Unleash The Power Within: Why Self Motivation Really Does Work

self motivation

Self Confidence and Motivation

self motivation

Are you self motivated?

Do you have the intestinal fortitude to meet challenges and self motivate yourself?

If you’re like most people. you can only go so far in motivating yourself to achieve your ultimate goals. The rest should be left up to others who can get you to where you want to go in life.

As a life coach, I find most motivational information to be too much on the cheerleading side and light on the real motivation. It’s one thing to try and motivate people but let’s get real here… most people don’t have it in them to motivate themselves. They lack the motivation and inspiration to make a real difference in their lives.

If you want to unleash the power within, you must be willing to have someone coach you and be accountable for helping you achieve your goals. If you’re unwilling to do this, the odds are overwhelming in failure’s favor.

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

Wayne Dwyer

So, what’s lacking in finding your inner power?

1- Understanding where your power comes from – For goal-oriented individuals, the first thing you must be aware of is how powerful the human mind is. It’s not all about going out and achieving a goal because you can, but firing up your inner spirit and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.

This stops most people from even trying to motivate themselves. They don’t give themselves enough credit for how strong they are intellectually and emotionally to carry out their particular endeavor. The days of having someone yell at you like a drill instructor to motivate and inspire you are long gone. No one likes to go through that type of treatment.

2- Limiting beliefs – Do you believe in yourself? Do you really believe you can do something you put your mind to? These questions get to the heart of whether we have or don’t have self confidence. Self confidence and motivation lie at the heart of fulfilling our goals but if you lack the proper belief system, how can you unleash your personal power? Often times, we sabotage our efforts without really knowing why until we look back and see it was our limiting beliefs which short-circuited our results.

Many of our limiting beliefs com from our childhood, especially from our parents, teachers and peers. We grow up thinking or told we can’t do something even though we’ve never tried to do it or believed we would fail so we don’t give a full effort. Failure is not the problem, it’s the belief that we will fail no matter how hard we try to succeed.

You cannot self motivate yourself with limiting beliefs. Most of these limiting beliefs belong to one or more of the three basic reasons why we do limit our beliefs.

They are:

  1. I’m not good enough to (insert your problem here).
  2. Making mistakes and failing are bad.
  3. I’m not important enough to receive (insert what you want here).

3- Procrastination – it’s one thing to want to do something … it’s a totally different thing to actually do it. We always seem find a way not to follow through with our goals or action. Procrastination affects everyone no matter how successful you are.

In David Allen’s bestselling book, “Getting Things Done” he talks about the 2-minute rule for overcoming procrastination. In the 2-minute rule, If the particular task takes less than two minutes to finish, then follow the rule and do it right now or risk putting it off till later and then things will pile up and you will feel overwhelmed.

According to James Clear, “Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another.” I think everyone believes this but the don’t take it to heart. They suffer from thinking of creative reasons why right now isn’t the best time to do something but in reality… it is and I will show you.

The world is filled with dreamers who dream their lives away thinking of great things they will do but never get around to doing them. When you start an action, you usually take it to the finish line unless an interruption comes.

Don’t believe me?

Think of something you wanted to do but something caught your attention and you never got around to it. Now think of something you wanted to do and you did take action. You were motivated enough to start and once you did, you got into it and took it to it’s logical conclusion.

What was the key word here?

That’s right… motivation. You need that to complete any action you take. The only problem is… pushing yourself to take the action. Once you start, you’re in good shape to finish. This is why most self-motivation manuals and talks don’t work. The info is good but the motivational techniques are lacking.

What you need is to learn the proper motivational techniques that work for you not the one-size fits all techniques that promote procrstination.

So, where do you find these motivational techniques?

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Motivational Techniques Training

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” 

George Herbert

If you want to succeed with self motivation, you need to learn the proper motivational techniques that get you off your butt and instill in you a respect for taking action. Self confidence comes from doing not emotional feelings. Working and achieving build self-esteem and allow you to take calculated risks when the reward is great.

Here are some 7 motivational techniques to put into place which help you to be successful in any endeavor.

