Now that you’ve had time to digest all the holiday food and forget about the resolutions you made a week ago; I’m giving you more to chew on and more ideas for live-long revolutions as opposed to resolutions which you break in a matter of days or weeks. Here are eight more ideas to help you live happier, healthier and Hartier this year and into the future.
- Give your time and attention to something, somebody other than yourself. Volunteering for a favorite cause or charity brings us a feeling of doing good and that invites happiness and better health into our lives. The feeling of empathy that comes with volunteering produces better feelings than if we do other things such as give money, blood or other altruistic behavior says a study published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine.
- In relation to #5 in the last posting about feeling a sense of calm and having more order in your life; outsourcing the things that don’t bring you joy can leave you feeling a sense of happiness by employing others to do those duties. I’ve bought back several hours per month by outsourcing grocery shopping, regular shopping and errands at the drug store through online purchasing. There’s something very satisfying about having my food brought to my door without me needing to endure crowded parking lots, long cashier lines, and too many carts in the aisles. Doing my grocery shopping in about 7 minutes with delivery the next day makes me very, very happy and allows more free time for fun and play. Outsourcing cleaning, taxes, car repair, landscaping and some cooking also makes me giggle with glee when I don’t have to do those things. One of my mentors outsources the gassing up and cleaning of his car and another hires somebody to pack out, and put together her home including groceries in the fridge for a household move while she goes on vacation. She has found a way to outsource her stress. I say BRAVO!
- Find your flow. How often do you notice that you’re in the flow and in the groove of something that you don’t notice time flying by? Being in the zone of flow where your talents and skills match the challenge of the activity is what professor Mihaly Czikszentimihalyi called flow when your full attention is enveloped and engaged in the activity you’re doing right now. I find myself in flow when I’m writing, creating, skiing, doggie walking, hiking in the forest our mountains, talking with friends, reading, being artsy, teaching and problem solving. What puts you in flow?
- As a Certified Laughter Leader, I’ve studied the effects of laughter on our central nervous system and the effect on others around us. In the book Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins found that 10 minutes of good belly laughter can produce enough positive endorphins to produce 2 hours of restful sleep in those with chronic pain without any medication. Laughing stimulates the thymus gland which aids in the production of T cells which helps fight diseases. So laughter not only connects people, it stimulates oxygen in the blood and helps make you more healthy and more fun to be around. Laugh for the health and happiness of it all. Find your sense of humor about your situations and you will become more happy and healthy.
- Practicing the art of gratitude and being in a constant state of being grateful helps boost our happiness factor. A few years ago, one of my mentors suggested answering the ubiquitous question of “How are you doing?” with “Grateful! And you?” I’ve been using that response ever since to remind myself that I’m in a constant state of gratitude and gratitude brings good vibes. Try writing in a gratitude journal to get you started on focusing what is good in your life. What we focus on expands and where our thoughts go, energy flows. Focus on gratitude. Take the Gratitude Challenge here.
- Add beauty, joyful things, and pleasantries into your day and delete things that cause you concern or stress. This means taking a look at your spaces at home and at work or your home office. Do your surroundings inspire you? Does the view out your windows represent beauty? Do you have fresh flowers? Is your furniture comfy and working for you? Do you have a favorite mug, great music playing in your space, a short commute, a job you love that is on purpose and in alignment with your personal purpose?
- Get some sleep. Reuters news service reported on a study published in the journal of Science that sleep quality has a greater influence on the ability to enjoy your day than household income and even marital status. Other research I’ve seen says that we must get at least 8 hours of REM sleep in order for the good hormones to kick in and for our bodies to regenerate what it needs in order to make us more effective. I’m a personal fan of naps, especially with my fuzzy little doxi dog, Fozzi who converts to my nap hat. Shown in photo above. Another twofer – fuzzy puppies and sleep. Aaaaaahhhhh, life’s simple pleasures offer such joy.
