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Discovering The Secrets To Happiness

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There are times when the path to happiness seems difficult and elusive, when in fact it’s often staring you in the face…

It’s often a matter of changing the way you look at the simple things. After all, many of the biggest turning points in our lives stem from the simplest changes. In her wonderful blog post 10 Secrets Happy People Know (But Won’t Tell You), Cate Scolnik experienced such a change when she decided to break away from an abusive relationship. This eventually led her to discover a few important “secrets” to happiness which she realized were hiding in plain sight.

Let’s go over each one, and at the end of this post, be sure to read the original post yourself.

It’s absolutely OK to be sad.

“You don’t have to be happy all the time, or even every day…. The contrast of negative emotions can be beneficial, because they remind us how wonderful happiness is.”

Some people feel the strange need to be happy all of the time. There’s something very wrong about this, as both happiness and sadness are natural aspects that you need in order to keep a healthy balance. Basically, you cannot have one without the other. People who try to reject their sadness unfortunately add to it, as they add the fear of sadness to sadness. It is best to deal with sadness itself, understanding that it too shall pass.

If you want to be happy, you actually have to work on it.

“There are things that we can do to increase our happiness every day, but they take some effort.” 

Cate makes a good point here. You cannot develop a skill without practice. Even the most talented people on earth cannot fully realize their potential without spending countless hours studying or practicing their craft. Being a happy person is practically a discipline. It takes work to create the conditions for you to maintain a sustainable and positive outlook on life.

Accept yourself—it’s an imperative

“Sometimes it’s hard to see our own best qualities. Or if we see them, we don’t always value them.”

We have all heard the advice: just be yourself. It isn’t always comforting advice, especially if you are unhappy with who you are. But just remember that you are always undergoing constant change. You are neither a static nor fixed mechanism that has clearly defined functions or limitations. Rather, you are a multitude of “potential” whose transformation you can influence and direct. Accepting yourself, in other words who you are, is also accepting who you can (or want to) become.

Relationships are critical

“Human beings have always been pack animals – we need to connect with people.”

No person is an island—we’ve heard this so many times it has become something of a cliché. But it’s true. Living your life and doing things solely for yourself has its benefits. But after awhile, it might feel a bit empty if you cannot share it with people who are special to you. Connecting with other people and discovering who they are is also another way for us to discover ourselves.

There is nobody else that can contribute to the world in the way that only “you” were meant to

“Comparing yourself to someone else is always going to end in tears.”

There is always something to admire about other people. But when that admiration becomes envy, then we are simply denying our own special uniqueness. Don’t get sucked into this. There will only be one you. You have your own unique interests, strengths, qualities, and potential. Nobody can contribute to the world in the unique way that you can. Cherish that fact, and don’t envy someone else’s qualities at your own expense. It’s unhealthy, flawed, and unnecessary considering everything that you are.

Accepting who you are also means accepting who you were and everything you have been through

“Your memories are part of you, so carry them with grace.”

If you stay true to yourself and your goals to live as positively as you can, you will eventually learn what it means to be truly happy. Everything you have been through—good experiences and bad—led you to this point. Have gratitude for all of those experiences, because they make up the collective forces that put you on your current path toward self discovery.

Learn to trust your intuition and just let go

“We’re all capable of analyzing a situation to death… When this happens think, Thanks Mind, and move on to other things.”

What Cate is saying here is something we all know: obsessively mulling over things in a logical manner won’t always work, particularly when it comes to emotions. There are times when you have to just let go, trust your gut, and move on. The ability to think intuitively, like happiness, is also a discipline. It takes practice to get it right.

You can’t control everything in life (of course), but you can direct your attitude

“Choosing your attitude is easier said than done. I never used to believe it was possible. But it is.”

Attitude is everything. It determines how you interpret and respond to things. If you come across a situation that most people would consider to be unfortunate, you have the power to turn things around if you so choose. Your attitude may determine how you act and feel, but you have the ultimate capacity to determine your own attitude.

Live in the now

“Happy people live now. They feel now. They love now. This doesn’t mean they don’t have goals, but they appreciate what they have now.”

If you want to live a fulfilling life, don’t put it off until later. Take what you have now and begin enjoying it. Happiness won’t come when you finally make that six figure salary; it won’t come when you accomplish your goals. Happiness is to be cultivated in the journey or process of reaching your goals. Those who think otherwise will be in for a disappointing surprise. Be grateful for what you have now, and your happiness and gratitude will increase as you begin attracting and receiving what you want.

You can create happiness for yourself and others, but you can’t buy it

“Maybe you’re trying to buy yourself some happiness, instead of addressing a major issue in your life.”

