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Living for today

Let yourself be in alignment with your true power. View your experiences from the perspective of love instead of fear.

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Release your fears about the future. Shift your energy by focusing more on what’s going well in your life right now.

Make time for activities that bring you a sense of inner peace (e.g., meditation, prayer, journaling). Focus your attention on the present.

Alignment happens in the present moment. Trust that you are divinely guided. Miracles are possible.

Things can fall into place easily. Align with the energy of love and joy.

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Fear

Never let your fears decide your future. We all have something we’re afraid of. Fears are a part of life.

But you must not let your fears overshadow the good things in your life. You can’t let fear stop you from living.

Due to the fear of something bad happening, we tend to close ourselves off and limit our perceptions about what’s possible.

The more you pay attention to fears, the narrower your perspective becomes. You must remind yourself that your dreams and desires are more important than your fears.

Work towards what you want, day in and day out. No matter what happens, keep the faith. Remain anchored in hope and stillness.

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You deserve to be happy.

 You deserve good fortune, beautiful blessings, and celebration.

No matter what made you believe that you’re undeserving of happiness, you must keep reminding yourself that you can overcome the blocks to happiness and contentment.

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You have to work towards changing the lens through which you see your life.

You have to transform the way you relate to yourself and others. Gently release the limiting thoughts.

Surround yourself with positivity and appreciate the good moments. You can feel good again.

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I found this today and it really hit home.

Social media can be wonderful. Most of us love getting on Facebook and seeing what our family and friends are up to, enjoying new pictures and status updates. However, if you’re not careful, you could get in the habit of spending a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook – time that you could be using for things that truly benefit your life.

If you’re like most people, you probably get on Facebook with the intent of only scrolling for a few minutes. Your intent in good, but you may end up scrolling for much longer. Maybe you got sidetracked or someone started chatting with you. Or perhaps you started checking out what all your old classmates are up to.

You may not realize just how much time you’re really spending on the wonderful entertainment hub of Facebook.  And, for some people, all that scrolling can become addictive.

Taking A Break From Facebook

It wouldn’t hurt to take a little break from Facebook, regardless of how much time you’re spending on it each day.

The following are five reasons you might want to take a break from Facebook:

1.    You’ll Get Back to Communicating The Old Fashioned Way

Since the days of social media, many people have decreased the time they are communicating face-to-face with family and friends. They pretty much stick to Facebook for conversation and community.

Now, this isn’t all that bad, but plenty of people long for a deeper connection; one where you actually see someone in person. You just can’t get that when you’re scrolling Facebook, liking posts, or commenting.

If you take a break from Facebook, make the intent to really connect with your loved ones via a video call, phone call, or getting together for a visit. While you’re at it, see if you can deepen your relationship. You may even want to get out in your neighborhood and talk to those who are sitting on their porch, doing yard work, or out for a walk as well. Remember what it’s like to live without social media and online communities.

2.      You Can Spend More Time Outside

It’s easy to spend most of your day inside at work and at home in front of screens. Whether it’s your computer, mobile phone, tablet, or television screen, time spent outside can go by the wayside. When you take a break from Facebook, make a commitment to get outside more often. Go explore your neighborhood and your town. Take a new look at the trees and flowers, feel the breeze of the wind, and smell nature’s amazing aroma. You’re likely to become quite refreshed in a way that Facebook could never do for you.

3.      You Will Like Yourself More

It’s easy to scroll Facebook and think that everyone else has an amazing life. Most people on Facebook seem super happy living the best lives. This can cause you to wonder what’s wrong with you, especially if you’ve been struggling lately. You may wonder why you’re not feeling ultra-happy and content.

Or, you might compare yourself to those on Facebook, feeling shame and fearing that you don’t measure up. The thing about Facebook is that most people only portray themselves in a positive fashion on this social media site. You’ll see all their happy pictures and status updates, but they’re not usually posting about their emotional issues or horrible days. You won’t usually see them complaining about how lonely, depressed, anxious, etc. they truly are.

When you take a break from Facebook, you get to harness more of your energy for yourself. You take the break time to think less about others and their lives and more about yourself and your own life.

  • Are you practicing self-care regularly?
  • Are you finding value in meaning outside of social media sites?
  • Do you feel like your life is empty without Facebook?
  • How can you add more richness to your life outside of social media?

These are exceptionally good questions to ask yourself and do a little exploring within.

4.      You Can Break Your Addiction To Facebook

About how many times do you check Facebook a day? When you’re bored, do you pull up Facebook? Do you get on Facebook as soon as you get up in the morning? Is it the last thing you look at before going to bed? On average, how much time are you spending on Facebook each day?

It’s easy to become addicted to a social media site. You may not even realize that you’re addicted to it, until you decide to take a break from it.

Here’s an idea.

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Decide to take a break from Facebook for three days. Do you think you can do it? You’ll find out real fast if you’ve become dependent on Facebook once you start this break. If you think you’ll struggle, you could take the Facebook app off your phone or tablet temporarily. That way, when you get the craving to open up Facebook when you’re feeling bored, it won’t be there.

Of course, not everyone is addicted to Facebook. But still, there are plenty of valuable things you can learn when you decide to take a break from it. You may even realize just how much more free time you have each day.

5.      You’ll Experience Less Anxiety

You may experience less anxiety if you take a break from Facebook. While some people say scrolling Facebook relaxes them, experts tend to think that social media may cause people more anxiety.

Why?

It’s easy to compare yourself to others, as mentioned. It’s also easy to feel fear when you read posts that evoke fear, such as the world ending, or aliens are coming to take over the planet.

Being in front of technology often can cause a spike in anxiety.  Taking a break from social media may help you reconnect with yourself in a way that helps you feel more relaxed.  Leave your devices, go outside, and let the sun and nature nourish you mind, body, and spirit. Or, spend more quality time with family and friends.

Should You Take A Break From Facebook?

Not everyone will feel like they need a break from Facebook. That’s fine.  But some people may be able to admit that they’ve become accustomed to living a large part of their days scrolling Facebook. They may see that it’s a time waster.

Does this sound like you?

Do you know how much time you spend on Facebook on any given day?

Would you like to take a break?

If so, set a goal to go without getting on Facebook for a few days or more.  Take note of the positives that come as a result.  The break may help you realize some things you wouldn’t have if you’d never taken that break!

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Be positive

I just received this through the Daily Motivation site. Uncanny, as I am actually applying for some new jobs and have stated to build a couple of businesses online…

“So many positive changes are taking place in your life right now. Don’t block your blessings by giving in to fear or doubts.

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You deserve this good news. Celebrate it with complete joy. You deserve to cherish every beautiful moment without fear.

Allow your heart to be filled with pure love and happiness. A lot of positive, uplifting energy is flowing in your life.

Let this energy heal the wounds you’ve experienced in these past few years.

Say thanks for your blessings and fully accept what is happening. Have faith in what’s coming.

It’s time for you to embrace a new, empowered perspective.”

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Lifelong Learning Can Help Keep You Sharp

As you age, it is time to start thinking about how you can keep your brain sharp. One of the best ways you can keep your mind fresh is by committing to lifelong learning.

You will Enhance Your Brain

Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain is a muscle that needs frequent use to stay sharp. You can do this with lifelong learning, which means you aim to learn something new each day. One of the best ways to do this is enrolling in a class you have always wanted to take or studying a new language and practicing each day.

You Will not Be Bored

One of the main reasons your brain loses its sharpness is boredom. When you walk a path of lifelong learning, this fights boredom and keeps your mind sharp. And the best part is, you will not have to deal with feelings of boredom which could lead to other emotional issues down the line!

You Will Sleep Better

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When you spend too much of your life inactive and bored, this can lead to issues sleeping. Instead, when you aim to maintain lifelong learning, this will help your mind to stay engaged during the day, then better disengage at night, which means you will sleep better as a result. And who does not want to sleep better at night?

You Will Connect Better with Others

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A major factor in aging is the importance of maintaining your social circle, as this can help keep you happy and healthy. This can be hard to do if you do not have common interests or things to discuss. Lifelong learning can help with this as it can help you connect with new people who share your interests and maintain old friendships you may have already created. Learning helps expand your mind to connect with others better, and it gives you more to talk about to keep them around!

Overall, no matter how you look at it, lifelong learning is an important part of keeping your mind sharp. This is because lifelong learning enhances your brain, keeps you from boredom, and helps you sleep better. Not only that, but it will help you to connect better with others, making it a winning situation for everyone involved. Therefore, it is time to take the leap and make lifelong learning part of your routine today!

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How Learning New Things Helps Our Brain

Learning something new is not easy and facing challenges regularly can really take a lot of your energy. However, learning new things is good because it benefits your brain. Keep reading to learn more about how learning new things help your brain.

Learning Programs the Brain

First and foremost, according to Psychology Today, learning is the way that your brain gets its programming. Think of it this way, when your computer needs an update, you download new software. This download is the same as learning something new. When you learn new things, your brain updates itself, clears out bugs and becomes better than before. So why wouldn’t you want a brain running on the latest program?

