Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Well! Well! Well!

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

You have two choices... smile and close this page, 
or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson .

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Quotes to get you thinking

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find
them everywhere.”

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

Monday, 23 July 2012

Dancing in the rain

10 Happiness Mistakes We Often Make
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,
it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
I liked this post that I found on another blog - the thought of dancing in the rain resonates particularly - from running.  It's the moment when you look outside and see that the rolling grey clouds have moved in where, before, there was blue sky.  And you say to yourself: "Maybe today is not the day for a run? It looks miserable.  I'd probably get a cold.  You shouldn't have to run in awful conditions. . . " And on the negative chatter goes.

When all you have to do - is get out and run anyway.  And exult. Invite the raindrops.  Thrill in the sensation.  And discover, in no time, that you are having a ball.A little like the little girl in the photo perhaps.

Second observation - I find it all too easy to look at the 10 pointers belwo and immediately nod my head to how OTHERS are guilty of these paths to unhappiness.  And then I pinch myself and ask - really ask - how many times am I slipping into these habits myself. And you?

A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner.  People can be prisoners of their own concepts, choices and ideas.  So tell the negativity committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.
When you dream, you better dream big; when you think, you better think big; and when you love, you better love truthfully.  Happiness is a choice.  There are no excuses for not trying to make the very best out of your life.  There are no excuses for living in a way that consistently makes you unhappy.

Here are ten happiness mistakes to avoid:
  1. Thinking that you have already missed your chance. – Your life, with all its ups and downs, has molded you for the greater good.  Your life has been exactly what it needed to be.  Don’t think you’ve lost time.  It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the current moment.  And every moment of your life, including this one right now, is a fresh start.  If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared, the ability to laugh even as you cry, the nerve to speak up even if your voice is shaking, the confidence to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need to get yourself to a better place.  Read The Power of Habit.
  2. Using failed relationships as an excuse. – Life doesn’t always introduce you to the people you WANT to meet.  Sometimes life puts you in touch with the people you NEED to meet – to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to gradually strengthen you into the person you were meant to become.
  3. Changing who you are to satisfy others. – No matter how loud their opinions are, others cannot choose who you are.  The question should not be, “Why don’t they like me when I’m being me?” It should be, “Why am I wasting my time worrying what they think of me?”  If you are not hurting anyone with your actions, keep moving forward with your life.  Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
  4. Putting up with negative people and negative thinking. – It’s time to walk away from all the drama and the people who create it.  Surround yourself with those who make you smile.  Love the people who treat you right, and pray for the ones who don’t.  Forget the negative and focus on the positive.  Life is too short to be anything but happy.  Making mistakes and falling down is a part of life, but getting back up and moving on is what LIVING is all about.
  5. Focusing all of your attention on another time and place. – This day will never happen again.  Enjoy it.  Cherish your time.  It’s often hard to tell the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  Someday you may discover that the small things were really the big things.  So learn to appreciate what you have before time forces you appreciate what you once had.  Read The Power of Now.
  6. Overlooking what you have to focus on what you haven’t. – Most people end up cheating on others and themselves because they pay more attention to what they’re missing, rather than what they have.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you have that everyone else is missing.
  7. Dwelling on the things you can’t change. – If you hadn’t fallen down, you would never have learned how to get back on your feet.  If you hadn’t been forced to let go and move on, you’d never have learned that you have the strength to stand on your own.  If you hadn’t lost hope, you would never have found your faith.  The best often comes after the worst happens.  You can either move on, or you can dwell on the things you can’t change.  Either way life does move on with or without you.  So learn from the past and then get the heck out of there.  You will always grow stronger from the pain if you don’t let it destroy you.
  8. Constantly sacrificing your own happiness for everyone else. – Never let your own happiness wither away as you try to bring sunshine to others.  Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about being honest and sharing your happiness with them.
  9. Losing track of your own goals and ideals. – Knowing who you are is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another.  With all the social conditioning in our society we sometimes forget to stay true to ourselves.  Don’t lose yourself out there.  In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, stay true to your awesome self.  Read The Art of Non-Conformity.
  10. Dealing with the stress of deceiving others. – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Live in such a way that if someone decided to attack your character, no one would believe it.  Live so that when the people around you think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.
And remember, life will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try.  Even if you pour your heart and soul into it, you will never achieve a state of absolute perfection.  There will always be moments of uncertainty; there will always be days where nothing goes right.  But as time rolls on you will learn that even the most imperfect situations can be made better with a little love and laughter.

Reminders - as if you needed them . . .

Monday, 18 June 2012

You can't beat a good hug!

It's official - studies now confirm that 20-second hugs raise oxytocin levels, which release feel-good chemicals in your body (according to research by Terri Orbuch, Ph.D.)

And if you are parted from your favourite hugger, try giving yourself a hug (apparently it works!) but try not to be too obvious - just pretend to be really absorbed by your PC screen!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Here is a collection of ideas (from numerous sources) to help in the pursuit of well-being:

Fun stuff you mightn’t have thought about . . . .
1.         Keep a gratitude journal 
People who keep a gratitude journal, who each night before going to sleep write at least five things for which they are grateful, big things or little things, are happier, more optimistic, more successful, more likely to achieve their goals, physically healthier - it actually strengthens our immune system.
2.         Laugh more – take time to see the funny side
Health benefits of laughter are far-ranging:  studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity
3.         Play to your strengths
Unhappy people spend a disproportionate amount of their time on aspects of their life that are not their ‘signature strengths’ at the expense of those that are.  What are your ‘signature strengths’?
4.         Practice random acts of kindness
Surprisingly, the benefits for the giver are even greater than for the receiver – it’s worth trying.
5.         Give something back – find a cause
Committing to someone or something greater than yourself makes a real difference – try it!

Doesn’t sound like fun – but just as important. . .
6.         Improve your sleep – keep a diary to record your sleep (to help improve quality and quantity)
More people die on the road every year due to sleep-deficit than drink-driving.  If you don’t get your fill of sleep you are starting your day at a severe disadvantage.
7.         Eat smarter – graze more, eat less sugar.  Keep your sugar ‘spikes’ to a minimum.
Sugar ‘spikes’ result in the brain instructing the pancreas to secrete insulin – which leads to a sugar ‘trough’.  These highs and lows impact your well-being (they also make it harder to keep unwanted pounds away).
8.        Exercise every day – just walk more?
Three times a week for 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking or aerobics or dancing) is equivalent to some of our most powerful psychiatric drugs in dealing with depression or sadness or anxiety
9.         Be positive, sensibly optimistic - remember Henry Ford
 “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right”
10.       Reflect / Meditate – switch off for 5 minutes, just be
Whether you pursue  meditation or relaxation techniques, the benefits are well researched and documented

Links to related research/advice:

[see the questionnaire on VIA Survey of Character Strengths)