- Are you with a partner that brings you joy, what about your other relationships? Do you have love in your life on many levels? Happiness is linked to the strength of the bonds in our lives. Put things you love in your line of sight to lift your mood. Those who have better or more intimacy with their life partner report higher happiness levels than those with multiple partners or those without partners. Being with the wrong partner conversely affects your happiness….. Duh! Not sure a big study was needed for that finding?!
There you have it. A kick start to your year of living happier, healthier and Hartier for 2014 and for years to come. If you have other ideas or have found other research to improve the happiness factor, let me know. I’ll be sharing more in the months to come. Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing monthly Keys to Energize, Practice Safe Stress and Pump Up Your Productivity and Have More Fun. Happy New Year!
In America and many other countries the generations seem to be making more and more money than their parents and grandparents did, yet their happiness and health doesn’t keep up with the upward trend in income. There are many researchers out there on the topic of happiness and what it takes to create happiness in our lives. Some chalk it up partially to genetics and circumstances and all agree that it is a choice in mindset, outlook and lifestyle. From my work with entrepreneurs, executives and employees all over the world; I would say it is first and foremost a personal choice and about the choices we make from the mindset we’ve decided to have and the way we choose to view the world, our circumstances and how we’ve chosen to move through the world. We may not have absolute, total control of our circumstances, but we certainly do have control over how we react to them. We can’t be inspired leaders if we don’t feel inspired. We can’t give what we don’t have and as you’ll see in one of the following tips; folks need to be around other happy and inspired people. Leaders first need to take charge of their own lives and get themselves to a happy and inspired place before they can even begin to think of leading and inspiring others.
Here are some insights from researchers and from moi on how to live your life happier, healthier and Hartier this coming year and in years to come.
- Mashing up the mindset of an Optimist with the pragmatic insight of a Realist is what psychology researcher Sophia Chou found to be the happy medium to being happier. The blending of a clear view of present circumstances with the creative outlook of an Optimist brings about more positive ways of dealing with situations.
- I’ve found studies where being in the presence of negative ions helps with our happiness, mood and health. The places that produce negative ions is in a pine forest where the pine needles bristle against each other in the wind and create the reaction and the smell we love. Also being at the beach or near a waterfall where the water is crashing onto itself releasing the negative ions. The sights, sounds, whole body experience along with the ionic atmosphere help elevate our moods.
- Choosing to spend money on multiple small pleasures versus splurging on a couple larger ones gives people the feeling of being more in control of how they treat themselves. When we treat ourselves to treats more often, we feel more cared for and loving, even if that pleasure is one piece of divine dark chocolate per week as opposed to a trip to the islands every few years. A 2011 study published by the Journal of consumer Psychology found that happiness is more strongly associated with the frequency than the intensity of people’s positive affective experiences. So go ahead and break up the pedicure and manicure into two visits to get more bang for your happiness buck.
- Eat lunch outside, at the park, near the beach, in view of pleasant scenery, at a sidewalk café… anywhere but at your desk or inside a corporate cafeteria. Scientists from the University of Sussex measured the happiness of employees after they ate lunch. And you guessed it, those who ate at their desks failed miserably on the happiness factor. So get outdoors, take a walk, take in some sun and fresh air and dine with friends to up your levels of happy during your lunch hour. I personally love to walk my dog and dine al fresco for lunch for a double shot of oomph during my day. Now there’s a twofer – puppies, play, and outdoor eating.
- Having a sense of order, calm and feeling that we’re in control and powerful beings brings us more happiness. It’s the act of FEELING in control, though we may not be in control, which brings us more joy. Doing activities such as keeping to somewhat of a schedule, making our beds, having our desks and our home and our lives more in order while allowing wiggle room for error and spontaneity allows for happiness to flow to us. Order contributes to inner calm according to Gretchin Rubin, the creator of The Happiness Project and the feeling of being powerful over your time and your life leads to feeling more satisfied with your life.
