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12 Habits of People Who Create Their Own Happiness

I love my life

Carpe Diem means seize the day in Latin. Today is unique and you may never get another one. Enjoy it while it lasts. Happiness has to be seized as well. Happiness doesn’t happen to you, it happens because of you. Other people can’t make you happy. You have to find and seize your own happiness. You have to seize it every day of your life.

Here are 12 steps to seizing your happiness everyday:

1. Choose To Be Happy

Happiness is a choice. It doesn’t happen by accident. You decide every day whether you are going to be happy. Nothing outside of yourself can change that unless you choose for it to. Be positive about yourself and your life. Don’t let issues or problems alter your happiness for that day. Treat everyday as a gift that you may not get tomorrow and make the most of it. Make everyday the best day of your life. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

2. Stop Worrying

If you have the resources to fix something, then fix it, otherwise stop worrying about it. Worrying never solved anything. All it does is inhibit your happiness. So do what you can when you can for who you can and let the rest take care of itself. Mark Twain said it best, “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”

3. Change Negative Thinking

We are our own worst critics sometimes. When our inner critic raises his head, push it back down and tell it to shut up and sit down. Beating yourself up does not solve the issues or complexities in your life, nor do they contribute to the solution. If anything, those negative thoughts hold you back and keep you from your happiness.

4. Forgive and Forget

Holding onto a grudge does nothing to fix a bad situation and only reminds you of the hurt. Holding onto a grudge just hurts you over and over again without actually changing the person who hurt you. Let it go and move on with your life. Stop dwelling on those old hurts and let them heal with time. Forgiveness is a sweet gift of freedom for yourself, and not necessarily for the other person.

5. Be Grateful

No matter how little you have or how much you think your life sucks right now, there are always things to be grateful for. Find those things and embrace them like your life depended on it. Recognizing things in your life that are good, beneficial or that make you happy and accepting them will raise your happiness level. When you are grateful, you do not dwell on that which you lack but on that which you have in abundance.

6. Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Money can buy you pleasures but not happiness. Pleasure is temporary and does not fill that hole inside. No amount of money can replace true happiness and contentment. Chasing money is an endless race with no finish line. Focus less on what you can’t have and more on what you do have.

7. Build Friendships

Friendships are the bedrock of real happiness. They will lift you up when you can’t get up yourself. Together you all can achieve what none of you can achieve alone. Build on existing friendships and cultivate new ones. Find friends you can talk to and do things with. A single stick can be broken but a bundle of them cannot. Find strength and resilience together and you can never be broken.

8. Take Part in Meaningful Activities

Stop being a couch zombie and go do something worthwhile with your time. If it was your last day on Earth, would you really want to catch up on a television show? Go do something new, go find your own adventure. Go venture into nature and enjoy the beauty of this life.

9. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Social media only shows you the highly cherry-picked aspects of someone’s life. You never really get to see the nitty gritty of the daily grind. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s highlight reel. Go out there and make a highlight reel of your own. Go do things that make you feel happy not what you think other people will think is awesome.

10. Be Kind To Others

Be kind to others and they will be kind to you. Bring happiness to someone who needs it and you will find yourself sharing in their happiness. Happiness is contagious and you could be a carrier if you really wanted to be. So go spread some love. There is a rewarding feeling of gratitude when you do things for someone who doesn’t expect them.

11. Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures

Find enjoyment in the simple things – a great sandwich, a beautiful sunset, a rainy day or a cold beer on a hot day. Take nothing for granted. Hot showers, a warm bed and a roof over your head are indescribable pleasures after you have been deprived of them for a while. Memories cannot be stolen; you will always have them with you, so go make some good memories to carry you through the rough times.

12. Create and Achieve Goals for Yourself

Set small achievable goals for yourself. Give yourself something to strive for, to get out of bed for or to simply make a boring chore a challenge. Achieving goals and accomplishing things make you happy. You have not wasted a day; you have achieved something that was undone before you did it. You made something happen. Every day, find something that makes you happy and make it happen.

(C)Power of Positivity, LLC. All rights reserved

How to Create a Happy Family submitted by Rossy Mercedes

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Article I.               :Kids who have dinner with their families do better across every conceivable matrix. They are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant or commit suicide.