Keeps Dementia Away

Another major thing that learning accomplishes is it keeps your brain running in tip-top shape. When your brain is in tip-top shape, this means, according to Healthline, that you are less likely to suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Like any muscle in your body, the brain needs to be worked out regularly, and if it is not worked out, it will begin to atrophy. Do not let your brain atrophy and commit to learning new things every day!

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You will Be Able to Adjust to Change Better

Change is a hard part of life, but it is something that everyone must learn to deal with at some point or another. The more you learn new things, the easier it will be to accept change. This is because learning helps you become familiar with unfamiliar subjects and get used to stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you are one of those people who struggle with change, you should start by learning something new!

You will Learn Faster

The coolest thing about your brain is that the more frequently you learn new things, the fasted your brain begins to learn! This means that learning new things in your free time can help other aspects of your life. Say you take a pottery class on the weekends; chances are, it will become easier to learn new things you need to do your job. Who does not want to learn faster than they did before?

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Overall, learning new things can be a challenge, but it is a necessary part of life. Learning new things helps program your brain and keeps dementia away as you age. It makes it easier for you to accept change, and you will begin to learn even faster, which will benefit all aspects of your life. So, embrace new things and start making it your goal to learn something every day!

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Keep Your Mind Sharp as You Age

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As you age, you may start to feel like your brain is aging right along with your body. This is especially true if you find yourself constantly forgetting things. There are several ways you can keep your mind sharp as you age, so keep reading to find out how to keep your brain sharp for years to come.

Do not Stop Learning

A big mistake that people make as they start to age is that they think they do not have to learn anymore. This is never the case. Learning helps to keep the brain fresh, young, and building new pathways. If you want to keep your mind sharp, you should try to learn something new every day. The best and easiest way to do this is by downloading a word of the day or language learning app you actively engage with every morning.

Play Brain Teasers

You have probably seen a commercial or two about how brain teasers can help keep your mind from aging, and the people who created these games might just know what they are talking about. According to Psychology Today, working your mind every day helps keep it active and keep yourself from forgetting things. So, take the time to find a brain teaser game that you enjoy, and aim to spend an hour on it every day. You may just be surprised at the results.

Do not Be Afraid to Use Organization Tools

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A Harvard Health article points out that people grow more forgetful as they age but refuse to use the tools provided to keep them organized. You probably have a more complex life with more people in it now than you had a decade ago. It is only reasonable that there is no shame in using a planner (or app) to keep track of all the birthdays and important days you need to remember. Take the time to get organized around your house as well. This way, you will waste less time worrying about things that do not matter (like where your keys are.) This organization allows you to direct your brain power where it counts!

If you want to keep your mind sharp as you age, then make it a point never to stop learning. You could also consider working brain teasers into your everyday life. And if you need to use some tools along the way, do not be ashamed. That is what they are there for—to help keep your mind working at its best!

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Meditating Your Way To A Happier You

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Stress is such a buzz kill. Nothing will bring you down quicker than feeling stressed out. It keeps you from sleeping well, staying productive, and getting in a good mood. It only makes sense than that reducing stress increases happiness. One of the best ways to bring your stress levels down and increase your joy is to mediate.

In addition to reducing stress and increasing happiness, meditation is good for your help, helps you practice self-awareness, and it strengthens your concentration. If you are new to meditating, let me give you a quick primer on this ancient technique of clearing the mind.

Meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness. It is reached by practicing meditating, until we can reach that state of mind easily and effortlessly. Along the way meditation will help us concentrate, contemplate, and gives us more control over our mind and our thoughts.

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There are all sorts of diverse ways to practice mediation. Some will have you focus on your breathing; some will have you focus on your body. You can practice in complete silence, while listening to white noise or soft music, or you can work through guided meditations.

If you are new to meditating, a simple guided meditation may be your best bet. There are plenty of recordings online, on YouTube, and even on apps. Some of them will be free, while others are paid guided meditations. Listen to a few of them until you find a mediation with which you are comfortable.

If you want to just try this without downloading or buying any guided meditations, give this basic meditation exercise a try. Start by laying down comfortably on your back. Have your hands on the side and relax. Close your eyes, and breathe naturally. Notice how the breath moves your body and try to focus on mind on each exhalation and inhalation. If you mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath. Aim for a few minutes of meditation to begin with. Do not feel bad if you find yourself nodding off. Meditation can be very relaxing and a wonderful way to help you get to sleep.

With practice you will be able to mediate for longer periods of time. Experiment with techniques and lengths of mediation until you find your own routine that reduces stress, increases happiness and is something you can stick with for the long run. Keep meditating to keep up your happiness levels.

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Giving Back Makes Us Happier

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When I was a kid, I could not wait for Christmas. It was all about the presents I would get. I would spend days and weeks anticipating and trying to guess what Mom and Dad would get me this year. I would make wish lists and circle things in toy catalogues. It was all about receiving material things.

As I have grown older, that has changed a bit. Do not get me wrong, I still appreciate a thoughtful gift, but to be honest, most the fun at Christmas for me know is giving gifts. I find joy in the process of finding just the right gift, putting it in a pretty wrapper, and then seeing the eyes of the recipient light up when they open their present. And, of course, there is nothing more fun than watching the little ones squeal with delight on Christmas morning as they open the gifts under the tree.

There is an important lesson to be learned here and that is that giving makes us happier. It is not just about physical gifts. Anytime we can give something, be it our time, a kind word, sound advice, or a hug, it makes us feel good to give back. Giving increases our own happiness.

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It only makes sense then to focus on giving back more to help lead happier and more fulfilled lives. Think about the various things you can do to start giving back more. Volunteering is a wonderful place to start and there are so many opportunities to do just that. You can help at your child’s school or at the local church. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens are always grateful for an extra pair of hands. If you are good with animals, help your local humane society to walk dogs and socialize kittens. Reading to patients at the hospital or people in a senior living facility is another wonderful way to give up.

If you are not able to get out of the house much to volunteer, there are still plenty of opportunities to give back. If you are crafty, knit some preemie caps for your local hospital or sew up some pet blanket for a local no-kill shelter. Help organize online events, or offer to virtually tutor kids who need homework help.

Start volunteering and giving back and notice how good it makes you feel. It instils a sense of pride and purpose in you and that in turn will help increase your overall happiness. Giving back to your community and family is a wonderful feeling that I hope you get to experience more.

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Think & Communicate In Positive Ways

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Some people are great about finding the positive in any situation and telling you about it. They are the types of bosses, co-workers, teachers, and friends who will give you some constructive criticism while pointing out everything you have done right, even if the project or situation turns out to be a total mess. They are the people that build you up and give you the confidence boost you need to go back and fix things or start from scratch.

Then there are people who cannot give a compliment without also pointing out your shortcomings. They tend to focus on the negative in any situation and are quick to share that with you. These people can be hard to live and work with. The big question is what type of person you are and how do you think and communicate about your life and your surroundings.

 If increased happiness is your goal, I suggest you work on making sure you think and communicate in a positive way. Why is thinking important? Because it is how we communicate with ourselves. I do not know about you, but I would much rather spend my time becoming my biggest cheerleader, than my worst critic.

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Here is the good news. How you think and how you communicate can be learned and unlearned. That means if you are a bit of a pessimist right now, you can learn to think, be, and talk in a more positive way. Of course learned behaviours and habits are not always easy to change. Step one is that you must want to change. Step two is to learn to recognize your behaviour as it happens. Listen to the thoughts that are happening in your head and stop and make yourself think before you speak. Step three is to practice the new habit and behaviour. And that is really all there is to it.

Take a few minutes to reflect on how you have been thinking today. Think back on conversations you have had with others and get a feel for how you communicate with yourself and others. Are you as positive as you would like to be, or is there room for improvement. If so, start implementing the simple three step process I shared with you and keep practicing until this more positive way of thinking and communicating has become a strong new habit. It will have a significant impact in your own happiness and that of those around you.

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Live In the Moment 

One of the fastest way to stop any feeling of happiness in its track is to worry. We worry about things that have not happened yet, and we worry about things in the past that we can do nothing about. It is sad to think about how many happy moments we are missing out on because we are too worried about the past or the future.

One of the solutions to living a happier and more content life is to learn to live in the moment. You do not want to miss all the amazing little things life has in store for you because you are too busy worrying and agonizing about things that are outside of your control. The goal then for a happier life is to learn to live in the moment.

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Start by simply paying attention to what is going on around you right now. Enjoy the people you are spending time with. Treasure the conversations and interactions you have with them. Look around you and notice the beauty in your surroundings. Each season brings new natural phenomena that can help you stay in the moment and make you happy. Notice how the light filters through the colourful leaves on a crisp fall day. Treasure the first few green sprouts at the end of winter. Laugh with your kids and play in the first snow of winter. Bask in the sun and look at how the light plays over the water on a sizzling summer day. Each day, each season, and each year has amazing treasures to offer if you take the time to stay in the moment and notice them.

