I read a lot of stuff (books, articles, blogs, etc) on the so called self development. I started with meaning-of-life material, progressed to self improvement, had a little detour reading the bible, koran and buddhist literature, then onto philosophy, switched to brain/ mind/ NLP, and finally has recently got into reading on happiness. I will have a post on who I follow on the subject currently, in case it’s of help to any of you.
Today let me focus on 2 things which I think are worth reading and having a thought about. 5 Things That Will Make You Happier is a great and short summary on the key ingredients of happiness. In fact, you could decide and become happy right now. Practice happiness like yoga.
For me, these 5 things seem repetitive so I will further boil them down into 3, to make it even easier to digest and apply to a day to day life. No 1. Positive thinking – easier said than done, but possible with merciless thought monitoring and laser cutting all negativity in its tracks. DO NOT let your mind wander off on a negativity road. Every time you catch yourself on a negative thought – replace it with a positive one. More on this in the photo below. No 2. Gratitude. You could either use the exercise suggested or check out my previous post and write down daily or weekly 3 things you are grateful for. Easy peasy. No 3. Give back. It’s simple – giving makes you happy. You don’t need to be rich to give. You could start giving right now. Be it money, or help, or kind word. I support a charity helping sick kids from emerging country. I am also doing #26actsofkindness in memory of the little angels who lost their lives in Newtown. If you need inspiration and want to join in, search on twitter with the above hashtag. If you want your money or something back, you can use kiva or kickstarter, where your money is allocated to a cause of your choice. Why not. Or you can watch Amelie, a perfect cinematic example of what giving is and what it can do to your life.
I liked No 4 in the original post about strengths, it’s new to me. Will try to use it as an exercise.
What I would like to close with today is this beautifully written post on death by Roger Ebert who apparently has recently died. I am not familiar with his works, all screenwriting blogs I follow however have tremendous respect for him and from reading this short work of his, I can see why. And this is the thought I am going to leave you and myself with today – today practice living like you will die in the next 60 seconds. Now get up and go do that one thing that could change your life. Ta!
Image courtesy of the Hunting Happiness Project that I follow religiously.