Article II.        Share the Family History. Children who know  the stories of those who came before them have higher self-esteem and a sense of control over their family functions

Article III.               REDUCE  STRESS:  Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-founder of  Families and Work Institute asked children if they were granted one wish about your parents what would it be. Most parents predicted that their kids would say they wanted to spend more time with them. They were wrong. The kids #1 wish was that their parents be less tires and less stressed.

Article IV.             Having a Sense of Community. Are Religious families happier? According to Robert Putnam, author of “Our Kids -The american Dream in Crisis” It doesn’t matter what there religious affiliation it’s the friends that that religious community provides that gives you the sense of community . So it doesn’t matter what religion you practice , or how close you feel to God, it makes no difference in your overall life satisfaction. What does make a difference is the number of friends you have in said community. 10 being the magic number in this case. If you have that many friends you will be happier because you feel connected to a community.

ARTICLE V. Empowering our Kids,

Scientists at the University of California found that kids who were allowed to plan their own time, set weekly goals, and evaluate their own work build up their pre-frontal cortex and other parts of the brain that help them exert greater cognitive control over their lives. And lastly Grandmoms have super powers. Countless of studies have shown the extraordinary benefits of having her around. Mothers who have more support have less stress and more well adjusted children.

 

Lessons of Time and Choice

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losing track of timeAt this point in my life I truly realize that every day is a learning opportunity.  Sometimes I wish the lessons didn’t take so long to get here.

Yesterday I went to the wake of a dear friend’s mom.  We hadn’t physically seen each other in over 20 years.  I think the last time was at our 10 year high school reunion.  We had been the best of friends all through high school, and, if I remember correctly, junior high, too.  We had participated in countless sleepovers and events – and then she moved away to go to college and we lost touch.  Our only connection for these past years has been the holiday cards sent to each other.

Seeing her yesterday at the wake for those few moments made me truly wonder.  Of course, firstly, I wonder where in the world had the time gone???  How could it have been possible that so many years have passed?  Time does go by so fast, and of course every day is filled with priorities.  But, every day we are lucky to have we are also lucky enough to have a new opportunity.

The swift passing of time is not an unfamiliar realization.  I’ve certainly heard people express this same sentiment before.  It is so easy to lose track of time.  Personally, my days are filled to the brim with things that I “have” to do.  In my personal experience, one day just rolls into the next.  The week is gone, the month is gone, the year is gone… you get the idea.

I woke this morning thinking about this and asking myself how she and I could have lost touch and how we allowed so many years to pass in this manner.

So, there it is… the lessons of time and choice. 

With this being said, I think about the saying, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  In my book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I wrote how I marvel how someone, somewhere had said all these amazing quotes and sayings that have been passed down through the years.  They had “been there and done that”, and gave us all these secrets to have a better life.  There is so much wisdom from the past if we pay attention.

“Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”:  What is something you have wanted to do and/or a person you have wanted to call?

Perhaps today is someday.

I’ve definitely been crossing things off my “bucket list” of things I want to do; but, what about all of those other things that I should do?  We will make time in our busy lives if we really want to make the time.

Truly the days go by so fast.  Don’t let another pass you by without touching someone you “should” call.

If you “should” do it, you probably should actually make it happen.  I know I “should” have.

What do you CHOOSE to do today?  How can you make those things a priority?  And, if your day, like mine, is filled with the what I “have” to do’s, it may be time to reevaluate the “have to” and figure out how to create a schedule that suits life and love and freedom to do those things that we “should” do.

I certainly plan to reevaluate things a little.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play!

Love,

Doreen

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see https://timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Get Happy

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get happyI saw this on Facebook the other day. It is a quick visual that really puts things into perspective, and maybe will encourage a positive action to change our lives.

So many times, I believe, we get “stuck” doing the same old thing. Sometimes whatever it is we are doing in our day becomes drudgery, where we are dreading getting up to go to, or to do, whatever it may be. But, yet, out of habit or obligation we just keep doing or going.

My son is a prime example. He had a job he hated. It pretty much sucked the life-blood out of him, but he went. He dreaded going there, hated being there, and felt devalued as a person after he left. It made for an incredibly unhappy existence, as his whole world pretty much revolved around the distress of his job. To add to the despair, the salary he received was meager, and it was difficult for him to pay his bills. He stayed on with this for over a year, feeling like he was trapped and had no other choices.

And complaining.  He did a lot of complaining.

But, no matter what we told him, or how we encouraged him, or with any suggestions we gave to him, HE decided he was trapped and had no other choices.

