How Do You Define What Happiness Means To You?

What Is The Real Definition Of Happiness?

Happiness means something different to everyone but as its very root, finding happiness is what everyone is searching for. The very definition of being happy is to be satisfied, contented, and fulfilled in whatever you are doing at the moment.

But happiness is not defined by momentary pleasures. We want to go much deeper than that. We want something that is sustainable, something that stays with us and something we can access at any time we want.

Now, let’s take a look at the literal definition from Webster’s dictionary to see how it defines happiness.

It states that happiness is:

  1. A : a state of well-being and contentment : joy
  2. B : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Definition A is important to you to understand as it uses a keyword that most people do not fully understand… that being joy!

Joy is something most people think of as a synonym for happiness but it gets to the heart of what we feel as opposed to what we experience.

Joy is not about pleasure or stimulation that makes us feel good. Joy is the embodiment of love. It is what’s left over when pleasure and contentment are gone. It’s what God has given to us as a gift that we must cherish.

In Lamentations 3:17, we feel the heartache when we lose our happiness. “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

But true happiness comes from God. Despite all the problems, Romans 12:12 tells us, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

According to author Donna Labermeier in an article she wrote entitled, “Do We Really Know What Joy Is?” she speaks of the true nature of joy when she writes, “Joy is a sustained, elevated, super-fast vibrating energy that most people are not at all used to. A state of true joy reveals an eagerness and enthusiasm for life that many dear souls have probably never felt before.”Is that the kind of happiness you seek?”

Joy takes happiness to a new level. It’s what is inside of each and every person yet most don’t know how to access it and even worse, don’t know how to enjoy it

Do you want to get an immediate boost to your happiness? Listen to the MP3 below for the real secret.

What Does Happiness Mean To You?

Everyone wants to be happy but do you know what happiness means to you? Do you know what it takes to make you happy?

Are you living the life you imagined you’d live? So often, we look back on our lives and wish we could have done things differently. We wished we could have avoided the painful things we encountered while enjoying the little things a bit more.

King Solomon built some of the most beautiful projects known to man. He had at his disposal all the money a man could ever want and used it to bring happiness to himself. After taking a serious look at what he had built, he lamented on the sheer waste of it all as he finally understood the principal of searching for joy when it was already there through the love of God.

“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done… and found it to be nothing but vanity and a striving after wind” Ecc 2:1-12.

This is how many of us look at happiness. We gather up riches here on earth yet none of it makes sense until we take a long look at our lives and what these possessions have given us.

What’s truly important to you?

What is the one thing you can’t live without? Is it love? Friendship? Your family? Your job? Whatever it is, that’s what you will focus on. If you focus on things that don’t fulfill you then they will take up valuable real estate in your heart and will waste your time, money, and your feelings.

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How To Find Lasting Joy In Your Happiness

Happiness is like a game for most people. They go on a mad scramble to find lasting happiness yet they never finish playing the game. All the things they think will make them happy are disposable and move on to the next thing they think will fill their hearts.

Let me tell you why all of this is in vain. In fact, let God tell you in his own words and you will see why joy is what you are really lacking.

Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Joy is short-lived if it is done with selfish intent. Real joy comes from investing ourselves in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand brings this out beautifully in his article, “Genuine Joy And Happiness” when he writes, “A Christian’s joy can be just as short-lived as anyone else’s, if he seeks it for itself as the world does. Biblical joy is a fruit, a byproduct, an additional blessings, not an end in itself. It flows into and grows within the person whose life and energies are not focused merely on being “joyful.” The lives of those in this world who so zealously chase after it prove this point. If they are still chasing it, then they must not have it!  On the other hand, when we follow God’s prescription, He feeds us in such a way that we experience real joy and satisfaction.”

How are you feeding this joy? Is it with the fruit of the world or the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

If everything you do comes from a genuine love of the Jesus Christ then joy will follow you all the days of your life. You will not descend into the depths of debauchery but be lifted through the unconditional love that God shows you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this world. The problems, the acrimony, the greed, the jealousy, and the gossip. We waste so much of our time on things that bring no sense of joy. Instead, we let life and society dictate our own brand of happiness.

Think about it. Are you able to enjoy yourself to the fullest knowing that someone might make a comment on what you are doing that you may not like or appreciate? Does what others say or believe influence your happiness?

I hope not! But let’s be real here for a minute. If you enjoy things that others don’t, doesn’t it make sense to to find others that enjoy the same things you do and enjoy it with them? Why let others spoil what gives you pleasure.

Let me give you an example of this. When my brother and I hit our early twenties, we finally had enough money to go to Comic Con in New York City. Comic Con is a festive held in both New York City and San Diego where fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and science fiction go to enjoy themselves. Some people dress up as their favorite movie and comic characters while others go to soak up the atmosphere.

As we are big science fiction fans (Star Wars and Star Trek to name just a few), we went to meet some of the cast members and enjoy the festivities. When we told some people we were going, we got some funny looks and one person even commented, “Why would you want to go there for?”

I will never forget that. They tried to spoil our fun because they thought it was stupid to waste our time there. Happiness doesn’t depend on what others think or believe. It should come from deep inside. As a writer, I wanted to go to understand what made these movies, shows and characters click. It was a chance to meet our heroes.

God knows what makes us happy and puts things in our life to enjoy them. He wants us to be happy. He doesn’t want us depressed or feeling like life is a drag. We tend to forget what God wants for us and go off and do our own thing until we realize God has other plans for us.

Going to Comic Con inspired me to take my writing to another level. God was leading me in a direction and I followed. Why is this important?

We read it in Psalm 16:11 where David encourages us to seek out God’s joy. “Thou will make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” 

Now, does that sound like a God who doesn’t care whether we’re happy or not? Of course not. He is guiding us and watching over us all the time and through this, He offers his joy which brings us the true pleasures of the world.

Where would you be if you had to do everything yourself and no help whatsoever in accomplishing your goals in life?

Probably not too happy but when you allow Jesus to guide you and show you what real joy is then you can experience happiness in a brand new light.

The Purpose Of Joy

Without joy, it would be a pretty boring world wouldn’t it? Day after day, slogging through life without any hope at all. That’s not what God offers us.

In fact, there’s a purpose to God’s joy. He want to bring us close to Himself where He can bring out the best in us. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand says it best when he writes, “Biblical joy is inseparable from our relationship with God, and springs from our knowledge and understanding of the purpose of life and the hope of living with God for eternity when there will be joy evermore. Joy is the sign that life has found its purpose and its reason for being.” 

Have Passion

From the article, “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old” author Eric Barker talks about happiness and purpose. He states, “People who have purpose in life are not only happier and healthier —  they live longer.” He goes on to say, “What drives you? What inspires you? Feed that now and reap the benefits later. Don’t have hobbies — have passions.”

We are all equipped to be happy. The problem is, we don’t give in to our passions we give up our passions to make a living. It’s when we combine them that we find our happiness and the joy of life.

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

That quote by Thich Nhat Hanh explains why most of us are not happy and don’t feel the joy in our life. You’ve got to live to be happy. Happy people enjoy the life God has given them. They are not just actors in their life but actually live out their passions.

If you want to define happiness and joy, it all comes down to this: Joy is a response to God’s word. Pastor Rick Warren chimes in with his definition which I like the best because it brings us to the heart of how joy works.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

What is your definition of happiness and joy and are you a living example of it?

Let me know in the comments section how you feel about being happy.

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5 Amazing Ways God Can Help You Start Living A Happier Life

Finding Happiness in Life Despite The Ups And Downs

Everyone wants the dream of living a happy and healthy life without all the stress and grief that comes with it. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to handle the everyday problems that make finding happiness a real chore.

Even if your life seems to be stuck in a rut where everything is going wrong, there are ways to instantly boost your level of happiness and enjoy what life has to offer you. You may not be able to get rid of all the stress that’s affecting you but there are ways to keep stressful feelings and reactions at bay so it doesn’t ruin your happiness and severely affect your lifestyle.

Regardless of your circumstances, joy is truly present in your life… you just have to look for it. God has given you everything you need to be happy but for some of us, we forget many of those blessings when we go through tough times.

For me, I look to Jesus first for my joy even in the midst of all my pain and suffering. Having nearly died in two separate car accidents I am grateful for the life I have now despite the physical pain from the 2 major back operations I’ve had to endure.

Life isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean happiness should be cast aside. As Christians, God has called us to lead happy lives filled with His joy not the fleeting happiness of a corrupt society that has very little to offer.

In this article, you’ll discover 5 amazing ways God can help you start living a happier life right now. And, you’ll be better off for learning this in the long run.

#1 Way To Living A Happier Life

1- It’s Not What’s On The Outside But What’s On The Inside That Really Matters

Remember, people care about you because of you, not what you own. All the money in the world cannot buy you lasting happiness if God is not part of who you are. Most of the time, we try to fill that void in our lives by buying things to make us happy but after awhile, those things lose their appeal. All you’re really doing is throwing money down that void trying to fill it with worthless junk.

