Monday, December 31, 2012

Scrap New Year Resolutions! They Don't Work!!

First off, I'd like to greet you all a Happy New Year! 2012 is finally coming to a close. In a matter of hours, we're welcoming 2013! ^_^

So are you ready for the New Year? By that, I mean, have you set your goals for 2013? Yes, goal setting is quite important if you truly want to achieve something in life. It actually works for all aspects of life, not just for career. You may want to learn a new skill or overcome a fear. No matter what it is, it is important to know how to set a goal properly.

Forget New Year Resolutions! They don't work! How so? If you've tried in the past, you know it's not effective if you haven't written your goals down, set a target date when you wish to achieve it, and constantly remind yourself till you make it. I've written a more detailed article on that. You can read "Goal Setting for the New Year 2013."

Aside from that remember this acronym: S.M.A.R.T.

When you set goals, make sure they have these features...

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Tangible (set a target date or deadline)

Here's a video that I found that explains more about goal setting in layman's terms... Enjoy and have a Happy New Year!!! ^_^

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing You All a Very Merry Christmas (2012)!

Thanks to +Dave Sutton for my awesome personalized spinning snowflake Christmas greeting! Here's wishing you all a blessed and merry Christmas! I hope that you're taking time out to spend it with your loved ones and family. And since you're reading this, it means we have survived December 21st, 2012. Yey! At least for now, we have the doomsday prediction behind us. ^_^

With Christmas right around the corner, I hope that you have prepared precious gifts for your loved ones and family. By gifts, I don't necessarily mean material ones. For example, have you prepared your gift of time? Yes, TIME! Spend lots of quality time with your family, esp. your kids if you're a parent. This is a good time for family bonding moments. While at it, add some gift of memories. Family bonding moments build memories that are precious to young children. Memories created will stay with them for a long time. I know 'coz I still vividly remember all the wonderful memories my mom has created with me and my brother! I make it a point to build lots of these memories with my daughter. 

Well, I hope you will have a wonderful celebration! 

"That’s what Christmas memories are made from, they’re not planned, they’re not scheduled, nobody puts them in their Blackberry, they just happen." 
quote from Deck the Halls (2006) – Kelly Finch (Kristin Davis)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Five Easy Toning Exercises for Your Body

Exercise is an important part of our lives.  Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy.  Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.

Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising.  The problem is where and when to get the job done.  With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge.

Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders.  As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass.  For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem.  When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones.  Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.

Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time.  At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.

1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks.  Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart.  Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body.  Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor.  Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.

2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps.  If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair.  Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted.  Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair.  Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight.  Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release.  At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.

By embhoo (embhoo) [<a href="">CC-BY-2.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles.  They can be hard for people with knee problems.  A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee.  Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.  Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot.  From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor.  Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.

By Everkinetic ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles.  If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees.  Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.

By Deutsch: Fotograf: Frank C. MüllerEnglish: Photographer: Frank C. Müller (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone.  Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head.  Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor.  Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.

Photo credit: George Stepanek, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time.  The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative.  Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage. ^_^

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Only You Can Stop Yourself

Have you ever wanted to do something but was discouraged because people told you that you cannot do that something? Well, it is but natural to doubt yourself sometimes esp. at times when you're feeling low. But try and manage to bounce back and see things from a more positive perspective.

I'm a believer of positive affirmations. You are what you believe. You can do what you believe you can accomplish. So next time you find yourself doubting, STOP! Positive affirmations work. Just as Zig Ziglar said it, "Other people and things can stop you temporarily. You're the only one who can do it permanently."

Keep on believing in your success! ^_^

Friday, November 16, 2012

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

How many times have you heard that "You are what you eat." A lot I guess. Eating is part of the reason we are alive. Simply put, we need sustenance as living things. However, are you aware as to how healthy you are eating? 

Some people tend to overeat. I know I do. We tend to go overboard with our eating habit and tend to gain lots of weight. That's me too, I know! But have you taken the time to look at what you eat and why you sometimes tend to eat too much? One reason could be emotional eating.

The problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind.  Stress takes its toll on your life.  When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions.  

Everyone has good days and bad days.  How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play.  You look for comfort for your hurts.  People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no.” To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphin just like exercise.  So, after you eat, you feel better.

Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress.  They hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems.  This is not uncommon when the stressor is something horrible such as physical abuse or a death.

