Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tips for Happiness in Daily Life

Daily life can be made happier. It is a matter of choice. It is our attitude that makes us feel happy or unhappy. It is true, we meet all kinds of situations during the day, and some of them may not be conductive to happiness. We can choose to keep thinking about the unhappy events, and we can choose to refuse to think about them, and instead, relish the happy moments. All of us constantly go through various situations and circumstances, but we do not have to let them influence our reactions and feelings.

If we let outer events influence our moods, we become their slaves. We lose our freedom. We let our happiness be determined by outer forces. On the other hand, we can free ourselves from outer influences. We can choose to be happy, and we can do a lot to add happiness to our lives.

What is happiness? It is a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction. It is usually experienced when there are no worries, fears or obsessing thoughts, and this usually happens, when we do something we love to do or when we get, win, gain or achieve something that we value. It seems to be the outcome of positive events, but it actually comes from the inside, triggered by outer events.

For most people happiness seems fleeting, because they let changing outer circumstances affect it. One of the best ways to keep it, is by gaining inner peace through daily meditation. As the mind becomes more peaceful, it becomes easier to choose the happiness habit.

Here are a few tips for increasing happiness in daily life:

1) Endeavor to change the way you look at things. Always look at the bright side. The mind may drag you to think about negativity and difficulties. Don't let it. Look at the good and positive side of every situation.

2) Think of solutions, not problems.

3) Listen to relaxing, uplifting music.

4) Watch funny comedies that make you laugh.

5) Each day, devote some time to reading a few pages of an inspiring book or article.

6) Watch your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, start thinking of pleasant things.

7) Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven't.

Sometimes you may begin the day with the desire to accomplish several objectives. At the end of the day you might feel frustrated and unhappy, because you haven't been able to do all of those things.

Look at what you have done, not at what you have not been able to do. You may have accomplished a lot during the day, and yet you let yourself become frustrated, because of some small things that you did not accomplish. You have spent all day successfully carrying out many plans, and instead of feeling happy and satisfied, you look at what was not accomplished and feel unhappy. It is unfair toward yourself.

8) Each day do something good for yourself. It can be something small, such buying a book, eating something you love, watching you favorite program on TV, going to a movie, or just having a stroll on the beach.

9) Each day do at least one act to make others happy. This can be a kind word, helping your colleagues, stopping your car at the crossroad to let people cross, giving your seat in a bus to someone else, or giving a small present to someone you love. The possibilities are infinite. When you make someone happy, you become happy, and then people try to make you happy.

10) Always expect happiness.

11) Do not envy people who are happy. On the contrary, be happy for their happiness.

12) Associate with happy people, and try to learn from them to be happy. Remember, happiness is contagious.

13) Do your best to stay detached, when things do not proceed as intended and desired. Detachment will help you stay calm and control your moods and reactions. Detachment is not indifference. It is the acceptance of the good and the bad and staying balanced. Detachment has much to do with inner peace, and inner peace is conductive to happiness.

14) Smile more often.

Tips in Life that Lead to Happiness

Are you truly happy? Do you even know what it means to be happy and what it takes to achieve happiness? These are important questions for anyone who is seeking happiness to ask themselves. I live my life to maintain my own happiness while trying my best to not cause unhappiness to anyone else.

If you want to be happy you need to understand that you can be happy and that you should be happy. Many people make the mistake of believing that they don’t deserve happiness and accept their unhappy state as their destiny. The truth of the matter is that happiness, like anything else in life, needs to be nurtured. The following are a few tips that I follow to create happiness in my life.

  1. Understand what it is that will make you happy. Everyone has unique requirements for attaining happiness and what makes one person happy may be very different from what makes someone else happy. Revel in your individuality and do not worry about whether or not your desires are comparable to those of your peers.
  2. Make a plan for attaining goals that you believe will make you happy. Your mood will very likely increase as your pursue your goal because you will feel better about yourself for going after something you value.
  3. Surround yourself with happy people. It is easy to begin to think negatively when you are surrounded by people who think that way. Conversely, if you are around people who are happy their emotional state will be infectious.
  4. When something goes wrong try to figure out a solution instead of wallowing in self pity. Truly happy people don’t allow set backs to affect their mood because they know that with a little thought they can turn the circumstances back to their favor.
  5. Spend a few minutes each day thinking about the things that make you happy. These few minutes will give you the opportunity to focus on the positive things in your life and will lead you to continued happiness.
  6. It’s also important to take some time each day to do something nice for yourself. Whether you treat yourself to lunch, take a long, relaxing bath or simply spend a few extra minutes on your appearance you will be subconsciously putting yourself in a better mood.
  7. Finding the humor in situations can also lead to happiness. While there are times that require you to be serious, when it is appropriate, find a way to make light of a situation that would otherwise make you unhappy.
  8. Maintaining your health is another way to achieve happiness. Being overweight or not eating nutritious foods can have a negative effect on your mood. Additionally, exercise has been known to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness.
  9. Finally, it is important to understand that you deserve happiness. Those who believe that they are not worthy of happiness may subconsciously sabotage their efforts to achieve happiness. If necessary, tell yourself each day that you deserve to be happy and remind yourself what steps you will take to achieve the happiness you desire.

