As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe happiness builds on three foundations: gratitude, non-attachment, and living in the present moment. Gratitude is a very direct tool that works wonders when it comes to working on a positive attitude, and I’ve never come across anything drug-free in my life that is a faster fix for happy feelings. Therefore, gratitude is where I always recommend my clients to begin.
I am convinced that, to some extent, happiness is a choice. What this means is that happiness is an inside job, as it always comes from within. Even if your happy feelings seem to be due to an outer source or event, this is not really the case. Happiness is a state of internal fulfillment. Instead, we often tell ourselves that when we achieve this or acquire that, we will be happy.
Because emotionality and sensitivity are frequently looked down upon, while their opposing character traits are heavily romanticized in the Western world, people often have a disturbed image of their own emotional behavior. We are constantly under pressure to restrain our emotional selves. We have been taught to apologize for our feelings, to be ashamed about our tears, and to fear being called hysterical or dramatic. But if you immediately discard your feelings as a weakness, how will you gain understanding … Read More
To test your open-mindedness, let me ask you a question. Imagine that I were to show you a picture of an angry and intimidating looking Arab guy with a big beard. What do you think? What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the word ‘terrorist’? If the first thing that came to mind is something along those lines, that’s okay. What?! When I say that that’s okay, I mean that it’s not your fault. This … Read More
Every evening, minus a few exceptions, the first thing I do when I get in bed is write in my gratitude journal. I take a couple of minutes to answer questions about my happiness such as ‘what am I grateful for?’, ‘what did I do great today?’, and ‘what amazing things happened today?’. It’s something that I absolutely love doing, and it has provided me with more benefits that I initially could imagine. I don’t believe in quick fixes … Read More
I recently had a delightful conversation about taking small steps with Megan Karlen, who got me to contemplate her words to the point where I just had to write it down. As we were discussing business strategies and ways to keep oneself sane and zen, she told me of a trip to the mountains she’d recently taken. Encouraged by others to come along, she resistantly climbed the steady slope, cursing the thin air and her protesting muscles. Struggling to keep … Read More
When my aunt passed away a couple of years ago, I fought the grief and confusion the way I know best: by drowning it in information. I read everything I could find about lungs, oncology, death, and even funerals. In my search for answers I stumbled upon a book by Irvin Yalom called ‘Staring at the Sun‘, about his experiences with helping clients overcoming their fear of death. Besides the mere soothing of recognition, I learned a great deal about the … Read More
Take a second to think about the things you want to change about your partner. Little things that annoy you. Any built up resentment you have. … Now smile if you can’t think of anything. (And keep reading if you wish you smiled.) The best advice I ever got about loving relationships is to be the best partner you can be. To forget about everything that he or she does, to forget about anything you want to change. … Read More
I have lived a pretty unconventional life so far. I have a tendency to aim for goals that seem way out of reach, making me show up in situations you wouldn’t always expect. I have started many projects and pursued innumerable passions. I have chosen directions and strayed right off those paths. I have traveled when it made more sense to stay home and study, and I’ve spent my hard-earned money where it made more sense to save it up. … Read More
It seems as if nowadays everybody can get rich with whatever he or she finds interesting. Most blogs and self-help books claim to show you the roads to great success. They advertise the fastest, easiest ways to achieving your goal. But what is your goal? What if you’re not interested in something long enough to become successful with it? Sometimes my ideas lead to businesses, certifications or other forms of recognized accomplishment. Most of the time, however, they are left unfinished. I lose motivation, drop … Read More