Self-Help

Chasing Happiness

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I never thought I was one to chase happiness. I was always taught that happiness was just a by-product of your gratefulness towards life. When I think of where my life has taken me in this past year, I now realize that I was in fact one of the many people who chased goals and accomplishments down in an effort to  truly feel satisfied with my life. While the journey and all its ups and downs are what really help people to achieve a happy life, I like so many others, lost sight of the hours and days spent trying to achieve happiness and never allowed myself to just be. In my 28 years of life, I struggled to find happiness in all things. Whether it was in my academic career, my romantic relationships, or even my work life, my motivation was always to do great now so I can be even greater later. I never sat down to enjoy small success or minor victories. My actions were all a means to an end that in some respect were never later achieved. So what can we do when we realize we’ve been chasing happiness all along? I for one have decided to embrace choice and move forward. No longer worried about what will be, I look to embrace what is now. Like the quote states, “Happy people don’t have the best of everything; they made the best of everything.” Embrace each day for its limitless possibilities. Strive to be happy everyday and not “one day” soon. It is the moments we experience now that matter most. After 28 years of chasing my happy future, I have decided to allow happiness to finally catch up to me. It has been here all along just waiting to be acknowledged. I’m ready to embrace it and find it in all things around me. What will you decide?

Embrace Choice and Keep Moving Forward

10 Tips to Finding Happiness Now

1. Be Present

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Commit to living for the experience. It’s so easy to get caught up in our “future thinking” that we forget to embrace true moments of happiness as they happen. BE PRESENT! Commit to enjoy each day as it passes. Regardless if you are wondering what will come next embrace the now and allow its gifts to present themselves. There is so much learning and growth that can be experienced if we just permitted ourselves to be more present. “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca

2. Let Your Passions Be Your Guide

Regarding our daily activities or career meaningful is vital to living a happy life. As a tool for self exploration, I find it helpful to create a passion list. What are your passions? What have you always wanted to do but never went after? As children we change career ambitions like we change our underwear, but as we get older these early desires begin to fade for the more “realistic” path. Look to your inner child and ask them what they are still yearning to experience in life. As someone who once gave up my passion for writing, I have to tell you, its feel amazing to be back! I feel as though I have reconnected with an old friend and it’s as if we never skipped a beat. List your passions on paper and determine for yourself what it is you have been looking for all this time. It’s never too late to acknowledge that inner yearning. Cultivating your passion with commitment and enthusiastic curiosity will only bring you closer to experiencing true happiness. While it is hard to adopt this type of mindset, attention must be given to our passions. If your motivating factor is the paycheck, you may be depriving yourself of a chance to do your true life’s work. When you can attach purpose to your work, satisfaction and happiness are sure to follow. “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

3. Respect the Body

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The healthier you are, the more you exercise and eat right, the more likely you will lead a happy life. While it is so easy for us to take our bodies for granted, it is vital that we protect and preserve this beautiful shell we reside in. Take time to nourish the body. Be mindful of the things you put in it and be mindful of the messages our body regularly sends us. Only you can be responsible for the care of this fragile vessel. Be proactive and take the necessary preventive care measures. Your body will be so grateful to you and your mind will be all the more at peace. Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps to reduce ones stress level and has been known to increase ones overall energy towards life. If you intend on living a long life filled with wonder and exploration you must protect the vehicle that is vital in getting you where you want to go in life. “In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.” Flannery O’Connor

4. Nurture Relationships That Matter 

When it comes to wanting happiness for yourself it’s vital that you surround yourself with positive people who exude happiness themselves. There is no better feeling then the one you get when you cultivate a circle of like-minded, loving individuals that share in life’s special moments beside you. These people are with you during good times and bad. They build you up and share in your accomplishments and significant life experiences. They are honest and dedicated to nurturing the relationship you represent for them. Take care of these relationships as they bring meaning and clarity to your life. Nurture those people who matter to you most. Never take these invaluable people for granted. “The quality of life is the quality of your relationships.” Anthony Robbins

5. Lend a Hand keep-calm-and-help-others-16

It feels so good when you can help your fellow-man/woman. I have often heard it said that when you lend a hand to others you are filled with feelings of joy, appreciation, and inner goodness. Seek opportunities to help others. Not only will you make someone’s day, week, or life, you will bring joy and happiness into your own heart and that’s a beautiful thing. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes

6. Look to the World around You 

Whenever you come to a crossroads in your life look to those around you for strength and inspiration.  Happiness and the courage to change your situation can come when we see others around us who have overcome similar struggles. While no two people are the same we can pull valuable lessons from others stories of courage and perseverance. It is possible to change your course at a moments notice. We see people do it everyday. Why go through life on autopilot when you can take back that control and be the steward of your journey. Transformation occurs when we allow ourselves to be inspired. Listen to others stories of change and allow yourself to see that we too can be transformed when we are open to it. Look to these stories to awaken your inner curiosity and creativity. The possibilities for change and transformation are limitless if you open to uncovering them. I admire people who open themselves up to experience what I like to call an awakening. While once they would consider themselves unhappy and dissatisfied with life, they now have complete control and are happily moving forward on the course they were destined to travel all along. Look to others for inspiration and empowerment. You too can decide to make a change to be happy now. “Change is the end result of all true learning.” Leo Buscaglia

7. Keep Love Alive hands_in_shape_of_heart

A huge part of the journey to achieving true happiness consists of giving and receiving love. To have love in your life requires that you practice having both an open heart and an open mind. Love is an emotion when embraced can really help you to become the person you always knew you were meant to be. Love and happiness easily go hand in hand. Love can lift you up during the darkest times and can motivate you during the best of times. When we feel loved we feel secure in our lives and as a result are empowered to do and be better. Sky’s the limit when you have love in your life. Open your mind to accepting love and watch as your perception of the world shifts. You will be more likely to love and happier because of it. “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

8. Give Value to Experiences

I live for experiences! Memorable experiences make me feel alive and they make me feel connected to the people that matter most to me. Happiness is long-lasting when we take time to place value on the experiences we have and share with others. You can get so much more from an intimate dinner with friends or loved ones than you can from a new expensive purse that will probably go out of style in 6 months. When it comes to happiness create opportunities that will having meaning for you. Plan a romantic vacation with your significant other. Send a handmade heartfelt card to someone close to you that needs it. The emotions that emerge during these moments are powerful and everlasting. While the accumulation of possessions can be nice, these things only provide temporary happiness. “Life is about experience…You can’t hold on to everything.” Sarah Addison Allen It’s the experience and the moments you create that you remember the most. Allow yourself to experience these moments fully. A happy memory can be tapped into at anytime and can result in the recharging of your happiness levels. Live for the experience and keeping making memories. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

9. Get Out There! 

Building community is a vital component to achieving inner happiness.  Whether you are part of a religious community or a friendly reading group, being a part of a greater whole can bring joy and purpose to one’s life. Spend time reviewing your passion list and see if any of those interests you identified can connect you with like-minded people. Get out there and build relationships. Joining a group can not only help you to cultivate your interests but it can also aid you in your search for authenticity and true happiness. “Interest and enthusiasm are the wellspring of continually evolving community life: they create bonds which unite us whether we are young or old, nearby or far from each other; they allow human warmth and love to be the formative forces in personal and community life and striving.” Henning Hansmann

10. Know When to Ask for Help helping-hand

When times are tough and you feel stuck seek guidance without fear of judgment. Look to your close friends or family members with whom you can confide in. Listen to your inner voice as it tells you that you need more and that something needs to change. If family or friends just don’t seem to get it, you might come to realize that a coach or therapist is the more suitable person to hear you out. There is no shame in asking for help and there is definitely no shame in loving yourself enough to take charge of your own happiness. Seek out the help of someone who will empower you to see your true potential and inner strength.  Get to know yourself again by identifying those things you love and are passionate about. As your coach challenges you and champions your efforts you will begin to see that happiness, clarity, and a new outlook on life are sure to follow. “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” Deepak Chopra

“Happiness is the highest form of self-respect. A person who allows himself to be happy shows his self-respect.” Maery Rubin

Ambition In The City 

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Let It Go

As part of my 30 day Happiness Preservation Challenge I decided to practice the art of letting things go. This morning I was thinking about our tendency to attach to things. Whether we are attaching ourselves to an argument, to a physical object, a mistake we’ve made, or a topic we are passionate about, our tendency is to keep things with us for as long as possible. Why is it so hard for us to let things go? 32a993143874dfd8dd1d4a4649ea7520

