Tag Archive: happiness


Time is of the Essence

People in lineI work as a sales and office supply associate in a busy office supply store, whose familiar advertising slogan, up until very recently, was, “We Make It Easy.” Our goal, at point of sale (at the registers, the last point to impact their perception of their overall experience and the customer service they received) is to provide the customer a personal, pleasant, comprehensive and speedy checkout experience. Customers desire and expect this.

As a whole, people don’t find waiting in line to be appealing, and when their time is limited, they find it downright frustrating, even aggravating. “Why isn’t there another person opening up?” I’ve experienced a relatively small number who resort to being impolite, and, fewer who are verbally rude by all estimation. Of course, there are more people who face such temporary delays with calm, patient understanding, leaving those who don’t to stick out like a sore thumb. When the store experienced a week-long period of fluctuating internet service, then intermittent loss of service for the greater part of two consecutive afternoons, right during peak business hours, there was high anxiety among staff about how customers would react to the inevitable longer lines due to slower processing. The consensus was that it would be “a nightmare”. I thought about what could happen differently, though. I decided to think & speak with an positive attitude, and I set about briefly letting people know why there was a delay, that we were working hard on fixing it for them, and that we apologized for any inconvenience. Additionally, I decided to engage, humor and, as needed (for those who became a bit impatient or even grouchy), distract, the waiting customers from the slower pace. I chatted with a couple of groups of 4-5 customers, observing that it was “kind of like the ‘old days’, when we had few or no automated equipment to expedite purchases, and without all of our current electronics, the pace of life was slower in general, and we had time to say hello and even talk to those around us.

Nowadays, this happens less and less, because we are in a hurry and on our phones, thinking about work, etc., preoccupied and even stressed. Then, I stopped talking. As I rang customers out, albeit, still slowly, I watched and listened. Then
something wonderful, and a bit unusual happened . . . Complete strangers picked up the conversation begun with those ahead of them, and were, instead of impatient or unpleasant, cheerful, chatty, asking about each other’s days, commenting on each others’ purchases, of kids’ school project supplies, and chuckling while bemoaning the upcoming challenge of getting said project done after a last minute rush for poster board and markers. One customer even said to me, “Thank you for all your help! I hope the day gets better for you all here!” “Better for us?”, I thought. Here she was waiting in line for nearly 10 minutes, and she wished US a better day? Now that, I thought, was AWESOME.
So, go out on a limb and be positive in the face of a tough or negative situation; do it in front of people who might have reason not to be positive at the time…and see what happens. You—and they—might well be very pleasantly surprised, and all walk away smiling, eager to pass that smile to others!

The Author:  Kathy Clark

“Live to Give” typifies her heart’s truest desire.  She maintains her physical and mental health, youthful energy and sanity through daily fitness training (including Kenpo Karate, cross-training, running, snowshoeing and woods-walks with friends, and will compete in her second Tough Mudder this year).  She loves her kids, siblings and friends.  Clark is a 54 year-old (single) mom of two teenagers.  She is an RN who is happiest helping others in every way possible; her mantra, “Love with her whole heart.”

Kathy Clark

Her hope is to continue to Do Good through reaching out to others through ThinkGood, sharing with all of you      her energy and appreciation for the (sometimes hidden-suddenly revealed) moments of beauty in life.

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Liquid Diamonds – The Most Valuable Diamonds of All

Water over kids hands

I’d like to think we all have a moment, or, if we’re lucky, many moments, when we are suddenly and unmistakably drawn–pulled, even–from our inward-turned world of daily life, when we’re shown something that opens our eyes–and opens us–almost turning us inside out, so we look OUTward.  It is in these moments that we really SEE who or what is right there in front of us, seemingly put three for us, and us alone, at that precise moment, to notice, take in , to be inspired by, to love, to share and to learn from.  Or, we are given the chance to see it for some purpose to be revealed to us later, but we know to tuck it away because it is extraordinary in that moment.  Our senses are heightened, our minds are opened and focused solely on that moment, that something, that someone.

