Get Happy!

Tough week in New England last week.  Tragedy, more tragedy, heroes, spirit, amazing people, justice and now hopefully answers to our questions.  Stress levels way up for everyone.  So today I thought I would share with you some happiness.

Being happy may just be the single most important thing you can do for your health, making it just as important as diet and physical activity. If you aren’t feeling like yourself lately, not to worry. Knowing that times are stressful and the unexpected often occurs, here are ways to help you get back to happiness almost instantly.

Today’s blog is a reprint from the following original article. http://www.fitsugar.com/Ways-Get-Happy-29731619

Thank you FitSugar.

  1. Play a game (not on your phone): Get your family together, invite some friends over, and have a game night. Not only will you be surrounded by good company, friendly competition usually guarantees a good time and a good laugh.
  2. Smile: When in doubt, smile! Not only is it contagious, smiling helps relieve stress, boost your mood, and release endorphins.
  3. Go for a walk: If something isn’t going well at work or home, step outside and take a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, but a quick stroll will help you get fresh air and clear your mind.
  4. Call a friend: Don’t text, dial! Calling a close friend is a great way to talk over your worries and get advice from someone you trust.
  5. Try something new: Stop your rut by switching things up. Try a new gym class, restaurant, or take a new route to work in the morning.
  6. Unplug: Flying shouldn’t be the only time you unplug. Calm your mind by turning off your tech and escaping social media for a minute or two.
  7. Sing (out loud!): We give you permission to sing in the shower, car, anywhere. We promise you’ll feel better — with or without a record deal.
  8. Volunteer: Nothing beats the feeling of helping others. Make a difference and meet a few friends in the process by checking out VolunteerMatch.
  9. Make a gratitude list: It’s often easy to focus on the negative or those things you don’t have. Quickly boost your mood by jotting down the things you are grateful for, both big and small.
  10. Eat up: Start cooking those fava beans, they make you happy! Since this bean contains high concentrations of an amino acid known as L-dopa (dopamine), it will boost your mood and decrease depression.
  11. Practice yoga: Even the celebrities know there are several health benefits of yoga. See for yourself by watching this 10-minute yoga series for happiness or finding a studio to begin your own practice.
  12. Take time off: Maybe you just need a break. Rather than planning a vacation, take the time to adventure around your local neighborhood. Visiting new spots may be just what you need to reset and appreciate what’s around you.
  13. Take charge: Go for it! Instead of getting bogged downed by the big picture, take a small step in the right direction, now. Just knowing that you’re heading in the direction of your dreams will make you happy.
  14. Have fun in the kitchen: Even if you’re not a cook, take your mind off things by exploring new ingredients or trying a new recipe. If you don’t know where to start, browse our healthy recipes.
  15. Meditate: Meditation is a great way to unwind and strengthen the relationship between your mind and body. These tips will help you start a meditation practice, without costing a dime.
  16. Give a compliment: Kick-start a smile with another person and a few genuine words.
  17. De-clutter: For a clean slate, get organized. Getting rid of the clutter and rearranging your space will make it feel new. It is also a great starting point to move forward with future projects.
  18. Stay in the moment: Rather than trying to micromanage the future or worrying about the past, live in the moment and just be.
  19. Rest up: If you’re having a hard time getting your mind off things, reset with a power nap. A short break will give your mind and body a rest and will help you approach things differently when you wake.
  20. Know it’s going to be OK: Just remember, it’s always going to be OK.
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Who Are You?

My friend Elizabeth found the following wisdom and suggested that I share it with you.  You will notice a very common them from last week’s Comfortably Numb http://wp.me/p1WXuM-ut  blog focused on doing the best you can do regardless of the mediocrity and excuses around you.  This is a re-post of some additional recommendations on getting you to focus on success.  Original article can be found at:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130328120321-36052017-be-a-hero-five-steps-to-vanquish-any-problem?ref=email

1. No problem — Take the challenge

There is no such thing as a problem. What you call “a problem” is not a thing independent of you, but a situation you don´t like. It is “a problem for you.” To deal with it more effectively, put yourself in the picture. Think of it as your challenge. Take the difficulty as an opportunity to show your true colors.

