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Discovering The Secrets To Happiness

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Discovering The Secrets To Happiness

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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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

Multiple studies have indicated that a large percentage of people are unhappy with their jobs. Research carried out by Microsoft in 2021, showed that 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer. Sometimes, this dissatisfaction comes from working long hours. Other times, it is about not making enough money.

On occasion, however, the source of unhappiness is the person that you work for. Working for a tyrant boss is draining and stressful. It can have a negative impact on nearly every area of your life, because the stress that it causes makes it hard to “let go” of your workday even when you are at home.

So, how do you know if you are working for a tyrant boss? And if you are, what can you do about it?

A Boss That Is Never Wrong

You have heard of the phrase “the customer is always right,” but do you work for someone who never seems to think that you are ever right?

A tyrant in the workplace is often a dictator. This means that they don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or ideas, and if they do, they are instantly shut down. A tyrant boss can “never be wrong,” and they have the final authority on everything.

Unfortunately, they are often the ones who will suffer in the end. No one is perfect, no matter how much your boss thinks that they are. If they do not take other people’s input into consideration, they are going to burn out and end up making poor choices, which will impact the business in the long run.

Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right. Ken Blanchard

They Expect Carbon Copies Of Themselves

Does your boss seem to gravitate toward employees who are just like them?

Narcissistic people tend to be kinder to those who have the same characteristics. The problem with that? It takes a diverse group of people with different skill sets to make a great team.

If your boss favors people just like them and expects everyone to conform to certain unreasonable expectations, you should see this as a huge red flag.

Additionally, pay attention to how your boss’ personality changes around certain people. If they tend to play favorites, it might be another sign that they are running a tyrannical operation. Everyone in a business should be treated equally. Favoritism doesn’t belong in a professional setting.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Henry Ford

They Don’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has become an important topic of conversation over the last year. With more people working remotely, it has been harder for some to strike a healthy balance between their work life and their home life.

While, in many cases, you can find ways to manage this balance, some bosses simply won’t allow it.

For example, does your boss frequently call you on your day off? Do they email you or message you after working hours, or first thing in the morning?

If your boss cannot respect that you have a life and that you deserve some free time, they are running their business like a dictatorship. Good employers know how important it is for their employees to have free time, whether it is for self-care or socialization. When a worker constantly feels like they are “on the clock,” they are more likely to get burnt out quickly, and their performance will suffer.

They Are Master Micro-Managers

Does your boss lurk over you more often than not? Do you find it hard to get anything done in a day because they are micromanaging everything that you do?

Micro-managers want a play-by-play of everything that you are doing throughout the day. They will try to take charge of your projects and overlook everything so you can’t be as productive as you could be.

You can work to diffuse a micro-managing boss by giving them more information than they ask for. Beat them at their own game by giving them detailed information about what you are working on. If they feel like they are not able to be “on top” of you anymore, they will likely give up and let you work in peace.

Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people. Steve Jobs

They Want All Of The Credit

Typically, when a business sees any kind of success, it is a good sign of a strong, dynamic team. One person cannot hold up an entire company on their own.

But, if your boss tends to take the credit for everything and loves being in the spotlight, it can often feel like your efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. There are children’s books about people doing all the work and someone else taking all of the credit. Some adults just never seem to learn the “moral of the story”.

What Can You Do About It?

So, what can you do if you are working for a tyrant boss? Aside from resigning, which is sometimes the only option, there are a few ways that you can manage things on a daily basis.

First, try not to let your boss’ behavior affect you. Yes, they can be frustrating. They will get to you, at times. It is important for you to take the high road and be the bigger person. No matter where you work, everything that you do is a reflection of who you are – your personal brand. Don’t give in to your frustrations, and don’t fuel your boss’ attitude by snapping back at them. If you do, chances are, their behaviors will become even more exaggerated.