That something could be present in our lives already, even on a daily basis, yet be so mundane, so routine or so seemingly insignificant that it doesn’t register as anything other than ordinary and expected.  Or, it could be a sensation, a vision, a sound, a feeling, an awareness, that we have never experienced until that moment, and it catches our full attention and may even move us deeply.

Sound familiar?  Are you picturing fireworks, bells and whistles, orchestral or angelic soundtracks or some other dramatic accompaniment to the moment of “enlightenment”?  Or, do you imagine complete quiet , hushed, pleasant sounds from nature, repeated mantra or the steady soundtrack of familiar voices and daily activities humming along in the background, as you uncover a gentle reminder about the importance of small, simple things in a gradual, layer-by-layer excavation?  Do you picture a surge of deep emotion welling up inside you and spilling over in the form of tears…or laughter?  Will the moment be fleeting, or be forever teched in your heart and mind?

One of these “moments” in my life happened at a time when I believe I really needed it, which is when, at least in my experience, we are most likely to be shown and surprised by them.

My two children, then five and seven, and I were outside in our yard one hot summer afternoon.  They were playing with a favorite water toy–a waterway, with multiple pieces, curves and drops and a pump to raise and lower the water level, like a canal, and several different little boats to travel the route they created.  I had also filled 2 tubs with shaving cream for them to be silly with, too.  They had sunblock on, an umbrella to play under, and two icy cold drinks in their spill-proof cups, each.  Just shy of patting myself on the back for thinking of everything they’d need, “I’m all set!”I thought.  Soon, I was deeply engrossed in clearing out my garden beds anticipating momentarily getting some long overdue planting done.

All was well, until, as young kids are wont to do, my two got bored with the items at hand, and began asking for “new stuff” to play with.  Squirt guns, the small, impossible to fill, empty-in-two-squirts kind that I should have known better than to have bought, were dropped at my feet.  “Mom?  Mom?  MOM!  Can you fill these NOW?  Please?  I want the blue one!  You get the red one!”  Sigh…  I complied, and off they went.  I had barely gotten my gardening gloves back on when they were back, with the same, urgent request, now bordering on “demand”, since one of them had lost the previous “battle” and gotten sprayed in the face by the other, who was declaring “victory”.  The fourth time they returned, out of “ammunition” and getting crankier by the moment (as was I), I decided it was time to remind them that “Mommy has work to do, and I can’t keep stopping every five seconds (a classic use of exaggeration by a flustered mom) to fill these guys!”  They looked at me dejectedly, and I felt that lousy feeling of frustration and guilt combined, knowing the work I was hoping to do was not going to get done (frustration), and the reason why was because my kids needed/wanted me to help them and play with them and I was doing something else instead (guilt).

I set down my tools and went into the garage to get the two Fire Hose Hero backpack pump-action water sprayers that resembled the packs and hoses firemen might carry to put out a fire.  My two LOVED the fire department, and had won a pizza party the Fall before for “best costumes” at the department’s Halloween tour and costume contest.  They sprayers held a little under a gallon of water, and they were a hit when I brought them out and filled them.  One quick demonstration of how to use them, and they were suited up and off, running around the yard, squealing with delight.  They loved them, and I was happy to get back to work.  But they were SO happy that they were back within five minutes, begging me to fill them again…and again…and I had managed to get only two plants in the ground, with eight more to go.  Envisioning having to abandon what I wanted to do, and not pleased, I said, “Guys, look.  I need to get these plants in the ground!  This is the last time I’m filling these!”

As I reached for the hose to fill my son’s sprayer, he reached out his little hand and held it, palm up, in the stream of water pouring from the hose.  The water missed the opening and coursed over the toy and onto my pants and shoes and his,  In the split second that my mind registered, “Oh, great!  What a mess!  Now there’s no way I’ll get this done!”, my eyes caught sight of something I may never have seen–really SEEN, had I not been granted the gift of “a moment”, that particular moment, to see it.  I have never forgotten eh vision,the feeling and the impact that one moment had on me…

I watched the water flow out of the hose and over his palm.  It was crystal clear, like liquid diamonds, glinting in the brilliant summer sun, and flowing in a  tiny river over his warm and dirt-smudged little hand.  He was open to the joy and the excitement of that moment, and was elated.  He held a little-boy handful of sparkling, liquid diamonds, made of just plain water and sunshine.  But, in that instant, I  saw and felt with my whole being the beauty of what I was witnessing, as simple and ordinary as it may have otherwise been…and time slowed and my heart sped.  Ohhh…his little fingers curled in delight at the sensation of the cool water on his warm skin, and then, he looked up at me and laughed, pure joy written all over his face, and he said, “Again, Mommy!  Do it again!”, and I realized I had liquid diamonds in my eyes and running down my cheeks.