I often catch myself saying, “the real problem is…” followed by the thought, “…that you don´t agree with me!” Equally often, my counterpart argues that “the real problem is…” that I don´t agree with him. Unless we recognize and give up these bad stories, we will each push hard to overcome the other. Push versus push equals stuck: a very expensive stalemate where we both spend tremendous energy for no result.

2. Drop “Who’s responsible?” – Be response-able

You didn’t do it. So what? You are suffering from it. People and things are out of control. It is tempting to blame them and play the part of the innocent victim. Don’t. The price of innocence is impotence. That which you blame you empower. Become the hero of the story; focus on what you can do to respond to your challenge.

The inspiring question is not, “why is this happening to me!” but “what is the best I can do when this happens?”

I once coached a financial services executive who would always blame external factors: regulation, competition, the economy, his employees, his boss, his peers. All these forces did impinge on his goals. It was the truth, but not the whole truth. The truth that he refused to accept, the one that blocked his growth, was that he was able to respond to these forces. (See the coaching questions I use, here.)

3. Forget what you don´t want – Focus on what you want.

Consider an issue that troubles you. What would you like to have happen? I ask this every time I coach. Infallibly, I learn what my client would like to not have happen anymore. This is a bad end for a hero´s journey. Avoiding what you don´t want will take your energy away from achieving what you do want.

Your brain doesn’t compute “no”. What you try to avoid you unconsciously create. If you don´t believe this, try to not think of a white bear right now and notice where your mind goes. Define a positive outcome precisely. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?” and visualize it in as much detail as you can. This will force you to put some flesh on the conceptual bones. Furthermore, ask yourself, “How would I know that I got what I wanted? What would I see? What would I feel?” In this way you will be sure that your vision has observable standards by which to measure success.

4. Take one eye off the ball – Go for the gold.

It’s not about hitting the ball; it’s about winning the game. Set your mind on what you are ultimately trying to achieve. Build a chain from means to ends, taking you from getting the job, to advancing your career, to feeling professionally fulfilled, to being happy. The ultimate goal and measure of success is happiness.

“What would you get, if you achieved X, which is even more important to you than X?” Ask yourself this question and discover that you never ask for what you really want—and neither does anybody else. We all ask for what we think is going to give us what we really want. Have you ever bought set of golf clubs hoping they would make you play better? And what would you get, if you played better, which is even more important to you than playing better?

5. Failure is not an option – Succeed beyond success.

Commit fully to achieve what you really want. Know that you deserve it and give it your best. This will make you more likely to get it. Success, however, is not the most important thing. To be a hero, pursue your goal ethically, as an expression of your highest values. Success may give you pleasure, but integrity leads to happiness.

Have a great day!

Webman

What I Like About You

Reprinted from http://www.marcandangel.com/ No reason for me to form my own opinion on this topic.  They already captured it. Because everything in life worth having is worth fighting for…

1.  Personal greatness.

Easy goals don’t exist.  A goal is a point of achievement that requires effort and sacrifice.  There are no esteemed ventures worth participating in that don’t require some level of effort and struggle.

Decades from now when you’re resting on your deathbed, you will not remember the days that were easy, you will cherish the moments when you rose above your difficulties and conquered goals of magnitude.  You will dream of the strength you found within yourself that allowed you to achieve what once seemed impossible.

Don’t do what’s easy, do what you’re capable of.  Astound yourself with your own greatness.

2.  Honesty and truth.

Personal transformation and growth can be remarkably rewarding, but only when the process of change is based on honesty and truth.  When you’re not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life, any attempt at transformation eventually leads to anger and frustration.  The truth always creeps back up on you; it does not cease to exist when you ignore it.

Being fake about any aspect of your existence slowly digs a dark void in your soul.  Life will simply not work for you if you don’t show up as YOU.  The truth may not be easy to deal with, but it will always set you free in the end.  Read The Four Agreements.

3.  A mind free of envy and jealously.

Envy and jealousy are costly diseases; you simply can’t be yourself within their confines.  When you give in to them, the price you pay is steep – a bad mood, an unproductive mind, an inferiority complex, and a chronic migraine headache.

