Category Archives: Happiness

What You Hold On To, Holds On To You

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By John Maclean

I became an incomplete paraplegic at the age of 22, because of a road accident. Running was the thing I loved to do most in life and it was taken away from me in a split second without warning or consultation.

Meeting the man who put me in a wheelchair was not going to be easy. I didn’t feel anger towards him or crave retribution, but I was apprehensive about getting in touch with him, hearing his voice, seeing him in person. My concern was that it might be a negative experience—and that would make things worse for me, not better. But I also knew that if I didn’t face up to this I would never be free of it. I wanted to know what happened in the cabin of that truck just before it hit me and what the driver’s reaction had been and how his own life had turned out. I wanted to know for sure that it was an accident, that my paraplegia was an unfortunate consequence of a random event.

Dialling the number was extremely difficult. It was nothing compared to facing up to the injuries I’d suffered when I woke up in the spinal unit at the local Hospital, but I had no choice but to keep going then. Facing the man who put me in a wheelchair was another issue altogether. I would be putting the ball squarely in his court and that was both risky and confronting. Continue reading

For Mother’s Day and the Women We Love: Get Your Signed Living with Intent Bookplates from Mallika Chopra!

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We are so excited to announce the upcoming release of Living with Intent in paperback this May 3rd. It has been over a year since the initial launch and we have heard countless stories of men and women living their own lives of intent. It has truly been an honor to join in that journey with you.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are happy to one again offer free signed bookplates from Mallika Chopra for your copies of Living with Intent.

How do you get one? Continue reading

Daily Opportunities to Live My Gratitude

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By Ryan Skinner

I had the wonderful opportunity this week to travel to Aruba for a vacation with my fiancée and future stepchildren. One evening, while sitting alone on the balcony of our room, gazing out in awe at the beautiful landscape and feeling warmed the balmy breezes, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. I’m blessed with so many things – family and friends who love me, opportunities to meet and work with amazing people and the daily opportunity to express how grateful I am to God for giving this recovering addict a second chance at life. I’ve been in very dark places and know that my story could have ended differently. But this night in Aruba, like all of the days since I made the commitment to be clean and sober, offered another moment to reflect on the reality that if you do the right things, hang in there and choose to live God’s way, all of those blessings are possible.

Since I renewed my commitment to God and a life of meaning and purpose dedicated to helping others both professionally and personally, I’ve developed daily prayer, meditation and journaling rituals that help me get into the right spiritual mindset. I’ve been doing this ever since I got sober. I wake up by 6 a.m. at the latest and spend 30 minutes on a combination of praying (sometimes on my knees on a clean floor, but sometimes even at my kitchen counter having my morning coffee) and doing affirmation readings from books of positive quotes and writings that inspire me to live that day and be present. I spend a lot of time on gratitude. Whether it’s dark or light, I always light a candle. It’s just my way of bringing spirituality into the moment and connecting with God. My morning journaling is simple, just writing thank you to God for another day He has granted me. Continue reading

7 Ways to Get Out of A Slump: And One Reason Why Not To

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By Andrew Bryant

I’m in a slump. I’m sure you’ve been here, or maybe you are in one to?

How do I know I’m in a slump?

My batteries feel flat, focus is elusive and I am drawn to my couch like a moth to a flame. Your symptoms may be different, but you know you are not operating at your best.

What’s really embarrassing about this, and causing me some guilt, is that I am an author on personal development and self-leadership – surely, I shouldn’t be in a slump?

The surprising fact is, I don’t want to get out of my slump, well not yet anyway! I am like the man who is happy at the bottom of a hole, you see I both know the way out and I know the benefit of being in the hole.

Mostly I maintain pretty high-energy. Zest is, in fact one of my strengths, but when we are ‘go, go, go’ we can miss the subtle things. So I am accepting my slump. Why? Because it’s my slump. Nobody did this to me. It’s my body signaling me something, and in accepting that I can get the message.

Often we force ourselves to push through low performance, but if it really is a slump, the best strategy is to call it. By naming and owning your slump, ultimately you put yourself back in control.

Everything in life has cycles, the weather, the stock market, and your energy levels. The secret of success is to ride the cycle, and benefit from the down-time.

So I’m in a slump and you maybe you are too, so what’s the benefit?