My daughter came bounding over with her Fire Hose Hero sprayer dragging behind her in the grass, and dropping it, laughed and held out both of her small hands, palms up, and the cool water with the sunshine gave her handfuls of liquid diamonds, too.  We were so very rich, my kids and I, in that moment.

Looking down at their sun-kissed blond heads, and hearing their delighted squeals as the water missed their hands and got them wet (my aim was off because there were so many diamonds in my eyes, too many to collect before more came).  I felt a flood of joy and a deep, overwhelming gratitude for the gift, right then and there, of being turned OUTward, eyes opened, and heart softened for me to truly SEE  and FEEL the blessing of my children, my life with them, and the profound gift of being their mother, all in that single, simple sweet moment.  I turned the stream onto my own open palm, watched the sun glinting off it, and felt my whole self washed of all that had closed my heart and my mind,  so as to allow it to be written in my mind and on my heart that THAT, the awakening to a moment of new vision, and moments like it,  are what matter most .

The plants got planted–eventually.  The toys the kids loved then were replaced by book series after book series, two-wheeler bikes were mastered and ridden up and down the street til dusk, and many a kickball game was played with bases that never mattered much when the inevitable silliness ensued.

1016643_716Time passed, somehow faster with each passing year.  Mastery of the eye-roll, then the impatient, “I’ve got better things to do than listen to this”, arms-folded, heavy sigh, look away, foot tap,  and other modes of communicating, like the grunt, the mumble, the silent treatment, and the “WHAAA_TT?” from behind a closed bedroom door when called, rival the complexity of the signals passed between   a major league catcher and his pitcher, and prove to be just as frustrating and confusing to the opposing team, aka, this mom.  But as proficient as they became these, so, too, did they learn to sneak in a gentle hip check or a silly joke, or a “Mom?  Got a minute?” prelude to an unexpected and priceless heart-to-heart about the ups and downs of middle school and high school life.  Hugs from mom being accepted and even reciprocated, eye contact for more than a millisecond, and moments of laughter–and tears…all these have learned to recognize as gifts; these moments, of little hands full of liquid diamonds in the sun, and I am grateful and buoyed up by them, especially on days when it feels like I am sinking.

I know now that the tough stuff will get better, and that we will mature beyond these trying years.  But, in many ways, especially some days, I want time to slow, or even stop, before my two continue that race down the road to adulthood.  I want more handfuls of diamonds days to heal and set my mind and heart right again.  But then, I remember to stop.  I look.  I SEE.  I say the words, “I am thankful.” and those moments, though they may sometimes take a little longer to recognize, or are a bit more subtle and less brilliant now, reveal themselves to me just when I most need them, and as I open my hands, I see them full of diamonds and hear my children’s laughter. 

The Author:  Kathy Clark

“Live to Give” typifies her heart’s truest desire.  She maintains her physical and mental health, youthful energy and sanity through daily fitness training (including Kenpo Karate, cross-training, running, snowshoeing and woods-walks with friends, and will compete in her second Tough Mudder this year).  She loves her kids, siblings and friends.  Clark is a 54 year-old (single) mom of two teenagers.  She is an RN who is happiest helping others in every way possible; her mantra, “Love with her whole heart.”

Kathy Clark

Her hope is to continue to Do Good through reaching out to others through ThinkGood, sharing with all of you her energy and appreciation for the (sometimes hidden-suddenly revealed) moments of beauty in life.

Join Us in the New Year's Resolution that Gives Back More Than It Takes

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101 Inspiring Happiness Quotes

by HENRIK EDBERG

 
 
 

 

The written word is truly an amazing thing.