- BE HERE NOW and keeping focused on the present and exactly what is happening to you right now… oh look, a SQUIRREL! Brings on more happiness than those with a wandering or worrying mind or those with Shiny Object Syndrome according to research from Harvard psychologists. Eckhart Tolle’s books on being focused on the now and his insight into how to BE in the world advance this aspect of being harmonious with the moment. As I’ve coached supervisors for discussing performance appraisals: to focus on the past fixes blame and to focus on the future fixes the problem. Be present with the team member and deal with the behavior that is happening right now and then move toward the future while being mindful of what can be done right now to fix the issue.
- I’ve heard from many sources and mentors that we usually earn the average income of the five people we most hang out with. Hmmmmm. A similar thing happens to us when we hang around happy people. Surrounding yourself with positive, happy, healthy people who choose to have a sense of humor about circumstances, choose healthier living habits such as eating their fruits and veggies and not smoke, tend to rub off on you as well. Also having close friends with whom you can confide and share experiences is also a key happiness factor. Not to mention an activity partner to help kick your butt into gear on the ski slopes, tennis courts, the gym or bike path. A little friendly rivalry or egging on doesn’t hurt when you know somebody is counting on you to show up with workout clothes and ready to go. This is a twofer: exercise and friendship.
- You already got two twofer in #4 and #7 making that 9 tips in total for this posting…. Under promise and over-deliver. Watch for the next posting for 8 more happy, healthy and Harty tips for the New Year and years to come.
I’ll leave you with this thought by the great Dale Carnegie: Success is getting what you want and happiness is wanting what you get. I hope you get both.
I wanted to start out the year on the right foot….or is it the left foot. I prefer goofy footed. Here are some things you can delete from your day that can make your life a lot easier and maybe, just maybe a lot happier. If we choose to let go of what isn’t serving us in relation to the greater good of our life as we work towards the greater good of our family, our organizaton, or the world; then we release bad energy from our lives and expand on the good energy and the happiness factor. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. Dr. Phil says “Would you rather be right, or be happy?” You make the call.
2. Ditch your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
3. Toss out your self-defeating self-talk. Some studies show that 70% of our self talk is negative – just think how many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating.
4. Drop complaining and criticism from your vocabulary. Give up your constant need to complain and criticize– people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Read the book by Byron Katie Loving What Is. Think of the use of Transformational Vocabulary – what we say to others and what we say to ourselves – see #3 above on defeating self talk, can have a tremendous impact on our energy. Think of the statement “I can’t do that.” vs. “I won’t do that.” vs. “I’ll find a way to do that even though I don’t yet know how.” vs. “I’m not allowed to do that”. Hmmmmmm. Start measuring and weighing your words. Practice WAIT: Why Am I Talking?
5. Lose your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly. There will always be some better and others worse off than you. Be in competition with yourself. Keep your eyes in your lane and swim the best race you can. Do you think Michael Phelps won all those gold medals by keeping his eyes on all the lanes of his competitors? He kept his eyes focused on his goal and his the target with all he had.
6. Stop your excuses. We limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real. We can spend as much energy making up the exuceses than just doing it. Offering excuses to yourself is draining your energy. Live above the line, buck up and just do it.
7. Relese your need for attachment. Ekhart Tolle describes in his book A New Earth, our need to cultivate a healthy detachment to things. You get better and better at with time and practice. Letting go of stuff, letting go of things that don’t really matter gives us a peace and serenity. Practice letting go of the past and cut some of the emotional attachments you have to stuff so it frees yo to be happy. The same is true for detaching from some of the old habits that don’t serve you any more. Try non-traditional celebrating over the holidays with less stress.
Just try some of these things to see how it lightens your load. You may just find a little more peace, joy, happiness and a new light shining from within after you ditch the baggage of things that don’t serve you any more. AND you just may feel lighter and better to serve others with your new found happiness and light. Happy Holidays!
