4. December 2014

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Happiness & Gratitude

Thrive Happiness & GratitudeLife is such an incredible rollercoaster ride. The last year has been jam packed with peaks and troughs and has been a wild ride! I continually pinch myself.

In the last year I have the woman of my dreams as my wife, an exhilarating new pastime to enjoy with her (motorbike riding). Our humble home that is a peaceful sanctuary (that picture is from my phone only minutes from my door). And my businesses are heading in the right direction. These are just some of the innumerable blessings in my life that I am making a concerted effort to express my gratitude for.

To think that less than a fortnight ago I felt completely overwhelmed and physically ill from stress. I had allowed myself to be all consumed by situations that were beyond my control and full of lunacy.

I accept full responsibility for this slip. I had forgotten to take stock of all the blessings in my life that I have to be grateful for and express that gratitude. In not doing this, I had been directing my attention towards the lunacy, the negativity, which I am well aware: where attention goes, energy flows! (James Redfield)

In the thick of it my lovely wife sent me a message which really resonated and caused me to check what I was allowing myself to receive. Here it is:

One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up to him and began insulting him.

“You have no right to be teaching others!!!” he shouted.

“You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!!”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. He just smiled. The man insulted him again and again but the only reaction he could get back from the Buddha was a smile and silence. Finally he stomped his feet and left cursing.

The disciples were feeling angry and one of the them couldn’t keep quiet and asked the Buddha, “Why didn’t you reply to the rude man?”

The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?”

“Of course to the person who brought the gift,” replied the disciple. “That is correct,” smiled the Buddha.

It is hard sometimes to stop and consciously choose not to accept a gift of negativity, but oh how liberating it is once you do!

I am writing this first as a reminder to myself, as I am solely responsible for manifesting all that is in my life. It is critical to decide exactly what I want and deliberately focus on them, then express gratitude for ALL the things, people and experiences that come into my life.

A suggestion I have for you is to establish an evening practice to do check in with what has filled your day and find all the things to be grateful for, and express that gratitude, feel it! Gratitude is the key.

I’ll end with a gratitude quote I love:

On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. Today is such a day. ~ Rumi

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14. April 2014

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Why Strangers Make Us Happy And How To Repay Them

Guest Post By Sarah Webb

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“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” – Bob Kerrey (1943)

The kindness of strangers has the power to improve our wellbeing and increase our feelings of happiness more than our normal friendship circle. How do I figure this? Imagine you have been hurt or let down by someone you trusted and thought you knew. You’re just looking to vent and for someone to listen to your story.

First you talk to a friend, they listen, and offer you their opinion and give advice in an attempt to try to lift you back up. You can sense their empathy and genuine care in their response which makes you feel somewhat better and your day continues as normal.

Now imagine the same scenario, but this time you’re talking to a complete stranger. You tell them your story and they listen. They then respond in a way that shows they identify or can relate to your situation, they offer you their opinion based on what they have heard and understood, and advise you accordingly. All of a sudden you feel less alone and your faith in humanity is restored and it’s like the sun has started shining through a grey sky – your day almost feels better, more fulfilled than when you spoke to your friend. The happiness you feel as a result of the correspondence with a stranger barely compares to how you felt after communicating with your friend about the same issue.

Why strangers do it better

There are several reasons why strangers have the power to make us feel happier than our usual circle of friends – this could be why Internet dating is becoming more popular and a more acceptable way of meeting someone and finding love. Here are some of the reasons why strangers can appeal to us more than our friends:

Our expectations

The fact is we expect our friends to care about our well-being and therefore subconsciously depend on them to listen to us, side with us, and support us unconditionally through all turbulence. It’s a part of friendship that almost all of us take for granted.

In the case of a complete stranger, we have no expectations. When a stranger is entirely removed from a situation and shows us kindness, we appreciate the time they take to actively listen to our story more than when our friends show us the same courtesy. Then if the stranger passes judgement that validates our feelings or actions, we start to feel better understood and less alone.

