Just over a month ago, my husband and I adopted a dog from an animal shelter three hours from our house. We had been planning to get a puppy but were committed to adopting from a shelter or animal rescue. The animal shelter we drove to had a lot of puppies for adoption and we found Marley, an Australian Shepherd/Kelpie mix.
“Life is not about making others happy. Life is about sharing your happiness with others.” ~Everyday Life Lessons
Do you want to be happier and more productive at work? Martin Seligman, a positive psychologist and author of Authentic Happiness, concluded that happier people get better performance evaluations and higher pay. Other studies have shown that happy people are more positive, creative, tolerant, constructive, generous and non-defensive. They also have lower medical costs and less absenteeism. Here are five things you can do to increase your happiness and productivity at work:
1. Focus on people and relationships: That’s really what it’s all about – good relationships with your family, your clients, and your co-workers. Take the time to connect with others and you’ll find more meaning in your career as well as improve your happiness.
2. Celebrate Often: Many people delay happiness until they reach a certain goal, close that big sale, or list that dream property. Studies show however that the happiness from these seemingly “big events” is short lived and that true happiness is more about frequency than intensity.
While it’s simply not possible to be happy all the time, research shows that people who are happy 80% of the time are the healthiest, most successful, and live the longest. To get to that 80%, you need to take time to celebrate the little things.
3. Feel and Express Gratitude: This is the single most effective thing you can do each day to increase your happiness. Simply taking the time to appreciate what you already have, the people in your life, and the opportunities that present themselves to you will significantly increase your happiness, even if you do nothing else.
4. FOCUS and Stop Multi-Tasking: While checking email while your on the phone or texting during a sales meeting might feel like you are getting more accomplished, multi-tasking actually slows performance, increases mistakes, and over time causes you to lose your ability to focus when you need to.
You will find that your happiest times at work may be when you are in the “flow.” Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Interruptions and mult-tasking disrupt the flow process.
5. Be “Actively Optimistic” : Happiness is a choice and the whole concept of “Fake it till you make it” has been shown to work for increasing happiness. Take a few minutes to write down your best possible future, visualize it and feel it. Describe it in breathtaking detail, creating the full experience. Some of the most successful atheletes in the world use this technique because it works.
What are your techniques for increasing your happiness and productivity at work? Share your thoughts below.
Looking for More? You Can Also Read:
“Change in the world comes from individuals, from the inner peace in individual hearts. Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” ~Dalai Lama
Who doesn’t love the Dalai Lama and his message of peace and love? The Dalai Lama was just in Portland, Oregon over the weekend and drew huge crowds. Most of the events were sold out well in advance but there are recordings of his talks online at: Dalai Lama In Portland. Most of his talks were about the caring for our environment but he also shared some wonderful wisdom about world peace and compassion.
According to the Dalai Lama:
- Most of our problems are related to the mind, so we have to work to reduce our destructive emotions and
- We can reduce negative emotions through training our mind.
- We need to strengthen such inner values as contentment, patience and tolerance, as well as compassion for others.
- Anger is a sign of weakness while compassion is a sign of strength and confidence.
- We can counter negative emotion with opposite emotion, which for anger would be loving kindness.
- Focusing only on the physical reality of this world leads to despair.
- We must hold the belief that all people are the same, we must live and work together.
- The only way to solve problems is through dialogue, not violence.
He mentioned that while the twentieth century was a period of unprecedented bloodshed, we should learn from it and make the twenty-first century an era of peace. It is not that there will no longer be any problems to resolve, but instead of force we should resort to dialogue in every instance. Peace can only be achieved through non-violence and dialogue. This is something we have to train and educate our children to put into effect.
For more information about the Dalai Lama’s visit to Portland, you can visit his website DalaiLama.com.
Photo Credit: Fizzr on Flickr through a Creative Commons license.
You may have noticed that I’ve been offline for a few weeks and haven’t posted
anything new on LifeOhm, and that I’ve also had a name change.
For those of you who don’t know, I married my best friend and the love of my life, Dave,
a few weeks ago on the Oregon coast.
He’s been wonderful and amazingly supportive of my career, my personal development, and my blog – even serving as my editor now and then. Dave may have some articles of his own on my website soon (as well as some by the two of us together).
Thank you to everyone for all of your love and support. We’re both really excited about the future and
bringing many new ideas to LifeOhm.
Wishing you much love,
Photo by Aleina Roberson.
Valentine’s Day is my absolute favorite holiday. From the gourmet chocolates to the roses to spending time with loved ones, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful way to feel and be in love. Here’s my gift to you – 50 of the World’s Best Quotes on Love. If I missed yours, please share it in the comments below. Happy Valentine’s Day!