Colors have a powerful effect on mood, and work their magic spell by helping us get in touch with our emotions. Colors can soothe, inspire, energize, and rejuvenate, and they set the mood and atmosphere of a room. So what is your home doing for you? Is your living room a drab den or a sensational salon? What about the bedroom? Is it a run-down retreat or a palace of passion? And what changes can you make to ensure that your living spaces are working for you? Understanding the rules of color and mastering the secrets of color mixing will help you create the right mood for your rooms. There are no rights and wrongs — the most important things are to have fun and to be creative. And the simplest way to revitalize your home is with paint.
Color wheel. Do you want warm or cool, dramatic or neutral? The color wheel is an invaluable tool for choosing the hues, tints, and shades based on your personal preferences. An unlimited amount of color combinations are possible. The wheel is divided into 12 equal sections, each displaying a primary, secondary, or tertiary color. The “warm” and “hot” colors are on the right hand side of the wheel, and the “cool” and “cold” colors are on the left. Black, white, and grey are the neutral colors, and don’t appear on the color wheel.
Primary colors. These are the three key colors that cannot be formed by any combination of other colors — red, blue, and yellow.
Secondary colors. When you mix equal amounts of two primary colors you get secondary colors — purple, green, and orange.
Red + Blue = Purple
Red + Yellow = Orange
Blue +Yellow = Green
Tertiary colors. Mixing primary colors with secondary colors in a 2:1 ratio will produce tertiary colors — red-orange, yellow-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.
How to use the color wheel:
Knowing the colors that harmonize and work with each other will help you create a tasteful theme and avoid making a rainbow riot. Here are some basic color schemes to get you started:
Complementary colors are found opposite each other, such as red and green or yellow and purple. They always go well together, hence the term complementary, and are easy on the eyes.
The meaning of colors:
Green. Bountiful in nature, the color green is life, growth, and health — a reassuring sign of renewal and regeneration. Situated in the center of the spectrum, green brings balance and order. The eye makes no adjustment to accommodate green striking the retina, making it a restful and soothing color.
Pink. Gentle and soft, delicate and feminine, pink quietly nurtures and soothes. It is the tender side of red, and invokes feelings of romance and enchantment. Bright pinks are energetic and youthful, while vibrant pinks are full of passion, though they are not as aggressive as reds.
Orange. Warm and sensuous, orange represents ripeness and happiness. It is a fun and exhilarating color that promotes feelings of excitement and hope. Orange is a combination of red and yellow, and shares common traits with both. It is forceful and demands attention, but is less intense than red, being mellowed by the presence of yellow.
Brown. Natural and organic, down-to-earth, and neutral. Though sometimes saddled with a reputation for being boring, brown is representative of wholesomeness and goodness, and promotes feelings of stability and order. It is simplicity in a chaotic world. Lighter shades are particularly soothing, while darker hues are confident and dependable.
Red. The color of passion, romance, love, and lust. Red is hot, fiery, and tempestuous — a powerful and intense color that evokes a sense of urgency and excitement, and stimulates the heart to beat faster. Red demands attention and will bring out the extrovert in you. It’s not for the shrinking violets.
Blue. Cool and calming, blue symbolizes serenity, purity, and loyalty. In many cultures blue has an important role in religious belief as a bringer of peace. Darker shades project an image of power and authority — police uniforms are blue, and a blue power suit is a favorite of the corporate world. Lighter shades are refreshing and uplifting — they encourage creativity and stimulate the imagination.
Purple. Full of magic and mystery, purple is the color of royalty, and represents opulence, wealth, luxury, and magnificence. Balancing hot red and cool blue, it has the properties of both. Purple can be uplifting, and is a soothing balm to mind and nerves. It also offers a sense of spirituality, and it symbolizes intuition and imagination.