With the help of it we can record out innermost thoughts and spread them if we like.

With the help of the written word we can look far, far back into time, through the decades, the centuries and, yes, even the millennias.

Today I would like to look back into the past and see what the wise people who have walked on this earth can tell us about happiness and how to uncover it. No matter if you live today or lived two thousand years ago.

 

This is 101 of the most inspiring, touching and helpful thoughts from the past on happiness.

  1. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
    Buddha
  2. “Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.”
    Unknown
  3. “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”
    Albert Camus
  4. “If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
    If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
    If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
    If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
    Chinese Proverb
  5. “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
    Ashley Montagu
  6. “Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
    Stacey Charter
  7. “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
    Dale Carnegie
  8. “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
    Lucille Ball
  9. “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
    Winnie the Pooh
  10. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
    Epictetus
  11. “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
    Frederick Keonig
  12. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
    Thich Nhat Hanh
  13. “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”
    Eskimo Proverb
  14. “To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
    Mary Stuart
  15. “There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”
    Seneca
  16. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
    Robert A. Heinlein
  17. “Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.”
    Dennis Waitley
  18. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
    Mahatma Gandhi
  19. “The only joy in the world is to begin.”
    Cesare Pavese
  20. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go”
    Oscar WildeImage
  21. “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
    Marthe Troly-Curtin
  22. “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”
    Winnie the Pooh
  23. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
    Herman Cain
  24. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
    Confucius
  25. “There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”
    Anthony de Mello
  26. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
    Dalai Lama
  27. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
    Helen Keller
  28. “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
    Aristotle
  29. “It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.”
    Seneca
  30. “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”
    Marcel Pagnol
  31. “If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world.”
    Joseph Addison
  32. “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
    George Burns
  33. “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
  34. “The pleasure which we most rarely experience gives us greatest delight.”
    Epictetus
  35. “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
    L.M. Montgomery
  36. “Happiness is acceptance.”
    Unknown
  37. “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”
    James M. Barrie
  38. “We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one’s own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness.”
    Dalai Lama
  39. “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”
    Dr. Robert Anthony
  40. “The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.”
    Aesop
  41. “For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.”
    Seneca
  42. “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
    Albert Einstein
  43. “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
    Bertrand Russell
  44. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
    Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  45. “Happiness is a myth we seek,
    If manifested surely irks;
    Like river speeding to the plain,
    On its arrival slows and murks.
    For man is happy only in
    His aspiration to the heights;
    When he attains his goal, he cools
    And longs for other distant flights.”
    Kahlil Gibran
  46. “Happiness is a state of activity.”
    Aristotle
  47. “This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
    Douglas Adams
  48. “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
    Eleanor Roosevelt
  49. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
    Confucius
  50. “The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.”
    Arthur Schopenhauer
  51. “Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other – it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future have not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.”
    Charles Caleb Colton
  52. “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
    Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
  53. “Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change.”
    Friedrich Schiller
  54. “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
    Winston Churchill
  55. “I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
    Douglas Adams
  56. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”
    Andy Rooney
  57. “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
    James Oppenheim
  58. “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
    Benjamin Disraeli
  59. “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
    Martha Washington
  60. “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
    Albert Schweitzer
  61. “Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of those we envy.”
    Heraclitus
  62. “Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.”
    Herman Hesse
  63. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
    Aesop
  64. “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  65. “Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.”
    Rose Lane
  66. “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
    Albert Ellis
  67. “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
    Groucho Marx
  68. “Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
    Unknown
  69. “Your work is discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”
    Buddha
  70. “That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”
    Henry David Thoreau
  71. “Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.”
    Maxim Gorky
  72. “A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
    Leo Tolstoy
  73. “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
  74. “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”
    Epicurus
  75. “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”
    William Feather
  76. “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”
    John Henry Jowett
  77. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
    Eleanor Roosevelt
  78. “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”
    Confucius
  79. “If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”
    Proverb
  80. “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
    Helen Keller
  81. “For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time.
    If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.”
    Andy Rooney
  82. “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”
    Buddha
  83. “The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”
    Andre Maurois
  84. “The grass is always greener where you water it.”
    Unknown
  85. “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.”
    Marquis de Condorcet
  86. “On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.”
    Eckhart Tolle
  87. “The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.”
    Brian Tracy
  88. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
    Marcel Proust
  89. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
    George Bernard Shaw
  90. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its joy.”
    Leo Buscaglia
  91. “A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”
    William Arthur Ward
  92. “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.”
    Mary Lou Retton
  93. “I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives.”
    Dalai Lama
  94. “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
    Joseph Campbell
  95. “Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.”
    Leo Tolstoy
  96. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
    Abraham Lincoln
  97. “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
    Unknown
  98. “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
    Kahlil Gibran
  99. “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
    Morris West
  100. “Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.”
    Milton Erickson
  101. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    Mark Twain

