Monday, 28 May 2012

The Courage To Change - How You Can Have the Life You Want

I found this article written by Dayna Wallace, a business woman who started living the life of operating her own home-based business after losing her job and deciding she never wanted to have that experience again.  Like me, she is an avid fan of Bob Proctor and here’s what she has to say about the courage to change.

 “I just got done reading an article by Bob Proctor with the same title "The Courage to Change" and it inspired me to write a post copying his title. The article focused on how one person  changed from doing what she spent over two decades building up to doing what truly made her happy.  How did she make the change? It started with asking herself:

“What do you really want?

“What is it you really want to do with your life?

“It has been my long time observation that most people have no clue how to answer this question because it's not something we routinely think about in life. In reality we spend more time thinking about the obstacles than we do opportunities. Why, because often we feel what we're doing is the best we can get. We have told ourselves we don't have permission to DREAM.

“Why am I so confident about this? Because the day I lost my job almost two years ago turned out to be the BEST day of my life. It took me going through that horrible experience to make up my mind about not working for anyone else even though I had NO IDEA how I was going generate an income. Today I run my business from home and continue to embark on numerous opportunities for making money. Having nothing made me start looking for opportunities that I would never have allowed myself to truly look for before. I want to challenge you to start looking now.

“So my challenge for you with today's post is to ask you "What do you REALLY want?" Not thinking about any limitations, not thinking about whether or not you can afford to do it. Not thinking about if you can do with the kids/husband or where you live. Just write a long list of things you would want to do if you were to go out with no limitations whatsoever, what would you be doing with your life? It may sound like a simple step and one that can't bring much effect, but it is in fact very powerful. This is the beginning of giving yourself permission to conceive that you can have the life of your dreams.

“But it doesn't end there, once you create your list start looking for ways you can start doing some of those things on the list. You will be surprised just how many opportunities are available to you to start living the life you really desire. And don't think you have to throw in the towel in one go, you can start doing many things on a part-time basis that allow to build your way towards a full-time change. I promise you will find that most likely you are not the only one with some of the desires on your list and you will find someone who has done the same thing before that you can copy their success and apply to your own life”.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

She Dreamed A Dream

It was in 2009 that an unemployed 47-year-old woman from a village in Scotland walked on to a stage because she had a dream – a dream to become a professional singer.

Her appearance was unimpressive and when asked why she had not already succeeded, she said that it was because nobody had given her a chance. 

 As she told her story it was evident that many people in that theatre had already pre-judged her to be a failure.  However, within seconds of beginning her performance she had the judges and the audience spellbound. 
Even if you have seen her before, do watch her again – more than 47 million people worldwide have already done so.  She provides clear proof that we all have it within ourselves to succeed in pursuit of our dreams.

But we can’t simply wait around for somebody to find us and give us a chance – we have to go after it proactively as Susan Boyle did.  The rest is now history.

I hope this will give you some of the same inspiration that it continues to give me. 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Do You Know What Determines Your Happiness?

In my talks and workshops, inevitably there is a point when I have to pause while people absorb a particularly surprising fact from the research on happiness. What do people find so shocking? It's discovering what determines our happiness (and it's not buying new shoes).

Researchers have shown that 50% of our happiness is based on our genes. The random set of genes you received from your biological parents defines your overall range of happiness. Some of us won the genetic lottery, are blessed with sunny dispositions and naturally see the good in life. Others of us have a tendency towards pessimism and glass-is-half-empty thinking. Some scientists describe this as a basic happiness "set point."

However, here's the shocker: Only 10% of our happiness comes from external circumstances. Your financial resources, your career, the climate where you live, your health, whether you have a life partner, how hot you look - all these things determine just 10% of your ongoing level of happiness. (Think about how upset this fact makes marketers trying to get us to buy our way into happiness!) Why? It's due to adaptation. No matter what good things or bad things happen to you - a promotion at work, a new car, getting married to the love of your life - you adapt and after a time (often not very long) it no longer carries much emotional benefit. Think about the last time you worked hard to accomplish something or bought something you really wanted. How long did the buzz last? How long before those positive emotions were replaced with the desire for the next thing?

In one well-documented study, researchers found that both lottery winners and people who had become paraplegic returned to their original baseline level of happiness within one year of their life-changing event. Striving to achieve and acquire, while a fine way to spend your time, is not a path to sustainable increases in happiness.

So guess what? That remaining 40% of our happiness comes from our intentional activity: what we do and how we think. Forty percent of our happiness is therefore in our control. Researchers have been actively testing what activities and thought patterns add to our happiness and which ones reduce it. Study after study has shown that as people integrate these activities into their lives and make new habits, they sustainably increase their happiness.

Change is possible. We can sustainably increase our own happiness and many of these new habits and activities take just a few minutes a day.

Author: Eric Karpinski

Monday, 7 May 2012

Hope, Faith and Courage

It may be a very short message, but behind it there's a world of meaning about the real path to a better and happier life

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Source of Happiness

We all want to be happy. Few would disagree. However, the question is, what is the source of happiness? We've been socialized to believe it has to do with: money, possessions, status, power, talent, beauty, achievement, the "right" partner, 0ther people doing what we want, etc.

For example, we hold a belief that people who have more money are happier than those who have less. People who live in a big house, achieve more, or take more vacations are happier than those who do not. We are driven by an implicit belief, in our society today, that "more is better."

Even if we don't compare ourselves to others, we often times live from this belief within our own lives. I remember my last year of graduate school. I was earning no more than $500 per month and yearned to graduate so I could make decent money. Then I'd be happy. Before long it happened. We moved from Minnesota to Ft. Collins, Colorado and in a matter of a few weeks I was bringing in a couple thousand a month. Wow, that was cool. But I looked around and realized that my business partner and other professionals were doing much better. My goal became $3000. That's all I'd need. I'd never ask for anything more. That would enable us to get into a house and then I'd really be happy. It wasn't long. We got into a house. Soon my goal became $4000, then $5000, then six figures. Then we could get into a nicer house and really have it made. You get the point.

Same with a car. My first car was a 1967 Plymouth Fury that I bought from my grandfather for a few dollars. I thought I was hot stuff, until I saw a friend driving a Firebird. I needed a better car. Then it became an even better car, a Mercedes. Then a BMW... (which I never have owned). But you get the point. The excitement always lasted for a time and then would wear off and I'd be looking around for the next "thing" or experience to make me happy.

Of course, I need to say that there is nothing wrong with having aspirations and seeking success. As a matter of fact, it is how we learn and eventually achieve mastery in our lives. The problem occurs when we believe these symbols are synonymous with happiness. At some point, many people come to the realization that external success does not automatically lead to happiness, high self-esteem, and fulfillment (internal measures of success).

In fact, if we make externals our primary measures or source of happiness we find ourselves in a world in which we're never satisfied. No matter how much we have, achieve, or accomplish we sense that something is missing. We are living from a scarcity mentality, always comparing our lot in life to others and forever aware of what we lack rather than appreciating the blessings and goodness of life.

In order to be happy it is not necessary to give up wealth, status, recreation, etc. However, it is necessary to give up the belief that these are the primary source of satisfaction in life. As long as our lives are set up on the premise that these will bring happiness, we've given up responsibility for the quality of our lives to what is without rather than what is within. As Eric Hoffer said, "You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy."

So, what is the source of your happiness?

Author: Roger K Allen, PhD