Look at all the rich and powerful celebrities over the years who have died from overdosing on drugs, chasing fame and got caught up in a life filled with sex, booze and lost everything they had. They are lost souls who put their salvation in the hands of the devil and ended up with nothing.

If you base your happiness on strictly what you own, you’re losing a long and painful battle. Too many people are slaves to the newest technology, designer clothes and latest cars, all to make themselves look good to other people. However, people like you for the person you are on the inside.

Think about all the good you have done for others. How you’ve treated them over the years and been there when they needed you. Was it because of your money? Of course not. Friendship doesn’t care about money. It goes much deeper than that.

So, what does God say about this?

In Luke 12:15, we are told about greed. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Once again we read it in Proverbs 23:4-5 where it states, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

It’s not about how much money but what you do with it that is important to God. Money and possessions are worthless it you are not a good steward with them. You have two choices to decide…

  1. Let money rule over you
  2. You rule over your money

God has given you so many things to be grateful for so enjoy what he has given. His unconditional love is filled with all the joy you need.

Let go of the notion that your worth depends upon your possessions and look to God for your true version of happiness.

#2 Way To Living A Happier Life

2- Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

“Comparison is the theft of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Want the secret to happiness? Stop comparing yourself to others because you’ll always feel like you cannot measure up. This is a surefire way to ruin your happiness and live a life filled with lack. We all have problems and even though no two people are the same, we have this bad habit of comparing ourselves and our lives to others without knowing what these people are going through. The problem is, it’s like comparing apples and bananas. They’re both fruits but that’s where the comparison ends.

God doesn’t want us to worry about what others have. According to author Cindi McMenamin, “Comparison is an ugly game. Jesus warned us not to get caught up in it, especially when it came to how we “look” religiously.”

This game is never played on equal footing. Remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14? He compared himself to the tax collector but Jesus put him in his place when he said:

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

We all have different strengths and weaknesses and because of this we must recognize the opportunity to practice humility when it presents itself. We’re never going to live up to our version of others so we need to rely on God’s opinion rather than the opinion of others.

Comparison all based on our insecurities and when we let those insecurities run wild, that’s when jealousy, self pity and greed come into play.

Cindi goes on to explain why we compare when she states, “You and I compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We hope to feel better about ourselves if we end up ahead. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature – we have the desire to be right, perfect, or just better than another. But comparison rarely leads to humility, which pleases God and saves us the stress of constantly running our measuring stick over others in front of us.”

When you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll notice you become a much happier person.

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#3 Way To Living A Happier Life

3- Do What You Love

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Those 17 words can be the difference between a life of mediocrity that you hate doing and a life filled with happiness and excitement.

God has given each one of us certain gifts and talents that when used properly, can do His will on earth while helping us fuel our passions. Your job, as Mission Impossible states, should you choose/decide to accept it, is to find a passion that both excites you and uses your gifts for the glory of God.

According to author Ruth Zive, “Our truest passions emerge in childhood, only to be squelched by real life pressures. So think about what you loved long before you had to worry about your career. Getting back in touch with those instincts is an important step in finding your passion.”

Studies show that happy people tend to earn higher salaries because they have jobs they love. I know the job you have now pays the bills but what is your heart aching to do? What is it that makes you get up in the morning and motivates you?

You might think you’re stuck with what you have but the yearning you have is telling you something. Everyone who went into business and did something they loved had a job to pay the bills but they broke out of their comfort zone and made things happen. Success and happiness go together but if you aren’t doing what you love you’ll get neither of them.

Everyday life experiences are where you learn how to live but you can’t live in a classroom all your life. There’s comes a time when you have to get out on your own and ultimately do what makes you happy.

If you listen to what others say you’ll stay stuck in the same old grind but listen to Steve Jobs when he says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Don’t settle for mediocrity. That’s where unhappiness lives. Make the decision to do what you love and happiness and joy will always challenge you to be a better person!

staying happy

#4 Way To Living A Happier Life

4- Be A More Prayerful Person

Are you surprised by this selection? Most people only pray when they’re going through tough times but God asks us to pray unceasingly. We read this in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where is states,Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

If God asks you to rejoice and pray then it must be important. The happiness comes in communion with God. Whenever you’re down, seek out His compassion and His love. It’s there that you will find His joy.

Here’s a quote from St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars that explains the point like no other.

“Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. . . God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure.” 

When you trust God, it gives you a level of satisfaction you can’t anywhere else. It’s in your daily habit of prayer that you realize how happy God makes you feel, how joyful it feels to be unconditionally loved and to be able to talk to the creator who actually cares what’s going in your life.

Even as everything around you is falling apart, God is watching over you and that is something you can count on..

So what does joy mean to you?

Michael Youssef, Ph.D. says that “Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ.”

Studies have shown that those who pray are much happier people that is why your prayer life is critical to your state of happiness.

#5 Way To Living A Happier Life

5- Be In A Permanent Fellowship With God

Happiness is in God’s nature. He wants you to be happy and knows what is best for you. Too often, we think we know what will make us happy but in the long run, we end us sad and unfulfilled. We give into sin to experience momentary happiness but that’s not where true happiness lives.

Wes Adams says that “We are exchanging the happiness and joy of fellowship with God for the “fleeting pleasures of sin”

This is why you need to take a big stand on what actually makes you happy. Is it what God wants of you? Is it what God has planned for you.

Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s right for you. When we veer away from real fellowship with God we’re like a car who loses a wheel and goes off the road. We need God to fix that tire and bring us back onto the right pathway filled with his love and care.

Wes goes on to say “Jesus shocks us by saying the happy ones are those who:”

  • are poor in spirit
  • mourn
  • are meek
  • hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • are merciful
  • are pure in heart
  • are peacemakers
  • are persecuted for righteousness sake.

Happiness is different for everyone but God sees things differently. He wants us happy but He also wants us to be holy. That’s most important thing important on His agenda.

We forget that GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE of our happiness and that He will lead us down the pathway of righteousness but author Eddie Foster gives us this to think about when he writes, “Because happiness so often seems to be elusive, people often try to find it in all the wrong places. Many times they fall for an artificial happiness that they create with behaviors that give temporary pleasure.”

Anyone can find pleasure but true and lasting  happiness can only be found in God. Without Him, you’ll bounce from one thing to another always trying to feed that insatiable appetite for happiness. Instead, seek out God’s unconditional love and you’ll find the type of joy that will give you real contentment.

So there you have it – 5 ways God can help you start living a happier life right now.

What do you think?

Let me know how God has impacted your level of happiness and what you are doing right now to seek His joy.

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How To Stop Worrying About What Others Think Of You

Why Do You Care About What Others Think Of You?

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the crowd. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

From the time we’re born we are influenced and shaped by the people around us. We listen to their every word and watch their every action as we grow but when we let what others think of us become more important than what we think of ourselves, it can be devastating for our self-esteem.

We all want to be liked by those we come in contact with so when we tailor our actions to fit other’s opinions of us, we lose out on the person we really are. We becomes puppets on a string that others can manipulate when they find out they have certain powers over us.

So, why worry about what others think about you? Why let what others think, say and feel influence how you feel and act on a daily basis?

It all comes down to how we feel about ourselves.

Think about it. Low self-esteem means we care too much about what others say and not enough about who we really are on the inside. We don’t think we’re important enough to make a positive impression on other people so we miss out on what it really means to be unique.

I remember when I was in high school. I was very shy and it was hard for me to make friends (having moved around so many times in my life) so I decided to let my actions do the talking. I was a very good athlete, having played basketball, baseball, football, and soccer, but it didn’t matter. Whatever people thought of me was out of my hands.

They still talked about me behind my back, made insulting remarks about my looks and actions and treated me like I was carrying the plague but I learned I couldn’t control what others thought or said about me, I could only control my own actions. This taught me a very valuable lesson as I got older. The more people I dealt with, the stronger a person I had to become or I would ultimately let others dictate who I was as a person.

What about you?

Do you worry what others will think about how you look, what you do, or even how you think?

Lolly Daskal, President and CEO, Lead From Within says this about worrying too much what others think: “When we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are. The only reality we can see is how we believe others see us.”

Your reality should not be based on the power you give to others but the power you have inside. Success in life is not determined on what others think of you but how you feel about yourself and what you do to achieve your goals. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence puts you at a disadvantage when dealing with others and can derail any shot you have at being successful.

Who do you want to dictate how you live your life? Will it be you or other people? It’s as simple as that.

How Can You Eliminate The Worrying And Free The Authentic Person Inside?

According to Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, “Studies show that we consistently overestimate how much, and how badly, others think about us and our failings. An unfortunate consequence of this is that we are far more inhibited and far less spontaneous and joyful than we could be.”

