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The Top 10 Ways That You Can Buy Happiness

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Money should make you happy. At least, it should if you’re spending it right.

That’s the argument put forth by University of B.C. psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn. In a paper co-authored by two world-renowned experts on happiness, Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University and Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia, Dunn argues that most people are terrible at predicting what will make them happy, leading them to routinely spend money on all the wrong things.

“Money is an opportunity for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don’t,” writes Dunn and her colleagues.

For decades, researchers have known that money buys happiness, but only up to a point.

Research shows that wealthy people are not significantly happier than those with moderate incomes — and according to conventional wisdom, that’s because many of the things that make us happy aren’t for sale.
Dunn and her co-authors of the paper, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right” — to be published in the upcoming Journal of Consumer Psychology — adamantly disagree with that assertion.

They boldly suggest that if you spend wisely, “money can buy many, if not most, if not all of the things that make people happy.”

Drawing on their research, The Province presents 10 ways to better spend your money.

 

1. Buy many small lovely things rather than one big one

Go ahead, buy yourself that $4 latte.

Ever had an economist tell you how easily a $4 latte at work every morning will quickly add up to a staggering yearly sum of $1,040? And wouldn’t you rather spend that kind of money on something bigger, like a vacation or home theatre system? Well, the answer may be no.

It may well be that a latte a day, or every few days, will make you happier than a single big-ticket item once a year.

“This is not to say that there’s anything wrong with large purchases,” writes Dunn. “But as long as money is limited by its failure to grow on trees, we may be better off devoting our finite financial resources to purchasing frequent doses of lovely things rather than infrequent doses of lovelier things.”

One reason why small, frequent pleasures beats one large infrequent one is because we’re creatures of adaptation.

“If we buy an expensive dining room table… it’s pretty much the same table today as it was last week. Because frequent small pleasures are different each time they occur, they forestall adaptation,” says Dunn.

Research also tells us that breaking up a pleasurable experience into a series of experiences can help maximize joy, something frequent coffee drinker Eva Sajoo, of Vancouver, seems to understand innately.

“Certainly I get a lot of pleasure out of a very well-crafted cup of coffee,” she says. “But I think you enjoy it more if you don’t have it every day.”

 

2. Savor the cheap joys of life

Cozy up to a movie on a rainy day. Or go out for a walk on a bright summer’s day.
Not only are these simple pleasures often cheap, or better yet, free, but savouring the mundane joys of life will make you happier, according to research.

“In a study of Belgian adults, individuals who had a strong capacity to savour the mundane joys of daily life were happier than those who did not,” writes Dunn.

Interestingly, the same study found this capacity to savour “mundane joys” was significantly reduced among wealthy individuals. That may be because the wealthy have unfettered access to “peak experiences,” which undermines their ability to appreciate smaller moments.

 

3. Practice ‘presence’ for an extra jolt of joy

Spending money on yoga retreats, meditation DVDs or self-help books isn’t just for hippies or the spiritually inclined.

Scientific research is now also extolling the benefits of becoming more “present” or “engaged” — which activities such as yoga are said to help you achieve.

Researchers have found that people who are more fully engaged in an experience will get more enjoyment from it.

“A wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” Dunn and colleagues sum up succinctly.
Vancouver yoga teacher Jacci Collins says she’s experienced firsthand the positive effects of presence.

“I use not only my physical practice of yoga, but my meditation practice as a way of just trying to bring me back into my life, because sometimes, life just spins out of control and the days are going by so quickly. And when you’re aware of what you’re doing at every moment, somehow you have more appreciation for every moment,” says Collins.

 

4. Buy experiences, not things

Follow in the footsteps of 19,000 screaming teens who spent $60 on a Justin Bieber concert last week, rather than squandering it at the mall. That’s right, these 19,000 “Bielebers” were made happier simply by spending their money on an experience rather than a thing.

If happiness can be bought, then it’s essential to get the buying right, according to Dunn and colleagues.

“Experiences are good, but why are they better than things? One reason is that we adapt to things so quickly. After devoting days to selecting the perfect hardwood floor to install in a new condo, homebuyers find their once beloved Brazilian cherry floors quickly become nothing more than the unnoticed ground beneath their feet,” writes Dunn. “In contrast, their memory of seeing a baby cheetah at dawn on an African safari continues to provide delight.”

Mark Holder, associate professor of psychology at the University of B.C. Okanagan and a happiness expert, adds that the difference in happiness gained from a material object versus an experience is most acute after two weeks.

