Happiness Hack #72 – Talk About Your Feelings of Shame and Rejection

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We evolved to be social.  In groups we were able to find more food and protect ourselves from threats much more successfully than we could do alone.  Survival was based on our ability to remain a part of a group. If we did not fit in or were not a contributing member and were kicked out of the group, then we literally might not survive alone.  That now plays out in our modern brains as a need to fit in and be liked. When we feel like someone might not like us or might not see us as valuable, our survival instincts kick in and we literally feel fears and emotions that are usually reserved for life-threatening situations. We are able to intellectually understand that being rejected shouldn’t be a big deal, but our subconscious is screaming at us that we are in danger of not being able to survive.  Those two competing forces cause us to have feelings and take actions that don’t always make sense to us and can often derail our calm façade.

The good news is there is a solution. By just becoming aware of what is causing this conflict, we can become better at managing it.  If we understand and admit that we are feeling rejected and fearful, we can start to deal with the real feelings we are experiencing, even if we intellectually believe it shouldn’t be that big of deal.  Recognize the panic and the shame you feel when you are left out or not appreciated. Admitting those feelings is not a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength and your ability to deal with the deep seeded emotions we all feel.

Be vulnerable. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings of shame and rejection.  Share and work through these feelings that are real and impactful in your life. Be your true self and admit your true feelings, and you will be happier and more successful.

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #70 – Today is Your Day

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Happiness is right now.  There may be better or worse things in your past, but those things don’t matter now.  You may have big plans, hopes, and dreams for your future, but there is no reason you have to wait for those to be happy. Your happiness is dependent on what you do with what you have today. You can choose to appreciate and build on what you have or you can choose to lament what you don’t have. You can mourn the unfair things that have occurred in your past or you can focus on what you can make happen today.  Make today your day.  Be happy today.

 

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”  Dr. Suess

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

School for Start-ups Radio Interview

Click Here to Listen

 

Why Entrepreneurs are Less Happy – at 5 minutes 55 seconds

 

Why I Teach Happiness and Success – at 10 minutes 25 seconds

 

Defining Happiness – at 12 minutes

 

Why Happiness Leads to Success rather than Success Leading to Happiness – at 14 minutes 35 seconds

 

 

The Secrets to Happiness and Success – at 20 minutes 40 seconds

 

 

 

Upskilling – Providing Mastery and Motivation

The four motivational focus areas for employees are PAM C; Purpose, Autonomy, Mastery, and Connection.   Mastery consists of continuously learning and growing. Training is a concrete method to provide Mastery for your employees.

Training is an investment for both employees and employers, offering everyone the chance to apply new skills to their work. Employees learn new skills which can provide new opportunities, and enhance their earnings potential. For businesses Upskilling ensures that your staff are highly
skilled and boosts productivity. This gifographic from The Brighton School of Business & Management examines the world of Upskilling, looks at the advantages, and highlights a number of ways to enhance your own skill set.

Infographic from Brighton School of Business Management

The-Value-of-Upskilling-Gifographic

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #43 – Practice Your Happy Dance

Have you ever watched a 4 year-old when they found out they get to go to Disney World, or a six-year old when they finally learned to ride a bike or hit a baseball. They celebrate their wins and successes with little dances of happiness and joy. As we grow older we lose that ability to express our joy. We become more serious, start worrying about what people might think of us, and ignore our small successes because we are focused on the bigger goals in life. We are drifting past our opportunities to be a little happier.

Start practicing your happy dance. Do it alone in your bedroom behind a locked door if necessary, but practice how you would act if something great happened to you. Then start practicing on little successes. Do your Happy Dance when you get to work early because of no traffic, or when a good friend reaches out to you, or when you get a great birthday present. Do your Happy Dance just because you know it is going to be a great day.

How many moments in your life can you find to celebrate? The more small moments you can celebrate, the more joy and happiness you can bring into your life and the lives of others.

Do your Happy Dance!