This is a very important idea to understand. The more you overestimate how much others think about you the harder it becomes to be more open and more spontaneous.

One of the reasons why shy people have difficulty opening up and enjoying themselves is not about knowing what to say or how to act but is more concentrated on their belief of what others may think about them.

I suffered from this type of behavior for many years. I was so self-conscious of what others were going to think about how I looked or how I carried myself that stayed stuck in my shell. It was so hard to be comfortable when I felt everyone was looking at me.

But here’s the kicker, no one really cares about you. Most people are so into themselves that you aren’t important enough for them to spend time judging you. Having learned this one idea freed me from those self-conscious feelings and I was able to function without the fear or phobia of social interaction.

Here are seven more ways you can eliminate the worry that has a firm hold on you.

1- Break The Cycle Of Your Social Disorder – We have been programmed from an early age to act a certain way, dress a certain way, think a certain way and these types of ideologies force us into social acceptance. There seems to be no room for self expression if it doesn’t conform to the norm.

Take social media for instance. We are forced to like people and things on both Facebook and Twitter to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. This goes against who we really are on the inside. Non-conformity has become a pariah in society and we pay a heavy price for being like everyone else.

Who says you have to be liked socially to fit in? No one needs to give you permission to be liked. That comes from you. The more you understand that concept, the easier it will be to stop worrying about what others think about you and how to fit in without becoming just another face in the crowd.

2- Think about the bigger picture in life – We constantly worry about how we will fit into society and this leads people to do some crazy things to be part of the group. This type of thinking is very short-sided as it has its workings in the present day instead of looking at the bigger picture and where your future lies. If you’re always chasing acceptance, it means you cannot fully accept yourself at this time and will always look for it wherever you go.

The bigger picture shows you things you might have missed when you concentrate on this moment in time. Those things are very important to how you view yourself and the people and things around you.

The bigger picture also changes your point of view. The spotlight is not always on you nor is the pressure you put on yourself. Slow down and get a grip on who you are not what you are perceived to be.

3- Stop letting others live your life for you – Have you ever had a windup toy that you pulled the lever and it went wherever you led it to go? Or a remote controlled toy that you controlled its action? That’s what worrying about what others think of you is like. They have complete control over your thoughts and movements because you’ve transferred that power willingly.

No one is living your life, making your decisions or feeling your feelings. You know best how to live and get along in the world so why let others do those things for you? Learning about yourself comes from making your own mistakes and seeing how far you can go before you make a mistake. You can’t learn anything when you are filled with worry.

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4- Stop trying to please everyone – The only person you need to please is yourself. That’s it! It’s impossible to live up everyone else’s expectations and when you have low expectations of yourself, you end up accomplishing very little. Just try to please yourself and let life fall where it may.

When you try to please others so they will like you, they end up liking the person who is pleasing them and not the authentic you. The inauthentic self becomes a ball they can kick around for momentary pleasure. Once you’re gone, your not important to them anymore. Is that how you want it to be?

5- Don’t sow what you don’t want to reap – How you are to others is how you will be treated back. If you have no backbone, people will push you around. If you can’t say no, you will allow yourself to be used time and time again.

You can’t be everything to everyone so be what you want for yourself and yourself only. When you let others dictate your path in life you cannot control what you sow and you will reap a bittersweet harvest.  Raj Raghunathan goes on to say that “Life is an echo: what you send out comes back. Too much worry about what others think of you can become a self-fulfilling prophesy that eventually governs your behavior and thoughts.”

6- What others think of you is none of your business – Dr Kelly Neff, a psychologist and founder of the “Lucid Planet” states that “The root of the problem with caring about what people think about you is that you’re attaching yourself to an outcome that you have no control over.”

Think about it. What outcome do you want to have happen? Can you force that outcome? Of course not but that’s what we all try to do. We make it our business to know and control what others think and feel about us because of our egos.

Ego forces us to do things based on pride instead of the truth. We try to get “On the good side of people” without realizing we’re trying to manipulate how they think and feel about us. This type of manipulation actually causes people to reject us unconsciously.

Let go of what others may think and grab hold of how you feel about yourself. By making that of greater importance than what others think, you free yourself from living up to others expectations and you can direct your energies to things of real importance.

7- Get out of your inner mental prison – Author Ed Latimore gives a great example of this when he talks about the relationship Bruce Wayne has with his alter ego Batman. Bruce Wayne is caught in a struggle between good and evil and needs Batman to carry out his whims. Batman does all the things Bruce Wayne wants to do but can’t because he is too worried about how he’ll be perceived. He’s stuck and tortured by his ego and it has put him in a prison.

Let me shine a light on how this works. Have you ever been invited to a party and you start talking to people? You feel your life isn’t as exciting as everyone else is so you start to make things up to sound more interesting. When everyone else starts drinking, you drink as well. In fact, you try to out drink everyone to “Look cool” and be interesting but you’ve put the real you inside a prison and have adopted an alter ego.

That alter ego is very hard to live up to, especially when you’re expected to be that person no matter where you go or who you meet. What’s needed is a prison break.

Ed states that “Carrying out a prison break isn’t easy especially when the prison is an invention of your own mind.”

What Steps Can You Take To Stop The Worrying From Overtaking Your Life?

Most of us are pleasers. We want to please others so that we are liked but when we focus on the external outcomes such as being validated for our actions and our status in life we lose sight of what is truly important in life.

What makes you happy?

Are you doing enough to bring happiness into your life?

Are you living the fulfilling life you’ve always dreamed of?

If you answered no to questions 2 and 3, you care too much about what others think and don’t put enough emphasis on what it takes to be the real you. That is why happiness and fulfillment have not partnered with you to bring the joy you envision for yourself.

What does it take to stop worrying and start being yourself?

Are you afraid to say what you really think and believe out of fear of what others may think?

Fear is a mighty big word. It’s like a huge tidal wave with nothing to stop it but you have the power to turn it off anytime you like, you just don’t believe it’s possible.

Let me tell you it’s not only possible but within you grasp if you believe in it.

1- The first step is to show yourself some love – Transfer the power that others hold over you to yourself and you will see a huge difference in how little you worry about others. It may seem impossible, but remember, you deserve to be loved and no one has the right to take that away from you.

As you build confidence in yourself, the worry tends to lessen because you are putting the bulk of your thoughts on things that make you happy. You are satisfying your ego instead of challenging it to a duel and satisfaction is a an important ally

2The second step is to stop putting yourself in uncomfortable positions – You are feeding your negativity by putting yourself in positions where you feel you can’t win. You cannot avoid all stressful situations but you can learn how to deal with them without feeling like you are being tested and everyone is watching you to see if you pass or fail.

Once you get through these stressful situations you’ll start to build confidence in your abilities. Self-confidence is worry’s worst nightmare. It’s like taking Popeye’s spinach for your belief system.

3- The third step is to develop your own life story – Instead of living the story you believe others have of you, start developing your own internal story. Stop listening to your inner critic that wants to write your life story and work on your true authentic self. Find those things that represent the real you. learn what makes you unique and build your belief through them.

Accept your faults but think of all the things you done in life and how they made you feel. Do they represent what others think of you or do they show what the real you is capable of?

4- The final step is to control what you put your attention on – This is a mindset practice that takes time and patience but one that reaps many benefits. You are on a lifetime mission to learn and to love. What you put your attention on becomes your focus.

If you are always worried about what others think then you will focus on that worry. If you focus on what you can do to better yourself, you allow the subconscious brain to take over and focus on an answer. The brain won’t stop until it finds a solution.

What do you focus on the most during your day?

That which you focus on will become your reality so doesn’t it make sense that you focus on that which you want to happen? If you focus on being happy, your brain will find ways to bring happiness and joy into your life.

If you focus your efforts on making money, your brain will lead you to opportunities you hadn’t seen before.

If you want to focus on something, focus on what makes you a better person and allow your brain to show you the way. Look for opportunities to better yourself. Look for opportunities to build confidence. Look for ways that helps you gain knowledge and wisdom. Pure focus is the only way to overcome anything that stands in your way.

The real you is in there somewhere. It’s up to you to unleash it upon the world and be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Worrying doesn’t pay the bills or make you a better person. It only forces you to neglect what’s really important… doing what God put you on earth to do.

What does God say about worrying?

Let me leave you with these verses from Matthew 6:25-27.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

And, as the singer Bobby McFerrin once sang, “Don’t worry, be happy!”

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7 Tips To Follow Your Passion In Life

How To Really Follow Your Passion

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. “
Harriet Tubman

Marie Forleo, the famous life coach, motivational speaker and bestselling  author states this about passion: “One of the biggest stumbling blocks to finding your passion in life is figuring out what you’re passionate about in the first place. Passion can’t be found in your head because it lives in your heart.”

