The lighthouse lesson

 

IMG_20170429_142327.jpgThis lighthouse originates from a nearby island. The hill it’s on now was visited by a prophet many years ago. As he stood on the remote, windswept outcrop, he prophesied that one day a great light would shine out and draw people from all over the world.

Several years later, the lighthouse was moved. Today it’s one of New Zealand’s most visited places. Cape Reinga.

What’s the lesson in the story? Hold strong to your vision. Don’t fear change; because a shift in circumstances can lead to spectacular results!

One step

It sounds so cliched. One step is all it takes to change your life. So simplistic. And yet it’s entirely true. If you break it down moment by moment, each choice you take leads you down a path. One step leads to another, and another, until an action is formed. A series of repeated actions creates a habit. A series of habits creates a lifestyle. Social scientists create behaviour change through exactly this approach. A simple commitment, followed by an action, then

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another, until commitment grows and a new behaviour is created. One step. That’s all it takes. Think about it.

Finding joy in hard places

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Alistair and Joyce were married for nearly 60 years. They weren’t just a couple, they were best mates. They loved adventures and exploring every nook and cranny of New Zealand. Life on the road in a van and caravan was the last great adventure.  Then Alistair fell and broke his hip.  The gypsy life had to be reluctantly traded for a retirement flat. Suddenly Joyce got ill, and within days she passed away.  Alistair was heartbroken. I visited him recently and he’s doing ok. He misses his best mate terribly but he’s getting on. He’s learning to take care of himself and has a routine. When I asked him what helps him get through, he shared his belief in a creator outside himself, and feels Joyce is still there to guide him. He appreciates his family and their care.  He’s also grateful that he can enjoy his own company.  Gratitude, faith outside himself,  and appreciation are getting Alistair through each day. Attitude is a powerful thing. 

Want to escape overthinking? Get your walking boots on!

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One of the challenges to happiness is over thinking. When we focus too much on ourselves we can spiral into overanalyzing and negative self talk or self criticism. When we go for a walk outside three thing happen; endorphins are released to create greater joy,  we’re distracted from overthinking by the vast number of stimuli all around us, and the air and sunlight gives renewed energy. Exercise in a gym delivers some of this, but the sounds and sights of nature are incredible mood lifters. A fun exercise is to spend time noticing everything around you using your senses. Concentrate on an object like a leaf or a shell. Notice how it smells, the colours and patterns, and even the sound and taste! Try it and see if it helps you to feel calmer and more connected to the world around you. 

I get by with a little help from my friends

btyMy buddy Glenn is one of my best friends. She knows me through and through. We’re very different but we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s quirkiness and value the security of having a friend who loves you just the way you are. I treasure our friendship, and I’m grateful for it. Gratefulness is a wonderful #happiness hack. It’s also like a muscle that grows with exercise. Who are you grateful for? Have you told them?

Do you believe in fairies? Me either, however….

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The thing with fairies is you need to use your imagination. And so it is with #happiness hack no. 2: Imagining your future goals. According to an ancient seer “without a vision people perish”. Basically, having a future vision for your life keeps you motivated and gives you hope, and hope and motivation are very powerful happiness hacks! So, grab a pen and pad, or if your a more creative type, paint or sculpt something that represents what you want to do or achieve in the future. The timeline is up to you. If your really keen write your ‘100 things to do before I die’ bucket list. The picture in my blog is my middle aged friend who decided a driftwood log was an alien suit of armour. See, never too old to believe in #magic!

Something’s out there!

Well actually, according to Dr Martin E.P. Seligman, authentic happiness is not ‘out there’ it’s ‘in here’ (insert your imaginery picture of  a mind).  He reckons it’s about a shift away from pathology, victimology and mental illness to positive emotion and mental health.  Whew, that’s quite a mouthful! What that boils down to is that through cultivating happiness traits like kindness, humour, optimism and generosity, you can develop buffers against misfortune and negative emotion, and build authentic contentment, joy and meaning.  Have you been nice to someone recently?

 

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Happiness hack #2 Bring out your inner child!

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: M. Davis Founder & Owner of: Clear Dope Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Successful Living Writer Remember when you were a child, how much fun you had.Everything was playful and interesting. Nothing was that serious, you didn’t care.. And what’s there to care about, your main goal was to have fun, to play […]

via How To Have Fun With Life (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest

Happiness is a thing!

This is it.  No more excuses! Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside has concluded, after much peer reviewed research, that ‘40% of our happiness is within our power to change”.   10% is circumstances and 50% is genetic set points.  And there’s plenty of evidence to demonstrate that happier people are more successful, healthier, richer, more fulfilled and have far more satisfying lives. The great news is ALL of us can unlock this wonderful truth.  No need to join a movement, sign on to a course, rush off to India, swap your suit for tie-died yoga pants or eat mung beans!   What you do need to do is take a bit of affirmative action with yourself.  So, here’s the first happiness hack you can start practicing today.

# 1:  Be grateful.  Simple.  Pick a way that works for you. Three things a day in a diary, stickers on the mirror, on Faceboook, lying in bed.  Try it for a week and see how you feel.  Better still throw a bit of nature therapy in and think of your 3 things while you sit on your deck or take the dog for a walk, or yourself.  Ready for #2? Then watch this space!