”For The Moment Of Happiness”

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“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” 
― Dr Seuss

What do you need to be happy? All too often, we list the things we want: a bigger house, a cooler car, a trip around the world, money for retirement, a new friend or lover.

While striving for more is one of the things that makes us great, it’s never wise to make your happiness dependent on it. All too often, it’s hard to bring the things we want into our lives.

But one thing you do have the power to do is let go of things you don’t want or need. Whether out of habit or because of peer pressure or family pressure, we often cling to poisonous thoughts, feelings, and individuals.

Our unrealistic expectations set us up for failure, and our addiction to toxic people and activities brings us down. And then we wonder why it’s so hard to be happy.

Well, this year is going fine, and I can say: It did. I made myself happier. And along the way, I learned a lot about how to be happier. Here are those lessons.

1. Don’t start with profundities. When I began my Happiness Project, I realized pretty quickly that, rather than jumping in with lengthy daily meditation or answering deep questions of self-identity, I should start with the basics, like going to sleep at a decent hour and not letting myself get too hungry. Science backs this up; these two factors have a big impact on happiness.

2. Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

3. Fake it till you feel it. Feelings follow actions. If I’m feeling low, I deliberately act cheery, and I find myself actually feeling happier. If I’m feeling angry at someone, I do something thoughtful for her and my feelings toward her soften. This strategy is uncannily effective.

4. Realize that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Challenge and novelty are key elements of happiness. The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. People who do new things―learn a game, travel to unfamiliar places―are happier than people who stick to familiar activities that they already do well. I often remind myself to “Enjoy the fun of failure” and tackle some daunting goal.

5. Don’t treat the blues with a “treat.” Often the things I choose as “treats” aren’t good for me. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt and loss of control and other negative consequences deepen the lousiness of the day. While it’s easy to think, I’ll feel good after I have a few glasses of wine…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans, it’s worth pausing to ask whether this will truly make things better.

6. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes, and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.

7. Don’t insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

8. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, “I’m just too tired to go to the gym”? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.

9. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?

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10. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 per cent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won’t take you a whole year.

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”Happily Single”

 “I’m not sad about any of my life. It’s so unconventional. It doesn’t look anything like I thought it would.” ~Edie Falco. 

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I’ve realized that it’s not my responsibility to reassure people that I’m normal even though I’m single. I am normal. I’m just not married.

Some people lead their best, most authentic, most fulfilling, and meaningful lives by living single. I call these people “single at heart.” They embrace singlehood and live their single lives fully, joyfully, and unapologetically. There may also be people who do not quite make it into the “single at heart” category but who, all things considered, would still live a better life by living single than getting married.

Deciding whether to stay single is no small thing: Getting married is no royal road to health and happiness, despite all the claims you may have heard to the contrary. And there are important ways in which single people fare better than married people, personally and interpersonally. But legal marriage does grant automatic access to an array of more than 1,000 federal benefits and protections. It also offers instant status, credibility, privilege, and respect. Even though more people than ever are living single. People spend more years of their adult lives not married than married, we are still a nation of matrimaniacs.

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But marriage is also risky. A substantial number of people who get married end up getting divorced, often at a great emotional and financial cost. People who divorce also end up, on the average, less happy than they were when they were single. And staying married is no guarantee of emotional or financial well-being either.

So how can you know if you are one of those individuals who would live a better life as a single person than a married person?

Keep reading we will continue with this topic in my coming article.

”I Love Those Who Can Smile In Trouble”

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” I love the those who can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

What does it mean to you to “fail better?” Better than someone else? Fail/fare a little better each time you try? Maybe it means to fail spectacularly! Go big or go home! Or how about failing but getting better along the way—getting better through failure—and learning something from the experience? I believe that is the key: to allow failure to be a springboard from which we succeed and grow.

How we handle failure is more important than how we handle success: –We are all going to experience failure at some point in our lives, and our attitude about that failure is what determines whether we bounce back or fall hard.

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1. Decide you want to bounce back:- The power of intention is amazing, and the simple, conscious decision or desire to bounce back will make it far easier for you to do so. When you decide you want to do something and spend a little time visualizing, parts of your subconscious, intuition and conscious mind all start working together towards that goal—it’s the power of positive thinking at work. Even if you have no idea how you will do it, why not start by telling yourself that you’d like to bounce back from this failure? How you speak to yourself is so important.

