Tag Archives: Happiness

The Half-Full Glass and Positive People

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Do you know a person who always seems happy and positive about themselves and life in general? They never seem to have a problem and seem to be able to deal with things in life with composure and grace. Do you wish you were more like them and able to deal with your life circumstances like they do?

These people have a way of seeing life as being the “half full glass” where even if things are going very wrong, they find something positive in it to focus on. This way of viewing life is natural for some people, but for the majority of people who use this approach to life, it is a learned response. It results from making an intention to look at the positive and not to dwell on the negative and then practicing doing this.

Sounds easy when it’s on paper, but in the reality of life, it’s usually not. How do people learn to focus on the half-full glass and not the half-empty one and remain positive? It’s not easy to be thankful when faced with difficult circumstances. However, practicing gratitude help us deal with all but the most difficult experiences we may face in our lives. It is the key to the optimism that we see in the positive person we admire so much.

When we complain all the time, we can quickly lose our perspective. Yes, the tradesperson may have taken hours to complete a job that another tradesperson may have completed in much less time, but before we complain at the bill, consider the work quality between the two. Maybe our concern is justified, but if the work produced is superior in quality, then maybe the extra time was justified?

Half glass full thinking seeks to clarify a situation before complaining about it. It asks whether a complaint will make the situation better or worse and if it will help to resolve the issue. In most cases, the answer to both these questions is no! On those occasions where it is justified, then we should do something about it. A clear perspective on the situation can help us to resolve an otherwise irresolvable problem. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude helps us maintain a positive perspective on most things that happen in our life. It helps to keep the glass half-full even in the most difficult of circumstances.

The Culture of Excess

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We live in a society of gadgets and gizmos, of toys and more toys, of things that evoke feelings of luxury, style and class. This is available to almost everyone, not just a privileged few. This is the 21st century.

No other time of the year is it more prevalent, conspicuous and aggressively promoted than during the Christmas season.

Thanks to advances in technology, the airwaves, the print and electronic media are flooded with advertisements that appeal to society in general, to people from all walks of life.

Open any newspaper or magazine and indulge yourself with endless advertisement, appealing, titillating and surely tempting. You can't miss it, it's almost in every page and glares you in the face.

Turn on the computer and you can access more goods and services at the click of a mouse. Add to this endless ads and banners.

The young generation is brought up in this era of consumerism. They are introduced to a high maintenance lifestyle at a very young age. Gone are the days when shopping for children was fun. A time when it did not take much to make their young hearts happy. Life was simpler.

Times have surely changed. The trappings of good life is no longer the sole domain of the wealthy. Comfort, travel, wheels, homes, luxury, name it, it is within the reach of anyone who is willing to pay the price. It is no longer just a dream.

This is just the beginning of the conspicuous consumption of our society. In the name of convenience, there are more and more gadgets for the home introduced faster than one can pay off existing debt. However, this is not a deterrent.

It is no longer a matter of meeting a need, the "want" list gets longer and longer. Each member of a family has their own want list.

Technology is wonderful; it allows man to take great strides, faster and more accurate than our forbears. Technology makes it possible for man to explore space, the depths of the ocean, the untrodden parts of this earth. Through technology, man has made incredible advances in science, communication and the medical field. Technology is if great benefit to mankind.

It is very much a part of our daily lives. There is a downside- man wants more of the convenience that comes with it. It fuels the imagination of both producers and consumers. It stimulates the need to want more. It encourages the desire to pamper oneself, and loved ones with more goods.

Having more than what they need promotes a sense of living the good life. For every season, for every occasion, the market offers boundless ideas and endless flow of material goods. Beware, quality is slipping down too fast, as production and advertisement are cranked up higher, some of the quality is compromised.

The convenience that technology offers is hard to ignore. How did we manage before, when most of the chores were done manually? Imagine the time spent to get anything done?

Take a look around the house, push a button to get laundry or the dishes done. Press another button to start the car before you open the door. Set a timer for your coffeemaker, for your lights to come on at a desired time, your radio to wake you up. Wouldn't you be lost without that remote control?

What about the other gadgets and tools for the handyman? Look at the other things around the house to make living more convenient and definitely add to that feeling of comfort and luxury.