One day he happened to go to a place that was hiring. Coincidence or not, he was able to change jobs and his whole demeanor shifted to enable him to better enjoy life. He was no longer a “prisoner” in a situation he facilitated, but had experienced a year of his life unhappy, frustrated and stressed out.

Is this something that you find yourself experiencing?

I have learned through working on the Time to Play project that our emotions are a guide. If we feel upset, uptight, frustrated, unhappy (you get the idea) in a situation or while doing or participating in something, that might just be a trigger that you need to change something.

Even though, as you read this, you might be thinking that it sounds easy but that is not possible to change your situation, you might be able to, at least, begin with a small change that can lead up to a larger change towards your better quality of life.

If nothing else, the exercise on the graphic is pretty easy.

Get out that piece of paper. Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. To “adjust accordingly”, make another column with options to begin the process to make the change towards those things. Pick something that is possible for you to begin with to make your change happen.

Just keep in mind that a list is just a list unless you actually cross something off.

Then it is a reality.

Life is short.

Maybe you can take out that piece of paper and make that list today…

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see https://timetoplay.com/ for more information.

CHOICE

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choices in life

This week’s article is a general discussion on choice and some things I’ve become more aware of as I’m learning. 

For those who don’t know the story about how Time to Play (www.TimetoPlay.com) started, about 4 years ago I realized I had an amazing life, but that I wasn’t “enjoying” life – I was just going through the motions of getting up, going to work, taking care of what I could fit into a 24 hour day and repeating the same thing the next day.  Then, as now, I have had a WONDERFUL family, kids, husband (together 31 years) and a great job.  I can’t say I have had a bad living experience in any way, but just felt like I wasn’t noticing the “right stuff” as I went along, that the days just flew by, and that I felt like I was missing something. 

Time to Play was founded when I decided to start re-learning how to enjoy my life.  I came up with the Time to Play Philosophy – you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  I’m not going to go into the specifics of why I chose each area in this article; perhaps I’ll do that for next week’s article.  But, the underlying thought here is that I believe we need to learn what we need to know to enjoy life and the goal of Time to Play.  To provide different resources for different people, as I know that everyone’s circumstance is different, and that different people have different needs.  But, each of us REALIZING something needs to be learned or that something needs to change is the most important thought here.  We can only ignore things for so long.  They will always resurface.

The following are the two most important things I have learned, so far, that have made a HUGE difference in how I feel and my general happiness.

The first was learning that I was never in the “NOW”, meaning I was always looking towards tomorrow, not really taking notice what was happening in front of my face.  I realized I did not always take notice and enjoy my present experience; I was always thinking of my “to do” list, what was next, and where I had to be.  I’m sure many of you can relate, and I believe we’re really conditioned for future-thinking in today’s society.  For goodness sakes, there are now Christmas trees for sale in stores in what – September?  It’s no wonder why we’re always thinking about the next thing.

The other thing I have learned, and that’s what today’s article is about, is that I have a CHOICE of how I am able to feel at any given moment.  This was a HUGE revelation and something everyone is capable of realizing.  The most important thing I learned is that it is my choice to remain in a situation.  Whatever I was experiencing at that time could enable me to feel GOOD or BAD.  I have learned that we do NOT have to stay in a situation, whatever it is, if it makes us feel bad. 

I need to digress a moment.  I recently read a book by Florence Schovel Shinn called The Game of Life and How to Play It.  This book was written in the 1920s.  In our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I discussed how history repeats itself if we let it.  Since starting Time to Play I’ve become educated through the experiences and teachings of authors including Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peal, Dale Carnegie, etc., who wrote books in the 1950s.  Through these and my recent read by Ms. Shinn, I continue to marvel at the wisdom of learning from people who have been here before us.  That’s pretty much the basis of our book, as well — “Don’t do what we did – pick yourself up and dust yourself off – we made it, you can too — move forward… “, important lessons we can glean from others every day.  I believe that everyone has something to offer that can help another.

O.K., back to our discussion – Ms. Shinn’s book, another I just finished reading, “Ask and It is Given”, by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and awareness and teachings by our own Rebecca L. Norrington, Happiness professional on www.TimetoPlay.com, it is emphasized that we are in control of our situations; that we have the option to feel good or bad.  There’s really no other choice.  Think about it.  If you are depressed you feel bad.  If you are lonely you feel bad.  If you are sick you feel bad.  If you are frustrated you feel bad.  If you are calm you feel good.  If you are happy you feel good.  If you feel love, you feel good.  What would you prefer? 

