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2 Toxic Attitudes that Push Happiness Away From You

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Be honest above all else – This above all, to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night and day, thou canst not then be false to any man. William Shakespeare Hamlet

 

Mark & Angela Hack

WRITTEN by MARC CHERNOFF

12 Toxic Attitudes that Push Happiness Away From You

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It is what you think about it.”
― Dale Carnegie

“A 14-year-old patient of mine will be undergoing her 10th surgery in the past two years to combat a rare form of cancer.  Even after all the surgeries, I’ve never seen her frown.  She’s still 100% certain she’ll survive.  And I’m certain her attitude is the primary reason she has survived to this point.  She laughs and plays with her friends and family every day.  And her positive attitude has made her dozens of new friends at the hospital.  A kid like her who can go through everything she’s been through and come out smiling makes me realize how sour my attitude often is for no good reason at all.”

That’s an excerpt from an email I received this morning from one of our readers.  And, coincidentally, just as I finished responding to it, a new email from a course student popped up in my inbox that opened with an extremely similar theme:

“Today I realized that my best friend, who lost her mom last year to cancer, has a happier, more optimistic and thankful attitude about life than I do…”

In our line of work, Angel and I hear from dozens of readers, coaching clients and students enrolled in our Getting Back to Happy course every day.  Through this experience, we often see the same exact toxic attitudes tearing otherwise healthy individuals apart.  And we’ve witnessed, first hand, the devastation this toxicity causes to their personal and professional growth, and to their relationships.

Let’s be honest, though, we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another.  None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings.  But that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to them.  Whether your toxic attitude is a common occurrence or just a sporadic phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re thinking and acting poorly, and consciously shift your mind-set.

Here are 12 of the most common toxic attitudes we see plaguing people, and some tips to get you back on track:

1.  “I don’t have enough to be happy.”

Instead of thanking the heavens for two strong legs and a body that’s capable of running and jumping and dancing, lots of people complain about their weight and appearance.

Instead of appreciating that they live in a country that protects their basic human rights and civil liberties, lots of people complain about laws, taxes and politicians.

Instead of being grateful for the roof they have over their heads, lots of people wish they had a larger house and a fancier car.

Don’t be one of these people.  You may not have it all, but you have a lot.

To witness miracles in your daily life, count your blessings and be thankful for what you DO have.  There are others who aren’t so lucky.

2.  “Happiness should be handed to me on a silver platter.”

Pursuing happiness is not at all the same as being happy, which is a fleeting feeling dependent on momentary circumstances.  If the sun is shining, by all means bask in it.  Happy times are great and often fun-filled, but happy times pass, because time passes.  This is something we often resist, which results in us alienating ourselves and everyone around us.

In other words, we expect to be happy 24/7, and we expect happiness to be delivered to us on a silver platter.  We anticipate an easy life where instant gratification is the norm.  And this leads to disappointment and toxic mood swings.

The truth is that the lifelong pursuit of happiness is elusive; it’s not based on quick thrills and instantaneous fulfillment.  It’s a ‘pursuit.’  And what you are pursuing is meaning – living a meaningful life.  It starts with your “why.”  (Why are you doing what you’re doing every day?)  When your ‘why’ is meaningful, you are pursuing happiness.

There will be times when things go so wrong that you barely feel alive.  And there will also be times when you realize that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a lifeless existence for 80 years on someone else’s terms.  The pursuit isn’t all or nothing; it’s all AND nothing, with ups and downs and worthwhile lessons along the way.

3.  “Every step I take needs to make logical sense (to everyone).”

If we listened to our logic 24/7 we’d never have truly passionate, romantic relationships.  We’d never have life-long, long-distance friendships.  We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical.  We’d forever be stuck thinking: “I’m going to fail.”  Or “he’s going to hurt me.”  Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore…”  Well that’s nonsense!  You’re going to miss life if you think this way.

If you wait around until everything makes perfect logical sense to you and everyone around you, and you feel 100% safe and ready, you will be waiting the rest of your life.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance!