There's more. Communication is revolutionized. Each member of the family has to be wired. Watch the ads, imagine the convenience of having extra gadgets for each family member just for so much a month. Add to this the paraphernalia that goes with it, some of which are good to have but not a necessity. But does it matter? It becomes a must have.

The quest for material goods is at excessive proportions. It hits the very core of a person. Some can only measure success relative to their material possessions. Some identify their self-worth with material acquisitions. The words status and prestige are medals they wear proudly. Rightly so, if it makes them happy.

How much of these goods are on credit? How many sleepless nights are spent doing endless calculations and adjustments? Is there room for a quiet time that
comes at no cost? Or do they experience that feeling of emptiness amid a comfortable surroundings?

Does this culture of excess spell happiness and peace?


The Easiest Way To Achieve Happiness

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People always think that what they want is money, relationship, material possessions, but what they truly want is happiness. Wealth, health and relationship are just the rewards of being happy. Happiness is a state of vibration that is in harmony with the universe. As you have already known, the same frequency vibrations tend to attract each other, so the vibration of happiness is going to attract more wealth, better relationship and better health, since these things is going to add more happiness to your life, and they are in the same vibration. If you go after money, you may not get it, if you go after happiness, money will flow to you. The same apply to relationship and health.

I believe the ultimate goal in life is to achieve a state of well being, or we can simply say happiness.

Is there an easier way to achieve happiness? The answer is Yes! and I am now going to show you how.

I had learned one phrase from Dr Wayne Dyer, and I would never forget. The phrase is " How may I serve?". Dr dyer said that before his seminars, he will always sit for mediation, and repeat the phrase as a mantra "How may I serve... How may I serve?". He never bring any notes with him, and when he speaks, the words just keep flowing to him. He knows exactly what to say, and what to teach. Dr Wayne Dyer is one of my best role model. He has achieved great success in almost every ear of his life. I believe the one single most important element to Dr Wayne Dyer's success is this mantra "How may I serve?"

Ask yourself now "How may I serve?". This is the key to ultimate happiness and fulfillment in life. I would like to share some of my own experience.

The most enjoyable things in my life at this stage is writing articles that can makes a difference in the quality of people's life. Whenever I finish writing an article, I feel the positive energy all over my body. I sometime get puzzled myself, where does this information come from? How do I write so many articles, having thousands of people read my articles every week? I finally realized the secret is within this phrase "How may I serve?".

Every time when I write a article for my newsletter, I sit in front of my computer, and ask myself "How may I serve, How may I serve?". Strangely, the ideas will come, and I put my fingers on the keyboards, then words just starts following.

I didn't understand how this process works, until one day I realized that the information does not come from me, it comes from God (or the Higher Intelligence), I am only an channel for the information to flow. I am a channel that God has created to serve the world. Because that is what I am here for, so when I am serving, I feel positive energy, and I feel happy.

I have learned that my life purpose is to serve, and I think this is applicable to everyone. This is what God wants me to learn, this is also what God wants you to learn. You will only truly feel fulfilled once you realize this truth. "Your life purpose is to serve" I am sure you have heard of that "If you seek happiness for yourself, it will always elude you, if you seek happiness for others, you will find it for yourself." I know this is why every time I finish an article, I feel so happy, because I know that my article is going to benefits thousands of people, and It is going to change the world to some extend. Maybe 90% of people will not take any action after they read my article, this is nature of human being., but I know as long as they read, their awareness is expanded, and they will see the difference in the long run. For that less than 10% of people who do take actions, I know my words are going to change their lives for the better. What a great thing I am doing! I am proud of it. I am feeling so happy about it.

So start from today, find ways to help other people . Find some way to serve. You will get addicted to it, because it is so enjoyable to help. Your help is going to change people's lives.

I often receive emails from my subscribers asking me for help. You can imagine how happy I am after I answer their questions? I know that this person's life is going to change for the better just because of my words. How wonderful that is!

Here is an secret I want you to know...

The person who benefits the most is not the one you give service to, but yourself. You may find it sounds strange, but this is true, and it is governed by the universal law of cause and effect. Anything you cause others to experience will come back to you, and multiplied. If you cause others to experience love, you will find more love in your life; If you cause others to have wealth, you will have more in your own life; if you cause others to succeed, you are guaranteed to succeed. This is the law of the universe, and it never fails.

