Happiness Helps Us Live Longer

Happiness 3

Happiness feels good, looks good and also allows us to live a better quality and much longer life. Research at the University of Missouri has come up with a formula for happiness! They use a measure called “Subjective Well Being” (SWB).

SWB =  HIGH Positive Mood + LOW Negative Mood + HIGH Life Satisfaction (As self reported since it is SUBJECTive Well Being)
All 3 typically move in tandem (trandem?)


Is SWB Real?   YES

-Self reports agree with family and friends
-Happy people have better and longer marriages
-Happy people have more career success and income
-Happy people live longer!

The researchers codified positive emotions from diaries of nuns in the 1930’s, the nuns were in their mid 20’s. The researchers could predict the lifespan of the nuns based on their happiness (SWB).

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The Amazing Results:
Most cheerful (top quarter) of nuns:  A staggering 90% were still alive at age 85!
Least cheerful (bottom quarter) of nuns: Only 34% were still alive at age 85!
So get happy!
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Increasing Your Self Acceptance / Self Worth

  
Finding/Increasing Your Self-Acceptance/ Self -Worth
From the fabulous “Get Out of Your Own Way” book by Dr. RuskOnce concern about self worth is set aside, awareness of your mortality will help make each moment more valuable.

“I didn’t ask to be here, but here I am anyway. And I’m not going to be here forever. I’ve been given inherited talents and weaknesses. I had no say about my genetic capacities. I’m a product of my past- my inheritance and my experiences. I can’t change that. However., I do have some say about how I act now.

I am not who I was years ago, I am not who I may be sometime in the future, and I may not be who others want me to be. I’m not even who I have believed I am. Like it or not, I am exactly who I am. And I’d like to find out who that is and who I could grow to become.

I do have some choices and because I do, I can chose to take risks and experiment to find out what I’m capable of. I can try on different attitudes that seem to offer more than my familiar attitudes. I can behave differently, in new ways that seem preferable to my habits.

 

I will concentrate on my strengths, instead of trying to hide or compensate for my weaknesses. The only way I can discover what I have to offer is by exploring various activities. It’s up to me to locate my wellsprings of talent. I can experiment until I find those pursuits that make me feel better about myself and come to me more readily than other activities.

And since I have control over how I do whatever I’m doing, why not do the best I can? Maybe what I do and what I accomplish is less important than how I do it. Perhaps it is less important to do the right things that to do things for the right reasons. I’ll earn self-respect automatically. And the more difficult the thing I try to accomplish, the more self respect I’ll earn.

If I’m good enough to succeed at something I feel good about, then not only will I earn self-respect, I’ll also feel fulfilled. If I fail despite my best efforts, I’ll still have self-respect.”

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Getting Yourself Out of the “Bad Feelings are Wrong” Mind Trap

This article is derived from a great book, “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Dr. Tom Rusk
We all have times when we feel bad. When we are below the #8 (Boredom) on the emotional scale. Feeling bad can mean we feel fearful, powerless, depressed, jealous, grieving, angry, pessimistic, worried, blaming.  These emotions don’t feel good, far from it. Worse yet is we usually make ourselves wrong for feeling bad too! So we feel bad, and feel worse about feeling bad.

We have grown up in a world where we have to justify why we feel bad, thus making it a shameful emotion to be avoided, except we can’t Not feel bad, that would mean we have lost all our feelings. Our feelings are guides and signals to us that we are not living our truth and are “playing small”.

The fields of psychology and psychiatry have done us a grave disservice in separating feelings out of their trades. It makes sense as feelings are messy and difficult to put a label on.

Bad Feelings show us where our spirit is in pain 

To find your way out Dr. Rusk suggests the following attitude.

“If I hope to be loved  and loving, to discover and develop my talents and to find meaningful ways to use my time. i must stay attuned to my spirit and allow it to guide me in my decisions. That means paying close attention  to my feelings, because they are the medium through which my spirit is revealed to me.