But, how do you know you are using food in this way?  The first sign is obvious.  You will gain weight if you eat too much.  In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:

* Have you been under stress lately at work or at home?
* Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
* Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater.  You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time.  The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:

* High fat foods like French fries, fried foods
* High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes
* Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake

There is help for emotional eaters.  The first step is recognizing that you have a problem.  You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt.  The guilt is over potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.

Secondly, seek counseling.  There are many types of counselors out there that can meet your need.  Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions.  

A counselor might suggest things like visualization, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support.  Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion.  You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.

Thirdly, your family can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits.  They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you.  Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking.  Yoga enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.

Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation.  You’ll feel good about finding solutions which will replace the dependence on food.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Say Yes I Can!

Henry Ford was once quoted as saying, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

Is there something that you've always wanted to do, but kept putting off 'coz you think you can't do it? Well, I've got news for you. If you keep saying you can't, then that's exactly what will happen. As the quote here says, "Success comes in cans, not can'ts." 

I'm not the most brilliant writer in class, nor am I the most competent. I just happen to be a person who likes to write and express her thoughts and views and share it with the world. But if I let lack of brilliance or competence as a writer stop me, you wouldn't be reading this right now. I wouldn't even be blogging if that was the case.

My point is, if there's something that you truly want to do and it won't hurt anyone -- I mean you're not out to do something bad or anything hurtful to anyone -- then just go ahead and do it. It could be that you've always wanted to dance or sing, write a poem, act on stage, and so on. Give it a shot! Nothing's impossible in this day and age. You'll never know if you don't try! So start by saying, "Yes, I can!" and be on your way to becoming a better you! ^_^

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Think Highly of Yourself

Think Highly of Yourself

So you want people to treat you well and think highly of you. But keep in mind that you need to think highly of yourself first. People tend to treat you the way you let them treat you. If you let others push you around, then they will do just that. 

We are all unique individuals with unique qualities and traits. I'd like to believe that even though no one is perfect, each one of us has been created for a purpose -- one that is beautiful and good. 

Focus on your good qualities today. Think of how you can share them with as many people as you can. Take it from there. Then strive to become a better person each day. It's the least we can do to make this world a better place. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween! Bye October.. Hello November! myspace graphic comments

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate the occasion! Enjoy your trick or treating.. and stay safe! ^_^

Where I am it's All Saints' Day.. a time to commemorate our dearly departed loved ones. I'll be saying a prayer or two and then lighting up some candles and incense sticks. It's going to be all quiet. A perfect time to reflect and renew. Till next time...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rule #18 -- Laugh, Dance, Smile!

“A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act, and life's worthwhile.” - Unknown

Well, I finally got to the last of the 18 Rules of Happiness by Karl Moore. I admit that I did take a few weeks' break from posting here. No, I did not stop being happy. On the contrary, I just practiced it. I discovered a writing site (user-generated content site) called Squidoo. I've been busy a while writing on the site and creating lenses for a variety of topics that interest me. If you do have a passion for writing, I invite you to join me there too!

Going back to the 18th rule, Karl Moore talks about how true happiness comes from within and it can be expressed externally in your happy face, big smile and frequent laughter. I don't know if you've noticed it too, but happy people tend to look better. They have this aura that radiates a bright and happy glow. Stress can indeed make one look older. 

One good tip is to surround yourself with happiness. Oh, and that includes happy people too! I'm sure no one wants to be around someone who does nothing but gripe and complain a lot about life. 

Karl Moore's tips include 1.) get dancing, 2.) listen to feel-great music all the time, 3.) cover your wall with uplifting pictures, 4.) watch more comedy movies, 5.) laugh at life itself, just to name a few examples.

I love to dance! It's exhilarating and makes you feel free. It is definitely a way to make yourself feel better. Listen to happy music all the time. It's uplifting for sure. Plus, of course, put up inspiring and lovely photos all around. There's nothing better than surrounding yourself with happiness. 

Most of all, strive to have a positive attitude towards life and you will be happier.

Laugh, dance, and smile often -- and you will be happy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rule #17 -- Zoom Out and Don't Sweat

"If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point." -- Antonio Porchia

Are you ruled by the goals you have set in your life? Do you run by the clock? Do you have time to stop and smell the roses? In this 17th rule of the 18 Rules of Happiness by Karl Moore, he talks about zooming out and not sweating the details. 

