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Happiness Hack #28 Find Your Higher Purpose

 

We all need something bigger than ourselves to focus on. If we focus internally we tend to become critical and think negatively about ourselves. When we find something bigger than ourselves it adds purpose and meaning to our lives. Your Higher Purpose could be your religion, contributing to your family, or helping your team members reach a difficult goal. It might include a charity, a social movement, or sharing your music or other talents with the world.

Find something other than yourself to focus your thoughts and efforts on and you will be happier and more content.

You can learn more about how to find your Higher Purpose here.

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Exercise for a Higher Purpose to be more motivated

Happiness Hack #11 Higher Purpose as Motivation

Stick to a New Diet or Exercise Plan by Connecting it to Your Higher Purpose

 

Rather than exercising or dieting so you can look better, do it to help other people. Trying to look better is something we do for ourselves and it is not as motivational or inspiring as trying to do something for someone else. Connect your diet and exercise to a Higher Purpose and you will have more success.

Exercise and a healthy diet give us more energy, help us be more productive, and help us live longer.

 

We might exercise or eat a healthy diet so:

  1. We will be around long enough to help our children and grandchildren
  2. We can be around and healthy and when our friends need us
  3. Our friends and family won’t have take care us when we get ill from a life of unhealthy habits.
  4. We can bring more energy to work to help our peers and customers
  5. We can have more energy to help our favorite charity
  6. We can be more productive and advance our careers
  7. Insert your own Higher Purpose here.

How can you give to others by exercising and dieting? How can you be there for others by having more energy, being more productive and living longer?

 

Happiness Hack #1  – Find 3 Things to be Happy for Everyday

Happiness Hack #2  – End the Day on a Good Note

Happiness Hack #3 – Schedule 15 minutes every morning for prioritized “Me” time

Happiness Hack #4 – Practice Autonomy

Happiness Hack #5 Make Time To Exercise

Happiness Hack #6: Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 Keep a Happiness Jar

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Happiness Hack #9 Start Small

Happiness Hack #10 Cross it Off Everyday

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Make a difference #8

Happiness Hack #8 Finding Meaning

Go Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

‘‘Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.’’ Frankl

One of the most common terms used in people’s definitions of Happiness is meaning. We are all looking for meaning in our lives. One of the best ways to find meaning is to make a difference in someone else’s life. Our challenge is we often measure the amount of meaning in our lives by the number of people who tell us we are making a difference. Unfortunately, in people’s busy lives they often don’t take time or don’t know how to stop and let someone know they made a difference. So we don’t hear how important we are often enough and sometimes get discouraged.
Don’t wait to hear that you matter from someone else. Don’t measure you ability to make a difference by the number of people who find a way to share their feelings of gratitude. Instead, just start helping people. Find people to smile at or give a hand to. Help someone who seems down feel better. Donate your time to a charity. Help a friend with a move or navigating through an emotional challenge. Find ways every day to make a difference for someone else, and you will be happier and live a more meaningful life.

“As humans, we actually require a sense of meaning to thrive.” Diener

 

Happiness Hack #6 – Find Flow

Happiness Hack #7 – Keep a Happiness Jar

 

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

 

6 Things Dogs Can Teach Us About Happiness

Our dog’s name is Aria and she has a wonderful influence on the family.  She loves to play with the kids and is excited and happy whenever any of us walk in the door.  She adapts to each family member’s mood and has enough love to spread among everyone in the family with some left over for visitors.  As I learn and write about happiness, I noticed she already knows most of what I am learning and provides great examples for how to be happier.

 

  1. Gratitude comes natural to her.  She is grateful when we get home, grateful when we take her on a walk, grateful when she gets fed and really grateful when we throw a ball she can chase and bring back.
  2. Positive Relationships – she connects and gives unconditional love to anyone who is willing to spend a few minutes with her, as long as they pass the sniff test.  She notices people’s moods and adjusts her actions to fit their mood.  When we are excited to see her, she shares that excitement and when we are quiet and thoughtful she lies down and patiently waits. Her expectation is that she will love and be loved back, so she ignores any actions that don’t support that belief.
  3. Forgiveness – she never holds a grudge.  No matter how forgetful or thoughtless we are, she will immediately forgive us and be ready play and love and just hangout.
  4. Positive Attitude – She believes everything is going to turn out right and ignores any evidence to the contrary.  She never stops and worries, what if they don’t feed me.  She just keeps expecting that at some point she is going to be fed.  If someone in the family is in a bad mood, she waits patiently with the expectation they will eventually transition back to a good mood and she does everything she can to help them get there.
  5. Owns Her Happiness – If we are not around or are too busy to play, our dog will sit in the sun, chew on a bone, or chase squirrels as they jump from tree to tree.  She finds a way to be happy and enjoy herself no matter what the circumstances.
  6. Higher Purpose – she knows her purpose in life is to make us happy.  You can see in her eyes the joy she gets from making someone in the family smile. The happier we get, the happier she gets.  She is never angry or upset.  She stays focused on her purpose; making us happy and being happy with us.