“When we spend, we don’t tend to savour our big screen TVs, but we do tend to savour our experiences with others. We relive them through photographs, for example, we relive them by telling stories and by reliving, those people are happier,” says Holder.

 

5. Spend on others, not yourself

Next time you think of buying something for yourself, buy it for a friend instead. Spending on others will make you happier, not only because it makes you look good (thereby boosting your mood), but because spending on others is a legitimate way to improve our connections with others, according to Dunn.

While this advice may seem to make sense, especially in light of how often we’re reminded that “giving is receiving,” it’s surprising how many people disbelieve it, says Lara Aknin, a graduate student working with Dunn.

A 2008 survey of more than 100 UBC students conducted by Aknin found that a significant majority of students believed money spent on themselves would make them happier than if it were spent on others.

“There’s this disconnect between what people believe will make them happy and what actually does,” says Aknin. “People aren’t that good at making good predictions because their look-ahead is plagued by all these errors, and we forget that when we look into the future we’re not going to be in the exact same state that we are now.”

 

6. Buy less insurance

Next time you’re asked if you want to buy a warranty, say no. Businesses have long capitalized on our tendency to underestimate how well we cope with traumas, tragedies or just plain old bad luck. By offering an insurance against “unhappiness” from extended warranties to insurance policies, we’re actually spending more than we need to guard against negative situations.

Dunn explains that just as we have a physical immune system to ward off disease, our psychological immune system has a remarkable ability to reconstruct and rationalize a negative situation into a positive one: “Ordinary people are remarkably adept at re-construing events in order to avoid self-blame and the regret that accompanies it.”

 

7. Delay, delay, delay consumption

Don’t be tempted by those optimistic sales campaigns that proclaim “No money down!” or “Don’t pay for six months.”

If you wait till you have the cash to purchase the product or service, you’ll get an extra jolt of happiness, says Dunn.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that the “consume now, pay later” mentality leads people to short-sighted behaviour, such as racking up debts or saving little for retirement — decisions that can ruin lives, argues Dunn.
But another, less obvious reason why delayed consumption leads to more happiness is because “anticipation is a source of ‘free’ happiness.”

“Research shows people can reap substantial enjoyment from anticipation of an upcoming event even if the event itself is not entirely enjoyable,” according to Dunn.

 

8. Happiness is in the details

Who hasn’t dreamt of owning a vacation home — say, a waterfront cabin or ski chalet? Well, those dream homes may be more of a mirage in a desert.

Humans are adept at imagining, but tend to skip over the details, seeing the future in “simple, high-level ways,” argues Dunn.

That means while we’re picturing the glassy waters of a lakeside retreat, finer details like calls about a plumbing disaster, or long drives home after the vacation, or the constant buzz of mosquitoes while you’re enjoying your glass of wine tend to recede in the background.

“Consumers who expect a single purchases to have a lasting impact on their happiness might make more realistic predictions if they simply thought about a typical day in their life,” Dunn advises.

 

9. Don’t shop around

Save your time and refrain from comparison shopping. Recent research suggests that comparison shopping may distract consumers from the attributes that will make them happiest, by making them focusing on the differences between available options.

Dunn gives the familiar example of shopping for real estate, in which would-be buyers typically attend countless open houses and viewings and scrutinize spec sheets for features and information on each home.

“As a result, home buyers might overestimate the hedonic consequences of living in a big, beautiful house in a great location vs. a more modest home, leading them to take out a larger loan than they can truly afford, ” argues Dunn.

The same process may also lead consumers to seek out products that provide the “best deal,” which is not always the product that makes them happiest.

 

10. Follow the herd

Can’t decide which book to read? Movie to watch? Next vacation? The easiest way to get promising “happiness” results is to follow the herd.

“Research suggests that the best way to predict how much we will enjoy an experience is to see how much someone else enjoyed it,” explains Dunn.

So chances are, summer blockbusters are as likely to bring us as much joy as they did the thousands of other people who’ve seen them.

A 2009 study drives home the point: Women were asked to predict how much they would enjoy a speed date with a particular man. Some women were shown his photo and autobiography. A second group were shown only the rating of how much other women enjoyed the date.

Think the vast majority of women shown the photo and autobiography would make a more accurate prediction? The opposite proved true.

 

By Lena Sin/ Source: The Province

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Pauline

    Jun 10, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Very interesting write up. It’s different from the other ideas about money and happiness.

  2. Reydan

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Well done… This is a great article! It helps!

  3. click here

    Feb 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    It always shocks me that people don’t seem to hold this idea. Good job on the blog and I will be sure to share this page.

