each one of us has different ways of getting there. Here are steps you can take to bring more happiness into your life:

  1. Be with others who make you smile. Studies show that we are happiest when we are around those who are also happy.
  2. Hold on to your values. What you find true, what you know is fair, and what you believe in are all values. Over time, the more you honor them, the better you will feel about yourself.
  3. Accept the good. Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t perfect. When good things happen, even the very little ones, let them in.
  4. Imagine the best. Don’t be afraid to look at what you really want and see yourself getting it. Many people avoid this process because they don’t want to be disappointed if things don’t work out. The truth is that imagining getting what you want is a big part of achieving it.
  5. Do things you love. Maybe you can’t skydive every day or take vacations every season, but as long as you get to do the things you love every once in a while, you will find greater happiness.
  6. Find purpose. Those who believe they are contributing to the well-being of humanity tend to feel better about their lives. Most people want to be part of something greater than they are, simply because it’s fulfilling.
  7. Listen to your heart. You are the only one who knows what fills you up. Your family and friends may think you’d be great at something that really doesn’t float your boat. It can be complicated following your bliss. Just be smart, and keep your day job for the time being.
  8. Push yourself, not others. It’s easy to feel that someone else is responsible for your fulfillment, but the reality is that it is really your charge. Once you realize that, you have the power to get where you want to go. Stop blaming others or the world, and you’ll find your answers much sooner.
  9. Be open to change. Even if it doesn’t feel good, change is the one thing you can count on. A change will happen, so make contingency plans and emotionally shore yourself up for the experience.
  10. Bask in the simple pleasures. Those who love you, treasured memories, silly jokes, warm days, and starry nights—these are the ties that bind and the gifts that keep on giving.

Happiness is within your grasp, but sometimes just out of reach. Understanding what works best for you is the first step in finding more of it.

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These Are the Things That Define You – Part Two – The Importance of Love

The biggest threat to any type of relationship is
misunderstandings.

Misunderstanding ourselves
and
misunderstanding others.

When you don’t like something then express it. Most importantly do it without trying to hurt someone because they hurt you. Instead, try helping them feel what you feel, expressed by both your words and actions.

When people understand
they usually do not judge.

The better you know yourself,
the better you can know others.

Spending time with a person is how you get to know them.

In the same way you must build a trusting relationship with yourself. You need to spend time getting to know more about you. You can never get to know yourself if you are surrounded by lots of noise, friends, and family, or if you are always preoccupied with things to do.

Being around others is vital.

We learn from their experiences and perspectives. It is just as important spending time alone, in peaceful surroundings. Peaceful surroundings doesn’t mean absolute silence. It means the absence of interruption and other distractions.

If you’re always listening to others,
you’ll just become the sum of
everyone else’s ideas.

Your deepest reflections cannot be heard unless you make time for them to be heard. Without really listening to yourself, you won’t have anything to keep you grounded. You’ll fall into all types of emotional traps. Most important you’ll find it difficult to resist the negative influences of others.

Of all the judgments we pass in life,
none is more important than
the judgment we pass on ourselves.

You may also want to use this opportunity to consider your life goals in all aspects: physical, mental and spiritual. You need to sit with your emotions and spend the time to distinguish them and label them. In the questioning process, ask yourself what your values are.

 

 

Core values will be things like compassion, honesty, love, kindness, loyalty, etc. Clarifying your core values will give you an exact picture of who you are.

  • Find out what makes your heart sing.
  • Find out what keeps you excited.

It is important your actions are supported by your core values and fundamentals. If not, you will find yourself in self sabotage. The ability to reach your highest potential is severely limited when you are busy self sabotaging!

Find out what inspires you. These are the things that define you.

Being with nature is also a good idea. You tend to connect better to your inner being, when you are more relaxed. The answers that you seek, while in a state of mental relaxation, surface more easily. You become clearer and clearer, in the intents that you sent out to the Universe(God). Because this intent is in perfect alignment with the real you, you do not experience any conflict or sabotage.

Time alone to
meditate and reflect
is productive time.

You cannot expect to function well physically everyday, if you are out of balance in other aspects such as mentally and spiritually. Very importantly, consider putting aside “me” time on a regular basis. I choose to spend “me” time meditating, reading books or simply just be with myself.

You must guard your personal quiet time and really make use of it.

This is your alone time with the Universe (God).
This is inviolable sacred time.

  • This is when you connect with your soul.
  • This is when you learn how to be at peace with the storms of life.
  • This is where you’ll find comfort and guidance.

