Monthly Archives: February 2019

How Happy Do You Feel Regularly?

“You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.”  Bette Davis

We are told over & over that happiness is an inside job but a good percentage of us look for outside feed-back or inspiration to ‘up’ the vibration or energy of who we are. Recently I read an article written about a year ago which states, “True happiness isn’t about being happy all the time.” Lowri Dowthwaite wrote, “Martin Seligman is considered the founding father of positive psychology. He describes happiness as experiencing frequent positive emotions such as joy, excitement and contentment, combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose. Studies have shown that the way we respond to the circumstances of our lives, has more influence on our happiness than the events themselves.

Apparently there are 2 pathways to happiness. The Hedonistic view that in order to live a happy life we must maximise pleasure and avoid pain. If we see happiness from this point of view, then we have to continue to seek out new experiences and pleasures in order to continue to ‘up’ our happiness. The other path says we should live authentically and for the greater good. We should pursue meaning and potential through kindness, justice, honesty and courage. This may involve unpleasant experiences and emotions at times, but often leads to deeper levels of joy and contentment. So leading a happy life is not about avoiding hard times; it is about being able to respond to adversity in a way that allows you to grow from the experience. Tolerating distress can make us more resilient and leads us to take action in our lives, such as changing jobs or overcoming hardship.

Unlike feeling happy, which is a transient state, leading a happier life is about individual growth through finding meaning. It is about accepting our humanity with all its ups and downs, enjoying the positive emotions, and harnessing painful feelings in order to reach our full potential.

Enjoy finding happiness in your adverse experiences by changing your expectations!

Are You a Hard Boiled Egg?

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold; but so does a hard-boiled egg.” Author unknown

This quote sounded quite clever when I first read it and it’s true we do have to follow through on our intentions but those actions may not be thought through or may be conditioned behaviours that we have done all our lives if our intentions are not ‘pure.’ By this I mean we have planned or designed our intentions so that we have our desires accomplished without trampling over the feelings and desires of others. Have you had those times when you have had a thought of doing something that will be a nice gesture to someone else, but life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen? Or maybe you voice your intentions, you get talked out of it, and then later when it is too late you have regrets? My mother used to have a saying, “The way to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

I understand this Hell, in this case, is the regrets, the negative feelings and comments that you may make to yourself as your inner critic has a field day. So be careful when you have intentions that you are able to take action. These are the times when we do have to listen to that heart of gold, but just be careful that you don’t allow yourself to get swallowed up by the boundaries of other people who take that soft spot (I like even my hard boiled eggs with a softer yolk) for granted. You may have been brought up to believe that service is the only way, but just take care that you don’t lose your sense of self in the process.

Enjoy following through on your intentions!