1- Creative a Positive Environment Nothing motivates us more than being positive. Once you let negativity grab a hold, it’s almost impossible to get rid of. The type of environment you surround yourself with is crucial to the outcome of your desired goal. Put yourself in a negative environment and it’s like putting a ten ton weight on your shoulders. It literally knocks you down and you feel like you’re lifting a great weight off your shoulder at the same time you’re trying to accomplish something. The positive environment takes that weight off your shoulder and makes you float like you’re walking on air. The difference between negative and positive is all in how it affects you both mentally and physically.

2- Connect To Your Most Inner Values – Those values that you hold close to your heart are the ones that motivate you to take action. Your heart and mind knows the difference between good and bad and psychologically, it will hold you back even if you don’t understand why. It’s a mechanism we are born with that helps us to manage how we live, love and act. It’s more than that little voice in your head… it your brain’s way of telling you whether to stop or go. Those inner values are really your core values and they are responsible for you becoming self-aware, being a confident person and by following through with the principles and purpose for which we were created for.

3- Surround Yourself With The Right People – According to the great motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  Are you spending your time with the right people?

Leon Logothetis, the noted world traveler, adventurer, author, and TV host, asks four questions regarding the company you keep. They are…

  • Do they make you feel like you have what it takes to reach your goals?
  • Do they support you?
  • Do they make you feel attractive?
  • You you feel happy and energized after spending time with them?

If the answer is yes then you have made a wise choice. When people share the same likes, dislikes, and are interested in the same things, generally they are the types of people you want to hang out with. The ones who complain, are jealous of others and make you feel squeamish to be around obviously are not great influencers. But on the other hand, you don’t want people to be yes men. You want to surround yourself with people who challenge you to better yourself, want to see the best in you and tell you the real truth so you have all the information you need to make better decisions with your life

4- Find Your Immediate Why – The famous Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky once wrote, “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” Your why is what you live for. It is the roadmap that gives your live purpose. Without it, you are just a drifter, someone who never takes action, a dreamer of dreams that’s afraid to take the next step. Are you doing things for the right reason? Your why answers that question and gives you clarity and direction and who doesn’t want clarity and direction in a world that has lost its way?

5- Discover The How That Works For Your Personality – Your personality plays a huge part in how motivation works for you. If your are the A-type personality, you’ll just head first without a thought but if you are shy or are the nervous type, it will take a much more to push you. research has found that openness to experience plays a big part in how motivated we get to any particular activity. So does the level of control we have towards the activity. Different types of personalities behave differently when control is the determining factor. What type of personality do you have and does it affect your motivation? Learn what types of things motivate you and use them to make the How work for your personality. Maybe the problem with getting motivated in not in the actual action you take but the type of How you use.

6- Use Positive Self Talk – In a landmark June 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology entitled, “Brief Online Training Enhances Competitive Performance: Findings of the BBC Lab UK Psychological Skills Intervention Study” it was determined that self-talk is the most effective motivational technique.

According to Christopher Bergland, the technique of using image visualization and the ‘if-then’ planning strategy showed that  across the board, “Researchers found that those using motivational self-talk—for example telling yourself “I can do better next time”—led to optimal performance during every portion of a competition task.”

This is stunning as it shows that we can actually self-talk our way to success. Christopher explains how it helped him in his own quest to become a world record holder in the Triple Ironman Competition by stating, “Well crafted self-talk allowed me to fortify my conviction that I had the ability and chutzpah to go farther and faster than others, without ever feeling cocky.”

7- Imagine You’re Already Successful – As much as everything else is important here, without this inner belief, you’re dead in the water. According to the Code Of Living blog, “As you achieve more success, your drive or motivation increases. And as you face more failure, your drive or motivation decreases.” Thinking you are already successful is all about dreaming big. It’s where you start the engine of success. Every goal you achieve begins with an idea from your imagination and takes off from there. Imagination is the magnet that brings all ideas forward. Success is just the byproduct of an imagination that puts motivation into action.

Why Is Self Motivation Important?

displaying self confidence

“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” 
Stephen Richards
Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

We see how self motivation can help us achieve our goals but what are the real benefits of self motivation?

People who are self-motivated are more organised, have better time management skills and have higher levels of self-esteem and confidence. These skills are important key to being successful not only in life but in achieving our set goals.