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2. When you fail at something, it isn’t about you:-Well, in a way it is, but it isn’t about your core personality, humanity or your soul. It’s much harder to bounce back when you take failure to heart too much and make it about your value as a person. Your importance to those who love you does not change when you fail; your potential to make a difference in the lives of those around you does not change. If anything, your potential increases with every failure experience you have, since the most painful events in life often give us the most valuable experiences and dramatic growth. Experiencing failure makes us more compassionate, and that also increases our capacity to make a difference in the world.

How can you make sure you don’t take failure too personally? Remind yourself—literally, tell yourself—that deep down, you are still you. The failure was just a thing that happened, like a hundred other things that have happened to you. Maybe you did some things that didn’t work out, but if you compare notes with every ridiculously successful person out there, you’d find they all have similar stories to tell. Since you survived, you can still thrive!

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3. Still breathing? Keep at it:- Often when we are rushed or stressed or have been through a trauma, we breathe shallowly and unevenly, which hampers our thinking and increases our anxiety. Stop from time to time and check your body to see how deeply you are breathing, and take a deep breath to reduce your stress levels and reset your brain waves. Some practices like yoga focus on breathing, but even without the exercise element, simply taking deeper, conscious breaths will improve your clarity and help you to learn important lessons from the failure.

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4. Reframe and start from where you are:- In the autumn of 1972, an unusually early frost hit the vineyards of Peachland, British Columbia, Canada. It was devastating: grapes still clinging to their vines froze into little globes of ice. The year’s grape harvest would have been a complete failure, except that the vineyard’s owner, Walter Hainle, decided to make wine anyway. He knew of a tradition in Germany of making sweet dessert wines from frozen grapes, and although he originally planned on keeping the wine for personal use, he decided to sell it six years later. The wine was one-of-a-kind, which means it commanded a premium price. Thus, a lucrative, ridiculously successful new wine market was born— ice wine. It worked with the Canadian climate rather than against it, and it would have never been discovered if it hadn’t been for what seemed like a failure at the time.

The ability to reframe a life event is directly related to our ability to bounce back. Practice on small, easy things, and decide that you want:

  • play the role of victim in this failure
  • let self-degrading thoughts take hold
  • let anger control you

Instead, try to see the situation from another perspective—the essence of reframing—and see what you might be able to learn from it all.

So, when you fail, begin from exactly where you are, look for opportunities, take a deep breath and get back in the game, knowing that you are learning valuable lessons along the way, having great new experiences and living life to the fullest! Vive la failure!

 

”Don’t Worry Be Happy”

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“ Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. …“ If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry”

We often get so caught up with the future and how our lives will be months or years from now that we fail to recognise that the only moment we have is the present. Even though we know we cannot change anything that has happened to us in the past, we still can easily fall into the trap of dwelling on the past and wishing that things had been different or better.

Similarly, becoming too focused or driven to create a better future can result in us missing the beauty, wonder, joy and miracles that are around us right now. While there is a lot of value in knowing where we want to go in the future, it does not mean we obsess about the future and forget to really enjoy and appreciate the only thing we will ever have — this present moment.

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If you’re anything like me, you might worry like it’s a second job: if the coffee is good or bad, if we’ll get that promotion, and what diseases the future has in store for us. The unfortunate part is that this all-consuming gig doesn’t pay money—it pays in stress, unhappiness, anxiety, and inner turmoil.

It can feel almost unbearable waiting for these future outcomes to transpire. Sometimes our worries are small and manageable and pass, but sometimes worry becomes a chronic default setting. When we worry chronically, it becomes second nature to live in this revved-up state of anxiety and restlessness. Know that you’re not alone; chances are if you are breathing you are likely worrying.

Here’s how to worry less and live more:

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  • Think about worrying differently:What purpose does worry serve? Does it make problems go away? Prevent them from happening? Or make them worse?

 

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  • Allow yourself time to worry:                                                                                        Many chronic worriers feel they have no control over it. They tell themselves things such as “just don’t worry” or “don’t think about it”. This thought stopping approach rarely works. The reason — it’s a negative command and people simply don’t process these well. It forces you to think about the very thing you’re trying to avoid.