Everything we do comes from our heart. It was planted there long before we were born and this is the place we must connect to to find what it is we were put on the Earth to do.

All the time and effort we put into living can be best summed up in one sentence: Unless you find your passion, all that time and effort is all a waste.

How many people go through life and have that eureka moment when they find out what it is they are supposed to do. I’m not saying everything that came before is a waste. It isn’t. It’s a learning process but too often, we don’t allow our passion to take over.

We listen to others tell us to mind our business and they scare us off. But you can’t scare the spirit. It already knows.

They say, passion drives the spirit and when the spirit is driven, good things follow. Throughout your life, you are being called to make things happen but if you don’t listen to that little voice, something will always be missing.

According to Tony Reinke, Senior writer at desiringGod.org, “Actions speak louder than words — but desires speak loudest. The pursuit of pleasure is what drives all our actions and decisions, driving us into relationships, driving us to watch football, driving us toward excellence at work. We authentically pursue what we are convinced will bring us pleasure.”

So my question to you is, what is driving your spirit and what are you truly passionate about?

To take it a step further, are you following your passions in life? Are you making your dreams come true? Are you living like those dreams matter?

Passion is what drives you to achieve your special dreams.

Passion sustains you when you feel you can’t go on in life.

Passion is what allows you to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.

Passion is what turns the impossible into the very possible

Passion is what turns the dull and boring into an enthusiastic pursuit.

If you don’t have passion, what are you waiting for? The longer you wait, the harder it will be to discover what your passion is and how you can make it a reality.

Listen to “How To Be A More Passionate Person” audio track below.

Passion And Purpose

If you want to find your true passion in life you must know what your true purpose on earth. Purpose and passion go together. Where there is purpose, there is a world of possibilities. Most people are too afraid to try new things out of fear of failing. They are so scared of the unknown they don’t know how or where to go to look for what they should be doing.

Even worse, some people never find their purpose and live a life without any passion whatsoever.

Do you want to be that person? Do you want to have regrets for living a life without any purpose at all?

God has given you all the talent and passion you will ever need but it’s up to you to find it, nurture it and implement it to take advantage of the power it holds.

Before you start can you answer these 5 questions:

  • Is what I’m you are doing now satisfying my inner passions?
  • Where does my passion come from?
  • Do you get a charge out of getting up every morning to go to work?
  • How do you feel on Sunday night thinking about going to work on Mondays?
  • Do you dread having to get up in the morning on Monday, or does it excite you?

Ceil Ryan, a Christian Blogger, Writer and Speaker links passion with purpose when she writes, A passion becomes a purpose when I make a commitment to take those interests, and move them to serve more than myself.”

To me, commitment is what brings your passion and purpose into the light. It’s how you take what God has given you and make a dent in the universe.

The following tips will help you discover what your passion is and how to take the necessary steps to make it a reality. Waiting is not an option anymore.

In the movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, Po talks about teaching the other pandas Kung Fu but the only way he can do it is by taking advantage of their strengths and making them the best them they can be. That’s what passion is all about. It’s all about taking the best you have to offer with the talents you’ve been given and putting them all together for the good of the world!

STEP ONE – Open the eyes of your heart
When we feel like something’s missing in life the first place we need to turn to is the heart. The heart sees all and knows what it needs to do. You need to reconnect with your passion and gain clarity about how to create meaningful change and move forward with your true calling because the secrets of the universe are revealed inside your heart. In Psalm 37:4, we see how this is revealed. “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
Wanda Sykes

STEP TWO – Look beyond the ingredients you possess and see what you can make with them
What is the focal point of your life? Are you just a grab bag of innate ingredients that has yet to be mixed? Everything you are needs to be have a recipe that only you can make. It is a God-given gift that is like a puzzle you put together. These ingredients may seem unconnected but if you look through the events of your life you will see they are telling you what your life story should be.

Corrina Gordon-Barnes, the champion of employment states it this way: “This is the time to look beyond the ingredients and seek an umbrella; something that all of these ingredients can fit beneath.” This is how you stand out and find your true calling.

“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.”
Mia Hamm

STEP THREE – Interest plus engagement will fire your passion
I first learned this formula from Christie Mims, a professional career coach who taught me how to dig down deep into my hobbies and what I enjoy doing and look for themes and trends that make me both happy and fulfilled. When you do the proper research she says, “You’ll likely find that your passion’s been staring you in the face this whole time. And better yet, if you connect enough dots, there’s already a job out there for you.” But it goes far beyond just getting a job. In fact, your life’s passion can take you places you’ve never imagined going and meet people you never thought you’d meet.

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.’”
Lydia Sweatt

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STEP FOUR – Strengthen your passion muscles
As adults, many of us have lost sight of the imagination and eccentricity we had as kids and it has taken it’s toll on our life. We seem lost and don’t know where to turn. Does that sound like you? It’s time to fly! It’s time to strengthen those passion muscles by opening yourself up to your dreams. Let your imagination fly and take you where you want to go.
This is what Robbin Phillips, author of the bestselling book, “The Passion Conversation” means when she states, “Passion is what you discover about yourself along the way. It’s not something you just magically wake up and have.” So, how do you do this? By engaging the brain. The more you engage your brain, the more you find what really pushes your buttons. It’s all about finding what excites you and then doing it!

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Nelson Mandela

STEP FIVE – Be a creator and follow your curiosity
Passion allows us to create the life we want whenever we want it. Take your creative juices and pour them out to the world. But don’t just create things… create your vision of who you are and what you want to be. Always be curious about life and what it has to offer. Let that curiosity drive your passions so you can create your masterpieces.

Don’t worry about what others ay or do. Be yourself, be bold and let your creations have their moment. What good is it if you lock away your creativity and cage your curiosity. Be alive! Let your passions run wild. Life is not meant to live small so start creating what your heart is overflowing with. Seek out knowledge and allow it to inspire you to take the bold steps you need to find your purpose in life.

“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.”
Donovan Bailey

STEP SIX – Make your passion hunt an adventure
Ever heard the phrase, “Life is adventure, join it!” Without true passion you’ll always been sitting on the sidelines. There are people who push their passions aside and never go on any true adventures. I’m a big movie freak and the adventure idea really comes into play with the children’s move called “Up” It’s about a young boy who goes to the cinema during the 1930’s and watches the adventures unfolding before him and decides he wants to be an adventurer when he grows up.  Well, life gets in the way of his adventures.  He gets married to a girl who also loves adventures. They buy a small house and make just enough money to get by. When she dies, he is heartbroken at missing out on life’s adventures. But, when his house is about to be taken away, he goes on the adventure he and his wife always dreamed about. His regrets turn into real happiness.
You have the capacity to make things happen…RIGHT NOW! What adventure do you want to go on? What is your heart telling you to do? The real adventure comes in the hunt for your passion and allowing that passion to fly in the face of life’s misfortunes. Your passion should excite you and inspire you to make life an adventure. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Don’t waste your life and only look back on sorrows and regrets.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Oprah Winfrey
STEP SEVEN – Stop thinking and start doing
Action! That word should be your main inspiration in becoming what you were meant to be. But how many people just talk about what they want to do? How many people actually do what they say they want to do? Even worse, how many people push their dreams away because they’re afraid of what others may say?
The only way you make your passion come alive is to pursue them. So you fail at times. Big deal. You won’t always hit a home run but isn’t it better to try than to sit on the sidelines and watch others have their day? It isn’t whether you win or lose but how you live your life. So stop thinking about things and start making choices.
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • How am I going to pursue my dreams?
  • Who and what inspires me?
  • What is my plan of attack?

The only thinking you need to do is make a plan. After that, let life take over and have some fun! Be adventurous. Take chances and risks and go for your dreams. Don’t let your dreams remain in your heart. You need to live… really experience life before it’s too late!

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” 
Sabrina Bryan

Taking Your Life’s Passion To The Next Level

There are many places to explore when it comes to discovering your passions. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to find it. No one else can find it for you. Since your passions are unique, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.

In your quest for passion, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself. Sometimes when you stop stressing about your life’s purpose, it falls right into your lap!

You can sit on your ass all day and think about your passion but until you actually act on your passions nothing will ever change. Just imagine what your life could be like if you act upon your passions. Would you be happy? Joyful? Excited at the opportunities that life has to offer?

Without passion, everything is dull and boring. Acting on your passions spices things up and brings out the excitement in life.  What could you accomplish if you put your passion into play? Would you be able to see your dreams take flight and fall into place?

So, what’s holding you back?

Could it be fear of change?

Sometimes the thing that holds you back from self-discovery is a fear of change. There’s always comfort and safety in not taking risks, but you also may never discover your life’s true purpose. Passion is your friend. Learn to embrace change because life is constantly changing around you and you’ll get left behind if you don’t!.

Start reflecting on the moments in your life when you’re most happy. What are you doing at these times? Is passion driving your happiness? Then go with it. Follow your passion as it leads you to your purpose.