Sometimes, we need to step back and take a look at what's important in our life. This happens to me once in a while. I get overwhelmed by the tasks I need to accomplish. I want so much to accomplish my goals that I sometimes get irritated when something happens to take my time away from my set schedule. But I've realized that if it's family that demands my time, I need to make time for them. They're the main reason for my being, for my working hard and for striving to achieve success. 

Life is short. We all know that. We don't know when we will breathe our last breath. So we need to enjoy every moment that we can have and spend with what's important in our lives.

I had to take a long hard look at my own life when my dad passed on two years ago. Somehow, I had to change plans. Things that mattered before didn't seem that important anymore. When you've experienced losing a loved one or even having that close call, it enables you to zoom out and not sweat the minor things in life. 

Remember to zoom out regularly and don't sweat the small stuff -- and you will be happy. 

Here's another happy song suggestion from Karl Moore... Fascination by Alphabeat! ^_^

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rule # 16 -- Exercise and Eat Well

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

Contrary to more philosophical and theoretical rules, the 16th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness by Karl Moore is pretty practical. A good body somehow contributes to a good perspective in life.

I will admit that I do need to work on this aspect of the rules. You see, for most of my life, I have been almost completely vain. I never did want to gain those extra pounds. However, in the past few years, I have somehow gained a different perspective.

True, I need to exercise more and shed more pounds and fats. But I am not without exercise. I get a dose of my daily walk and during this time is when I get a lot of my great ideas for writing and blogging. So yes I would agree that exercising adds to your happiness. 

The thing is find what works for you best. I'm sure there are many ways by which to exercise and keep fit. Whatever you like most is likely to work out fine.

Ah, eating well is indeed necessary. We need to do away with more junk food and go organic. Easier said than done, however. But if one is truly committed to being healthy, nothing is impossible.

Refresh and nourish yourself. Increase intake of fruits and vegetables as well because they are healthy for the body. I previously wrote an article on "Why Fruit Smoothies Are the Best for Your Health."

Next time around, I will share some ideas for feel good food.

And just for some extra happiness, Karl Moore suggests this song from The Boo Radleys... Wake Up Boo! ^_^

Remember, exercise and eat well and you will be happy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rule #15 -- Accept What Is

"Happiness is a function of accepting what is." -- Werner Erhard

This rule reminds me exactly of what the saying I once came across but have struggled to understand, "When you fight life, life always wins." I don't even know who quoted it. I've always wondered what it meant, but now I think I have an understanding of what it means.

Karl Moore's 15th rule of the 18 Rules of Happiness states that accepting what is in your life can bring you a step closer to happiness.

Life can be full of struggles. You can be an advocate for a worthy cause and thus fight for it. That's good. You can still push for that, but it all starts with acceptance. Perhaps start with acknowledging that there is indeed a problem and an issue. This helps clear you of all the emotions that could be weighing you down. Without that, you get to think with more clarity. You feel more energetic to change what you can.

The point here is, worrying is pointless. There are times when you can't change anything or anyone. Just start by acknowledging that fact. It is what it is. That's life. If you can, shrug and smile about it too.

Just accept what is -- and you will be happy. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rule #14 -- Enjoy Simple Pleasures

"Simplicity is the essence of happiness." -- Cedric Bledsoe

Like I always say, life is simple. I'm glad that Karl Moore took note of that too in his 18 Rules of Happiness. The 14th rule states that to be happy, enjoy simple pleasures.

How often do you find yourself complaining about what you don't have, rather than appreciating what you truly have?

Do you have a list of simple pleasures that make your day? I know I have and have even written a blog about it on my main site. If you don't have a list of simple pleasures, maybe it's time to start drafting one.

Simple pleasures aren't complicated at all. It could be a daily routine like that daily walk to work or school, or the gardening task you need to do once a week, or even the morning cup of coffee before you head to work each day.

For me, having my daily 15-20 minutes to myself with a cup of coffee is one of my simple pleasures. Somehow my day isn't complete without it. It allows me to think and reflect and to appreciate life as it is.

So what makes your day? Take time out and make a list today.

Enjoy simple pleasures -- even rituals -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rule #13 -- Intention Sets Direction

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

In this 13th installment of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore states that your intention sets your direction. How so? You may ask.

Have you ever woken up and felt it would be a good day? And you turn out to be right? Or perhaps woken up feeling really lousy and terrible and your day turned out to be disastrous?

You may not have caused it, but your expectation more often affects the outcome. Think of the times when you thought a project would be a failure and then it really becomes that.