So, whatever you want to experience in your life, cause others to experience first. This is the most powerful ways to attain your own desires, and the easiest way to achieve happiness

Tend To Your Own Happiness

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Many of us wish for more happiness. We want to lead happier, more fulfilling, lives, but the sad truth is that so many of us that wish for more happiness spend much more time tending the happiness of others than we do tending to our own happiness.

Happiness does not simply happen. A person does not suddenly stumble across happiness. Happiness is the result of careful tending and a person who wishes to be happy must tend to their own happiness.

Tending to your happiness does not need to be difficult, complex, or time-consuming. It can be as simple as this four-step formula:

1. Trash your unhappy thoughts and trends
2. Envision yourself happy
3. Needs fulfilled
4. Desires fulfilled

Making yourself a happier person really can be that simple.

Step one is an important one because unhappiness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many people are unhappy because they don't believe they deserve to be happy and they lock themselves into patterns of behavior that make them unhappy. You must trash your unhappy thoughts and trends.

Look inside yourself and find out what (and when) you think about things that make you unhappy. Is there a specific time of day that you tend to be more unhappy? Is there a specific task or routine that seems to feed your unhappiness? Is there something that you do or think that contributes to your own unhappiness?

Once you identify the areas of your life that cause you unhappiness you can find ways to confront it and combat it. Sometimes you can make a change to avoid the trouble spot altogether, but when that's not possible find ways to make it less difficult on yourself. Adjust your schedule or your expectations if that will make things better. Recruit help when you can. Just easing off one task or freeing up a few hours can make a huge difference in your attitude. When all else fails and you can't change or share something unpleasant than don't hesitate to give yourself a reward for accomplishing it. Knowing you will be rewarded can sometimes make difficult tasks more palatable.

Step two is key. Some people have been unhappy for so long they have forgotten what happiness looks like and feels like. Envisioning yourself happy can help create the happiness habit. Thinking about your own happiness will also help counterbalance times when you are unhappy or working through unpleasant tasks. Think about difficult times as simply stepping stones to happy times.

Step three cannot be overlooked. If your basic needs for food and sleep are not met then you will not be able to focus on happiness. Obviously it is not impossible for hungry, sleep-deprived people to be happy, but most humans are a lot less likely to be happy in that state. Food and sleep provide fuel for both body and mind and the healthier your body and mind then the better chance you have to achieve happiness.

Step four is the final step to achieving happiness. What do you desire? What do you wish for? What do you dream about? Allow yourself to dream big but don't overlook small wishes and desires. While a two-week cruise might be great just having a weekend at a local resort might really give the rest, relaxation and escape you might need. Or perhaps you'd really like to lose 30 or 50 pounds but finding a way to work in some exercise a few times a week might give you more immediate gratification while eventually accomplishing your long-term goal.

Make a list of your desires, wishes, and dreams -- big and small -- and keep that list some place handy. What can you do this week to achieve a small goal? What can you do this month to take a step toward a big goal? Sometimes you don't even need to accomplish your goals to achieve happiness. Sometimes it is simply enough to know that you are working toward your dreams. Often happiness is found on the path to our dreams. Often happiness is created while we strive to make our wishes come true.

You can make yourself a happier person but you must tend to your happiness. So often we spend more time tending to our outer possessions than we do tending to our inner ones. You can make a few changes to your life to find a better balance and that will help create more personal happiness for you.

The Good Life

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I was listening to the MSNBC on the radio the other day when a feature came on entitled, 'The Good Life'. They proceeded to discuss a $14,000 dessert being offered in Sri Lanka that included, amongst other things, an aquamarine. No kidding. This is how MSNBC characterizes the good life. It struck me how in our culture we define the good life more in terms of the consumption of material goods than in relationship to any other quality.

Simply listen to the vast majority of contemporary music on the airwaves these days for confirmation. I have two teenagers in my house so I know all too well: Cristal champagne, expensive cars, first class jet airline seats, bling…the list goes on and on. This is what our kids are being taught: the good life is about having things, not about who you are as a human being. Where are these values coming from? I believe it is a trickle down effect from what they see being honored in our society.

