5 Lessons for a Happy Life

A guest post by Shilpan Patel, from success soul

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
– Chinese Proverb

While driving on the highway, I stumbled upon a billboard that read, “Be happy now”. I, for a moment, felt jolt of happiness in my body. It was inexplicable but the feeling was real.
I pondered along the way about happiness and its sources. Where it comes from? I started feeling nostalgic. My mind started wandering into the past in an intense search for the traces of happiness. It was exhilarating thought to find the roots of happiness that lie nowhere but in my own thoughts and the ability to react to different circumstances.
I have a habit of writing a journal. The journal tracks my life. It tracks my setbacks, it tracks my success and it certainly tracks my happy days. I went through the journal to capture the lessons of happiness that I can share with you.

Lesson # 1: Make someone happy:
A successful surgeon practices surgery daily; a successful lawyer practices law daily. To become happy, you need to make someone happy. Engage in random acts of kindness. Try to serve others with your time and money. Making someone happy makes you selfless. I have always felt happy when I do not expect any return for the service I rendered. It always makes my day fulfilling.

Lesson # 2: Become debt free:
Debt is an imprisonment to our happiness. It shackles our ability to think and pursue true happiness. Imagine if you are living by paycheck to paycheck, it is hard to have anytime for things that bring happiness when you have to work to make money to pay debt without any relief. You can cut out fat from your spending to work towards paying off your debt. If you start living life of simplicity, you will accentuate your freedom from the debt-ridden life.

Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.
– Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) American writer.

Lesson # 3: Choose to be positive:
Our ability to choose our thoughts allows us to think positively. If we learn how to replace self-limiting thoughts with affirmations, we develop habit of positive thinking. For instance, replace self-limiting thought of – “I do not have enough time to enjoy time with my family.” with “I have plenty of time to spend time with my family”.

Lesson # 4: Be transparent:
I constantly remind myself that to earn trust from friends and family, I have to remain transparent about my actions. I have to show honesty and sincerity in the pursuit of happiness to get support from my alter ego. I have to show her that I’m committed to her pursuit of happiness as much as I’m to mine. Develop transparency with the attitude of showing all your cards to others involved in your life. They will in turn show you their cards; together everyone wins.

Lesson # 5: Live a simple life:
The modern day life is an entangled web of complexity. We live with cell phones, laptops, and pagers. These devices are convenient and they definitely add flexibility to work anywhere in the world. However, we pay steep price for these conveniences. We clutter our minds with information overload. We tend to ignore our inner voice of simplicity to feel true happiness. We tend to ignore the pristine value of our time with family; we definitely ignore the pearls of joy in sharing our laughter with our children. I’m not advocating that we give up on our pursuit of the burning desire, I’m suggesting that we shall always be mindful about de-cluttering our physical as well as mental space to live for a happy, fulfilling life.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
– Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism.

Photo Courtesy of Smugmug

5 Healthy habbits when studying

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control

~Pink Floyd – Another brick in the Wall~

These days I am kinda busy – you know, exams are close. I think everybody felt at least once that there are too many things to do and the time just isn’t enough, so one post about time management and good practices when studying should be useful.

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Create a good environment! If you can go to library and stay there it is very good – there you have the motivation and the atmosphere that helps you concentrate better. Of course, there are cases when you can’t use that space – for example if you have something to talk you can’t do it there. Your room can be a good solution too, but here you have more temptations Continue reading

The best decision for both – choosing the perfect dog for you

Oh lord it’s a dogs life
Oh lord it’s a dogs life dogs life
I’m feeling Kinda Irie
It’s bubbling inside me
Straight up it’s a dogs life
~Kottonmouth kings~

Dogs seem to be the perfect animals for every family so maybe it’s time to bring one to your home too! By simply following a few pieces of advice you will get a perfect companion for you and the ones you love.

