Connect with us

Life

7 Things You Need to Look Out for When Trying to Experience Happiness

Published

on

happiness

Peak experiences. We all get excited about fulfilling our current craving be it planning a trip, being invited to a special party, finding the perfect shoe to wear or having our latest crush call for a date. This is not shallow. It’s fun and I’m all in. I love it all, but I am here to tell you true happiness is not about hitting the peak now and then.

It’s about maintaining the life’s peak experiences. Momentary fulfillment is fun but it is situational happiness. If this, then that. How do you feel when nothing special is happening? I’d like to address a happiness that lasts a lifetime. A default state of happiness and appreciation when it seems like nothing is happening.

You could say that what exists between peak experiences is the gap. How do we all feel about the gap? Dull? Uncertain? This is where true happiness is experienced. You could call it ease and peace and joy on a low simmer.

Happiness, like a bicep, needs to be worked on and once you have developed the strength of consistent well-being, it takes little effort to keep it strong. Without working on it, your happiness will be as flaccid as the muscles you don’t tend to. Sometimes it is easier to get at happiness by looking at what corrodes it.

Below are 7 things you need to look out for because of their ability to sabotage your happiness:

1. Our Emotions

Even though they appear to come out of nowhere, they don’t. We allow ourselves or others to stir them up inside of us until they take over our mood and, eventually, our life. If we don’t learn how to control our thoughts, our emotions will run over us and our dreams. Happiness is not an emotion, it is our home base only with lots of clutter on top of it.

Antidote: The clutter is our thoughts. Happiness demands we see things clearly.  Emotions are more like a cloudy cup we drink from. Thought precedes emotion. Learn to control your thoughts and the emotions will no longer run the show.

2. A Default Identity

We construct our world through what we say to ourselves and what we choose to accept from what others say to us. Untamed, our minds are reckless, random, and reactive. It doesn’t occur to us that we have control over our thoughts because we assume they are all true.

Even our beliefs are just thoughts we either never examined or thoughts we keep thinking. Yet one day, we choose to exercise control instead of reacting and find we do indeed have choice. Choosing happiness is equivalent to being free.

Antidote: Emotions come from thoughts and we can learn to control our thoughts. That is the happiness muscle at work. Off with the negative weight.

“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” – Valerie Bertinelli

3. Living Conditionally

Much of our day to day happiness relies upon other people acting a certain way and conditions being “perfect” in the world according to us. Since we can’t control others, we should drop the “shoulds” and embrace the “coulds.” What could be? The mood of your life is at stake here.

Antidote: To get the shoes, or the Rolex, or the house on the hill is a short-term thrill. The shoes will get scuffed and out of date, the Rolex may get stolen, and maintaining the unreliable notion of perfection will make you uptight. Happiness lives between your ears. To live unconditionally is to choose happiness over your “shoulds” and other people’s opinions and actions.

4. Being In Control

That you can exercise control over others is a myth. Even if they seem to go along on the outside, you don’t have control over their thoughts and feelings. You’ve got to give up trying to control other people. They are not animals to be tamed.

The only control I recommend is taking control of your thoughts and therefore, your perspective. We try to control people out of our own insecurity. Insecurity is also a thought. Control is too small a pen to play in.

Antidote: Catch yourself when you want to exert control over another. No one has successfully changed anyone else. Don’t threaten or pout when things don’t go your way. When you take responsibility for your mood, life will be sweet.

5. Judging

It is not possible to be happy when you are judging yourself or another. Happiness requires equilibrium. Judging keeps you off balance. It is a signal of seeing yourself or another as superior or inferior.

Judging is the product of a foolish ego who likes a short lived win until the next “challenge” to itself comes along. Happiness doesn’t come from comparison any more than it comes from being taller or shorter than someone.

Antidote: Change the thought. Silently wish them (or you) well and compliment them in your mind and move on.

“Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.” – Wayne Dyer

6. Complaining

Most of us regurgitate the same complaints to our friends, therapists, and bartender. Our lives seem to revolve around a few complaints. Think of it this way: Inside every complaint is a request. The complaint is asking you what you really want? Focus on the positive action or your complaints may come to define you.

Antidote: Get up and get out. Put your attention on creating something new. You can’t have a fulfilling life through an unfulfilled journey.