Happiness is hard to define but most people are aware of whether they are happy or not. Many people believe that happiness is a form of luck and that some people are destined to be happy while others are destined to be unhappy. I try to incorporate the tips above into my life and have had great success in achieving happiness. The tips in this article are small but meaningful steps that you can take each day to lead you to true happiness.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How do you define happiness?

Is there a way of defining happiness?
How do we know what happiness is? What I define as happiness might not be the same as you think of it.
For many people happiness lies in having a good amount of money and fame.
For others money is not that important. Many say that family comes first and money is a lower priority.

Well I have learned that Family does come first. I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable.
With out my family and their love I will not be happy. I will survive but everyone need love.

How do you define happiness? What is happiness?

Listen What Your Heart Says

“What should I do with my life?”

How many times haven’t we heard that? How many times haven’t I thought that myself?

How do we know what is the right way or us to go?

If you are trapped in thoughts like; “ I don´t want to work here any longer”, “ I don´t like my job”, I´d rather be somewhere else”, then it´s time you do something about it.

Ask yourself the following questions: What was the best day at work you had in the last month? In the last two years? In the last five years?

If one of your answers are: “when I didn´t work” then maybe it´s about time you change your working environment. It´s time to do something you like to do.

Feeling unhappy at work means that you are not performing a good job. It’s not possible to give the best of you if you are not there with your heart.

“ But I can’t, I have no other talent or any other way to find an income”.

It´s about time you change the way you think about yourself. You can if you want to! Nothing is too big or too small. Focus.

You need to focus on what you want and not worry too much about how you will get there.

If you have a job you like you will feel energized, wanting to work. You will be full of ideas and you will feel you are doing a good job. If you are not happy that will not happen.

It’s never too late to change. The change should have happened a long time ago but you can still change it today. Think about what your heart tells you to do and go for it. No matter how impossible it seems.

Life With Happiness

The search for a complete and happy life is something that will likely never end. Everyday we search for answers and when we don’t find the answers we end up with more questions. Ask ten people about what they want to succeed in life and at least five will tell you “I want to be happy”.

But what does that mean? What is happiness?

Before we can be happy or get to the point where we think we will be happy, we need to discover what it is we need. Do you need money, a new radio, the latest CD from your favorite artist, plastic surgery, lose ten kilos? Or what do you need?

A complete and happy life may never be achieved.

What? Will you never be completely happy?

No, you might not actually, because there will always be something you want to change. The rich want to get richer and the circle will never end.

Focus on what you got and set up a goal.

Instead of concentration on what you haven’t got focus on what you do have and appreciate that. You need to appreciate what you got before you can focus on getting more.

Think about something you want to achieve, I want to exercise everyday or make $100/hour. Then think about how you can achieve that but most think about if it will make you happy. To be able to get $100 you might have to work like crazy and in the end all the hours you put in won’t be worth more than $10/h. So maybe it’s better you start with a smaller goal and say you want to make $20/h and look at what you need to do in order to do that. When you have succeeded with that and are making your $20/h you can start thinking about how to get to $50/h.

It might not be possible to live a complete and happy life without any worries but with small steps you can come closer.

Less Email Stress

Email reading and replying can take up a lot of time, much more than you would like. I don't know about you but I haven't got time to wade through an ocean of emails every time I open my inbox so I need something to sort out the most important emails.

Too many times I have forgotten or replied late because I thought to myslef that I would reply later and then forgot about the email as new came in and the email got further and further down the list. And this is something you cannot do when you are rely on email to communicate with your clients as a WAHM! It also saves you a lot of time!

Now I am quite good at deleting posts but I have decided to get better. Here are some simple tips for you to sort your emails and make sure you don't forget an email. I favor Gmail so my tips are based on that.

* Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc, which email works best for you?
I have Gmail and love it! (Ok I am not happy about the latest upgrade as the email is very slow but besides that I wouldn't like to live without it) Take the time to check out the differnt options you have. i find that Gmail gives me more flexibility than other email accounts. I especially like that it will thread all replies to one email, giving you the option to collapse or expand the thread. This is especially good if you subscribe to groups and get email replies.