  • Talk to a veterinarian
  • A specialist can give you the best information you need about certain breeds and can help you make the best choice without being subjective as dog breeders can prove to be. You can also find out about what diseases the breed is most likely to have, and how to prevent and protect against them.

  • Ponder family’s daily routine.
  • Are you or is someone else home frequently enough to feed, walk and take care of the pet? That’s not even half of it – a dog needs to feel loved and wanted, and they’re really dependent on their feelings. Also, think if the animal has enough place to run, and do all those things that if absent, make the dog unhappy.

  • Think about your family, and talk to them!
  • If there are small children in your home, choose a breed that is known to be fond of children preferably not a very large one. Check for allergies, aggressivity, among others. Also, a surprise puppy can be just fantastic, the best present in the world! But if somebody is allergic, or doesn’t like puppies… wouldn’t be that much of a surprise Continue reading

    Different degrees of honesty and one exemple for each

    And the reason for my confession is that I learn my lesson
    And I really think you ought to know the truth
    Because I lied and I cheated and I lied a little more
    But after I did it I don’t know what I did it for
    I admit that I have been a little immature

    ~Black Eyed Peas – Don’t lie~

    I try to be as sincere as I can and I strongly believe that sincerity is the key for solving most of humanity’s problems. If only Adam hadn’t lied to God … or for the ones less religious, if only politicians wouldn’t lie so much!

    VIA

    But there are too many complicated situations to tell only the truth. You have to be diplomat, not to hurt the people you love or to get that raise that will allow you to buy a new shiny car. So we arrive to dr. House’s “Everybody lies” (you really should watch that show). Yes, but what’s the measure? When to tell the truth and when it’s safe to tell a lie? Another of my strong beliefs is that equilibrium brings us one step closer to happiness. In this case, it’s all about balance between truth and lie.

    But you can’t say there’s only truth; there are big lies, lies, little lies, joking, truth, the big truth. Continue reading

    How to spend less on food when traveling

    I need another point of view
    Someplace I’ve never seen
    Keepin’ my eyes wide open
    Goin’ where I’ve never been
    So take me to the highway
    Take me far from here.
    ~Doobie brothers~

    Most travelers discover that the money they give on food may be a lot more than they would have expected. However, these expenses can be easily reduced with a little experience and by following some simple steps.
    1. Get to know your destination very well before actually taking a decision. Only in very expensive regions it worth taking food from home.
    2. Bring nutritive drinks and multivitamins with you as a supplement for a poor diet. They will help you a lot, don’t take very much space and will give you more energy.
    3. Bring your favorite condiments to add them on the food you buy from a store in order to make it tastier and to feel more like home. Continue reading

    8 DONT’s at a business party

    Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    I feel nice, like sugar and spice
    So nice, so nice, I got you
    ~James Brown~

    A party at your working place might very well turn out to be really boring. However, it can also be a very good opportunity to have fun or it can be very useful – creating new relationships with coworkers is almost always a good thing. Still, be careful about having TOO much fun; you don’t want to be that drunk guy dancing on the table, nor the girl stripping by the boss! If you’re not sure what to do in order to avoid embarrassing situations, these following tips are definitely a good start:

    1. Don’t drink too much!

    Photo by steele_chas

    Alcohol will make you lose your inhibitions and will change your behavior. Even if you think it can’t affect you a glass of wine or a cocktail should be enough. Remember, perception is everything so you should not create a bad impression about yourself!

    2. Be careful about interactions!

    Even if a party might show you another side of your colleagues, try to ignore the new feelings as they can lead to disaster! Also try not to act provocative in order to be respected. If you’re in a … really good relationship with a coworker of the opposite sex, displaying yourself at your workplace is not something you’d want to do, especially at a party.