Keep engaging in activities that have a deep inner meaningful to you. This way, each day of your life will feel like it truly matters and you will be able to fulfill your life’s purpose.

Self-Awareness And Passion

You spend everyday with yourself, but how well do you actually know who you really are? Sit down and list your passions. Think about where you are in life at this moment. Be aware of what your feelings as they will push you towards your passions.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Are you doing the things you love?
  • Are you taking time to have fun?
  • What are your hopes and dreams?
  • What is the one thing missing from your life

Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to discover what changes you need to make to find your passion.  Joy Tanksley, a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, says this about passion: “Passion can feel like a quiet inner light…an opening in the chest or a soft flutter in the belly. When you’re passionate about something, it feels like a yes,” 

The yes is what you are looking for. Once you find it, you are on your way a realizing your purpose.

Finding your passion in life may not be as hard as you believe. Use these strategies on your daily journey and one day soon you’ll see the one feature of your life that makes everything worthwhile.

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5 Daily Habits You Absolutely Need To Build A Happy And Fulfilling Life

Building A Happy And Fulfilling Life Through The Use Of Good Habits

What do your daily habits say about you and the life you lead?

As humans, we are defined by our habits, whether good or bad, yet we fail to see the link between how happy we are and habits we engage in.

Have you ever sat down and looked at your habits and what they are doing to you?

Probably not but now is a good time to take inventory of what you do and what you need to change to become a happier and more successful person.

In this article, I am going to lay out the 5 daily habits you absolutely need to build a happy and fulfilling life that you can easily incorporate into your own situation but let me give you a word of warning… this is very important information that you need to learn or you’re doomed to living a life less than what you envision.

Why Are Habits So Important To Being Happy?

Before you can learn these five habits you must understand the importance of creating good habits and turning them into techniques that bring you happiness and success.

Aristotle says that 95% of everything we do is the result of our habits so if you form good habits, logically good things will happen but it actually goes much further than that. You want to make those good habits your master instead of allowing bad habits to rule your actions.

All habits are learned so you don’t really unlearn those habits. The idea is to replace the bad habits with good habits and continually develop those good habits.

Think about what you do everyday and prioritize those good habits. Life is about getting good results so you must become a results-oriented person.

The key to creating good habits is self-discipline.  Self-discipline then, is the foundation which makes everything else possible.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Jim Rohn

The Top Habits of Happy, Healthy, Productive People

Grapic courtesy of zipcode.org

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Here Are The 5  Daily Habits You Absolutely Need To Build A Happy And Fulfilling Life

Many of our everyday habits are so ingrained in our daily adventures that we don’t actually think about them until they come up. The five habits I talk about here are things most people know about but don’t really practice enough. I have found these habits keep us humble and unselfish and at the same time while forcing us to become the best we can be.

1- Practice Generosity – Above all things, generosity leads to happiness. For those who give of themselves, happiness is spread throughout the world. It is the seed that never stops giving. 

In PSALM 41:1–3, we read about God’s promise to the generous.

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness you restore him to full health.”

It’s important to understand that God responds to the kindness and generosity we show to others with His ultimate protection, good health, and the abundance of his love.

This type of habit has been lost in this generation as people put too much emphasis on getting rich, buying things and looking after their own needs first.

Are you a generous person?

Do you give with your heart or your wallet?

The Lord loves a cheerful giver. According to Rev. James L. Harvey III, “When we use our money as God intends, giving a generous portion to His kingdom work regularly, we will feel God’s pleasure because we are doing what we are made to do.” He goes on to say, “God’s grace abounds to us in every good work of giving.”

According to bestselling author Michael Hyatt, there’s a ton of research showing how generosity enhances the quality of life for everyone involved.

He lists 5 ways generosity gives back to us:

  1. It makes us healthier Studies show the act of giving lowers blood pressure and reduces the the risk of dementia. It also helps stave off chronic illnesses, like heart disease, by lowering the disease risk factors.
  2. It makes us happy  According to researcher Christian Smith, happiness is a byproduct of doing good. It also triggers all the feel-good chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin which enhances the happiness we feel. Being generous also affects our moods.
  3. It improves our relationships – Everyone likes to be around generous people because they bring out the best in us. When others are generous to us, we want to be generous back. This habit can’t be taught. Instead, it must come from the heart. Giving brings people together by helping us stay connected to one another.
  4. It extends our lives – Have you ever volunteered for a charity or at church or for any function at all? How do you feel after helping others? A study in The Journal of Health Psychology of 2,000 people in Marin, California, found that volunteering dramatically reduced mortality rates even better than exercising. “Subjects who volunteered for two or more causes had a 63 percent lower rate of mortality than people who didn’t volunteer during the study period.”This should be a huge difference maker for those who don’t like to give. In fact, older adults who liked to volunteer their time found a better sense of purpose to their lives, higher levels of self-esteem and a stronger sense of personal control over how they live their lives. This is how being generous improves the quality of life for everyone involved.
  5. It lower our levels of stress – According a study from social psychologist Liz Dunn, people’s cortisol levels rose when they became stingy but for those who gave without being forced their stress levels tapered off. Another study in 2014 study from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia backed this up. They found that stingy behavior increases stress. The researchers played a money bargaining game with subjects, in which the participants had to divide up a certain amount  of money. Researchers found that the participants who decided on making low offers experienced an increase in heart rate and stress levels while those who made high offers had lower rates of stress.

2- Surround Yourself With Inspiration Life would be so boring if there wasn’t any inspiration in the world. According to Nina Amir, the Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, “To achieve that state of being, you must know what makes you happy. Then you have to allow those things to be part of your life. You can’t allow life to get in the way of doing the things that make you feel good and joyous. If you do, you become unhappy—or less happy than possible.”

Think about it…

What inspires you to get up and actually live?

What is it that gives you purpose in life?

What actually makes you happy?

Are you living that happiness or do you live on autopilot?

Inspiration is a habit that not many people look upon to give them happiness. In fact, inspiration seems to be unimportant to most people. They feel they’re too busy to be inspired or that only creative people are inspired in life. This is a great fallacy that has hindered finding happiness for too many people over the years.

From pockemindfulness.com blog, they state, “We all need a touch of inspiration to reignite the fire in our soul, be it to stimulate creative ideas for a project we are working on or simply to break the monotony of life’s autopilot and lose ourselves in the moment of possibility for a while.”

It is in that moment of possibility that we find the secret of happiness and success. It’s not about money or power but looking for that fleeting instant of inspiration that pushes us forward in life.

The most successful people in the world find inspiration in the little things in life. They make it a daily habit which brings out their gratitude for life and what they have at that moment in time.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller

Helen Keller saw and heard more than most people will ever experience. What was her secret? Inspiration!!! She was a lifelong learner who wanted to make a difference in the world and used the habit of inspiration to become one of the most prominent women of the 20th century.

Why is inspiration so important to being happy and successful?

Most of us take life too seriously. We work too hard and don’t take enough time to enjoy life or what it has to offer. In a November 1, 2008 article by Scott Barry Kaufman entitled, “Why Inspiration Matters” he talks about why inspiration is so important and why it is so elusive. “In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.”

Psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot say that inspiration has three main qualities:

  1. Evocation – Inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention.
  2. Transcendence – Is transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. It involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities.
  3. Approach Motivation – In which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision.

According to Thrash and Elliot, “Inspired people were more open to new experiences, and reported more absorption in their tasks.” This is important to understand how inspiration enhances our experiences and helps us enjoy life to a much greater degree.

Finally, inspiration is the springboard for a more creative and happy life. Be inspired to create the life you want on your terms!

3- Challenge Yourself – Most people see challenges as a “Me against the world” fight and a “Win or lose proposition” but challenges are what makes life interesting. Just like inspiration makes our experiences that much bolder, challenges force us to actually be a part of our own lives.

What types of challenges are you facing right now?

Are you learning from them?

Are you making the most of them?

Here are some challenges that will inspire positive habits in your life.

  1. Challenge your beliefs regarding what you are capable of – Stop with the I can’t excuses and start pushing yourself beyond your supposed limits.
  2. Challenge your ideas about life – What does life mean to you? Are you following the crowd because you don’t want to think for yourself or are you afraid of being/feeling different?
  3. Challenge your commitments – Are you guilty of  failing to finish those things you want to do but never get around to doing?
  4. Challenge your opportunities – Are you scared to take advantage of opportunities because you might fail? Sometimes, you need to dive head on and find your purpose while other times require you to make quick decisions. This is where doors open to a life you may be hiding from.
  5. Challenge your thoughts – Are you one of those people who is filled with negativity? Work at being  aware of what your thoughts are doing to you. Happiness depends on positivity. Be mindful of what you think and learn about the things you are thinking. Why are you thinking the thoughts you think? What are they doing to you? Make it a habit to confront the negative thoughts and try to replace them with positive ones until you gain control over your thoughts.
  6. Challenge your comfort zone – Get out of from behind the walls you have erected and take chances with your life. We all know why it’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone but why do most of us cringe when it comes time to do just that? It helps you become more productive, you will have an easier time facing new challenges and it will be much easier to brainstorm and harness your creativity because you have broken those chains that have always held you back.