7. Being Right

This certainly is the booby prize and a lonely place. The ego loves little wins, acknowledgement from others, but there is generally little peace to be had in such an interaction. I would love to convince my husband of the value of a certain program I listen to. He wants none of it. While I would love to share it with him and see him grow from it, he has said “no.” I respect that. What’s “right” for me may not appeal to you.

Antidote: Allow things to be this way and that way. They usually are. No one is in this world to live up to your expectations, and for sure, you won’t live up to theirs!

There is no gym for happiness outside of you. By divesting yourself of the automatic reactions you have to things, you will come to realize that a change in attitude, moving a few thoughts around is all that is required. Only by exploring what is driving the negative into our lives, dropping the drama, the funk, and beliefs that don’t serve us will we free ourselves to be filled with joy.

Joy is the outcome of the happiness muscle workout. Flex that muscle wherever you go. It’s stunning and contagious.  

Which one of the above 7 things do you need to work on most in order to enjoy a more fulfilling and happy life? Let us know below!

Known throughout her career as the happiness expert, Nanci Sherman was raised in New York City and earned a B.S in Journalism and Communications at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Nanci revolutionized the industry and consulted on leadership and motivation on three continents. Nanci raises the bar on happiness. Her personal quest has been "How do I live an extraordinary life?" Nanci studied with some of the greatest experts in the field of self-development and personal growth. She synthesized their teachings, expanded upon them, and translated this into her work success and life. You could say she is “terminally” happy and wants to pass that recipe for joy onto you. You will find her enthusiasm to be infectious, and her insights to be profound. She is a Happiness and Leadership Coach, Hotel Revolutionary and an established Author.

Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tiffany Plummer

    Feb 10, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Loved reading this! We all fall victim to at least one of the 7 points you mentioned in this post on a daily basis but the key is to always be mindful on your journey to happiness.Thank you for this!

    Love,
    Tiffany

    • Nanci Sherman

      Feb 16, 2019 at 3:37 am

      Thanks, Tiffany. I hope you are living a life you love and wish you every happiness. Check out my book Follow Your Bliss, Not Your Blisters: How to Live Unconditionally Happy for anyone you know that needs a kick start to taking control of their happiness quotient. Best to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

How One Small Step Back Backwards Is One Giant Leap Forwards

Published

on

a step backwards is a leap forwards
Image Credit: Unsplash

For me, this conjures up a scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail where the king is explaining about how he built his castle on a swamp, each castle sank into the swamp until the fourth one stood firm.

It’s so incredibly important to have solid foundations on which to build your life or business. There are times though where we think we have a rock-solid foundation and ignore the holes forming in it. Just like we think we’re invincible and nothing can hurt us or affect us, we think our foundations are too.

There are times when we need to fix those holes and cracks but that means taking a step backwards and many see it as a weakness. Their ego will tell them they’re going in the wrong direction. Their ego will tell them they’re letting themselves down and they’ve become as weak as a little field mouse. I disagree though. I see the act of taking a step backwards to be one of the strongest and most powerful things we can do!

We begin these journeys whether in life or in business with big plans. We’re excited, our emotions are running high and just like a kid on Christmas day, we forget about most things because our focus is on the prize (or the presents). Maybe we forget to put the battery door back onto one of our gifts properly.

At first, everything is amazing. We spend hours playing with the new toy, it seems like only surgery will remove the smile from our face. Then it happens, the toy stops working because the batteries have fallen out (remember the door?), the smile weakens, the tears begin, the special day is filled with wails of sadness. All because you’d missed something at the beginning.

“When things go wrong, go back to the basics” –Urvi Mistry

Tame our ego

One of the most powerful things that stop us taking that step backwards is our ego. It would be like asking a NASA rocket scientist if they would like to read “Rocket Science for Dummies”, they just wouldn’t do it because they would see it as belittling their existing knowledge. I’ll be honest, I would have felt the same if someone had handed me an “Archery for Dummies” book just as I’d won my second British championship title.

These are the times when we have to suspend our ego. It can be difficult and many times we have to force ourselves to do it, but when we do we massively grow. It’s like when we go to a workshop or conference. The speaker lineup is awesome, you’re excited to see them. The event begins, the house lights dim and the stage is spotlit.

The first speaker comes on stage, begins talking and your first thoughts are “But I already know that”. The mental walls shoot up and you miss all of the golden nuggets available because your ego shut off your mind to any new information.