 

“No matter what, do the Happy Dance once a day. It is your own physical expression of sheer joy.” Mary Frances Winters

 

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MyHappiness App

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Introduction

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

“I never knew Alexia but now I will never forget the lessons I have learned from her within the pages of this book. Like so many others, she has now touched my soul as well.”  5 Start Review from Julie Baswell

 

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Introduction

On June 15th, 2014, Father’s Day, the unthinkable happened – that moment in your life that you can never imagine, except in your worst nightmares. Alexia Ardeleanu, a beautiful young lady with unlimited potential was suddenly and tragically taken from us by a drunk driver. The drunk driver who killed her was driving 82 miles an hour when she plowed into Alexia’s car and others that were stopped at a stoplight in Houston, Texas.

We spent a lot of time crying and still want to cry every time we think about it. But we have chosen instead to honor her memory. We want to share the lessons she taught us and we feel she would have taught others, if she had been given the time. Alexia was special in what she accomplished and in how she lived her life. She had a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average in a double major of Accounting and Finance at the University of North Texas. She had taken her GMAT and was working on her LSAT so she could get double graduate degrees in Law and an MBA. She was successful in her job and was a campus leader. She was a Resident Assistant, had won multiple scholarships, and was President of the University of North Texas Professional Leadership Program. But most importantly she was a wonderful friend, daughter, and servant leader. She was special because of her daily focus on the important things in her life and how she unconditionally gave to others.

We want to emphasize that she was not perfect and that was what made her special. The leadership lessons we learned from Alexia are techniques anyone can learn and apply. She was not successful because of natural gifts; she was successful because she made choices every day that led her to be successful and a true servant leader. Our goal in this book is to share her real life examples and choices so you can learn how to make these lessons work for you. We hope that you can see the obstacles and challenges all successful people face and can learn how to persevere and live a life of happiness, success, and servant leadership.

Note from co-author Ray White:

I was lucky enough to be a mentor for Alexia; and as in most of my Mentor/Mentee relationships, I definitely learned as much from her as she did from me. In this book you will see a lot of emails addressed to me from Alexia. Our relationship included daily updates about how she was doing and whether she was on track for reaching the goals in her life and more importantly being happy and successful. We focused a lot on making sure she made taking care of herself a priority and took time for the actions necessary to keep her healthy and happy so she would have the energy be a successful servant leader for others. These emails are a great way to capture what she was thinking and what was really going on in her life. They give us the opportunity to not only see the important characteristics of a good leader but also to observe the concerns, challenges and imperfections as well.

We have structured this book to show real life examples from Alexia or people she interacted with, a summary of the lesson, and then an opportunity to help you reflect and improve on your related leadership skills.

We hope you enjoy the book and learn the reality about how you can be a servant leader who is both successful and happy.

 

 

 

 

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Can Control

Happiness Hack #38 Make a List of What You Can Control vs. What You Can’t Control

The world is full of things we can’t control. Something like the weather seems obvious. Yet how often are we unhappy because the rain ruins our plans?

It may be less obvious that we can’t control the actions of another person, even someone close to us. Our ability to influence them makes us believe we can control their actions, but eventually we are disappointed when they make decisions and take actions different from what we would have preferred.

When we start listing the things we can control and the things we can’t, the things we can control are centered on us and our actions while the things we can’t control are external to us; people, nature, and the stock market, to name a few.

Make a list of things you can control.

 

What you can control:  Who you hang out with

What you can’t control: How they behave or act

 

What you can control:  Where you work
What you can’t control: How nice your co-workers are

 

What you can control:  What time you wake up
What you can’t control: Physically, your body requires sleep

 

What you can control:  What clothes you wear
What you can’t control: What people think about the clothes you wear

 

What you can control:  Who you choose to spend your life with

What you can’t control: What they choose to do or how they choose to behave

 

Add Your Own:

What you can control:
What you can’t control:

What you can control:
What you can’t control:

What you can control:
What you can’t control:

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #32 Buy Happiness

There is a way money can buy happiness. It is found in how we spend the money. Research has shown that spending money on other people makes us happier than spending it on ourselves. It creates a virtuous circle where we spend the money on someone else and become happier which makes us want to spend more on someone else which further increases our happiness. More good news, we don’t have to spend a lot of money on someone else. The amount of money is not as important as choosing someone besides ourselves to spend it on.