  4. Nydia Minge

    Sep 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

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  5. Madelyn

    Jun 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Howdy blogger, thank you for providing this article.. I found it first-class.

  6. Charity Ndhlovu

    Jun 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I want to find happiness and be successful

    • Cassandra

      Jun 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      I found just what I was ndeeed, and it was entertaining!

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful?

In fact, according to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, our self-efficacy impacts both the goals we set for ourselves, as well as the amount of action we will take. If we have strong self-efficacy, we will aim higher with more ambitious goals as well as be more likely to follow through with the necessary goal-directed behaviours. However, with low levels of self-efficacy, we are likely not even to follow through and pursue even the most meagre of goals.

Therefore, if we have goals in life that are important to us, it is essential we develop and strengthen our self-efficacy.

Luckily, there are 4 simple areas to focus on when it comes to boosting our self-belief:

1. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Creating Mini Wins

One problem with big personal and life goals is that they take a while to realise. Maintaining motivation over a long period of time can be tough, and after a while, it is only natural to start questioning whether the goal will ever happen.

Rather than letting doubt creep into our minds, setting mini-goals along the way allows us to experience a feeling of success, even if we still have some way to go. These smaller wins still fill us with the same energy and excitement that accompanies bigger goals, albeit at a slightly lower level. But what is really important is that these performance accomplishments keep our self-efficacy levels nice and high.

If we set ourselves lots of mini challenges on the way to our bigger goals, we will soon find our self-efficacy levels through the roof. Think about how you can break your big goals down to allow you to experience performance accomplishments along the way.

“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.” – Albert Bandura

2. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Appropriate Role Modeling

Having a role model is a great way to identify your route to success. If you are on a journey, there is a good chance someone has already taken that path and can help you identify the right way to approach your goal. If someone else has done it, there is no reason you can’t do it too.

However, sometimes our role models can be so far ahead of us, it can feel as if we will never get to their level. Therefore, it is important to either focus on the appropriate phase of your role model’s development or find a number of different role models that you can associate to.

For example, if you are wanting to grow your business, Richard Branson could be a good role model. However, if you are right at the beginning of your journey, it may not be appropriate to read about his Virgin Galactic endeavours, so maybe study his early years in business instead.

3. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Positive Verbal Encouragement

It isn’t difficult to find negative messages that will cause you to question your ability to follow through and be successful with your goals. Often, that negative voice can even live inside our own heads, and it will attempt to be heard any time there is a quiet moment in our day.

Therefore, it is vital we find a way to replace those negative messages with some positive reinforcement at regular intervals. The great thing is, there are so many different ways to accomplish this.

The amount of audio content has gone through the roof, and with the rise in popularity of podcasts as well as companies like Audible making this easily accessible to everyone, there is no reason not to fill your day with positive content. Turn your daily commute, queues and gym time into brain training by replacing your music with positive audio content. Listen to biographies about your role models to hit two self-efficacy boosters at the same time.

Alternatively, get yourself a coach or mentor and schedule regular meetings to assess your progress. Although the entire meeting may not be focused on boosting your self-efficacy, a good coach or mentor will end each meeting making you feel that you can be successful, even with the biggest of challenges.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

4. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Getting Into The Zone

Lastly, a great way to boost your self-belief and self-efficacy is to use music or film to get you into the zone and help make you feel unstoppable. Do you have a favourite playlist that puts you in the right frame of mind and ready to take on the world? Create a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks you know gets you into an emotional state where you feel unstoppable and make sure you listen to this immediately before you take on any challenging activities.

Alternatively, if you have a little more time and attention to spare, video and film can really get you into the mood. Put on a movie like Rocky and you will immediately want to put on your best grey tracksuit and go for an early morning run through the streets. Alternatively, check out motivational videos on YouTube for more of a bitesize chunk of self-efficacy boosting content.

As you can see, boosting your self-efficacy can be simple and fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Boosting your self-efficacy will encourage you to reach higher with your goals, follow through with your actions and develop the resilience needed to reach the levels of success you deserve. Do something every day to boost your self-efficacy and you’ll amaze yourself with the new levels of results you are able to achieve.  

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Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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Life

We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Life

The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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self-efficacy
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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful? (more…)

I am Dan Storey from UK .I have worked in and around the world of Motivational seminars for many years, starting as a volunteer and affiliate before heading up one of the UK’s biggest personal development seminar companies. I have been training NLP to business and sales people for over 10 years and the author of next level persuasion. I am currently Working towards MSC in Behavioural Psychology and constantly trying to figure out why we do what we do.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Pauline

    Jun 10, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Very interesting write up. It’s different from the other ideas about money and happiness.