Yellow. Representing the warmth and radiance of the summer sun, yellow is energetic, vibrant, cheerful, and optimistic. It’s the good mood hue, and shines with hope, happiness, and joy. Yellow enhances the intellect, activates the memory, and aids communication and concentration.
Upgrading your living spaces:
There are plenty of other ways to bring a burst of color into your life without the use of a paintbrush.
Use these additions to make your dream living room warm, cozy, and inviting. I found a wild rug and I mean wild in color and pattern and just HAD to have it. It so happens that it perfectly matched the cicles design on my chairs and my apple-green wild couch. Something happened on my way to being “of a certain age” that I replaced all my silk Chinese traditional dark green rugs with some crazy patterns and fun colors. Guessing I’m feeling like a freer spirit and can decorate however I want and this makes me happy…it’s light and luscious.
- Decorative throw pillows and cushions — add some fresh color and a touch of style and vitality.
- A colorful painting or digital photographs — take a few snaps in the park or around town, and frame the best images to create your own art.
- Colored pillar candles, plates, and vases — place on a sideboard or table, and think of grouping them in threes. Objects look more interesting in groups than on their own.
- Flowers — let nature enhance your living space.
- Your decision of whether you want your bedroom to be a passion palace or a blissful oasis will determine your color choice.
- Layer your room with linen — use embroidered sheets, satin quilts, pleated cotton bed skirts, and cozy and colorful drapes.
- Change the lighting — buy colored lampshades and painted light bulbs.
- Rugs — add to your room’s rich and lush appeal.
- Artwork — buy a huge canvas or print or hang your own creations.
Your bathroom is a serene sanctuary, and there are some simple ways of adding sparkle to your cool, calm oasis.
- Accessorize — consider a decorative mirror, colorful containers, pictures, matching towel sets, and decorative towel bars.
- A colorful rug — freshen up the floor.
- Color-changing faucet — provide quite literally a splash of color, as the water changes color as it runs through the faucet.
- To make a room appear larger — paint all surfaces with the same color from the warm end of the color wheel. Paint the ceiling a lighter shade to make it appear higher. Large furniture appears smaller if it is the same color as the walls.
- To make a room feel cozier — use colors from the warm end of the color wheel. A warm color on the ceiling will make it feel lower, and therefore comfier and more intimate.
I’m a card-carrying member of the “non-commercialized holiday traditions” club. For most of my adult years I’ve not been a believer in the usual nostalgic American tradition of shop ’till you drop, unfettered consumerism type of holiday madness. I call it practicing safe stress over the holidays and quite frankly, every day. That’s why I loved living in Europe for 10 years with all those wonderful outdoor markets and much less commercialism at that time. Of course as a kid, I reveled in my parent’s consumerism as I opened present after present for Christmas. As the wise poet, Maya Angelou says, “When we know better, we do better”. Now it’s just embarassing to imagine how much value I put on that stuff as a kid. Ah yes, adulthood does have its advantages.
If you’re a fan of Oprah, you may have seen the following info in her magazine and if you didn’t catch it; I’m bringing it to you right here. Yes, I’m copying the info from her magazine word for word on page190 written by Lauren Murrow and Rachel Mount. I commend them on their research into what a few bills can do in somebody’s life. So, in honor of all Americans who may not have as much to give this season as well as those of you, like me, who take a vow to avoid all malls and shopping venues from mid-November until mid-January; I give you 17 ways under $20 to give this ThanksGIVING, your particular holiday or any day you feel like it. Starting at a buck, you can make a contribution to make changes in the world without adding to the pile of stuff for somebody.