Slow down and do not be afraid to stop and smell the roses. If you find yourself slipping back into your old ways of worrying about things you cannot change, remind yourself to stop and instead focus on something pretty in your surroundings. It does not matter what it is. The idea is to train your mind to live in the moment instead of the past or the future.

Sunset in Southport by Me!

Does this mean you have to stop all plotting and planning for the future? Does it mean that you should not look back on the past and learn from it? Of course not. Those are both important parts of life. There are times to plan a vacation, figure out what groceries we need for the week, or plot a move or job change in the future. Those are productive ways to look ahead. Along the same lines, there are times when we should look back on the past. Maybe we can right a wrong, improve on things, or if nothing else learn from them. That is important as well. What is not important or productive is to dwell on the past or future events and worrying about things we cannot change. Whenever that happens stop yourself and focus on the present. It will not take you long to get out of the habit of worrying about things outside of your control. That, in turn, gives you more time and energy to focus on what truly matters.

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Learning To Deal With Negative Thoughts and Emotions

Life is not all happiness and sunshine. And that is a good thing. How boring would it be to only have positive experiences? We need the negative, the sadness, and the disappointments to balance the happiness. They are what make the happy times stand out and shine all the brighter.

Negative thoughts, emotions, and the events and people that cause them are part of life. We must learn to deal with them and make the best of sad situations to live a happy and content life. Today I want to look at a few different ideas and strategies that can help us do just that.

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Put Them In Perspective

Before you allow yourself to wallow in sadness, try your best to step back and look at the situation from a distinct perspective. Get some sleep, go out for a walk, and come back and look at it again. Try your best to see the positive side of things. Yes, there are undeniably sad and bad situations in our lives, but even so, most of them have a little flicker of something good in them as well. Find that positivity and hang on to it.

There are also a lot of times and situations where we focus too much on the negativity. A little distance, and a little perspective can show us that it is not as bad as we originally thought.

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Allowing Yourself To Be Sad At Times

There are also times when life just plain sucks. It is ok to be sad. Do not feel that you must be happy 100% of the time. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to be sad and grieve. There is a lot of healing and coming to terms with things that can only happen when you let the sadness in. Feel it, so you can start to heal and recover. This will allow you to get back to the happier version of yourself.

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Look On The Bright Side And Find Your Way Back To Happiness

To make sure that happens and you do not spiral down into a hole of sadness, despair, and depression, you must look for the right side, or the little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Look for it, focus on it, and use it to find your way back to happiness. Maybe that little flicker of hope is simply that you are not feeling quite as sad as you did yesterday. Or maybe it is a call from a friend, or a neighbour dropping off a card. Grab on to it and use anything good and positive in your life to lead you back.

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Keep A Journal To Practice Gratitude And Happiness

We have talked in the past about the fact that feeling grateful and acknowledging all the good things in our lives is a fantastic way to increase our overall happiness. Getting in the habit of showing and experiencing more gratitude is a one of the most powerful ways to increase your feeling of happiness.

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It is all good and well to resolve to feel more gratitude and become happier. Putting it into action is a little harder said than done. Thankfully, there is a simple little tool that will help you stay on track – a journal. A gratitude journal is a wonderful thing and something that can have a surprisingly big positive impact on your life. Best of all, you do not need anything fancy. Grab a notebook and a pen, or if you prefer, boot up your computer and open a word document.

The idea is simple. Each day you want to write for a few minutes about the various things you feel grateful for. Think back on anything that made you happy throughout the day. By listing all the positive things in your life, you are putting them into the forefront of your mind. That alone is bound to increase your mood and make you feel happier and more accomplished.

Not only will your writing help you right away, as you compose each daily entry, but you are also creating a great memento of your gratitude and happiness journey. Pull out your journal, curl up on the couch and read it whenever you need a little boost of happiness. Seeing, in black and white, how far you have come throughout the past weeks, months, and even years is amazing.

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As you start to read about the events and people that you felt grateful for in the past, you are start to relive those memories, and with it those feelings. Think of your gratitude journal as a happiness battery. You are storing your good feelings in an easy format that allows you to access and relive them on demand. What a powerful idea.

In addition, writing and reading your gratitude journal regularly will help you form new positive habits. You will start to have a more positive outlook in life, and since the journal forces you to think of and find the things and people you are grateful for in any given day, your brain will automatically start to look for the positive instead of the negative. It is easy to see how that can have a beneficial impact on your life over time.

If you are ready to practice gratitude and work on increasing your happiness, start writing a journal. You will not regret it.

Keep A Journal To Practice Gratitude And Happiness

We have talked in the past about the fact that feeling grateful and acknowledging all the good things in our lives is a fantastic way to increase our overall happiness. Getting in the habit of showing and experiencing more gratitude is a one of the most powerful ways to increase your feeling of happiness.

It is all good and well to resolve to feel more gratitude and become happier. Putting it into action is a little harder said than done. Thankfully, there is a simple little tool that will help you stay on track – a journal. A gratitude journal is a wonderful thing and something that can have a surprisingly big positive impact on your life. Best of all, you do not need anything fancy. Grab a notebook and a pen, or if you prefer, boot up your computer and open a word document.

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The idea is simple. Each day you want to write for a few minutes about the various things you feel grateful for. Think back on anything that made you happy throughout the day. By listing all the positive things in your life, you are putting them into the forefront of your mind. That alone is bound to increase your mood and make you feel happier and more accomplished.

Not only will your writing help you right away, as you compose each daily entry, but you are also creating a great memento of your gratitude and happiness journey. Pull out your journal, curl up on the couch and read it whenever you need a little boost of happiness. Seeing, in black and white, how far you have come throughout the past weeks, months, and even years is amazing.

As you start to read about the events and people that you felt grateful for in the past, you are start to relive those memories, and with it those feelings. Think of your gratitude journal as a happiness battery. You are storing your good feelings in an easy format that allows you to access and relive them on demand. What a powerful idea.

In addition, writing and reading your gratitude journal regularly will help you form new positive habits. You will start to have a more positive outlook in life, and since the journal forces you to think of and find the things and people you are grateful for in any given day, your brain will automatically start to look for the positive instead of the negative. It is easy to see how that can have a beneficial impact on your life over time.

If you are ready to practice gratitude and work on increasing your happiness, start writing a journal. You will not regret it.

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When All Else Fails, Fake It

Here is an interesting expression: “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.”

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You usually hear it in the business and show business world. The idea is that if you look like a success, others around you will treat you like a successful person and will send more projects and opportunities your way. At some point, the idea is that you can stop faking it because you have become what you have pretended to be. It sounds a little harsher than it is. Faking in this context is not as phony as it sounds. What you are really doing is modelling behaviours until you have internalized them. Once that happens, you will start to see results, because you have been working hard at exactly the types of things a successful person does. It only makes sense then that you start to see results.

The interesting thing is that this works in all sorts of different contexts. If you want to be a thin and fit person, start acting like one, eating the things they eat, working out, moving around more etc. After a few months of doing that, it is no wonder that you are starting to slim down significantly.

Since happiness is on my mind a lot during this project, I did a little research to see if the same concept could also work for feelings – including increasing a feeling of self-worth, wellbeing, and of course being happier. The good news is that it does. You really can fake happiness until your mood improves.

How To Start Faking Happiness

Faking happiness is a lot easier than you may think. You can start with nothing more complicated than smiling. A fake smile will do in a pinch, but if you can get your entire face, including your eyes involved. Give smiling your best effort, even if you are not feeling it.

After a bit of smiling, you should feel your mood start to increase. Remind yourself throughout the day to smile more for best results. When you are ready to kick it up a notch, try laughing. Again, if there is nothing funny going on, just start giggling and laughing. It has a profound impact on the body. Not only will it instantly lift your bad mood and make you feel happier, laughing has also been shown to increase your body’s ability to heal and it will improve your immune system.

Try it and start practicing faking happiness. You can smile and laugh at yourself in front of the bathroom mirror in the mornings. Then try to smile more and laugh often as you go about your day. Not only will you notice your own happiness levels increase, but you will also have influence on those around you.

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Make It A Point To Make Someone’s Day

Here’s an interesting exercise for you. Head out to do your errands, drive to work, or get to school and make it a point to make someone else’s day today. It could be something as simple as giving someone a big smile, have a meaningful conversation with a person who’s feeling a little lost or lonely, or it could be buying lunch for the homeless person on the corner. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something today to make someone else’s day.

How does that make sure feel? It’s a pretty good feeling isn’t it? It seems that a big key to our own happiness lies in making people around us happy, and helping. When you start to think about it, it makes sense, doesn’t it? We are social creatures who must work together to truly thrive. It is only logical then that helping those around us has an internal rewards system built in. In other words, our happiness goes up as we improve the lives of those around us.