Jack Canfield, the #1 bestselling author of “Chicken Soup For The Soul” states that self-motivators “Learn because they WANT to, not because they think they “have” to.” That’s an important lesson for those who are waiting for motivation to bite them in the ass.

It’s a life-long pursuit for knowledge, wisdom and discovery. Jack goes on to say, “Self-motivated learners tend to have a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.” This means self-motivators view life as a never ending quest to learn and improve themselves. They’re not intent to settle for mediocrity.

Life has a way of throwing trials and tribulations our way but those who have the strongest self-motivation are usually the ones who succeed at all costs. They   are the ones with vision and use a self-motivation as their chief strategy in finding their true calling.

Being a self-motivator provides inner strength. It is that strength which allows an individual to accomplish great things. It is also a confidence booster. As you motivate yourself through the maze of life, you’ll realize how strong you really are and that’s the best confidence booster anyone can have.

What is it that motivates you?

How can you motivate yourself?

By understanding the techniques I’ve written about here you can take your confidence to the next level and achieve your own measure of greatness in the world.

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Why Do So Many People End Up Trapped In Unhappiness?

Trapped In Unhappiness

“In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.”
James E. Faust

In a Harris Poll of Americans ages 18 and older in May 2017, it was found that only 1 in 3 could actually say they were happy. This poll determined that those who were the happiest were men and women from high-income households and those with at least high school diploma or less.

According to John Gerzema, the CEO of  the Harris Poll, “To me, it feels like a cultural lack of presence, We are so caught up in our texting, multitasking, jobs and commutes that we seem to have less and less free time. Older people age 65+ are the happiest.”

This shines a light on what is happening to people all over the world. It’s not just about politics, the threat of war or what color our skin is but a lack of closeness between people of all ages and ethnicities. People are just not as emotionally attached as they used to be. Finding real happiness is beyond the reach of most people.

The idea that we feel trapped is echoed in the fact so many people don’t enjoy the jobs they are at or  feel they get enough quality time with their family. Their energy level is reflected in lack of good health and they feel they don’t have the time to do anything about it.

Why is this such a major problem in the world and what can be done to combat the unhappiness to which a majority of people sadly find themselves falling into?

The Trap Of Unhappiness

“There are seeds of self-destruction in all of us that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow.”
Dorothea Brande

Essentially, it all comes down to living in some of a trap. We fall into this trap, not recognizing our fall until it’s way too late to do anything about it.

The trap innocently begins after high school and quietly manifests itself as a maze of quests and searches that forces us to make decisions based on emotions and not logic.

Decision #1 – Either you leave high school and go into college, take on an apprenticeship or get stuck with a low entry job with no benefits and low salary. You have to fight your way up the ladder or get stuck working more than one low-paying job to make ends meet.

Decision #2 – Live with your parents until you can afford to move out or give up your freedom and feel bound by your parents rules and regulations. Even though they love and care about you, being a twenty-something living in your parents home puts undue pressure to “Make it” in the real world.

We all know, this is the age when communication is at its lowest between family members and teenage angst gives way to realities of the real world.

Decision #3 – If you took on the apprenticeship, then you work hard to stand on your own two feet and become a working member of society. If you went to college, you must spend four years or more pushing yourself to the limit to graduate and get that “Great job” that will allow you to move out on your own and begin the life you dreamed about when you started college in the first place.

You enjoy the freedom and the means that work offers you as well as the feeling of success, so you climb the ladder. You intend to find work that is fulfilling and rewarding at some point in the future but that future never seems to come.

Decision #3 – You meet someone and maybe get married and have children. Either way, you now have too many responsibilities and commitments to people other than yourself thrust upon your shoulders at such a young age. You obviously need that job to make ends meet but it isn’t the life you imagined.

Decision # 5 – You start to accumulate expensive items like cars and televisions while working longer hours with more responsibility. The trappings of life box you in and it feels like a prison. You come home in the evenings exhausted and with no energy to pursue other interests or things that quench the thirst in your heart. Stress and a lack of exercise and or passion leaves you tired and unhealthy. You feel like you’re too old to begin a new career or to change your life.

Does all of this sound familiar? It’s a trap that befalls many of us but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want it to be. Awareness of the problem puts you one step ahead of everyone else. It’s one step closer to breaking out of the unhappiness trap!