What I do is I usually block out any negative thoughts or vibes in whatever project I wish to undertake. Thinking of the negatives makes me feel like I'm attracting them.

If your intention sets your direction, you may as well make sure you set the right and positive intention in place all the time.

Decide on how great your day will be and it will happen for you.

Set your sunny intention -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rule #12 - Have a Dream

"A person starts dying when they stop dreaming." - Brian Williams

In this 12th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore says it's important to have a dream in life. It's the driving force to keep you moving forward.

Everything starts with a vision, a hope, a goal, a dream.

Ask yourself, what do you dream of?

Would you like to travel? Would you like to perform on stage? Would you like to write a book? Perhaps you dream of being your own boss?

Dreams are truly important. Without them, life becomes boring and meaningless. What direction will you be headed if you don't have a dream?

Set aside time to jot down your dreams. It doesn't even matter how you record them -- a scrapbook, a journal, a portfolio, etc.

Have a dream -- and you will be happy. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Testing a Run

Testing a run. Not just for fun. You see I've made some revisions at my TwitterFeed account and I just want to see if it's working fine now. This is a break from regular topic.

So what's TwitterFeed? Well TwitterFeed enables me to auto post my latest blog post to my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. It really is awesome, but sometimes fails to work esp. when I don't get to post too often. So I do some tweaking to set it running again. Thus, this post. :P

Today's sponsor is Board of Directors Social Network. Hope to see you there! ^_^

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rule #11 -- Love More!

"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. The bless the ones who receive them, and they bless you, the giver." - Barbara De Angelis

Karl Moore, in this 11th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness, states that in order to be happy, you need to love more. It's not the clingy, relationship love that most people might have in mind. Instead, the kind of love that a mother gives to her child, or the kind that a child gives for his/her puppy or kitten.

Love your life as it is.

Love your family, even if at times, it is easier to hate them.

Love nature and the beauty that surrounds you daily.

Love your friends for all their good and bad points.

Love both sides of the coin.

Just simply love more -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rule #10 -- Be More Social

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. " -- Marcel Proust

In the 10th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore says that the happiest and most successful people in society have a large social network.

One has to have lots of friends, lots of colleagues, lots of people you can call just to banter with for 10 minutes. One shortcut to becoming happier is to make more friends.

You need to be proactive about it. You can't wait for interesting people to stumble into your life. Join local clubs, take classes, or just be friendly and chat with neighbors. In this computer age, social networking sites are in! You can join Facebook and similar sites and join groups with people of the same interests. Making friends isn't difficult if you make the effort.

Be a friend with a positive attitude. No one wants to be around people who spend their time moaning and complaining. Sometimes you need to exert a little more effort. Some people take time to warm up and open up. Keep making friends and expand your social circle.

Be more social -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rule #9 -- Appreciate Both Sides of the Coin

"You don't know when you've hit a peak until you're coming down. And you don't know when you've hit a trough until you're climbing out. It's all good." - David Brent

In this 9th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore talks about the duality that exists in life. Indeed, can you truly know what happiness is if you have not experienced sadness at all?

Life is full of opposites. This concept is one of the things we learn early on in school. When there's up, there's down. When there's hot, there's cold. In order to appreciate light, you must experience dark.

Opposites, right? But they exist as pairs. How can you indeed know one without the other?

Indeed, how many people want to experience only the good, the positive, and the happy. To be truly happy, you will need to embrace the duality of life experiences.

Perhaps it's time to stop judging individual experiences as good or bad. Simply accept them as part of your life adventures. When negative things seem to happen, just accept that it's the other side of the coin. It's part of the equation.

So, appreciate the other side of the coin -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rule #8 -- Experience, Don't Hoard!

"When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do." - Walt Disney

Karl Moore talks about living and truly experiencing life in this 8th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness. He says that when you experience life, you feel more whole, fulfilled and authentic.

I would generally agree. However, there are times when you are limited by your financial capacity to do what you want. Having the material resources, on the other hand, doesn't guarantee lasting happiness.

So instead of indulging in material goods, how about creating mini life adventures? Why don't you learn a new skill, like a new language or a new dance step? Or you can have a "tour" of your local neighborhood, taking time out to admire everything around you.

It can be anything.. doesn't have to be big or expensive. It's something that you can do on your own. Maybe you want to set up your own blog and write about your experiences. Or you can dine in a new restaurant every day for a week. Just try to experience life.