Sometimes you just have to get up and go for it!

Sometimes you just have to jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down!

4.  “I’m not good enough.”

When you catch yourself in a cycle of self-hate, you must remind yourself that you weren’t born feeling this way.  That at some point in the past some person or experience sent you the message that something is wrong with you, and you internalized this lie and accepted it as your truth.  But that lie isn’t yours to carry, and those judgments aren’t about you.  And in the same way that you learned to think negatively of yourself, you can learn to think new, positive and self-loving thoughts.

You can learn to challenge those false beliefs, strip away their power, and reclaim your self-respect.  It won’t be easy, and it won’t transpire overnight.  But it is possible.  And it begins when you decide that there has to be a better way to live, and that you deserve to discover it.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

5.  “Everyone must like me!”

People who constantly strive for validation by others are exhausting to be around.  Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over and over, and constantly want to win over everyone around them, are unintentionally toxic and draining.  Know this.  Over-attaching to how things have to look to others can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down.

There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve in the eyes of the masses.  It’s about the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in.

6.  “I’ve seen and heard it all before.”

No matter how much you know, there’s a whole lot you don’t know.  Period.

In almost every situation, a little more willingness to acknowledge that there may be something you do not know could change everything.  Go somewhere new, and countless opportunities suddenly appear.  Do something differently, and all sorts of great new possibilities spring up.

Keep an open mind.  Always.

It’s what we learn, after we “know it all,” that really counts in the end.

7.  “I need to be in control (of everything and everyone).”

Imagine that you’re driving in your car and you get stuck in rush hour traffic.  The traffic situation is out of your control and simply requires your patience.  However, this doesn’t stop you from switching lanes, trying to cut in front of other cars, or even leaving the road you’re on to try alternate routes – all desperate efforts to gain control.  Sadly, these efforts just lead to further stress and unhappiness when they are unsuccessful and control is again obstructed.  And when you finally get home, you take your stress out on the people you love the most.

Embrace the fact that some parts of your life are simply meant to be lived, not controlled.  No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine.  Let the things you can’t control, GO!

Spend your thoughts and efforts on controlling what you do have power over, rather than wasting your peace of mind on the uncontrollable.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

8.  “I’ve been hurt too badly to ever heal and move forward with my life.”

Hoarding pain and loss only makes the pain and loss last longer.  And this just tears the rest of your life and relationships apart.

One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go – whether it’s guilt, anger, love or loss.  Change is never easy – you fight to hold on and you fight to let go.  But oftentimes letting go is the healthiest path forward.  It clears out toxic thoughts from the past.  You’ve got to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you.

Again, it takes hard work to let go and refocus your thoughts, but it’s worth every bit of effort you can muster.  It’s time to be bold.  It’s time to stop reading the previous chapter of your life and start writing the one you’re currently living.  Learn from your old mistakes and march confidently on.  Sure you’ll make new mistakes along the way, but that’s the whole point – you want to learn from new mistakes, not rot alongside old ones.

Living means taking chances that are worth taking and making mistakes that are worth making.  Right now is simply a new chance to get it right, but you have to let go and take this chance.

9.  “This (and everything) is personal!”

People are toxic to themselves and others when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them.

Of course, it’s easy to feel unloved and unwanted when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you expect.  And it’s so hard not to internalize that disconnection as a reflection on your worth.  But the truth is, the way other people behave and function is not about you.

Most people are so caught up in their own problems, responsibilities and struggles that the thought of asking you how you’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind.  They aren’t being mean or uncaring – they’re just busy and a bit self-centred at times.  And that’s OK.  Don’t attack them for it.  It’s not evidence of some fundamental flaw on your part.  It doesn’t make you unlovable or unworthy.  It just means that some people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own egocentric bubble.  But the fact that you are – that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others – is an incredible strength.  (Read The Mastery of Love.)

10.  “I’m just too busy right now for family and friends.”

