“Happy” Is The New Healthy

“Happy” Is The New Healthy

Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed that the focus of my ramblings has shifted slightly over the past couple of months.  There’s a reason for that.  I have become absolutely passionate about the role of ‘happiness’ in my life.  If you check the previous post, you will find a brief overview of the journey I am on that brought me to this conclusion.  Feel free to read that one for some context.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

Perhaps the shift has occurred as a result of the aging process (although I still feel like a teenager) or maybe as a result of some significant health challenges that reared their ugly heads a couple of years ago.  I like to think my focus has come back to core values and been bolstered by some incredible coaching that I have been blessed with recently.  Whatever the case, my research, passion for the subject and perhaps a greater understanding of what  most of society feels about happiness (66% of North Americans say they are unhappy) is where my thoughts are these days.

HAPPY IS THE NEW HEALTHY

Although there are many reasons people identify when talking about their unhappiness, they all seem to be an offshoot of what I believe is the core problem.  Health, fatigue and aches/pains seem to be the centre of the issue.  For example, some people indicate that their employment situation is the cause of their unhappiness.  Could that be because they are arriving at work sleep-deprived, irritable due to aches and pains or from stress?  See where I’m going with this?

It’s harder to concentrate on your work, relationships, finances or almost anything else important when you’re just not feeling well.  That doesn’t necessarily mean sick or injured.  In my case, I am blessed to wake up every morning happy.  Life is so much more wonderful when you get up that way.

LENGTHENING LIVES

In an article titled “Six Ways Happiness is Good For Your Health“, Kira M. Newman writes that happiness protects your heart, strengthens your immune system and combats stress, diseases and disability.  She notes that, “Recently, a critical mass of research has provided what might be the most basic and irrefutable argument in favor of happiness: Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand.

Over the past six months I have tested that hypothesis and can tell you without reservation that better health creates happiness and joy.  It is so much easier to face the work at hand when you feel terrific.  Relationships blossom when you get up each morning feeling happy and joyous.  No challenge is insurmountable when you have a smile on your face.

TAKE SIMPLE STEPS

Try it.  It’s that simple.  If the happier you are is directly proportional to how healthy you are, why not get healthy?  I’m not suggesting you rush out and buy up all the ‘happy’ programs on the market, or the ‘healthy’ programs either.  But a few simple steps that cost almost nothing may be in order:

  1.  Find someone that has the happiness factor you respect and ask them how they got there.  I, for one, would be absolutely honoured to share with you the strategies I use for free.  Helping people find happiness makes me feel happy so why not?

Pretty short list.  Great place to start.

As I always end with something to think about, here we go.  “To keep the body in good health is a duty.  Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”  (Buddha)

 

Advertisements

On Searching For Happiness

On Searching For Happiness

Sixty six percent of people in North America aren’t happy.  That’s a really, really big number. Multiple  surveys confirm it.  Its not that they are unhappy or miserable.  They are just not ‘happy’.  Obviously something is missing.  Or several somethings.

I’ve been researching, studying and making changes in my life for the past nine months and there is a solution.  Perhaps not the solution that two thirds of the continent are looking for.  Perhaps not an easy answer as the solution requires some learning, some commitment and some plain old fashioned hard work.  But it worked for me.

For six of the past nine months, I have woken up every single morning with happiness and joy ( yes, joy) as my first thought.  I’m happy to be where I am, surrounded by people I love and  respect, doing the things I love to do and enjoying incredible leaps forward in health.  Life really doesn’t get any better than that.

“IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY, BE”

People are unhappy for a multitude of reasons, from health challenges to financial concerns, from relationship difficulties to employment problems.  But mostly they are just unhappy being who they are.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”  Tolstoy wrote, “If you want to be happy, be.”  In a previous post, I mentioned a friend who’s joyful email created lasting happiness for me.  I found myself reading it again today.

Great motivator and mentor Richard Bliss Brooke believes that “to be happier, stronger and more powerful, the answer lies in Vision“.  It was Richard’s message that I internalized six months ago.  It is his message that started me on my journey of discovery and brought me to a place in my life where I truly experience happiness and joy every single day.

IT BEGINS WITH YOU

The good news is that the path to happiness is well researched and duplicatable.  It begins with you, ends with you and is totally dependant on you and your commitment to change.  From my perspective, it has been worth every minute of the past six months to get to this point in my life.

My mission is not only to be happy, but to create happiness around me with people that are motivated to take that first step.  And the first step is incredibly simple.  In fact, the first step requires only two words.  “Teach me”.