    3. Don’t wear provocative clothes!

    If you would not wear something on another occasion then don’t wear it now. Be elegant and try to attract attention only by your style and not by bad taste. Also, especially for women, provocative clothes at business parties always create an unwanted image for you. Continue reading

    What should I do to succeed, part 1: fixing goals

    Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want

    ~Spice Girls – Wannabe ~

    Apart from tones of hours of work and a little bit of luck, one important ingredient in the success’ recipe is organization – fix your objectives, divide your project on steps and work hard. I’m the adept of planing stuff – how to spend my money, what to visit in holiday, how to get the job I want? I admit, I prefer to organize the most pleasant activities (but I’m working at that) and I’m working in the last minute for the assignments I don’t like, but if I want to change that I strongly believe that only a good schedule can save me.

    credits photo

    But what’s a good schedule, what are its characteristics? Many projects, interesting in idea, fail in the end because of the organization. Maybe you think that an enterprise’s strategy is completely different from the home management, but both are governed by the same rules – only the context is different.

    And so I arrive at the first point in setting goals – evaluate your situation. In order to obtain something in future it’s very important to know exactly your position. What are your advantages and what are your disadvantages? What can you use? There are people you can count on? What kind of resources you have and how many? Be honest when you answer at all these questions, if you don’t evaluate right the context you have less chances in achieving your goals. This and knowing as accurate as you can what do you want are the main two qualities of purposes.

    Credits photo

    So the next step after you know your situation is to question yourself about what do you really want? What’s really important for you and what you can give up to? Set your priorities! The science of economy considers that the needs of humanity are unlimited whereas the resources are limited. You know your resources, how will you spend them? What are you willing to renounce to in order to get what you want? Don’t forget to answer sincere to not be disappointed afterwards. Here is good to fix some limits too. Don’t renounce at all your free time for your job, don’t sacrifice all your economies for a trip, even if it’s around the world, don’t forget about your friends for a girl/boy you’ve just met!

    Now you know what you want and what’s your situation. How should you get where you want? There is short term and long term and you have already an image of your long term. Divide your idea on steps. Fix an amount of time and money for each step. Leave yourself the possibility of error but try to do a realistic estimation. Work a lot if you want to make your dreams come true. Motivate yourself from once in a while – take short breaks (1-2 days) from your activity or relax a bit and admire your realizations. Your goals must be reachable. Everyone wants to fly but they don’t make a goal out of this simply because … it’s not possible. Concentrate on realistic purposes.

    Credits photo

    Another think I should talk about is the schedule’s trap – if it’s written down it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. You have set your goals and you can reset them. Leave some space for innovation and for improvisation. Enjoy the moment and … good luck in living your dreams!

    Stuck together- how to get along with your roomate

    So happy together
    How is the weather
    So happy together
    We’re happy together
    ~The Turtles~

    A roommate can be two things: your best friend or your worst enemy. When things go bad it’s quite easy to blame everything on him or her and their behavior. But could it be that simple?
    Following a few simple rules will ensure you a good relationship with the person you are living with even if you will not become best friends.
    1. Try to get in touch with your roommate before school begins even if you don’t know him or her and try to decide together what each of you should bring. It might be hard but try to adapt to your roommate’s wishes and decisions as much as you can.
    2. Remember the fact that appearance might deceive you so try not to jump to a decision as soon as you see him or her!
    3. Decide together about the way you would like your room to be like and try to reach an agreement about it which will be satisfying for both of you. Continue reading

    Taking chances vs not taking chances

    Photo by Giorgio Tomassetti

    He deals the cards to find the answer
    The sacred geometry of chance
    The hidden law of probable outcome
    The numbers lead a dance
    ~Sting – Shape of My Heart~

    Whether you believe in fate or that you totally make your life, you have to agree that what decisions you make decide who you are. It’s paradoxical in a way, but sometimes your decisions decide for you. There’s no magic recipe for making the right decisions or something like that; the huge (or not so huge) amount of things you have to take into consideration when making a decision has to be analyzed, and most of the time there’s no right decision, and usually two appear: one that’s more daring, and the other one that’s more conservative.