Neglect based on lack of attention often damages relationships far more than malicious abuse.

Although it’s perhaps conceivable that you may lie on your deathbed someday regretting that you didn’t work harder and check every little thing off your to-do list, it’s doubtful that your work will be your biggest concern.  What’s more likely, however, is that you will wish you could have one more romantic night with your spouse, another long, heartfelt talk with your sister, and one last good hard laugh with your best friend.

Life is simply too short to be too busy for the people you love.

11.  “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.”

It’s NOT OK to stretch the truth.  Ever!  It really isn’t!  Doing so only leads to stress in the long run.

In fact, it’s disheartening to think how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by deceit.  Don’t be one of them.  Uphold the truth, always.  Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often, and you should be the one shocking them with honest words and deeds every day.

The bottom line here is that an honest, loving heart is the beginning of everything that is right with this world.  It’s what brings us together and keeps us together through thick and thin.

12.  “I’m better than them (and everyone else for that matter).”

And finally, through it all, you have to keep your pride in check…

To admit you made a mistake.  To say you are sorry.  To know that you can’t possibly know it all.  To have big dreams. To admit you owe your success to others too.  To poke fun at yourself from time to time.  To ask for help when you need it.

To make mistakes and fail.  And to try again, willingly.

There are no permanent jobs or absolutes on this planet.  We are all just interning and exploring here.  Learn from everyone, remain humble, and don’t forget to have a good time along the way.

That’s what happy, successful people do.

Your turn…

If you can see any of these toxic attitudes in yourself, remember, you are not alone.  We all have negativity buried deep within us that has the potential to sneak up on us sometimes.  The key, of course, is awareness – recognizing these toxic attitudes when they arise and stopping them in their tracks.

So, what toxic attitudes do you sometimes struggle with?  How have these attitudes affected your personal and professional contentment?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and insights with us.

 

Your life is a learning process – you can only become wiser from learning. Sometimes you might have to attract making a painful mistake to learn something important, but after the mistake you have far greater wisdom. Wisdom cannot be bought with money – it can only be acquired through living life. With wisdom comes: strength, courage, knowing, and an ever-increasing peace. May the joy be with you, Rhonda Byrne

Success doesn’t come to you – you go to it. — Marva Collins

Gray Lawrence

 

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all. – Miguel de Cervantes

6 Things Happy People Never Do

PMA Added:

You just might be the miracle someone is looking for today.
Remember that every single moment has a miracle of possibility.
If I am present to the moment, something I know, something I can share, something I can give or some way I can presence love can actually bring a miracle in a moment that I am sharing with someone.
I encourage you to walk through this day remembering that you just might be the miracle someone is looking for today. Here’s To Miracles, Mary Morrissey

 

WRITTEN by MARC CHERNOFF

6 Things Happy People Never Do

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;
it is something you design into the present.

Happy people do a lot of things.  They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savouring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.

But they NEVER…

1.  Mind other people’s business.

Forget about what others are doing.  Stop looking at where they are and what they have.  Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you.  YOU are walking your own path.  Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel.  We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves.  So stop the comparisons!  Ignore the distractions.  Listen to your own inner voice.  Mind your own business.

Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day.  Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to enjoy it.  Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be.  Keep doing what you know in your heart is right, for YOU.  Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

2.  Seek validation of self-worth from others.

When you are content to simply be yourself, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you.  And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.

How are you letting others define you?  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you.  People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life.  So forget what they think and say about you.  Focus on how you feel about yourself, and keep walking the path that feels best under your feet.

Those who accept you are your friends.  Those who don’t are your teachers.  If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true.  If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true.  Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem.  What other people call you is their problem…

What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.

3.  Rely on other people and external events for happiness.

Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need.  But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have.  We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy.  Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such.  Don’t let your happiness be held hostage.  It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.

As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be.  If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.  Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier.  Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy.  Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.

The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation.  Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you.  A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like.  (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)

4.  Hold on to resentment.

Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past.  What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.

We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.

Forgiveness is the remedy.  It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past.  To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you.  Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

5.  Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.