It’s time to reflect, to regroup, and to decide on what’s important and what’s not. Use your slump to nurture yourself and become aware of what really matters to you. When you have answered this question, and given your body some rest, do the following: Continue reading

6 Essential Tips to Develop a Stress Management Strategy

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By Brigitte Cutshall

Were you aware that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of health issues?  Heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. Chronic stress can affect your brain, raise your blood pressure, and reduces your immunity and ability to heal.

At least 75% of doctor office visits are for stress-related complaints stemming from job stress.  It’s a $1 trillion per year “under the radar” health epidemic according to Peter Schnall, author of Unhealthy Work.

The cost to treat those with chronic diseases (from stress) is about 75% of the national health expenditures per the CDC. Chronic diseases cause 7 out of 10 deaths each year – but are preventable and treatable.

Chronic stress not only affects the physical aspects of your life such as health or general energy level, but it can affect job performance and personal relationships. For this reason, every person needs a stress management strategy, a way to focus on personal empowerment and feelings of “loss of control” in check.

Dealing with cancer twice and a brain tumor diagnosis confirmed that I can’t take anything for granted.  I want to be there for my family, watch my kids grow up and thrive. This reality made me stop, take a step back and evaluate my life, intentions and overall goals. Developing a stress management strategy was important. My curiosity also led me to become a certified health coach and health advocate.

Here are 6 essential tips I recommend to help you develop a stress management strategy: Continue reading

“There Is in This World No Function More Important Than That of Being Charming.”

1346726316_a91f3a31b9_m“There is in this world no function more important than that of being charming. The forest glade would be incomplete without the humming-bird. To shed joy around, to radiate happiness, to cast light upon dark days, to be the golden thread of our destiny, and the very spirit of grace and harmony, is not this to render a service?”

— Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea

A thoughtful reader sent me this quotation. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines, from G. K. Chesterton, which I quote several times in The Happiness Project“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”

Though I must say, it seems to be slightly overstating the case to say that there’s no function more important than being charming. I think I can think of a couple of functions that are more important.

Agree, disagree?

Continue reading

Ten Things Change-Makers Do

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Last month, I had the honor of attending the United Nations’ Conference titled- Commission On The Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. I was present for several of the briefings. The conference drew in ambassadors, representatives, leaders, Deputy Secretary Generals, directors, policy makers, founders of non-government organizations, delegates, chiefs, ministers for human rights, and others from around the world. The event brought together incredibly bright minds from various backgrounds to examine ways to empower women through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I was also invited to partake in many side- events that were organized by many of the people present for the conference. Typically, these events were smaller and conversations took place over a meal or coffee. At one side event, there were eight of us sharing a meal at a local restaurant.

What struck me about those in attendance not only for the larger conference and also for these side-events is that these individuals were not only successful leaders, but they were clearly what one would consider change- makers/ over- achievers. As a clinical social worker and author, I’m interested in observing behavior patterns. During these events, I began to notice that these change- makers had some traits and behaviors in common that I thought would be valuable to share. This list is in no particular order of importance.

Ten Things Change- Makers Do: Continue reading

Engaged… Now what?

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by Desiree Hartsock
So your man finally popped the question in the most romantic way ever… Now what!?!

This is a question asked at least once by a newly engaged bride. Whether you have been planning your wedding since you were a little girl or barely thought about it, you are a new seed in this fast-growing pot known as the wedding industry.

It’s hard to know where to begin or what your first step should be. It’s not everyday that you plan a wedding… So, first things first. Continue reading

10 Surefire Ways to Live a Long Life

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People today are living longer, healthier lives than those of previous generations. Better health care, safety awareness, and lifestyle factors all play a role, along with others. If you want to live to be in your seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond, put these 10 tips into practice. Continue reading

The Secret to Long Term Success: Fall Down 7 Times, Stand Up 8

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By Robin Benincasa

I was at a big stand up paddling race with my friend Bill, watching the pros battle it out for the big bucks in the sprint race. I was amazed at how deftly they could maneuver at high speed around the 8 cones on the course, zipping through 180-degree turns while simultaneously surfing 4-foot tall waves.

I was scared to death of waves and equally afraid of the turns, so I always stayed away from races that had a lot of either. As the race leaders rounded the cone closest to the beach, I asked Bill why the pros were so much better than we were, and without hesitation he said, “they’re not afraid to fall in”. Continue reading

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