So if the good life is about having things, how is it that so many people who have so many things have lives that lack so much satisfaction and meaning? I am not saying that having money is not a good thing, quite the contrary. We all need financial security. We need to know that we can provide for our families and be free of the pressure of struggling to make ends meet. We all want to live a comfortable life. But where is the point of no return?

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted" - (attributed to Albert Einstein)

The Worldwide Institute in its 2004 State of the World report explains:

Societies focused on well being involved more interaction with family, friends, and neighbors, a more direct experience of nature, and more attention to finding fulfillment and creative expression than in accumulating goods. They emphasize lifestyles that avoid abusing your own health, other people, or the natural world. In short, they yield a deeper sense of satisfaction with life than many people report experiencing today.

What provides for a satisfying life? In recent years, psychologists studying measures of life satisfaction have largely confirmed the old adage that money can't buy happiness-at least not for people who are already affluent. The disconnection between money and happiness in wealthy countries is perhaps most clearly illustrated when growth in income in industrial countries is plotted against levels of happiness. In the United States, for example, the average person's income more than doubled between 1957 and 2002, yet the share of people reporting themselves to be "very happy" over that period remained static.

So if growth in income has not made people happier than obviously they are not living the good life. In order to clarify what the good life is, I do an exercise with clients that involves seeing themselves at some distant point in the future where they are finally who they want to be, they have what they want to have and are deeply satisfied and happy. In other words, they have achieved the 'Good Life'.

Nearly one hundred percent of the time, without fail, clients do not have visions of extreme wealth. They really don't talk about wealth at all, at least not in terms of money or possessions. They do not talk about living in a house with every known convenience and luxury. They do talk about a home located in a beautiful setting, perhaps by the ocean or on a lake in the mountains. There is always talk about a place that gives them a feeling of peace and serenity…a place they were meant to be.

They never discuss possessions…ever. No talk of cars, televisions or fancy clothes. It just never comes up. They may mention that they are free to travel but certainly they do not say first class.

They describe themselves as a person who no longer fights feelings of depression, dissatisfaction or dissonance in their lives. They speak of a feeling of acceptance of what is. There is love in their lives although they don't necessarily mention a specific mate. Just love. There is discussion of deep wisdom accumulated over the years. There is also talk of being surrounded by the people who they hold dear.

Often, if they have children, they will say that they are happy that they have been able to help their kids but more often is the description of children who have grown into responsible, loving and fulfilled human beings. They describe with pride children who are contributors to the world. I hear about pets in the house and perhaps grandchildren. These are folks who have discovered what truly has meaning for them and what they really value.

"Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values."
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

Values. What are the things to which you attach value? What is important to you? If you had to create a list of the top five things that you value, what would they be? Would it be money, possessions, power, stature and authority? Would it be love, family, integrity, freedom and compassion? Or a combination?

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

We have all heard the adage about what the epitaph on our tombstone will say or not say. Will it say that she had a powerful job, she flew first class, that she had a Mercedes-Benz and wore only couture? More often you will read on a tombstone that she was a loving Mother and Wife, a charitable person and an outstanding member of the community. Think about how you would like to be remembered? What would you like to hear people say about you at your funeral or memorial? Will it be on how much money you made or how much you consumed? Doubtful.

I remember the funeral of a very dear friend who died suddenly while he was still in his fifties. The Rabbi said that all we have in the end is our good name. Who we were, how we lived, how we loved, our empathy and compassion, service to the world we lived in and the legacy we left to our children and their children.

My own personal take on the good life, at least for me, involves the following: I want to be a person who possesses a deep appreciation for everything that I have: to be grateful. I want to be able to live without the fear of not being able to take care of my kids and myself and yes, I do want to live well. Living well for me is a lovely home in nature; it is being free to travel; it is having the ability to help my kids get a good start in their adult lives; it is having enough money to be able to take good care of myself and to also be charitable. I want to have a life that is filled with meaning, with a deep connection to the world around me.

What is your Good Life? Take the time now to give thought to the life that you want to live, the life that you would describe as the Good Life. Make certain that it is aligned with your values and your passions and to so you must connect with your values and passions. What are they? Think long and hard about what brings you real joy and fulfillment. Remember those times in your life when you were the happiest…what resonated for you in those moments? Consider how you want to be remembered, how you want to look in your children's eyes. What traits do you admire in others and how can you adopt some of those traits? What have been peak experiences in your life and what was it about those experiences that made them so special?