- $1 for 2 books shipped to a classroom in Africa. In many African school rooms, 20 students share 1 textbook: www.booksforafrica.org
- $2 for a set of drumsticks for a low-income public school student learning to play the drums: www.littlekidsrock.org
- $3 for a field trip to a museum, concert or theatre production for a high-risk youth: www.createnow.org
- $4 for 2 hours of prepaid phone time for a soldier stationed overseas – calling cards for our troops: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com
- $5 for a one-burner kerosene stove for a family that would typically rely on an open fire: www.foodforthepoor.org
- $6 for measles vaccinations for 15 children in a developing country: www.doctorswithoutborders.org
- $7 for a week’s worth of food for an abandoned dog or cat at a shelter run by the American Soiciety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: www.aspca.org
- $8 for a medical teaching doll to be used in educating a child about his or her cancer treatment: www.stjude.org
- $10 for a box of nails uded to adapt a disabled veteran’s house from Homes for Our Troops: www.homesforourtroops.org
- $10 for a day’s worth of fresh fruites and veggies for feed 2 chimps, most of which have been orphaned by poachers at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehab Center in the Republic of Congo: www.janegoodall.org/oprah
- $10 for 2 specialized bottles for babies born with a cleft palate, who otherwise might suffer from malnutrition before receiving corrective surgery: www.operationsmile.org
- $10 for cloth and tools so an Afghan woman can become self-sufficient by taking a 6-month tailoring course through Creating Hope International and the Afghan institute for Learning: www.globalgiving.org
- $11 for 11 trees to be planted in Alabama communities devastated by the April tornadoes: www.arborday.org
- $12 for 20 pounds of multipurpose soap to help keep families germ-free around the world through Oxfam: www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com
- $14 for 2 nutitious meals delivered by volunteers from Meals on Wheels to a housebound senior citizen: www.mowaa.org
- $15 for a backpack and school supplies for one homeless or low-income urban child: www.cradlestocrayons.org
- This item was not in the Oprah mag, but I wanted to offer it to you and your friends as a way to connect with loved ones over the holidays and every day. For $9.80 you can send 10 custom greeting cards or postcards to anywhere in the world with your own photos and personal message at www.BizBuilderCards.com and select the Pay-as-You-Go option to send some cards. You can send a couple more on me – my treat as an added bonus. The video will walk you through sending a card and the company prints it, stuffs the envelope, stamps it and mails it for you. If you have questions – send me an email Gail@GailHahn.com.
On a final note – for a little more money, you can donate to your local food bank or give some small business owners some work by giving the gift of their services to loved ones such as: house cleaning services, yard services, home improvement services, a massage, a mani/pedi or spa treatments, a home chef, or any number of personal services that include experiences rather than stuff to help support the small business community.
I hope this list is helpful. Big thanks once again to Oprah and her team for brining us enlightened ideas. (BTW – have you seen her Life Class show – awesome!) If you have more ideas of making a BIG impact on a small budget, let me know and I’ll share ideas. Cheers!
There’s a lot of talk these days about happiness. Are you happy, are your kids or partner happy? Do you work in a happy environment, even the folks who are employed at the happiest place on Earth are not immune to the question of “Am I happy here?” And “here” can mean here in your life, here in your job, here in your business, here in your marriage, here in a geographic location or here in any specific situation.
Lots and lots of studies, books and blogs about happiness have cropped up over the years. It’s a sign that we’ve moved up the food chain on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Once a need is met, it’s no longer a need and we go out seeking something else. Our motivations come from needs, so once a need is met, we no longer have tha motivation. So I’m guessing that most of us have our food, clothing and shelter taken care of and now we’re in search of the self actualization and happiness penthouse level.
One of the aspects of happiness is to find something you love to do, make it your life’s work and focus your energy and attention towards it. It gives you meaning, gives you joy and gives you something you do well to serve the world and create a better place. Having that type of purposeful project fans the flames of your inner potential. When our work is a natural express of who we are and what we do well, that intersection of our talents and the world’s needs is ripe for success. Ultimately, our work on Earth is to shine our light joyfully and give our greatest strengths to the world and if we combine that with our vocation, it’s brilliantly blissful. Need help figuring out your gifts, talents and purpose? We can point you in the right direction at YourRealPurpose.com.