 

So, if you need a quick reminder about how to be happy, talk to your dog.  Her response will be happiness itself.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz

What have you learned from your dog about happiness?

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

3 Steps to Making Your Life Matter

Have you ever felt there was something more to life?  That what you have should be enough, but there is still a restlessness you just can’t explain?  Have you ever felt like what you did just didn’t seem to matter and wasn’t as important as what everyone else was doing? Have you felt like no matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t make a difference? Does it ever seem like you are constantly banging your head against wall and nothing important ever changes?

These feelings are all natural and common.  As part of our culture, we learn to chase success as an end result rather than a daily habit. Success is a concept far into the future.  A place we will eventually arrive.  We are led to believe that when we reach the destination of success, we will also become happy. In order to reach this distant port of success and happiness, we have to work hard and sacrifice today’s happiness.  Or we hear that spending time being happy is frivolous and will prevent us from reaching success.

Happiness and success are connected. They are intertwined in our actions, but they are not a pinnacle we reach, they are daily habits and practices. They are small things we choose to do every day, that eventually lead to milestones of success along a journey that lasts our entire life. The antidote to the feelings described above is to choose positive actions every day that will help us feel contented and fulfilled, that will help us feel like we matter and can make a difference, and that will help us feel hopeful and excited to get up every morning.

 

  1. Find your Higher Purpose – How can you help others?  How can you make a difference in someone else’s life?  What are you really passionate about?  What are you really good at and how can you use that strength to help someone else?
  2. Define Success – what is success for you?  What have you accomplished so far that meets that definition?  What are you doing everyday to reach your definition of success?  Take a moment to appreciate what you have accomplished, no matter how small.
  3. Choose Happiness – You can choose to be happy.  You can choose to find and appreciate what is good in your life or you can choose to be angry and upset about what is bad in your life.   What do you have that you can be grateful for?  What positive things are going on in your life?  Make time to be happy.  Fight the urge to ruminate on everything that doesn’t go the way you want it to.  Don’t just talk about being happy.  Take action!  Choose to be happy and take actions everyday that lead toward happiness.

 

You matter.  Your life matters.  You can make a difference.   Gain clarity on how, by finding your Higher Purpose, defining success and choosing happiness.

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

How to get Happy – 4 Concepts connected to Leadership and Success

Over the years I have had the opportunity to study leadership and success.   I am struck by the connections between each area and how those connections are similar for happiness as well.

 

Your first test on happiness:

  1. Do you want to:
    1. Receive happiness like winning the lottery or receiving a gift?
    2. Experience happiness as a state of mind?

If you choose A, then you may be waiting for a while, possibly forever.  However, if you choose B, then we, the team at Pursuit-of-Happiness.org, have a lot to share that may be helpful.

 

Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book The How of Happiness, explained that happiness is created through our daily intentional activities.  This is consistent with Leadership and Success as well.   Happiness is within our ability to control with what we do in our daily lives and how we think.

 

Here are 4 concepts that will provide a framework for exploring happiness.

The first concept is understanding the difference between Pleasure and Happiness.   Are you chasing immediate pleasures like sex, decadent foods, couch time, and video time, or are you nurturing relationships, maintaining your health through diet and exercise,  finding ways to improve yourself, and being thankful for what is working in your life.  The pursuit of pleasure involves feeling good in the short-term at the possible risk of negative long-term outcomes; the pursuit of happiness consists of intentional activities and habits that promote long term health and well-being.

 

 

The second concept is taking control of your life.   George Bernard Shaw although a little gruff, was headed in the right direction when he explained pursuing happiness as, “…being a force of Nature instead of a feverish little selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. “  Do you own your decisions and the consequences of those decisions?  Are you deciding every day to invest in the habits and activities that will lead to happiness or are you waiting and hoping that happiness will find you?

 

The third concept is cultivating close positive relationships.  Do you have a few close friends you can talk to and share tell about your failures and successes? People who know and appreciate the real you, the good and the bad?  Are you caring and sharing in the community? Is there a person, group, or cause that you care for and give to?  The acts of sharing our true selves with others and caring for others are the most important things we can do to generate happiness and contentment in our lives.

 

The fourth concept is finding and expressing purpose and meaning.  The full George Bernard Shaw quote is:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish little selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

 

Do you have something bigger than yourself to focus on?  Is there something bigger that you believe in or something that you know you were meant to do?  For many people this can be expressed in their religion or other spiritual pursuits.  Others may focus on their children or their meaningful contributions.

 

In summary, if you are choosing to pursue happiness:

  1. Understand the difference between Pleasure and Happiness
  2. Take control of your life and your happiness.
  3. Develop close positive relationships and care for others.
  4. Find and express purpose and meaning in your life.

 

As described above for happiness, leadership and success require a long term perspective, action and ownership, strong relationships, and a sense of purpose.

 

Also like Leadership and Success, happiness is not a possession that can be acquired.   It is a state of mind resulting from the cultivation of intentional daily habits.    It has to be pursued, explored, and experienced on an on-going basis.   Find out more about how to cultivate Happiness Habits at Pursuit-of-Happiness.org.

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