Being envious of what someone else has is like drinking poison and waiting for it to somehow improve your situation.  Likewise, tearing someone else down in your jealous mind only tears you down in real life.  Rather than devastating yourself with contemplations of things you don’t have or don’t want to happen, think for a second about what you do have, what you do want going forward, and what you can do right now to make progress with realities you face.

4.  Positive change.

When you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in, the prospect of making any change at all can be very appealing.  Yet, unfocused change for the sake of change won’t necessarily bring you forward.  When you use your time and energy to make a change, be sure it’s a change that will not only move you away from where you are, but will also move you to a better place.

Realizing that you need to make a change can be a great source of motivation, but in order for this motivation to create positive change, you must apply it toward creating things of value.  Don’t fight against what you don’t want; create what you do want.  Don’t punish those who have caused you pain; let go and focus on something new that soothes your pain.  Don’t focus on what you are running away from; give your attention to the great things you want to create in your life.

5.   A willingness to learn from mistakes.

One mistake does not have to rule your entire life, and it can’t unless you let it.  This hour is a brand new hour with no faults in it yet.  Think about your mistakes and learn from them, but don’t attempt to carry their weight around with you.

The road to success is littered with mistakes.  Avoiding them is impossible.  The thing that will ultimately define your success or failure will not be how many mistakes you make, but how you handle them all.  The bottom line is that all mistakes die quickly, but you can’t live beyond what you know today if you aren’t willing to make mistakes and forgive yourself for them.  

6.  Persistence and patience.

Before you give up, think about how unfortunate it would be if the results you have worked to achieve required just a tiny dose of additional effort.  How disheartening would it be if the train you’ve been waiting for arrived five minutes after you walked out of the station?  Not only does success require diligent effort, it requires persistence and patience.

Rest when you are tired, but don’t quit.  You never know what’s just around the corner.  It could be everything you’ve been working for, or it might be just another mile marker on your journey.  Either way, when you keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day the next step you take will be the one that carries you to your goal.

7.  True love.

There is no soul mate out there who will solve all your problems.  There is no love at first sight that lasts without work and commitment.  But there is someone out there worth fighting for.  Not because they’re perfect, but because they’re imperfect in all the ways that are right for you.  You compliment each other’s flaws in a way that allows your two spirits to unite and operate more efficiently as one.

8.  Goodwill.

There is no greatness or peace of mind where there is betrayal of your own goodwill.  Always aim at complete sincerity of your thoughts, words and deeds.  If it is wrong, don’t do it.  If it is untrue, don’t repeat it.

Do what you do because you believe it’s the right thing to do.  Do the right thing even when nobody is looking.  Be one of the people who make a true difference in the world by leaving it a little better and more wholesome than you found it.

Hello, Hello

You say “Yes“, I say “No”. You say “Stop” and I say “Go, go, go”. Oh no. You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say “Goodbye”, I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello. I say “High”, you say Low”. You say “Why?” And I say “I don’t know”. Oh no. You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say “Goodbye”, I say “Hello, hello, hello”. (Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye. Hello, goodbye.)

From the Beatles – Hello Goodbye

hello

So hello everyone.  Thank you for your patience.  I said a new blog was coming soon, but a long time has passed.  Well today is the day and I am thrilled to be back in the blog saddle.

The power of saying hello.  Such a simple thing to do, so why don’t more people do it?  Are you a person that says hello or just walks by?  Saying hello to a stranger on the street is one thing, but how about your co-workers?  How many times have you walked past a co-worker in the hall/corridor and said nothing, even if you know them?  How many times does this happen to you?  Do you wonder, why didn’t he/she say hello to me?  Did I do something?  Are they pissed at me or the world?  Do you even care? Do they even care?

While a simple gesture, like saying “hello” or “good morning” daily to your colleagues can help to reinforce a respectful (and friendly) workplace, there’s more to it than that. Taking the time to acknowledge and learn more about your co-workers is what turns a workplace into a community.

Saying hello makes people smile.  Sure we are all busy; sure we all have too much to do; but, whatever happened to common decency and respect?  You’re thinking about that impending due date or that e-mail message you probably shouldn’t have sent. You’re thinking, I have to go to another useless meeting. To accomplish daily goals and get where we’re trying to go, we feel that we have to block out the stimuli around us. We put on perceptual blinders to conserve mental energy, allowing us to focus on the task at hand.

