Tag Archives: finding happiness

survive or thrive

“Only you can decide how far you get to travel in life. Therefore, you definitely owe it to your future self to be courageous and ambitious enough to strive and thrive without limitations.”
Edmond Mbiaka

Take time to hit the pause button on your life.

How did you do today?   Did you just survive the chaos of the day?  What was it like?  How does it feel to be spending your time and energy only to just survive the day?  It doesn’t feel so good does.  It can feel draining.  It can be filled with anxiety, stress and turmoil.   A lot of people are just surviving the day.   Careers go sour when the focus is on just surviving.  If I get through today then I’ll be OK.

Are you one of those who are just surviving the day?   Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning?  Do you feel drained and used up by the end of the day?  Do you believe what you do matters?   Does your boss believe you matter?  When was the last time you were complemented on your work?  How many hours are you being asked to work?  How much time do you have off?

What does it mean to thrive?   Araianna Huffington wrote, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”  We live in a world where “more” and “having more”  drives us to be doing more, working more hours, earning more money, filling the day with more activity.  At the end of the day – there is nothing left – there is no more.  Day after day of pushing yourself to the limits doesn’t result in a better life, it results in a battered life.  Thriving isn’t about just surviving the day-to-day race.  Thriving is about living a rich life, and by rich meaning a life that includes time to relax and find peace.  A thriving life is one that has time, enough time for family, friends, personal growth, contribution and time for you.  Thriving means that you do have time and you don’t feel rushed and you don’t feel that the day has to be absolutely packed with activity.

Part of the reason to completely fill each day with activity is because everyone else is doing that, filling their life with stuff.   Eating becomes a quick stop at a fast food restaurant and the food is consumed as you drive to the next event.   Sleep can be reduced to just a few hours, maybe 4 or 5.  It is no wonder people are totally exhausted much of the time.

What would it take for you to thrive every day?   What would you want to change to feel like every day mattered more than yesterday?   What can you take out of your day that will give you time to relax and recover?

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choosing to become

“I am not what happened to me.
I am what I chose to become.”

~ Carl Jung

SG_Walking

The mindset of many in today’s culture is that things happen to them, things that are out of their control,  that lead to bad outcomes.   No matter what is happening in their life all some people experience is the worst of life.   How we experience life is a choice.  We have the choice to make the most of a bad day or let the bad day make the least out of us.

Being a victim of external events removes power from anyone.   Choosing to be caught in arguments, conflict, or negative situations without stepping back and pausing to see if the issue is that important puts us in a negative mental position. You can detect victim behavior by their language and how they blame others or the situation they are in for their attitude, how they can’t get things done or how bad they feel.    Being a victim is a choice.

The other side of choice is driven by an attitude that says,  “I take responsibility for my life and how I feel.”   The person who desires to use the language of positivity will experience greater happiness and success.   Those that choose to be grateful and positive will see better outcomes than those who believe that everything that goes wrong is an insult to them.

Learning how to become the person you want to be is a choice.  Being the best you can be is something you can take charge of.   If you know of someone who is always in the mode of a victim, who can’t seem to find positive outcomes in their life they may be a great candidate for coaching.     Have them contact me at dan@danweigold.com for a free coaching consultation.  Find out how you or someone you know can move from “poor me” to “powerful me”.   It is your choice.
Are you happier?

Experience magic moments

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.  The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

Take a moment to reflect back on something that was a magical moment for you. Perhaps it was taking the time to look at the splendor of autumn, or perhaps it was something else. Whatever it was, remember it and then remember the feeling you experienced at that moment.

Those special moments which may happen many times in a day are caused when dopamine is released into the brain.   That dopamine creates a feeling, a feeling of satisfaction, joy, happiness, pleasure, tingling, or something that just makes you feel good.   Our brain likes those small rewards and they can be small moments, perhaps the taste of a great cup of coffee or a great meal at your favorite restaurant or just getting something done for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are able to do something or experience something positive the brain gives us a small reward of dopamine.     Video gamer’s are constantly being given small dopamine rewards as they accomplish small victories in the game and that might be the reason games can be do addictive, lots of small rewards and that sensation can become habit-forming.