You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.  So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit.

When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree, to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY.  When you join in that game of negativity you always lose.

Even when you’re alone, create a positive mental space for yourself.  Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, and see how doing that changes your life.  You don’t need negative thoughts.  They are all lies.  They solve nothing.  All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.  (Read Buddha’s Brain.)

6.  Resist the truth.

It is a certain deathtrap when we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth.  Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.  If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night.  You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.

So don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular.  It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one.  It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live.  Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Your turn…

 

When we start looking at everything that might go wrong, we fear then to attempt.  Our opportunity today is to pay attention to any thoughts that could be vibrations of doubt and turn them into faith.  Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.  But not today.  Our doubts will not have their way with us today.  Our faith shall prevail.  To Your Prevailing Faith,  Mary Morrissey

The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way. Robert Kiyosaki

Gray Lawrence

“Seek opportunities and experiences that invigorate you, those that are challenging, and that demand you show up as your very best self.” – David Howitt

5 Unique Ways to Forgive and Let Go

PMA added: 

A positive mental attitude is an irresistible force that knows no such thing as an immovable body.
Time and again we hear stories about ordinary people who do seemingly impossible things when they find themselves in an emergency situation. They perform herculean feats of strength and endurance, things they never dreamed they were capable of doing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could harness that strength and make it available anytime you need it? You can — if you believe you can. No doubt you can remember a time in your life when you were exceptionally focused on your objective, a time when you achieved more in less time than ever before. Perhaps it was an impending vacation that motivated you to get everything done before you departed, or perhaps it was a “must pass” exam that helped you focus your concentration. The intensity that you developed in those situations is always available to you when you have a Positive Mental Attitude.       Napoleon Hill

WRITTEN by MARC CHERNOFF

5 Unique Ways to Forgive and Let Go

“The past has no power over the present moment.”
―Eckhart Tolle

There is great value in every act of forgiveness.  You can forgive yourself, you can forgive others, and you can forgive even when you don’t know exactly who to forgive, because forgiveness is not about who is to blame or who is at fault.  It is about letting go, completely and permanently within yourself.

Forgiveness is recognizing the reality that what has happened has already happened, and that there’s no point in allowing it to dominate the rest of your life.  Forgiveness refreshingly cleans the slate and enables you to step forward.  Here are five unique ways to make this step possible:

1.  Stop trying for a while.

If you’re trying hard and haplessly making zero progress, stop trying.  Stop trying and start being.

When you see yourself as trying – to do something else or get somewhere else – you don’t interpret what you have and where you are as being good enough.  This perception of constantly trying makes living seem like an endless struggle.

There is great value within you right here, right now.  Allow it to come out, willingly and without a struggle.  Instead of trying to get to some other point in your life, give your full attention to doing your very best with the life you are living now.  Instead of believing that you are not there yet, be grateful that you are right where you are meant to be at this moment.

Yes, by all means set goals and take steps in the right direction, but don’t disregard the steps as you take them – these steps are your life’s story.  Let go of all the needless trying and let yourself take these steps peacefully and mindfully.  Let go of the judgments, forgive the past, and let this moment be as incredible as it is.  (This is something Angel and I discuss in the Adversity and Happiness chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

2.  Be the watcher of your thoughts and emotions.

In his best selling book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle tells us to be the watcher of our thoughts.  What he suggests is that instead of trying to change our thoughts – via gratitude or deliberate forgiveness, for example – we need to simply notice our thoughts without getting caught up in them.

You are ultimately the sole creator of your own feelings.  When negative thoughts arise based on past experiences or future worries, as they sometimes will, realize that these are simply issues your mind (not you) is working through.  Pause, be present and pay close attention.  Think about these thoughts and emotions consciously, almost as if you were a bystander looking in.  Separate yourself from your mind’s thinking.