But these blinders also leave us less aware of what’s happening around us. You’re less connected to other members of your community/workplace when you walk briskly down the hall, head down, lost in thought, thumbing through your iPhone or looking at your computer.

Whether or not we mean to, we send a message when we do this. While you know that you’re a friendly and welcoming person (Maybe you are not :)) who’s just temporarily busy, distracted or running late, passersby form less generous impressions. And, thus, a company full of personable and warm individuals inadvertently becomes less hospitable in the aggregate—particularly in the eyes of anyone who already had doubts regarding his or her own social/intellectual identity at work.

So this week, make sure to say hello. Say it to the casual acquaintance, the co-worker, even to a person that is sitting in a meeting that you do not know.  Walk straight up to them and say “Hello”. In those few minutes before your meeting starts, don’t use the time to fire off one last email; instead, make the minimal effort required to introduce yourself to the guy/girl next to you.

So Why Does Saying “Hello” Help?

1. It boosts our own self-esteem when we take the time to acknowledge others.
2. It esteems and values others when we recognize and acknowledge them.
3. It reinforces relationships and the willingness to help each other.
4. When coupled with a smile, a simple “hello” can’t help but put the greeter into a good mood.

Try It Today

Say “hello” (with a smile) to at least 3 people at your workplace and see what happens!

A little tuneage for you to start the week.

Webman

Are You Resolute?

Resolute – firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.

What percent of Americans make New Years resolutions? 45%

How many keep them? 8%

Are you resolute?  Did you make a New Years resolution?  How committed are you to change and success in 2013?  Going along with the flow?  Swaying with the bamboo?  Are you committed to your own personal success?

Time to grab a glove and get in the game!  Time to get noticed, have people sit up and say “Whoa, that was awesome!”

Well the ball is in your court! (Enough sports references already) 🙂

Came across this terrific infographic over the holidays.  Check it out. Who are you?

Success

Thank you to MaryEllen Tribby (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maryellen-tribby)/ for this awesome representation.  Take a good look at this and reflect now on what behaviors you practice everyday (Be honest with yourself).  We all know too many people that exhibit the behaviors of unsuccessful people.  Sometimes we emulate their behavior because we think it will help us get that promotion or the recognition, so why can’t we do the same thing right?  Wrong, so wrong.  Do not compromise who you are.  Be a leader.

Have integrity, do not compromise what is right and most of all do not exhibit the behaviors of unsuccessful people.  They do not work.  Look in the mirror.  Who are You?

And that of course reminds me of a song:

Happy New Year!

Webman

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

“Here is a little song I wrote – You might want to sing it note for note – Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble – When you worry you make it double – Don’t worry, be happy
Ain’t got no place to lay your head – Somebody came and took your bed – Don’t worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late – He may have to litigate – Don’t worry, be happy
Look at me I am happy – Don’t worry, be happy – Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me – I make you happy”  Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

Another one hit wonder 🙂

Are you happy?  Do you ever think about it?  What are the things that make you happy?  Your wife, husband, boy friend, girl friend, sports, your job, money, family, friends, weather, the ocean, traveling, yourself?  Doing the right things, helping people, being generous, allocating time for special causes?  There are so many things that can make us happy, but what is sustainable happiness?

Do you belief that if we just do the right thing, happiness will follow – that additional happiness will be doled out to us because we earned it?  Happiness is a consequence of the choices we make. So what can people do to increase their happiness? Their answer is surprisingly simple: spend your time wisely.

There has been little research on the relationship between the resource of time and happiness. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is another resource – money – that has been investigated much more thoroughly as a potential key to happiness. Yet, very little research corroborates the idea that more money leads to more happiness. Money can result in individuals being less likely to engage in behaviors linked to personal happiness, such as helping others, donating to charity, or socializing with friends and family.

Why might concentrating on time get us closer to our centuries-long search for happiness? One reason is because time spent doing something, especially when compared to owning something or spending money, is associated with personal meaning and evokes emotional memories. You might not recall how much money you had in your bank account when you were 20 years old, but most people remember their first kiss. Time also fosters interpersonal connections: the camaraderie that people get from attending a baseball game with friends, for example, would be more conducive to happiness than watching it alone in front of the television.