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  • Control: 
    Ask yourself: do I have control over the issue? So many of the things people worry about they have absolutely no control over yet it dominates their thinking. For example, the weather. We can’t control it but we can certainly prepare for it.

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  • Fact or fiction? 
    On a piece of paper make four columns. On the far left write the worry you’re having. In the next column identify whether it is fact or fiction and if there’s any real evidence to support your belief. Then write an alternative way of thinking and finally, think about whether the original thought was helpful or not.

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  • Be a problem solver:
    There’s a big difference between worrying and problem-solving. The former is about repeating thoughts that are unhelpful and leads to more stress and worry and gets in the way of actually enjoying life and being productive. The latter is focused on getting out of the current way of thinking and making life better. Put on your problem-solver hat and think about solutions. How might you advise a friend who has a similar concern? What steps would you take to ensure a solution? Take action now.

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  • Make friends with uncertainty:                                                                                        Feel okay about not knowing exactly how things will turn out. Accept the unpredictability of life. Can you imagine how dull life would be if we knew everything that would happen? Think of all that is right with life and embrace ambiguity.

“When You Love You Wish To Do Things For, You Wish To Sacrifice For”

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“Sacrificing your happiness for the happiness of the one you love is by far the truest type of love.” 
 Selfsacrifice is giving up something you want or something you desire for the greater good or to help others. Sacrifices are typically called for when values conflict—two valuable things cannot both be had and one must be given up for the sake of the other.

For something to count as a case of self-sacrifice:

  • what is sacrificed must constitute, benefit, or matter to the self in some stronger sense than that for the sake of whom/which it is sacrificed; and,
  • the sacrifice must be made for the sake of someone or something else.

There is some intentional ambiguity in this definition, because ‘constitute,’ ‘benefit,’ and ‘matter to’ are three different possibilities. Something can be said to constitute someone if it is their self or is part of what is their self. A sacrifice is of something that constitutes the self if someone sacrifices their life, or, for instance, their memory, their limbs or organs, their dignity, their identity, their integrity, or their basic capacities. Something benefits someone if it is something that is in their narrowly understood self-interest to have or keep. For instance, someone who gives up an opportunity for a job interview, or their resources, or their physical comfort, is ordinarily understood to be sacrificing something beneficial to them as an individual. Something matters to someone if it is something that is important to them, something that they care about, that they value, or love, or are committed to. If people can have an obligation to make a certain self-sacrifice, they might be obligated to sacrifice something that matters to them; they might even be obligated to sacrifice that which is more important to them than anything else.

Living for other people is also known as being a people pleaser. This is the art of dedicating all of your time and commitment to everyone around you, but you. The art of making sure that all are fine, but yourself. Society has influenced us, generous people, to condition us to think that the signs of people pleasing are inevitable because we are kind.
Just because you are a nice person does not mean you have to put everyone before yourself. Being selfish with your energy does not take away from being a kind person.
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 Sacrifice for someone you love:-
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” Oscar Wilde
Love is full of compromises and sacrifices. The need for sacrifices and compromises is often mentioned in discussions of romantic relationships. … To sacrifice is to give up something precious in order to gain or maintain something, such as a valuable relationship or some other worthy cause.

The need for sacrifices and compromises as I said is often mentioned in discussions of romantic relationships. Are the two the same and if not, which of the two is most needed in romantic relationships?  Love is frequently described as involving sacrifices and resisting compromises. In reality, the situation is typically the opposite-relationships require fewer sacrifices and more compromises.

To compromise is to give up the pursuit of a better prospect in order not to risk an existing situation, even if it is perceived to be somewhat worse than the prospect that is relinquished. Although the prospect might be better and even considered feasible, the person decides not to pursue it.

The realm of sacrifice is in the actual realm; the realm of compromise is in the possible and imaginary realm. Sacrifice entails actual deeds and losses. One cannot sacrifice in one’s mind what one does not have in reality. Compromise typically entails inaction and possible losses, which are constantly reconsidered in our minds.

So, here are signs you live for everyone but yourself:

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You try so hard to make everyone around you happy:-

Your biggest worries are if you’ll offend or harm someone doing something that makes you happy and if you are currently doing right by everyone if your life. You constantly tiptoe around everyone you love because you don’t want to do anything to make them not love you or love you less.