Perhaps after you study your thoughts and emotions you will think to yourself, “Wow, am I really still working through that?”  And guess what?  Over time, your negative feelings and emotions will lessen and genuine awareness, love and acceptance will grow in their place.  You will begin to realize that your mind is just an instrument, and you are in control of your mind, not the other way around.

By not judging your thoughts or blaming them on anyone else, and merely watching them, there will be a big shift within you – your sense of self worth.

It’s not like you won’t get upset anymore or never feel anxious, but knowing that your thoughts and emotions are just fleeting feelings that are independent of YOU will help ease your tension and increase your positive presence, allowing you to forgive and let go.

3.  Love.

Feeling sorry for yourself and sabotaging the present moment with resentful thoughts of the past won’t make anything better.  Hurting someone else will never ease your own inner angst.

If you’re disappointed with yourself or frustrated with someone else, the answer is not to take it out on the world around you.  Retribution, whether it’s focused on yourself or others, brings zero value into your life.

The way beyond the pain from the past is not with vengeance, mockery, bullying or retaliation, but with present love.

Forgive the past, forgive yourself, forgive others, and love the present moment for what it’s worth.  There are plenty of beautiful things to love right now; you just have to want to see them.  Loving is never easy, especially when times are tough, yet it is easily the most powerful and positively enduring action possible.

If you’re feeling pain, don’t take action that creates even more pain.  Don’t try to cover darkness with darkness.  Find the light.  Act out of love.  Do something that will enable you to move forward toward a more fulfilling reality.  There is always something good you can do.  There is always love to give.  Fill your heart with it and act in everyone’s best interest, especially your own.

4.  Seek positive revenge by living well.

Are you contemplating revenge?  You know that’s negative thinking getting the best of you.  However, there is a way to seek revenge positively.

How?  Forget about them.  Remember you.  Working on a better you is more fulfilling than hanging on to contempt of others.  Let it all go and hold on to your growth and kindness instead.  If you train yourself to consistently be more loving in thoughts and actions, your positive energy will attract more positive results into your current reality.

Be unlike the person or situation that hurt you.  Let go and grow past your pain.  Carry on living well in a way that creates peace in your heart.  The energy you would spend trying to get real revenge can be better spent creating an amazing future for yourself.

The bottom line is that the best revenge is happiness, because nothing drives your adversaries more insane than seeing a fresh smile on your face.  (Read Buddha’s Brain.)

5.  Let go of the need to forgive every mistake.

Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.  Most of the time they just need to be accepted, not forgiven.

There is an obvious shift in your heart and mind that happens when you go from feeling hurt and upset to peaceful and loving, but it’s not necessarily forgiveness that’s taking place, it’s just the realization that there was nothing to forgive in the first place.

To help you wrap your head around this concept, try to look at your situation from 40,000 feet.  Imagine a more seasoned, wiser and more compassionate version of yourself sitting at the mountaintop of life, looking down and watching as the younger minded, current version of you hacks your way through life.

You see yourself holding on to false beliefs and making epic errors of judgment as you manoeuvre through life’s many obstacles.  You watch the children of the world growing up in challenging times that test their sense of self-confidence, yet they push forward bravely.  You see the coming generation radiating with passion and love as they fail forward, learning through their mistakes.

And you have to wonder:  Would this wiser version of yourself conclude that everyone in their own unique way was doing their very best.  And if everyone is trying to do their best, what needs to be forgiven?  Not being perfect?

Perfection doesn’t exist.  Forgiveness is oftentimes the simple realization that there is nothing that actually needs to be forgiven.

Your turn…

Who would you like to forgive?  What stressful burdens do you need to let go of and rise above? 

We will forget and forgive any judgment error that you make, but integrity mistakes are forever. — David Cottrell

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Gray Lawrence Independent Distributor Utility Warehouse

"Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day. -Will Durant

8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

PMA Added only…

"Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, "Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be, and when we find ourselves in the place just right ,"Twill be in the valley of love and delight – Shaker Hym

 

Mark & Angela Hack

WRITTEN by MARC CHERNOFF

8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong

“The best way out is always through.”
―Robert Frost

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed.  But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one.  Up until now I have had no health problems.  I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the paediatric division of the hospital begins.  Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds.  None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977.  I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago.  It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.  And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.  Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles.  Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost.  Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:

1.  Pain is part of growing.

Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward.  And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to.  When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose.  Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.  Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing.  Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there.  Good things take time.  Stay patient and stay positive.  Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you.  When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2.  Everything in life is temporary.