This is exactly the same process that happens when someone suggests to us that maybe we should take a few steps backwards to strengthen our foundation. The mental walls go up and our mind goes into lockdown. It’s like sticking fingers in our ears and loudly shouting “La La La La La La” so we don’t hear someone saying things.

So what can you do?

The first step is to slap your ego around the face with a wet trout. Your ego is used to being in control so doing something to disrupt that situation gives your conscious mind the control back long enough to jump in and begin reasoning and questioning the situation.

Start asking yourself “What do I REALLY need to do to fix things?”. The solution won’t be to stick a band-aid on, it’s to fix the core issues which can be anything from lack of systems/procedures, lack of academic knowledge or lack of experience. All of these fall into the realms of your foundations and that’s where your focus should be.

All too often we complicate things to the point where we stop seeing the solution. To stop your pizza from sticking to the box lid, you wouldn’t start to develop a non-stick cardboard coating so the cheese doesn’t stick to the lid when it gets dumped around by the delivery driver. You’d keep it simple and put the little plastic thing in the centre of the pizza instead.

“It’s very satisfying to take a problem we thought difficult and find a simple solution. The best solutions are always simple.” – Ivan Sutherland

When we complicate things, not only do we lose sight of the end goal, but we forget about the simple solutions. Those simple solutions reside in the realm of the basic, that place you get to when you take this valuable but sometimes difficult steps backwards. Yes, it’s going to be hard at first, yes it’s going to give you those feelings of failure and going back to school, but believe me when I tell you they will be the best, strongest and most powerful steps you take, on a par with Neil Armstrong’s small step for man.

Continue Reading

Life

2 Simple Steps to Help You Break Through Your Fears

Published

on

how to breakthrough your fears
Image Credit: Unsplash

If you are addicted to success you most certainly are addicted to fear too. Why? Because they are a direct consequence of each other. When you achieve success, it’s because you have taken actions and broken through fears that were holding you back. Every success you have comes from breaking a fear you held onto.

It is incredible to think how much energy and time entrepreneurs waste looking after their fears, making sure they are listened to. It is much harder to feed the energy of fear than feed the energy of success. I want you to think about the mental dilemma you face every single day, the battle you will probably have in your mind when it comes to taking certain actions in your business.

Shall I take that risk?

What if I’m rejected? What if I’m not good enough? What if I’ll be ridiculed in front of others? What if I fail? Just think of how hard it is to constantly listen and obey these thoughts.

The battle in your head is real and challenging. The good thing is you can win it, and the bad thing is there will always be a battle going on in your head. However, you can become a more consistent winner.

Success will always require a new level of expansion which will result in a new level of fears needed to be broken. Imagine this like an elastic band. Every time you face a fear, the elastic will stretch more and more, and the tension will be greater. When you become brave and take the action, the tension will be released and the elastic band will fly further creating a bigger expansion.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Fears are normal and essentials to your success

If there are no fears, there’ll be no stretch and no expansion from you. If you want to succeed, you must break through some fears, and this is obvious. But how can you break through fears with ease? I personally used all the possible solutions available in the world to win my fears: meditation, counseling, talking therapies, exercises and many more.

Although those helped, the ultimate way to conquer your fears is to go straight through them. I won some of my biggest fears since starting my entrepreneurial journey that no one else and nothing could help me break. This seems better said than done, but by following a few simple steps, you can do it too.

Here are 2 simple steps to help you breakthrough those fears:

1. Becoming aware of what your fears are

Often they’re very well camouflaged, and they’ll appear in your life as if on autopilot, in the same way electricity comes when you flip a light switch. They’re often triggered by someone else’s actions or words, or by your idea on what the consequence of a certain action will bring to you.

Fears contain so much energy on their own, so imagine what you could do with that energy if you could use it to your advantage. Imagine fear being a close wrist. Every time you activate the fear, you give more energy to it. Every time you think of the fear, you feed the wrist with more power.

As you live your life controlled by fears, the wrists will get more and more powerful. Picture that. Then you try to take certain actions in your business like going live for the first time, proposing a deal to a certain client, writing an article where you express your very own controversial opinion about something, or invest money you currently do not have.

Fears will come in, fully charged. You try to win by punching towards the wall of action. You want to break through, and you know that on the other side of the wall there’s success.

You punch and keep punching but nothing happens. Then, imagine you taking the leap, pointing the wrist towards the wall and BANG! You break through.

Now, the energy of fear has been released and is now ready to be used to your advantage.