Although a stranger may have responded the same way as our friends, they exceed our expectations because we didn’t have any to begin with.

The “stranger danger” belief

Strangers may also have an advantage over our friends because as children we were made acutely aware of “stranger danger”. These messages shaped our beliefs that strangers are a threat and potential danger.

Even now, despite statistics showing that someone we know who is a greater threat to us than a stranger, the media often highlight stories that demonstrate the opposite. When a stranger offers us kindness, our receptors instantly flick on warning us to be wary and we begin to question their motives and what could be in it for us.

It is when the kindness of a stranger is proven to be genuine and consequence-free, despite what we were programmed to understand, we often find ourselves pleasantly surprised.

As adults, neglecting or rejecting the kindness of strangers can force us to be confined and limited, so if we challenge this “stranger danger” belief, it enables us to work together to make a positive difference in each others lives.

The selfish world we live in

Society often finds people first looking for the “what’s in it for me” before taking action in any situation. We all do it, whether it’s because we’re all time-poor in this fast-paced world or we’re simply becoming more selfish by the generation.

You may even notice that marketing campaigns are starting to lean towards commercial bribery as they become more aware that if they can’t convince the consumers that there’s something in it for them, it’s nearly impossible to motivate anyone to take action, let alone convince people to try a new product.

We are starting to value time more than ever before which is why when a stranger takes a moment to act selflessly towards us it leaves us feeling good because they have given up time to be thoughtful.

About the kindness movement

This theory that strangers can have a greater impact on us than our friends isn’t new. Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay It Forward published in 2000, which was adapted into the film starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment in the same year, may have inspired the movement that encourages random acts of kindness towards strangers.

Whenever it began, adults are now being actively encouraged to be more mindful of each other and to demonstrate random acts of kindness where they can. The stigma associated with strangers being dangerous is deteriorating as more people embrace the “Pay it Forward” movement.

How you can make a positive difference to a stranger

The purpose of the following activities is to do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return – It doesn’t have to be expensive and there’s no need to go above and beyond when you choose to demonstrate a random act of kindness for a stranger.

– Buy someone’s coffee in the coffee shop

– Help a student with their tuition

– Teach someone something new

– Volunteer for a charity

– Let someone in front of you in the grocery store line

– Hand-write a letter to someone telling them how important they are to you

– Speak up for someone – sign a petition, write a letter or be a referee for a job

– Work pro bono where your skills are needed

– Compliment a stranger

– Give up your seat when taking crowded public transport

– Listen to someone without interruption

– Greet someone in the elevator

– Hold the door open for someone

– Explain the Pay it Forward concept to someone

– Take part in Pay it Forward Day on 22 April. Find more information here: http://payitforwardday.com

Sarah is the founder of Happiness Weekly – a weekly blog post containing practical tips about staying happy in times of adversity, along with motivating quotes and ideas posted on Facebook and Twitter. To check out the blog visit: www.happinessweekly.org

For more ideas on how you can show kindness to others, follow the free Thrive Happiness Challenge application.

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2. April 2014

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What Makes Me Smile

A friend of the Thrive team emailed something in today that really made us all smile, and we just had to share it with you. Check it out and be as inspired as we are. James, we love your style, keep it up!

Take a smile

About a week ago I was bolting through Central Station in Sydney to get to a meeting. I had seen someone that was homeless on 3 prior occasions of me whisking through the front of the station. The first time I saw them, I stopped and asked if I could buy them something to eat. He said “No” after he stared at me with hollow eyes. I raised my eyebrows and let out “well okay then” as I strolled off. The next 2 times I passed him, I asked him if he wanted some money, as I offered him a $10 note the first time and a $20 note the second time. He did not even reply to me- only gave me a blank stare and then gazed off back into the distance.

After neglecting Luke for about 3 weeks now regarding writing something about what makes you happy, I had time to sit down for 10 minutes and reflect on what happened last Monday and again, it made me smile and made me happy.