What is your favorite quote on happiness? Feel free to share the best one(s) you have found in this article or in your life in the comments section below.

Image by D. Sharon Pruitt (license).

What the World Needs More Of!

What would you say? What do you think the world needs more of?

Martin Seligman,

Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It’s a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures — traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones. In his pioneering work, Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists.

His earlier work focused on perhaps the opposite state: learned helplessness, in which a person feels he or she is powerless to change a situation that is, in fact, changeable. Seligman is an often-cited authority in this field as well — in fact, his is the 13th most likely name to pop up in a general psych textbook. He was the leading consultant on a Consumer Reports study on long-term psychotherapy, and has developed several common pre-employment tests, including the Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ).

Psychology used to mean looking at someone and finding the wrong in them. It was disease based.  That’s changing.  And while there was a rush to take care of making terrible people feel a little better to take care of the disease. they were forgetting the possible interventions to make people happier.” Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology.

Happiness has many advantages. Happy individuals have healthier perspectives, less heart attacks, strokes and other ailments.  They also have productivity advantages. People who consider themselves happy show higher productivity and output.

Happiness Thru Helping

Michael J. Fox and Always Looking UP

The adventures of an incurable optimist

The book title pulled me in. “Always Looking UP!” I saw the picture of Michael J. Fox and knew he had been struggling with Parkinson’s. Such a positive message seemed like an oxymoron. I took it off the shelf and dumped it in the cart.

I was at a point of evaluating my career. Having worked in the technology industry for 20 years, I was looking for a challenge and was interested in finding a way to use my “gifts” towards something “good”.  It was around this time that I began to work for a social impact company who taught computer skills to underserved markets (primarily seniors and people in poverty).

I had incredible experiences at Connected Living, but one in particular was an “a-ha” moment. In the evening, while at a senior assisted living center, our team secretly set up a video call (Skype) for one of the residents from the elderly home. The call was with his daughter and his 3 year old grandson who he had never met except through photos.

At the moment that grandfather looked at the computer screen and saw his daughter and grandson, it was magic.   He had tears dripping down and there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed room. The man’s life changed for the good in seconds.  It was heartwarming to watch.

It got me thinking.  It was an example where technology provided something so special and I thought, “there is a time and place where technology enables true magic or moments that touch the heart” or in other words, “technology with heart”. So I began to think of other examples where technology could be used in ways that significantly changed people’s lives in positive ways.

As I read Michael’s book, I was in awe by the amazing power of his positive, optimistic thinking.  A $1Billion business (Happiness), it’s clear that people in the world were in search of something better, “in all the wrong places”.  Money, big houses, extravagant lifestyles, on and on. Michael’s happiness was not coming from things, it was coming from within.  It was his attitude.  And he chose to be an optimist.

One of Michael’s mission trips went to the Himalayan country Bhutan. During his visit he felt serene and struggled less with his Parkinson symptoms.  “It was a place not with less problems, in fact, the living is atrocious.  But the people see things as good, and they are happy.”  Their country is progressive in one way.  They measure happiness in addition to GNP (Gross National Product).  Maybe someday we will too.

All of this led me down the path of more reading and research.  Michael stated in his book that he attributed his positive attitude and happiness to helping others. All the research supported it.  One person helping another increases happiness for both parties.  So off I headed to find service work for our family, something local that we could do on the weekend.  We did several searches on the internet without finding much.  In fact, we had a difficult time finding needs or volunteer opportunities in the area.   It was more difficult than it should be…….