These are the kind of questions that beg our attention. These are the questions that will ultimately lead us to the Good Life. Not the $14,000 dessert but a life well lived. With meaning, love, comfort, joy and fulfillment.

Test Your Emotions And Outside Stimuli

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How much are your emotions affected by outside stimuli? This will be a difficult question to answer for anyone - Are You Happy? If yes, how much? Are you happy under all circumstances? At all the times? Are you happy even if you meet an old enemy? Are you happy when you have no money? Are you happy filing your Tax returns? Are you happy when you find your favorite candidate losing? No. We are happy or unhappy depending on what is happening to us and around us. happiness is only one of the emotional state. all our emotions get affected greatly by what inputs we get from outside. We have no control over our emotions most of the times.

What is happiness? Happiness can be defined as a feeling of satisfaction, feeling good and feeling joy. Why we become happy within event and unhappy at the other? A good news makes us happy and a sad news robs us of our happiness immediately. We fluctuate between the feelings of happiness and unhappiness throughout the day.

Are we so controlled by outside events that our mood gets affected easily? Can we not ignore whatever is happening and be happy always. Can we not look at everything with equanimity and say - I will be happy always. If we can do that, it will be really good for us. We will not be at the mercy of stimuli from outside to make us unhappy . It is not only stimuli from outside, but also from inside. Any bad memory can turn our mood upside down. We are in control of our own emotions.

Happiness is a boon. Things will always be going wrong. Memories will always come. But if we decide to keep ourselves happy, we can surely progress slowly to a state where unhappiness can not touch us easily. Happiness is only one emotion. We are affected by different emotions - Anger, Love, Hatred, compassion and so on. What applies to happiness also applies to all other emotions. Emotions batter us at all the times. We are like a ship freely getting beaten by the roaring ocean of emotions at all the times. That is not good, because we are not in control.

Try some fun quizzes to find out how much you get affected by stimuli and what is your control over your emotions.

Supreme Self-Esteem

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Self-esteem is incredibly important. In fact, I think it is so important that I am going to say that again. Self-esteem is incredibly important. Many people have the notion that it is the same as self-confidence; however it is far more than just self-confidence. If we look further into the origins of the word esteem itself, as we look etymologically, it comes from the word aestimate, which literally means 'to put a value on.' As you might guess, this word shares the same root as the word 'estimate.' Therefore, we can see that self-esteem, really does just mean; the value we put on ourselves.

Now then, what are the key components of self-esteem? When someone has high self-esteem, they have a genuine, deep rooted sense of self; they actually like (and often love) themselves; they can and do recognise and be in control of their internal state; and they have a sound sense of purpose, or rather they act and behave with purpose. These are not magical gifts that we were given at birth, oh no. One of the key concepts in many of my self-improvement or change programmes or writings is a presupposition of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and that is: what others do, you can learn. So that is where I am going to start here, by indicating and illustrating just what it is that people with high self-esteem actually do, I am going to break it down into easily consumable chunks so that you can replicate them and apply them to your own life immediately.
These things, if applied in the correct way, can have an amazing impact on anyone's self-esteem.

Developing Your Own Sense of Self:

Many of the individuals that I have worked with over the years tell me that they lack self-confidence. I hear it so very often. As mentioned previously, self-esteem is the value we place on ourselves whereas self-confidence relates to our actions. Again, if we look at the word 'self-confidence' it means to trust in ourselves, so at its root it implies some kind of challenge or task that is to be undertaken in some way. To be more specific, confidence usually relates to our ability to do something or to have some kind of competency. We are confident in our ability to do something, to behave in a particular way in a particular situation, to take on a particular challenge.
It has been my experience that it is almost impossible to have self-confidence if we do not have self-esteem.

I once worked with a lady who was naturally very gifted in her specialised field and was a legal secretary. Following her initial training and joining a legal firm, she was recognised by the senior partners as being intelligent, conscientious and diligent as well as hard working. She really was an asset to the company and got on very well with her colleagues. At the end of her first year of working for the company, she was offered a more senior position and she was given some additional responsibility along with a slight increase in her salary.