I’m going to stop seeing myself as defective when I feel bad. Instead I’m going to try to figure out why my spirit is in pain. keeping a notebook and writing down what I’m feeling when I have strong feelings can help me learn to understand what my feelings are telling me.”

This is pretty deep and I find it very comforting and loving to our inner child who is afraid and small. We all need to be more empathetic and less judgmental of our feelings (especially those that feel bad).

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5 “Prescriptions” For Happiness

        No matter how much you have, you could always use more. Even the happiest person could want even more. This week I will cover some phenomenal research (scientific) on happiness. There are over 800 books on “Happiness” out there, very few (a handful) are actually research and science based information. As such so many happiness cookbooks are of the “Grandma always said” or simply the opinion of one person having “found” it after suffering. I’d like to thank Karl for sharing this with me so I can share it with you. 
1) Change What you DO Not What you have:  Forget “I’ll be happier when I get ____” (raise, new car, new position, etc.). Also change “HOW” you do things (vary them). Example: Volunteer, Big Brother/Sister2) Pursue intrinsic goals for self-concordant reasons: Goals that mean something to you and that resonate with your values and who you are. Goals are VERY important. They are a way to travel to the future we want! Pursue goals out of interest, not pressure. Expressing your identity, not your guilt.
3) Strive to be your Authentic/Unguarded self in social settings: Those whose social self is closest to their “true” self live the happiest. Have the courage to be yourself and see the magic as others reflect authenticity.

4) Balance your time across the day: Don’t do too much of only one thing, mix it up.

5) Manage your life so that you feel autonomous, competent and connected:
Humans have 3 basic psychological needs:
A) Autonomous:  Doing what you choose.
Fortune Cookie: “Do not depend on others to make you happy, you can do it yourself.”
B) Competence: Whatever you do, do it well.
Fortune Cookie: “To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail.” 
C) Relatedness: Connect with others.
Fortune Cookie: “Your friends and family are the key to your happiness.”

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2013 an overview

A New Year, a Newsletter Returns
For the long time readers welcome back to 2BFRANK Living, Canada’s most authentic newsletter. For those of you who are new welcome and enjoy!

Since this is 2014 I thought I would share with you some questions you may want to ask yourself to learn and gain insight from 2013!
I use these with my coaching clients

1) What was/were my biggest breakthrough(s) in 2013 in terms of:
My Relationship with a) family and b) friends.
Dating/Relationship
Fun and Recreation
Health
Money
Career
Personal Growth
Physical Environment

2) What was the biggest challenge I overcame in 2013? Who did I have to become to do so?

3) What were my 3 greatest accomplishments for the year (think about if you will remember them in 10 years time)?

4) What experiences did I have that were on my “bucket list”?

5) How am I different than I was January 1st, 2013?

6) What personal Milestones did I accomplish (example: ran a 5K race, saved $5,000, took my scuba diving licence)?

7) What difficult choices did I make to be authentic and live my values?

Next Week we will get focused on 2014!

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The Cracked Pot

“A New life , is a new mind”    James Allen
Back to School/Work  Reality
The summer of 2013 is in the books and we are all back to some combination of work, school and a little more structure. Before we launch on into busyness, as we are all so “BUSY”, sometimes focusing on the urgent and ignoring the important.Remembering Good is the enemy of Great.

I came across this wonderful parable that celebrates our deficiencies, you read that right, the things you hate about yourself could be gifts to the world, give that one a second thought.

“A water bearer in China had 2 large pots, each hung at the end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the  long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot was only half-full. For a full 2 years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for what it was made to do. The poor cracked pot, on the other hand, was ashamed of its imperfection. It was miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was made to do.

After 2 years of feeling a bitter failure, the poor cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. i have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack on my side causes water to leak as you walk all the way back to your house. because of my flaw, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get the full value of your efforts.” , the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side. That’s because  I have always known your flaw. So I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day, while we walk back, you water them. For 2 years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”                                             
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The “Happiness Trap”

I have re-purposed and added from the brilliant book, “Rascal: Making A Difference Becoming an Original Character” by Chris Brady. Many people mistakenly believe that life is about an individual’s happiness.