Challenging yourself is the best way to improve yourself. Sometimes, you may fail but in the long run but you will gain trust in your abilities and strength in your character.

On the Plaza College website, they have an article dated July 24. 2013 entitled, “The Importance of Challenging Yourself” which meant to inspire students to achieve the best in all their endeavors.

It states, “Challenging ourselves to always achieve a level greater than what we expect is beneficial to not only our mental health, but also to our personal well being. As we conquer challenges that stand in our way like roadblocks, refusing to allow our passing, we find confidence in our abilities. Confidence is such an important characteristic to finding the path to success. If you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you? With confidence in your own work, comes the reward of the confidence of others in you. Boosting that confidence is the growing self-esteem, which results from tackling challenges.”

One of the most important ideas with challenging yourself is that it triggers change. Change is good when you are able to face that challenge but bad when you run away from change. Challenges are meant to help us gain clarity and maturity. These are things the right habit can help us achieve in the long run.

When obstacles come, research shows that when you see them as challenges and not threats, you have a much better chance of overcoming them. The motivation comes when we strive to better ourselves and work on our signature strengths.

4-  A Sense Of Balance  It has become increasingly hard to maintain any hope for balancing the work/life/play syndrome most of us face. We either work too hard and don’t spend enough time with ur families or we spend too much time with family life which affects how we work. The problem is, we have forgotten how to balance things to remain happy and fulfilled.

Maintaining a healthy balance in life is essential for being happy and a sense of well-being.

You need to remember that balance is an ongoing process that you must work at on a daily basis. You have to practice it to become better at it. Find what is important, prioritize then focus on it and do it. It really is that simple.

We tens to make everything so complicated in life that we forget that balance is all about keeping everything in perspective. The balance tips when we go overboard in any one area of life.

The balance habit is about keeping your life in perspective. It’s about the process of living not trying to life. Remember that. If you spend too much time trying to live and not actually living your priorities get screwed up and you lose balance rather quickly.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
Thomas Merton

How To Find Balance In Life

There are two parts to everyone finding balance. They are

  • Internal
  • External

The internal starts with the mind, the heart and your health.

  • The mind is about making full use of your intellect while still giving your mind time to unwind.
  • The heart is about being open to giving as well as receiving love.
  • Your health  (both physical, mental and spiritual)  is about taking care of yourself without overdoing things that can lead to illness.

The external starts with work, Social interaction, family, and experiencing fun.

  • Work is about achieving your goals while enjoying what you do.
  • Social interaction is about maintaining friendships without losing time for yourself.
  • Family is about meeting the needs of your family while taking care of your own needs
  • Having fun is about taking time to enjoy life without overdoing it.

Are you being pulled in any one direction? Finding balance when life is pushing from all sides may seem like a heavyweight boxing match but this is where getting focus on what is important, getting things organized both in your personal and business life and being flexible come in handy.

You can’t hope to feel balanced if you can’t simplify your life. The more you complicate things and have too much to handle the harder it is to maintain any type of real balance. Practicing the habit of keeping things balanced allows you to create daily routines that keep things running smoothly.

Without a balanced lifestyle, it is easy to become depressed, disenchanted as well as stressed out and overburdened. Balancing everything may seem overwhelming but it all comes down to creating structure in your life that you can count on when things get crazy.

5-  Learning  the art of persistence – When the face of negativity appears, persistence is it’s Kryptonite.

According to Michal Stawicki, the author of 99 Perseverance Success Stories: Encouragement for Success in Every Walk of Life he makes the case for being persistent by understanding the following concepts:

  1. Success is a process, not destination.
  2. Time is your only asset; anything else is just a function of time.
  3. Every action gives results; sometimes it’s experience, sometimes feedback, sometimes the output you desired. It’s never in vain.
  4. Work on your important goals every day.
  5. You can do only one thing at a time; choose wisely which one.
  6. Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
  7. You need a burning desire to get what you want

“Success is the study of the obvious. Everyone should take Obvious I and Obvious II in school.”
Jim Rohn

Michael goes on to say, “We always notice things that we’re paying attention to. Wherever our focus is, our mind’s eye follows.” This is where persistence leads us. It’s that main focus where we put all our energy on to get what we are searching for.

Thomas Edison failed over a 10,000 times to invent a commercially-viable electric light bulb but he never gave up. When asked why, he said, “We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of.”

That’s why persistence pays off. It’s a habit most of us lack. We give up right before we actually find the answer. It is also one habit we teach our kids without really trying. They see us give up and take after our example. We wonder why they act this way later in life but we are to blame from our past examples.

Being firmly focused is the proper pathway to being persistent. You need to find a deep-rooted reason that drives you where you need to go and then pursue it wholeheartedly.

But you can’t just go all in without a plan. Persistence is nothing without a plan. Learning how to problem solve is also key to being persistent. When you have different ways to approach a task persistence becomes easier. Backup plans allow you to hit a problem from all angles.

Why is persistence so important to happiness and being fulfilled?

Have you ever settled for things and felt guilty for doing so? All of us have but it’s the ones who make the supreme effort to go far beyond mere acceptance who get what they want. They don’t settle for things they don’t want. It’s a habit they’ve built up all their life and once they outline their action steps, they go all in. Whether they succeed or fail isn’t really important here but the will to find the answers.

When you combine all five habits together you see that discipline makes them work in harmony. It all starts with the first step.

Being happy and fulfilled is a goal all of us share but it’s the ones who are persistent in their approach who achieve results.  When you connect your goals to an already established habit you will able to experience happiness and fulfillment in everything you do.

The key is to establish these five habits and live by them. This probably the best quote on persistence I have ever read and I believe this is how you get what you want in life… “It’s the fire you keep trying to start inside yourself until it grows and becomes bigger and bigger.” by James altucher.

I challenge you to make these five habits an important part of your daily routine. I know they will work for you because they are staples in finding true happiness and living a fulfilling life.

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How To Create Happy Moments That Will Last a Lifetime

Creating Happy Moments

Looking back on your life, what moments come to mind?

Was it your first kiss? Going to a ballgame with your your family? Your high school graduation? Going to Disneyland?

These are the type of events that stand tall in our collective memories yet too often we hide them away and leave them there to collect dust? Why is this?

Why do we forget those great memories of the past?

Are we too busy trying to create new memories that once a memory happens it gets tucked away nice and neatly so there’s room for the next memory?

I don’t know about you but I crave those memories. I love to sit back and enjoy the things I did before and appreciate the people and things I did them with. I love to watch old films of myself and my family and appreciate all that came before. I love watching my kids having fun and enjoying themselves but as always, there will be people who will try to rain on your parade and tell you to stop living in the past.

I know for some, their past is filled with painful memories that dredge up events that need to be kept in check but is it so hard to enjoy the past and the memories they contain?

Is it so hard to make new memories that can be talked about for years to come?

What does happiness mean to you?

Is it a feeling of inner peace? A ‘now you feel it, now you don’t’ type of  emotion?

Emotions are what drive most humans but have you ever sat down and thought about what your emotions are doing to you and how you can use them to turn momentary unhappiness to lasting joy?

Creating happy moments are what we were designed for. These moments are what makes our lives livable. The problem most of us have is we spend too much time looking for happiness instead of enjoying the moments we have right now.

God has given us a directive that everyone can take advantage of as written in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

According to an article entitled “10 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Happy Moments” by Eric Barker from the magazine, The Week, he says One of the key happiness principles is savoring. That’s a fancy term for really taking a second to appreciate those happy moments in your life. You often think that it’s the world that makes you happy, but it’s really how you respond to the world. Those silly little things you do here and there in response to good moments; increasing those is the key to how to be happier without really trying.

We tend to look at happiness from a worldly perspective but we forget it’s an intimate experience that creates those magical moments. We wait for them to happen instead of enjoying the experience at the time we experience them. We remember events in our lives according to how they affected us instead of how we responded to them.

How many memories do you have in which you can recall everything that happened?

Do you fill in the blanks of the little details with either positive or negative emotions?

Do these memories become tall tales in which you create your own version of the event?

Do you skip over the hard parts and only remember the good times.

Life is made up of everything we’ve encountered, experienced and the wisdom we’ve gained from those moments so why not try and make those happy moments last?

How Do You Make Those Happy Moments Last?

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama

 

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Want to make more memories in life? Here are 28 life changes that will improve your happiness overnight and help you make those memories last. Try them and do your best to make the moments last. You won’t regret them!