A great strategy then to increase our own happiness is to cheer up those around us. Not only will it help make you feel better and happier, but you also must increase your own happiness and put that big smile on your face to be able to make someone else’s day. It’s hard to do this kind of stuff when you’re feeling sad and depressed. But those are the times you need to force yourself to do it the most. By simply doing that, you make your own mind increase the happiness you feel and that gets mingled with a feeling of pride for helping someone else.

As with many of the other strategies we’ve been discussing about increasing your happiness, the key to making this work is to make it a habit. If it becomes well ingrained in your daily routine to make someone’s day as you go about living your life, you’ll automatically start to do it, even when (and especially when) you don’t feel like it. As you well know those are the times when you particularly need to do something to increase your own happiness and give yourself that little extra boost.

Start by thinking about a few different little things you can do to make someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated. Instead focus on small acts of kindness that you can do every single day. Bless your loved ones with this kindness, or complete strangers who look like they could use a little cheering up. Help someone unload groceries, fix a meal for a neighbour who just had a new baby, or bring your spouse coffee in bed when he or she is having a hard time. All these small acts of kindness will start to make a huge difference not just in you, but also the world around you.

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Let’s stay happy

Hi guys.

An intensive few weeks as I just started a new job as a Maths lecturer. This is on top of my Tutoring Business of Maths and Physics! And I have fingers in other pies too!

I think I will continue with some of the posts on happiness. On my other blog at Fairyhanny.com I am writing about writing, as I am getting close to putting my third book on to Amazon.

First book

Second book

So it’s all go just now.

Stay safe and happy.

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On the same theme

From Daily Motivation

When you keep chasing happiness, you let yourself believe you don’t have it.

You start to think it’s something outside of yourself. But the truth is that happiness exists within ourselves.

It’s all about how you perceive your life.

When you appreciate what you have in your life, accept the present, and stay grounded, happiness automatically comes.

You can be happy about the smallest, most random things. Embrace your inherent state of joy.

Don’t let your happiness be dependent on things you can’t control. 

Appreciate what you have in your life.

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Boost Your Confidence And Become Happier

Think back to some of the happiest times in your life. Chances are that these are also the days when you felt your most confident. Maybe you excelled at sports during that time, or you aced a project at work. Confidence can be a huge happiness booster. But why wait for something good to happen in your life? Why not boost your self-confidence, which in turn will increase your feeling of happiness.

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There are all sorts of things you can do to boost your confidence. We will run through a few of them here. I also encourage you to read up on the topic, pay attention to times when you are feeling more confident, and then work out a plan to intentionally boost your self-confidence based on your own research and experience.

The problem with boosting confidence is that we tend to respond to different strategies, techniques, and events. Some of us thrive on words of encouragement, while others want to see results, or thrive on kind actions from others. Are you the type of person who puts more meaning into a kind word from your boss, a raise, or a promotion? Or how about some public recognition at the latest company meeting. We all have different confidence triggers and the trick is to figure out what yours is and how you can get more of those types of boosts.

General confidence boosters include words of encouragement, seeing how far we have come, listening to some upbeat music, going out for a run, and dealing with failure in a positive way. Give each of those and any other interesting confidence boosting tip you come across a try. Then sit back and notice how much confidence impacts overall happiness.

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If you respond well to compliments and words of encouragement, call a friend or anyone else in your life who makes a great cheerleader. Get those positive verbal affirmations whenever you need a little boost. Keep a journal so you can look back and see how much progress you have made. This is particularly sound advice if you are trying to change your life, your habits, or make progress on a long-term project. Being able to flip back and see how far you have come can be very encouraging.

Cranking up some tunes, or heading outside for a little fresh air and exercise can be another fantastic way to boost your confidence and your mood. Combine the two for even better results. Finally, let us look at how to deal with failure. When things go wrong – and let us face it, they will eventually – you can either allow it to bring you down and undermine your confidence, or you can look at it as a learning experience. Guess which view is better for your self-esteem?

I hope you take these suggestions to heart and try to work on your confidence. Not only will it make you a happier person, but you also get more done, and become more successful overall.

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Why Getting Enough Sleep May Be The Key To Happiness

I am one of those people who do not seem to need more than six hours sleep a night. This is not always a good thing!

Sleep is important for your health, well-being, and how alert you are. Not getting a good night sleep can impact your performance during the day. Chronic lack of sleep can cause all sorts of health issues and even weight-gain. It can also lead to depression. In other words, not getting the sleep you need makes you feel bad.

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Making sure you get sufficient rest can help you feel more energized. You get more done which boosts your self-confidence and in turn your overall happiness. Making sure you get your beauty rest makes a lot of sense.

I am sure you have seen this in action. When we do not sleep well, or do not get a chance to get enough rest, we end up grumpy and agitated. Our stress levels go up which in turn makes us feel worse. We do not get our work done, we start to feel depressed and that in turn leads to more sleepless nights. It is a vicious cycle.

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If we can break that cycle and make sleep a priority, everything changes for the better. We wake up in a great mood and ready to tackle the day. It is easier to get work and chores done and still have time to relax and unwind. That in turn leads to a better night sleep and an even better morning.

The big question then is how do we get to this state of sleep-full bliss and a solid 8 hours of rest at night? We do it by making sleep a priority. Yes, there are times in our lives (like the arrival of a new-born, for example), when getting a good night’s sleep is not a possibility for quite some time, but for most of us, working on a reasonable bedtime routine is not that hard to achieve.

And routine is the keyword here.

Good sleep is a habit and a learned behaviour.

It takes a little work on your part to change your habits and establish a good sleep and bedtime routine, but it will be well worth it. I promise.

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Start by setting a regular bedtime and do your best to stick to it – even on the weekend and holidays. Our bodies get in a rhythm of waking and resting hours. Help your body get there by staying on schedule. Spend some time in the hours before bed to relax and calm down. Stop working, do not exercise too late in the day, avoid caffeine a few hours before bed, and turn off screens at least an hour before you are ready to fall asleep. Turning down the lights, playing soft music, and reading an old-fashioned paper book are all great ways to relax and prepare both body and mind for sleep. Taking a warm bath or shower can help as well.

If you are still having a tough time going to sleep after implementing a routine, consider supplementing with magnesium and /or melatonin. A lack of either one of those substances in your body can make it much harder to fall and stay asleep. Stick with your routine and you will get into a habit of getting plenty of sleep. That in turn will lead to happier, more energetic, and more productive days

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Be Positive

Your subconscious mind constantly works behind the scenes and filters in the information that affirms your underlying beliefs.

Bedtime is an optimal time to work on changing your internal beliefs.

Before you go to sleep, take a few moments to think about the things you want to attract into your life.

Feed your mind helpful thoughts and allow feelings of joy and gratitude to sink in.

Surround yourself with items and quotes that inspire positive feelings.

If you repeatedly use positive statements and act accordingly, your subconscious mind will record it as the truth, and eventually, it will become a core belief.

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Build A Support System of Happy People Around You

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Moods are contagious. If you are around a bunch of sad and depressed people, you will start to feel down. If on the other hand you are in a group of happy people, you cannot help but start to smile. It makes sense then to surround yourself with happy people if you want your own level of happiness to increase.

Does this mean that you should shut all people who aren’t super happy out of your life? Of course not. We all have important people in our lives whom we love and cherish even if they do not have the sunniest outlook on life. Plus we all have happier, and sadder seasons in our lives. It would be horrible if we avoided loved ones during tough times.

Instead, what I suggest is that you take note of who the happy people in your life are. Who are your cheerleaders that will cheer you on no matter what and who will put a smile on your face anytime you spend time with them? Take note of those positive people, be their friends, family, or even just acquaintances. Build a support system of happy people that you can turn to when you are feeling down.

Along the same lines, you want to be careful about the negative and sad people around you and how they affect your own mood. When you are having a tough time and are struggling with your own happiness levels, it may be better to avoid people that you know will bring you further down. Those are the times when you want to spend time with your team of cheerleaders, or your happiness support system. Again, this does not mean that you need to completely shut people out of your life, just take note of their energy and how they affect you and spend time with them accordingly.

When you are happy, do not be afraid to share that happiness and spread it around. Smiling, laughing, and feeling good about life is contagious. Spread the joy and soak it up from happy people around you when you are not feeling your personal best. Call up that friend that can instantly make you feel better, and talk to people around you who love and care for you about this idea of contagious happiness. Let them know when you could use some cheering up and then return the favour. Because, let us face it, we all have times when we are happier and in a much better mood than other days. Make it a habit to build each other up and create that happiness support system. It will make a dramatic difference in your life and those around you.

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Fighting Against Our Brain’s Bias To Negativity

Have you noticed that negative comments and events stick with us much longer, and influence us more than positive ones?

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I am sure you have experienced this quite a few times. A positive comment by your teacher for example is appreciated, but the effects wear off quickly. A negative comment on the other hand sticks with you much longer. Why is that? It is because our brains have a bias to negativity. It is measurable and there have been brain scan studies done that show that our brain reacts more strongly to negative stimuli. The big question then is how do we fight against our brain’s bias to negativity?

