This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

Hedonic Treadmill

treadmill

Suppose one day the phone rings: An excited voice tells you that you have just scooped the lottery jackpot – $10 million! How would you feel? And how long would you feel like that? A study on lottery winners discovered that the happiness effect fizzles out after a few months. So, a little while after you receive the big check, you will be as content or as discontent as you were before.

In terms of happiness, people who change or progress in their careers are right back where they started after around three months. The same goes for people who buy the latest Porsche. Science calls this effect the hedonic treadmill: We work hard, advance, and are able to afford more and nicer things, and yet this doesn’t make us any happier.

So how do negative events affect us – perhaps a spinal cord injury or the loss of a friend? Here, we also overestimate the duration and intensity of future emotions. For example, when a relationship ends, it feels like life will never be the same. The afflicted are completely convinced that they will never again experience joy, but after three or so months, they are back on the dating scene.

It would be nice if we knew exactly how happy a new car, career, or relationship would make us? Well, this is doable in part. Use these scientifically rubber-stamped pointers to make better, brighter decisions: (a) Avoid negative things that you cannot grow accustomed to. (b) Expect only short-term happiness from material things. (c) Aim for as much free time and autonomy as possible since long-lasting positive effects generally come from what you actively do.

So follow your passions even if you must forfeit a portion of your income for them. Invest in friendships. For most people, professional status achieves long-lasting happiness, as long as they don’t change peer groups at the same time. In other words, if you ascend to a CEO role and fraternize only with other executives, the effect will fizzle out.

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Buying Happiness

happiness

A recent research was conducted where two groups of people were given an amount of money. One group was told to spend it in buying a possession, an object, something they wanted. The other group was told to spend it in ways that would enable them to have more free time, for example, having food delivered to save them from cooking, or hiring a cleaner, instead of cleaning their house themselves. When each participant in the study were to measure their happiness to a 10 point scale, those who spent their money on more free time were almost always one whole point ahead of those who spent their money on stuff.

In a sense, they were happier because they brought themselves out of doing something they didn’t want to do. Just buying more stuff, in the long run didn’t have much of an affect on their happiness, when those who spent money on time found an increase in life satisfaction. It was the free time that made people happy. It was the quality time that contributed more to their happiness, the money was just a tool they used to get more time. But the money ultimately is unnecessary. All that is required is a re-adjustment of how you measure time.

Everyone has 24 hours a day. The life expectancy for females is 81.2 years; for males, it’s 76.4 years. Most people have more or less the same time of living. To make every hour, or minute count is the way to create your own happy time. If you are always feeling busy and don’t think you have enough quality time for yourself, you need to make a change to turn things around. To be truly happy, make quality time a true value in your life. Some of our greatest regrets in life are those valuable moments lost because of how we chose to spend our time. So make the choice to truly value your time. While you’re still alive and breathing, it’s never too late.

Admit the Negativity

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One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

While there is something to be said for “staying on the sunny side of life”, the truth is, sometimes life sucks, and the healthiest thing you can do is to admit it. Things go wrong, people upset us, accidents happen. These things make us feel like hell. And that’s fine. Negative emotions are a necessary component in life. To deny that negativity is to perpetuate problems rather than to solve them.

Although this blog emphasizes the importance of feeling positive in life, it doesn’t mean we need to do it all the time. When we force ourselves to stay positive at all times, we deny the existence of our life’s problems. And when we deny our problems, we rob ourselves of the chance to solve them and generate happiness. Problems add a sense of meaning and importance to our life. Thus to duck our problems is to lead a meaningless existence.

Completing a marathon makes us happier than eating a chocolate cake. Raising a child makes us happier than beating a video game. Managing a project while struggling to make ends meet makes us happier than buying a new computer. These activities are stressful and often unpleasant. They also require withstanding problem after problem.

But they are also some of the most meaningful moments and joyous things we’ll ever do. They involve pain, struggle, even anger and despair – yet once they’re accomplished, we look back and get all misty-eyed telling our grand-kids about them. Some of the greatest moments of one’s life are not pleasant, not successful, not known, and not positive.

Illusion of Success

happy

Trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.

When happy people are asked about the secret of their contentment, the usual answer is: “You have to see the glass half full rather than half empty.” But the fact is that they were actually born happy and now tend to see the positive in everything. They do not realize that their cheerfulness is largely a personality trait that remains constant throughout life.

Just like you take swimming lessons, train hard and hope to have the perfect body like a professional swimmer one day. But it’s just an illusion. Professional swimmers don’t have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques. Their bodies are designed for swimming. Similarly, cosmetics do not make women model-like, the models are born attractive so that they are selected for cosmetics advertising. It’s not guaranteed that you will be successful when you are accepted by a top university in which many successful people had studied there.

In daily life, success is made more visible than failure, we systematically overestimate our chances of succeeding. As an outsider, we succumb to an illusion and we mistake how small the probability of success really is. Behind every popular author are a hundred other writers whose books will never sell. The same goes for photographers, entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, architects, Nobel Prize winners, television presenters, and beauty models. The media is not interested in digging around in the graveyards of the unsuccessful.