Your overall well-being should be your top priority. If you don’t see any signs of a changing environment, you don’t need to stay in a toxic workplace. Understand some of these signs, and trust your gut when it comes to how you should respond. Many of us have had bad experiences with tyrant bosses in the past, I know I have. In my experience, tyrant bosses very rarely change. They have either moved on or I have.

Life is too short to be stressed out by your boss. Thankfully there are plenty of great bosses out there too who will respect and value you and they are a real joy to work with.

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

We live in a world where other people’s triumphs, successes, and even their vanity are constantly in our faces. Digital influencers and social media make it seem easy to look perfect and feel amazing all of the time. Even your friends and family members might appear to having more success, happiness and fun.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably list off a handful of people you have compared yourself to in the past last week. Maybe a co-worker got a promotion at work, or maybe your friend has just flown off on vacation. Maybe someone you have not seen in years posted a photo online that made you envious of their lifestyle. When you start comparing yourself to others, it is easy to lose your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you let your guard down, you can fall into the trap of chasing after other people’s lives and not appreciating who you are and what you have achieved.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. How true those words remain today – perhaps even more so!

How can you stop the endless scrolling, or looking at the lives of people you know and feeling like you’re somehow less important?

Let’s look at a few tips and techniques that can help you to stop comparing yourself to others.

Know Your Triggers

Maybe a co-worker getting a promotion doesn’t affect you, but a friend getting married does. You might be single or recently divorced. Or, maybe you have been in a relationship for a while but your partner doesn’t want to get married. As a result, you start comparing yourself and the things you want to what someone else has. The things that cause you to compare are your “triggers”. Sometimes, you might not care whether someone has more than you, but other times it can really sting and make you feel low.

Understanding your triggers and accepting them will make it easier to stop making those comparisons. First, you can avoid triggers as much as possible until they do not impact you as much. Maybe cut down on your social media usage. Do you pick up your phone out of habit and constantly refresh your Instagram feed? Perhaps get into the habit of keeping your phone out of reach and taking a social media fast from time to time. As you work on that, try to think about why comparing yourself in those specific situations is a waste of time. Once you convince yourself that it is “no big deal,” you are less likely to be triggered.

Remind Yourself That It May Not Be Real

Because of the social media-saturated world that we live in, it is easy for everyone to make their lives seem better than they are. No one is going to post a photo that doesn’t paint them in a positive light. Even in the real world, everything is not always what it seems. Your friend getting married? Maybe they are struggling with something else, like a health condition or money troubles. That co-worker that seems to get all the credit? Maybe they are going through relationship issues at home.

Most of the time, you will only see what people want you to see. You never really know what is going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. So, when you start comparing yourself to someone else, pause for a moment and remind yourself that no one’s life is perfect. You don’t know what other people are going through, and you may actually be doing better than they are in other areas of life.

Practice Gratitude

When you compare yourself to others, you lose sight of everything you have and everything you can do. Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to stop making comparisons. Think of at least five things you are grateful for every morning to start your day on a positive note.

Alternatively, carry a small notebook around with you and write down something that you are thankful for every time you think of it throughout the day. The best part about this method is being able to look back on your gratitude moments, especially if you are feeling down. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the wonderful things in your life.

Use it as a Motivational Tool

Sometimes, comparison can be a healthy thing. If the thing that you “want” is something that you can work towards, you can let your comparison motivate you to get it. For example, if someone in your life is incredibly kind and charitable, why let their generosity make you feel less important? You do not have to be extremely wealthy to give back. Try volunteering, or donate what you can. If someone at work seems to be getting all the glory, use that as a motivational tool to work harder and get your achievements noticed too.

When you start to work toward the things that make you admire others, it becomes less about comparison and more about who you really want to be. When done “correctly,” comparison can actually push you to be the best possible version of yourself.

So, don’t waste anymore time scrolling through social media and wishing for a different life. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think you will never have as much. When you use comparison in a negative way, it will make you feel negative and envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let certain people inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more.

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

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