    Photo by Eduardo Cavasotti

    Making the right call every time is not possible; making the right call as most of the times as possible… that’s the point. Have you ever watched House MD ? If not, you really should. A significant part of the show is aimed at finding the right diagnosis of a certain patient, through more or less orthodox means. House (the main character) almost always takes chances; but the chances he takes are always (or almost always) less riskier than not taking a chance would be.

    House MD. Photo by mabe85

    These days you see a lot of people who haven’t become as good as they could have, simply because they were afraid to follow their dream. On the other hand, you see a lot of waitresses who wanted to be actresses. So where do you stand? Myself, I’m a believer in taking chances. But not crazy 1 in a million chances – I’m talking about calculated, logical risks where the positive outcome has realistic chances of happening. Taking a chance just for the sake of it… may make you feel good for a while, but it won’t last and the odds are you’ll regret it. If you really believe you can win based on logical arguments, then you should go for it. There are some things that could help you remove obstacles from achieving that:

  • Don’t think about what others think. It’s always good to listen to other opinions, but if they come from strangers you can’t trust them, and if they come from people you trust they’re biased, which makes them useless. So listen carefully whenever somebody tells you something that could influence your decision – rely on somebody other than yourself only when you’re 100% sure it’s the right thing to do.
  • Put the good and the bad in balance. Even when you’re sure you’re going to make the right call and things will come out your way, think about something to do even if it doesn’t go how you estimated.
  • Have a backup plan. This is extremely useful when you’re going to take risks. The more risks you fail, the more you will win; or lose. Or both ! When you lose, it’s better to have a backup plan so you can rebound and take a risk another day.
  • Nobody wants mediocrity; if you don’t live your life to the fullest, you’ve practically wasted it. So get your priorities straight and whatever it is you want to get… go get it! There’s no tomorrow, there’s no next time.
  • Photo by AksZindagi

    Still… the coin has two sides. For example, for every aspiring actor that actually got to the carreer he wanted, there’s 19 others that didn’t. Number don’t lie. Also, even when you’re sure you can achieve your goal, your senses could be deceived and the fall from a dream is really painful. Also, when in pursuit of a dream, breaking away from reality is quite possible, and it should be avoided… because most of the times it will only mean a harder fall.

    Whenever you choose to take or not to take a risk, you define yourself, because you’re not making a singulary decision, but you’re going towards the same decision you’re always going to make in this sort of situation.This depends on your personality and your case, but you shouldn’t be influenced by something else other than that. Again, a calculated risk is definitely the way to go, at least that’s how it seems for me. What about you?

    7 Simple Habits To Decluttering Your Life

    Clutter
    Photo by the other Martin Taylor

    Say what u will
    Say what u mean
    No, you could never offend
    Your dirty words come out clean

    ~Incubus~

    Simplicity is something we all strive for in these busy times we live in. However, one of the biggest impediments most of us face, in life, is clutter. Clutter can manifest itself in a myriad of forms, but home clutter is definitely the most devastating for our individual productivity. Trust me, when you’ve got a pile of cloths, left over cereal and after party beer cans keeping you from entering a room you know you’ve got a problem.

    Clutter can hold a lot of things back from you. First thing that comes to mind is the psychological factor; you’ll get far less things done, especially if the clutter is at your work desk. Then there’s the organizational factor; it’s really easy to get things lost when you’ve got piles of junk hanging around. Some people even raise the issue of clutter being damaging to our health. And of course let’s not forget the aesthetics factor. Indeed clutter is bad for you, but let’s take a quick look on a few tips and pointers you can apply to help declutter your household and life. c

    1. Start a general household cleanse. Get all the members of your family together so that you can work faster and at the same time do a fun activity together. Ok it may not be fun, but at least you’ll be close to each other.

    2. Start off small. Once you’ve get everybody together, make sure everybody starts cleaning at the same place, together. This helps keep things fast and organized. By decluttering your household one room at a time, you can not only spare a lot of time and by having all the members of the family in one place, you can all decide which items to keep or throw away from the clutter.

    Continue reading