You’re only a stranger once

Archive for July, 2013

7 Things Happy People Say Every Day

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You have the right words within you to make every day a happy one.

Here’s what you need to say and why:

1.  “Today is going to be a great day.”

If you’re reading this right now, SMILE, you’re alive.  The possibilities ahead of you are infinite, it’s true.  Think about this and let it inspire you.

A good life begins right now with a choice.  It’s going to be fun, finger-snapping kind of day if you want it to be.  Choose wisely and indulge in the goodness.  Enjoy the sights and sounds, watch the clouds, stare at the stars, and imagine yourself dancing among them.

Your life is for smiling, imagining, exploring, learning, hugging, sharing, caring, helping, and healing.  Choose to do these things.  Choose to make the most of the gift you’ve been given.  Wake up every morning in such a way that the negativity committee lingering in the back of your mind says, “Oh crap, not another happy day!”

2.  “I’m looking forward to it.”

William James once said, “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”  Everything you do is only as big as you are, and you grow by taking action and working hard.  But even more importantly, remember that hard work is only ‘hard to do’ only when it has no meaning to you.

If your daily work is becoming uninteresting, so is your life and so are you.  Your work is going to fill a large percentage of your time on Earth, so the only way to make the majority of it lively and interesting is by enthusiastically injecting yourself into work that aligns with your purpose.

That’s the key.  Find work that means something to you, or connect your work to a goal that has meaning, and then persist at it.  

3.  “I’ll give it another try.”

Forget failure, or any other outcome whatsoever.  If you try something – to improve yourself, to eliminate debt, to lose weight, to make a relationship work, to make the world a better place, etc. – you have already achieved something brilliant regardless of the end result.  Trying is always enough.

If things don’t work out the way you had hoped, hold your head up and be proud that you gave it your best shot.  Then try again.  Ultimately, each mistake teaches you something new about your goal and yourself.  There is no failure except in never trying again.  It is always the courage to continue that counts in the end.

4.  “Hello.”

Life is a choir made up of many voices, including your own.  Join in and sing your part.  Let the harmony ring.  It may sound silly to you now, but sometimes all you need in life is for someone to sing beside you.

One day you’re going to look back on smiles and songs you shared with others and smile and sing some more.  Because it’s sincere human connections – the sharing of a moment – that gives life it’s best music.  Sometimes it happens when you reach out and help someone sing their verse, and other times it’s allowing another to reach out and help you sing yours.

5.  “Thank you.”

Gratitude leads to greatness.  It can literally turn what we have into more than enough, jobs into joy, chaos into order, uncertainty into clarity, and bring peace to an otherwise chaotic day.

The greatest way to make your blessings count is to count your blessings.  Acknowledging the good things you already have in your life is of the essence, because whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will grow stronger in your life.

6.  “I’m OK.”

How you respond to life’s little tragedies is what shapes your character.  Crap happens sometimes, you’ve got to deal with it and move on.  Don’t hide from it.  If your dreams are out in the world somewhere and you’re inside hiding, the only new things that will gather in your mind are anxiety and bitterness.  Eventually that anxiety and bitterness will eat away at you and leave nothing behind but an unhappy shell of your former self.

So when the crap hits the fan, as it sometimes will, stop and say it out loud:  “I’m OK.”

Besides, the ones who fall and get up are so much stronger than the ones who never fell.  Often it’s the deepest difficulties which empower human beings to rise and grow into their highest, happiest selves.  The ones who win the race in the long run are usually not the quickest or luckiest, but the ones who have endured the most.

7.  “It was a busy day.”

Happiness is a quest – a journey of magnitude.  It’s a something you feel – a longing that pulls your thoughts and efforts in a specific direction.  You strive for it daily, persisting in your pursuit against the odds, and sometimes find yourself traveling to faraway lands to get closer to it.

The happiest moments will be the unexpected breakthroughs on this lifelong journey, as you participate relentlessly in exploring and manifesting your own blessings.  Happiness will never be something you hold at the end, but something you DO to get there.

Once you find yourself in this state of happiness, it means you have found the right rhythm.  Don’t stop.  Maintain your efforts.  Enjoy yourself.  Keep journeying onward and upward.

Unconventional Ways to Build Your Confidence

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If you were able to maintain a level of self-confidence that no circumstance could shake, what would you be doing differently?  Just imagine the things you would accomplish if you were confident that you COULD.

 

This kind of confidence comes from positive self-imaging, and it is something that you can proactively build for yourself.  It doesn’t happen while you wait passively.  When you leave it up to external factors, you build your self-confidence on sandy ground.  What you need is a rock-solid foundation, and this only comes from building it from within.