TEACH ME

Take a moment and think about your ‘happiness’ factor.  Do you wake up every morning happy and joyful?  Are you happy, truly happy about who you are, what you do and what you think?  This can be a gut-wrenching process if you are brutally honest with yourself.  I’m asking you to be brutally honest.  And if you believe that you can change, if you aren’t afraid to roll your sleeves up and get busy and that you have a true passion for learning, let me know.  Let’s chat about getting serious about getting happy.  Just enter “teach me” in the comment section directly below this article.  And by the way, I don’t charge for the assistance.  That’s another one of those magical, empowering ingredients that make me happy.

Ending as usual with something to think about.  “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It is what you think about.”  (Dale Carnegie)

On Falling Down

On Falling Down

I’m a firm believer in ‘masterminding’ and one of the people I am honored to count as a friend, mentor and mastermind conspirator is Nancy Morris. Nancy is the ‘un-guru’ of business psychology and people development. She’s really good at what she does. We have lunch together at least once a month to chat.

LEARNING AT LUNCH

At our last lunch, we got onto the topic of inevitable failures in business and Nancy, as she always does, said something that got me thinking. I made a comment about people that always need to be right. Nancy was quick to correct me. She said, “No one thinks that they always need to be right. But many people think that they should never be wrong”. Told you she was smart. The paradigm shifted.

Being wrong is okay.  It’s actually better than okay.

FAILURE IS INEVITABLE

In a recent article on entrepreneur.com, Chris Byers, CEO of Formstack noted that, “In business, failure is inevitable. It’s what you do after you fail that makes a difference.”

I couldn’t agree more. However, it is also crucial to note that repeating the error is a choice. As infants we were all faced with the challenge of learning to walk. Our parents didn’t plunk us down in front of a computer, launch a powerpoint presentation on how to walk and hoped we’d ‘get it’. We fell down. Lots. A child falls an average of about 290 times before they actually learn to walk. Failure is how we learn. Failure is how successful people motivate themselves to move forward.

TRACTION IS ESSENTIAL TO GROWTH

Byers goes on to say, “In order come up with new and innovative ideas, new concepts have to be tried. New ideas don’t need to be committed to for life, but trying something new and seeing if you can get traction is essential to growth.

Make mistakes. Learn from them, don’t repeat them. That’s business. And it is the road to success.

Something to think about: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”  (George Bernard Shaw)

Who The Heck Is Miss Vickie?

Who The Heck Is Miss Vickie?

Every once in a while my thought processes wind up on a very twisted offramp. These are usually things that I think about late at night or when the power goes out.

Recently a good friend recommended a new flavor of potato chips called Miss Vickies Smokehouse Barbecue. I tried ‘em. Pretty good actually. But here’s where the lateral thinking got a bit wonky. I started wondering about Miss Vickie. Was she a real person or just some figment of imagination cooked up by a potato chip marketing guru?  Google, here I come.

Turns out that Miss Vickies is owned by Frito-Lay.  Aha, I thought to myself. There is no such person. It’s just a name created to catch my attention. However, a little more Google and voila, there really is a Miss Vickie. The recipe originated with Vickie and Bill Kerr at their potato farm in New Lowell, Ontario. The chips saw their debut at the 14th annual Alliston Potato Festival in 1987, gained quick popularity amongst festival go-ers and over the next few years the chips were produced and marketed from Pointe-Claire, Quebec until they were purchased by Frito-Lay in 1993.

It wasn’t a big leap from there to start wondering about other brand names. You can see how this almost turned into an all-nighter. I just had to know how far I could take this so I compiled a list.

REAL PERSON OR FIGMENT OF THE IMAGINATION?

(See how many of these you get correct.  Answers at bottom of page)

Mrs. Fields?

Chef Boyardee?

Dr. Pepper?

Granny Smith Apples?

Marie Callender?

The Reuben Sandwich?

Duncan Hines?

THERE IS A POINT TO THIS

In today’s world of instant worldwide communication, internet marketing gurus and global reach it is crucially important to make sure who you’re dealing with. When you’re approached with a great new product, idea or opportunity, please do your research first. Anything can be made to look real on the internet. As an entrepreneur its very easy to make snap decisions and many have lived to regret their decision. Here’s a good rule of thumb.  The more pressure that someone puts on you to “start today before the opportunity is gone”, the more likely there’s a reason they want your money today.

