“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)

 

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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)

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)

The Goldfish Bowl Effect

goldfish

You will always be the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  If you want more success, spend time with more successful people.  You’ve probably heard that or read it somewhere.  But have you actually spent a few minutes thinking about it?

I believe that phrase to be true.  For that reason I also believe that every entrepreneur needs a coach. I can tell you that any successes I’ve had in life, career and entrepreneurship are a direct result of the coaches and mentors I aligned myself with.

So why is it that so many entrepreneurs believe that it is their project and no one else understands it the way they do so how could a coach possibly help?

Goldfish bowl, that’s how.  Goldfish bascically spend their lives swimming in circles thinking  “Hey, there’s a castle”.  “Oh look. Another castle”.  “Wow, there’s another castle”.  They’re travelling a repeating path and seeing the same castle over and over again.  Somone looking from outside the fishbowl sees the entire picture.  So yes, a coach is a winning necessity.

WHAT SEPARATES THE WINNERS FROM THE LOSERS?

John Brubaker, award winning author, consultant and speaker says:  “What separates the winners from the losers? At the most elite levels it’s not talent, because everyone is supremely talented. Coaching is what makes the difference.

Coaching isn’t just important in sports, it’s the X-factor that makes a big difference in your business results as well. If you look up the words teach and coach in the dictionary, they share the same definition: “to provide instruction.”

Related: The Combination To The Lock

As entrepreneurs and leaders, you should embrace coaching instead of attempting to manage your people. You’ll see dramatic improvements. People drive your numbers. Your numbers don’t drive your people. View the organization as your team and your employees are your players. Just like in sports, every day is a performance review. Do this and watch your results soar.”

WHO NEEDS A COACH?

Brubaker goes on to say, “I believe everyone should both have a coach and be a coach. Every athletic and business success I’ve enjoyed has been the result of great coaching. I’m not alone in this belief. When asked in a CNN interview what the best advice he ever got was, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt said it was to find a coach.

As we enter the fourth quarter, ask yourself if you are really coaching your people or just managing the numbers. Are you being coached yourself? I’ve found that great athletes and executives don’t merely have a coach. They want a coach.

Elite competitors in any field have the self-awareness to realize you can’t see the picture when you’re trapped inside the frame. Great coaches see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. It’s what they do and this is precisely why you should invest in having an outside set of eyes objectively look at your situation from a different vantage point. It will pay big dividends.”

AND THE SURVEY SAYS

How big an impact does coaching have? A Bersin by Deloitte research study revealed that organizations that are effective at coaching are:

  • 130 percent more likely to have strong business results
  • 33 percent more effective at engaging employees
  • 42 percent higher in employee productivity

Did you ever wonder why coaching causes a dramatic improvement in these numbers? I can tell you from experience it can be attributed to trust. When you know your coach (boss) is trying to bring out the best in you, not just for the company or its bottom line, it engenders a great deal of trust. He or she is holding you to your highest potential, which we all crave at some level.

High performing organizations realize their leaders should be coaching, not managing. As my coaching mentor liked to say, “You manage inventories. You coach people.” The best way to manage people is to invest time in them. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of time, just purposeful and consistent. If you want your team’s buy in, you’ve got to put in the time, daily. Remember, it’s the people that drive the numbers.”

And finally, something to think about. “Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out.  Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” (Pete Carroll)

Philosophy From A Bear

bearbryant

I’m a football fan.  CFL, NFL and college games.  They’re all good.

Living where I do, I cheered proudly for the Red Blacks this season, but having been born and raised in the west I have to confess that if you cut me I still bleed Rider green.

I love football not only for the excitement of the game but for the many lessons that can be learned from the motivation, attitude and teamwork that must be in place to field a winning team.

There have been many life and success lessons learned from watching and reading what the great football coaches and players say and do. As I often mention during my workshops and coaching sessions, wisdom is everywhere. You just have to keep your spidey-senses up all the time.

Few examples better than this exist. I’m not sure who actually first wrote this but I’m going to give it to you as I heard it. The story centres on one of the greatest coaches in football history, Paul “Bear” Bryant. I’m pretty sure he didn’t write it. I’m not even sure if the story is true. But I like it and it’s my blog 🙂

By any standard, Paul Bryant was a superb strategist, motivator and coach. He is legendary, not only for his track record of success with the Crimson Tide but for his remarkable winning percentage and his longevity in the league. In the tough world of US College Football Bryant put up winners and contenders from 1958 until his passing in 1982. You read that correctly. Head Coach for 24 years. Remarkable.

All of which brings me to my point. Although the author of what follows is unclear, legend has it that it was found in Paul “Bear” Bryant’s wallet after his passing. Whether or not it was isn’t important. The message is.

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

Imagine that you had won the this lottery prize: Every morning your bank would deposit $86,400 
in a private account for your personal use.  Sounds amazing.

However, the prize has rules:

  • Everything that you didn’t spend during the day would be taken away from you.
  • You have no way to transfer the money into a different account.
  • You must spend  it or lose it by the end of the day.
  • Every morning the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day only.
  • Most importantly, the bank can end the deposits without warning at any time. It can simply close the account and the prize disappears.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Because you had to spend all the money today or lose it you would most likely buy anything and 
everything you wanted, not only for yourself but for everyone you love. You might even spend some of the money on people you don’t even know because it would be selfish to spend it all on yourself.

 Certainly, you would try to spend every penny because you knew it couldn’t be carried over until tomorrow.

ACTUALLY, THIS GAME IS REAL

Every one of us has already won this lottery. We just need to see it.

Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds 
to spend that day.
 When we go to sleep at 
night any remaining time we haven’t spent is not credited to tomorrow. What we haven’t used that day is forever lost.

Each morning, when we wake, the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time without warning.

SO, what will you do with your 86,400 seconds today?

Enjoy every second of your life! And remember to spend every single one.

As always, something to think about: “If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” (Paul “Bear” Bryant)