Celebrate Color Your Life Happy Day

ColorYourLifeHappy.com

Color Your Life Happy Day celebrates my mom’s birthday. Here she is genuinely surprised when I picked her up in a limo for a Mother’s Day Brunch one year.

 

Did you make New Year’s resolutions?

If you stuck to them, congratulations. If you’re like most of us, however, those resolutions evaporated from your consciousness in a few weeks (or was that days?)

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

What is Color Your Life Happy Day?

August 9th “Color Your Life Happy Day”, is 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, and a way to help others for the rest of the year (make that the rest of your life.)

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 and others joy and happiness every day.

The Origin of Color Your Life Happy Day

This special celebration was inspired by the memory of my mother, Mildred S. Morris, who was born on August 9, 1910.  She passed at age 92 in 2002. She was a hairstylist by trade but 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.

How to Participate

Please join me in starting to make happiness a habit on Color Your Life Happy Day, August 9th through August 12th.

      • You may choose to

      • take time off to read a book you’ve longed to finish
      • join the courageous who decide to get control of the clutter that has been making them very unhappy
      • rent a Harley or Segway to go for a fun ride
      • become a tourist in your own town and visit a museum or other local treasure you’ve never seen
      • visit a local convalescent home to spend some time with a resident who never gets visitors.

Color Your Life Happy Day is not just for today, but every day.

Take a picture showing your happiness habit and post it on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook using the  hashtag #coloryourlifehappy.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular by anyone else’s standards. It just has to be something that makes you and/or others happy.

I’m looking forward to the wonderful array of photos. Don’t forget the hashtag #coloryourlifehappy

 

Want help coming up with happiness habits?

Here are a few from my book, Color Your Life Happy:
Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve

      • dance or sing to music you enjoy
      • volunteer for a cause you believe in
      • connect with a pet
      • savor the moment you’re in
      • say “yes” to yourself

For more detailed guidance on handling change and adversity, 
harmonizing family and work, and creating the life you want and deserve, go to Amazon and get the paperback,
ebook or audiobook at http://amzn.to/2aAZH8D

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Reduce stress and relax by coloring creative activities 

Coloring is now socially acceptable for adults. You no longer have to sneak into the kids’ section or “borrow” your kids’ coloring books. Best of all, slowing your mind and engaging in the repetitive motion of coloring helps you unplug from daily stress, increase mindfulness, foster relaxation,  stimulate creativity, and increase self-esteem.

There are three types of activities in this book: 30 patterns, drawings, and mandalas of varying complexity, seven coloring pages with motivational phrases, and finally, seven open-ended activities with space for you to write, doodle, or draw in response to a prompt.

Complete the activities in any order you wish. There are no page numbers or right or wrong. Don’t feel pressured to finish an activity. Stop whenever you want, and move on to another one or not. Most of all, let this book transport you to childlike pleasure and guilt-free fun. Get your copy and one for a loved one on Amazon here.

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Express gratitude daily


“Thank you.”

It is one of the first things many children are taught to say. Sometimes we say it in response to receiving a gift. Other times we express gratitude when someone is kind or helps us with a task.

Expressing gratitude is not just a childhood courtesy but when done regularly can improve your satisfaction with life. Showing gratitude is easy and doesn’t cost anything and has tremendous benefits.

Researchers have discovered that expressing gratitude not just occasionally, but daily, improves your health, promotes better sleep, and strengthens relationships, among many other benefits. This journal gives you space to reflect on what you have to be grateful for, and make a daily list. Enjoy the benefits.

There is space in this journal for you to enter your thoughts and a list of things you’re grateful for every day of the year. Peek inside the Look Inside feature to discover what awaits you at the bottom of the first day of each month.

 Get your copy or a gift for a loved one on Amazon here.

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How to Promote the Happiness Habit

In 2015 I rolled out the awesome Color Your Life Happy custom t-shirt.  If you missed the launch, no worries. You can still order the beautiful t-shirt at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt 


It’s available in sizes small through 5XL and three
other colors: gold, lime and white.

What a great way to support the right to happiness
we all deserve.

This is a Limited Edition custom shirt. The original campaign has ended, but you can still get one. Just go to http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt and click Buy it now!

