1. Appreciate something
Looking for the negative is an easy, and bad, habit. To change how you habitually think, you have to…change your thoughts. A good way to begin to do this is to choose to appreciate the good things you already have.
Did you have a good sleep last night in a comfortable bed?
Do you have someone with whom to share your breakfast?
Do you know at least one person who loves you?
Is the sun shining through your windows?
Do you have friends to talk to?
When you begin to look for them, you will see myriad ways to appreciate the good things in your life. Doing so will raise your level of happiness.
2. Relax about life
Most of us stress out about a lot of things that don’t really matter. If your spouse doesn’t load the dishwasher in just theperfect way, come on, the world won’t come to and end. Other drivers can up your stress levels, but only if you let them. Don’t think about or judge them and you will be a more relaxed driver.
Have you ever seen water on a duck’s back? Nope. It rolls right off. For that matter, have you ever seen a duck wracked by stress? I thought not.
3. Do something kind for someone else
Kindness is good for the soul—yours and someone else’s. There is something about getting over yourself that makes us all more stable human being, and happier ones. Whenever you have the chance to do a kindness for someone, take it. That will make two people happy at the same time.
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Eat Chocolate for Breakfast
Several years ago while travelling in France, staying at hole-in-the-wall hotels and eating at small cafes, I had breakfast at a tiny bakery with a few wooden tables. The morning sunlight streamed through the windowpanes onto the tiled floor as a round woman with smiling eyes served miniature cups of espresso and pain chocolat (pronounced pan shocolah). Similar to a croissant but with layers of rich dark chocolate rolled in swirls of buttery warm bread, eating a pain chocolat for breakfast is like starting the day with a little bit of heaven.
The French are famous for their joie de vivre, but you don’t have to live in France to indulge in wonderful treats for breakfast or anytime. Living with lusciousness means choosing to include sensual delights as often as you can and not settling for less than the best of what you want.
Try this: Go to a chocolate boutique and buy yourself some fabulous truffles, one or two for each day of the week. If you can make them last all week, good for you. If you can’t, just buy enough to give yourself a happy, sensuous moment of bliss. Then go back another day and do it again. It won’t be enough to blow your diet, just enough to give you a treat. Even if you do not live near a great chocolate boutique, you can buy really fine chocolate at your grocery store.
The main point here is, take the time to include those small things that make your life more pleasant. If it is harmless, painless, and won’t break your budget then go ahead and add to your life those experiences that make it better, more fun or just more luscious.
You can apply this delicious concept to anything that gives you a morsel of delight in your day. Take time to give yourself luscious little treats. Don’t postpone living. Try taking a bubble bath in the afternoon or have your morning coffee before anyone else in the house is up so you can savour the silence. Use your favourite coffee cup. Buy yourself flowers.
We must treat ourselves kindly and well and we must also treat ourselves to luscious moments, morsels and delights. These self-loving gifts are the materials of everyday sweetness.
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I have a friend who claims she hates change. She balks at the possibility of change and even at new opportunities, because they may require change in her life. When confronted by a new idea, her first reaction is usually, ‘Hold on a minute. What if…?”
It took me a while to recognize, but I believe the reason for this reluctance to change is that the first things my friend sees are all the possible negative consequences. These terrible outcomes loom so large, that she can see little else. Then she makes her decision based on what she fears. In essence, she says, “What if these things I fear turn out to be true? If they do, then I don’t want to go there. I’m afraid.” Even though she denies that her reasons are based in fear, in fact, fear is her strongest motivator.
Amazingly, many of the difficulties we experience in life stem from our fears. Think about it. If I’m resisting something that I know I should do, or want to do, or I even believe will be good for me, I can be sure that there is probably some kind of fear hiding behind that resistance.
Take a closer look at such habits as self-sabotage and procrastination. Neither of these serve us, so why do we continue to indulge in them? Probably because we are afraid something bad will happen. Without analyzing why we hesitate, we worry, we fret, and we put off taking action.
Do you have areas in your life where you feel stuck? Is there something you need to change? If you feel that you come up against a wall every time you try to make a move, or even think about a proposed change, then take a look and see if there is a fear behind it. And don’t be fooled. Fear masquerades in many disguises, such as these:
Take a moment to follow the trail to the fears that may lurk behind these and other common excuses and you will find that they are nothing more than lies. Identify and confront the lies that are stopping you in your tracks and look past those fears that pop up automatically when you face something new. Once you’ve identified those fear-lies, then turn them over and look at the other side. You may find the truth was there all the time, just waiting to be recognized.
Rather than listening to the fears and concluding the worst, why not try asking yourself instead, “What if it turned out differently? What if these good things happen?” Then list them. This view changes everything. By seeing the positive side, we can clearly make a balanced decision or take action.
For example, “What if I mess this up?” when flipped over becomes, “What if I do really well?”.
“What if everyone laughs at me?” becomes, “What if everyone cheers for me?”
“What if my work is no good?” becomes, “What if my work is great?” or even,
“What if only a few like it, but I derive great enjoyment out of creating it?”
Find an appropriate positive thought, statement or truth to counter the negative one and next time that little fear comes up, confront it with its opposite. Keep on doing this until the fear gives up and slinks away in defeat. It will, you know, and you’ll be the winner for your efforts.
It is considered common knowledge that people fear and resist change. Not true. What people really fear is that change will bring negative consequences. If what you plan will make you happy, you don’t fear change at all, do you?
Change is not scary when you plan for positive outcomes. I encourage you to switch from listening to your fears to expecting the best. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much easier it becomes to make decisions and how much more fun your life will be.
Being fearless is a wonderful way to live.
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When I was young there were many things I wanted to do. I didn’t think I could do them necessarily but it didn’t occur to me not to, so I did.
I wanted to go to university and study art, so I did.
I wanted to get married, so I did.
I wanted to travel in Europe, so I did.
I wanted to learn to paint in watercolours, so I did.
I wanted to live in my own house, so I did.
I wanted to go to Hawaii, so I did.
I wanted to have two daughters, so I did.
I wanted to move to France, so I did.
I wanted to start my own business, so I did.
I wanted to go on a cruise, so I did.
I wanted to write a novel, so I did.
I wanted to go to Florida, so I did.
I wanted to start a wholesale business with products featuring my own designs, so I did.
I wanted to license my artwork to other companies, so I did.
I wanted to have a retail gift store, so I did.
I wanted to have a publishing company, so I did.
I wanted to recover from a chronic health condition, so I did.
I wanted to write and publish books that would help people have sweeter lives, so I did.
There are many things that I want to be, do, and have in my life now, so I will. How do I know? I know because I have done this before. I decide to do it, so I go do it.
It’s important to note that I did all of these things in spite of not knowing how I would make them happen, and in facing down doubts every day. None of it was easy and I’m not going to suggest that it will be easy for you either, but once I made my decisions, the gears began to turn that took me toward where I wanted to go.
There is a lot of power in making a decision. If you never make the decision to do something, you’ll never do it. Answers to your wishes never just drop out of heaven and land on your head.
You know, the Bible says that a double-minded (or undecided) person is unstable in all her ways. How you do one thing is how you do everything. Wishy-washy, maybe-someday hopes don’t make things happen the way you want them to.
Once you make a decision and you know where you want to go, then you can take action in that direction. Without a decision and a destination, you won’t go anywhere. So figure out what you want and decide to go get it.
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