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Spiritual Happiness Versus Economic Happiness

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.”
Denis Waitley

“We need to look at why we are unhappy,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living spiritual movement. ”Usually, it’s lack of energy in body and mind.”  Living in a consumer-driven culture doesn’t help with being a happier person. He goes on to say “When people are fed up with their routine, and life seems to have no aim and meaning, then people do get depressed, despite having so many physical comforts.”

According to Time’s Special Edition entitled “The Science Of Happiness” it was determined that “Scientists have found, again and again, that those with a spiritual practice or who follow religious beliefs tend to be happier than those who don’t. Study after study has found that religious people tend to be less depressed and less anxious than nonbelievers, better able to handle the vicissitudes of life than nonbelievers. “

They goes on to state, “A 2015 survey by researchers at the London School of Economics and the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that participating in a religious organization was the only social activity associated with sustained happiness—even more than volunteering for a charity, taking educational courses or participating in a political or community organization. It’s as if a sense of spirituality and an active, social religious practice were an effective vaccine against the virus of unhappiness.”

It seems that all the studies about spiritual versus economic happiness realize that the higher the standard of living the happier people tend to be but on the other side of the spectrum, the higher the inequality between economic divisions in society, the higher people tend to fall into the unhappy spectrum.

This no more apparent than in the September 3, 2015 paper in Psychological Science entitled, “Income Inequality Explains Why Economic Growth Does Not Always Translate to an Increase in Happiness” from Shigehiro Oishi at the University of Virginia and Selin Kesebir at the London Business School.

“Every single time income inequality decreased between two time points, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went up,” the researchers write. “And every time income inequality increased, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went down. In other words, although economic growth was steady and strong during this period, the evenness of the income distribution was fluctuating, and happiness was inversely related to income inequality.”

This is echoed by John Robbins, son of the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins Ice cream franchise when he said, “I believe there is truth in both camps. Up to a certain point, money is vital to happiness for almost everyone. It can buy food, clothing, and housing and provide for other basic needs. Once a person’s basic needs are met, though, money takes on a different meaning.”

That’s where the spiritual side is missing from today’s society. We are either in rapid pursuit of financial gain or jealous of others who are rich. It’s an either or situation which leaves out the spiritual side of things that can bring on true happiness.

On the Action For Happiness website they talk about getting in touch with your spiritual side. They explain this by stating: “Living happily depends on how we are in our inner lives – our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and desires. Having a spiritual dimension means finding a sense of inner peace – both peace of mind and peace in the heart. It also means allowing our inner values to guide how we interact with the world around us – our concern for others, our connection with the natural world and our interst in making a positive contribution to society.”

This is something most of us miss. We end up trying to balance both the spiritual side and the financial side but lose out to the trappings of society. If we pursue a more traditional approach of satisfying the inner soul then we will be better equipped and able to handle the economic portion of our lives.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tell that to someone who doesn’t have enough to eat or someone who can’t afford a place to live. Happiness is relative to how we live… from our values and how we were brought up to the influences of society and our peers both from growing up to going to school to our working lives.

Ending the Unhappiness Trap

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.”
Christopher McCandless

One of the byproducts of unhappiness in society is an increase in medications. According to the Market Watch article, “7 Reasons Americans Are Unhappy”  from August 30, 2016, “The rate of antidepressant use has surged 400% over the last decade, according to the CDC, though that may also be due to the heavy marketing of drugs like Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil. The percentage of workers testing positive for illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines has increased for the second consecutive year in the general U.S. workforce, according to a 2015 workplace urine drug test of more than 6.6 million tests by Quest Diagnostics, a company that provides clinical laboratory tests on potential and/or current employees for companies. Some 4.7% of the general U.S. workforce tested positive for illegal drugs in 2014, compared with 4.3% in 2013.”

People are drowning their sorrows in drugs to offset the unhappiness they feel in everyday life. It doesn’t help that doctors and drug companies are pushing these drugs on people who most of the time, really don’t need them.

Unhappiness has become an epidemic more than the drugs themselves and the drugs are just a way to mask the sadness people feel.