OK, so I hear you asking, “How is this MY choice?  I can’t control the circumstances of every day that I am involved in”.  I believe, at this point in my learning, that we may not think we have control over our day and our situations, but I truly believe we do…  In line with this, I also now believe we have control over our REACTIONS to ANY occurrence we become faced with.

Stay with me here, and you’ll see why I’m introducing this exercise.  We always say “life is short”, but I, for one, had a hard time trying to grasp that concept.  Time is, kind of, not tangible.  Each day that passes is a day, but what exactly is a day?  I had come up with an idea a few weeks ago that helped me make this tangible.  Take a dollar out of your pocket.  DO IT – I’m watching you (only kidding).  Now, look at the dollar.  Think about paying for this very second of your life with that dollar.  Now let’s go a little broader.  Think of this day which contains 24 hours.  There are 86,400 seconds in 24 hours.  Now, think of paying $86,400 for living this very day.  Did you enjoy spending your “money”?  I realize that life is more precious than that one dollar; even $86,400.  You can’t get back your seconds.  There are no refunds.  I will go a little further and introduce the idea that every day we wake into a situation that is negative to how we want to feel (if we choose that we want to feel good), we are wasting “money”.  Perhaps that will make the concept that “life is short” more tangible for you… it has for me.

Take a quick inventory of your life… your living situation, the things you complain about, your weight, your job… everything.  What makes you feel good?  What makes you feel frustrated or bad?  What do you complain about?  What are your “problems”?

We can complain, blame, or accept responsibility to change.  Unless you are 100% happy with the way things are, the awareness that we have a choice is the key and the first step towards daily and constant happiness.  Studying quality improvement for many years in my healthcare career, I believe there is always room for improvement in ANY situation.

As of this day, I am far from perfect.  My goal is to realize when I start to feel contrary to how I want to feel and to be able to alter my reaction or the situation I am in.  Funny as it is, this awareness has become transient.  My family now helps me “catch” myself when my reaction is not in line with my goals.  My determination to be happy has provided them with more awareness about their own day, as well.

All I want, and strive for, is to have a nice day.  We all deserve the same.  We all deserve the opportunity to enjoy life.

Love, Doreen

PS:  This is the topic of discuss on our Empower Half Hour Podcast, live on Wednesday, July 16 9:30 am EST or recorded and archived – link / listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/timetoplay/2014/07/16/choice-empower-half-hour-sponsored-by-timetoplaycom 

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC:  Is the author of If I Knew then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life (www.ifiknewthenbook.com). Doreen holds a Bachelor of Science in Management, a Masters in Business and Policy Studies, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Professional Coach, a Certified Life Coach, and a New York State Department of Health Lifestyle Coach.

Doreen is the founder of Time to Play, a place to find resources for a better life.  She came up with the Time to Play Philosophy that you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance to have quality of life, and believes everyone has the right and the ability to enjoy life.

Contact her by calling 631-331-2675 or email doreen@timetoplay.com.

GOT PLANS?

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Hourglass

An_Hourglass____by_MPtribe 

Every day I’m reminded how short life is and how we have to take advantage of every moment we have.  This article is not intended to be morbid in any way, but, perhaps, a “wake up” call. 

I know the concept of life is short is a hard one to grasp.  I know, for myself, that we believe we are immortal, that we have endless time and endless possibilities.  But, alas, that is not fact.  There is inevitability in every person, animal, plant, and thing on this Earth.  Everything has a life cycle.  Sure, we may know the average life cycles for each species, but there are no guarantees for anything that exists. 

“Wow, Doreen… what a way to ruin a party!”  I hope you will continue reading, as I can hear you thinking this right about now.  But, let’s put things into perspective.

Over these last few weeks I have had so many “messages” and realized I needed to pay more attention to the day-to-day and make sure that what I am doing is not wasting my own precious time.  One lovely friend had a fire at her business that caused significant changes to her long term plans.  One gentleman I know lost his job of 9 years.  Another wonderful person I know suddenly experienced a life-altering illness.  These are examples of life events that we have no control over but tremendously change our plans from what we expect to “do tomorrow”.  In an unexpected, life-altering situation we have two choices.  We can either allow the event to cause a downward spiral and spark self-destructive behavior, or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and adopt a mindset that the event that occurred was a blessing in disguise. 

What would / do you do?  Would you become stagnant and wallow in despair, or would you create a plan and evaluate options for what you can do to move forward? 

