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11 Ways to Be Happier Day to Day

Empaths and Narcissists. Two very different types of people. You could say that they’re extremes. On one hand with the empath, you have a person who feels everything that is going on with themselves and the people around them. Perhaps they feel that they’re “out of this world” or misplaced because they see all the emotion. That they have superhuman powers to read people. To sense vibes. Many times, they absorb all these emotions that are around them feeling weighted down by the burdens of the world.

On the other hand, you have the narcissist. One could say that this is the opposite of the empath. They look at others as instruments to get what they want. Many times, these people have become like this because of some sort of pain they received earlier in their life. Furthermore, the narcissist won’t realize that the world doesn’t work this way. That the world is a two way street. They’ll literally do anything to get where they want to get to in life.

In either case, neither will likely be able to create their own happiness. The empath might think that having their own happiness is too selfish. The narcissist, on the other hand, will think that their unhappiness is everyone else’s fault. So why should they put time into it if no one else will?

That said, I think most of us that have struggled or currently struggle with being happy fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Your Happyness is Yours to Build

Just like many things, Happiness is a journey, not so much a destination. The Founding Fathers knew this when they mentioned it in the Declaration of Independence. If you should remember anything about July 4th this weekend, is that in the United States it is the God Given Right to live life, be free, and strive towards our own happiness – whatever that might be. So as we come to this celebration of what the US stands for, I wanted to break down 10 things that we can do to be more happy.

The reason why I recommend the Four Agreements on a regular basis is because I believe it has led me to be happier myself. The agreements are as follows:

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Don’t Make Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

In these four, I’ve come up with a list of 11 key everyday practices that can help you gain more happiness daily.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Stop Complaining

Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems. – Zig Ziglar

Chances are you don’t want to be around some that complains all the time. So why would anyone want to be around you if you do? If you must complain, give yourself 5 minutes to do so. Better yet, instead of complaining about something, instead look for a possible solution? No solution? Focus on the positive and perhaps cut a joke.

Focus on the Positive Things in Life

When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on the possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities. – Unknown

The more you focus on negative things in your life, the more they’ll come in. It will show up in your work, your relations, and everything else. Instead, shift your attention to the positive perspective. In return, more positive things will come.

Blame yourself, not others

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life. – Hal Elrod

Every one us is where we are in life due to choices we’ve made in the past. Sure, our circumstances are different, but more often then not, many of us take the easier route which in the long run makes us weaker for the hard stuff in life. Take the challenges as they come in life and you’ll be prepared for when crap really hits the fan.

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Stop Caring About What Others Think of You

If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner. – James Frey

Every great leader, artist, entrepreneur, and/or political leader (George Bush is a painter now… wha!?) ignored what people thought of them at one point or another. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to take off. Instead, if others are tearing you up, realize it’s more than likely because they’re envious OR threatened by you.

Stop Needing to Be Right All the Time

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. – Confucius

Learn to laugh at yourself. It’s ok to stand up for things you really believe in, but not on every subject. In stead of trying to be right, learn how to see other people’s point of view. When I argue politics on Facebook, I typically do after understanding the other side’s perspective. Start asking more questions to see other’s points of view, it might open a whole new perspective for yourself… one that you incorporate your old perspective and theirs into an ultimate right answer! 😉

Don’t Make Assumptions

Stop Judging

Ask Questions to Clarify

Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. – Alan Alda

This is simple. If you’re interested in being successful, learn to make things clear at the beginning. Yes, it’s impossible not to assume 100% of the time, especially if you’re doing something that has been multiple times before, but make sure you’re always asking questions to clear things up before it gets worse.

Always Do Your Best

Be Present

What is presence? It is a grounding and harmony in this very moment; it is a physical alertness, an emotional acceptance, a spiritual awareness and union with what is in front of us in the here and now; it is a vital consciousness to who we are and what we are sensing; it is a mindfulness to what is meaningful; it is the Way – Brendon Burchard

Brendon talks all the time about his life mission being “Did we live? Did I love? Did I matter?”. So often we find ourselves living in the past in how good things used to be. Or we live in the future in how we want things to be. Live in the present. You’ll never get to the future you want if you don’t appreciate where you are now.

