Archives for April 2011

Happiness: Are We Distorting It By Thinking About It?

Is so much thinking, researching and dwelling on happiness causing it to elude us?

In 2000 there were 40 books published on happiness. In 2008, when I was writing my book, Color Your Life Happy: Create the Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve, 4000 books on happiness were published.

Add to that the advent of the field of Positive Psychology and serious research by scientists, economists and others, and happiness has flooded our attention. It is a constant theme on television, major magazine articles, coaching, commercial jingles and of course, has found its way into smartphone apps. Yes, there’s an ap for happiness. Check it out at

When Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and Nobel prize winner, spoke at TED, he addressed this issue in The Riddle of Experience v.s. Memory. He concludes that there are three cognitive traps surrounding happiness:

1. We are reluctant to admit complexity because we overuse the word “happiness.” We apply it to so many things that cause the term to become diluted.
2. We confuse experience and memory in which we don’t differentiate between being happy “in” our lives v.s. being happy “about” or “with” our lives.
3. We suffer from a focusing illusion. We distort the importance of happiness by dwelling on it.

Watch the video to get the full story, then share your take on this in the Comments.

“Remembering self” v.s. the “experiencing self”

5 Tips to Increase Your Confidence

confidentbizman--resizedConfidence and happiness go together, and yet circumstances and events around us threaten to strain that connection.
Even the most confident of us can have moments of doubt or incidents that dampen and diminish our usual upbeat certainty.

Confidence is the belief that you have the ability and skills to succeed at whatever you tackle. When you are confident, your inner voice says “Yes, I can.”

Happiness is a state of well-being, where you are pleased with your life and look forward to each day.

Confidence is learned. It is based on successfully completing activities and reaching goals. The more you are successful at what you tackle, the stronger your confidence that you’ll be able to succeed at future endeavors.

Here are 5 tips to gain and maintain your confidence which will give you deep satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

1. Recognize that you are not alone.

People who are successful have moments of doubt and a slip in confidence occasionally. They also have failures and make mistakes, but they realize that this is part of growth. Instead of being undone by these bumps in the road, they find ways to restore their feelings of self-worth and self-assurance. You can do this as well.

2. Surround yourself with confident people and situations.

We are all influenced by our surroundings. That’s why it’s important to stay in the company of inspiring people who encourage you and cheer you on. This may be in the form of motivational groups, seminars, audio recordings, clubs, books, and of course, your friends. Fill your experiences and mind with uplifting people and ideas.

3. Break big tasks into smaller ones.

It’s scary to stare at a big task as if you had to accomplish it in one swoop. Big tasks take many days, weeks and sometimes years. So, chop the big task into small parts and complete one small task at a time.

Completing a college degree, for example, will require you to complete many units of study, often taking many years. But since you can only take one course or set of courses at a time, focus on what you can handle in small chunks. Complete them successfully knowing that they are moving you closer to your goal.

4. Acknowledge your successes, even small ones.

You may be like many of us, and discount your achievements, or put yourself down for not having done more. This is a big confidence-killer.

When you complete a step toward your goal, congratulate yourself, celebrate and reassure yourself that you will succeed at the next step as well.

5. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations.

Scientists say that we think thousands of thoughts each day. Since we tend to move toward the direction of the thoughts it’s essential that we think positive ones.

Think about what you want to bring about. Even before it comes into being it’s essential to speak about the good you want. Some achieve this with the help of guided meditation, prayer, and spiritual rituals. Find what works for you and make it a part of your life.

Take a Little Motivation and Pass It On

Beverlee Gopp--Walking in the Now

Beverlee Harbour Gopp

Do you receive lots of chain email asking you to pass it to ten people in 10  minutes or else?

If you’re like me, you hit the delete key in a flash.

It’s not that I don’t like sharing good stuff, it’s just that I don’t like chain spam from people insisting that I continue the spam assault on my mailing list.

But when you receive an email from someone with whom you’ve built a relationship, it’s a different story.

For example, a few days ago I received an email from my friend and fellow coach, Beverlee, from www.WalkingintheNow. It was an original motivational poem she wrote.  She agreed to let me share it with you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

There are times in this life when my smile is real
My eyes shine with mirth to express my zeal
I walk much lighter with a carefree step
The commitments I make are all proudly kept
People are drawn to my inner light
I’m like a beacon they follow even out of sight
These are the moments when I am most proud
To help those around me let go of their doubt

Then there are days when the reverse is true
I hide under covers feeling quite blue
I worry and stress about all that might be
Forgetting the NOW that I practice with glee
What can I do to make this moment count
When bills and debt seem hard to surmount
I sit down and write my thoughts to inspire
Words dancing on pages as my mood transpires

Soon the creativity brings light to my heart
I am ready to begin all the tasks I must start
I look forward to the challenge of who I can be
A beacon of light for all to see
I’m excited and scared as I plan out my dream
Aware of the pieces and parts of my scheme
I let go of perfection as it gets in my way
My smile is real for the success of today

Beverlee Harbour Gopp
Author, “Choose Gratitude Not Attitude Even When Sh*t Hits the Fan!”
Motivational Coach, Creator of