I’m not saying we should not work hard for our dreams, just don’t let the illusion of success bias your decisions. I wish I can play tennis like Roger Federer, play badminton like Lin Dan, but I understand I will never match their levels. Be wary when you are encouraged to strive for certain things – be it abs of steel, immaculate looks, a higher income, a long life, a particular demeanor or happiness. You might fall prey to the unreal illusion. Before you decide to take the plunge, look in the mirror – and be honest about what you see.

Chasing Happiness

Happy And Sad Face.

When we talk about happiness, we think about staying happy all the time. Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairy-tales. On Facebook, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So we have a distorted view of “happiness” is around us.

But only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy. Assuming others are always happy is a misunderstanding of happiness. In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant. No one has a perfect life. Everyone has their own set of problems.

As a human, we’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. But after we got through them, time passed and when we look back, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them just makes us smile.

Throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. If life is perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize, you wouldn’t grow. To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness, accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Life is filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments. Happy tears, joyous shouts and funny stories. But life is also filled with rain and storms that don’t ever seem to pass when you’re going through them. But whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the flow of life. Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. Happiness and sadness exist together. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events – that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

6 Life Principles

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1. One day you will be gone.
Embrace the fact that life is short and unpredictable. Live fully today and give your very best. It is a reminder for you to live your best self in each moment. What if tomorrow you’ll be gone? What will others speak of you? What can you do to leave a lasting, positive memory in the lives of people around you? Be lighthearted, knowing that in the end, none of this stuff matters. The only thing that ever matters is: how you made others feel and how you felt.

2. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have.
If there has been someone that had done it before, this means you can too. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it means that it is possible. As long as it is possible, you can work towards it. You can make a plan. Learn what needs to be done for your life.

3. Nothing is worth it, if it doesn’t make you happy.
If it doesn’t make you happy or make you better, it most likely is not worth to make time for it. Almost anything worth fighting for is going to require a real fight to win a great prize. You will have to sacrifice for almost anything worthwhile. But you should ask yourself about everything you do in your life: Does this make me happy in the end? If the answer is no, letting it go is an alternative.

4. Be yourself.
The only way you can live happy is when you be you. You will never be truly happy in life if you are constantly doing things to please others, to compete with others, or to be like others. You are unique and that is your greatest gift. Follow your own path, regardless if that fits in with others. Make your own decisions and it will lead to an abundant life.

5. Everything you need is already within you.
Things and other people will never complete you. There is a saying: Needing nothing attracts everything. When you come from a place of seeking nothing outside yourself to make you happy, you open up space for amazing things to come into your life. Happiness is a state of mind. Do what feels good, the rest will follow.

6. Whatever you focus on, you will find.
If you search for negativity, you will find plenty of it. The same is true on the opposite. If your only intention is to search for the good, you will find only the good. The meaning you give your life becomes your life. Life is against you to make you stronger. There is no such thing as reality. We choose our own reality by the meaning we give each moment in our lives. Make your intention to look for the good in life and in others. Be grateful for everything you have and see challenges as opportunities to show your true character.

Leave who you were, love who you are, and look forward to who you will become.

8 Things to Remove from Life

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1. Excuses
We don’t blame others for our life. We are fully responsible for our own life and situation. We hold the power to significantly improve our life. When you make up excuses, you are lying to yourself, which will hold you back from fulfilling your dreams.

2. Perfectionism
Trying to achieve perfection is a waste of time. Instead of worrying about the mistakes that you have made, simply focus on trying to better yourself with small steps. No one is perfect, but anyone can make the decision to be a better person.

3. Fear
Many people keep quiet during discussions when they want to say something; they avoid taking risks; and they always think about the worst-case scenario. This fearful attitude will stop you from achieving your full potential, so remove it from your life and be brave instead; speak up, voice your thoughts and actively chase your dreams.

4. The Need To Control Everything
You can’t control everything and trying to do so is a futile task. It will only make you feel stressed, upset and frustrated. Instead of trying to control everything around you, make an effort to care less about the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can.

5. A Fixed Mindset
Lots of people have a fixed mindset and they make no effort to learn more or change their perception. This makes them hard to become more successful as their mindset is stuck in the past. Try to embrace knowledge and learning, and remember that you can always become wiser.

6. The Desire For Overnight Success
Some people believe that the majority of successful people became successful overnight or by chance. While luck can certainly play its part, you can’t rely on luck to become successful. In reality, success takes time and dedication, so you should plan for the future as well as the day ahead of you.

7. Toxic People
Remove the negative and pessimistic people from your life and replace them with optimistic and supportive people who genuinely care about you. You will find that you will be more motivated and happier.

8. The Need To Say Yes
We sometimes struggle to say no to the people around us. We end up wasting time doing things that we don’t want to do and other people might start to take advantage of us. Be brave and say no when you want to; only you can make the priorities of your life.