 


The biggest trap is believing that happiness can be obtained by direct pursuit. The route most people take to pursue happiness is the seeking of pleasure.  We somehow think that by gaining enough pleasure we will be happy. But the pursuit of pleasure is a con job. It ends in an endless spiral of the pursuit of MORE. This is because pleasure in and by itself is not fulfilling (it should be an earned reward). As each thrill is experienced, we automatically seek and desire a bigger thrill, a higher high. We become desensitized to the pleasure and seek/want stronger stimulation next time.

With the above critical fundamental in mind, it is easy to understand our modern epidemic of addictions to EVERYTHING. It seems there are addictions to anything and everything these days, from the traditional alcohol, drugs, gambling and promiscuity to the more subtle but as destructive addictions to TV, media, shopping, coffee, social media, sloth, etc. At the root of everything is the same empty pursuit of pleasure and more pleasure (for it’s numbing qualities).


The other side is just empty. Many chase peace and tranquility in the hopes happiness will be found there. Alas this chase is just as empty! Why? In the land of peace and tranquility lies the disease of boredom. Idleness begets shallowness robbing us of confidence, courage, contribution and direction. A well earned vacation is a good thing however.
Happiness is always and only the byproduct of right and purposeful living in accordance with values that serve others and make a difference.

The previous information married with my new compensated community business building has helped me greatly focus my life in the pursuit of servant leadership to change others’ lives via life coaching. The side benefit has been a remarkable decrease in pleasure seeking behavior for its own sake. I highly recommend it. Drop me a line or email if you want to chat!

What will you pursue instead of pleasure? Is it big enough and impacts many, otherwise it won’t sustain.

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Social Media = Relationships “Light”

In this day and age most people can’t go 2 hours without the smartphone or any of the forms of social media (I won’t mention their names as their lawyer budget beats mine!) as their electronic soother!

I thought for my piece this week I would look at some of the challenges of communications that we are experiencing society today.

Let’s look at the book of faces for a moment. What is it?

When’s last time your car broke down the side of the road and you were able to connect with somebody on the book of faces to help you? Not often right?

This is not to say that social media doesn’t have any uses especially for those geographically separated by great distances.

However in my humble opinion these tools are used as a tool to manage risk of exposure to relationships. We control how much of a person we connect with and when. These have very little to do with the real face-to-face interaction of a traditional functional relationship.

We are becoming a society of people who don’t know how to relate to each other with problems spanning all life areas. We are seeing an unwillingness (and worse) an inability of young folks to have full relationships that include the inconveniences of being present.

We live in a time when social media has given us promise of being more and more connected with everyone. What I’ve noticed is more people that are more lonely and isolated. people who are so “busy” doing very little of true importance in their life. A life of significance is a life where we push ourselves and do what’s important and often it’s not at the end of an electronic tether. I met someone last week who had closed his book of faces for a week and he mentioned how liberated and free and productive he was. Over the last 2 months i have been involved in a business requiring face to face and phone meetings, the quality and experiences have been incredible.

So how to do we be constructive about this ?

Limit your time using the social media. You control the time when you want to interact with it and HOW. Turn off the aspects of it that send you emails every time somebody makes a comment. many these conversations are really self focused, selfish, trivial and all about glorifying a life that often is less than average.

A life of significance requires real presence and humanity.

I dare you to take a 1 week hiatus from social media, who knows you may never come back! See you in the flesh!

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Perspective

Did you ever wonder why some people experience similar events but react completely differently? Well I do very often. I cam across some material this week that clarifies just that relationship.
 
C + P = E
Here is the formula:                                                Circumstances + Perspective = Experience 

In life we don’t control our circumstances nor our experience BUT we DO control our Perspective of events.

This brings us to failure: Our society simply has too negative a view of failure to the point where so many don’t even try or risk anything.
Too many people consider themselves a failure if they fail. This crushes them. Most people care more about what others think than our success.