I was flying by this homeless man again. With his camping bag and blanket staged out, I stopped. I put my backpack down and sat down in front of him. I said, “Hi, my name is James. What’s yours?” and he just stared at me. I said “I have a task for you. I need your help. Can you help me?” He scoured at me “Help! Let me tell you about blood help. I’ve been to every shelter in Sydney and I’ve been on the streets for nearly 3 months. Help you, you say… argghhh!”

I said calmly to him “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?” and he scoffed back “Mike- what’s it to ya? Ya some undercover (explicit word) trying to see if I got something illegal to hide?? Check me bag mate do whatcha wanna do, but I’d like it if you’d just piss off!”.

I smiled at him and said “Hi Mike. I’m James. I’m really in a bit of a pickle now and I really do need some help. Please hear me out as I know you are a prideful man and you can earn some money by helping me with one small task.” He grunted “What kind of task? I’m not delivering anything for ya mate!” I replied back to him, “No Mike, I’ve had a pretty stressful morning, and I’ve been looking for a smile to make me happy. I have smiled at several people this morning passing by and I haven’t even had a smile back. I’ll pay you $20 for a smile.”

He was hunched over in a sitting position and he raised up and said “Whattttt? What kind of fruitcake are you I swear you’re (explicit word) crazy I can tell ya that!” and then it happened… he smiled. Actually he laughed. Then I laughed at him and he laughed at me laughing. I immediately stood up and slung my backpack over my shoulder and dug into my pocket. I pulled out a $50 note and threw it down in front of him and raced off laughing as quickly as I could, saying, “Thanks for the smile and the laugh Mike, you made my day!”

Random acts of kindness always make me smile. I didn’t care why he smiled or why he laughed, just as long as he did. Thinking that I was a nutjob was just the trick.

I encourage others to do the same. I also encourage others to Thrive with happiness.

Written By James Wester

www.jameswester.com

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18. February 2014

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Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you – part deux

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 11.13.47 AM
Well, it’s been a MASSIVE five months since I wrote part one of this story. First things first, the amazing co-founder of Thrive who I am honoured to call my friend, I’m now blessed to also call my husband. Yes, it is indeed magical how the universe delivers the most amazingly glorious rainbows to those who wait out the storm.

 

Back in September 2013 I signed off part one with;

“The universe delivers people into your life who you later see are angels and events that we later see are blessings in disguise. We don’t need to understand it, but to see the beauty in the divinity that the universe brings to us gives incredible happiness. I’m not suggesting to sit back and do nothing, but rather surrender to it, work in the direction life is leading you instead of fighting against it. Feel the joy and happiness from the feeling you are progressing vs fighting.”

 

At the time I must admit I didn’t know where those words were really coming from as I typed away, or just how powerful this way of looking at life was going to be for me. I knew deep down in my soul that everything that was happening in my world was for a reason. And that reason was either for the benefit of myself &/or others and would all make sense in time. I really didn’t understand the power that would come from this initial realisation and from living life through that lens each and every day since. I was in the midst of the fact I’d relocated myself to another state for a relationship that was not as it seemed, was soon to be unemployed with no career options in my new geography, and was providing palliative care nursing to my mother who is battling the final stages of cancer. I baulked at writing about happiness, I’d never ‘written’ before and questioned whether I had something worthy to contribute. I’m eternally grateful to my now eternal love for his persistence in having me… just try. The process unlocked a part of me that I either didn’t know, or had forgotten existed. And once that door opened, my appetite to understand more was insatiable.

 

In the last 5 months I have consumed weeks and weeks of audio books, webinars and podcasts, several books, attended classes, week long seminars and expo’s exploring this notion in more detail. What I’ve learned and continue to learn truly fascinates me and I’ve found even greater happiness, peace and joy as a direct result. The pure divinity that lies not only in the universe, but within us is just so magnificent. I think as we get caught up in the cycle of life, we lose sight of how truly remarkable we are and this world is. It’s so easy to look for the negatives, the dangers, the flaws… but a life lived like that that is not easy. By challenging ourselves to return to our essence, our divine nature, the rewards are immeasurable. The world you see and experience is completely fresh and full of opportunity, support and love. Wayne Dyer articulates it so wonderfully with ‘when you change the way your look at things, the things you look at change.’ I can certainly vouch for this. My path has taken beautiful new directions, I’ve just relocated back to Sydney (to be with my amazing husband) and kicked off my first business.