SOCIAL

1- Stay in contact with friends and family

2- Be bold by trying new things

3- Always surround yourself with positive and uplifting people

4- Learn to have fun instead of working all the time

5- Be generous with your time and money

6- Use social media for doing and bring out the good in people and life

WORK

7- Learn from your mistakes, move on and enjoy the life you have now!

8- Celebrate success whether yours or another person’s. A win is a win is a win!

9- Don’t take yourself or life too seriously (see #4)

10 -Prioritize the important things in life

HEALTH & FITNESS

11- Get more sleep and dream happy dreams!

12- Get out and exercise and stay healthy!

13- Set goals… and achieve them or at least give it your best shot!

14- Be consistent in life and you will be motivated to be happy

MIND

15- Always smile. Smiling brings people together and opens up avenues of communication

16- Practice mindfulness. Live in the moment for every moment

17- Read more. Open up new worlds for yourself to explore

18- Unwind and allow the cares of the day to wash away

19- Take control of your life and be action-oriented

20- Find inspiration in every part of life

HOME

21- Make your house a home you want to enjoying living in

22- Learn to cook. Enjoy the art of preparing and feeding yourself

23- Let the sunshine into your life both physical and metaphorically

24- Unplug the tech and get personal with others

PERSONAL

25- Plan ahead for making memories

26- Start a new project and carry it through till the end

27- Invest time, money and sweat in yourself and your abilities

28- Learn to be grateful for what you have and the life you have led so far. It’s all you’ve got!

 

28 Life Changes That Will Improve Your Happiness Overnight

From Visually.

A Scientific Guide To Creating Happy Moments

There are scientific ways you can learn how to create happiness in your life. The idea is to design the life you want and go out and do it. It isn’t about winning or losing but what you did to get there.

We always remember the memories of what we did and how we did it instead of the final moment.

What have you done to get where you are today?

Do you appreciate the obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today?

According to Paul Dolan, a leading happiness scholar, “We tell stories about the things we think should make us happy, but sometimes, when we look a bit closer, we’re not really that happy at all. I think we should be paying attention to how we feel day-to-day and moment-to-moment.”

The scientific formula for creating happy moments really comes down to this… Pay attention to the everyday experiences that give you pleasure and purpose, then organize your life so that you are doing more of those things.

So why is this so hard to do?

Most of us live our lives on autopilot that we overlook the little things in life and actually walk around in a daze. We let ourselves be pushed and pulled in so many direction that we can’t appreciate living in the moment without having something get in our way.

Paul goes on to say, “It’s about tuning in to what you are doing, who you are doing it with and how it makes you feel.”

He then asks one very important question. ” “How much worry, stress, anger, joy or contentment do you experience on a given day?” 

Science has found that we make happiness to complicated. Instead, we should make happiness as easy as possible so that we can enjoy those precious moments without feeling guilty.

Stop Leaving Special Moments To Chance

According to bestselling author Eric Barker, “We get tired. We get lazy. And then boom — suddenly CVS is loaded with Christmas ornaments and it signals the end of another year. No good. If we want great memories we have to make them.”

How do we accomplish this?

1- Make those moments rise above the the daily routine – Allow those times to make us feel engaged, joyful, totally amazed, and fully motivated in the moment.

2- Boost your senses – Actually work at using all your sense to enjoy the moment. Close your eyes and listen, open your eyes and see, open your heart and feel. The ideas is to use everything God gave you to live in the moment.

3- Raise the stakes in life – Make things worthwhile by exacting the importance of what you are doing. Heighten the moment by being actively engaged instead of being a bystander.

4- Write a new script for your life – Stop following a set script for your life. It’s, old, boring and has outgrown it’s usefulness. Instead, write a new and exciting script that puts you front and center of a life you can be proud of. Exciting is in, boring is out. Try it… you may never go back to the old script you were living in.

5- Inject novelty into your life – You don’t have to be James Bond to live like James Bond. The idea is to mix things up and bring others into your new adventure. Be prepared to have fun!

There’s nothing more boring than to live a life unlived. Go out and make some happy moments. Don’t cloister yourself in. be bold, have fun and actually live!

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Why You Should Never Give Up On Your Dreams And Ambitions

Why Your Special Dreams Are Important

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Colin Powell

When we were growing up as a kids, we had all kinds of dreams rattling around in our heads. There was no one to tell us we couldn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve. In fact, we acted out our dreams as if we were already living with them. As we got older, our dreams started to die as did our confidence in ourselves.

Well, I’m here to tell you that no matter how old you are you don’t have to give up on those dreams. Don’t be that person who lives with regret. You may have had some setbacks that made you think twice about whether you were good enough to achieve it but remember this, perseverance pays off in the long run.

The world is full of people who gave up on their dreams way too early only to live with regret later in life.

Do you want to be that person?

I hope not! I hope you understand that dreams are what guides us through life. They inspire and motivate us to try new things, to take chances and find out how far we can push ourselves.

The idea that having dreams and living them are not important is a fallacy. This comes from people who are jealous of others realizing their dreams, who are afraid of making their dreams a reality, and from those who followed their dreams but couldn’t make them work.

This is an important concept to understand as not every dream will work out but if you don’t try your dreams will die when you die.

I don’t know about you but my dreams are important to me. It’s where I find my purpose in life. It’s what I was put here to do and become. If I disregard it because it’s too hard or I’m afraid I’ll fail then I’m telling the world I’m not worthy of my dreams.

Is that how you feel?

Can you comprehend the significance of that in your own life?

Are you willing to make the supreme sacrifice to become what you were created for?

Are you willing to go through the ups and downs, take your lumps and still be on fire to make those incredible dreams a reality?

If so, let move on to putting those ambitions to work.

Putting Your Ambitions To Work

“A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.”
Pearl Bailey

Author Zachary Slayback writes, “Your ambitions are your destination.”

So, where are they taking you?

Are you an ambitious person or someone who is cautious at every turn?

Neel Burton, psychiatrist and author of Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions states, “On average, ambitious people attain higher levels of education and income, build more prestigious careers, and report higher overall levels of life satisfaction. Many of man’s greatest achievements are the products, or accidents, of their ambition.”

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Your greatest achievement will come when you take risks. That’s what ambition is all about. When you expose yourself to new experiences and interact with others, you force yourself to grow. Ambition fuels that growth so that you are always moving forward.

Sometimes, your ambition makes you bite off more than you can chew but a good dose of reality is good for ambitious people. On the other hand, having so many goals and ambitions but no motivation is a recipe you don’t want to work on.

Ambition is a hunger that must be fed. It is the drive to succeed at all costs.. How often have you had people tell you to slow down and take a breather? You need to harness the drive and use it to the best of your ability.

Are you the kind of person who wants to serve others? To make a difference in the world? You’ll never get there if you give up!

Marie Forleo, the world-renowned life coach, motivational speaker and best-selling author says this about ambition: “Honor that hunger you feel to learn, explore and create. Ambition isn’t bad. It’s beautiful. And when it’s channeled in service of your highest self, it truly can change the world.”

I want to change the world around me. I want to inspire people. Bring them to God and help them reach their full potential. I can’t do that if I don’t harness my ambition and set it in motion down the right pathway. I need to channel my dreams in a way that keeps me grounded but inspired.

I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and into a place where it’s sink or swim because that’s the place where I do my best work.

Why? Because it is in the moment where the true and authentic me comes out.

When you are authentic in your vision, your ambition takes over and you can meet the challenges of life and still reach your goals.

Do Your Actions Match Your Ambitions?

You can have all the ambition in the world but if your action don’t serve your ambitions well enough, you’ll be stuck in neutral. Kind of like a chicken without a head running around in circles doing nothing but making noise.

You’ll be better served by holding yourself accountable for your actions and learning from your mistakes. It’s not a crap-shoot. It’s more like making sure your goals and your action meet in the middle where you can adjust things so you stay on track.

When setbacks come how will you respond to them?

“The key is to be prepared for setbacks and respond in a positive and productive way” according to Chip Augustus. This avoids the urge to give up or to go down in flames if you don’t prepare yourself.

Finally, what are you prepared to do to make your ambitions come true?

Are you willing to put in the time, energy and patience to make your dreams come true? No goal is too farfetched if you are willing to make it happen.

Harriet Tubman said it best…“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” 

Why Giving Up Is Never The Answer To Anything

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” 
Marilyn vos Savant

Try OR Give Up

Author Nicolas Cole states that “When you “give up, you continue to carry that baggage with you long into the future. You still think about it. You wonder. You may even feel regret. That’s very different than fighting as long as you can for an idea and then realizing it’s time to pivot, or shift, or move on all together.”

Most people cannot make that distinction. They fight the losing battle because they’re afraid of failing but learning from your failures is what all success stories are made of.

He goes on to say “When you “give up” on something, it encourages the habit. You start to be “ok” with quitting–and that’s not good. Resilience is the habit you want to practice here.”

