How to Cultivate Happiness: Feed Daily

Posing with Uni and Joungmin on my patio

Posing with Uni and Joungmin on my patio

No matter how well you’ve planted the seeds for happiness and removed the weeds, you must feed daily to keep happiness thriving in your life. Here are five ways to do this:

1. Be curious

Stay open to new ideas by reading and listening to inspirational, entertaining and informative material. There is much material available to you online, in your local library and many other places.

One such place to spark new ideas is Springwise This company has 80,000 spotters around the globe looking for inspirational ideas for entrepreneurs. Maybe one of this ideas will spark a new venture in your mind.

2. Be sociable

Get off the Internet for a while and hang out with other people near you who share your interests and are engaged in activities you enjoy. One place to start is, the world’s largest network of local groups. Search for groups in your interest area and locale, or start one if you wish. I belong to several Meetups in my area and assisted my daughter in starting one.

3. Be giving

Donate to charities and agencies in need of aid, but also give of yourself. It feeds your happiness and spreads it to others. One way that some are giving of themselves is through, the largest hospitality exchange network in the world. Through CouchSurfing travelers make connections with others in the local communities they visit. You may participate by meeting a visitor for coffee when they are in your town or host them if you wish. The photo above shows a couple who stayed with us for three days on their long road trip from Canada back to their home in South Korea.

4. Be positive.

It is said that we have about 70,000 thoughts per day. If it is true that we attract what we think about, then we must selective about the thoughts that permeate our minds all day.

The thoughts in your mind won’t control circumstances outside of you, they just determine how you react to and are affected by those circumstances.

One way I stay positive is to talk to other positive people, listen to motivational and inspirational audio and live programs, and most of all, begin and end each day with positive affirmations and prayer. For weekly tips that will help you stay focused on positive, be sure to subscribe to the Color Your Life Happy Newsletter.

5. Be proactive.

Insist on doing things you enjoy. Don’t get so caught up in working that you neglect engaging in what you find enjoyable.

Be resourceful and creative about it. If you enjoy gardening, for example, but seem to be short on time once you arrive home, then bring live plants into your office or workplace. An added benefit according to some studies is that live plants help purify the air, create soothing effects and help reduce work stress.

Using these ideas daily will help feed and maintain your happiness.

How are You Preparing for the New Year?

j0433093Invitations for holiday parties call for closing out the old year and ringing in the new. I’m looking forward to attending a few holiday parties this season, but I don’t consider those as preparation for my new year.

It’s a common practice to make New Year’s Resolutions in January but it’s also common that few people follow through with their resolutions.

Why is this so, and what can we do that will bring about better results?

When Denise Dyer, a spiritual life coach, was a guest on my Dec. 14th radio show she pointed out that resolutions are doomed to fail because they focus on problems. We often begin them with “I need. . .” instead of affirming and committing to the changes we want to take place in our lives. (If you missed this episode you can listen to it here.)

Denise continued by giving her formula for success: Inner work + outer work= success. As long as we come from a place of lack and try to impose changes from the outside, we are doomed to lackluster results.
If you want to make changes in your life for 2010, in fact, it’s essential to do the inner work to prepare for those changes now.

Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within, laid out a December plan for her readers that consciously prepares us to receive the good we want. She believes that it’s not enough to just state what we want. We must be ready to receive. To get ready involves a number of activities and shifts in consciousness. Although we’re already mid-December, it’s not too late to benefit from the activities that Conner proposes. Visit her December 1st blog post and catch up.

We’ve all heard many versions of John 16: 24 “. . .ask, and ye shall receive. “ I’d like to reword this saying with my own understanding, “Ask believing and in readiness, and ye shall receive.”

In my book, Color Your Life Happy, I share the importance of creating and repeating affirmations, but only to the level at which we can believe that we can receive what we want. Wishing for a million dollars, for example, is not of much use if you can’t visualize yourself having even $100,000.

As I prepare for the new year, I’m adapting Conner’s December preparation, which parallels some of the activities many religions complete during Advent season. The key components of my preparation are:

1. Setting aside time daily to be still and reflect on my many blessings.
2. Expressing gratitude for the blessings of ideas, people and experiences I’ve enjoyed this year
3. Forgiving others and myself
4. Drawing a picture on a December calendar of something I want in 2010.
5. Listening more deeply to my inner voice

What are you doing to prepare for the new year?