Be careful out there my friends. And if you’re looking for a great article on how to find a legitimate opportunity, you really should click this link and spend a few seconds reviewing an article called ‘How To Start A Home Business’.  It’s safe.  No sales pitches.  I know because wrote it.

And as always, we end with something to think about. “Your initial instincts about investments and people are usually correct. We do a lot of due diligence in this business and most of the time it comes out where we started.”  (Alan Patricof)

ANSWERS

(Tell me how many you got correct in the comments section below)

Mrs. Fields?  Real Person. Mrs. Fields Cookies was founded by Debbi Fields (b. 1956, Oakland, California)

Chef Boyardee?  Made up. Chef Boyardee was a fictional creation whose name was taken from the given names of the company’s three founders: Boyd, Art, and Dennis.

Dr. Pepper?  Figment of imagination. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist working at Morrison’s Pharmacy in Waco, Texas is credited as the inventor.

Granny Smith Apples?  Real Person. The Granny Smith originated in Australia in 1868. Mary Ann (Granny) Smith found the seedling (believed to be French Crab) growing in her garden where she had thrown out some apples.

Marie Callendar?  Real person. The legacy of Marie Callender began in the early 1940s in Orange County, California, when Marie, an accomplished baker, first launched her legendary pie business delivering freshly baked pies to area restaurants.

Reuben Sandwich?  Real Person. Most print evidence credits chef Reuben Kulakofsky from the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska.  Sorry about that New York.

Duncan Hines?  Fictitious, sort of. There was a real Duncan Hines, salesman, entrepreneur, author, critic and philanthropist. He did not, however, invent the cake mixes that bear his name.

Why Your Resolutions Will Fail

archer

Before I delve into a totally upside down look at New Year’s Resolutions, I do want to say Happy New Year to you.  You personally.  Thank you for reading my blog and putting up with my musings for yet another year.  I’ve been writing blog articles for almost 9 years and some of you have been with me since the very first post. Please know how much you are appreciated.

This blog was designed as a ‘safe haven’ in the wonderful world of blogdom. I don’t post sales pitches, recruitment articles or those annoying and distracting banner ads on my blog. I don’t blog for money. I do this because I need to write. I write because it makes me feel good, fulfills at least part of my creative side and feeds my soul. My goal is always to find the positive messages that we so desperately need in today’s world. And sometimes I just write because something funny happened on the way home.

YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS WILL FAIL

Pretty cheeky headline. I honestly don’t know most of my readers well enough to be positive that you will fail. So I’m going to identify the reasons that I believe most will and you can tell me (in the handy comments section below) which of these is your personal challenge. And please, if you are one of the blessed few that sets New Year’s Resolutions and achieves them, leave a comment about how you overcame the obstacles.

Fellow blogger Ramit Sethi notes: “In an interesting quirk of human behavior, we would rather continue doing something that doesn’t work than try something new that COULD work — but also could fail.…… Think back to your resolutions from last January. Did you follow through? Do you even remember what they were? Yet how many of us were tempted to make more resolutions this year?”

THE BIG THREE

Resolutions need to be SPECIFIC. If your resolution contains words like ‘should’, ‘could’ or ‘might’ you might as well just give up right now and avoid the frustration of the ultimate collapse of your goal. “I should start saving some money” is interpreted by your brain as being unimportant because the word ‘should’ really means “I’m probably not going to do this”.  Instead, try something very specific like “I will lose 15 pounds by March 01, 2016”. That’s just step one.

Resolutions must be REALISTIC. Despite your best bravado, a goal like “I want to go to the gym 5 times a week” is doomed to failure because the word ‘want’ is a failure word and honestly, how many times a week did you go to the gym last year?  Using the example in the previous paragraph, “I will lose 15 pounds by March 01, 2016. I will achieve this by working out at (the name of the gym) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m.”

Resolutions must be based on a WORKABLE PLAN, not on willpower. Willpower will get you started perhaps, but long term it will fail without a well-defined, specific, calendared plan of attack. Resolving that you are going to accomplish something and that willpower will get you there is much the same as shooting into the air and waiting for the geese to run into the bullets. You must turn your specific, realistic plan into action. What day and time are you going to the gym to buy a membership? Is every single workout on your calendar? If not, it’s not real.

On a positive note, I believe that you can achieve any New Year’s Resolution if you create specific, realistic, well-planned goals. After all, you’ve taken the most important first step – you’re reading my blog 🙂

Here’s to an incredible 2016!

Tradition compels me to end with something to think about. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” (Confucius)