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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

Utility Warehouse distributor

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

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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