Happiness is a decision of the mind. Deciding you are going to take action to make changes towards what makes you happy is the first step. Of course EVERYTHING starts with the mindset, deciding, then doing. Our thoughts, ideas and desires are what drives us forward and helps our soul to evolve and happiness is a pleasant side affect. So many of us seem to be in the busy-ness of being too busy to do X, Y or Z. I’d say being too busy to slow down and figure out what makes you happy is like being too busy driving to stap for gas. Slowing down to figure out what feeds your soul in how your serve and how you move through the world is refilling your tank. Once you know what feeds you, then you can put it on your t0-do list and fit it into your busy schedule.
Research shows that life’s most gratifying experiences and happy moments come from really living and being present at what you’re doing, who you’re being and where you are and NOT in all the trappings of the usual suspects of success. Studies show that the little things add up to a happier life such as walking to the store from home instead of driving, great neighbors, friendship, sharing conversation, socializing, notice daily joys, music, smells, dogs/cats, tending your garden, fresh flowers, home-baked treats, spending time with family disconnected from technology.
So many of us are experiencing a life deficit disorder in our rush to the bus/metro/carpool, the rush through lunch, the rush home and rushing to get everything done. Your challenge this week is to slow down, make time to make your list of your happiness factors that affect you personally. What’s on your list? Once you make your happiness factor list, do a gap analysis to discover where you can close the gaps and just how far out of whack you may be, or celebrate how on track you are and rejoice in your alignment with life/work/happiness. Make it a priority to create happiness at home, in your workplace, in your life. Once you have your list, challenge yourself to put more of those things from your list into your daily life and into the workplace.
Here are some ideas to get you started for a happy workplace:
- SAS corporation supplies M&M’s and coffee in the break areas, they have on-site childcare so employees can visit their kids at lunch, dry cleaner drop-off service, on-site doctors, lovely landscaped grounds.
- Northwestern Mutual offers boxed dinners from the cafeteria so dinner is easy to fix after a long day, music groups/bands so employees can enjoy their hobby with others and give concerts to colleagues.
- Car detailing or seated massages while at work, bosses serve breakfast to workers, Office Olympics or friendly competition – chili cookoff or bake-off.
- Colors affect our mood – paint the walls what makes you happy, fresh flowers, music, flextime, ability to express how you work through your work, listening, respect, caring for others.
- Disney entertains you while you wait in looooong lines, Vail and Copper Mountain ski resorts through out candy to skiers in lift lines and ask trivia questions to make the time in lines go faster.
- My dentist recently replaced their waiting room furnishings with very comfy, luxurious yet whimsical furnishings, a new plasma TV, fireplace and fountain and a fresh supply of current magazines.
What is your workplace doing or what can you contribute to your business/workplace to up the ante for happiness for yourself, your colleagues and your customers? It will go a long way in improving the happiness factor in your life since you spend about a third of your life at work.
I’m taking a new look at my workplace and living space these days. I’m moving my business and my life to a different place. I’ve noticed how I want to lighten my load, throw off the dead weight, innovate ways to do more with less.
I’ve gone through this drill with each move and notice that I’m drilling down more and more to ge to the heart of what works for me in my business and my home life. Taking a fresh perspective on the things that you have usually done or used to serve you helps bring out new innovative ways to doing things and using things. I though I’d been ruthless the last few moves with removing items that no longer served me or the business well. I find it needs to be done in layers.
What if you did the same to your organization and pretended you were moving offices, moving to a different level of service, moving closer to your customer’s needs. What would you jettison? What would you keep? Who would stay or go? What do you really need in your office or what is serving it’s purpose, but not very well?
Have you looked at your processes with a keen eye, or from the eyes of your customers or your colleagues to see where you can streamline? Take a cue from Domino’s Pizza and their new menu items. They have a survey printed on the box asking how you like it. Have you interviewed your clients to ask “how we doin’?” Have you interviewed your team members to ask the same when you’re in a performance review session.