This morning as I got dressed for work, I was met with the perfect opportunity to let things go. Feeling not so confident about my appearance, I found myself struggling to pick out an outfit to wear.
The all too familiar words “I can’t find anything to wear!” were coming out of my mouth as I tore through my closet trying outfit after outfit on. As I began to notice the state of my bedroom and took notice of the heat coming off of my face, I realized how frustrated this situation was making me. How can I preserve happiness in this moment, I asked myself. As I stood in front of my closet wearing the only thing I had for sure decided on wearing; my boots, I started to recognize how silly I was being. Was this situation something I needed to drive myself crazy over? Was I really going to let this moment impact the rest of my day?

As I stood there in my boots I decided to step back and regroup. I closed my eyes took a deep breath and searched for a mantra that would help me in this moment. My self-esteem was in question and the feelings associated needed to be acknowledged. I walked to my hallway mirror and took a few moments to look at myself. As I took all of me in I began to smile. I made room for forgiveness to settle in and eventually the mantra I was looking for emerged. “I am committed to loving me.” Much like the mirror exercise developed by Jack Canfield, co-author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series, I needed acknowledgement in this moment. I repeated these words a few times over as I looked at myself in the mirror. Within minutes, I felt a release from any silly notion I had earlier about my appearance. I chose to let go of the negative and be content instead.

Needless to say, the perfect outfit emerged after I changed my attitude. I felt full of positive energy and was ready to tackle my day with a positive outlook. Once at the office, I offered compliments to a few co-workers as they passed me in the hallway. You never know, they might have been having a not so confident morning themselves.

Embrace choice and keep moving forward. Every second of every day is an opportunity to start anew. It is a chance to change your mind, change your behaviors, and ultimately change the world. When we learn to let things go we make room for what matters to us most. We focus on the good and we show up to the rest of the world in inspirational ways. Commit to letting at least 5 things go today. Below you will find some helpful mantras to assist you as you work to preserve happiness. Stay positive and choose those things that will bring you joy instead.

Mantras to Live By 

  1. I manifest the things that I want by believing in their existence.
  2. I have chosen to believe in me.
  3. I consciously commit to flexibility and detachment.
  4. I release the need to judge or criticize.
  5. I release! I let go! I will let things just be.
  6. I let go of the need to control others. I allow others to make their own way.
  7. I love the woman/man I’m becoming.
  8. I wont worry my life away.
  9. Possessions do not feed my spirit. I am liberated from the desire to hoard things.
  10. I am learning the art of self love.
  11. I let go of my regrets. I am grateful for lessons my past missteps taught me.
  12. I am calm, peaceful and relaxed in body, mind and soul.
  13. I am a survivor.
  14. I am in the process of positive changes.
  15. I am the only thing in my own way.
  16. The universe will provide what I need when I need it.
  17. I am a lovable person.
  18. I am proud of the woman/man I am.
  19. I believe I can be kinder to myself.
  20. I choose to let others opinions of me be their responsibility.
  21. I say goodbye to things in my life that are blocking my spiritual growth.
  22. I will conduct myself in such a way in which I can be proud.
  23. I have much to celebrate.
  24. I am actively becoming a better me.
  25. I am redefining what it means to trust.
  26. I am redefining what is important to me.
  27. I choose to stop apologizing for being me.
  28. I am committed to celebrating the person that I am.
  29. I am committed to loving me.
  30. I choose to highly value my thoughts, opinions, and ideas.
  31. I choose to consciously surround myself with positive influences.
  32. I am capable of making healthy choices.
  33. I am at peace with who I am.
  34. I am in full control of my thoughts and emotions.
  35. I know how to adequately fuel my body.
  36. I am solution minded. Any problem that comes up in life is solvable.
  37. Everything I do is an opportunity to be completely present.
  38. I choose to believe in me.
  39. I am whole, capable and resourceful.
  40. I commit to listening to my intuition.
  41. I know putting myself first is not about being selfish, it’s about self-care.
  42. I will be led by my dreams.
  43. I will be fueled by passion.
  44. I give myself permission to both fail and succeed.
  45. I have the ability to choose happiness.
  46. I have the ability to see the brighter side.
  47. I am a sexual being capable of extreme intimacy.
  48. I know I am braver that I can see.
  49. My pace is perfect.
  50. I am exactly where I need to be.
  51. Everything happens for a reason.
  52. I am the Divine.
  53. I am the only “sign” I need.
  54. I will surround myself with people who bring out the best in me.
  55. I deserve greatness.
  56. I deserve sublime happiness.
  57. I am deserving of abundance.
  58. I consciously choose love above all else.
  59. I am capable of great kindness.
  60. I believe in all of my abilities.
  61. Today, I choose me.
  62. I am in control of my thoughts.
  63. I choose to live in freedom over fear.
  64. I am motivated by peace.
  65. I recognize that my past does not have to define me.
  66. I define myself by my character not my circumstance.
  67. I have abundant courage.
  68. I have the ability to persevere.
  69. I am a confident communicator.
  70. I am a badass.