The suggested retail price is $29.99, but I’ve discounted it when you buy it now at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

Consider buying an extra one for a gift and be sure to tell your friends, family and colleagues on social media to join us. Again, the link is http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

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Happiness is a habit. Tell us in the comments how you will cultivate yours, starting today. 

Let Famous Failures Inspire You to Keep Going After Your Dream

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Have you ever failed at something and for a moment felt devastated?

If so, you’re in good company. History is loaded with examples of successful people who encountered many failed attempts before they discovered success in their fields.

The difference between momentary failure and your eventual success is trying again, and with passion. Perfection, however, is not your goal. Giving your best, making the world a better place and experiencing fulfillment is.

The problem with what the world calls “failure” is that it’s an opinion of someone who can’t see your full value, your inner beauty, and your limitless potential. Even well-meaning folks, like our parents, can diminish our efforts with their damaging evaluations.

Henry Ford who had lots of experience with what the world calls failure said:  “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently”. In fact, what you learn from failure paves your road to success.

Enjoy the following video about famous failures and let it be a reminder to keep going after your dream.

Success: Why Everyone is Not Happy About Yours

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We all seek success, whether openly or secretly.

But there is one thing most of us are not ready for when it comes.

The backlash.

When you finally get the job you trained for, the house you dreamed of, the relationship you attracted, you can bet that everyone will not be happy for you. Some will even hate you and speak evil of you.

Others will even go so far as to praise you one week and be a willing party to your crucifixion the next.

What causes this reversal?

1. You had to make choices.

When you make choices, you invariably leave behind the choices not made. Mixed in among those choices are people who are still back there at the crossroads you left behind.

In a television interview Whoopi Goldberg once shared how surprised and saddened she was by the friendships she couldn’t hold onto once she became famous. She remembered when she was a struggling comedian beset with many life challenges, she and her buddies always said they would treat each other to a fantastic dinner and invite each other to their mansions when they became wealthy. Once Whoopi became successful, however, some of her buddies from the old days would not allow themselves to enjoy her success, so they declined her invitations.

2. You took action.

People who are unwilling to take the actions that lead to success often feel betrayed by you.

Many years ago I took a writing class that was offered free as part of a community services program. In one class session the teacher offered us leads to magazines that were looking for writers. The next morning I called the editor and got a writing assignment. As soon as I finished talking to the editor, I got a call from my teacher congratulating me, not for getting the assignment, but for following up on the lead. She indicated that she always followed up on the leads she gave her students. I was the only one in that class who followed the lead.

3. You changed.

Those who want to keep the status quo are afraid of how your changes will affect your relationship with them.

A number of my returning college students shared stories of marital upset brought on by their return to school. One doctoral candidate, for example, indicated that her husband was supportive of her the first semester, but by the second semester began to withdraw his support. He was so threatened by her determination to complete her degree that he threw up as many roadblocks as he could. First he refused to babysit their two children on the evenings she was in class. Increasingly he withdrew more and more support. Eventually he threw out the ultimatum: “It’s either the doctorate or me.” She chose the doctorate, and successfully completed her degree three years later.

The backlash that can follow success is not about you at all. It’s about the inner turmoil of those who wrongly believe that your success in some way diminishes them. It doesn’t, of course.

Even though the weak and fearful will not be able to share your joy, continue to progress toward your goals, make good choices and enjoy your success. Some people you will never meet will be inspired by you, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Have you had something similar happen to you? Share your experience.   Click Leave a Comment right under the title.

Thanks for helping me choose my book cover

2ndEdition-Thankyou

 

Everyone wants happiness, but most of us experience only small snatches of short-term pleasure, while longing for lasting inner joy. Drawing from findings of positive psychology and ancient truths, I packed each chapter with a unique mix of practical advice, creative activities, poetry, anecdotes and colorable cartoons.

Color Your Life Happy is not a one-size-fits-all approach since each of us experiences happiness in our way. It offers hope for those who feared that they would have to go through a major life overhaul to be happy. Without requiring that we get rid of personal flaws or fix weaknesses, it gives ways to build on our strengths to make the choices that lead to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Color Your Life Happy is based on the premise that the average baby is born equipped to be happy and joyful. Depending on our upbringing and circumstances, as we grow up this inborn joy is developed and flourishes or is discouraged and buried. Color Your Life Happy makes the reader aware that this inner joy is within reach and is a matter of making choices. No major life overhaul is required to carry out the suggestions and activities offered to meet challenges and cope with the inevitable obstacles and adversity. Change begins with one step.

