It’s All About Happiness

Tag: Happiness,Stress ReliefBeth and Neill

Happiness… Want Some?

If you continue reading our blog for any length time, you’ll begin to notice that we talk a lot about happiness. What it’s is, how to get it, and how to keep it alive and well in your life. We go on about this topic as much as we do, because we believe at the base of everything–and we mean everything–is our desire to be happy. Everything we say, everything we do and everything we strive for is motivated by our longing to be happy.

Whether you’re conscious of it or not, creating happiness is what our lives are all about. So once again, today’s blog post topic is happiness and information to support you in creating more happiness in your life.

This is an amazing video from one of our favorite organizations TED

TEDTalks: Dan Gilbert (2005)

http://www.ted.com Dan Gilbert is a psychology professor at Harvard, and author of Stumbling on Happiness. In this memorable talk, filmed at TED2004, he demonstrates just how poor we humans are at predicting (or understanding) what will make us happy. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 22:02)

And here’s a short list of other people who are committed to creating more happiness in the world.

  • Happiness quotation from Virginia Woolf.
  • – This quotation is perhaps only glancingly related to the general topic of happiness, but it’s very significant to my personal happiness. First, because September 4 is my wedding anniversary, it has special meaning; and also because when …

  • Benjamin Barber: happiness doesn’t come from a shopping mall
  • – Benjamin Barber argues in his latest book, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, that the market has consumerism has begun to replace citizenship. From an interviewed in the Free Lance …

  • Recent self-help books on happiness
  • – Don’t forget my latest book, “100 Ways to Happiness: a guide for busy people”, available in all good book stores and at http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/products/products.aspx?CategoryID=1. But for a review of some other (all …

  • al3x’s Rules for Computing Happiness
  • – Software. Use as little software as possible. Use software that does one thing well. Do not use software that does many things poorly. Do not use software that must sync over the internet to function. Do not use web applications that …

We hope this helps create more happiness in your life.

Until next time.

With love,

Beth and Neill


Want Happiness? Seek Out Good News!

Tag: Happiness,Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

The good news is…

I’m on a lot of e-mail lists. Lists that offer information about personal growth, spiritual development, Internet marketing, and the list goes on and on. I’m on these lists because I am a lifelong learner. They provide me with insights, understandings, good information, and opportunities for growth and development in different areas of my life.

I’ve been receiving one particular e-mail from a organization called CharityFocus and I would love to share it with you. What this organization offers me is inspiration and we could all definitely use more of that. They do this by finding good news–people and organizations working to uplift and contribute to others.

You can sign up for their daily good news newsletter today by going to: http://www.dailygood.org

Here’s a little tidbit from their last e-mail

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. –Emma Goldman

Kids Embrace The Giving Spirit:

The very rich and the very famous capture the headlines for their charitable giving. But another group of avid philanthropists is also leaving its mark. Young people from grade school on are engaged as never before in making a direct difference in the world. They are donating via the Internet to favorite projects overseas, creating their own nonprofits to pursue social causes, and becoming grantmakers on foundation boards to foster change in their home communities. Some youths have gained that awareness from volunteer activities. Many have seen celebrities take up worthy causes. Others have traveled with their families and encountered the challenges many children face in other countries. This article from the Christian Science Monitor read more at:http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1124/p13s01-wmgn.html

Be The Change:
As the holiday season approaches, help introduce a child to the joy of giving.

Trust me, if you want to bring more happiness into your life, seek out good news.  One simple way to do this is by signing up for the dailygood.org newsletter and bring the gift of good news into your life.

With love,
Beth


Dealing with Difficult People? Learn to Handle them in a Constructive Way

How Do You Deal?

Do you end up on a regular basis? If so, are there times when you want to just run in hide, or click your heels and make them disappear? Or are you the kind of person that gets angry and combative right back at them? Either way, these situations can be very stressful. But don’t worry…

The good news is that there are ways to deal with these people that are much less stressful and you’ll also end up feeling much more satisfied with the outcome.

Believe it or not, some people don’t let these kinds of situations bother them. They simply stay calm and stress-free when confronted with upset and anger. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what they know? Well now you can! Here are a few simple tips that will help you breathe a sigh of leave the next time you end up dealing with an angry person.