Scott Mautz, the author of “Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again” has an interesting take on the unhappiness trap. In an interview with Dr. Annie McKee (University of Pennsylvania) she states The helplessness trap is the most dangerous of all. When you feel disempowered, like a victim of your circumstances, it’s a dangerous place to be as it’s hard to take bold steps.”

This type of trap sneaks up on us over time and forces us to make bad decisions which we regret having to deal with.

But sometimes, we’re our worst enemies.

Here Are 5 Ways You Can End The Unhappiness Trap Without Going Crazy Or Falling Into Depression

1- STOP COMPLAINING

If you notice, most people who are unhappy seem to complain about everything all the time. They put so much emphasis on their complaints but do nothing to make their lives better. It’s as if they need to complain to feel important  in some kind of weird way. They keep their minds and hearts focus on life’s negative aspects instead of feeling all the positivity going on around. they end up blind to life… just their own pain and heartache.

When you stop complaining you take the emphasis off of your complaints and back on to your own responsibility. Responsible people are happier because they are dealing with life the best they can and live with their decisions whether good or bad.

Ken Wert, the founder of Meant 2 Be Happy Blog states, “The habit of complaint is a self-inflicted wound. It darkens horizons and amplifies the ugly. Never ignore warning signs or hide from reality, of course. Just don’t dwell so exclusively on it.”

2- STOP BLAMING OTHERS

Don’t you hate it when people refuse to blame themselves for all the things happening in their life?  They look at life as a garden filled with weeds which they planted but don’t want the responsibility of pruning away the bad . It’s always someone else’s fault, someone else’s responsibility and we keep the focus on who, what and where instead looking inward and see where we went wrong and more importantly, how we can fix the situation.

Blame is a trap that is self-inflicted and a band aid does not heal the wound. It is forever left to fester and infect others..

3- STOP COMPARING

Those who are unhappy use comparison to make themselves feel better. They compare their situation to others, themselves to others and see things in a distorted type of funhouse mirror where everything is not as it appears to be.

Some people go their entire lives dissatisfied with how they look, how they feel because they can’t live up to what others appear to be. They copy the outward appearance of others but don’t know or understand what that person feels on the inside. We’ve all become clones of one another while distancing ourselves from  the emotional part that makes us who we are.

It’s time to embrace your uniqueness and love who you are. God made you this way for a reason and He loves you just the way you are. Why try to be something you’re not just to please people who don’t appreciate the real you.

4- STOP WORRYING SO MUCH

Stop being a worry-wart! If you are plagued with various fears, middling doubt and overwhelming anxiety you’ll find that life will send very few things you can find joy in.

Worry doesn’t solve any problem. Instead, be cognizant of what you are going through but work at solving your problems in a healthy way.

Everyone has problems but those who take them to the next step with worry rob themselves of a peaceful existence clouded with doubts and causes both mental and physical harm.

Learn to trust God that things will work out. Hand your problems, doubts and fears to God and let things work out according to His will. Trust that things will work out alright. Ken Wert goes on to say, “Let go of the need to control. Take reasonable precautions, of course, but not out of fear that something terrible will otherwise happen, but out of respect for your health and well-being.”

5- LEARN TO LIVE WITH GRATITUDE

If there is one thing most people lack it is the idea of being grateful for what they have. Being jealous of others and what they have, the lives they lead or what they do is a recipe for true unhappiness.

The happiest people on earth know that being grateful brings inner peace and counting your blessings makes you a more positive person.

Here Are 3 Ways Gratitude Can Help You To Be A Happier Person

  • It reminds you of what’s important in life
  • It reminds you to thank others and put others first
  • It reminds you of the positive things in your life

Once you understand what makes you unhappy you can change those things and turn your unhappiness into a life of gratitude and thankfulness. That is where happiness exists. Each one of us has the chance to be happy but it’s up to each person to work at being happy. It’s your decision. Make the best of it!

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The 5 Main Ingredients To A Happy and Fulfilling Christian Life

Are You Living A Happy And Fulfilling Christian life?

Do you know the secret to living a happy and fulfilling Christian life?

In this article I am going to blast away the myths, the false beliefs and ideas that keep most people from living the kind of Christian life they’ve always dreamed of.