Be Fearless

Being Fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful, it’s being terrified but you jump anyway… – Taylor Swift

Fear is a strong motivator in life. Perhaps possibly the strongest to not be great. Perhaps you’re worried about leaving friends behind. Perhaps you’re worried that you might fail in whatever you’re setting out to do. The hard truth is that at the end of the day or even your life, you’re going to wish that you at least tried to do something vs always dreaming “what if”. Don’t waste the gifts that you’ve been given. Go Do Your Thing.

Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steven Furtick

I know I’m my own worst critic. I know that inside of us there’s a fan and there’s the scrooge. For many of us, we’ve been told our entire lives that we can do anything we want to do… just don’t screw up. Furthermore, school taught us, pass without failing.

What we don’t learn until after school is that we don’t learn in life without failing. Failing is part of life. Once you accept this, then you start relying more on the fan to motivate you. The scrooge will always be there saying, “you don’t deserve to be awesome”. However, as you start gaining success, you’ll listen to the fan more and more. While you might not be perfect, you give value to others.

Stop Worrying About the Small Stuff

Worry is a misuse of the imagination. – Dan Zadra

We worry about everything and anything. Part of limiting what influence the scrooge has is to realize that others aren’t perfect either. Just because someone isn’t replying to your emails, texts, or phone calls doesn’t mean they suddenly don’t like you.

Learn to focus on what you can do in the current moment and not worry so much on what the outcome is going to be.

Your Turn

So below in the comments, let me know what you do to feel happier on a day to day basis. Are there any tricks or tips that you do when you feel yourself getting down? Chime in and share!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 10 of 10: Where To Get Started

In the end, as I mentioned in the last part, the decision is yours to make in whether or not being an entrepreneur is right for you.

 

A few good questions that I’d recommend asking yourself can be found in this article:

 

  • Are you comfortable with uncertainty?
  • Are you willing to put off good for the great (even though the great isn’t guaranteed?)
  • Can you wear multiple hats when needed?
  • Can you deal with a daily emotional roller coaster?
  • Can you stay committed to building a successful business even though there will be plenty of barriers set before you?

 

If you answer yes to all of these, then you’re good to go. If you realize that life is not a practice run, I don’t see how you can’t say no. Everyone deserves an adventure in their life to find out what they’re made of.

 

Personally believe that we only live life once and we should all at least try going solo once. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t and it’s a big learning experience. Either way, at least you’d know.

 

Figure Out Your Type of Business

 

As we’ve explored, there’s plenty of business opportunities out there. Which one will work best for you? The main thing that I want you to think about is that there’s really no true offline business anymore. I mean, you can be, but you’ll be doing yourself a major disservice.

 

Even if you decide to go towards starting say… a daycare, for example, you should probably be adding some sort of online element. Parents would love to check up on the activities that are going on with their kids and what adventures they’re going on from day to day. Heck, if you get something like a GoPro, then perhaps you can strap one on to them from time to time and see what they see? Or heck, start writing a blog about tips and tricks to correspond with what they did during the day (This is just me thinking out loud.) Can you imagine how many customers/kids this daycare would get vs those that didn’t?

 

Educate Yourself, Leaders are Learners

 

Remember, as a business owner you need to be a leader. One thing I learned out of being in LTD was that Leaders are Readers. However, you don’t need to actually read books. You need to be learning. Whether or not you’re learning from audio books or listening to podcasts, or watching educational videos, you need to be learning regularly.

 

The best thing you can do is not look at it as a chore, but as part of your strategy. Start utilizing a filing method (Evernote or something similar would be useful) so that when you have say a post or doing something new, you can fall back on that information. That fresh perspective on the topic will make you look good to your customers.

 

Affiliate – Find a Community that Supports Your Decision

 

Another thing that will help is affiliation. Learn about your potential community before you dive into it. There’s different ways you can do that. You can mingle with potential customers, or you can mingle with other like minded people who are in charge of their own startup. Both have huge benefits in being involved with!

 

B2C Groups – Going to groups that have potential clients is a great way to figure out what products you need to develop. For example, if you’re wanting to start that daycare, find out from other parents what kinds of things they do or don’t like about daycares that are available to their kids. You can ask these parents individually or host an event. Either way, you’ll be getting valuable information that will give you a leg up on your competition.

 

B2B Groups – In Indianapolis, I like to think we have a huge tech startup community. Obviously, not as big as certain places on the west and east coast, but still something pretty strong. I think a big part of that is Verge and the The Speak Easy.