 

On reflection as I type away this beautiful Friday afternoon, I see this joy comes from that surrender, that feeling of growth, that I am indeed progressing in this life vs fighting in it. I have far from mastered it, there are indeed days when I find myself steering away from the path, but now I recognise when this is happening and can bring myself back.

 

I encourage you, as I was, to tap into that part of yourself, just start typing and see what comes out, you may just surprise yourself. I hope to read your words here on Thrive real soon.

 

Written by: Johanna Plowman

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4. February 2014

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Thrive is Contagious

What Thrive Means to Me
How awesome is it that we live in a day-and-age where there is an organisation solely dedicated to making people happy! When I first came across Thrive I was inspired. Seeing such a vibrant, energetic and unique organisation created purely to make others happy immediately made me want to be a part of it. I’m sure you do too!

We are all seeking more than just a nine-to-five job, and we finally have the opportunity to do so. This proves especially relevant for Generation Y. We not only want our jobs—but our life—to be interesting, inspiring, challenging and most off all, meaningful.The Pursuit of Happyness

Would you agree that most of us are in “the pursuit of happiness”? We seek happiness from money, the gifts that we buy with it, and whatever one may do to fill this emotional void inside us. While we may never stop pursuing happiness, there is in fact one key ingredient some people tend to miss, that is; to inspire happiness in others.

One Thing That Makes Me Happy
Personally, skateboarding is something that truly makes me happy; it creates a sense of freedom. What makes me even happier is that I was able to create the same effect for others, and I did this by creating a community-based skateboarding “school”. Being able to teach and improve the skills of others around me is inspiring and highly rewarding; especially when your influence helps them to grow and achieve new things. My thoughts are; if you’ve found something that makes you happy, why not try to share it with someone else?

What is is about inspiring happiness in others?
Whether it be through random acts of kindness or being that trusty friend in need, inspiring happiness in others is one of the best ways to make yourself happy. And interestingly, one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. This is where Thrive can lend a hand!

Ever heard of the domino effect? This is what excites me the most about Thrive; the opportunity to inspire happiness that will hopefully be contagious. In a good way!

Thrives Future
Thrive has a massive task ahead of itself. Inspiring happiness in 100, 000, 000 people is something easier said than done. Personally, I couldn’t think of a better challenge!

The ideas being generated here at the “Thrive Happiness Lab” are beyond exciting. At this very moment, the opportunities for Thrive to grow happiness in others are endless. Whether it’s the projects that are still being conceptualised, or the projects we have in store, I will tell you this; keep your eyes on Thrive!

Thrive Happiness Challenge App

Smiles for miles, Coehn

PS. If you also feel that inspiring happiness in others is a key ingredient, let me know in the comment section below!

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25. October 2013

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The Secret To Feeling Oh-So-Good

thrive happiness

Every day we find ourselves searching for new and creative ways to get happy. We dabble in an array of questionable tasks, seek great achievement, search for true love and sometimes even find ourselves on board with deep spiritual quests. Why? Because happiness can be found from within. Cliché, but true. The body provides us with many chemicals that make us happy – and in the quest for happiness; we have the head honcho of happiness chemicals to thank: endorphins.

So why are endorphins the crème de la crème of happiness chemicals? Simple, they’re pretty damn good for the body. Why? Well, endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that when they’re linked to specific parts of the nervous system, kick that part into motion. The release of endorphins can perform many powerful wonders on the body. They can up the ante on the happiness Richter scale, allow people to overcome pain, decrease hunger, and increase the immune response. The neat thing is, there are twenty-something endorphins that have the ability to bring much-needed pleasure to certain things.

Below we have compiled some helpful and creative ways for you to kick-start these wonderful happiness chemicals into gear!