* Filter your emails.
I know hotmail also gives you the option to label your incoming emails but once again- I prefer gmail.

* Star or color your emails
This is a Gmail only option. Gmail will let you add a star to important emails or even put them in colors. I make sure I star every email I need to reply to and work my way up from the bottom to the top. As soon as I have replied I remove the star.

* Group your contacts.
Another great Gmail feature- group your emails or put them into categories. I haven't checked out Hotmail for this but I cannot recall seeing this on Hotmail.

* Daily cleaning is a must!
If you receive a lot of emails everyday this is especially important. Everyday I mark all the emails on the first page and only keep those really important. Doing this every day I reduce the amount of unnecessary emails.

* Where is that link now when I need it?
I keep many emails because they contain good links to different web pages and blogs. Gmail has an option that lets you search all your emails with key words. it is fast and accurate and you don't have to load page after page trying to find out which email the link came in.

These are the daily things that works for me, do you have more tips or want to tell about which email you use? Leave a comment!

How to respond to a Bad Performance Review

Initiate further Meetings to Clarify Review
Contact your boss to talk to him personally on the performance review. Not over phone or Email but a face to face meeting is recommended to initiate clarifications on the review. In this review try not to be on the defensive and do not let emotions overcome you.
Before this meeting take time to carefully analyze the performance review you have received and also research on company’s policies on how to respond to bad performance review. Often organizations have a comprehensive HR webpage on the intranet or don’t feel shy to contact the HR on tips on how to respond to the performance review.
It is very important to first acquaint yourself with the review policies and process, prepare a list of points on which you were assessed during the review and compare with the goals and expectations previously set for you for the year.
Preparing in advance will make this meeting more meaningful and successful. Just a random discussion might get you nowhere – prepare and present facts during this meeting. Don’t arrange for this session in a hurry, think about the time you need to prepare and research for the details and then suggest a time frame to your boss to discuss the performance review. Keep in mind that it should not be delayed for a long time. Ask your boss if he is on vacation in the coming days or not, if yes, then schedule this meeting before he leaves for one.
Make sure that the boss is not in a hurry to end this meeting and getting ready to attend another one.
It could be your one last chance to change the review in your favor, prepare well beforehand.

Discussing with your Boss
Use good communication skills during the discussion with your boss. Read more tips here: Are you Assertive or Timid at Work?

Paraphrase the Accusations
Miscommunication often results in a bad performance review, it could be on your part your boss’s or comments through other managers which have filtered in the wrong sense to your immediate supervisor. Spend time with your boss to clarify the accusations and also ask for specific instances where you have been accused of negligence or poor performance. If your boss has written in the review of delayed project submission or under performance, do ask him to pinpoint the dates or the projects he/she is referring to.

Follow-up on the Meeting
If you and your boss are reaching arbitration on re-evaluating the performance review, ask your boss to schedule a quick follow-up meeting within a week or so. If your boss has agreed to change the performance review based on the discussion and facts you have presented so far, use your best persuasion and negotiation skills requesting him/her to incorporate positive feedback.

Don’t think of Quitting on one Bad Performance Review
Bosses come and go. Teams dissolve and the company re-orgs. A bad review does not mean it is time for you to start looking for a new job. Analyze the situation and see if there are some valid points perhaps you can do your best to perform better next time. Else if there have been unjustified accusations that reaching out more to the manager and the HR could be a possible solution.
Just remember to be more proactive towards your career in future.

When to let it go
If you think you have been wrongfully accused and there is no way that your boss is ready to change or discuss the performance review, then think about the worst case scenario.
- What is the worst that can happen with such a performance review?
- What would happen if you just let it go?
If the answers do not bother you and you truly love your job, think about getting over it and trying to see the positive side – perhaps the others in your team have got worse reviews, maybe it is not you it your boss who just has to be a terrible critic at the workplace.
Discussing with your career coach or your colleagues in this issue is also a suggested step. Perhaps your co-workers have received bad reviews from this manager before and maybe it is his/her working style to see a better performance in employees (though not a good way for sure!). A second opinion and a second look might clarify things more than how you have been looking at it so far.

But definitely do not let it go just because you do not feel fighting back for what you deem unreasonable. Don’t let it go before a good discussion (not a fight!).
But be cautious of all consequences, if you cannot afford to be out of job or be in the bad books of management of HR re-think your steps towards the protest. It is a good idea to talk to your colleagues who have been in the company longer to find out if there were any actions taken against those who “revolted” against a bad performance review.