The idea is to find those things that produce those moments of joy.   Create work that can provide moments of joy.   The people who have found work that is integrated with their strengths may have many small moments of success, small dopamine moments that push them on. If you’re not experiencing moments of joy in your day then perhaps you aren’t fully living the way you want to be.

What would allow you to experience more joy in your day?

running on the hedonic treadmill

“The 7 Deadly Sins are:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle”  Gandhi

Everywhere people are chasing something and are finding that as hard as they chase they are unable to grab hold to this elusive thing.   You may hear in their words, “If I only __________________”, then I would be _____________.  What is that second word?

Was it happiness?   Yes, people are chasing happiness and are having a hard time grasping it.   The faster you run towards happiness the greater the distance to achieve it.    Studies have been done on those who win lotteries and those people have a six month boost in happiness before returning to the level of happiness they had before their fortunate outcome.

People who are the happiest have strong relationships, a rewarding career, supportive social networks, financial sufficiency and ability to make choices. To jump of the hedonic treadmill try improving your relationships,  working at something you enjoy, and spreading happiness around.

Relationships matter

 Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh!’ he whispered. ‘Yes, Piglet?’ ‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’ “ A.A. Milne

Positive psychology research has shown that people with good relationships are happier than those who don’t have relationships with others.

Rewarding Career

Working a career that uses your strengths and abilities leads to greater happiness.   Examine your strengths and talents and find work that leverages them.

 

 

Supportive Social networks

Happiness is contagious.  Research done by Dan Gilbert shows that happiness spreads.   If someone else is happy you’re likely to catch some of that happiness and spread it to others.  Find people who are supportive and happy and spread it around.

 

 

Other happiness indicators are:

  • Financial Sufficiency – having enough money
  • Democracy – sense of choice, empowered
  • Religion – increased sense of fulfillment
  • Praise to criticism ratio of 3 praises to 1 criticism

“In a true partnership, the kind worth striving for, the kind worth insisting on, and even, frankly, worth divorcing over, both people try to give as much or even a little more than they get. “Deserves” is not the point. And “owes” is certainly not the point. The point is to make the other person as happy as we can, because their happiness adds to ours. The point is — in the right hands, everything that you give, you get.”   Amy Bloom

Three ways to increase happiness

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”  Nathaniel Hawthorne

Happiness is something many people strive for and fail to achieve.   Happiness can be elusive to some and easy to obtain for others.   A new film called “Happy” is documenting happiness, where it is found and how people live a life of happiness.

Recent research provides some steps to achieve greater happiness.   The study of happiness is growing and is a reflection of the positive psychology movement and the strengths movement.  Markus Buckingham one of the leaders in the strengths movement shows people why strengths are important in this short video.   People that use their strengths are happier.   Don’t know your strengths then got to viastrengths and find out what your strengths are.

Another aspect of happiness is purpose.    Having a purpose increases happiness.   Knowing who you are what you are gifted at doing and having the ability to use those gifts increases happiness.    If you haven’t found your purpose or aren’t sure you have a purpose take a look at this.   See if you can figure out your purpose, you’ll be happier when you do have a defined purpose.

The third element of happiness is developing relationships.    Relationships that work well increase happiness.  As we approach the holiday season many people feel stressed due to the fact many relationships aren’t what they should be.   Here are some hints on dealing with broken relationships.

Three steps to increase happiness.

1. Know your purpose

2. Strong and deep relationships

3. Knowing and using your strengths.

What are you doing to increase your happiness?   Happiness is part choice, part development and to some degree inherited qualities.   Choose to be happier.  Choose to develop your strengths and choose to develop deep and meaningful relationships and you will be happier.    Maybe you have a story about how you found happiness, what is it?