This is what defines you.
This is when you know the importance of love.

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Think Values Not Goals

What is the most important thing about you? What is the most important thing about your life, your relationships, and the next thing you do?

If you can answer these questions with conviction, purpose, and passion, and if your behavior is consistent with your answers, then your life, no doubt, feels completely genuine. You are one of the fortunate few who continually grow, learn, produce, create, and care. You never question your own value or anyone else’s. You routinely regulate negative emotions by investing interest and creating value in the world around you.

Those less fortunate have to think long and hard to answer the most crucial questions of their lives and often become appalled at how little their behavior reflects what they deeply believe to be important. The negative emotions that we blame on stress, bad days, excess weight, society, coworkers, neighbors, and family come largely from ignoring or violating what is most important to us.

For instance, when the most important thing about driving is to get to a destination as quickly as possible, people tend to drive aggressively. They devalue their own emotional well being, not to mention their safety and that of every person – every child – in every car they pass. They ignore both the general warning of their emotional discomfort – to value more – and the specific message – develop solutions to any problems that being late might cause. If they blame their discomfort on other drivers, the design of the highway, the boss, getting up late, or their “own stupidity,” their discomfort gets worse. Their emotions can no longer guide their behavior to conform to what is most important to them. Instead, they seem to be vehicles of punishment, unfairly controlled by situations or other people. The result is a sense of powerlessness that impairs thinking, performance, interest, and concentration. They will work less efficiently, become exhausted more easily, and be less than sweet to their kids when they get home.

Small and Important

When it comes to staying true to the most important things to and about you, it’s the small emotions that matter.  The great passions of life, which seem to have the most significance, never spring from flat emotional landscapes. They rise and fall like waves on a continuous stream of small, unconscious emotions.

The primary function of the stream of emotions is the same in humans as in all mammals, to motivate and energize behavior on the most fundamental level of “approach, avoid, attack.” By habit and default, this unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions greatly influences what you will see, think, feel, and do next. If it flows from what is most important to and about you, your life will get better. If not, it will get worse.

The unconscious motivation of behavior is usually different from goals and intentions. For instance, Rick had a “communication problem” with his teenage daughter. He described a terrible altercation that began with his “harsh but right” reproach: “This is the third time I’ve asked you to clean your room!” His goal in this interaction, of course, was to get her to clean her room. His intention was to let her know that he was upset because she hadn’t. But the motivation that energized his behavior was attack, i.e., make her feel bad for not cleaning her room. Her emotional response, of course, was defensive. After some mutual name-calling (hers under her breath), she cleaned her room, in submission and humiliation, which she numbed with resentment. In fact, this is why she “forgot” to clean it in the first place.

Rick had begun to misinterpret the normal distractedness of a young teenager as a personal affront to him. Feeling disrespected, he attacked. After only a couple repetitions of this dance, his daughter associated cleaning her room with submission and humiliation. It turns out that the human brain will do almost anything to avoid thinking about submissive and humiliating behavior. Rick’s daughter naturally sought more interesting things to occupy her mind, which made her more likely to “forget” to clean her room. The more often she forgot, the more he attacked, and the more he fooled himself with the “rightness” of his goals and intentions.

Motivations are basic, simple, and straightforward. Goals and intentions are always complicated and often self-deceptive. In any given interaction, people respond emotionally to basic approach, avoid, attack motivations, not to goals and intentions.

Rick’s problem with his daughter was about importance, not “communication.” The most important thing, he later decided, was to teach her cooperation and respect. Attack motivations can evoke submission and fear, along with the resentment that goes with them, but never cooperation and respect.

Rick thought that his new “insight” of what was most important would change everything between him and his daughter. As it turned out, he did behave differently toward her, when he was conscious enough to remember his “insight,” usually after an episode of frustrated attacks. Conscious insight rarely influences, much less changes, the unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions. Whatever change you make is likely to last only as long as your attention lasts. Once routine sets in, the flow of the stream of returns to automatic pilot.

Most of what we do bypasses conscious thought and feelings. Only waves of larger emotions, like fear, anger, joy, or sadness bulge into awareness. Otherwise, the stream of unconscious small emotions makes a powerful force of habit that easily overrides the best of goals and intentions.

Lasting change usually requires emotional reconditioning, i.e., changing habits. For most of us, that is the only way to ensure that our streams of unconscious, everyday emotions flow from the most important things to and about us.

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