Every time it rains, it stops raining.  Every time you get hurt, you heal.  After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever.  It won’t.  Nothing lasts forever.

So if things are good right now, enjoy it.  It won’t last forever.  If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either.  Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.  Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile.  Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending.  You get a second chance, every second.  You just have to take it and make the best of it.  (Read The Last Lecture.)

3.  Worrying and complaining changes nothing.

Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.  It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.  It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it.  If you believe in something, keep trying.  Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future.  Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter.  Take action instead.  Let what you’ve learned improve how you live.  Make a change and never look back.

And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4.  Your scars are symbols of your strength.

Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with.  A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed.  It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward.  A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of.  Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage.  Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear.  You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them.  You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars.  See your scars as a sign of “YES!  I MADE IT!  I survived and I have my scars to prove it!  And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

5.  Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it.  So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way.  Otherwise, there’s no point in starting.  This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion.  It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end.  It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills.  It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar.  It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers.  It could mean lots of time alone in solitude.  Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible.  It gives you the space you need.  Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds.  And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine.  You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path.  And it’s worth it.  So if you’re going to try, go all the way.  There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

6.  Other people’s negativity is not your problem.

Be positive when negativity surrounds you.  Smile when others try to bring you down.  It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus.  When other people treat you poorly, keep being you.  Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are.  You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.

Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future.  People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it.  So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think.  If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it.  Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible.

All jokes aside, your life only comes around once.  This is IT.  So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

7.  What’s meant to be will eventually, BE.

True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.  There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them.  You can’t force things to happen.  You can only drive yourself crazy trying.  At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.

In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience.  It’s a long-term journey.  You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way.  Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds.  You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.  (Read A New Earth.)

8.  The best thing you can do is to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.  Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.  Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher.  Find the strength to laugh every day.  Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful.  Find it in your heart to make others smile too.  Don’t stress over things you can’t change.  Live simply.  Love generously.  Speak truthfully.  Work diligently.  And even if you fall short, keep going.  Keep growing.

Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

  1. Think positively.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Exercise today.
  4. Worry less.
  5. Work hard.
  6. Laugh often.
  7. Sleep well.

Repeat…

The floor is yours…

What helps you stay motivated when you’re struggling?  What’s something positive you try to keep in mind when everything seems to be going wrong?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way." Eileen Caddy 1917-2006, Author

 

"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." Stephen Covey

Gray Lawrence

Utility Warehouse distributor

The Greatest leaders of the world were men and women of quick decision -Napoleon Hill

40 Little Ways to Find Happiness in What You Already Have

PMA Added…

"You want to become aware of your thoughts, you want to choose your thoughts carefully and you want to have fun with this, because you are the masterpiece of your own life." – Joe Vitale

 

WRITTEN by MARC CHERNOFF

40 Little Ways to Find Happiness in What You Already Have

Happiness is an attitude we act upon.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happier and stronger.  The amount of work is the same.

“My body sometimes feels sore, but it works.  I don’t sleep well most nights, but I do wake up to experience another day.  My wallet is not full, but my stomach is.  I don’t have all the things I’ve ever wanted, but I do have everything I need.  I’m ,thankful, because although my life is by no means perfect, it is MY life and I choose to be thankful in it, as I continue to do the best I can.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 7/20/1977.  It’s one of a few entries I photocopied a decade ago, and still have hanging on my bulletin board today.  And it continues to remind me that happiness is valuing what you have, and enjoying the people, places, objects and events in your life for what they are.  It’s not about making massive breakthroughs every minute… sometimes it’s simply about being, appreciating, and making small tweaks.  And you can almost always enjoy the things you have and make the best of the events happening around you if you decide firmly that you will.