How about a brainstorming session with other departments to ask where the bottlenecks are and how to creatively improve them? It starts with letting go of your old perspective on how things should be done or how they should look or be. Be open about the outcomes, re-purpose some things or ways of thinking. Embrace some changes or create some yourself to shake things up. It could start with cleaning out the junk drawer or just looking at what’s working or not working so well and being open to propose a better plan.
Sometimes you have to introduce the innovation or the change in increments and layers. If we’re forced to change too much in too short of time, we experience future shock and we dig in our heals. Making incremental changes and letting it settle in, then tweaking some more, ditching a little here and tossing a little there doesn’t meet with so much resistance. Ask around and see what your team can tweak or hold a contest to see who can come up with the most innovative solution to a recent challenge.
Some find it hard to accept new ways of working because they may think they’ve failed in some way. Being open to innovation means not holding on so tight to what you thought was the best way of doing things yesterday. Things change, you did the best you could with what you knew and what you had at that point in time. Let go of some old ways and things to make room for new ways and things. An open mind is a good mind. Create space for new things to come in.
Now excuse me while I clear away the old printer to make room for the new, innovative wireless one (double the output, double-sided printing, eprinting and half the cost of ink)…
Networking with business owners and professionals over the past couple months raised some questions about who is working in their right livlihood and who is not. Being a customer in any retail establishment or restaurant,you can almost sense who is in alignment with their right livlihood as sales people or servers. You know how they greet you and their demeanor if they like being there or if they’re just passing the time until they can clock out.
Think of Susan Boyle, the singer who was afraid to show her talent and kept her light hidden until she had the courage to sing in a competition and is now one of the top sellign artists of all time and performing for royalty. Who wudda thunk? What if she never had the courage to listen to her heart? What about you? Do you have the courage to find out your true path? Learn more on a personal consult with me and my business partner or ask for a recording of our telecourse Cracking the Code to Your Calling.
There are so many workers out there who are just passing the time, letting their lives pass by without investigating what it is they really want to do. Or what their soul purpose is in this lifetime. It’s a very easy thing to decode once you know the formula for unscrambling the GPS you hold in your own hands. Your personal GPS, your Greater Purpose System is encoded into your fingerprints before you were born. There is a scientific method of decoding your prints, which are unique to you, and figure out your life purpose, your life lesson and what ‘school’ you’re in for this lifetime. You’re given everything you need to know for following your right path and living your right livlihood. You just need to decode the message. Listen to a free 30-minute teleclass on the 4 different schools of life purpose by sending an email to Gaia@GaiaHart.com and ask for the link.
If you’ve been floundering, wandering about, not knowing if you have a purpose, feeling dull, without passion or fulfillment in your work; then we need to connect. My team and I will be your guides to crack the code to your life purpose, the life lesson that keeps holding you back and showing up and the life school whose curriculum you’re here to learn. Once you know your school, your lesson and your purpose, the rest is easy to figure out. All kinds of variations in your school and purpose can be explored. You’re given the right path to your right livlihood and the experts to help you figure out how you want to travel on your path.
After a 45-minute life purpose analysis of your fingerprints, you’re given your life school, life purpose and life lesson. Afterwhich you’re given a decoder document explaining it all. Then you get another 45-minute session with a personal life purpose coach to help you strategize implementation. All this for under $300 as our gift to you with a savings of $200 off the usual investment.
What is knowing your life purpose worth to you? How much of your life are you willing to spend out of connection with your divine purpose? How many unfulfilled days are you willing to give to somebody else in exchange for a paycheck? If you’re fed up and not going to take it any more, or if you’re just curious if you’re already on the right track to the right livlihood, then send me and email at Gaia@GaiaHart.com to set up a free pre-coaching call to see if it’s the right fit for you. What have you got to lose, but your the rest of your life?
Looking forward to hearing from you and helping you find your light and your right livlihood to enrich the world and yourself.