Experience - don't hoard - and you will be happy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rule #7 -- Happiness Is Only Ever Now

"Few of us ever live in the present, we are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone." - Louis L'Armor

In the 7th part of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore talks about being happy in the present moment. He mentions that most people are either dreaming of the future or caught up in the past.

"I'll be happier once I've lost 20 pounds."

"I wished I took that vacation I wanted."

Sound familiar? Which one are you? Try to look at the way you think. Are you happy in this moment? As in right now, perhaps while reading this blog? Or is there something that you'd rather be doing -- like fly a kite somewhere or take that relaxing walk? If so, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and do just that!

Well, of course, we only have the present time to be happy. It's the only time that exists for us. The past is gone. The future has not yet arrived. So why not make the most of right here, right now. If you want to sing or dance, go ahead and do so. You know you'll be happy once you've done so.

Do take note that the present time (RIGHT NOW) is the only time that you can do what you want or change anything in your life. So, are you happy right now? If not, make the decision to be happy. NOW.

Remember, make that simple decision -- to be happy NOW.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rule #6 -- Do Random Acts of Kindness

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." - Dalai Lama

In this 6th installment of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore talks about doing random acts of kindness. Have you ever tried doing it?

In my views, it's pretty easy to just be a kind person -- generally speaking that is. I'm sure that's not so hard to do. Just be kind with everyone you meet. Be a pleasant being that anyone won't mind hanging around with.

So what is this random act of kindness? It's a small act of kindness that you grant to someone else -- even if you don't know them -- and for absolutely no reason; that is you're not expecting to be repaid.

It's like when you hold the elevator door open for someone who's trying to run for it. Or holding the door for an elderly who has quite her hands full.

I do believe I like this rule. A little act of kindness goes a long way. And 'coz you've been kind to someone, there's a bigger chance that he/she will pass it on. It's what the world needs today.

Do random acts of kindness -- and you will be happy.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rule #5 -- Learn to Let Go

"By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyong the winning." - Lao Tzu

Emotions make all of us humans. In this 5th rule of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore talks about emotions and how sometimes they need reining in.

True, we can't help but feel emotions 'coz we are after all humans. We feel as much as we think or do. Not all emotions are bad, but not all are good either. You have to remember that you are NOT your emotions.

Emotions are a by-product of how we react to what happens to us. Sometimes we're happy. Other times we're sad. We experience being angry, upset, or even scared. That's part and parcel of being human.

However, there are emotions that limit us. Perhaps you can't do that company presentation 'coz you too scared to talk in front of strangers. Or you haven't made up with a friend 'coz you're still too mad. Even just as bad is you stay in a damaging relationship 'coz you're emotionally addicted to having someone in your life.

Karl talks about releasing -- the ability to let go.

It's interesting that I've personally been doing this in my life since I've discovered that letting go actually makes me feel better. I can say that I know the difference between myself and my emotions. And so there are situations wherein I get a better grasp of things 'coz I can separate myself from what I feel. I didn't know till I'm doing this series that I've actually been on the right track all along.

Releasing involves letting go of negative emotions. It's an exercise that you can learn and develop with enough practice. Karl Moore has a mini-course on "Releasing." Perhaps next time around I'll share it as well.

Remember, learn to let go -- and you will be happy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rule #4 -- Follow Your Bliss

"When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else." - Joseph Campbell

In the 4th rule of the 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore talks about finding what you truly love to do and taking the courage to jump right in. It's about being immersed in something that you truly love doing. You're wrapped up in the moment. And time doesn't really matter.

Indeed, how many people can truly claim that they're living the life they've always dreamed of? I know there are some who do the job they hate, but feel stuck 'coz they do need the money. I do admit it isn't easy.. to take the courage to pursue what you want in life.

Sometimes, the problem is you haven't found what you truly love to do. Karl, however, believes that everyone in life knows what he/she needs to do to be happy. Most times it just takes courage to follow your bliss.

Follow your bliss -- and you will be happy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rule #3 -- Say Yes More

"I will say yes to every favour, request, suggestion and invitation. I will swear to say yes where once I would say no." -- Danny Wallace

How many times have we actually been advised to say no? Indeed for most of us, it is a way to lessen stress in our life. In this third part of The 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore tells us to SAY YES MORE.

Perhaps it needs a little explanation here. You see, "No!" is a powerful word that everyone understands. It stops anything to get through to us. But there are times when saying "No" actually holds us back in life. It's like trying to swim against the current, instead of the easier task of swimming with it.