So Think Good was created with a mission to create “technology with heart” that makes the act of helping each other simplified, centralized and fun.  By doing so, the ease of helping each other, spreading good, positive thoughts will ultimately make the world a little happier.

Will you join us?

Think Good. Do Good. Feel Good.

Ann-Marie Bland has been involved with forward thinking technologies and brands for her 20 year career.  Five years ago she decided to take her expertise and appann marie bland bwly it to social good.  She founded Think Good, LLC as a social innovation company with the goal of making it easier for people to help each other.  Long term, she a future where Think Good is the brand that represents what it means to be socially responsible.

Personally, Ann-Marie loves people, books, reading, studying the future, the ocean or lake, the sun and nature.  Ann-Marie is a wife and mom to a daughter who inspired her to be socially responsible.  In fact, she named the company.

Meditation Linked to Happiness

“>Meditation Linked to Happiness and Positive Behavior

Meditation Linked to Happiness and Positive Behavior

NEWSNEWS

by   |  on February 2nd, 2013  

A study at the University of Wisconsin confirms meditation can alter the structure of the brain, fostering a brighter outlook and increased empathy. Since positive thinking and emotions affect health, meditation can contribute to overall wellness.

Richard Davidson, a trained psychologist who has practiced meditation for decades, believes meditation can strengthen brain circuits connected with happiness and positive attitude in a similar way we strengthen muscles with exercise. Davidson and his colleagues have produced scientific evidence that this form of mental exercise permanently changes the brain for the better.

Using MRI technology, contemplative neuroscientists were able to view the area of the brain, the left-sided anterior region, believed to be associated with positive thoughts. The researchers documented increased activity in this region of novice meditators who participated in an eight week mindfulness meditation course.

Davidson’s team discovered that the practice of compassion meditation also stimulates the limbic system (the brain’s emotional network) while increasing positive emotions. Expert meditators with more than 10,000 hours of practice showed the greatest activity in the limbic systems and appeared to have permanently altered their brains to generate positive thoughts. Even outside of meditation, committed meditators permanently changed the way their brains operated.

Positive emotions and optimism are good for your health as well. Evidence shows that optimists take proactive steps to ensure wellness whereas a pessimist tends to engage in health-damaging behaviors. Research further validates that individuals with a positive outlook have less hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections. Positive emotions also increase immunity and resistance to colds and flu, while reducing cortisol, incidence of stroke, and inflammation. As an added bonus, optimism increases longevity.

According to Health and Wellness by Gordon Edlin and Eric Golanty:

Advances in identifying the biological mechanisms of mind-body communication confirm that the mind can affect health in powerful ways. Joy, creativity, and contentment lead to a state of harmony, which we experience as bodily health and subjective well-being.

Nerve cells in the brain’s thought and feeling centers connect to other nerve cells in the brain and body, to hormone-producing tissues and organs and to immune cells. In this way, mental activity is able to influence many of the body’s physiological processes.

Meditation isn’t just for monks anymore. Use this powerful tool to strengthen a favorable mind-body connection that supports health and watch the mind become illuminated with positive outlook.

Sources for this Article:

“Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing”, Barbara L. Fredrickson, University of Michigan, Marcial F. Losada Universidade Catolica de Brasilia, October 2005, American Psychologist, 677-686

“The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions”, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, Volume 359, September 2004, 1367-1378

“Optimism”, Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 30, Issue 7, November 2010, 879-889, Positive Clinical Psychology

Health and Wellness, Gordon Edlin and Eric Golanty, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2007

“The Health Benefits of Writing About Intensely Positive Experiences”. Chad M. Burton and Laura A. King, Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 38, Issue 2, April 2004, 150-163

About the author
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness, and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website http://www.Thrive-Living.com she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. (Natural News)

The Power of Awesomeness

The Power of Awesomeness

Do One Awesome Thing Each Day

ThinkGood

ThinkGood™ is the first Purpose Network.© A community of people connecting with people to help people.

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