No one wants to be a quitter or be known as a quitter. Unfortunately, it’s a habit far too many people have acquired.

According to Tim Denning, the blogger for Entrepreneur.com, we all go through phases where we want to give up. We lose motivation, our hearts are just not in it but sometimes, “It’s easier to give up and take the easy road rather than keep yourself going.”

The easy way out doesn’t do us any good. We cannot develop the skills necessary to make a difference in life. We lose out on the adventures life hands us and the world loses out on what we have to offer.

He goes on to say “I conditioned myself to believe that to give up on life in general and settle for mediocrity was the same as accepting that it was time to die. When you give up on life, you are ending any chance of success you may have ever had.”

Is that what you have to look forward to? A life of mediocrity? Stopping yourself from becoming what God has intended you to be?

I don’t think so.

Too many people have overcome obstacles to make a life for themselves. They are my heroes. They inspire me! Tim is one of those guys that you root for.

Why?

He never gives up or gives in and he is successful because he doesn’t just blindly go after things. He works hard, knows what he wants to accomplish and finds a way.

He finishes up by stating:

Never give up on your dream.
Never give up on romance.
Never give up on yourself.
Most of all, never give up on life.

“The answer for how to never give up is to have a purpose greater than you. The challenge with your must-have goal is that if it only inspires you, you’ll lose momentum eventually.”

I make it a habit to study people who are successful and learn not only from their victories but from their mistakes. I see a determination I want to mimic and when they find a way to overcome challenges and problems, it gives me hope.

Adam Sicinski writes this about challenges: “It is not so much what happens to us that actually makes a difference, it is rather what we do with what happens to us that determines where we will end up, what we will have, and how we will be transformed by our experiences.”

Keep that in mind the next time you think about giving up. Your experiences are what drives you forward.

Here Are 7 Reasons Why You Should Never Give Up

  1. Anything Is Possible 
    In life, anything is possible. The world is filled with people taking chances, setting records and doing the impossible. Are you any different? As long as you’re alive you have the chance to be special. “To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.” Adam Green
  2. You Are Stronger Than You Think 
    You will never know how strong you are until you push yourself beyond its limits. Success doesn’t come to weak of heart but from the strength of our soul. “When life knocks us down and it seems impossible to get back up, when life demands more from us than we are able to give, then more than ever, we need to find a way to do what needs to be done. It is at just these times that we come face to face with a reserve of strength we never knew we had.” Dwayne Savaya
  3. Be An Inspiration To Others
    By refusing to give up, you will be an inspiration to someone who is thinking of quitting themself. Those who succeed become the leaders and inspire those that need help in their own journey. To inspire others is to awaken the possibilities still dormant in another’s heart. It is how we help one another to do great things that were never imagined before. ”Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” Orrin Woodward 
  4. You Are Closer To Success Than You Know
    Often, we see successful people and think it must have been easy for them yet we think we are still far away from being successful ourselves. The key is to understand that success isn’t something glamorous but keeping the faith when things look bleak, staying positive when things are crumbling all around you, and being consistent in working towards your ultimate version of what you want to accomplish. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison
  5. Quitting Sends The Wrong Message About You And Your Intentions
    You know that actions speak louder than words but your brain doesn’t. The brain cannot distinguish between the real and the imagined so when your intentions lack resolve so do you. Don’t set a precedent that you will have a hard time living down. “The thing I most connect with is the idea of not giving up. And that’s a thing I have in my own life. You have to trust your instincts and keep trying.” Callie Thorne
  6. The Consequences Of Quitting Are Enormous
    There’s a high a price indeed for abandoning your dreams and because quitting is the path of least resistance, we don’t understand the true consequences until it’s too way late. We make rash decisions that over time, plays with our emotions and causes physical and mental side-effects which we never get over.   “Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen.” Corin Nemec
  7. The Process Shapes You Before The Rewards Kick In
    Setting goals and achieving them starts with the process. This process is what shapes us, teaches us perseverance and builds self-confidence. Greatness comes in the pursuit of a worthy goal as we are forged in the fire of life. This is how we are shaped into the persons we ultimately want to become. “The benefits of the accomplished journey cannot be weighed in terms of perfect moments, but in terms of how this journey affects and changes our character.” Ella Maillart

Finding Your Purpose Is The Key To Your Dreams And Ambitions

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”
Gautama Buddha

Why do we do the things we do?

Why do we even try if we fail more than not?

It’s the human spirit that is alive and well. It’s the curiosity to find out what we are capable of. It’s also the reason why, “Every success story is accompanied by some form of adversity or struggle” according to author Gary Savoie.

Every one of us has a struggle. For some, it is a major struggle that takes years of patience and determination while for others, luck, timing and planning allow them to reach their goals at a record pace. The idea here is not about giving up on your goals but overcoming the struggles that make us stronger in the long run.

I’m no stranger to failure but that doesn’t mean I give up on my dreams. The fact that I’m more determined now than I have ever been is a credit to my attitude and spirit. Life has never been easy but that’s not an excuse for me. Instead, it’s my motivation. It’s my inspiration.

So what if I come from a broken home!

So what if my first love died of leukemia!

So what if I never finished college!

So what if I was nearly killed in two separate car accidents!

I’m not making light of the fact that these things happened. They are a part of life and I’ve accepted them but I don’t let them hinder me. Not in the least.

What part of your past has caused you to question your dreams?

What part of your struggle has caused you the most pain?

Use them as motivation to push yourself to the limits because you are worthy of reaching your goals. You DO have what it takes to succeed but it’s not about the final step but what you do to get there.

If you already know your purpose in life, GREAT! If not, examine your heart and your life. See what talents God has given you. Find what makes you happy. Plan out your strategy and GO FOR IT!

On the other side of the coin… . Imagine how your life will be if you give up on your dreams?

What would that look like to you?

What kind of life would you be leading?

Would you be happy?

Would you be sad?

How would you like to be known for?

Adrianna Langford says, “Think of all the situations that you have been through, how bad you fought for the dream you wanted the most, and most importantly for those of you that are still struggling to reach their destination this is not the time to quit.”

What drives you to do the things you do?

Why do you wake up in the morning everyday?

Your purpose is filled with a myriad of daily questions you must answer to realize what your dreams and ambitions are telling you.

The same thing can be said for your reasons.

If money is all that drives you then you will feel hollow inside once you do reach your dreams because there is nothing left to pursue.

If love is all you care about then your dreams and ambitions will reflect that. It’s not always about the actual dreams you are pursuing but your reason why.

If you can answer your reason why… you can find your purpose. Once you have your main purpose, your dreams and ambitions will come into focus and push you on the road to making things happen.

authenticity

Here are a couple of questions you must answer before you can take the next step

Am I in an authentic alignment with my beliefs and my dreams?

Do I take the initiative to make things happen?

Is your mindset in alignment with your ambitions.

Just because you think you want to do something doesn’t mean you are going to take the action to make it so. I know too many people who are married to negativity. They don’t believe they can achieve what they put their mind to. They give up because their excuses are too powerful in their own mind.

I also have people trying to stop me from trying to make my dreams come true. They think they’re stopping me from the pain of failure of think I’m not capable but I don’t think like them nor do i act like them.

You’ve got to put your big boy boots on and make the attempt. Not some half-hearted one but push yourself to the max. No one ever accomplished anything without some kind of fear but facing your fears is what life is all about. Without fear, We’d all be sitting on the couch watching television instead making our dreams come true

Megan Shauri writes this about fear, “Fear is a great deterrent to going after a dream. What if we fail? What if we realize that we are not as good as we thought? What if we can’t do it?”

Too many what ifs and not enough can do’s. Fear is only real in your mind. Let me give you an example.

My youngest daughter loves to sing and act. In her freshman year of high school, she tried out and got one of the leads of the musical “Legally Blonde.” For two months she practiced her lines and learned all the songs. She realized her dream of performing in front of a big crowd.

One month after the play was over, she was offered an audition for another musical outside of school. This was from a local production company and she gave every excuse in the book as to why she didn’t want to do it. I wouldn’t let her get off that easy. I pushed her because I knew it would be good for her. Well, she went in kicking and screaming but when it came time to audition, she nailed the part.

On the way home, she thanked me for pushing her and realized all the fears she had forced her to go deep inside and find her passion and let it come alive.

What Have We Learned Today?

  • If you want to do something with your life, you must take chances and find your passion.
  • Your dreams are important.
  • You deserve everything you work for.
  • Find your why for doing what you want to do.
  • Be authentic in your alignment of what you want to do.
  • Have fun doing it.
  • Never give up on your dreams.

The world is made up of all kinds of dreams. FLook for people that share your passion and ambitions and find a way to make it work. If you fail, get up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and don’t give up. There is something waiting at the end of your dreams and it’s up to you to find it!

 

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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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