5 Ways your money can buy happiness:

 

1. Buy coffee for a friend and spend a few minutes talking – you are giving and building positive relationships which give you a double dose of happiness.

2. Pay for the person in line behind you – random acts of kindness are fun and make us happier.

3. Donate money to a charity – even small donations make you feel good about giving.

4. Spend money on experiences like vacations – they create memories that add to your happiness for years to come. Especially if they include friends and family.

5. Plan your experiences months in advance. The anticipation of spending your money on a great experience will provide happiness before the money is even spent.

 

Small amounts of money spent in the right ways can buy you happiness.   So don’t wait on a financial windfall to be happy. Find ways today to budget happiness into your current income level. It is not how much, but how you spend it, that makes you happy.

 

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ice cream and that is almost the same thing.” Unknown

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Ebola and Priorities: 3 Rules for Clarity

Rule 1 – Don’t risk delivering mass death. Don’t even risk getting other people sick. There has been a trend for people to come to work sick. They may have a cold or a flu, but they feel they have to be at work even though they are sick. They need the money, consider themselves indispensable, are afraid they might get fired if they miss another day, or just don’t know how to delegate and depend on their other team members. Whatever the reason, it has almost become a badge of honor to come into the office even though you are sick. You can always claim it is allergies, pretend you are not contagious, or ask everyone keep 10 feet away. No matter how it gets rationalized, coming to work sick is a bad idea. Your project, job, or money, are not more important than the health of your teammates. Besides being the right thing to do, you need them to be healthy so you can take the time you need get well. Think of the chaos if everyone got sick. Your health is also a priority. It is getting more and more common to see employees work when they are sick, get worse and end up missing weeks and even months. When you are sick, stay home until you get well.

Now take that to the next level, Ebola. The people who were exposed to Ebola felt their vacations and other plans were a higher priority than potentially exposing hundreds of people to a deadly disease. They thought that since the plans were made, the money was spent, and they might not get another chance, they should go ahead and take the risk. They were willing to risk hundreds if not thousands of lives.

There is an argument that they were not contagious and they would know when they became contagious. But one of the side effects they didn’t consider was mass panic. How would other people feel about taking that risk? The cost of the disruption to the public psyche and the cost of shut downs and cleanings should have been considered. So, for clarity; Rule 1 is to make the health and welfare of the community your top priority and then somewhere down the list, add your plans for vacation. I know it seems like a real inconvenience, but so is mass death!

 

Rule 2 – Imagine a new reality. What if the stories from the books and movies came true? What if the schools shut down, you had to wear masks at the grocery store, and you couldn’t go into the office or worse yet attend sporting events because you might get infected by the people who are not clear about Rule 1? Imagine what your life would be like. What would you do, where would you go, how would you survive? What would you protect? What would you keep? This is a great exercise to help you understand the real priorities in your life. Would you be miserable or happy? What are you attached to now that you could really give up? What kind of life would you want to create if you could start over? What habits would you change? What would you do differently? Make a list.

Now look at your list. Why can’t you make some of those changes now? You know your priorities and what is important. Why not make changes today, with or without an epidemic, to move your life a little closer to what you really want. So Rule 2 clarified: Create a better reality now. Don’t wait for a catastrophe.

 

Rule 3 – Decide who you want on your bus. If Ebola resulted in a mass epidemic and you had to move somewhere new and safe, who would you take with you? Who would you want to be around? Who would you definitely not have room for? Make a list.

Now think about who you spend all your time with now.   Shouldn’t it be the people on your list? Why are you spending time with people you wouldn’t want in your new life? Find ways to politely spend less time with people who didn’t make the list and make it a priority to spend time with the people who did.

Note: Destroy the list. You don’t want to have that discussion with the person who wasn’t on it.

 

I expect they will get the Ebola threat under control. But the 3 rules of Ebola still work:

 

  1. Don’t risk delivering mass death or compromising anyone else’s health in any way. Especially to avoid being inconvenienced.
  2. Imagine and create a better reality
  3. Decide who you want on your bus and spend more time with them.

 

Make changes now that will help you be happy and successful, no matter what happens.

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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