 

As I’ve seen these groups grow up, the party has just gotten bigger and bigger. Groups like these support tech startups – which is huge in Indy. However, there’s groups like Fizzle.co that support online businesses.

 

If you’re wondering if there’s a nearby group interested in what you’re wanting to do, check out meetup.com – you’d be surprised on what’s on there. If there’s nothing there, then perhaps you should start a group? Here’s a recent SPI podcast that illustrates how important masterminds are. Perhaps a good place to find people to be part of your mastermind might be reddit?

 

Next Step? Take Action.

 

If starting a business is something that you want to do, start as soon as you can. Is there something you need to get trained in first? Assuming that you’ve talked to people in that field and that you really want to be a part of, that might be your first step.

 

If there’s no special training required, perhaps your next step is to start looking into hosting your site. Or if you want to start in the real world, perhaps your next step is figuring out how you can start finding customers.

 

Whatever it might be, it’s time to start your adventure.

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 8 of 10: Leading is An Ideal Goal for Us

In part 1 we discussed some statistics about what Millennials want in the work place. I’ll share them again:

 

  • 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
  • 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.
  • 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
  • 74% want flexible work schedules.

 

Look at that second number. 72% of us want to be our own boss. To do that, we have to run our own business. And to do that, need to have some sort of leadership skills.

 

The World is Full of Followers who want to Lead

 

In the 6th installment of this series, I talked about The Prussian Education System contributing to why Millennials are Lost. How it has been used to create a population of soldiers who follow the oligarchy of the Progressive Movement that originally installed it. They want and continue to want followers.

 

The other contributing part to the Lost Generation can be found in part 1, when we saw how Millennials generally want a lot out of life.

 

The catch is that these two ideas contradict each other. One of them is going to have to yield to the other.

 

So far it seems it seems that many of us don’t know which to choose. In fact, many of us are even pushing back our internal clocks to have more time to develop “Me”. It seems like a whole lot of confusion. Do we invest in a job that might have the conditions we’re used to or do we invest in ourselves and create that atmosphere for ourselves?

 

Leaders Get The Credit Through Failure

 

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from our role models growing up is that leaders get the credit. From our coaches in high school, to athletes in the pros, to politicians, and award winning actors, we see that those who succeed get the most credit. It is almost intolerable for us to be unsuccessful. We have grown up most of our life believing that we CANNOT and MUST NOT fail.

 

The problem with this is that we now have a generation of people who don’t really know that failing is a part of learning. That we can’t really learn something until we’ve tried to apply knowledge and screw up.

 

Many of us have not heard of all the failures that successful people have had before they were successful. However, it’s true.

 

As it’s suggested then, we need get out there and fail quicker! Otherwise, the alternative is taking a seat and job hopping in the new economy – something that personally I don’t want to do. I’d prefer security.

 

Leadership is Something Learned

 

Leadership for most of us is appealing and scary at the same time. We know that if we want things to go our way, that we must appeal to others to follow our plan. If we’re successful with spreading the idea, then we find ourself leading. At the same time we know leadership can be lost as quickly as it can be gained if we’re not careful with our followers. So we need to learn how to lead with purpose.

 

A big key in being a leader is actually studying it. Seeing what other people have done successfully before us and actually studying those actions. We can do that through case studies, or the hard way through personal experience OR we can cheat and read books by authors like John Maxwell.

 

Once you have successfully gained influence of others and can wield it successfully, then you are on the path of being a true leader. But just like anything else in the self development world, it’s something that you’ll need to continue to study.

 

Leading By Example

 

In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your experiences at being a leader. Whether you’ve had success or have failed at it, let us know below. Also, if you did fail, what did you take away from the experience?

 

Next week, in part 9, we’ll discuss making the big choice. Those that succeed in building a business will be the ready made leaders after 2020. Will you be a leader or a follower? We’re in a perfect place in history to make our collective mark for other generations to follow!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 7 of 10: Easiest Method of Self Expression in One’s Career

In the last session of this series, I had a little tough love for our generation. But there was a reason for that. A lot of us ARE lost. Not lost as in a lost cause but lost as in confused. It is said that when people are confused, they lack clarity on what action to take – so they take none. The secret on taking action is to first find out where you are.

 

Just like when you’re lost geographically and you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you’re at so that if you had a map, the map could actually be of use to you.