What can we do to make sure negative remarks and criticism do not get us down?

The first step is that we realize that there is such a thing. This allows us to take each piece of negativity with a grain of salt. It can be incredibly helpful to acknowledge that our mind and heart may be overreacting about something negative. On the other side, this knowledge also allows us to make it a point to savour the positivity. Do not dismiss a compliment out of hand. Instead, savour it, think about it, and make it a point to remember it, and allow it to lift you up when negativity brings you down.

Be positive.

Of course all of this is easier said than done. Since this bias to negativity is hard wired in our brains, it takes a lot of time and effort to build new, more positive habits. Remind yourself each morning that your mind is trying to force you to focus on the negative stuff and that it takes a conscious effort to balance it out by being mindful of all the good and happy things in our lives.

Over time this will allow us to grow a thicker skin when it comes to unwarranted criticism. Should you ignore every single comment or suggestion that you do not like? Of course not. There is such a thing as constructive criticism that helps us to grow and get better at what we do. What we need to guard against are the negative words, events, and feelings that make us go hide in a cave. We do not want to encourage inaction in ourselves. Instead, we want to use the positivity around us to lift us up and help us make it through the tough times, get stronger, and get better at what we do.

Reflecting on both the good and the bad on a daily basis can be a great exercise to help us gain a little distance and see everything that is happening to us in a better light. Keep a journal or set aside some time for quiet contemplation. Talking things out with a friend, particularly when you are struggling with something negative that you’ve having a challenging time getting past, is another great idea. Above all, do what you can to outweigh the negativity with the good stuff. Keep a box or file with some of the best positive emails and comments you have. Peruse through them whenever you need to counteract something negative. As time goes by you will grow that that thicker skin that will protect you from your harshest critics.

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Finding Happiness in a Sea Of Sadness or Overwhelm

“Happiness, Happiness, the greatest gift that I possess. I thank the lord that I’ve been blessed with more than my share of Happiness”. Happiness, by Ken Dodd.

We all go through tough times. There are periods in our lives where it is hard to find much joy and happiness amid a sea of sadness and overwhelm. We have times when we feel like we are in way over our head and cannot think straight. That causes lots of stress and as we have talked about in a previous blog post, stress kills happiness.

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There are also incredibly sad times in our lives. Relationships end and we lose loved ones. There is certainly a time to grieve and we need to process that loss. We also need these sad moments in life to contrast the happier ones. Without sadness, happiness would be very meaningless. Think about that for a moment. If you are never sad, always happy, happiness becomes the new normal, not something to appreciate and strive toward.

There are things you can do to find a little happiness during these tough times. Often that is all it takes to help you make it through that period in your life. You cannot expect to flip a switch and suddenly everything is rainbows and roses. And why would you want that? We need time to process and grieve when we lose someone, and the overwhelm and stress help us stay on our toes and get stuff done. What we need is to see a small light at the end of the tunnel. We need that little bit of happiness to give us hope.

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Let us talk about how you can go about creating that little bit of happiness to get you through the demanding times. The first thing you may want to focus on is gratitude. Whenever you feel particularly bad, sad, or overwhelmed and do not know where to turn, think about the many people and things in your life that you can be grateful for. If you have recently lost a loved one, be grateful for the time you have had with them and the things you have learned from this special person. If you are stressed out at work or in your own business, be grateful that you are growing and making progress. It may not be easy, but this overwhelm and stress usually means that much better things are ahead.

It is also extremely helpful to find the joy in the little things. Maybe you are not ready to be grateful and that is ok. Instead, pay attention to your surroundings and find a little joy in what is around you. Let that toddler playing in the park put a smile on your face. Enjoy the first warm rays of sunshine in the spring, or notice how beautiful that flower in your garden is. In other words, look around and find a little joy and happiness where you can. Above all, remember that even during challenging times, it is ok to find and appreciate these little moments of happiness.

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Do not Sweat The Small Stuff – Savour It 

Continuing with our pursuit of happiness – a great movie by the way!

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“Don’t sweat the small stuff” they say. And they – whoever “they” are, have a good point. It is easy to get caught up in all the petty things that stress us out and ruin our day. Frankly, it is not worth wasting a lot of energy on a lot of things that happen daily that we do not like. Sure, we could get upset over the fact that someone else took the last good parking spot, or that the grocery store is out of our favourite brand of cereal. Or we can choose to not make a big deal out of it and use that small, insignificant stuff to practice seeing the positive side of things. Having to park further away means we get to exercise a little and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine for a couple of minutes while we stroll into the office. Not being able to find our favourite cereal, means we get a chance to try something new that we may like even better.

There are often two sides to any situation and as human beings we have a choice in how we look at it. Make it a goal to look on the bright side and watch your happiness and contentment go up. Then take it a step further and start to really pay attention to all the good stuff around you. Slow down and appreciate life if you will.

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There is a lot of value in noticing all the positive things around you. There are a lot of tiny trivial things around you that will put a smile on your face, it you take the time to notice them. Make it a habit to spend some of your downtime this week to savour the small stuff. Notice how your cup of coffee smells, how it warms your hands on a cool morning, and how it tastes. Pay attention to the birds outside your window and notice how watching them and their antics around the birdfeeder makes you smile. Appreciate the hug your little one gives you after you pick her up from school. In other words, savour all the small stuff that makes you happy. It may not be much, but it all adds up to an incredibly happy life. You just must make the time to notice it.

Over the coming weeks, practice noticing and savouring the small things in life. Do not let the harmful stuff bring you down. Instead, make it a goal to find something positive about everything that happens to you throughout the day. Pay particular attention to all the things that make you smile. Acknowledge them and it will not take long before you feel this simple little exercise making a significant difference in your overall outlook on life.

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We Crave Human Connections

I currently live by myself in a beautiful place called Southport. I am quite happy though I do miss having people around. And yet too many of the people I know are too busy to spend time together. Why is this a problem?

Like it or not, we are social creatures who crave human connections. It is hardwired into our brains because we need to work together to ensure the survival of our species. We must work together to make this happen. It only makes sense then that forming and maintaining those connections has an internal reward built in. On the other side, when we spent too much time isolated and alone we start to feel sad, depressed and if that isolation lasts too long, we can go mad.

And it is our interaction with other people more than anything else that brings us happiness. It is not the amount of money we make or have stashed away in a bank account. It is not the big house, the fancy car, and all the stuff we accumulate over the years. What makes us happy is spending time and sharing experiences with other people.

Of course not every single person makes us happy. We all must deal with plenty of people we do not particularly enjoy spending time with. We do it to work together on a project at the office because they are our colleagues, or because they happen to work out next to us at the gym. Some people we are ambivalent about, others we would rather not spend time with given the choice. Yet, there are still benefits to these relationships. We work well together, challenge each other, and become better people, and better contributors to society at large when we collaborate. This has its own rewards.

When we are with people we love and whose company we enjoy on the other hand, we get a lot of joy, satisfaction, and happiness out of those interactions. We have evolved into beings who crave the mental, social, and physical connections. There is a reason almost everyone appreciates a heart-felt hug.

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Spending time with people who love and encourage us, and those that challenge us, and make us push harder, help us grow as human beings. We get better when we have cheerleaders and mentors around us. There is a reason people say that you are or will become the average of the five people you spent the most time around. Pick those around you wisely if you want to grow as a person and if your goal is happiness, spend as much time as you can with happy, positive people.

Above all, make sure you nurture those important close relationships with family and friends. Those connections will help boost your happiness and make you feel like you are part of something bigger that gives meaning to your life.

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Happiness and Exercise

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Are you a member of a gym? Do you run every morning? Do you have some free weights at home?

When you are having a difficult day, or are feeling down, the best way to increase your happiness, may be to exercise. There is a strong link between exercise and an improvement in mood and well-being. Give it a try. Go for a 30-minute walk whenever you are feeling depressed and unhappy. You will notice your mood starting to increase throughout the walk. As you get back, you may notice that you’ve feeling even happier.

This increase of happiness and wellbeing after exercise is caused by two different mechanisms in our body. The first is that exercise causes the release of brain chemicals like endorphins and other mood enhancers. This happens just a few minutes after you work out and the effect can last for a good 12 hours. The second part to the equation is that exercise also helps reduce the levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the body. That means you will instantly feel less stressed. This one-two punch can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Something as simple as a brisk walk can help you feel better almost immediately.

For best results you want to exercise a few times per week. Take some time during your lunch break to go for a walk, or work a quick workout in before you head to work in the morning. It does not matter what you do if you start moving around and get that blood pumping. Pick activities you enjoy that you will stick with.

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In addition to the everyday mood booster you get from exercising regularly, there are quite a few additional long-term benefits. Exercise is good for your health and you will start to get fitter and even slimmer and more toned if you stick with it. This in turn will improve how you feel and how you feel about yourself. That added confidence can be a great additional mood booster.