Often times when we realize someone is upset the first thing we do is take personal responsibility. We believe that the only reason they’d be disturb–and letting us about it–is that it must be about us. The first thing to understand is that when managing these kinds of situations is that it’s not about you, it’s really all about them!

I can guess what you’re probably thinking: “What you mean don’t take it personally, when there are someone screaming at me and telling me it’s my fault!”

I understand how difficult this will be at first, but when you begin to appreciate this one point, it becomes much easier to avoid taking these things personally: Every statement you hear someone say comes from a deep and inherent desire to satisfy their needs or to support something they value. And you most likely do the same thing – its normal human behavior.

Unquestionably Everything stems from either Needs and Values.

As an example, someone who is upset may just have a need for consideration, or they might in reality value dependability. By getting upset, they are attempting to satisfy these needs or honor what they value.

Let’s say that an angry man has a conversation with Gandhi (while he was alive). And he said to Gandhi, “You’ve never had a difficult life so don’t pretend to you know what suffering is. People wait on you hand and foot! You’re such a phony!”

Can you imagine Gandhi responding to this as some people would– defensively, with anger and critical words? “What do you mean phony? Try doing what I do every day… you wouldn’t last a minute. You an ignorant little man– you probably don’t even work for a living!”

Now I’m sure you can imagine where this conversation would end up!

It’s almost impossible to think of Gandhi reacting this way, but why not ? What does he know that most of us don’t?

Gandhi knows that the man upset stems from his own challenging life and is just venting about his own pain. The man is angry because his needs have not been satisfied, and things in his life are out of harmony with his values.

So, from now on, when confronted with difficult people, try to remind yourself that absolutely everything people say or do is an effort to meet their needs or support something they value.

The next you’ll are in one of these uncomfortable situation–STOP–don’t justifying yourself, instead start by reminding yourself that their anger isn’t about you, it’s about them and their situation.

Don’t take it to personally.

Consider this: Do you want your happiness to be dependent upon others, or do you long for the kind of happiness that you have complete control over? Take charge of the situation by aligning your values with the actions you take.

Another great way to stay calm when dealing with others’ who are upset or angry is to be curiosity. Ask questions such as, “Hmm, they seems very tense and upset. I wonder what’s going on in their life that has them feel this way.”

Stop and take a if you minutes to empathize with their circumstances and think, “If I behaved the way they’re behaving toward me, what could possibly be going on in my life?” Then guess what it could be.

Changing your focus of attention in this way can truly set you free. You’ll stop acting or feeling defensive. This focus will lead you to a much more peaceful place and will help you to fill your life with happiness, and a multitude of satisfying relationships you’ll truly enjoy.

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.”
~ Albert Einstein

Let’s review: – Tension and defensiveness isn’t the only way to deal with difficult people. – everything people say or do is in support of something they value or to meet some need. – Their upset is not about you, don’t take it personally. Take on the attitude of being curious. – Your happiness is not dependent on how others act or what they say.

When dealing with difficult people, this approach will help you open the door to a renewed sense of happiness and freedom you will no longer be restricted by your circumstances. You get to choose how you respond and what actions you will take.

If you want to start interacting differently with people who are upset, you must first practice the essential skills that create a more peaceful, happy life. If you’re ready to create that kind of life now, sign up for our thought-provoking and motivational Weekly Action Tips eMail series. The sign-up form is at the top right hand side of your screen. Don’t wait, sign up today. You’ll be happy you did.

With love and great appreciation,
Beth


Same Old Relationship Problems — Again!

Have you ever wondered how to keep those pesky issues from your past relationships from cropping up like weeds in your present relationship? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, the same old patterns keep replaying like a stuck record?

It’s an old saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” But, unless you take specific steps to avoid it, it’s just as true that, “No matter where you’ve been, there you go!”

What do we mean by this?

Simply put, people don’t take responsibility for consciously creating a future that draws them to it. More often than not, they take what’s happened in the past and expect that this is most likely what’s going to happen to them in the future. Then they live into that prediction.

