How to Create the Happiness You Deserve

 

Pursuing happiness has become a cliché not just because it’s overused, but also because we misunderstand it and go about it all wrong.

When the authors of the U.S. Declaration of Independence penned that Americans have the right to “the pursuit of happiness” they meant we have the right to occupy our lives with moral and spiritual activities that would lead to the well-being of humanity. Their view of happiness was not limited to accumulating material items and fulfilling personal desires.

There was no right to be happy, but rather the right to practice moral lives that would contribute to the good of us all.

Well, not quite all of us.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with changing the original phrase from “life, liberty and property” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
This change is certainly more lyrical and appealing, but since it didn’t really apply to many Americans at the time, it wasn’t as broad as some think.

In fact, Jefferson’s property at the time included about 200 slaves. Since he certainly didn’t allow them to pursue any definition of happiness, he might as well have left the word “property” in the document.

On the surface, many of us claim that we believe happiness is well-being and feeling good about ourselves. In actuality, however, too many of us still seek happiness from material solutions and possessions.  Even though we’ve been let down repeatedly by the quickly-fading high we get from new possessions, we still pursue them. We even cheat, lie and kill to accumulate things.

Let me quickly point out that I’m not suggesting that owning material possessions is bad  or that it’s better to be poor than wealthy. Not at all. On the contrary, research has revealed that people who nurture their inner well-being first are more likely to reduce their stress, enjoy satisfying relationships, and make more money.

How can you create happiness that begins on the inside before it shows up in our outside lives?

Here are five ways to start.

Let go

Henrik Edberg on The Positivity Blog
5 Powerful Steps to Help You Let Go and Feel Less Pain

Learning to let go of something in your past, of something that is just an unimportant distraction or of trying to control what you cannot control can free up huge amounts of the energy and the time you have to use for something better and more fulfilling.

Provide warmth for a stranger

Nadine Kalinauskas | Good News at ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs
Good Samaritans Leave Scarves for the Homeless in Canadian, U.S. Cities

Some Good Samaritans are helping warm the homeless (and scarf-less) this winter by leaving scarves and hats wrapped around poles, fire hydrants and lamp posts in chilly cities across North America.

 Learn to enjoy being alone

Tony Robinson on LifeHack.org
When You Start Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

Some people think of “being alone” as a bad thing. It either means you’re anti-social, or unwanted, neither of which are a good position to be in.

But actually, being alone isn’t’ necessarily a bad thing, as there are a handful of benefits that emerge once you learn to embrace solitude.

Declutter

Linda Luke on Life Coach Linda
From Clutter to Clarity–A Client Story

My client Carol came to me for support with some big decisions to be made with her upcoming retirement.  She felt unclear and overwhelmed as to what to do.

The situation became even more interesting when during our first call she described her life as “itchy”.  I hadn’t heard that one before, so I asked her to tell me more.  She shared that her home felt like a burden instead of a sanctuary, volunteer work and other obligations were filling up her time, and she didn’t feel like there was space for her in her own life.

View discontent as your call to action

Flora M. Brown on Barbara Ardinger.com
Discontent Can Be Your Savior

The moment you realize you’re not satisfied with a situation, person, job, location, or even yourself, your mind gets to work—processing ways to get out, over, or around it. If you don’t heed the solutions that bubble to the surface, then your discontent will only grow.

A common habit and often our default reaction when things don’t go our way is to reenact the situation over and over in our heads. We then call, email, or text our friends reliving the wrong, and maligning the perpetrator. These reactions may give temporary relief, but they are not helpful in the long run.

 

 Guard your happiness with positive habits.
Pre-order your autographed copy at
ColorYourLifeHappy.com before
October 3rd for a special price.

Full_cover

 

 

 

Call Her Madam, the First Self-Made American Woman Millionaire

walkerMadame C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove in poverty-stricken Louisiana in 1867, went from picking cotton to become the first self-made American woman millionaire.  But it was not a straight line.

“There is no royal flower-strewn path to success,” she once observed. “And if there is, I have not found it – for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”

She married at age 14, gave birth to her only daughter in 1885, and two years later became a widow. Upon her husband’s death she moved to St. Louis where her four brothers were barbers. She saved enough money working as a laundrywoman to educate her daughter.

How she began

During the 1890’s Sarah began to lose her hair due to a damaging scalp ailment. She was so embarrassed by her appearance that she began to experiment with scalp conditioners and healing formulas made by another Black entrepreneur, Annie Malone. She soon became a sales agent for Annie and moved to Denver. There she met and married Charles Joseph Walker.

How she progressed

Sarah changed her name to Madame CJ Walker and founded her own business selling Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula. She conducted an exhausting door-to-door sales campaign throughout the South and Southeast. She even opened a college in 1908 to train her “hair culturists.” Her corporation at one time employed over 3,000 employees.

In fifteen years she amassed a fortune and is the first known African-American woman to become a self-made millionaire. She died at age 52 in 1919.

Learn more

Learn more at her official website, http://www.madamcjwalker.com, maintained by her biographer and great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles.

February is Black History Month when we pause to remember, acknowledge, celebrate, and express gratitude for the many black men, women and children who overcame great odds and endured hardships to become successful in their endeavors. The life of Madame C.J. Walker reminds us all that the secret to success is no secret at all. As she once explained, “I got my start by giving myself a start.”