Following three years in this role, the legal team office manager role became available and as she had been as good as running the office anyway, one of the company's senior partners recommended that she apply. The partner felt that she deserved the role and encouraged her to apply. But, the lady in question was rather taken aback by the suggestion; she did not feel qualified or competent enough to take the role on or to even consider applying. She had always managed to successfully find reasons for dismissing praise, she told herself that she simply did not deserve it and that anyone could have done what she did and that there would come a day that one of the partners would realise that she was not that good at her job and she would be shown for what she really was. Therefore she just did not apply. Remarkable. What's more, I know that you know someone just like this.

I encounter so many people like this. So many. People that have this low self-esteem and are not able to generalise from the obvious successful results that they are having, or the acknowledgement they receive. It is almost as if they don't 'hear' the praise that they are given. Because of this, the lady I mentioned earlier lacked the confidence to apply for the promotion; and many people with low self-esteem consistently and continually underachieve in their lives. Most of them spend their entire lifetimes underestimating themselves and feeling that they are not worthy.
So what we are going to do is to explore. Over the years I have investigated those people that do have self-esteem and how they actually think and behave. It is all about that probing question 'How do they do that?"

When I worked at the Independent National newspaper in central London when I was younger, the newspaper had been bought by a new owner and was moving from where the previous owners, the Mirror group were based, in Canary Wharf in Docklands, London, to new premises in a slightly different part of London. A girl called Samantha was the Managing Directors PA and rather than using a proper project manager of some sort, the MD organised the relocation himself with Samantha's help.
She liked being who she was, had done well at school, this was only her second job and she had worked up the secretarial ranks to become the MD's PA. She did not mind being asked to help with anything out of the ordinary or unusual. The day before the office relocation was due to happen, the MD was involved in a car accident and had to take some time off due to being in hospital for a night and then off for a period of recovery. Another director asked Samantha if she would oversee the relocation as she had been so involved in the process. She was very slightly apprehensive but of course agreed with no hesitation: after all, she knew most of the arrangements that had been made, and what's more the MD had a mobile that she could call if she was desperate.

Now I mention this because you can see the differences between the two people in those examples. Not only did Samantha have a more easygoing temperament than the lady mentioned in my first example, she was also far more comfortable with herself and of course that naturally meant that she could take the leap of confidence in herself that was required for her to take on the last minute responsibility.
Both of the women were extremely capable, however, the first mentioned lady had a low sense of self-worth, whereas Samantha believed in herself. So, what about you? I would like you to answer these questions to yourself:

The Essence of Happiness

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I will never forget the dedication in the book of one of the most reputable experts on the subject of motivation, the American Dr. David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big. When his six-year old son completed kindergarten, Dr. Schwartz asked him what he would like to be when he grew up. Without hesitation, the child replied, "Dad, I want to be a professor." "A professor? A professor of what?", Dr. Schwartz asked. "Well, Dad," his son replied, "I think I want to be a professor of happiness." "A professor of happiness! That's a pretty wonderful ambition, don't you think? To them - David, a fine boy with a grand goal, and to his mother, this book is dedicated."

If we were to ask what light is, we would get the most accurate description from a person who had lost the ability to see, and if we were to ask what freedom is, we would certainly get the best explanation from a person who had lost it. However, I do not believe it necessary to ask anyone what happiness is.

Most people think that happiness is a result of personal qualities and circumstances which cannot be measured. For others, the goal of happiness is "all or nothing." One of the best tennis players in the world, Arancha Sanchez-Vicario, gave the following answer to the question "What is a nice day for you?"
"A day that I feel happy."

There is no direct road to happiness, except through our own adaptation and adjustment. But what does that mean? It means that we should not live our lives waiting to become happy, but rather continuously and persistently dedicating ourselves to learning to experience personal happiness. Sometimes people are blind to the happiness around them, and the more opportunities for happiness they get, the unhappier they feel. For truly happy people, time ceases to exist; they seldom peek at their wristwatches. There are no unsolvable problems for the truly happy. They constantly smile and simply live their lives.

So what can we do to adapt to this new way of living?
We shouldn't always wonder and ask what we need to do in order to achieve absolute happiness. Sometimes, quite often in fact, we must know what not to do - what we must avoid and distance ourselves from - so that we can become happier. An obstacle for our happiness could be fear of acting wrongly or incorrectly. This is a problem we experience from very early childhood to our golden years. The problem exists because we are used to other people telling us what is proper and improper - what is right and wrong. If we decide to form and develop our happiness ourselves, it is up to us to balance the guiding influence of moral and social conventions with the fundamental freedom of moral self-determination.