We can guarantee that you’re doing this if you’ve ever asked yourself some version of these two questions:

Why does the same thing keep happening to me over and over again?

Why don’t I learn from my mistakes?

Past, Present and Futurepast presnt and future

Without getting into a quantum physics argument, time in the physical realm flows from the past, to the present, and then into the future. But since we human beings have a memory–and are so very, very good at creating meaning–we form opinions about what’s happened to us in the past and apply these opinions to what’s happening to us now as a way to predict our future.

The future tends to be this big, scary, black hole of the unknown, and we don’t like the unknown very much. This leads to the obsession with predicting the future we humans have always had.

In our human perception of time there is our memory of our past, our experience of the present–which is colored by our experiences in the past–and then there is this big blank space called our future. And since we don’t like these big blank spaces we tend to fill our future with predictions that we base on our past experiences.

So instead of past, present, future, our timeline looks more like: past, present, past. In other words, we put our past in our future and then live into that.

Starts to make sense why history repeats itself, doesn’t it?

Predictability = Safety — T’aint Necessarily So

It’s obvious people want to predict the future because they believe this will create greater safety or security. The problem with this is that our prophecies tend to be both: 1) of the worst possible scenario, and 2) self-fulfilling.

This is not a good combination. Whenever you predict a future based on your unpleasant experiences in the past, you are very likely to fulfill on your prophecy of an unpleasant future.

So how do you get your past out of your future?

The first thing is to believe that your future is entirely unpredictable and then make a commitment to stop using your past experiences to predict it. It’s okay to use your past to inform your future, but not to predict it.

Now granted, this is much easier said than done because you can’t ever stop doing anything, you can only start doing something else.

We suggest you start getting very clear about what values you weren’t experiencing in your past by exploring these “recurring” past experiences that you don’t enjoy. Once you identify what you value that is missing for you in these experiences , you can then put all of your attention on ways to get more of this in your future.

Using the information about what you value most in life is how you use your past to inform your future. But first you have to believe that–since your future is unpredictable–it is possible for you to have what you value in the future. We find many people don’t believe this.

The trick here is to make very concrete plans for how you can experience more of what you value in the future, and then take whatever actions you need to in order to have those plans happen.

We can’t guarantee that you will get what you want, because the future is unpredictable!

But, since what you focus your attention on grows–and since you’re focusing your attention on what you value and on specific plans to get it–we’re confident that you’re much more likely to get it than if you keep filling up your future with your past.

With a commitment to your success,
Beth and Neill


Stress Relief-Giving to Get

Does it ever seem like no matter how fast you pedal you can’t get ahead of the curve? That your list of to-do’s piles up faster than you can get them done?

One of the best way to relieve stress is take the focus off yourself by volunteering to do something for someone else. Sometimes just doing one thing for someone else, purely from a place of generosity, can give you a sense of satisfaction and the joy of accomplishment that you can’t get just checking things off your own list of things to do.

It’s a fact that people feel better when they take the time to contribute to others. One recent study found that almost half of the people who perform volunteer work felt less depressed when they were volunteering. And the number climbed to over 70% when the person volunteering was using their professional experience or was volunteering in an area in which they had a strong personal interest.
Volunteer to reduce stress
If volunteering to lend your support at a homeless shelter isn’t your cup of tea, then what about helping adults learn to read, or becoming a Big Brother or Sister. Maybe it’s just helping a political candidate that you believe in. If you can’t think of anything, try this link:

www.VolunteerMatch.org/

There are a lot of different ways you can take the focus off yourself and the overwhelm of your life. First it helps to figure out what’s important to you, what you care about, or some area where you’d like to make a difference.

The point is that human beings have a fundamental desire to contribute to other people’s well-being. I believe this is genetically hardwired in us. But even if it isn’t, I’ve never seen anyone happier than when they’ve been able to joyfully contribute to another person’s well-being.

So try thinking of a way that you could lend a helping hand to someone where you could do it with the same spirit that a child has when they feed bread to hungry ducks in the pond at the park. The joy of giving is a sure-fire way to get a real sense of relief from the stress in your life.

Until next time… Committed to success,

Neill


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