 

Plenty has been written about building self-confidence – creating a plan, setting goals, finding the right mentor, etc. – but today we’re going to take a look at seven ways that are not as widely discussed:

 

1.  Take chances that make you feel uncomfortable.

 

The moment you doubt whether you can do something, you cease forever to be able to do it.  Don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable.  Don’t be afraid to look uneasy and a little silly in front of others.

 

Running around in your underwear isn’t the solution we’re talking about here, although I’m sure that would feel uncomfortable and look pretty silly.  What we are talking about is growing your inner strength and building your confidence by occasionally putting yourself in situations where you are forced to overcome new and unknown obstacles.

 

It’s all about your commitment to learning, adapting and growing.  Decide that your visions and goals are more important than your self-imposed limitations.  Dare to try.  Step outside of your comfort zone.  Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

 

2.  Fail fast and fail often.

 

You must encounter many defeats to learn how to not be defeated.  Failing is a process of learning; it helps you grow and know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still rise after you fall.  It is this process that boosts your confidence gradually over the course of your lifetime.

 

You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop taking steps forward.  In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that most often achieve success.

 

3.  Be wrong and be OK with it.

 

You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong.

 

Just like occasional failures, being wrong from time to time is inevitable.  People who take the position of always being right aren’t confident, they’re cocky.  They think they know everything and they want you to know it too.  Ironically, their need to always be right imprisons them from being able to learn from their mistakes.

 

To build true confidence, you have to not mind being wrong.  You have to take a stand, and then admit it if and when you realize your standpoint is wrong.  It’s a process of trial and error that helps you discover what IS right.  And finding out what is right is a lot more important than always being right.

 

Bottom line:  When you’re wrong, admit it and be secure enough to back down graciously, adjust and carry on.

 

4.  Compliment others and help them smile.

 

The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity and kindness, and using these tools to make the world a happier place.

 

When we think negatively about ourselves, we typically project these feelings on to others in the form of insults, gossip and incidental neglect.  To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people.  If someone looks nice, tell them.  If someone does a good job, applaud them.  Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you.  In the process, you’ll help these people smile, which will help you feel good about yourself.By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

 

5.  Laugh in the face of frustration.

 

The best medicine is a strong dose of laughter and letting go.When things don’t go as planned, laughing or crying are often the only two options left, because they are both instinctive human responses to frustration.  Both are OK, but laughing usually feels better.Sometimes a little self-invoked humor is all you need to lift your spirits and light the path forward.  Even in your darkest moments, strive to see the lighter side of a situation and crack a smile.  Doing so will help you think positively and reawaken your confidence about all the possibilities that still exist on the road ahead.

 

6.  Ignore what most people think of you.

 

How would your life be different if you stopped allowing people who don’t matter to poison your mind with their opinions?

 

Do you have 5K Facebook friends and 20K Twitter follows?  Good for you.  Do you have a professional and personal social network of hundreds or even thousands?  That’s great.  Just don’t forget that this massive network of acquaintances pales in comparison to the importance of earning and maintaining the trust and respect of the few people in your life who actually matter – your close family members and real friends.  When you earn the trust and respect of these special people, no matter where you go or what you attempt to do, you will do it with a sense of confidence, because you will know the people who truly matter are truly behind you.

 

Let today be the day you stand strong in the limelight of your own truth, without seeking needless external validation.  Accept no one’s definition of your life except your own, and seek approval only from the people who truly matter in your life.  

 

7.  Begin right NOW.

 

To resist at the beginning is always the easiest choice to make, and it’s also the only choice that guarantees you will never reach the end result you desire.

 

Too often we fall victim to our own waiting.  We feel we have to wait for just the right moment:  To be promoted, to be appointed, to be ready, to be somehow chosen by the powers above, as if there will suddenly be a moment when everything makes perfect sense and the road to our dreams is effortless.

 

But the truth is, it’s usually just a matter of thinking, “Why not me?  Why not now?”

 

Right now, in today’s digital, interconnected world, you have access to everything you need.  You can connect with almost anyone you need to know through social media.  You can build your own relationships and professional networks.  You can design and create your own portfolio and products.  You can use blogging and content marketing to attract attention, customers and funding.  You can choose your own path – you can choose to follow whatever course you wish.

 

Right now, without calling attention to yourself, you can begin to make things happen.  You can take a small step forward, and then another, and grow more capable and more confident with every new step you take.

 

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