The energy will disperse and free itself and it will transmute into freedom and power to take further actions.

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

2. Figure out why you fear that certain thing

After you realise what the fear is, ask yourself, “Why do I fear to take this action?” Explore the consequences that breaking that specific fear will bring you. “What will happen if I break this and I achieve the results I desire?

These questions are vital, as you’ll realize your fears are just trying to keep you safe. Humans are not wired for success, they are wired for survival. So anything to do with success will be filtered through your lens of fear.

Once you realize WHAT will happen if you achieve the success you desire, which usually are negative scenarios, calm your mind and imagine a positive scenario instead. Write this down for each negative scenario your mind will create.

One of my biggest fears is the fear of being successful as I believe (my scenario) that people won’t like me anymore, and that I won’t be able to spend time with my family. So once I detected the fear, I changed the scenario. Instead of thinking people will not like me anymore, I create a new reality I desire which could look something like this: I will be able to help and impact more people and I will make sure I take lots of days off and delegate stuff to my team so to spend time with my family.

It is that simple. Once your subconscious mind is reassured with the new positive outcome, it will become easier for you to take action. In the end, always remember you’re in charge of your life, no one else, let alone your fears.

How do you conquer your fears? Let us know your advice and thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Life

Being Alone With Yourself Is the Most Important Skill We Have Lost

Published

on

being alone
Image Credit: Unsplash

We live in a world where we’re always around people either at work, in the store, and on our phones through social media. In fact, our society tends to label anybody who wants to be or is alone, as a lonely person or even more terribly, a depressed person. We have forgotten how to enjoy our own company.

This is particularly surprising since some of the admired and highly celebrated icons in human history are well known to be “loners.” We have mastered a lot of skills from society, but perhaps we have neglected the most important skill of all. The ability to learn alone, to learn about your strengths and weaknesses, to reflect on the way forward in life, to just sit and appreciate nature, is invaluable.

Here are 4 ways to make being alone fun and productive:

1. Change scenery

You don’t have to do this all the time, but one way to enjoy your time alone is to take a trip or a very long drive or run. It can be difficult to spend time alone when you’re around familiar faces. It’s one of the reasons why people go on vacations away from home. Just get out and spend some time alone reflecting and enjoying your own company.

2. Switch off everything

We live in a world of digital communication. If you truly want to be alone for a while, it would be better if you didn’t login to Facebook and Twitter at all. Better yet, turn off your phone.

3. Reflect

Now that you are alone, it is time to reflect on what you want, what you have done, what you want to be doing. Silence or cool music might be good here. Whichever way, one of the things that make being alone rewarding is the fact that it affords you the opportunity to reflect.

“I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.” – Kobe Bryant

4. Give yourself a treat

Go see a movie, buy a plate of food or a cup of ice-cream. Being alone is not only a time to think, it is also a time to pamper yourself. Treat yourself to the best things that you can afford and be happy and proud about it.

Now that you know how to make being alone fun and productive, it’s time to see the benefits of being alone. Here are 6 benefits you can expect from embracing being alone:

1. It aids personal growth

Apart from all the skills we get from self-development books, being alone helps build us. Through it, we are able to make plans, to ask critical questions and put our lives in the proper perspective. To grow, it is important that you take yourself out and properly assess your life alone, away from friends, families and colleagues.

2. It energizes

There are times when we’re stressed out by work, family, and friends, so being alone is a wonderful way to renew yourself with extra energy. This is the time to give yourself treats and plenty of rest and leisure, away from the stress of the world.

3. It increases the value you place on relationship

When you come to a point where you love being alone, it makes it so that you’re very intentional about your relationship with others. Being alone can also help you properly evaluate and see all there is to love and enjoy about your relationship with others.

4. It increases self-confidence

Another wonderful benefit of being alone is that it helps to boost your self- confidence and self esteem. The more time you spend alone with yourself, the more comfortable you are with your skill and with your strengths and weaknesses.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

5. It helps you become more empathetic

One thing about having friends and those we relate with very often is that we unconsciously develop a mentality that makes us empathetic towards them rather than others. Findings have shown that the more time you spend alone, the more compassion you’re able to show to a wider range of people.

6. The difference between being alone and being lonely

The desire to be alone is quite different from loneliness and sometimes, we do not take the required time to be alone because we don’t want to be perceived as “lonely” by others. To be lonely is to deeply want to relate and have communication with someone or some people but to be unable to.