So here are the happiness headlines:

  • Spend time with the right people – People you love and admire
  • Spend time on the right activities – Do what you like
  • Enjoy experiences without spending time actually doing them – Just think and smile 🙂
  • Expand your time – Think about now and not then or when
  • Be aware that happiness changes over time – Younger = Excitement, Older = Feeling Peaceful

Can I get an Hallelujah?

Stop the madness.  Hang out with people you like/love and don’t work for anyone you do not like.  That sucks.  Life is way too short to tolerate idiocy, incompetency, insincerity and insecurity.

Have an awesome weekend!

Webman

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/onehitwonders/dontworrybehappylyrics.html

Growth – What is your Metric?

Most of us are focused on professional and personal success.  We set goals, we measure them, we track progress, we modify as required, we drop those that are no longer important and we add new ones based on changing times, conditions and experiences.  What are your metrics for growth?  How do you define growth and success?  What are you focused on?

If you have worked in the corporate world, your professional success in measured in the impact you make on the business, the ratings that you receive in your performance reviews, the raises that come with it, the occasional promotion, the relocation for the next opportunity, considering career moves to other companies to accelerate your growth curve, focusing on what is necessary to get three levels above where you are.  If you work for very competitive companies, it is an up or out mentality, and the under performers get left behind.  So you need to set different goals to make sure that you are competitive – go back to school, take on-line courses, find mentors, get more political, make sure you are standing out from the crowd, being different.

All of these areas are crucial for professional growth in a highly competitive company. Do these things well, kick ass and take names and you will benefit from increases in your income that provides you with the buying powers that you strive for.  You want income growth, you want to demonstrate your success to your peers, your family, your friends.  For those in the corporate world, do you remember the first time you went to your bosses home?  Impressive huh!  I want to live in a place like this.  Or how about when you hopped in their car for a team dinner and you found yourself sitting in that BMW you have been admiring but not yet in position to get,  Hmmmmm.  This is sweet, I need to get one of those.

So many of us really focus on growing our income as a primary measurement of growth and success.  We get that fine home, great car, make some money in the markets, take that fine vacation, send your kids to the best schools, join the country club, you know all of the status symbols that we hold in such high regard.  Hey, when you look good you feel good.

Of course there is a considerable downside to this measurement of growth.  What happens if you don’t get that raise or it is less than anticipated? What happens if you are impacted by a layoff?  What happens if your boss is a real jerk and you flip him or her off by mistake or just when you are bitching about them to a colleague, you turn around and they are standing being you?  Unfortunate, yes.  Just one event, just one disturbance in the force can impact your success.  So if you do not have a straight path to more income have you failed?  Are you still growing?  Are you any good?

But why do we primarily focus on one measure, financial, as a sign of growth? If I get a 10 percent raise next year but eat less healthy food, spend less time with close and extended community, or do more self-serving work, did I really grow? Just because the number is easy to measure, is that all that matters?

Here’s a few other ways to grow besides financial:

– Grow in giving/reduce taking
– Grow in caring for others
– Grow in ‘lifestyle habits’
– Grow in knowledge
– Grow in family/community
– Grow in balance/wisdom
– Grow in joy

What if, at the end of every year, we took stock of ALL of these measures, along with financial? Would that change behavior?

All of these ideas are tough to measure, but you know it when you have it and when you don’t. Conversely, focusing solely on financial growth is actually destructive in the long-run. In the macro, we build a transactional (rather than trust) mindset into the culture. In the micro, as our financial capabilities grow, so do our waistlines/stress levels, our debt averages, and our disconnection from our fellow man.

So what to do?  Here we have a reason to practice focusing on us. Over time, it may become easier to not react to such desires and really begin to act in a way that brings true growth. If that starts to happen in many people at once, you have the start of a movement away from constant, insatiable, unbalanced financial growth. And then! Who knows what will emerge? Start to think about your metrics of kindness, wisdom, health, fun and balance in addition to your financial growth metric.  Your view of life will change and you will be so much happier and better off without that stress 🙂  You can win everyday in so many other ways.

This blog was encouraged by the Daily Good.  www.dailygood.orgCheck it out.

Webman