No, life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.  You just have to…

  1. Embrace your humanness. – Do not endlessly search of sanctity, sacredness, and purity – these things are found after this life, not in it.  But in this life you can search to be human – to feel, to give, to take, to laugh, to dance, to get lost, to be found, to love and to lust… to be so unapologetically and beautifully human in every imaginable way.
  2. Realize your greatness. – Contrary to what others may say, you do not need to rise to the top, or be the cream of the crop, before you can feel great about yourself.  For you are not a failure because you’re not perfect, got rejected or laid off, struggle to make ends meet, or have a family with issues.  You are great because, despite your circumstances, you keep loving, you keep getting back up after every fall, and, above all, the little steps you keep taking, you take with grace.
  3. Exercise your inner power. – This life is yours, and yours alone.  Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well.  Take the power to love what you want in life and love it genuinely.  Take the power to walk in nature and be a part of it.  Take the power to control your own life.  No one else can do it for you.  Take the power to make your life happy.
  4. Choose differently. – A big part of your life is a result of the little choices you make every day.  If you don’t like some part of your life, it’s time to start tweaking things and making better choices, right now, right where you are.
  5. Accept yourself just the way you are. – Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t.  Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are, and aren’t, that you will truly find happiness and success.
  6. Stop looking for external validation. – You don’t have control over what others think about you, but you do have control over how you decide to internalize their opinions.  Leave them to their own judgments.  Don’t feel threatened and don’t conform just to please them.  Let others love you for who you are, and not for who they want you to be.
  7. Embrace your quirks, and ignore those who don’t. – Don’t try to be normal; there’s no such thing.  Life is all about spending it in your own way.  Always be yourself and walk comfortably in your own shoes.  Anyone who tells you you’re doing it wrong… is wrong.
  8. Mind your own business. – Who others think you are is their business.  Who you know yourself to be is your business.  Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking you are better than everyone else, it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  9. Choose your own thoughts. – The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.  And oftentimes this means choosing your own thoughts over the opinions of others.
  10. Say what you need to say today. – Speak your truth.  There is no greater sadness than holding on to the words you never had the courage to speak.
  11. Dedicate time every day to meaningful activities. – What you do every day matters, but WHY you do what you do matters more.  Continue to work hard at what you love no matter what the odds are.  And if you only have fifteen minutes to spare, no problem – make those fifteen minutes meaningful.
  12. Enjoy the process of learning and growing as you go. – You have to acknowledge your troubles but gather strength from them, and laugh at your mistakes but learn from them.  Getting second chances in life is about giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your past failures.  It’s about learning as you go and positively adjusting your attitude and efforts toward future possibilities.
  13. Look for and appreciate the lessons. – Rather than just regretting something, question specifically how it has helped you grow.  Has your past equipped you to be determined, self-reliant, perceptive, tough, aware, compassionate, etc.?  Focus on what you have gained rather than lost from adverse past experiences.
  14. Celebrate how much stronger you are now. – You can’t possibly know you are strong if you’ve only ever had wonderful things happen to you.
  15. Stop resisting what is. – Flow with reality, not against it.  And don’t be trying 24/7 to fix everything.  Some things don’t need fixing… they just need acceptance.  What you resist only stays with you longer.  When you fight something, you only make it stronger.
  16. Let the uncontrollable GO. – Never force anything.  Give it your best shot, and then let it be.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.  Don’t hold yourself down with things you can’t control.
  17. Let things BE. – Things will happen that you will not always understand, but maybe you’re not supposed to understand everything.  Maybe you’re just supposed to have faith, accept it and let it happen.
  18. Do what you can right now. – It’s not as much about acquiring new things as it is about using what you already have.  Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from what you can do.  No more excuses, no more wasting precious time.  This moment is as good a time as any to begin doing what matters most.  Start exactly where you are right now.  Do what you can with what you have right now.  Stop over-thinking and start DOING.