The most weight you carry comes from the burden of trying to please everyone around you but yourself. You are not doing most of the things that would make you happy because friends or family members have expressed their feelings about it. You are scared you’ll lose people if you start to focus on yourself. You are scared that if you do something that you have always wanted to do, you won’t be loved.

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You get so upset if you aren’t able to make someone happy:-

Not like “upset” but you really can’t let the fact that you might’ve hurt someone goes. Now you are having to go out of your way to remind them that you aren’t a bad person and you hope they can forgive you. There is nothing more disappointing than feeling like you’ve unintentionally hurt someone. You somehow find the ability to blame yourself but you forget that their happiness is out of your control.

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You say sorry for literally everything:-

Apologizing for everything, even for saying sorry so much, is probably your biggest downfall. In actuality, your apologetic comments are telling others that you are sorry for being who you are. You say sorry so much because you don’t know any other way that could show them how you feel about yourself without making the situation uncomfortable.

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Your decisions revolve around everyone but you:-

This is a bit more obvious, but it still happens all the time. You stop doing, saying, or feeling certain ways around the people you love because they have brought it to your attention that it makes them uncomfortable. You cancel plans to fit in other people’s schedules into yours.

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You always feel like a terrible person for saying “no”:-

And here it is. The one word that you are most afraid to say because again, you want everyone but yourself to be happy.

You don’t want to leave your room but your friend asked you to go out to dinner and you can’t say no. You love to grocery shop alone but your roommate asks if she/he can come with and you can’t say no. You want to study in the library alone but your friend wants to be with you studying and you can’t say no.

Although you can’t say no, you sacrifice the wanting to be comfortable and at ease for the benefit of others. Saying no would have made you happy and would have felt much better but because you sacrifice your happiness for others, you just can’t say it.

None of these 5 things will ever take away from you being a generous person. It is the time that you stop living for others and start living for yourself. Stop apologizing for being who you are, for being honest, and for being vulnerable.

You are who you are, and the only thing that should make you worry about that is the people you keep in your life that make you feel like you have to apologize for who you are. At some point, you are going to have to realize that it’s easier to make yourself happy rather than everyone around you.

”Being Generous Enhances Happiness”

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”Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people”.

Dennis Prager

It’s important that what thoughts you are feeding into your mind because your thoughts create your belief and experiences. You have positive thoughts and you have negative ones too. Nurture your mind with positive thoughts: kindness, empathy, compassion, peace, love, joy, humility,generosity, etc.

Once one’s physiological needs such as breathing, water, food, etc. and the feeling of security and safety are met, a person needs to feel love and belonging in order to grow. I think this is much because of the drive love gives us in order to reach the next levels of esteem and then to be content with our lives.

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Given the importance of the need to be loved, it isn’t surprising that most of us believe that a significant determinant of our happiness is whether we feel loved and cared for. people rate “having healthy relationships” as one of their top goals—on par with the goal of “leading a happy and fulfilling life.”

In our pursuit of the need to be loved, however, most of us fail to recognize that we have a parallel need: the need to love and care for others. This desire, it turns out, is just as strong as the need to be loved and nurtured. It is the desire to love and take care of others that underlies the phenomenon of “cute aggression(link is external).” Cute aggression refers to the tendency to pinch, hug, or otherwise express love for others—particularly cute babies, kittens or puppies—in ways that mildly hurt or cause discomfort for the object of our affection.

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We know that the desire to love and care for others is a hard-wired and deep-seated because fulfillment of this desire enhances our happiness levels. In other words, expressing love or compassion for others benefits not just the recipient of affection, but also its perpetrator.

And what’s more, it appears that even small acts of kindness generate just as much happiness as do lofty acts. If the need to love is hardwired and universal and is also a powerful determinant of happiness, how come many of us aren’t aware of it? Why, for example, don’t we respond to the question, “What would make you most happy?” with “serving others” of “showering love on someone” than with “money” or “being loved”?

The answer, in my opinion, has to do with the messages to which we are routinely exposed from our care-takers and the media. These messages suggest to us that our happiness lies in being the recipient of others’ attention, love, and respect, rather than in being the donors of attention, love, and respect. For example, most of us are explicitly or implicitly told that happiness lies in achieving self-enhancing goals such as career success, wealth, fame, or power. The need to love and care for others, in contrast, is rarely emphasized, except perhaps in the arts.

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Knowing all this, what should a happiness maximizer do?