What does it take to be happy person? We’ve all seen those people who seem to have it all… great health, money in the bank, a great job but many of the people who fit that type of lifestyle are both miserable and empty inside. They look to drugs, sex, money and power to fill a need that just can’t be quenched.

Then you have the average person who has neither the wealth, the power or the greed of the jet-set lifestyle that would breed the kind of happiness we all aspire to. No, they understand what’s important in life and live by a set of rules that is different from how the rest of the world lives.

What is their big secret? What do they posses that unhappy are missing out on? What do Christians have that the rest of the world needs to lead a happy and fulfilling life?

Since there isn’t one basic recipe that will work for everyone, there are several ingredients that most happy Christians seem to have in common. I will give you the list of these ingredients and will go into deeper detail so that you can incorporate them into your life.

The idea here isn’t to just do these things and they will make you happy… the idea is to make them part of who you are on the inside until they become an authentic part of your everyday activities.

The 5 Main Ingredients Of A Happy And Fulfilling Christian Life

1- God – At the center of everyone’s life should be a special relationship with God. As a Christian, Jesus Christ comes first in my life. I couldn’t hope to live a happy life without involving Jesus in all my activities. Through prayer, bible study as well as partaking in the Eucharist, I make it a habit to live and know the complete joy that Jesus has to offer me.

No matter what happens, Jesus is by my side as I experience His love and protection. He brings a joy that the world just cannot provide and I seek to know Him better and His purpose for my life. I may not be considered a rich person according to the world but my riches are stored in heaven. My day-to-day needs are taken care of and my family is healthy and happy.

Candy Arrington writes, “Seeking God in decision-making and all life activities leads to happiness because this puts us in line with His will for our lives.”

When we are able to tap into God’s mighty strength it allows us to overcome the frustrations and difficulties that we encounter in our daily struggles. More importantly, it’s learning to recognize all the blessings we’ve already been given instead of looking for more which  is the key to happiness for Christians everywhere.

What more do I need to be a follower of Christ?

Colossians 2:2, speaks of knowing God intimately: “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.”

2- Love – Besides God, love is the most important thing we have is this world to bring happiness and contentment. But the problem with the world is, we associate sex with love and we don’t put enough emphasis on the relationship first. True love is a gift from God. It is a relationship that God wants to be a part of. Can you find love on your own? Maybe… But God has a plan for each one of us and it includes that special someone.

Love is not a selfish thing as most people believe. In fact, love is something you give from the very depths of your soul. Research studies have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that those who give unselfishly of themselves are the happiest people in the world. It is important to have someone to love and someone that loves you. It is what we were made for but the sheer the beauty of love has been perverted by the sins of pornography, pride and greed.

Without love, there is emptiness and boredom. Almost every song written is about love in one form or another and everyone who doesn’t have it wants it. J. M. Barrie once said, “If you have it, you don’t need to have anything else, and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t much matter what else you have.”

 

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So the eternal question is, why is love so important to happiness?

  • It’s about connecting with another human being
  • It is a pathway to one’s self discovery
  • It is the one thing that nurture’s life in all in forms
  • It is a great motivator
  • It is a great teacher
  • It is a support structure for which you to build your life upon

Love is about reaching out to others to form natural bonds and is one of the most essential ingredients for human survival but love, according to God is

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 speaks of love this way: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

3- Facing Challenges – Whoever thought that facing challenges in life would be so important to attaining happiness and being fulfilled? Why are challenges so important in our lives?

As Christians, God never said life would be easy. We must expect to go through trials and suffering but there is hope. It comes in the form of a God who loves us and desires only what is best for us. The trials we go through act as a mirror to the weakest parts of our being.

Most of us go through life with our eyes closed until we have to face a major obstacle. It’s only then do we call on the Lord for help. We need to be aware that courage and patience are built on faith. A faith that believes God is with us and helping us on our journey through life.

Challenges create circumstances where we must grow. It builds character and in order to overcome these trials, we must choose to rise to the occasion. That strength cannot prosper unless we have God with us. These trials are God’s way of teaching us humility, compassion and trust. Through it all, we see God’s love in everything.