Think Positive Thoughts

thrive happiness 2

Yep, it’s that simple. When people take placebo pain medication that they believe will help them, it generally does help them. Scientists believe this is more a direct result from positive thinking and it’s ability to release endorphins. By smiling, laughing and thinking about pleasurable activities, such as people that make you smile and happy events in your life, you will be on the road to an endorphin overload of good times. Studies have also revealed that 8 to 10 minutes of laughing aloud will produce an extended elevation of endorphins that will help you get a better night’s sleep! Seinfeld marathon, anyone?

Click here: http://on.fb.me/1a3GSIv to soak up more instant feel-good moments.

Get physical

thrive happiness play

When it comes to exercise, endorphins are the new buzzword. This is because endorphins are naturally released during exercise and really make a scene during lengthy periods of strenuous exercise. Large amounts of endorphins are released to combat pain and give you that extra oomph you need to get past your normal threshold. This feeling is commonly referred to as the “runner’s high.” What’s that you say? Well, a high level of endorphins stick around in your system after exercising allowing your body to feel cheerful and energised for the next few hours as opposed to feeling tired and run down.

Here are some fun and efficient ways you can sneak exercise into your busy schedule without needing to acquire a gym membership:

Speed walk your errands – Kill two birds with one stone. Combine your exercise for the day with your list of errands. Get your heart rate pumping along with your checklist.

Play in the park – Instead of having a drink at the pub after the daily grind, head to the park with a ball and kick that ball around!

Stand and flex – Next time you’re waiting in a line at the shops or bank, flex those abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Nobody will notice!

Go the long way – Take the stairs rather than the elevator. If traveling via bus or train, get off one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way.

Have a proactive weekend – The weekend is a great window for getting in some workout time. The only problem is that it also a great window for finally getting some household duties done. Rather than trying to juggle both, combine both by manually washing your car, maintaining your lawn and cleaning your home.

You are what you eat

thrive healthy

Did you know endorphins are made from fats and sugars? This means that those who have limited body fat or an eating disorder are extremely moody and depressed, as opposed to those who have the right amount of meat on their bones.

To properly supplement and maintain your endorphins levels, you need to have a moderate level of fats and sugars in your diet. Sorry guys, devouring an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting will not provide you with the happy high that you seek. Binging on the wrong types of fatty and sugary food will actually change the opiate receptors in your brain that can make you feel depleted of endorphins.

Try eating good fats such as fish, nuts, avocados and fruits, as they will provide you with natural sugars and essential vitamins that will keep your emotional maintenance and overall well being happy and healthy!

For some healthy recipes, check out: http://www.eatingwell.com/

 

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1. October 2013

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Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride

Sarah's Happy

Hello, I’m Sarah and I have recently been welcomed into the ThinkSocial team. Some would best describe me as a bit of a big kid. I like cartoons, candy and toys. Lots of toys.

Sure, I’m in my twenties, I have my shit together, I don’t live at home and I pay my own bills. But there is something privately and intrinsically attractive about having an arrested adolescence. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to wake up each morning in a society that does not permit culture unless it is conforming to very narrow moral parameters. For example, I have this t-shirt. Actually lets call it a “sartorial gem.” Sure it’s starting to show it’s age with what, some minor holes here and there… But really, it just reinforces the adage, “what’s old is new.”  Oh yeah, did I mention it is a bright green 1990’s Ninja Turtles T-shirt? Pretty cool, huh. Well, not so cool, according to one middle aged woman walking two children around on a leash in my neighborhood. Yeah, that happened – are they part canine or something?

Populated by the usual smattering of hipsters and an elderly vanguard that has camped out in the suburb for thirty-something years, my place of residence has a bit of street cred. Some say it’s even a cauldron of cultural cool reminiscent of New York in the ’80s. But what I like about this town is it’s climate of tolerance, openness and experimentation. Well, generally anyway.