Get Unstuck

©canstockphoto,com/Palych
©canstockphoto,com/Palych

No matter how confident or successful you may feel, things will happen in your life that weaken your self-confidence.

  • Perhaps you just got laid off
  • You lost sight of your goal
  • You’re overwhelmed with choices
  • You don’t seem to have any desirable choices left
  • A friend or partner let you down

Knowing what to do at these times can get you unstuck, back on track, and moving toward your goals again.

That’s why I wrote Getting Unstuck: How to Get Your Confidence Back and Follow Your Dream

Using my experience and that of others, I share what has worked for us in an easy-to-read Kindle
version and priced this week for only 99cents.

Look at what people are saying in these excerpts from actual reviews:

  • “The title might seem like a big promise, but I found just today, following one of the suggestions in it,
    helped me get back on track, immediately.” JEP
  • “I now have useful actions I can take any time I need to move forward to reach my goals.” AG
  • “The author shares some proven steps to build up your confidence.” PZ
  • “Check out the chapter on gaining confidence based on failure. It’s a great reframe and that one chapter is worth the price of the book alone.”AA
  • “I am a big fan of personal development being a certified life coach and I have to say the chapter on intentional activity is pretty eye opening.” JI
  • “I really enjoyed this book. It’s a short read packed with useful strategies to get you unstuck and taking action toward your goals.”LP

If this seems like a good time for you or someone you know to discover how to get unstuck, get the Kindle version this week for only 99 cents.
Getting Unstuck: How to Get Your Confidence Back and Follow Your Dream

If you don’t have to own a Kindle device, no problem.
You can get a free app for your computer, tablet, or smartphone
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

Celebrate ‘Happiness Happens’ Month with a Smile, a Wave, a Good Deed and More

Happiness Happens Month

(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / gvictoria

August is Happiness Happens Month, started by the Secret Society of Happy People in 1999. The group is no longer a secret since they boast over 46,000 “Likes” on Facebook. You can learn more about them and their creative activities on their website, http://www.sohp.com

The Society has three purposes for this month:

  • Recognize and express happiness
  • Listen to others talk about their happiness
  • Don’t rain on other people’s parades

These sound like some good ideas for any time of the year, but it won’t hurt to be extra mindful of creating your happiness this month.

Pamela Gail Johnson, founder of this day,  has come up with many creative ideas. Why not join her and the rest of us in the Happiness Happens 31 Day Challenge?
Download the calendar and get busy==>http://sohp.com/happiness-happens-month-31-day-challenge-calendar/

Some other ways you can celebrate

  • don a pair of silver shades (because happy people always see the silver lining)
  • laugh (laughter is still the best medicine)
  • smile (and the world smiles with you)
  • post on Twitter about what makes you happy, using the hashtag #HappinessHappens

What are some other ways you will celebrate this month?

  • Join me on August 9th in celebrating Color Your Life Happy Day, inspired by the memory of my mom, Mildred Morris
  • Make visiting my home page part of your celebrations at https://www.coloryourlifehappy.com and sign up to get updates on the 2nd edition of my book, Color Your Life Happy: Create the Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve

How Will You Celebrate ‘Color Your Life Happy Day’ on August 9th?

Many of us begin the year making resolutions, but within a few weeks we have forgotten our promises.

Caught my mom by surprise when we picked her up in a limo and whisked her to a Mother’s Day brunch one year.

If you stuck to your resolutions, it’s probably because you

        • kept your goals small and achievable
    •  asked friends to help you stay on track by holding you accountable
    • changed your environment to support your new behavior.

Regardless of how you fared in this annual practice, here’s an opportunity to start anew, but with just one resolution.

On August 9th join me in celebrating “Color Your Life Happy Day”, a day to participate in something you enjoy, some activity that will make
you happy and others too. Then make a decision to make it a habit to continue finding joy, pleasure, a way to help others for the rest of the year.

Happiness is not a destination, but the things we do along the way as we live our lives. At the end of their lives, many wish they had slowed down, worked less and spent more time enjoying family, friends and fun activities. Don’t let this be you.

Regrets are a waste. Do the things that bring you joy and happiness everyday.

This special celebration was inspired by the memory of my mother, Mildred S. Morris, who would have turned 104 years old this year on August 9, 2014 (she passed at age 92 in 2002.) She spent her life making people happy with her music. She played piano and organ from childhood through her mid 80’s for many churches, organizations and events. Everyone who ever heard her play was touched by her lively and fervent style.

I invite you to join me in celebrating Color Your Life Happy Day on August 9th. Then between August 10th-15th send me a photo or video of how
you celebrated to my email at flora@florabrown.com

You may choose to enjoy a simple pleasure such as taking time off to read a neglected book. You may join the courageous who use this day to get control of the clutter that has been making them very unhappy.

So get busy thinking of how you will celebrate “Color Your Life Happy Day.” Then on August 9th take a picture showing how you celebrated. Remember, it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular by anyone else’s standards. It just has to be something that makes you happy. Email it to me at flora@florabrown.com with your name, activity, and city/state/country. I will post entries on my blog, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coloryourlifehappy and my Pinterest page.

I’m looking forward to the wonderful array of celebrations.

In the meantime, motivate yourself daily with our Everyday Happiness motivational cards at http://florabrown.com/products-classes/everyday-happiness-cards/