Cuz I’m Happy!

You have mostly certainly heard it and perhaps seen it.  The song from the movie Despicable Me 2 called Happy.
The song from Pharrell Williams became enormously popular.  The video went viral on the Internet and there is actually a 24 hour music video web site called  Go there and watch at any time of day or night.  The site automatically detects your local time and cues up and plays a video of someone dancing and liHappyp syncing to the song.  Different person and different surroundings depending on the time of day.  It’s a neat little diversion.

What Makes Happy

When I ask people what they really want in life or in business, I hear a lot of the standard replies. “I’d like a better career”, “I’d like to make more money” (hear that one a lot), a better car, a better house, sometimes it’s even “if only I could find the person of my dreams”.
We have a tendency to assign our happiness out to other things and other people as if someone else or something else is responsible for our happiness.
Even when we know, or think we know, what we really need to be happy we let other things get in the way.  We live in a world of instant gratification and so we sometimes take what’s right in front of us instead of what we really want or need to find our happiness.
Zig Ziglar said it best,
[snaptweet]The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want right now.[/snaptweet]

It’s Your Job

We have to take responsibility for our happiness.  We need to take the necessary actions to achieve that happiness.
[snaptweet]Happiness comes in your reaction to the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.[/snaptweet]

Work towards the happiness that you truly desire.

  • Take Responsibility for Your Happiness – Don’t try to delegate your happiness out to someone or something else. You and you alone are the determinant for your happiness.
  • Set the Right Priorities to Move Towards Happiness – We let things of the day interfere but when we understand what our priorities are, then that helps us make the decisions to stay on target and moving in the right direction.  It creates focus.
  • Be Positive in Your Daily Outlook – Things happen every day that can be potentially negative.  The positive thinker tries to find the good or benefit in every situation.  It’s not sticking your head in the sand, it is simply refusing to anguish over what we don’t have and work with what we do have to create the best possible scenario.
  • Make Gratitude a Daily Practice – There is both research and anecdotal data suggesting again and again that a regular dose of gratitude leads to a happier life.  In the face of all that, we often fail to show gratitude for what we have, instead focusing on what we don’t have.  Each day, for thirty days, write down at least one thing for which you are grateful.  It must be a different thing each day.  That will build the habit of gratitude thinking.
  • Nurture Relationships – Happiness is built when we are in relationship with other people.  Not one of us on the earth is built to be a hermit!  We are made for relationships.  That does not necessarily mean romantic relationships, but valuable friendships and even acquaintances that build us up and care for us.
  • Be in the Moment – Focus on the now.  When we look back at what was or spend too much time hoping tomorrow is better, we fail to appreciate or fully leverage the moment we have right now.  Wherever you are, be there with your heart, mind, and soul.

So, what’s your action plan?  How are you going to move towards happiness?   Share your thoughts here.

Focus Requires Urgent Action

urgent focusAll week the topic has been focus; the importance of focus and where you place your focus, the difference between being productive vs just being busy (focus or flurry), and I shared my personal story of how I am learning to focus my efforts in specific areas instead of trying to be all things to all people.  I believe that personal growth is the first step in the process for everyone.  Without recognizing that intentional personal growth is critical to your success, you leave “money on the table” in terms of how much more of your potential you can realize.  You may even leave real money on the table by shorting yourself on growth.  So, my focus will be on helping you grow and part of that is focusing on what you really want to achieve.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Being willing is not enough, we must do.

Leonardo Da Vinci

What is Urgent to You?

What are the achievements that have your focus right now?  Do they feel urgent?  If not, you may want to re-evaluate them or their importance.  The problem for most of us is a lack of urgency driving us.  There is always tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.  As Brian Tracy and others put it, so many of us live on Someday Isle.  We talk about our dreams and say, “Someday I’ll…..”  We rationalize away with reasons we can’t start now.  When the economy gets better, when I have a little bit more money, when the administration changes.  It’s not the right time.  The holidays are coming up and nobody cares about this stuff during the holidays.  Wait until after the holidays and come January I will get started.  Then it’s recovering from the holidays.  Then it’s too cold.  Then it’s spring break for the kids.  Then it’s Spring and we should spend some time outdoors before it gets too hot.  Wait until the kids get out of school.  Well, the kids are out of school and underfoot all the time.  Wait until they go back to school.  Then school starts and things are hectic and the school football team is winning and we must go to the games and then the holidays are coming and….there we are all over again.

Urgent Demise

The Law of Diminishing Returns, while originally an economic concept, also applies here in a different way.  The law says that the greater the time span between when you get an idea or come up with a dream and the when you take action on it, the less likely you are to ever do anything at all.  In other words, the longer you wait exponentially increases the chances that you never will.  The longer you wait, the more it becomes just a dream.  It’s hold on you diminishes with each passing day.  That alone should create a sense of urgency for you.

Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.

Jim Rohn

Urgent Action

So, how do we avoid this?  Mel Robbins, author of Stop Saying You’re Fine, tells people to apply the five-second rule.  No, the not the one having to do with food dropped on the floor.  In this case, the five second rule mandates that you must take action on an idea within five seconds of having the idea.

urgent act nowIt doesn’t have to be necessarily massive action.

In fact, most of the time it is simply writing down on paper the first step you have to take to move forward and then set a deadline date.

Just that simple action, executed within five seconds after conceiving the idea, greatly increases your chances of doing that first action.

Many say that are waiting for inspiration or until they “feel motivated”.

It will never happen.  Motivator and Success Trainer Frank Tibolt says

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing.  Action always generates inspiration.  Inspiration almost never generates action.

Decide to take action.  Little bits add up as long as you keep it up.  Start now.  Make it urgent.

Action Plan

  • What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?  What is one thing you can do right away to move closer to it?

Rejoice – Enjoying What We Have

We All Ride a Roller Coaster

I try to be transparent with what I share here.  The more you can see me, warts and all, then the more likely you are to realize that success in business and life is attainable; that we all have flaws, shortcomings, and challenges we face.  Steve Jobs, despite his incredible vision and gift for marketing, had big character flaws.  Same with Bill Gates, and many others.  Ray and Maurice McDonald didn’t have the vision to make their restaurant a household name; it took Ray Kroc to do that.  We ALL have hurdles to face and have up times and down times.

I share that because recently I have been having a down time.  For a variety of reasons, things have not gone well in different parts of my life and I have gotten down on myself and doubts began to creep in.  When that happens for me, I go back and look for things that remind me to re-focus and think positive.

Warning:  The rest of this post will have a decidedly spiritual bent to it.  I apologize if it offends you; I do not apologize for who I am and what I believe.

REJOICEI ran across this:  I have a card I received at a men’s group meeting years ago that I keep around. It is shaped like a stop sign and, in fact, on one side looks like a stop sign.  On the other it carries this verse from the Bible, specifically from Philippians 4:4-7:

“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS (emphasis mine)!  I say again, REJOICE!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Changes in Attitude

For me, of course, it is a reminder of where I have put my faith and my life.  It is also a reminder that no matter what else I have things I can take great joy in throughout my life daily.

Let’s expand it beyond and see what we can find for everyone.  When we have an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, we are better able to keep things in perspective.  When we rejoice in the things we have that cannot be taken away, that the world cannot touch, then we provide a solid base for how we regard everything else that happens in our life.  Once we have that perspective and are thinking in gratitude, therefore thinking positively, then we are better equipped to handle the crisis and not only survive but come out ahead.  Zig Ziglar often said

“The more you express gratitude for what you have the more you will have to express gratitude for.”

gratitude - thank youAdopting the principle of rejoicing yields big returns; perhaps not always in the way we expect.  Certainly, we all wish we had more money, more resources, more opportunities, more clients, more of whatever is on our mind right now.  Yet when we rejoice in what we do have, we see that not only do we have a full cup but that it actually overflows.  On the other hand, when we focus on what we don’t have we can lose what we do have.   I remember years ago watching a comedy sketch where a man asks another man who is holding a cup of coffee for the time.  The second man turns his wrist to look at his watch and pours out his cup of coffee.  Like the man, we lose focus on what’s in our hand to look at something else.

Consider This

What would your life be like if, for say at least a week, when someone asks you how you are you respond with “I am rejoicing!”  Don’t reflect on what people will think about you, center on what it will do for you.  Certainly it would be hard to say that continually and be negative.

I am going to try that for the next two weeks.  I invite you to try it with me and let me know how it goes.

Action Plan:

  • Begin a gratitude journal.  Get a notepad or journal or use an online one like Penzu.  Every day for at least a month, write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  Each day you have to enter something you have not previously added; in other words, each day is unique.  Look at the list often.
  • Respond to any greeting of “how are you” with “I am rejoicing!” for at least a week.  If someone asks you why, use the gratitude reason of the day or some other response if you wish.

I welcome your thoughts here about the ideas shared in today’s post!