The other day I was walking around, soaking up the vibrancy of my surroundings in my sartorial gem, when out of nowhere, the homosapien-confused woman walking her children shoots me a pretty hefty judgmental sneer – we’re talking inflamed nostrils and a facial expression that suggests constipation.

A series of questions hit my immediate attention: Is my fly undone? Do I have an involuntary Hitler ‘stache on my face from my melted Snickers bar? What’s going on here? All of a sudden, the woman marches over to me – abruptly yanking her two children along in the process, and visually burns a hole through my sartorial gem. Meanwhile, I am awkwardly standing there, confused and a little alarmed. I make direct eye contact with the woman as she proceeds to tell me to “grow up,” and then walks away.

I probably should have retaliated. Perhaps even addressed the issue of her questionable desire to align her children with dog culture, where they are free to pee on the sidewalk and sniff other people on the street. But I didn’t.

There will always be people out there who don’t agree with certain things. And while, yes you do have the option to finally execute those one-syllable words of profanity in a creative manner, it’s best not to. It’s better to revisit primary school and silently revise that sticks and stones’ saying we all used to exercise with a conculsive tongue poke.

In other words, say nothing, think nothing and don’t take off the sartorial gem.

Herm Albright once said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

This strange experience only pushed me to sport more adolescent t-shirts and perhaps even push the boundaries with some ironic slogans. I am happy because I am me – eternally pubescent and answerable to nothing.

That’s the dream, anyway.

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27. September 2013

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12 Things Happy People Do Differently

happy-people-do-differently

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
-Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense ofsuperiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Original source can be found here: Marc and Angel Hack Life

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19. September 2013

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“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.”

Johanna's Thrive Post Image

Hi, my name is Johanna and I’m privileged enough to call one of the awesome founders of Thrive my friend. I’m grateful the universe brought our worlds together.

Happiness is such a beautiful human experience, who wouldn’t want more of it? Can you think of times when you’re oozing happiness, perhaps when you were in love? Ever noticed when you’re in love everything is wonderful, glorious! The world continues on its merry way while you live in your delirious happy bubble of love and cuddles.

What happens when you aren’t in this glorious state and the world delivers a blow, and then another, and another? Does it affect you differently? We don’t enjoy pain, but sometimes we bring it in bucket loads to ourselves…with the thoughts we have.

Think about events in your past, at the time you thought you couldn’t get through it. There was so much pain, uncertainty and fear. But when you look back you can see that that event set you on a path to the next chapter, and that chapter had its own beauty and happiness. Perhaps you made a new dear friend, met a new love, started a new amazing career,, went on an amazing adventure that shaped you into the person you are today.

When you are in the midst of uncertainty, asking ‘why me’ will not empower you. You will look for reasons as to why this is not fair, filling you with venom. This doesn’t reverse the event, it simply brings you more pain. Now, asking where’s this going to take me? You look at everything differently. The people you meet, you start to see how they will be pivotal in shaping your experience as a person. You may notice an opportunity around you for the next stage of your career, or later on see that you are in a better position to help others as a result of your experience.

The freedom that comes from sitting in the middle of what feels like a cyclone, in a state of complete faith and positive anticipation, its one of the most empowering and exciting places. Knowing, in your gut, that this is all meant to be, even though it may not make sense right now, you know it all will very soon. Because it always has, just think about it.

The universe delivers people into your life who you later see are angels and events that we later see are blessings in disguise. We don’t need to understand it, but to see the beauty in the divinity that the universe brings to us gives incredible happiness. I’m not suggesting to sit back and do nothing, but rather surrender to it, work in the direction life is leading you instead of fighting against it. Feel the joy and happiness from the feeling you are progressing vs fighting.

 

“If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.” – Bernie Siegel

Written by Johanna Plowman.

Editors Note: For more inspiration through some amazing sunrise pics, check out Johanna’s Morning Glory Sunrise Facebook page.   If you’d like to contribute an article too we would love to hear from you.

 

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12. September 2013

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TED Talk: Ric Elias- 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

“I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy.” – Ric Elias

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

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Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias.html?quote=963

 

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