It’s an ache that you carry around throughout the day, and it seriously affects all you do. It could make the entire world seem frustrating. The death of a loved one can lead to loneliness after a while.

Being alone on the other hand, as seen earlier, is intentionally deciding to get away from everybody and enjoying being with yourself as you reflect on your life and all that’s to come.

Taking time to be alone is very productive and it can be a wonderful thing for you. Take time away from social media and friends and find a nice spot to relax with yourself and analyze your habits and see how they affect your life.

Do you enjoy spending time by yourself? Share your thoughts below on if you think it benefits you and helps you recharge!

Continue Reading

Life

Simple Meditation Techniques To Enhance Your Productivity

Published

on

meditation techniques
Image Credit: Unsplash

At times, the workplace can be a stressful place to be. Whether you are faced with demanding clients, even more demanding colleagues, or just the incessant activity of the environment itself, the workplace can at times feel like it is exerting a pressure down upon your shoulders that is difficult to extricate yourself from.

Not only is this unhealthy and detrimental to your wellbeing, it is also highly counterproductive for your organization. A stressed or unhappy employee is, for the most part, an unproductive employee who you do not necessarily want interacting with valuable clients, while its difficult to forge fruitful relationships with co-workers.

However, with these easy-to-use techniques, you can help turn your business space into an oasis of calm, boosting your work productivity at the same time.

At-desk meditations

It may be that you want to invoke some form of meditative state, but the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself from wide-eyed colleagues. If this sounds like you, then there are a number of at-desk meditations you can perform which will not only assist in destressing and boosting performance, but will do so without attracting unwelcome glances.

Here are a few of the most easy to use:

1. Tap your fingers to the rhythm of time

Put both of your hands on your thighs or on your desk, and proceed to start tapping each finger individually, starting with your pinky finger. It is important that you use a sequence, and time it effectively to a slow rhythm. The last part is to then recite a five-word mantra that relates to time.

There is an infinity of options here, but you could go with ‘I do have enough time’ or ‘Time is my best friend’. The idea is to create a zen-like state where you are breathing regularly and focussing on the small activity at hand (literally). Continue until your breathing has become regular and the repeated-mantra has eased though you to your core.

This is an immensely achievable meditative process that I love to utilize in any number of situations because it is so private.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Shake it off

Now is the time to focus on exactly what or who is causing your stress. Take some time out, sit quietly on your chair, and take a few deep breaths while you think about the origin of your stress. Next, start to recite to yourself a mantra along the lines of ‘It’s OK and I can move on from this.’ Then, start to take a few deeper breaths and use the time you breathe out to really sigh away your frustration.

Finally, shake your body to release the tension from you. There is no need to make any deep noises or draw unwanted attention to yourself, but that really shouldn’t be a consideration anyway, and will only exacerbate your stress in the process. This is about breathing and release.

3. Eyes to the flame

If you are feeling a little braver, and you understand that an open flame will not cause any undue disquiet in the workplace around you (or that you are breaking any health and safety regulations), using a candle can be a wonderful tool to help create a meditative state. Start by switching off your computer. In fact, this is a good place to begin with any meditative activity as the glare from the screen will distract your attention.

Light the candle and then bring the flame towards your eye level, holding it approximately 20 inches away, or into a position that is comfortable. Then, stare into the flame for up to 2 minutes, remembering to breathe regularly as you do so.

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama

Meditations for a private space

If you have access to a private space in the workplace, there are other types of meditative positions which you can undertake, including, lying on the floor. Lying down immediately helps to put you in an unfamiliar position for work, which is helpful in itself, but a familiar position for feeling comforted and relaxed.

Close your eyes and then once again, start to breathe in a rhythmic manner. It is essential that your breathing becomes your primary focus, so you breathe in and out with a deep concentration on what you are doing.

When starting out, five minutes is more than apt, as long as that’s five minutes of a concentrated nature. You can then start to push out those times, and there is no reason why before long you shouldn’t be able to manage 20 minutes of perfect meditative calm. This can easily be done during a lunch break or even a mid-morning break.

There are also walking meditations for more adventurous types, which involves focusing on your steps and breaths simultaneously, concentrating always on a forward motion, both literally and figuratively. Emotional calmness and wellbeing in the workplace is just around the corner.

Have you tried meditation? If so, do you like it? Let us know your thoughts about meditation below!

Continue Reading

Trending