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Self Improvement

Happiness Really is a Choice (and Some Habit Trashing)



happiness quotes

Which habits no longer serve you?


Amazon has 13,184 book titles that contain the word “happiness” in its self-help section. That’s a lot of pages on how to find happiness. There are books on changing your thinking; there are books on self-actualization; there are books on becoming more giving, more loving, and more unselfish. Sometimes, however, happiness is a matter of giving up bad habits that we have somehow accumulated over the years and that now fill our personal “backpack.” You may have slipped into some of these 13 habits, so it is worth taking a look.

1. Workaholism

We all work longer hours and we are all committed to completing those tasks that we are assigned. For some, however, work becomes an all-consuming activity, an obsession that cannot be “turned off.” It is hard to reverse this, because now clients, bosses, etc. are now expecting the same amount of work product from you. You may want to back off gradually, setting aside at least 2-3 hours a day in which you do something completely selfish. Watch a TV show you recorded a month ago; read a novel that has been sitting by your bed for weeks.

2. Pessimism

Yes, this is a habit. Many people develop this thinking pattern from childhood, because their parents were negative thinkers. Others develop it because negative events have impacted them severely (e.g., loss of job, death of partner, divorce) and they have not worked through the negativity. Try some gratitude. Are you eating 3 meals a day? Are you dead? Do you have shoes on your feet? Do you have a good friend? Are you facing bombing raids daily because you live in Syria?

3. Waiting For Something To Happen

“I’ll be happy when I find a different job,” “I’ll be happy when I can finally retire,” “I’ll be happy when…..” This condition of general discontent does not go away when those goals are met, because the person finds that the thing desired didn’t bring the happiness. It’s nice to have goals but if you fail to “live in the now,” you’ll never be happy.

4. Letting Others Control Your Decisions

This little habit means that you never got through the parent-child thing, with you being the child. You will not break this habit easily, but choose one small thing at a time. Make a decision to get that haircut even when others are saying you shouldn’t; enroll in a class; take a trip all by yourself. Get used to being independent and that habit will build.

Happiness Really is a Choice (and Some Habit Trashing)

5. Harboring Resentment Or Anger

Here’s what happens. Every time you think about the event, the circumstance or the person responsible for a painful experience, you experience it all over again with all of the same emotions. How horrible! Breaking this habit takes lots of practice. When the thought hits, you have to dispel it and replace it with something pleasant. You also have to genuinely forgive. It’s not like haven’t needed forgiveness at some time, right?

6. Looking For Temporary Happiness

You love that new car; you loved that expensive meal you just ate, even though you had to put it on your charge, which is almost maxed out. We all make impulsive decisions for temporary happiness, but when that is the only type of happiness we pursue, we will never be happy. Looking at the long-term has to be a new habit. What does permanent happiness mean to you? Go after those things!

7. Setting Goals That Are Too Big/Challenging

They don’t get achieved and then you are unhappy. So you set another one just like that one! Set smaller, shorter-term goals that are challenging but achievable. Then pat yourself on the back and get some of that happiness!

Happiness Really is a Choice (and Some Habit Trashing)

8. Failure To Stretch Your Mind

If you are not learning new things; if you are not having new experiences, then you are stuck in place. This is an unhappy place to be, for you have nothing to look forward to. Get out there and do something!

9. Letting Someone Stay In Your Life Who Hurts You

It’s a tough decision to walk away from a partner, a friend, or a relative who criticizes, belittles, or worse, physically abuses you. It has become such a natural part of your life that you just live with it. The relief and happiness you gain once you do walk away, however, will be amazing.

10. Being In A Rush All Of The Time

Yes, there are deadlines; yes, there are times when life is hectic and harried. If this is your life all of the time, it is of your own making. Reduce obligations, let others fend for themselves – just back away!

11. Saying “Yes” When You Don’t Want To

It’s a hard habit to break. You want to please everyone; you want people to say they can count on you. Enough! If you can just force yourself to say “no” that first time, it does get easier with each subsequent “no.”

