Quote of the week #happiness

Happiness is not some absolute super positive state that once achieved rids you of all your problems. Nirvana, enlightenment is a result of a path ridden with obstacles, full of hard truths about yourself and lots and lots of hard work. What you think you deserve, what you believe is important and how hard you will work for it is what defines your life and your happiness. Easier said…

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We need to talk about dying #happiness

I believe that no one can be truly happy until they explore, accept and prepare for death, their own and others. Which is why I found this BBC show particularly refreshing. The fact that it ended after 3 episodes does not surprise me – most of us are uncomfortable thinking of, talking about or facing death. I believe that preparation is key if you want to die a good death. The show does a good job at shedding light on various questions that one may have about death, showing what dying is like and what you should be prepared for when the inevitable comes. Let me know what you think.

We Need To Talk About DyingWe Need To Talk About Dying

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What can I do with my time that is important?

Passion. Life purpose. Meaning. The big goal. Life calling. As I was reading on the subject over the years, I struggled to summarise what I learnt in one neat action plan. Mark Manson did it and did it really well. So I now lean on his ideas and insight on the subject.

I already posted one of his best posts on finding passion here. Mark says that passion is not something we receive, it’s not some sort of enlightenment that we wait for, we work towards it and find it through action. In his other post on the subject Screw finding your passion, Mark goes further and says that actually we already found our passion and are living it daily, we are just ignoring it – because of how we think about it.

The problem with how we think is revealed by Dan Gilbert in the Ted talk below. Biased thinking blinding us to what we know and have already, leading us to give up on what is important to us before we even try. I’ve got bad news, folks – if like me you are ‘looking for passion’, you may not be really looking and just avoiding any action. In which case the best and most urgent advice is to just do it – but we’ve known it all along, didn’t we? Baby steps – I refer you to the quote in the beginning of this post.

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How to give and receive love, starting now – Barbara Fredrickson’s TED talk

This short video is a great summary of a 6 week positive psychology course I am taking on Coursera currently. It’s fascinating how Fredrickson redefines what love is – see below. Giving and receiving love is vital for our well being and the good news is that it’s easier to find than we thought!

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Knowing, understanding yourself and your strengths is key to your happiness

This year I felt like I wanted to get a good picture of my strengths, finally, so I invested in several studies – I did one through work (Strengthscope), I did Via Strengths (free but you pay for detailed report) and I did Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Gallup (you need to buy a book which gives you a code). They replicate so you can do just one if interested. And do please share in the comments if you found another survey/ tool and it worked for you!

The findings were not 100% straightforward but made me rethink some things and how I approach and select what I do in life and at work. My top 5 strengths:

1. Empathy, kindness, compassion
2. Creativity, ideation
3. Appreciation of beauty & excellence, self improvement
4. Strategic mindset
5. Developing others, connectedness, relator

Continue reading

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Measure and track your positivity ratio

We track steps and calories, why not track happiness? In the Positive Psychology course (on Coursera), Barbara Fredrickson shares a tool that she developed to do just that. You can take Positivity Ratio Assessment here. Do daily measurements and track your scores over a week or more. The expected outcome is that it will help you make adjustments in your day to day life and start prioritising positive experiences on your to do list to boost your overall well being and happiness:

Just like tracking calories or cash flows can heighten your awareness and in time help you meet your fitness or financial goals, tracking your positivity ratio can help you raise your ratio and build your best future.

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To be happier, prioritise positive experiences on your to do list

If you find seaweed in your nether regions, you must be on a holiday 🙂 I am in my bucket list destination – Fuerteventura in Spain. Several days to pause, breathe, clear headspace, think about important things. In between being a parent and a wife.

And Barbara Fredrickson's advice comes in handy as I am struggling to find me time – being more positive, happier day 2 day is not about changing your personality, it's as simple as adding or prioritising positive experiences on your to do list. We all get so grown up, so tied up in what we must do for others that we forget what we need to do for ourselves.

So while on holiday, I walk along the beach in the morning. I listen to the ocean. I watch the sunrise. I do not time myself and I do not have milestones or a checklist. I let myself flow with the ocean. I am also learning that as soon as I am back, I need to continue to prioritise these little but important moments, the me time.

Happy weekend, fellow nomads!

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