From what I understand, what Karl is trying to say has something to do on one end with acceptance. Take the case of when you're having a bad day and someone accidentally spills some juice or coffee on you. Instead of blowing your top and shouting "No!", it could be attributed to one of life's funny randomness.

Then there are times when we refuse to deal with grief or sadness, like when our favorite pet dies. Or when you don't get that promotion you've been working hard to achieve. Saying "No!" and refusing to accept these things won't change anything. Instead, say "Yes!" more to life and accept things you can't control or have any hold over. It does make life easier and you get to move on faster.

Think about this... how about saying "Yes!" to inject a little more excitement in your life? Like perhaps taking that vacation you've been wanting to? Or going out with friends once in a while? Or accepting a party invitation sometimes? Give it a shot! You might find that it'll change your world.

Say yes more -- and you will be happy.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rule #2 -- Be Grateful

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhardt

In this second part of The 18 Rules of Happiness, Karl Moore tells us that one way to be happy is to be grateful. Let's face it, how often do you say thanks for all the good things that come your way? Or better yet, how often have you been thankful that a difficult or challenging ordeal has been dealt with?

In the fast-paced world of today, it seems we sometimes forget to be grateful for all the nice things and the conveniences that we enjoy. And yet, if you truly want to be happy, you need to appreciate the things that you have in your life right now. 

Ask yourself this question.. have you said your thanks today? Start from there.. then make it a daily habit. Being grateful for all the blessings that you have right now, no matter how small, makes a whole world of difference. Don't find yourself complaining about the things that you don't have. Instead, focus on the blessings that you have with you right here, right now.. it could be friends, family, pets, wealth and abundance in any form. Try it! It works! I know 'coz I've tried it a long time ago. And since I've done so, I find that there is less to complain about in life.

Be grateful -- and you will be happy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The 18 Rules of Happiness by Karl Moore

I came across this book some months back. It came with a free opt-in to some list I signed up for. Come to think of it, I can't remember which list it was. LOL! Still I'm glad to have received a copy of this e-book by Karl Moore.. The 18 Rules of Happiness.

It just strikes me as I wonder is there really a list of rules on how one can become happy? And why is this happiness concept rather elusive? Isn't happiness simply a state of mind? I mean, if you believe and know that you are happy, then you are happy. Apparently, it's not that simple for a lot of people.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading the e-book and thought of sharing bits of it with my own insights. Read on to rediscover your own happiness. It may be a lot closer than you think.

Rule #1 -- Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself!

"Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world." - Helen Keller

I think the quote I borrowed says it all. After all, we all tend to wallow in self-pity once in a while. Sometimes, we even tend to blame everything or everyone else for things that have happened or are still happening to us. We take pleasure in blaming the weather, the government, and most everything else we have no control over.

Totally foolish and ineffective.

You may not have all the riches in the world. You may not have all the talents. Yet it's no reason to feel self-pity. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You can do so much more if you start there.

Believe that you are  a wonderful being. You were created for a reason and purpose. That should be more than enough to make you feel good.

If you truly want to be happy, stop feeling sorry for yourself.

(to be continued...)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Effective Steps for Managing Anxiety

Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack.  If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations.  When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life.  This is the fight or flight syndrome. 

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself.  Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late.  Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks.  You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways.  Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life.  In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops.  For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening.  More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it.  Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control. 

1. See a professional.  This is always a good first step.  Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous.  A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep.  During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself.  You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM (rapid eye movement) stage.  Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis.  Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently.  It helps to get more oxygen to the brain.  It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them. 

4. Meditate.  Meditation is more than chanting mantras.  Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing.  Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry.  When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten.  As you count, focus on the situation.  What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation. 

6. Don’t use alcohol.  You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant.  In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities.  Stress can rob you of your energy.  On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.  

Anxiety can come into your life at any time.  It’s normal.  When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions.  If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately.  There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Tale of Two Ref Magnets

Some time during the week, I got really upset to find one of my two ref magnets was missing. You're probably wondering what's the big deal? It's just a ref magnet right? Well, I bought these two ref magnets in Thailand a few years ago on a trip with girlfriends. That time I formed a dream that I will travel more and collect more ref magnets from other places. I haven't fulfilled that part of the dream to this day so I hang on to it. Why am I sharing this story? Because I learned something from it.