“Challenges teach us, allow us to become more empathetic, humble, and fearless. Challenges will happen, so allow them to add to your experience of life rather than to diminish it.” Barrie Davenport

Take Charles Rentz for instance. He was born without arms or legs yet he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. He trusted God throughout his own trials and tribulations and continues to face life’s biggest challenges squarely upon his faith in Jesus. He understood why challenges are God’s way of bringing us closer to Him via the trust factor. He states: “My entire life is built upon my faith in my Creator who has endowed me with so many blessings.”

Philippians 4:12-13 tells us this about living with adversity: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

4- Peace of Mind – Everyone wants to live a peaceful existence. According to the Dalai Lama, “If we have peace of mind, we’ll always feel happy. Deceiving ourselves that money is the source of happiness, we won’t.

Why is this quote from a Buddhist monk so important to understanding Christian happiness? Happiness is ours if we want it. It’s not based on anything the world can give us but the peace of mind that comes from knowing God.

Another great quote from the Indian spiritual leader Dada Vaswani, goes like this: “Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.”

This is why happiness in the world is transitory. We lack peace of mind because we are searching for things that add to our stress and keep us from being at peace. Think about your own life. What is keeping you from being at peace? What are you doing that makes it hard for you to concentrate on being peaceful?

Take this quote from the #1 Bestselling author Eckhart Tolle, “Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.”

We are so busy chasing after things that we cannot take with us that we forget to live in the here and now. We don’t give enough meaning to what God has given to us at this moment in time that we lose our ability to appreciate all the good in our lives.

The idea is to slow down, pray and appreciate what you have for you may lose it at any time. Think of it this way… Do you want more, more, more or are you contented that your needs have all been met?

Be satisfied with what you have been given. Some people are never content with their current circumstances because they always want more or think having more is better in the long run but watch out what you wish for as you will have to deal with it when you receive it.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So beautifully said and words most Christians forget to live by.

5- Adjust your attitude – To live a heart-centered life we need to live through God’s ways not our own. This means we must adjust our attitudes to that of a higher power. We are not the owners of our lives for as Christians, we have given ourselves over to Christ.

Are you being merciful and compassionate to your fellow man? Do you give love when the world says no? Do you offer yourself to others as an act of love or do you pick your spots?

Our attitudes form the soil from which the root of our actions will grow. Are you watering and pruning your actions or do they grow like weeds?

Evangelical Christian pastor Chuck Swindoll writes in his book  ”Strengthening Your Grip”: “I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude is that ‘single string’ that keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.”

Your actions depend on where you spend your thoughts. If those thoughts are not based on God’s word then we are not applying His truth to our life. That’s where we become misguided in our search for happiness and joy.

We avoid change because change is hard. If we walk in darkness we can’t avoid sin but changing our attitude brings about real change. Attitude and direction go hand in hand. This is why Jesus tries to get our attention to point us in the right direction.

How often have you seen big name stars going in rehab or dying from drug and alcohol abuse? it’s an epidemic in society yet to live a happy and fulfilling life avoids all that. It focuses itself on the ways of God so that we walk along the path of righteousness.

It is one thing to know about God but another altogether to actually surrender ourselves to Him. When you can do that peace, love and harmony are yours for the taking.

Philippians 4:8 talks to us about our attitude: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Seeking God’s Version Of Happiness And Fulfillment

Despite what the world has to offer, God’s way is still the best way. Pedro Gelabert states that “Happiness is the result of righteous living. Happiness comes to you when you OBEY God. It is the result of OBEYING His Word. To obey God you must know what He says in the Bible. You cannot know God’s will or please Him unless you know His Word, the Bible. There is no other way around it. In fact, this is exactly how Jesus concludes His Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 7:24-27: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

If we live by Christ we shall die with Christ. All else has no meaning. If you seek happiness and fulfillment beyond Christ you will only find pain and unhappiness. By walking with God we will know true happiness and true fulfillment.

Society doesn’t know Jesus like we know Jesus. It has its own brand of morality, its own rules for being happy and its own pathway towards happiness. Don’t be misled by what society offers. Be strong in faith, strong in action and be an example of unconditional love. Only then can you find real happiness and fulfillment while you are still alive.

So, what is the Christian’s secret to a happy and fulfilling life? Seeking out God in every circumstance and allowing Him to shape us into the persons we are meant to be.

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