 

Part of finding out who you are includes finding your personality. Another part includes finding your purpose in life. To Millennials, these are highly important. We are very self expressive. (You might not think you are personally, but then again we are the Generation of “Me!”.)

 

When you find your purpose in life, life gets that much easier. You start making choices that reflect where you want to go. It’s a life hack that is well worth the search.

 

On the other hand, when a person hasn’t found their purpose, there’s a good chance that they’ll jump from occupation to occupation or vise to vise hoping that they can fill the void in their life.

 

How to Find Your Purpose

 

Personally, I’ve learned a lot about myself since I’ve gotten out of grad school. I’ve had time to figure out what makes me tick and what I’m good at. This has helped me clear the view of what I want to accomplish in life. In other words, I’ve found my purpose.

 

Before you start on your path of finding your purpose, you might need to deprogram yourself. I did this with the book The Four Agreements. I highly recommend this book, however it might come off a little out there. So if you want something that’s more down to earth, try this. It has a longer list of things to remember… but it’s still useful.

 

Once you deprogram yourself, the first part to finding yourself is to recognize your personality. Finding your personality helps you learn how you naturally interact with the world around you. Do you live for the future? Do you live for the now? Or do you live based on where you’ve come from? How do express yourself? How do you think? These are questions that can be answered by figuring out your personality.

 

Once you find out who you are including your strengths and weaknesses (and acknowledging them) then you can start looking at finding your passion. Your passion is basically the concept of what you’re naturally interested in. What do you do with your spare time?

 

People might have similar strengths and weaknesses. They might have similar personalities. But the chances for them to have the same strengths, weaknesses, personality, AND interests is a pretty small chance. This is what makes you valuable. You just need to know where you fit. Once you’ve discovered your passions, you’ll be onto finding your purpose.

 

Your purpose is finding out how you fit into the world. And my biggest recommendation is: Don’t try to force it. If you’re a circle, don’t try being a triangle. If you’re a connector of people, don’t try being a super geek.

 

If You Don’t Program Yourself What To Think, The World Will Do it For You.

 

The mistake of not finding your purpose will more than likely land you in a situation you don’t want or appreciate. I’ve seen several people struggle with themselves through a midlife crisis. Yeah, you remember that phrase? It’s not used as much as it used to be, but people still go through them. Why?
Because they have been living someone else’s dream for them. They didn’t take the time to figure out what they wanted in life… until they realized they were a certain age and it wasn’t what was supposed to happen… to them. They might be really successful if compared to others, but in reality, they should have been doing something else the whole time. Have you ever heard of the expression in regards to a person’s career: “I found that I was climbing a ladder but realized that it was on the wrong building”?

 

Believe it or not, this has happened to a number of our parents. It’s one cause for people suddenly seeking divorce after being married a long time.

 

Have Full Reign to Follow Your Purpose

 

As an employee, we’re told what to do, when to do it, and possibly how to do it. Of course, as an employee this is what we signed up for. We’re selling our most valuable commodity, time, for money. If you have a problem with any of that… you should probably be a business owner.

 

However, if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s obviously risk involved. But there’s also risk if you’re an employee as well. As an entrepreneur, you might find yourself not needed. As an employee you might find yourself… not needed.

 

The difference? When you first started your job, you were guaranteed income. You knew you were going to get paid. As an entrepreneur, that might not be the case. However, as an entrepreneur, you have full control on your career. For some that’s a little hard to handle. Yet for others, that’s all we want to handle. We want to be personally responsible for our own success.

 

In the comments below, let me know if you’re on the path that you feel is right for you. If it isn’t right, say why not. If it is right, let me know how you found this path. Did you go through the above process or simply stumble into it?

 

Next week in part 8, we’ll be discussing Leadership by means of being an Entrepreneur. We touched briefly on this in part 6, but we’ll be looking more at why being a leader gets you closer to your ideal self.

 

The Baby Elephant Principle: Breaking the Chain

What’s the Baby Elephant Principle? Basically it’s the idea that an elephant that is tied to a stake as it’s growing up will think that it can’t move even when it most definitely can. Want the full gist? Check it out.

One of the problems that I’ve dealt with recently since graduation is letting my past dictate what I can or cannot believe that I’m capable of. Recently, however, as I’ve been working with Mark, I’ve started to regain an understanding that we can’t really do anything until we’ve done it. The opposite holds true too as well. We can never know we can’t do something until we attempt it. Not everyone is going to be an NFL star, but they don’t know that until play football and give it their best.