  2. Reydan

    Apr 13, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Well done… This is a great article! It helps!

  3. click here

    Feb 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    It always shocks me that people don’t seem to hold this idea. Good job on the blog and I will be sure to share this page.

  4. Nydia Minge

    Sep 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys Iˇve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  5. Madelyn

    Jun 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Howdy blogger, thank you for providing this article.. I found it first-class.

  6. Charity Ndhlovu

    Jun 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I want to find happiness and be successful

    • Cassandra

      Jun 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      I found just what I was ndeeed, and it was entertaining!

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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self-efficacy
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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful?

In fact, according to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, our self-efficacy impacts both the goals we set for ourselves, as well as the amount of action we will take. If we have strong self-efficacy, we will aim higher with more ambitious goals as well as be more likely to follow through with the necessary goal-directed behaviours. However, with low levels of self-efficacy, we are likely not even to follow through and pursue even the most meagre of goals.

Therefore, if we have goals in life that are important to us, it is essential we develop and strengthen our self-efficacy.

Luckily, there are 4 simple areas to focus on when it comes to boosting our self-belief:

1. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Creating Mini Wins

One problem with big personal and life goals is that they take a while to realise. Maintaining motivation over a long period of time can be tough, and after a while, it is only natural to start questioning whether the goal will ever happen.

Rather than letting doubt creep into our minds, setting mini-goals along the way allows us to experience a feeling of success, even if we still have some way to go. These smaller wins still fill us with the same energy and excitement that accompanies bigger goals, albeit at a slightly lower level. But what is really important is that these performance accomplishments keep our self-efficacy levels nice and high.

If we set ourselves lots of mini challenges on the way to our bigger goals, we will soon find our self-efficacy levels through the roof. Think about how you can break your big goals down to allow you to experience performance accomplishments along the way.

“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.” – Albert Bandura

2. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Appropriate Role Modeling

Having a role model is a great way to identify your route to success. If you are on a journey, there is a good chance someone has already taken that path and can help you identify the right way to approach your goal. If someone else has done it, there is no reason you can’t do it too.

However, sometimes our role models can be so far ahead of us, it can feel as if we will never get to their level. Therefore, it is important to either focus on the appropriate phase of your role model’s development or find a number of different role models that you can associate to.

For example, if you are wanting to grow your business, Richard Branson could be a good role model. However, if you are right at the beginning of your journey, it may not be appropriate to read about his Virgin Galactic endeavours, so maybe study his early years in business instead.

3. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Positive Verbal Encouragement

It isn’t difficult to find negative messages that will cause you to question your ability to follow through and be successful with your goals. Often, that negative voice can even live inside our own heads, and it will attempt to be heard any time there is a quiet moment in our day.

Therefore, it is vital we find a way to replace those negative messages with some positive reinforcement at regular intervals. The great thing is, there are so many different ways to accomplish this.

The amount of audio content has gone through the roof, and with the rise in popularity of podcasts as well as companies like Audible making this easily accessible to everyone, there is no reason not to fill your day with positive content. Turn your daily commute, queues and gym time into brain training by replacing your music with positive audio content. Listen to biographies about your role models to hit two self-efficacy boosters at the same time.

Alternatively, get yourself a coach or mentor and schedule regular meetings to assess your progress. Although the entire meeting may not be focused on boosting your self-efficacy, a good coach or mentor will end each meeting making you feel that you can be successful, even with the biggest of challenges.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

4. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Getting Into The Zone

Lastly, a great way to boost your self-belief and self-efficacy is to use music or film to get you into the zone and help make you feel unstoppable. Do you have a favourite playlist that puts you in the right frame of mind and ready to take on the world? Create a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks you know gets you into an emotional state where you feel unstoppable and make sure you listen to this immediately before you take on any challenging activities.

Alternatively, if you have a little more time and attention to spare, video and film can really get you into the mood. Put on a movie like Rocky and you will immediately want to put on your best grey tracksuit and go for an early morning run through the streets. Alternatively, check out motivational videos on YouTube for more of a bitesize chunk of self-efficacy boosting content.

As you can see, boosting your self-efficacy can be simple and fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Boosting your self-efficacy will encourage you to reach higher with your goals, follow through with your actions and develop the resilience needed to reach the levels of success you deserve. Do something every day to boost your self-efficacy and you’ll amaze yourself with the new levels of results you are able to achieve.  

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Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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