A much superior and true perspective is that:

Failure is an Event Not Who You are! Winners keep stringing failures as they learn!

So when you have what you consider a failure or mess up, use this very supportive language: “That’s not Like me!” as it sends a message to our subconscious that this is unusual and NOT the status quo.

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The Key to making a Great Decision Every Time

How do we know when to take that leap make an important decision: either “go” or “no go”?

For most of us it’s torture and then guilt and many false starts wasting time and vibrational, psychological and emotional energy.

Here’s a foolproof way to make sure you’re making the right decisions in the right way so that you take the right ones and avoid the wrong ones that won’t work anyway (because they scare you subconsciously, fear attracts failure).

First get down to what the worst case scenario of the decision is. Most of us don’t want to go there, we don’t want to worry about that or don’t want to focus there but the fear ends up running us. Be 100% honest with yourself most of us sugar coat with ourselves, “It will be fine” is not a powerful strategy.

Here’s an example from my life to apply this: I had to do a book signing yesterday and I was little nervous about it, as it was the first time I do this sort of thing. So I thought about the worst case scenario. In my case, the worst case scenario was “I won’t sell one book at all I was a complete  failure and I was never invited back to the store that invited me and worse than that, they would’ve maybe sent an email to head office or other stores to avoid me.” 

Now yes it that was very scary for me but I knew that I had to learn how to do this and this is a new channel for me (book signings at stores) and I I was prepared to fail miserably at it.. The mistake most people make at this point is not digging deep enough and really going to worst-case scenarios. For example if you’re about to launch a new product what’s the worst case scenario? Most marketing people tell you: “the worst case scenario is that we will sell 50% of what our target is.” We need to dig deeper.

  Here is my first book store signing sale!

That’s not really the worst case scenario, it’s too rosy. The absolute worst case scenario is: you spend months developing the product spending on its development, packaging, making sure the packaging is good and then you fill up your warehouses with the product, you promote it and not one item sells. That is the absolute worst thing that could happen.

That’s why they’re called worst-case scenario not medium-case scenario but most people are afraid to look at the absolute worst case because they think it looks like a failure. Failure is and not admitting what the worst case is possible.

Counter-intuitively perhaps, once you’re really really comfortable that is the absolute worst thing that could happen including impacts to your reputation, your cash flow and your ego then comes the fun part: What is the best case scenario?

So in my case the best case scenario was that I would hit it out of the park and sell over 20 books at my book signing and impress everybody, feel great make, make some money and impress the store and have them send a letter to head office or other store say how great I was.

Now obviously the reality is somewhere in between the two of those but most the time our minds won’t allow us to go to the worst case scenario. If you’re still okay with the worst case scenario happening in terms of your growth, in terms of the opportunity that it presents and you’re okay with that then you can definitely say: “Let’s do this thing and put all of your horsepower (intellectually psychologically) and your belief that it’s going to work and just do it with all your passion (#2 on the Emotional Scale). Once you confront the fear, you break through and can succeed.

Just to wrap things up in my personal example I didn’t end up selling the 20 books. But I didn’t also end up selling zero books either.
I sold somewhere in between those two numbers . But it went well, I was happy the way I was dealing with people and I had fun.

The store Customer Experience Manager was happy and we are discussing doing a book writing workshop. The result was better than my best case scenario actually in this case.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cheri Gibson from Indigo Books Milton. She was absolutely a superstar yesterday helping me feel great having a great first day signing and was incredibly supportive in and allowing me to to learn this and helped me shine. So I’m really appreciative of all of her support. If you’re in the Milton area, drop in and go say hi to Cheri. She’s probably one of the best customer Experience Manager’s I’ve ever met.

For all your great projects, go to the worst-case scenario, keep digging make sure it’s as bad as it can be. Then look at the best case scenario and then if you can handle the worst case scenario pull the trigger do it and never look back. Just do it, remember a good decision today beats a great decision next week all the time. You get the benefit of time and experience of doing it.

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