Color Your Life Happy 2nd edition will soon be available. Sign up above to get pre-order information. Help spread the word by sharing with your friends on social media.

Want Success? Decide the What, Let the How Take Care of Itself

riskLife is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.
~John Lennon

When you go after a goal, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want or where you want to be when you succeed. But you don’t need to be overly concerned about how you will get there. The details of  how to reach your goal will unfold as you go. Even if you listed every single action step, unexpected results, people and events will occur along the way causing you to alter your course.  If you’ve ever have to take a detour from your carefully charted route or GPS guidance, you know what I mean.

Here are five ways to proceed that have worked for me and others.

  • Learn from people who have already accomplished what you want to achieve.

Just one conversation with another mom who was working on her doctoral degree gave me the courage to begin my own doctoral studies. It’s best, if possible, to have a mentor or supportive group with whom you can exchange ideas and get encouragement. It’s fortunate if you meet in person, but when you can’t, grasp the wealth of encouragement available from books, movies, and information exchange on the internet.

  • Be willing to concentrate so hard on what you are doing that time seems to stand still.

In his book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this optimal experience “flow.”  He described flow as

The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.

When I’m engaged in writing an article, for example, I sometimes get so caught up in what I’m saying that my fingers seem to fly trying to capture the thoughts rushing out of my head. At these times I reach such a peak of exhilaration and joy that I forget to eat. When this period subsides, my stomach growls, reminding me of my negligence.

  • Be willing to do what it takes to reach your goal.

This may sound too obvious to even mention. But it’s true. Many years ago when my kids watched Mr. Rogers, one of his popular songs was “You’ve Got to Do It.” The gist of this seemingly simple song was that you can make believe, wish or daydream about what you want, but for something to happen you’ve got to take action. You have to know every single step to start. Just take the first one and the second one. The remaining steps will become apparent as you progress.

  • Be willing to be alone.

I love having dinner parties, travel, and going to live theater. But I also love my own company. It’s only when all outside stimulation is silenced that some of my best ideas surface.

Some of the activities you’ll need to complete on the way to your goal must be done alone. If you feel the need to have a buddy, helper or ride-along with everything you do, you’re going to slow down and maybe even derail your progress.

  • Be willing to fail or quit.

The unwillingness to fail or be rejected is what causes us to procrastinate or stick with things longer than we should. We keep holding back waiting for things to be perfect or cling to a failing project long after it’s dead. It’ s wise to research and think things through, but you must let these ideas, projects, or activities be born, no matter what the outcome.

I decided long ago that when I’m sitting in my rocking chair stroking my gray Afro, recounting my life story, I’d much rather talk about the many things I had tried that didn’t work out than about what I wanted to do but never had the courage to try.

In his book, The Dip, Seth Godin points out that successful people quit many times. The key is knowing when to quit before you spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy on a goal or task that’s not going anywhere.

When Jia Jiang’s plan to create a to-do list app fell through, he was crushed. Not only did his major investor let him down, but now Jia had to disappoint his four employees and ask his wife to keep supporting the family while he pursued his dream. He was angry, plagued by fear,  and felt sick at the stomach. He decided that if rejection is part of success he should build up resistance to it. That’s how his 100 Days of Rejection Therapy began.  The plan was to make outrageous requests, video the response and blog about it. On Nov. 15, 2012 his began by asking a security guard for $100. The answer was “no” and although Jia was nervous, he continued his project. Check out his many requests and results on his blog at www.entresting.com.

You may not be brave enough to stare rejection in the face as Jia did, but don’t hesitate to start a project for fear of failing.  Instead of thinking of failure as the end, think of it as the cost of succeeding.

Set your vision and be willing to do what it takes to get there. The “how” will unfold in wonderful and amazing ways.

Share about a time your plans changed for the better as you moved toward a goal. Have you asked for something outrageous? How did that work out?