Neither choice is easy.  Events that are not planned are extremely stressful for everyone involved, and many times our decisions on what to do involve many others including our family.  I, for one, know firsthand what it is like to lose a job at a most inopportune time.  I acknowledge that a first impulse may be to scramble in a “survival of the fittest” response.  However, after many years, and a ton of self-help books and research, I realize that if you look at an occurrence as an opportunity to move forward and make your life even better, you have an opportunity to get further, faster.  Most things that happen that we consider a “negative” occurrence can be turned around if we take a moment to stop and reevaluate things.

OK… now for an even more serious discussion.  In the past few weeks I have been informed of three deaths of people who I knew and one I did not know.  One lovely woman was preparing to retire and travel.  She was 61.  One was a person we worked with for a short period of time; he was in his late 40’s.  One was a volunteer firefighter in his early 30’s, and one was a friend’s childhood friend in his 40’s, as well.  With today’s average life expectancy, we could say that these people passed way too early; however, as we know, death does not discriminate. You can be one hour old, one day old, or 100+ years old.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), none of us is stamped with an expiration date. 

Why am I discussing this?  It is my intention to create a spark in each of us.  What are you doing in your life right now that does not make you happy?  What do you dread doing?  What can you do to make a change?

By now I hope you got what I’m trying to convey – the discussion that life is short.  But, just in case, I’ve taken the liberty to go a little further in my explanation.

I came up with an analogy knowing that, sometimes, people understand things that are more visual.  Take a $1 bill out of your pocket or wallet.  I know you feel silly, but please do it….

Most of us value every dollar we have and the possibilities of what we can use that money for, don’t we?  In this example, the $1 you are holding will signify this very second of your life.  To further explain, for our purposes, you just (symbolically) paid $1 for this very second and for each and every second thereafter as long as you are alive.  Oh, one more thing… there is NO return policy.  You can’t get a refund or a do-over.

Take another look at the dollar.  Was it worth it?  Did you find value?  Did you CHOOSE to be doing what you want to be doing in that 1 second time period?  Of course, in this case, you found great worth because you are reading this eloquently written, amazingly informative article! 

Seriously, though, I want you to take a few moments to reflect on your days, in general. 

Look at that $1 bill.  Are your precious seconds worth what you are paying for them… every second of your day? 

Let’s still go a little further.  If you are pleased with the majority of your day, then that is excellent.  Keep on spending those dollars the way you are.  However, if you find you are spending them being sad or being angry, or if you spend them in a job you hate, or if you spend them in a relationship that is abusive or not progressing, I want you to ask yourself if you are spending your dollars (seconds of life) the way you should.  Are you spending your dollar being fearful, resentful, or unforgiving?  Are you healthy and able to physically do all you would like to?  Or, even further… perhaps you are experiencing depression or using alcohol or substances to dull your pain.  In some of these instances it may be necessary, if you have not yet done so, to look into counseling to help you alleviate your negative feelings.  Perhaps you can begin to make a change towards moving forward. 

Life is short. How do you want to spend your dollar?

A quick disclaimer:  I am a very practical person.  I know we may set ourselves up for disappointment if we believe EVERY second is going to make us overwhelmingly happy.  We are emotional beings and I don’t want to apply extra pressure to any one of us.  However, I do request that you consider the example as a motivation to evaluate your life and determine if a change is necessary so you can create the best life possible. 

Got Plans?  We all do.  But we need to also determine what will make our current situation and current day the best that it can be.  Maybe it’s time to ask yourself:  Isn’t it time to enjoy YOUR life?  Isn’t it “Time to Play”?

 

JOIN US!  Did you know we do a weekly FREE podcast called Empower Half Hour?  Click here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/timetoplay for further information and our weekly schedule.  It is recorded live on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 10 am EST (and available to listen any time after if you can’t join in at that time of the day).  As of 3/31/2014 we will be moving the podcast to 5 pm on Mondays with a one hour group life coaching session afterward (you can also participate via telephone or skype).  See www.clubtimetoplay.com for more information about the group coaching sessions or contact me at 631-331-2675 or email me at doreen@timetoplay.com for more information. 

P.S.:  A cheap “plug”:  Our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life”, is full of powerful stories of obstacles and life situations we have experienced but have overcome.  The book is intended to help a reader learn from our experiences.  More information and reviews:  www.IfIKnewThenBook.com

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