You see the ref magnets have been sitting on the ref for so long that I don't really put that much importance to them. But it does make me feel calm to be looking at them daily. So imagine when one day I take a look and one of them was missing! I was pretty much devastated when I tried and tried to look for it but couldn't find it. I had two sleepless nights and a major headache. The story has a happy ending though. We did find the second ref magnet. Now both of them sit in front of my desktop table.

So what did I learn? That sometimes we don't value things that are important to us until we've lost them. Lucky for me it wasn't totally lost. But seriously, how often do we take things or even people for granted, esp. our loved ones and family or even friends? Sure we see them a lot -- daily even -- but have we showed them how much we appreciate them? If not, it's not too late to do so. It's funny how it took two ref magnets to teach me this lesson. Now I know better than to take anything or anyone for granted.

Live in the here and the now! Appreciate and value what you have and who you have in your life right now. Don't wait until it's too late.

Friday, February 10, 2012

8 Habits of Very Joyful People

1 - Decide to be happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. If you want to be happy, think happy.  And  yes, it's a choice -- your choice.

2 - Apply the power of positive thinking.

Being positive doesn't mean you're only counting on the good things to happen. It  really means believing that no matter what happens, it is for the best.

3 - Maintain emotional wellness.

Nothing beats emotional wellness. How do you maintain it? Find time to reflect and meditate.  When things get a bit overwhelming, step back, detach yourself, take a walk and see the good things in life.

4 - Have an attitude of gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, say thanks. Be thankful for another day, another chance to make a difference. In a values enhancement camp I attended some years back, we were made to chant "Today is better than yesterday. Success!"

5 - Live in the present.

There is no point in dwelling in the past. Even if you had a sad childhood, face it, it's over. Live in the now. Today is a gift, that's why it's called present. 

I remember reading a short cartoon strip of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Pooh asked Piglet, "What day is it?" Piglet replied, "It is today." To which Pooh remarked, "Ah, my favorite day."

6 - Love what you do and do what you love.

Find the meaning and purpose in what you do. Then you won't have reason to complain or wish you're doing something else. Life is short. Spend your time wisely. Doing what you love and loving what you do makes waking up mornings super fantastic!

7 - Approach life with humor and laughter.

Laughter is the best medicine. No, you don't need to be a clown or to act as silly as one in order to find humor in every day situations. Enjoy life! After all, it is great to be alive. 

8 - Observe a healthy spirituality.

For me, it helps a lot that I have faith. For whenever I find myself lost, troubled or weary, I pray.  

Have a joyful life! :-)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Food For Thought

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.  
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. 

If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles.
If you plant sin, you will reap guilt. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Optimism Aids Success

In life, you are forever full of choices. You may choose to have a pessimist's view and live a self-defeated life or you may choose to take the optimist's route and have a challenging and fulfilling life.

Optimists expect the greatest. They tend to think defeat is just a fleeting delay, that its causes are confined to this one case.

Optimists tend to center on and plan for the 'difficulty' at hand. In other words, they most likely reinterpret an off-putting experience in a way that helps them discover and mature. Such people are unfazed by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.

Bright expectancies of optimists also forecast better reactions during transitions to new environments, unexpected tragedies and unlikely turn of events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.

People react positively to optimists. Optimists are upbeat and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or influence people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be catching and influence those they are with.

Optimism seems a socially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are treated unfavorably.

When the going gets tough, optimists get tougher. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise. Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well being during times of stress than do people who are less optimistic. They persevere. They just don't give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or elusive dream.

Optimists are healthier and live longer. Medical research has justified that simple pleasures and a positive attitude can cause a considerable boost in the body's ability to fight disease.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Self esteem improvement; Start now before it is too late

Be determined to improve your self esteem and you are on your way to great achievement.

Do not let a low self esteem ruin your life. The way you think about yourself determines how you interact with others.

What are some examples of low esteem aspects in your mind that you need improvement on?

1. Nothing you do seems to go right.
2. You believe that most people do not like you.
3. You believe that you are not attractive.
4. You choose something and it turns out to be the worst one.
5. You are afraid to converse with others for fear that what you say might not make sense.
6. You feel swallowed up in a whirlpool of frustration.

What’s wrong with you? Your thoughts, actually.

Stop thinking that the world is closing in on you. Get determined to achieve what you desire. Stop blaming other people for your misfortunes. The world is not your problem, you are your own problem.