For best results, try to get as much exercise as you can outside. Fresh air and sunshine add to a feeling of wellbeing. Produce some simple things you can start doing right now. Maybe it is going for a walk each afternoon. Maybe it is taking up jogging. Maybe it is signing up for a yoga or Pilate’s class at your local community centre, or maybe it is joining a basketball team. It does not matter what you choose to do if you make it a goal to get more active and move around. Switch it up and plan a group hike for the weekend, or dust off your bike. There is a lot of fun ways to move around and enjoy the world around you.

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Stress Kills Happiness – Easy Ways To Destress

It is hard to be happy when you are stressed. I do not have to tell you that. I am sure you have experienced it yourself. Think back on high stress situations like missing a flight to go on holiday, or when you were planning your wedding and things got overwhelming and started to fall apart. Hopefully, you were able to recover and enjoy your time away or your wedding day, but chances are that you were not too happy while you were stressed out. Stress sucks the happiness and joy right out of us.

It only make sense then that one way to increase our happiness and our quality of life is to distress. Not only is it good for our soul, it is also good for our overall health and wellbeing to reduce the stress in our lives. Here are some simple things you can do to distress.

Get Enough Sleep

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A straightforward way to stress less is to make sure you get a good seven to eight hours of sleep at night. When we do not sleep well, and do not sleep enough, our bodies are in a constant state of stress, trying to make up for the lack of sleep. Sleep helps us relax and gives our mind time to process everything that has been happening. Stop burning the midnight oil and get some sleep. You will get more done when you are fresh and rested and you will be less stressed out.

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Move Around And Get Some Exercise

Without doubt, the best stress reliever is exercise. Start moving around and burn that stress right out of your system. If you can get outside to workout, even better. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders. Go for a run, or even just a short walk whenever you are feeling stressed. For best results, work out regularly.

Take Some “Me” Time

There are times in our lives when we must spend a lot of focus and attention on others. Maybe you are raising a toddler, or you are working hard to get a new company off the ground. At busy times like these that take a lot of our attention and time, it is easy to forget about ourselves, or put our own personal needs last. Make an effort to spend at least a little bit of “me” time each day. It does not have to be much. Even ten minutes spent relaxing and doing something completely selfish can be a fantastic way to decompress and distress.

Practice Meditation

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Let us wrap this up with one last technique that can keep stress at bay. Try meditating. Again, you do not have to spend a lot of time on this. Sitting quietly going through a guided meditation once a day can do wonders. Once you get in the habit of practicing meditation daily, and get better at it, you can draw on the techniques you have learned whenever you encounter a particularly stressful situation. You can spend a minute or two in meditation, even at the most stressful time and allow your mind to relax. Trust me, this will come in very handy when life throws you a curveball, or when you are feeling completely overwhelmed.

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The Connection Between Doing Stuff And Happiness

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We are hard wired for acting and getting stuff done. It only makes sense, doesn’t it? Our survival as a society depends on the actions of lots of different people. We each do our part and everything runs smoothly. It only makes sense then that we have an internal mechanism hard wired into our brain that rewards us for getting things done.

I am sure you have seen this in action in your own life. You feel proud, accomplished, and happy when you wrap up a big work project, or finish reorganizing your closet. It is a great feeling and it is what drives us to get things done on a regular basis. It is motivation to get to work and act.

On the other hand, when we do not have anything meaningful to do and we do not feel like we are contributing, we get depressed. People who do not have a fulfilling job, or feel like the work they do is useless, are much more likely to feel down, tired, sad, and depressed.

The best way to turn that around is to find something, anything we can do to make us feel productive. If we feel like we are contributing to others, having a positive impact on their lives, all the better.

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Give it a try.

The next time you feel down, force yourself to do one little productive thing. Go clean the bathroom, organize your bookshelf, or do a load of laundry. Then use the accomplishment from that to motivate yourself to get something else done. Keep building on it, and before you know it you will notice your mood changing for the better

If you want to supercharge this experience, go out and do something productive that helps others. Go work at a soup kitchen for a couple of hours, or help at your local animal shelter. Offer to baby sit for a friend with little kids who has not been out all week. Do something that benefits someone else and you will feel even better than before.

For the long run, make it a goal to work at a job, or build a business that helps fuel this feeling of contributing and giving back. Wouldn’t it be great if the hours you spent earning a living each week, also contributed to your overall happiness and a feeling of fulfilment? What can you do this week or this month to work towards this goal? That is where you want to start and in the meantime, keep volunteering, keep acting, and do things that make you feel happy and accomplished.

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Dreams and Goals…

Another good one from Daily Motivation. Some of them tie in with the posts I am working on about happiness and having a good life.

“Spend a few minutes a day visualizing your best possible version. Think about how you would spend your time.

Try to imagine how it would feel to accomplish all your goals.

This exercise can make you more optimistic and improve the quality of the decisions you make every day.

It will motivate you to take the necessary steps to achieve all that you want. 

Don’t lose hope yet.

If things are not going your way now, doesn’t mean that it will never get better.

Don’t limit your possibilities. 

You always have the ability to grow.

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Start Your Day With Gratefulness

Let us talk about Gratefulness.

Gratefulness is all about appreciating the good things in our lives. Starting our day by thinking about all the things we must be grateful for is a fantastic way to set the tone. Practicing gratefulness makes us focus on all the good and pleasant things in our lives and that, in turn, improves our overall happiness.

In other words, spending a few minutes early in the morning thinking about what we are grateful for, can improve our mood and our feeling of being happy for the entire day. That is something well worth checking and you do not have to spend a lot of time on it.

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As you are waking up, or while you are sitting at your kitchen table sipping your first cup of tea or coffee, think about all the things and people you are thankful and grateful for. Focus your mind on anything positive that has happened the day before, or that you anticipate happening today. You can be grateful for the smallest of things. I wake up grateful that I have a warm and comfortable bed to sleep in and grateful that I am still alive! Think about the people in your life that you are grateful for including your parents, grandparents, significant other, children, friends, colleagues, a boss that gives you a job. Try to find something good about all important people in your life.

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Another option is to just look around you. Look at your sunny kitchen, or the trees and birds that you can see outside your window. No matter what your living situation is right now, I am sure you can think of things about it you are grateful for, even if it is not your ideal living space.

Make this grateful exercise part of your morning ritual. Focusing on it, and practicing it at the same time each morning and, if possible, in a similar setting, will help you form a habit. And that is the goal for the long run. You want to be able to practice being grateful effortlessly and without having to think about it. Getting to that point alone will have a significant impact on how happy and content you feel. Try it for a few weeks and take note of how your mental outlook changes by simply adding this little exercise of gratitude in the mornings. Before long, you will do it automatically and will not want to miss this opportunity to acknowledge all the good things in your life.

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What Makes You Happy?

Make sure you do this!

In the last post we started talking about happiness and you started thinking about what makes you happy. It was part of our commitment to happiness. Today we’re going to dig a little deeper. There are a lot of things that make us happy on a regular basis. Think about the simple little things that put a smile on your face. It could be a person, a thing, an experience, an action, a song… the list goes on and on.

An easy way to increase our overall happiness and contentment is to simply do something that makes us happy every single day. During this challenge that’s something you should work on. To make it easier for the remainder of this challenge, let’s come up with a list of what makes us happy. This will obviously be different for each one of us. Let me give you a few ideas and some things to think about. Then I want you to grab a pen and a notebook, or a piece of paper, or if you prefer, open your laptop and start typing away. I want you to make a list of things that make you happy.

Don’t overthink this. Don’t try to come up with an organized and categorized list. Instead, simply start brainstorming and jot things down. Don’t feel pressured to come up with everything all at once. Feel free to add to the list as time goes by and get in the habit of noticing things that make you happy and then adding them to the list throughout this challenge and beyond.

Let’s start with the big ones that make us happy. What people in your life make you happy? What things that you own bring you joy? What activities and hobbies that you have bring you lots of happiness? Think big here and pick what has the biggest impact on your mood. This could also include things like what gestures or actions put a big smile on your face. Places are another great addition. Maybe you’re happiest at the beach.

Dungeons and Dragons!

For me I like building models for my railway and playing wargames. I also love sitting in a bar or restaurant with friends and family. If I really want to be happy I would visit Istanbul or Casablanca or Almaty, places where I have been happiest!

Then think about the little things that make you happy. Maybe it’s sipping that first cup of coffee in the morning, a pretty flower in your garden, or having five minutes to yourself. From there just become more aware of what makes you happy, or what brings a smile to your face. Stop and take notice anytime that happens, and keep adding to your list of things that make you happy. It will be a great resource to have throughout this challenge. As a bonus it will make you grateful and content, just looking at this long list of people and things that bring you happiness

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Make A Commitment To Cultivating Happiness

Happiness and habits!

What does it mean to be totally committed to something? It often means that you set a goal and then dedicate yourself to do what it takes to reach that goal. We commit to a relationship when we get married, we commit to a job or a career, and we may be committed to a hobby. But today I want to focus on committing to cultivating happiness.