Regardless of how they connect with our careers, our education, business, family, health, wealth, perfection, glory and power our dreams and desires have their own paths. Once we are able to truly believe that we will find and follow this path, we will certainly become happier. Such faith gives us enormous power, divine guidance and inner strength to walk our path with confidence and accept our challenges with grace. Therefore, we have to learn to strive toward giving our best effort every day, to carefully measure all our thoughts, words or deeds, and to try to realize whether they make us happy or unhappy.

The ultimate goal is achieving absolute happiness. Millions of people look for it, but only handfuls create it themselves.

The Attitude of Gratitude

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Yes, it might feel great to win the lottery. Money, houses, travel - these are wonderful, but not enough by themselves. You need the right frame of mind to fully enjoy life. You need the attitude of gratitude.

Be Grateful

Life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say "Thank you, God." Religious or not, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one than any amount of money can provide. Imagine going through life like you're a child, and every morning is Christmas.

It's tempting to think gratitude comes from having what you want. You see yourself giving thanks if you had money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. Still, you know there are ungrateful, unhappy people with these things, and poor people full of gratitude for what little they have. Where does this feeling come from?

Creating Gratitude

Gratitude arises from how you look at things. It is the natural feeling that comes from truly appreciating the people and things in your life. It is also something you can learn.

First, you have to stop and smell the roses. You can't be thankful for something you don't notice or enjoy. Roses really do smell great, by the way.

Then, you need to make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. There's no need to ignore the ugliness in the world, but you have to habitually see the beautiful things.

Start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Do this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life. If you've ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness can alter your perception of reality. To see wonderful things all over, train yourself to look for them.

When you are in the habit of "counting your blessings," gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.

Self Improvement Ideas: The Search For Inner Peace

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I have no doubt that there are many people out there who are searching for ways of improving their overall quality of life. We have no divine right to be happy of course but on the other hand we should not just sit back and accept second best. I am the type of person who basically just wants to be happy, I have no desire to become mega rich, but what I am looking for, and at the moment have achieved, is an inner peace.

When looking into ways and ideas of improving my life, I ask myself a series of questions:

What areas of my life am I not happy with?

What can I do to improve my life?

Am I happy with my current role of employment?

Am I happy with my current financial situation?

Am I happy in the relationship that I have with my girlfriend?

How could my life become easier and more stress-free?

These are just a few of many questions that I ask myself and I have listed them purely as an example.

In the past, I would always become quite stressed at around the start of the year. This was because I have a son who has a birthday in November, then of course in December is the celebration of Christmas. These two events would leave me with a bit of a financial headache as I have to admit that I tend to spoil my family and go a bit overboard on the spending.

I did not want to reduce the amount that I spent on their presents or on the social aspect of Christmas or my sons birthday and instead started to look for a solution to this financial stress which as previously stated would occur in January.

What I eventually decided that I would do, which now seems just like common sense, was to save as much as I could every month. I would have a certain figure in mind that I wanted to save, as I was aware that I needed to live and have some fun throughout the year as well. By the time November came around on the next year, I had rather a nice amount of money in the bank, which basically made both events even more enjoyable than previous years. This was because I had an inner peace of mind. When January came around I was fine as I had no debts or financial worries. This form of saving is something that I now do every year.

With each and every question I ask myself, I always attempt to find a solution similar to the way I did in the above example. If my girlfriend is annoying me for whatever reason I try and talk to her. I tell her what the issues are and also ask if there is anything that I am doing that annoys her. This is done in a very light hearted manner, so as to not cause more damage etc.

I have now reached a stage of my life where I am quite content with what I have. I am able to sleep soundly at night and am very much looking forward to the future. I have achieved an inner peace and now just have to work hard to make it stay that way. Life at times is a battle and the negative part of my brain tries hard to ruin me. I am determined to stay strong and focused to ensure that I ignore this negative voice and that I continue to listen to the positive side of my brain.

If you are one of these people who are not happy or content with your life at the moment, I am sure that by asking yourself a series of questions and then trying to find your own solutions, that you will also be able to find your own inner peace.