From this moment on, begin the process of self esteem improvement. Think the right way and be determined to win, and win you will. Just remember that success never comes easily and that is why determination is its counterpart.

Oftentimes, one gets to the brink of success and with just a little disappointment or setback, they lose heart and give up too easily and too soon. A surefire candidate to low self esteem improvement. Who knows what great things might have been achieved if only they had persevered.

Without a high self esteem, your life could be rather boring. Change your thinking and begin to see yourself on top of the world. Make a very special effort to be what you really want to be.

You have to seriously decide either to remain in a miserable state of low self esteem, or acquire self esteem improvement and develop a high self esteem with good character and self image.

The origin of low self esteem.

A low self esteem could begin way back in childhood when children are made to believe that they are worthless. Their self confidence is eroded and they succumb to the idea that they can never achieve success in anything that they do. They were picked on, laughed at, pushed around, called ugly names, and treated with disdain. No wonder they grew up to be full of resentment.

If that was your experience, it is time you cut yourself loose from that mindset and do self esteem improvement. Start reading about the life of successful persons and you will soon discover that many of them had such low self esteem that they could not even complete an elementary education.

Many decided to override their low self esteem and improve their attitude, whatever it took. They became some of the greatest men and women that ever lived.

Low self esteem has never helped anyone else and it sure will not help you. It can only drive you into depression, anger, grudge, fear and all the other evils that it generates.

Re-program your thinking and control your state of mind. You must believe that you are worth much more than you think or you will remain at the foot of the ladder and never make an attempt to climb it.

Do not waste your life away with feelings of inadequacies. Instead, think of ways to go about self esteem improvement. Success is yours, just reach out and grasp it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to overcome procrastination - Set daily goals

First off, a happy new year greeting to one and all! ^_^ I have to admit that I actually went on a rather long break in posting on this blog. Sometimes I get challenged in formulating ideas and articulating what I want to put across. Anyway, today's topic I believe is relevant to my concern, especially now that the holidays are over and we should all go back to work on regular stuff. At times, it is rather difficult to get back on track when you've taken quite a bit of a break. Anyway, I hope that you will learn something from today's tip.

The surest way to know that you can do something is to have done it before. When you set daily goals for yourself, you develop the habit of getting things done. When the procrastination demon appears, you know how to force yourself to push ahead because you've done it before. If you feel like you're losing the battle against procrastination, one of the most effective strategies for taking charge of your life is to get in the habit of accomplishing daily goals

Set a goal every day, and achieve it. It's easy to get discouraged when your projects don't seem to be going anywhere. We all need a long-term vision to guide our day-to-day efforts, but many people with high goals develop a negative attitude when they think they're not making progress. That's why it's important to set achievable goals every day. The more goals you achieve, the more positive your attitude will be.

Set weekly and monthly goals. Your short-term goals are milestones that keep you moving toward long-term goals. They help you know if you're going in the right direction. When a long-term goal seems far away, it's easy to feel discouraged. Breaking down a large project into smaller segments makes it easier to stay focused. Congratulate yourself when you achieve daily and weekly goals, and give yourself a special reward when you achieve a monthly goal.

It's important to experience the satisfaction and rewards of successfully completing jobs. When you force yourself to keep moving until you finish a project, it's easier to get started on the next one. Don't be surprised if you feel yourself grappling with the drift toward procrastination now and then-it may never go away completely. All successful people learn how to identify the procrastination monster, and they know what to do about it when it threatens:

- Successful people use their time well. When an urgent task threatens to pull them away from what they're doing, they don't rush into it just because it seems urgent. They always ask: Which of these two things is higher on my list of priorities?

- They turn off the phone from time to time. Can you get more done by leaving a voice message and turning the phone off during certain periods of the day? The telephone is one of the most insidious thieves of our time. It's urgent but rarely important. It shoves out the less urgent but more important things.

- They keep a log of how they use their time. If they miss a deadline, they plan how to finish the remainder of their work and estimate as accurately as possible when it will be done.

- They develop a routine. They set an objective to accomplish every morning and every afternoon.

- They leave time in their daily schedule for contingencies.

- They always think twice before postponing a task. Successful people know that pushing themselves to accomplish daily goals makes them more likely to achieve long-term goals.

Next time around that you feel like procrastinating, fight it off! That way you will feel more productive. I know that it's not easy sometimes, but know that it can be done! After all, if there's a will, there is always a way. ^_^