I shared how at least part of how happy we are is related to a choice we make. I also shared my goal of running this Challenge to help us make a conscious decision to be happier and create a new habit of having a more positive outlook. The first step to make that happen is to make a commitment to this challenge and to happiness. This holds true for any new habit you want to engrain in yourself. The first step is always to commit to it. From there, it is a matter of daily practice until the new behaviour or action has become a true habit. A habit is something you do without any conscious thought or effort.

Our journey toward a happier version of ourselves is no different. We must commit to happiness. Of course it is not as easy as saying to yourself that you will be happier from here on out. While that is certainly helpful, it is not as simple as that. Before we can commit to happiness we have to define what makes us happy.

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Spend some time today to reflect on what makes you happy and what does not make you happy. Dig deep. For example, if curling up on the couch with a good book makes you happy, think about why that is. Is it because it gives you a chance to escape and forget about your own life for a while? If so, try to pin-point what you are hiding from when you dive into a book and what you can do about that. If getting up at 6am to go to work makes you unhappy, and changing to a later schedule is not an option, think about the positive things about getting up early. You get to see the sun rise, you get to come home at a decent hour and have time to relax before bedtime. Something as simple as implementing a relaxing bed-time routine and going to bed a little earlier may make it much easier to get up at 6am and improve your whole outlook on workday mornings.

We will dig a little deeper into what makes us happy and how we can go about cultivating more happiness in future posts. For now, find your own personal definition of happiness and produce at least ten different things or people that make you happy. Then commit to using the coming days to work on becoming happier. You will not regret it.

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Same theme…

I just got this from Daily Motivation

“You are capable of overcoming the challenges you face in life.

No matter what happens, do not let yourself get bogged down by fear, and negativity.

Be patient with yourself as you work through whatever life throws your way.

Give yourself some time to process your negative feelings and then allow yourself to move on. Things can change for the better.

You are attracting the greatest moments of your life. Be open to miracles. You deserve positive experiences.

You deserve happiness. You deserve a beautiful life. Keep going.

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Why Happiness Is A Choice You Make Every Day

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I’ve been feeling a bit down recently – probably because I just had a BIG birthday. I don’t like feeling down, so I went back to look through some of the articles I have collected and decided to share them.

Enjoy!

Are you a glass half full or half empty person? This is a great example to illustrate that there are often two sides to any story and that you have a choice in how you view things. And that choice in turn determines how happy you feel. Happiness then becomes a choice you make every single day.

You can choose to see the glass as half empty, focus on the fact that you are almost done drinking that nice glass of iced tea. With that attitude, you are more likely to feel a little depressed about your tea. If on the other hand you focus on the fact that the glass is still half full and you have plenty of ice-cold tea to sip on, your mood improves and you are increasing your happiness.

When you look at it that way, happiness really is a conscious choice you make, at least to a point. From what I have been reading 40% off your happiness is directly affected by how you think and how you choose to feel. And that is what the next 30 days is all about. Over the coming days I will post here on the blog daily with tips, advice, and strategies to help you make a conscious decision to be happier. Ready to join me?

Be Happy!

 Since happiness is a choice, and a choice we make every single day, I want to challenge you to make it a habit. Over the coming days, I want to inspire and encourage you to make a choice each morning to be happier.

It takes time and daily conscious decisions to change habits and how we approach life. That is where the challenge comes into play. The idea is that you have reminders here on the blog to help you remember to make that choice. Of course there will also be plenty of helpful content on the topic of happiness in the form of upcoming blog posts. At the end of the challenge, I hope you have formed new habits, new ways of thinking, and new ways to look at each situation as it arises. With a little shift in thinking and perception, you can craft a happier, more fulfilling life for yourself. I hope this challenge will help you get there.

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Helping

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I have a close friend who is going through a hard time at the moment. She was working hard to look after her mother and son. While she was out at work her Mum looked after the young boy. Sadly, Mum has now gone blind. So my friend had to quit work to care for her Mum and son.

She is depressed and can’t see a way forward. I am doing my best to help her emotionally and to some extent financially, though my contract just finished too, and my next one is a few weeks away…

However, I found this lovely quote from Daily Motivation.

Maybe it will resonate with some of you.

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com

In life, we have to let go of many things.

Life offers us everything – joy, excitement and also sadness, and anger. We must experience all these aspects fully and learn from them.

The experiences you go through open you up to your strengths and aspects that can be improved. Allow things to come and go.

Let the moment be what it is. Life is continuously moving. We have to do our best to roll with it all.

Free yourself from your limiting beliefs. As you work with what you have, you will gather the strength to overcome obstacles and transform yourself.”

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Focus

Since I came back to the UK last summer I have been looking for a focus. At first I thought I would become a Property Investor, so I enrolled on an online course. I really couldn’t get into it; I worked in Property in the past and lost a lot of money.

Then an old friend came back on the scene and we were going to live in Morocco. It didn’t work out; too many clashes.

I published my second book featuring Fairy Hanny. Then it got my focus. I have always wanted to write and to teach.

That is my focus.

I am building courses to sell online, and writing.

Creative writing and also Motivational books. I have my third book featuring Fairy Hanny on the way. I also have a set of crime novels featuring the black humour of Inspector Hunter Flaange. I have a plan for a book on Time Management, based on a course I completed a while ago. Then there are plenty of Maths books I can put together from the various worksheets and powerpoints I have developed over the years.

I have a focus.

Then I came across this from Daily Motivation.

Don’t be afraid to be confused. Think of it as a sign that you’re learning something new and that your perspective is expanding.

Confusion pushes you to look beyond your perspective in order to make room for diverse opportunities in life.

Opening yourself to a new possibility improves your ability to feel confident in who you are in the face of adversity.

While you may not have full control over how your journey unfolds, you can control your priorities and what you believe in.

Just focus on what kind of person you want to be, and the rest will automatically fall into place.

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Feeling tired?

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I am! I think it is the travelling and the long term effects of Covid.

Though there is so much more I want to achieve!

I was fortunate enough to find this quote from Daily Motivation.

Be happy!!!

“Don’t ever let yourself believe that you’re running out of strength. 

Whenever you feel your life is spiralling out of control, take a step back and breathe.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Be aware of what you do have and what’s going well in your life. Take some time off to let the negative emotions run their course.

Then slowly incorporate positive thinking activities into your daily life, such as practicing affirmations, reframing a situation, and gratitude journaling.

If you release self-defeating thoughts and let the dark clouds of negativity dissipate, you will realize that you can find hope and strength within.”

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Writing and thinking

I love writing!

I am working on the third Fairy Hanny story and my first detective novel featuring Inspector Flaange. I also have some Maths and English books that I am editing, and an outline of a book on Motivation.

I get an email every day with a Daily Motivation. So I will share this one;

You are blessed in so many ways. Live your life with gratitude. Notice the little wins every day. There are so many good things you have already received.

So many things go right in a day.

Savour the good. 

Don’t let the good moments pass without celebration.

Spend some time cherishing them and hold on to positive emotions a little longer. Appreciate the hard work you have put into the things you have achieved until now.

Savour the sensation of being grateful. Learning to notice and enjoy what’s around you makes it easier to snap yourself out of negative thoughts. 

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Are Spontaneous Decisions Always Bad?

Final thoughts on decision making.

When faced with decisions, you want to have the best information possible. Some people spend too much time trying to find as much information as they can, and they miss opportunities because of it. Information is a key component in decision making. However, sometimes, you simply must decide and live with the decision without any information.

You do not want others to view you as someone who makes rash decisions. You will lose credibility when you do this, and people will not take you seriously. However, you must prepare yourself for certain times where being decisive is necessary. For instance, you may be registering for classes at your college and discover that a few of the courses you were hoping to take are full. You are given other choices but are unsure of how that will fit into your overall plan. Do you enrol in those alternative classes?

You may decide to go for the classes. If they are part of your curriculum, you can always rework your plan so that they fit in. Talk to your academic advisor and ask how to proceed after taking this new path. Of course, you could always drop the classes if they do not fit well.

The point is if a decision does not work out the wrong results can usually be fixed. Do not be afraid to take the plunge. The shoe company Nike has a slogan that has worked for them for several decades now. That slogan is ‘Just Do It!’

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A structured living doesn’t fit well with some people. They need the excitement that comes with making spontaneous decisions. Who is to say that their way is wrong? It may not work for others, but for them, it works quite well. You may know people who are like this and are envious of them.

That is not the same scenario as people who do not do much with their lives. Spontaneous decision makers are often doing many activities. You can decide to do nothing, but you will not get far. Unless you are lucky enough to come from money and your parents are willing to give you that money, you will need to find something to do.

Most people will find a balance of decisions they make based on information and spontaneous decisions. The process of decision making becomes easier the more you do it. Therefore, when you need to make spontaneous decisions, it will not be as difficult after a while.