  19. Take it just one easy step at a time. – Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.  Tiptoe if you must, but take the step.
  20. Measure your progress, no matter how small. – You may not be where you want to be yet, but look how far you’ve come.  Be thankful that you’re not where you used to be.  If you have no other testimony right now, you have this one: “I’m still here trying.”
  21. Exercise your faith. – Seriously, take pride in how far you have come and have faith where you can go tomorrow.  Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what can’t be seen.
  22. Appreciate each day for what it’s worth. – If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to do it differently, or to do nothing at all.  What’s important is to realize that you have a choice.  So no matter how tough the day was, always try to end it with a positive thought, knowing that a new beginning starts in the morning.
  23. Leave the negative past alone. – You might not be proud of all the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s OK.  The past is not today.  (Read Loving What Is.)
  24. Let hate GO. – Holding hatred is poisonous.  It eats you from inside out.  We naively think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us, but hatred is a curved blade.  And the only harm we do, we do to ourselves.
  25. Forgive. – Sometimes we don’t forgive people because they deserve it.  We forgive them because they need it, because we need it, and because we cannot let go and move forward without it.
  26. Give your love willingly. – What you give to another person is really what you give to yourself.  When you treat others with love, you learn that you’re lovable too.  So love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love some more.
  27. Spend more time around those special people who truly care. – You grow to be like the people you spend most of your time with.  So surround yourself with only those who are going to lift you higher.
  28. Set a great example. – How would your life be different if you walked away from gossip and verbal insults?  Let today be the day you speak only of the good you know about other people and encourage others to do the same.
  29. Do just a little bit of good today. – The fact that you can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, is proof that YOU can make a big difference.
  30. Give what you can. – Remember, you must give to get.  But it’s not an eye for an eye situation.  Don’t wait to give.  You sometimes must give twice as much without expectations to eventually get something in return.  The more you give, the more you eventually get.  It’s an investment in generosity, helping, and faith, which attracts good things back to you in the long run.
  31. Do something nice for yourself today. – The trick is to enjoy your life today.  Don’t wish it away by waiting for better days ahead.
  32. Fill your time and mind with positivity. – Do what you can, and smile.  Be so busy loving your life and the people in it that you have no time left for hate, regret or unnecessary stress.
  33. Distance yourself from negativity. – Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to the people and things that hurt you.  Be wise enough to walk away from the negativity around you.
  34. Disregard the daily drama. – You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.  Don’t let the silly little dramas of each day get you down.
  35. Smile, even when it feels like things are falling apart. – Smiling doesn’t always mean you’re happy; sometimes it simply means you’re strong.  And smiling will help you feel better.
  36. Be grateful. – Gratitude is simply the awareness of what’s right.  Count the blessings in your life, and start with the breath you’re taking right now.  (Read The Happiness Project.)
  37. Value your physical body and present beauty. – Take a picture of your face and remember that in ten years time you will be amazed at how gorgeous you were.  Be amazed now.
  38. Be present. – Do not dwell so much on creating your perfect life that you forget to live.
  39. Pay attention to the little things. – …because when you really miss “the good ol’ days,” you miss the little things the most, like just laughing with someone special.
  40. Schedule in some dedicated down time. – Find the time… the time to read, to smell the flowers, to take a walk in the wilderness, to share a laugh, to learn a fun craft, to try a new recipe, to explore somewhere new, to really be with someone you love, to paint your dreams, or even to just do nothing and relax for a while.

 

"Think of this random Universe where everything is possible. The organizational skills belong to Law of Attraction. If you will relax and allow Law of Attraction to do the organization and the managing, then you can spend your time doing the things that please you." Abraham and Esther Hicks

Your Vision of the future lies from within

Gray Lawrence

Utility Warehouse Distributor

“The Power of Listening is available to us all, only those who listen will gain great benefits in life, love personal & financial wealth. The decision is yours” – Gray Lawrence

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Gray Lawrence

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