12. Being Rigid And Inflexible

Life comes with surprises. If your rigidity does not allow you to accept those surprises and those changes, you will be miserable. Start with the little things and build up. If your schedule says you must get up at 8 every Saturday morning, get dressed and immediately begin the yard work or some other chore, sleep in. Skip the yard work. The sun will not fall out of the sky.

Happiness Really is a Choice (and Some Habit Trashing)

13. Being Stingy

Remember Scrooge? He was unhappy. There is something inside all of us that grows warm and fuzzy when we do for others. You can be stingy with money or time, but, in either case, you won’t be happy if you are.

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Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

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Self Improvement

How Does Sleep Affect Your Mental Health?



Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep is our body’s repair mode. Our cells, tissues, muscles, and hormones are all replenished during the deepest phases of sleep. This ensures that we are operating at our best the next day.

Experts recommend about seven (7) hours of sleep a day for an average adult. This is keeps you mentally and physically focused. But what happens when you don’t get enough? Is there a link between sleep and our mental health?


The Link Between Sleep and Mood

Even someone who isn’t an expert on the subject can appreciate how active they feel after a good night’s sleep. In contrast, one can feel exhausted, irritated, and distracted after not getting enough the night before. That’s because sleep plays an important role in your mood and performance.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study in which the subjects were restricted sleep to only 4.5 hours each night. After a week, the subjects reported greater levels of negative emotions and mental tiredness. Once they were allowed to sleep normally however, there was a sharp improvement in their mood.

Just as sleep impacts your mood, your present state of mind also has an equivalent effect on the quality of your sleep. If you’re anxious or stressed, your body will release hormones that force you to stay awake through the night, depriving you of much-needed rest. The result is a cycle of stress and lack of sleep.

Research suggests that around 15-20 percent of people who are dealing with insomnia (an inability to fall asleep) go on to develop serious mental depression. While research is still being conducted about the exact nature of the relationship between sleep and depression, there has been enough progress to indicate a strong correlation between the two.

People who suffer from insomnia are at a significantly greater risk to develop depression or anxiety. In fact, the onset of these conditions can be accurately predicted by studying the patient’s sleep patterns.


The Link Between Sleep and Learning

In addition to your mood, sleep also appears to impact your mind’s ability to learn. Three separate processes govern learning in your brain: acquisition, consolidation, and recall.

Acquisition entails receiving information and storing it in your neural circuitry. The second process, consolidation, strengthens the neural connections in your mind so that the memory is stored in an optimally useful form. Recall is when the brain accesses this stored memory when it is needed.

Poor sleep compromises all three of these processes. However, it is acquisition and recall that are most affected by sleep deprivation. Recent research has also demonstrated that a lack of sleep can reduce the brain’s ability to consolidate information it is presented with.

Students take note: inadequate sleep may negatively affect your chances of passing that exam. Indeed, you may even find yourself forgetting how to do simple tasks. If you’ve ever been involved in back-to-back all-nighters during exam week, you may already have experienced forgetting a solution to a simple problem – even after you’d done it half a dozen times!


Dealing with Sleep Problems To Improve Mental Health

If you’re experiencing emotional apathy, anxiety, depression, or irritability, one of the steps you can take before seeking a professional is to assess your sleep situation.

Treat sleep as a ritual. Similar to reading to a child before putting them to bed, a habit that helps one disconnect from gadgets and put their mind in a relaxed mood can go a long way towards ensuring a restful, wholesome, sleep experience.

Making time before going to bed is a good idea. Avoid exposure to bright lights (such as those emitted by computer screens and smartphones). Try not to consume caffeine or alcohol, as all of these can be detrimental to the quality of sleep (and may even prevent the onset of sleep completely).

Obviously, the way you’ve set up your bed (and your entire bedroom) will also play an important role in how well you’re able to sleep. For example, memory foam mattresses are often recommended for individuals who sleep in awkward postures that can cause back pain. For some good reviews, check out The Sleep Judge.

If you can’t get rid of thoughts buzzing around in your head, you may want to listen to some natural background sounds, such as rainfall or wind rushing through trees. This will ease your mind away from distractions, helping you drift off to sleep. If you get the recommended amount, see how replenished you feel the next day!


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