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How to Avoid Analysis Paralysis

Help in making decisions.
Photo by Drew Williams on Pexels.com

Data bombards you. We have more data than we ever did due to the internet and storage technologies such as the cloud. It is great to slice the data in many directions you can think of and create nice-looking reports that impress your managers. However, when it comes to decision making, you must get to the point of making the decision. You will need to stop your data gathering and analysis and use what you must decide.

Computers give you the ability to divide your data in a way that makes sense for you or your company. But some people will spend hours deriving report after report, and none of them will get them any further in coming to a decision. They believe they need to see ten years of data instead of five. They need to see the impact of sales on each region, even though they are responsible only for one or two.

Data is a key component in the decision-making process. It can let you know who your customers are, how much they have bought, and it can even tell you who your customers are not. Information is also important to make confident decisions. Without the information, you could be shooting in the dark, and that is as bad as having too much information.

To help you overcome the situation of analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis as many will refer to it, speak to your boss or the people who are going to be impacted by the data and your decisions. Ask them what they need from the data, and structure the reports around that information. Do not include any other data in the report. If you cannot defend the position based on the data they asked for, it does not belong in the report.

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Do not be a hero when it comes to analysis. You may be tempted to show a different level of data to that required as it may show better insight. But, if it is not within the scope of your decision, save it for future analysis. It is okay to let managers know that further analysis is possible. They may even extend the deadline and the scope of the project due to this extra information. What is more likely to happen, however, is they will increase the scope while keeping the deadline the same. You have just given yourself more work to do by letting them know about this extra data.

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Decision Trees Can Help You Make Decisions

I have always found it easy to make decisions. Sometimes I look back and wish I had made a different decision…

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Decision trees are tools used by people to help them make confident decisions. It helps them layout several alternatives in a tree-like format. They can see most, if not all, the decisions available and can even set a rating on each choice.

The concept of a decision tree is an extension of a mind map. A mind map lets you create ideas and connections to those ideas. The decision tree is much like this concept except for a decision tree there is a score added to the branches of the tree. These scores often represent probabilities. If you have three choices, you may assign two branches with 40% probabilities, and the third branch would receive a 20% probability. The total of the branches should add up to 100%. However, it is your decision tree, so you are free to use whatever allocations you like if any. If your system makes sense to you, then it is correct.

Some project managers use decision trees to determine the costs of projects. When they assign probabilities to branches, they’ll multiply the total budget by that probability. For instance, if a branch has a probability of 35% and the total budget is $100,000, the branch will be estimated to cost $35,000 (35% x 100,000).

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Decision trees don’t have to be this intricate to be useful. You can use them to list out the alternatives for a decision and end your efforts there. You can also choose to update the percentage of completion for the path that you select. Again, there are no right answers when using a decision tree for your purposes.

When others rely on your decision tree, and you are formally calling it a decision tree, you may need to follow the protocol of assigning probabilities and figuring out the percentage cost. However, if the group agrees to other conventions, then again, that is the right answer for the group. A decision tree is simply a way to convey information to yourself or a team, etc.

Decision trees will have a certain amount of subjectivity associated with them. In most cases, coming up with probabilities is quite subjective. It’s only through experience that you’ll be able to refine the probabilities. If the project you are working on is a one-time deal, you won’t get the benefit of refining those probabilities and will have to start over with a new set of subjective probabilities on the next project. However, some branches may carry over to the new project, and you’ll have a better feel for what to assign to those.

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Another extract

One of the joys of writing a book is that you have in effect created a whole series of blogposts! Here is another extract from my latest book.

The original, which introduced the delightful Fairy Hanny, is also available on Amazon.

Enjoy!

“So, as we sip our cold beers, brewed to perfection in silly Suffolk, our eyes are cast upon this beautiful woodland glade.  

(Don´t worry about the cast in your eye, you´ll grow out of it. Well, that’s what the doctor said to me.)

At this very moment, in what we choose to call Time, we find ourselves watching a scene unfolding, not too far from the Magical City of Setebos, the seat of the Fairy Kings, where King Innocent the Foetid is the centre of all wisdom, on a planet largely devoid of common sense. It is also devoid of incense, ten cents and senescence.

Setebos!

Setebos!

City of expiring dreams and chocolate covered ice creams! Where poets die and crooner’s cry! Though it’s not unusual and you don’t have to be rich! A place for doves to cry and spies to spy! Where watching birds can catch your eye! A city for tourists and two men with four wrists! Where boozers booze and cruisers cruise! Where the Fairies are light and airy, and nothing is dreary! And if you want to go home just find a Gnome! If things get too tricksy just find a Pixy! Where Bigfoot sits Leery whilst eating a canary!

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Was it a yellowy canary or just a parrot looking scary?

Cities all over the Multiverse and Yorkshire have their concentrations of rogues and villains and scum and scavengers and Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, and Thugs and Yobs and Yahoos and Bullingdon Bores and Lying Bigots dressed in Blue; wherever you go you can be sure they’re there! And if you don´t know where you are going then you will definitely end up on Uranus.

Setebos -Your streets are paved with a Golden Vision and there are golden showers everywhere; your bars are decorated with lasciviousness; there are pretty Fairies all over the place; but sometimes the sky is grey, and we wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today. City of perspiration and inspiration, of expiration and exploitation, of generation and a railway station! Oh Setebos, Mother of Invention and Zapper of negativity, even when it doesn’t pull you through. When the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness comes running through, that is when we see what is owed to Autumn, when the trees do a shimmy of golden-brown leaves falling all around.

Then we know it’s Time to be on our way.

Anyway, on this most auspicious of days, the Sun shines her long-lost rays into this comfortable clearing, dancing from leaf to leaf, roots to branches, catching diaphanous wings of Mayfly’s, who hunt the wilderness for their one day of fame, seeking insectile eroticism before death takes them prematurely to the great Entomologists Display Case in the sky.

A leaf falls silently from the highest branch of a Rowan tree, oscillating left and right as the drag competes with gravity to slow its descent. It caresses the ground like a kiss from a rose, delighting a woodlouse in its humdrum day of decay. A beautiful white rabbit pops into the scene, slowly rubbing shampoo from his eyes; he wasn’t going to worry about being late as this is not the tale of his tail. Soon those stinging eyes perceive a flickering ghostly image, which becomes a shimmer and a glimmer as the light gets dimmer. The rabbit scurries away to a hole in the ground, from which there will eventually emerge a Magnificent Mathematical Yarn – but that’s another story. As the rabbit disappears with his ears, from the twinkling manifestation, appears the delicately roguish Mad Tom of Bedlam; wild silver hair and deep blue eyes trying their best to regain focus.”

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What Can You Do With This Program..?

Here’s just a very short list of some ways you could use the contents

  • Create your own ebook/Audiobook/Workbook product or course for sale
  • Merge this content with existing material of your own to build a unique course/product
  • Create a powerful lead magnet related to the overall theme of this package
  • Create a video series by making short videos based on the chapters and lessons in the main product
  • Create infographics for social sharing
  • Create Instagram/Pinterest posts about finding passion and drive traffic to your paid offers
  • Boost your Facebook/Twitter pages discussing the concepts related to this program
  • Extract key lessons from the program to share with coaching students or virtual classes
  • Create a webinar to pre-sell your training or coaching programs
  • Build a big bonus product to help you promote other Self Help based offers

Simply purchase a license today on our special offer page here…

Then download the content…
Make any edits you want…
And publish the material to meet your marketing needs!

Believe in yourself
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Trans Uranic Elements

I am very happy to say I just published my second book on Amazon. So for the next week or so I will be promoting my work – just like I said I would on this blog!!

The story is the second in the series featuring my heroine, Fairy Hanny. She is a tough go-getter, and also stunningly beautiful. A sort of Amazonian with wings! The first book is also available on Amazon, and I am working on the third in this series.

I thought some extracts might amuse people. So here we go.

“Things are not as they should be on Uranus (I´m sure you know the feeling); someone is fiddling with Time; jiggling about with the quantization of wormholes (how many would you like Madam?); disturbing the elasticated fabric of the raggedy arsed eternal soldier as he wends his way through the Political Battles of Carpathian Princes pretending to be Vlad reincarnated. Maybe it was God playing dice with the Universe, though Albert said there was no chance of that happening. Maybe God was spinning a roulette wheel with a few Russians and they were betting on red all the Time. Yet still Wolfgang said no chance my good man.

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!

Turn and turn and turn and turn…

Another turn around the wheel!”

Have a great day

Another lovely post from Daily Motivation.

Constantly worrying about saying something that may upset others can keep you from moving forward in your personal development journey.

This fear of upsetting others can make it difficult for you to say no to others, and you may end up sacrificing your own needs in order to please other people.

Strive to increase your ability to tolerate confrontational situations. Practice sitting with your feelings when expressing differences in opinion.

Over time, as you learn to honor your boundaries and let go of trying to control others’ reactions, your fear will lessen.

Remember that no matter how hard you try, you can never control the reaction of other people.

Don’t burden yourself with unrealistic expectations.