Recently I was reminded of this several times as I have gained several students who think that they can’t do math because somewhere in the past they had a negative experience. Perhaps someone told them that they were bad at it or they had several tests in a class (which could have had a bad teacher) that just gave them a bad taste for math. But regardless of what the actual cause of the attitude is, we can address the attitude directly.

How would we fix this particular problem? Well, for one – it would probably help if they wanted to fix their problem. 🙂 But after that, it would help if they actually put effort into it. People learn at different rates. Some people, including myself, have incredibly slow learning curves – where others grasp an idea right away. Personally for me, I always had trouble with Algebra – especially when I was in college. I never got anything higher than a C. At the time I thought it was my teacher’s fault. But when I wanted to start teaching math, I found that reading the material thoroughly actually worked for me. I basically self-taught myself how to do Algebra… something that no teacher could have ever done for me.

The same thing can work for students – but again it’s if they’re willing to believe they can do it and take the time to learn how to do it. If they don’t do one or the other, chances are they won’t be able to accomplish the goal of passing the class to eventually get to graduation to potentially have a better life.

So what things in your past are keeping you from achieving goals you want to achieve?

The E4 Project – Not Just for Glenn Beck Fans

I don’t really listen to political talk too much any more. That’s kind of sad considering at one time I was a political junky. I might just still be, but I tend to stay away from it. On occasion I will listen to your typical political talking head just to get an idea of what’s going on out in the world. For the longest time I used to listen and watch Glenn Beck all the time. From time to time, I’d also check out what Rachel Maddow had to say.  Totally too opposing points of view. But to be honest, I started thinking that both of them eventually had the same thing to say over and over. Plus, I started instilling a rule into my life: if it’s something I can’t do anything about, then I’m not going to worry about it. Thus, I simply stick to my standards (as mentioned in the last post) and live life.

But as I said, I do tend to turn in from time to time and heard Beck talking about this new project of his not too long ago: The E4 Project. The E4 Project is called as such because it focuses on 4 words each starting with an E – Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship. All of which I think are important to know and think about.

In a squidoo post I found on the web, Brooke Allen discusses what each word means as a Beck fan. But I’ll go over them fairly quickly and mention their importance in self improvement.

Enlightenment – Faith. To me, Faith can be understood in two ways. It can be understood in the spiritual sense. That if things are meant to be, then they will happen. Or if you’re more of a numbers person, then Faith would be a single term for the phrase “chances are…”. If you have faith, it will happen! Understanding the fact that if certain things are done with a certain result in mind, then chances are that result will happen.

In the world of improving ones life, it should be known that a fundamental change of a person’s life isn’t going to happen over night. Faith is illustrated over an expanded period of time that a goal will be achieved if you continually work towards that goal. Faith is simply knowing that the crock pot is going to cook the food; that the seed is growing to grow into a plant and letting time and a process do its thing.

Education – We’re all familiar with this term. Personally, I love learning. I always have. I’m just naturally curious about the world and whenever I have a question, I find the answer. Just like in everything else, you can never know too much about yourself, others, and self improvement in general. You can spend your entire life learning how to better yourself and those around you but you’ll never know it all.

Empowerment – Once you have a basic understanding of how people and life works, you need to put it into practice. Start making your life better. (For example, make your own list of standards and start living by them!) Start making the lives of others better by adding value to them. Go out of your way if you need to at times!

Entrepreneurship – If you’re unemployed, underemployed, or not making enough money – then perhaps another job isn’t the answer! Even in this economy, there are so many opportunities out there that aren’t being taken advantage of that is no excuse not to be able to develop “side” income. However many people don’t even think outside the box. It’s a major case of “Who Moved My Cheese?”. To put it simply, the old system is broken and not producing money where we’re used to finding it.

With that said, it doesn’t always take money to make money. I almost find it amusing when people limit themselves based on the lack of money is the reason they don’t do something. “Uh, duh! That’s the reason you’re in this spot in the first place! You haven’t figured out a way to make additional income. This is your chance!” If people just simply start adding some habits in their life that can make them money outside of a job, then they won’t be upset because their job doesn’t pay them. Especially with the advent of e-commerce, the sky is the limit. If you can find a need, fill it, make a profit, and do so with a passion, then you might just have your real career at your fingertips.