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In my opinion, the happiness maximizer would be well advised to follow the Dalai Lama’s dictum: Be Selfish—Be Generous

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There are at least three reasons why those who practice generosity experience a boost in happiness levels. First, because people have an inherent propensity to be fair to others, recipients of generosity feel pressured to reciprocate it. Thus, when you are generous to others, you attract generous behaviors from them in return. In other words, what goes around, comes around. Second, in a phenomenon known as homophily, when you are generous, chances are, you will attract others who are similarly generous to you. And hanging out with generous and compassionate people is, for obvious reasons, more happiness-enhancing than is hanging out with self-centered and materialistic people.

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Finally–and this may be the most important reason why being generous enhances happiness levels–is because of the story you tell yourself. When you are generous, the story you tell yourself is that you have everything you need and more, which is why you can afford to be generous. In contrast, when you are miserly and greedy with your affection, the story you tell yourself is that you are a beggar who is dissatisfied with what you have and that you need more to be happy.

A well-kept secret to happiness, then, is to practice generosity. To derive a boost in happiness levels through generosity, however, it is not enough to recognize the link between the need to love and happiness; it is important to explicitly exhibit generosity—or “giftivism,”

”Bring Back Peace And Harmony In Life”

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness, the Astonishing Light of your own being.”
~ Hafiz

If you are anything like, say, human, you will have a fun time controlling those crazy wacky thoughts as you seek to live in harmony and find your way to inner peace.

Wait, what? You are not on your way to inner peace?

Then where exactly are you headed my dear? There is nothing — nothing — worth having in this world without peace … and there is everything to be had in the presence of true inner peace.

So whatever lofty, or not-so-lofty, goals you may have for yourself, whoever you may be from a peasant to a king, from a hard worker bee to the richest person in town, peace is the ultimate treasure bank. With peace, you are king (or queen), you are rich beyond your imagination.

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So yes, peace is a big deal. It is what our hearts truly yearn for.

Now back to the thoughts that steal, rob, shake and destroy this inner peace every time you seek the darn thing.

The thoughts that insist on bringing you down with “logic” and “rational reasons”.

You know these thoughts, the ones that you are so anxious to speak that you can’t wait for someone to ask “So how is it going?”. You can’t wait to utter them so you can hear yourself rationalize all the things that are going wrong, so very wrong in your life.

Thoughts that may sound like this:

”You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”

My life is so unfair.
I can’t believe my website crashed AGAIN!
My spouse gave me the look again even after I cleaned up the kitchen!
My friends don’t care about me, it’s obvious from the way they act.
I am fat, ugly and on top of that, getting old.

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Or the ultimate one:
Positive thinking and this new age nonsense is really annoying and totally out of sync with reality.

Such compelling evidence that we should really give in to the thoughts, stop arguing and agree that yes, life is hard, and for most of us, quite unfair, and well, let’s face it, positive thinking has never cured anyone of their illness or of their misery or of their debt. Has it?

Actually, it has.

The power of positive thinking has been proven not just in the ‘New Age stuff’ that you come across every day, but in science. It has been proven that the mind is powerful in ways that are known to man and unknown to man. It is still a mystery that we are unravelling but not one single educated medically-trained expert can deny the power that your thoughts exert on your life.

That power can go either way. In a good way or straight to hell.

If you are not careful, you create a hell inside your head. A prison with walls that are so thick and so dark you can’t ever crawl your way out, even if reality puts you in a mansion, in a palace, in a paradise on earth.

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If you have no peace, you have nothing.

Until you begin to see the light inside yourself. Until you really understand what Persian poet Hafiz was talking about:

If you want to be happy, you need to be able to live in harmony with yourself first before you can be happy with anything or anyone else.

You are your own foundation.
You are your own pillar.
You are your own strength, your own power, and you could choose to build it all or trample all over it with your muddy boots.

I say let’s build it.

No matter what has happened until now in your life, even if you have hit your rock bottom – which incidentally so have all super successful people – you can begin again, today, right now.

How do I know it’s not too late for you?
Because you are still here, a living breathing machine with a perfectly good instrument – your body, your mind, your heart – and with time left to do wonderful things still.

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In short: You can’t ever again forget that you need to be in harmony and peace with yourself first before serving the world. Or being of much use to anyone else, really.