We all know people who try to compensate for their emptiness through material pursuits: shopping, eating, drinking, etc. We also know how poorly this works. Once again, the path toward happiness is a discipline—a learned skill—but it is not a consumer product. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t treat ourselves to things that money can buy. It just means that we should never cheapen happiness by placing monetary value upon it.

“Guess what? Happiness really is a gift you can give yourself.”

 

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6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

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Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

The term ‘bucket list’ has become quite popular in recent years. It has been used in pop culture references and as a casual topic of conversation when someone wants to do something. Chances are, you have heard someone say, “Oh, that’s on my bucket list!” But, a bucket list is more than just a fantasy, an out of reach dream or an excuse to say that you want to do many things, only to never follow through on them.

There are actually many benefits to creating a bucket list, if you just put in the time, the thought and the dedication into it. Making a bucket list is a perfect way to set your life goals and to stay focused on making them a reality. Still not 100% convinced? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you really should create a bucket list. Maybe, by the end of this article, you will be ready to put together one of your very own.

1. It Gives You a Purpose

While putting together a bucket list won’t tell you what the meaning of your life is, it can help to give you a purpose to your life. A bucket list should be more about the major goals that you have for yourself, rather than a bunch of fun little things that you might want to do. A bucket list gives you something to get out of life and allows you to stay focused while you are doing it.

Have you ever been bored, wondering what you’re going to do this weekend to fill up your free time? A bucket list can give you that answer, encouraging you to always work towards the things that you truly want to do and experience in life.

2. It Brings Your Goals to Life

As stated above, a bucket list should be about exciting goals that you have for yourself. But, it is also an opportunity to hone in on those goals. Many people have ambitions and even make goals or resolutions for themselves each year only to be forgotten a few days later. But, when you have a specific list of goals written down, it can help to make you more motivated and focused to achieve them.

Goals are incredibly important to have, and the fact that your bucket list can make those goals clearer and more tangible is really important.

3. You Will Create Lasting Memories

Memories are one of life’s greatest treasures. As you start to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will also be making wonderful memories each time. Since you are doing the things you really want to do, those memories will bring you comfort, a sense of achievement and give you something positive to look back on and share with others.

Bucket list Create Lasting Memories

4. It Will Pull You Forward

Have you ever been in a “funk” in life, or maybe you have had bouts of feeling down or depressed that have kept you from doing the things you typically enjoy? No one wants to stay in that kind of mindset for long. Because a bucket list can help to give you a sense of purpose, it can also give you the motivation to pull yourself out of a funk. It can call you to do something new, something different, or something that even challenges you. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to be pulled out of a tired or depressed state.

Additionally, doing something on your bucket list will help to distract you for a while. That can be a great solution for someone who has anxiety or tends to focus too much on the negative things in life. Sometimes, a distraction can be a welcomed reprieve.

5. You Will Experience Life-Long Learning

When you commit yourself to having new experiences, you are also committing yourself to learning something new. So many people think that learning stops when you finish school, but you can learn so much more simply by living and trying more new things throughout your life. People who embrace this type of lifestyle are called “lifelong learners”. The reality is this; you will never be able to learn everything there is to know. But, because all of us have such a short time on this planet to figure things out, the more experiences we participate in, the more that we will learn and grow. Not only can a bucket list help you to learn things about different cultures, skills, situations, people and personalities.

It can also help you to learn more about yourself. Closing your mind off to the idea of lifelong learning will cause you to become stagnant with your thoughts and your growth. As a human being, you should have a desire to continue to grow and achieve as much as you possibly can throughout your life. Working through your bucket list can help you to achieve that.

Bucket List For Life long Learning

6. You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do

If you sit down to make a bucket list, you might write down anywhere from 10-100 things that you really want to do. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. Chances are, as you start to work through some of the things on your list, you will come up with more ideas.

Experiencing new things, and even challenging things, is a great way to get inspired and motivated to continue on that trend. A bucket list can truly be never-ending as you come up with more exciting new ideas and goals for yourself.

Building Your Bucket List and Bettering Your Life

There are so many additional reasons why you should create a bucket list for yourself. Remember, a bucket list is a very personal thing, and the experiences you put on the list should be things that you truly want to do or accomplish. Don’t make them  so unrealistic that you will never plan on committing to. Instead, promise yourself that you will immerse yourself in those experiences.

A bucket list might be something you create to accomplish things before you pass on, but in creating one and diving into new experiences, there is a good chance you will feel more alive than ever!

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, to the point where it’s easy to ignore or blow it off as some kind of “buzz word”. But, it’s so much more than that, and when you are willing to take self-care seriously, you might just start to see how much easier it will be to get through each day. (more…)

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

It is easy for people to speculate and debate about the most important things in life. You have probably heard that “the best things in life are free” or that “love is all you need”, but what about what are the most important? What do you really need in this life in order to find contentment and fulfillment? (more…)

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