1.) “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”- Dr. Seuss
2.) “We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky
3.) “A simple ‘I love you’ means more than money.” – Frank Sinatra
4.) “Love consists of not looking each other in the eye, but of looking outwardly in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
5.) “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” – John Lennon
6.) “If I know what love is, it is because of you.” – Hermann Hesse
7.) “When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep. Praise God for those two insomnias! And the difference between them.” – Rumi
8.) “Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” – Willa Cather
9.) “To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.” – Bill Wilson
10.) “Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense.” – E.E. Cummings
11.) “Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.” – Dalai Lama XIV
12.) “In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” – Rumi
13.) “If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn’t love you as much as I do in a single day.” – Emily Brontë
14.) “The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” – Victor Hugo
15.) “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou
16.) “When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” – William Shakespeare
17.) “Love is a friendship set to music.” – E. Joseph Cossman
18.) For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” – Judy Garland
19.) “When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.” – Albert Einstein
20.) “You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you cannot live without.” – Unknown Author
21.) “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
22.) “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” – Lao Tzu
23.) “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.” – Alfred Tennyson
24.) “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
25.) “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
26.) “You are the answer to every prayer I’ve offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper, and I don’t know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
27.) “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” – John Lennon
28.) “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give you forever” – Nicholas Sparks
29.) “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
30.) “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
31.) “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
32.) “Better to have lost and loved than never to have loved at all.” – Ernest Hemingway
33.) “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” – William Shakespeare
34.) “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
35.) “Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
36.) “There is no remedy for love, but to love more.” – Thoreau
37.) “The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.” – Marilyn Monroe
38.) “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
39.) “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein
40.) “To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return.” – Madonna
41.) “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
42.) “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
43.) “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” – Robert Fulghum, True Love
44.) “Love, having no geography, has no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface.” – Truman Capote
45.) “The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” -Rumi
46.) “Love must be learned, again and again; there is no end to it.” – Katherine Anne Porter
47.) “Love is, above all, a gift of oneself.” – Jean Anouilh
48.) “You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.” – Sam Keen
49.) “And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.” -Kahlil Gibran
50.) “People who are sensible about love are incapable of it.” – Douglas Yates
“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” ~Emerson
You know the feeling – it may be a tightening up of your body, sweaty palms, or nagging thoughts of self doubt before you start something new. We’ve all experienced fear in our lives at one time or another and it’s likely that the more often you challenge yourself , the more often you feel fear. Feeling fear can also make us feel intensely alive at times such as when we’re climbing a mountain or when we’re getting ready to give a presentation or perform on stage.
When fear keeps us from doing the things we really want to do in life, that’s when it becomes a problem. Fearless living is taking steps out of your comfort zone in order to achieve a goal, opening yourself up to new possibilities, and overcoming your fear to allow yourself to grow in the direction of your dreams. Here are four tips to help you live fearlessly:
1.) According to Raphael Kushnir, author of The One Thing Holding You Back and Surfing Your Inner Sea, to move through fear, you need to feel your fear and bring your attention to it. This will bring you into the present moment. The harder you try to resist the feeling, the more power it will have over you and can even run your life. Being in a state of fear causes a constriction in your entire body, it “shuts you down” and can keep you from moving forward. Kushnir says there are two steps to feeling your emotion:
- To experience an emotion, place your attention directly on the sensation it produces in your body.
- Keep your attention on that sensation until it either dissipates or changes.
2.) Remember, feelings of fear are normal, even for the most confident CEO’s, public speakers, and accomplished people in the world. Chances are, they still feel moments of fear. Their secret is in their response to the fear: they don’t let it stop them from pursuing their dreams. When you are successful, the fear doesn’t go away when you try something new or different. It can get easier to manage your response to the fear with practice.
3.) Love yourself fully and make a commitment to “being in love” with life. John Lennon says it so eloquently in his quote about love and fear:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~John Lennon
If you struggle with loving yourself, a simple Flylady mantra you can practice is to breathe in and say, “I love“. When you breath out say, “myself.” You’ll feel a bit silly at first but this really does work. You can also begin practicing extreme self care. Each day, do something nice for yourself.
4.) Think about your fear rationally for a moment and realize the “worst case scenario” is never as bad when you look at things logically. Sometimes it helps to write your fears down so you can be more objective. When you face your fears, you make them manageable and you can make plans to help you mitigate your fears.
My friend was recently concerned that he might be losing his job in the near future. Some of his co-workers had already been let go and the company was having financial difficulties. When he stopped coming from a place of fear, he realized that he had options and that if he did lose his job, it might prompt him to start the business he wanted to start. He also became more focused at work which made him more valuable and less likely to be selected if additional lay-offs were necessary. While losing his job wasn’t something he wanted, he realized he would be ok regardless of what happened. Facing his fear allowed him to move forward in a positive way.
How do you overcome fear? What tips or tactics work best for you? Share your thoughts below.