Rootsofshe.com are credited for the majority of the mantras listed above. If you haven’t visited this site before I suggest having a look. I love their mission.

Ambition In The City

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I Am Willing to Change

I am willing to release old, negative beliefs.

They are only thoughts that stand in my way.

My new thoughts are positive and fulfilling. 

Take a few seconds each morning to recite this mantra to yourself. Whether you find yourself reciting these words silently in bed, in front of the mirror as you look upon your own reflection, or during your long commute to work, let these words emerge, and allow them settle into your heart and mind.  Help to set the tone for each new day by embracing these words and truly living the meaning behind them. Settle into the present and notice what’s alive inside you. Let these feelings guide you on your path to purpose and fulfillment. These new thoughts will help to shift the way you engage with and see the world. When we learn to make these subtle shifts within our minds we are given the amazing gift of possibility.  Change your mind and you can change the world.

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Ambition In The City

If Not Now Then When

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” I do not fear failure. I only fear the “slowing up” of the engine inside of me which is pounding saying “Keep going someone must be on top, why not you?”‘ George S. Patton

Living in the now can be very challenging for some. While we may aspire to enjoy each and everyday as if it were our last, putting this notion into practice is easier said then done. It can be a constant struggle to find balance between your joy and your daily priorities. What we can come to realize with time however is that ones joy should always be their biggest priority. So how can we make this our reality?

If we can focus our day on the things that matter most, those things that bring us joy, then and only then can we be truly living in the now. Identifying a regular mantra can sometimes help with this. “I have all the time I need to do the things I enjoy.” I have begun to practice this daily mantra to assist me in worrying less about the time I have to complete my daily tasks, and more about doing the things that bring me joy in the present. If I worry less about my daily to-do list and more about doing things that make me happy,  I will stop believing that there isn’t enough time in my day. It is only when you permit yourself to feel joy, that you worry less about the invisible clock hanging over your head. You will have learned to make time to live now. 74378_536143923070648_85208059_n

For many a to-do list can create a great deal of unnecessary stress. While we spend our time focusing on checking off those things we think need to get done, we push away the things we wish we could actually make time to do. We all have various interests and hobbies we wish we could give more time to, but these interests are usually trumped by our so-called responsibilities. While there is no doubt that there are some responsibilities we need to adhere to, the pressure to complete all  our daily tasks is one we create solely in our own minds.

The mind can convince a person that in order for them to attain the greatness they envision for themselves in the future, they need to push their present day interests and happiness to the side. I for one refuse to let this be my reality. In order to be happy in the future you must place value on feeling happiness now. Happiness is not something you chase. It is a feeling you create when you finally accept its significance into your life.

Once you can learn to shift your way of thinking to allow for the things you want now, you will slowly come to realize how backwards you were living your life all along. While we may aspire to have more things, make more money, to do more of what we want, we must first practice being who we really are in the moment. If you pause in your pursuit of happiness you come to find happiness is there all around you. Next time you find yourself asking “when will it be my turn to be happy?” stop and remind yourself if not now then when? You have all the time you need to do the things that bring you joy. Make it happen.

Ambition In The City

“Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.” Palmer Sondreal

“If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolstoy