Reconnect To Joy (Happiness comes from within)

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Reconnect to Joy

Ask anyone on the street to define joy, and they might struggle to find a definition. Webster’s dictionary defines it as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. The second definition is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune.

I have a little argument about the second one. While I agree joy is an emotion, I do not believe true joy comes from anything external. If being successful brought you joy, you would never see a celebrity addicted to drugs. If good fortune brought you joy, you would never see a lottery winner lose all their money. So what brings true Joy?

I believe joy is something we create on the inside and express externally. If you wait for some external factor to find joy, what happens if you never win the lottery or become successful? Are you going to be depressed for the rest of your life because you didn’t win the lottery? Perhaps my definition of success is different than most. To be truly successful, you need it in every area of your life; this includes relationships, spirituality, health, and finances.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul is an old saying that I love. How many times do we see this happen to aging celebrities? They have based their value on their performance, and when people start forgetting them, they get depressed and start having trouble. Does that mean they weren’t successful? In reality, they have found financial success but never realized it comes from them internally. 

Whether people love you or hate you, you can be successful. You don’t have to have a million followers on Instagram to be considered a success. I worry about this next generation. Society has taught them their value is in their face or body’s beauty. What happens if they have an accident and lose their beauty? What if they live past 25?

It’s time for us to realize joy comes from within. Happiness comes from taking a moment to enjoy the beauty around you. Roses fade every year. Does that mean roses aren’t successful in their growth or their purpose? No. They are beautiful for a short time. So are humans. We may live more than a single season, but if you look back over history, our lives are too short. We need to find joy in the little things daily and not focus so much on the superficial. 

I read a study once that said 20 seconds of deep laughter would double the heart rate as if you had done 3 minutes of an intense rowing exercise. What if we laughed more? What if we took time to enjoy the little things? How many good chemicals could we fill our bodies with by looking for joy daily? Decide today that you will be happy and look for moments of pleasure.

 How do you reconnect with joy, you might ask.

  •  Learn to say no to those needless obligations.
  •  stop “Shoulding” all over yourself
  •  clear your mental clutter
  •  create a stop-doing list
  •  engage in 15 minutes of Laugh therapy daily
  •  play with your kids and your pets.

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Happiness is a Choice, not a Result (Choose Happiness)

Image by AnnemarieDeloo from Pixabay 

When I was battling depression, I found that I had to make a choice every day. I had to choose to get up and be happy or let the darkness overtake me. This happened whether I was taking antidepressants or not. Then I began to study and found this wonderful quote by Ralph Marston.

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.”

As humans, we tend to think we will be happy when something external happens we will be happy. The problem is our happiness comes from the inside. How many celebrities have you seen that have everything money can buy but are still not happy? 

Happiness is not based on our circumstances but rather on our view of those circumstances. Sure, things can be bad around you, but there is something that you can choose to be happy about. 

I was part of a group once that tried to force happiness and positivity on everyone. As soon as you walked into the room, a middle-aged woman wearing too much makeup was in the front, jumping around, trying to motivate the crowd like a defunct cheerleader. Another spastic woman would meet you at the door and slather you will cheer. By the end of the meeting, you’d be exhausted from all the jumping around and chaos. I left one night and told my mother that I thought we had just been to a “Barbie’s On Speed” convention. While their intentions were good, they went about it in the wrong way. 

When I say you can choose happiness, I’m not saying you can never be unhappy. There are going to be bad days in your life. The important thing is what you choose to do with them. I won’t lie to you and say life is full of rainbows and butterflies. My 6th-grade teacher had a horrible saying. When a student would whine about something, she would say, “Well, life’s hard, and then you die.”

What a horrible thing to say to a child! But, in reality it’s kind of true. Life is hard, but you can choose to refocus, be happy, and achieve great things anyway.

“The greatest discovery of every generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James

We may not be able to change the situation, but we can always change our mindset about it. 

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay 

So how do we choose happiness?

We choose to be happy by refocusing on better and brighter things. You can’t expect to be cheerful when you’re constantly dwelling on the negative things. Find something to be happy about. If you can’t find anything, then watch something happy. 

It’s Thanksgiving as I’m writing this, and last night I was trying to stress out about the company coming over today. My mind started to think about the stress and anxiety of the holiday without all of the loved ones I’ve lost over the last two years. I immediately began to feel depressed, and a headache came on. 

Then I caught myself and said, “No!” 

I turned to counting my blessings and tried to think of everything I could, but it only lasted for a little while. Later the darkness started pressing in again. So, I turned on a stand-up comedy series and laughed my head off. I finally fell into a peaceful sleep and woke up feeling great today. 

What happened? I had turned from negative thoughts to positive ones. An hour of what I call “Laugh-Therapy” filled my system with healthy hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Then I had a good night’s sleep and felt better the next day. Did I get any of the 15 people I’ve lost back? No. Did the situation change at all? No. I just changed because I chose happiness over depression. You can choose to be happy too!

Recommended Reading:

Happiness Is a Choice: New Ways to Enhance Joy and Meaning in Your Life

Whether depression is felt mildly or acutely, temporarily or persistently, it strikes just about everyone at some point. Drs. Minirth and Meier believe, however, that the emotional pain of depression can be overcome and avoided. Drawing from their professional training, counseling experience, and biblical knowledge, they explore the complex relationship between spiritual life and psychological health and then spell out basic steps for recovering from depression and maintaining a happy, fulfilling life.

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Attitude of Gratitude (Monday Motivation)

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Did you know having an attitude of gratitude can literally save your life? It can lower blood pressure, drop your pain levels, and give you better sleep!

Here in America, we are getting close to Thanksgiving, but I’m sad to say gratitude is usually the last thought on our minds. It shouldn’t be that way. We focus on getting ready for family and friends to come over. We focus on cooking and cleaning, and travel plans. But gratitude is the last on the list.

I’ve been working on a new holiday-themed gratitude journal to help those who struggle during the holiday season. I’ll let you all know when it’s available on Amazon. It should be out this week.

You see, when we spend time in gratitude, we literally change our own biochemistry. Every negative thought sends cortisol and adrenaline pouring into our veins. On the other hand, every positive thought sends out good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.

  • Dopamine: enhances learning, focus, and motivation
  • Endorphins: triggers feelings of happiness and bliss
  • Oxytocin: empathy hormone makes you feel more connected to the world around you. 
  • Serotonin: regulates attention, behavior, and body temperature

Studies show that people who practice gratitude regularly have 20% more gray matter than those who stay in a constant state of stress. 

“In everything, give thanks…”

It does not say to give thanks FOR everything. It says IN. It means that despite everything going wrong, find something you can be grateful for. Why? It literally changes our biochemistry, our behavior, and our health. I hope you take the time to adopt an attitude of gratitude this holiday season.

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How did I build an author platform so big it attracted the attention of Hollywood?

How did I build an author platform so big it attracted the attention of Hollywood? The new book I’m working on now lays it all out for you. I’m so excited that this book is finally about to be released. I started it two years ago, and then my life turned to chaos, but I’m finishing it now.

It should be released by Monday, November 7th.

The Power of Meditation (Self Help for the Real World)

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

When most people think of meditation, they think of mystical things, like Buddhist monks in a remote monastery. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Mediation is more than a spiritual practice for religious people. 

Definition: a practice in which a person uses various techniques to train attention and awareness to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state.

I don’t see religion in there anywhere. Do you? No. So get that out of your head. Another misconception is that you must meditate quietly for an hour. That’s not true, either. You can calm your mind and find quiet peace without taking an hour. What if you got mentally quiet for fifteen minutes a day? 

Benefits of regular meditation practice:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved memory & focus
  • Reduced anxiety & stress
  • Lower cortisol levels 
  • Better sleep
  • Increased heart health due to lower stress levels

With those types of benefits, who wouldn’t want to meditate? WebMD says meditation can decrease chronic pain and increase your immunity too. 

Some say meditation is the fountain of youth for the brain. It literally thickens the prefrontal cortex. This part manages the brain’s higher functions. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist from Harvard Medical School, found that 40 & 50-year-olds who meditate regularly have the same amount of gray matter as 20-year-olds!

Studies show that it only takes 8weeks to change the construct of the brain. That means you can start now, and in a couple of months, your gray matter will see the benefits.

#selfhelpfortherealworld #selflove #selfcare #alexanderthegreat #motivation #love #inspiration #mindfulness #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #personalgrowth #healing #mindset #lifecoach #meditation #selfdevelopment #quotes #meditation #positivity #success #mentalhealthawareness #spirituality #gordianknot #motivationalquotes #happiness #psychology #selfhelpbooks #life #selfawareness #positivevibes #habits

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The Gordian Knot [The Impossible Problem]

During my desperate studies trying to find solutions to my daily problems, I stumbled across the legend of the Gordian Knot.

The year was 333 B.C., and Alexander the Great was plowing through the countryside, conquering everything in his path. He came upon the capital city of Gordium in what is now Turkey. Tied to the city’s gates was a wagon that once belonged to King Gordius, the father of the famous King Midas. The knot was rumored to be impossible to untie. The knots wove in and out and back upon itself, and no one could ever find the end to start the unraveling process. Supposedly, an oracle had prophesied over the knot.

“The man who loosens this knot will rule all of Asia.”

Centuries later, these words would appeal to an ambitious young warrior named Alexander. When his armies marched upon the city, Alexander was compelled to try his hand at the fabled knot. In his pomp and testosterone-fueled arrogance, he tore at the problem with all his might until he burnt out. Then in a moment of wisdom, he stepped back and began to look at the situation objectively. Inspiration hit the young man, and he withdrew his sword. With one quick swipe of the blade, the impossible knot was opened. 

What happened to Alexander during this ordeal? One might say he cheated, but in reality, the prophecy never said how the knot was to be loosened. Sometimes we overcomplicate things in our emotional state. If we can step back and view the problem objectively, a solution will often come to us. 

As long as Alex thought the problem was impossible, he was unsuccessful. The moment he realized there was a simple solution, he sliced open the Gordian Knot. What does this mean for us? Simply put, if you think there’s no answer, no answers will come. Once you decide that there’s an answer, you will start to look at the problem differently, and a solution will come. It all goes back to the story you tell yourself in that little head of yours. 

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford

#selfhelp #selflove #selfcare #alexanderthegreat #motivation #love #inspiration #mindfulness #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #personalgrowth #healing #mindset #lifecoach #impossibleproblem #selfdevelopment #quotes #meditation #positivity #success #mentalhealthawareness #spirituality #gordianknot #motivationalquotes #happiness #psychology #selfhelpbooks #life #selfawareness #positivevibes #habits

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Pick Yourself!

Original Photo by Majestic Lukas on Unsplash

How many times have you found yourself wanting to do something but back away from it because you don’t feel like you can do it? You could physically do it, but unless someone chooses you to do it, you feel as if you’re not enough. Why do we do this? We sabotage our results because we won’t try for anything that seems too big for us. I believe this is one of those pre-conditioned responses I’ve previously discussed. 

 Think back to high school PE class. The teacher has just labeled to children as team captains. Each child turns to the crowd of students and picks one child to go on their team. This process continues back and forth until all of the children are picked. Actually, that’s not exactly true. All the children were chosen except for the last child, who was tolerated.

Now, you might have been highly athletic, and you were always picked first. Kudos to you. 98% of us were in the middle of the crowd. You were happy because at least you weren’t the last kid. For the last 1%, I am sorry you were not picked in PE class. 

We are adults now, so why are we still functioning under this childhood conditioning?

 In college, we are taught that our grades make us good students or bad students. Again, we are labeled by our performance and not our potential. These examples are two among a thousand. We are conditioned as a society to look externally for our value. Unfortunately, nothing external can give you value. Your value comes from within.

 Sometimes we seek our value from other broken people. Why are we asking broken, unvalidated people for validation? What gives them the right to validate you anyway? 

Our behavior, performance, skin color, finances, and relationships do not give us value. Nor do they devalue you in any way. Too many arguments are fought on this premise of validation, or the lack thereof. You are valuable just because you are a human being. You were designed for a purpose, and I believe that purpose is to help humankind. How many great scientists have we lost throughout history because we didn’t teach them to find value in themselves? How many Einsteins have disappeared from our world, never achieving their goals because no one picked them?

Those who step above and succeed where no one else could are the type of people that know their value comes from within. They don’t wait for a permission slip from the universe to go after their goals. I talked about this in a video recently, and I created a universal permission slip, but you can find it on my website if you choose to have one. You don’t need permission to go on this field trip of life. You just need to go. Have fun. Be awesome. Make a difference. That’s what you’re called to do. You are not called to sit back and wait for someone else to pick you.

#selfhelp #selflove #selfcare #mentalhealth #motivation #love #inspiration #mindfulness #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #personalgrowth #healing #mindset #lifecoach #anxiety #selfdevelopment #quotes #meditation #positivity #success #mentalhealthawareness #spirituality #loveyourself #motivationalquotes #happiness #psychology #selfhelpbooks #life #selfawareness #positivevibes #habits

Fill your inbox with something positive!

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Conditioned Emotional Response (C.E.R.)

What is a Conditioned Emotional Response?

It is a reaction-type response to a trigger that comes from conditioning over time. The problem is that some of the C.E.R.’s aren’t your own. They weren’t a response that you chose. Instead, they were programmed into you by those around you at a young age or those around you now. Let me give you a humorous example. Zig Ziglar told this story in one of his many motivational speeches.

A young married woman cooked ham for her new husband. When she sat it on the table, he noticed that the end of the ham had been cut off. He asks her why. She shrugged and said, “that’s how my mother always made the ham. She makes the best ham in the world.”

 Later, the woman called her mother and asked her why she always cut the end of the ham off. Does it make it taste better? she asks. 

“No,” replied the mother. Your grandmother always cuts the end of the ham off, and she makes the best ham in the world!”

 So later, the granddaughter calls her grandma. “Why do you cut off the ham?” she asks. “Does it make it taste better?”

 “No,” laughed grandma. “My Pan was just too small.”

Now, This may be a silly example of a conditioned response. It was programmed into two generations, all because of a pan and its size. How many things have you picked up from your parents, friends, and the society around you? How often do you respond automatically to something and then wonder about it later?

Many things are programmed into us without our approval, knowledge, or understanding. I know some people with a victim’s mentality would say, “well, it’s not my fault.” No, it isn’t. But it is your responsibility. It’s up to you to decide if you agree or disagree with the response. If you do not, and if you’re C.E.R. does not serve you, it is up to you to change it. You have the power to do it! 

Monday Motivational Video:

#selfhelp #selflove #selfcare #mentalhealth #motivation #love #inspiration #mindfulness #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #personalgrowth #healing #mindset #lifecoach #anxiety #selfdevelopment #quotes #meditation #positivity #success #mentalhealthawareness #spirituality #loveyourself #motivationalquotes #happiness #psychology #selfhelpbooks #life #selfawareness #positivevibes #habits

Fill your inbox with something positive!

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10 Writing Prompts That Lead to Personal Growth

10 Writing Prompts That Lead to Personal Growth

Why would a writer need to focus on personal growth? If you surveyed all of the world’s most successful people, 90% of them are into personal growth. While most people overlook this fact and call personal development lame, they are literally putting themselves into the bottom 10%.
Focusing on personal growth helps you identify & replace unhealthy habits, increases your confidence, and helps when you feel overwhelmed. As a writer, I have so many projects on my schedule, I find it is easy to get overwhelmed. That’s when I turn my focus back to my study of personal development. With it, I am becoming a better person and building my empire. Why not give it a try?

How to start:
Writing prompts are effective because they force you to consider things you might not ever think about on your own. Writing is also an effective process for personal growth because it forces you to slow your thinking and organize your thoughts. You can’t write nearly as quickly as you can think!
There are endless sources of writing prompts that can help you to discover more about yourself.

Consider using these:

1. How do you think others view you? Imagine being an observer and watching yourself go through your typical day. What would you think about yourself if you were the average person? What changes do you think you should make based on this observation?

        • Most people are very mistaken regarding how the world views them. In reality, everyone is living in their own little universe where they are the center. Honestly, they aren’t thinking about you anyway.

2. If you had lots of money and free time, what would your life look like? What would you do? What would you stop doing?

        • Everyone wants more time and money, but what would you do if your wish came true? Most people don’t take the time to really decide what they want.

3. What negative experiences from your childhood are still influencing or impacting you today? What impact is this having on your life? Why haven’t you let go of these experiences?

        • Our traumas and negative experiences influence our adulthood more than we realize.

4. Describe the five habits you could develop that would have the greatest positive impact on your life. What would you accomplish by having these habits? Why haven’t you been able to develop these habits yet?

        • Good habits practically guarantee a great life.

5. Describe three habits you wish you could drop from your life and the impact that would have if you did. Create a plan for dropping each of those habits.

        • Bad habits can have a greater impact on your life than good habits.

6. What is the one thing you most want to accomplish? What are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish that one great thing? What are you willing to give up now in order to get what you want later?

        • We have a tendency to dabble in too many minor things.

7. What is one skill you wish you had? How would that impact your life?

        • What skill is most appealing to you? What skill would have the greatest impact on your life?

8. What do you think about while lying in bed at night? What do these topics say about you? What do they say about your life?

        • Where our minds go when we’re alone in the dark is illuminating.

9. How do you procrastinate? What are some ways to limit the amount of time you procrastinate?

        • Procrastination is a stalling technique that robs you of time and progress.

10. Which people in my life cause me the most grief? Which people are the least supportive? Why have I permitted these people to persist in my life?

        • We have things and people in our lives that cause more harm than good.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are plenty of additional sources of writing prompts available online. Consider doing one prompt each day for a month. You’ll be surprised by what you learn about yourself. All you need is a pen, paper, and a few minutes each day.

Check out one of my mentors:

Peggy McColl, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Peggy McColl is a world-renowned wealth, business, and manifestation expert as well as the New York Times Best Selling Author of Your Destiny Switch: Master Your Key Emotions And Attract the Life of Your Dreams.

For over 26+ years at the time of this publication, using her Power Life Script® process — along with her unique intimate understanding of the Universal Laws – she has been showing people from around the globe how to: Manifest any result they desire in their personal and professional lives, from dream homes and soulmates to perfect health and multi-million-dollar businesses;

Become International Best-Selling Authors; Create wealth and complete freedom; And much more.

She has worked with – and been endorsed by – some of the most renowned experts in the personal development field

Recommended Reading:

Your Destiny Switch: Master Your Key Emotions, and Attract the Life of Your Dreams

Get Your Copy Here

photo credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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