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Saturday, December 31, 2016

PRODUCTIVITY SPECIAL...... Fundamental Theory of Productivity: Less is More

Fundamental Theory of Productivity: Less is More

The art and science of productivity improves your results and your life. One of the basic theories of productivity can be summed up as “less is more.” Let’s explore the various ways you can grow your productivity through less. After all, we cannot increase the hours in the day but we can increase our focus and our creativity.

1. When you write down fewer priorities, you’ll achieve more

One of my favorite insights from Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek is about the impact of setting fewer priorities. As Ferriss writes:
“Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities… I don’t recommend using Outlook or computerized to-do lists, because it is possible to add an infinite number of items… There should never be more than two mission-critical items to complete each day. Never.”
I have found this recommendation valuable and absolutely worth implementing. Besides, writing a to-do list with one hundred items due on a single day will simply discourage you.

2. When you limit yourself to 7-10 annual goals, you will be more likely to achieve your goals

Entrepreneur and author Micheal Hyatt advocates setting approximately seven to ten annual goals that cover your entire life (career, health, intellectual, financial and so forth). Setting challenging goals is a vital to living a life you are proud of, rather than simply checking off tasks. In my experience, 7-10 goals is the “Goldilocks zone” for major annual goals.

3. When you avoid work emails at home, you will be happier and more productive

A study published in the Academy of Management Journal found that professionals often become angry when they receive emails and text messages from their company after usual working hours. When you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. After all, there is often little you can do to solve a work problem in the evening when you are away from your files and ability to seek input from others. If you keep answering work email and obsessing over problems, you will find it more difficult to relax and rest.

4. When you insist on meetings with written agendas, you will waste less time.

Following a written agenda is a key habit for effective meetings. Even better, insisting that all meetings have agendas will reduce the number of meetings you attend. You may face a difficult adjustment at first. You will gain back hours of productive time each month. If you receive resistance to a written agenda, simply tell the person “Before attending meetings, I always seek to prepare so that I can make the most of the time.”

5. When you avoid email and social media first thing in the morning, you will be more productive

As Henry Ward Beecher said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” It matters how you start the day. Many successful people follow a defined morning routine and take the time to exercise or read a book. Starting the day with email puts you into a reactive frame of mind. That approach means you are neglecting your goals and priorities.

6. When you limit work hours, your focus will improve

In the public accounting industry, there is a “busy season” at the start of the year as thousands of professionals work on audits. The deadline pressure of the season means a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, some people in the sector become neglect the rest of their lives. Even worse, when you assume you will be in the office for twelve hours, you think nothing of wasting an hour or two in the morning.

7. When you take naps, you will manage your stress levels

Carving out twenty to thirty minutes during a busy work day is one way to improve your productivity. Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London, commented that naps improve creativity. Simply continuing to grind away on a tough work problem is not always the right strategy. Of course, not every company has an enlightened policy on afternoon naps so use your judgement.

8. When you take all of your vacation days, you will be happier and more productive.

Did you know that New Zealand law requires staff have 30 vacation days per year? That high commitment to vacation is doing nothing to hurt New Zealand’s economy according to a recent OECD findings reported in USA Today. Taking time away from the office allows you to expand your interests, build new experiences and get much needed rest.
9. When you reduce email notifications, you will focus more
Notifications – beeps, buzzing devices and sounds – were once a fun idea. However, the time has come to reduce notifications to improve your productivity. If your work or focus is broken to check email every few minutes, it will take you time to refocus on your work. That’s why you should take the time to disable notifications (e.g. disable email notifications on the iPhone and Android phones) or reduce the frequency (e.g. check email every hour instead of every 5 minutes).

10. When you block your calendar, you will receive fewer distractions

In many large organizations, it is a common practice to have a shared calendar. This type of system makes it easy to schedule meetings because the meeting organizer can find a time when everyone needed for the meeting is free. Unfortunately, some people start to view their daily office calendar in a reactive way: a place to store meeting requests. Instead, make sure you block (i.e. schedule “a meeting with yourself”) at least 2 hours per day to permit you to focus on your high priority activities.
For example, the Manager Tools podcast recommends avoiding meetings on Monday mornings.

11. When you reduce television consumption, you have more time to apply yourself to satisfying activities.

According to research firm Nielsen, the average American watches over 3 hours of television per day.  What if you reduced your intake by one hour? That would give you time to apply yourself to other activities. For example, you could finally start learning how to code, attend a night class one day a week or simply get to bed earlier. This idea is especially valuable if you tend to watch television (or video) for hours on end, regardless of the program.

12. When you cut back on watching the news, you will be happier and less anxious.

Psychology Today magazine recently reported that viewing TV news and current affairs programs can make people more anxious. Over the past 20 years, there has been an increase in sensational negative news coverage. According to the research: “Not only are negatively balanced news broadcasts likely to make you sadder and more anxious, they are also likely to exacerbate your own personal worries and anxieties.”

13. When you avoid making major decisions when tired, you will make fewer mistakes.

Your energy level impacts your ability to make good decisions. For example, it is often difficult to keep your temper under control after a stressful day at the office. In fact, economists have reported that you are more likely to make impulse purchases (e.g. junk food) when you are tired.
Armed with this information, you can decide to “sleep on it” whenever you are prompted to make a significant decision late in the day.

14. When you go to bed earlier, you will be better rested and effective

If you are used to going through your days feeling tired and worn out, simply going to bed an hour earlier will improve your productivity. Getting more rest will improve your ability to stay focused and help you make better decisions, including on the road. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 200,000 American car crashes are caused by sleepy drivers.

15. When you eliminate clutter in your workspace, you will waste less time

Clutter is a common problem for many of us. When your workspace is filled with clutter – old magazines, receipts for expense claims, piles of old Post-It notes – your productivity suffers. Specifically, you will spend time multiple times per day looking for important materials. According to the Daily Mail, searching for lost items takes up at least 10 minutes per day (that’s equivalent to spending over $1100 per year looking for items if your annual salary is $70,000).

16. When you reduce unproductive commuting time, you can achieve more

Commuting to and from the office takes up a great deal of time that could be put to productive use. The average American spends 50 minutes per day commuting, an activity that many consider tiresome or frustrating. Fortunately, you can transform commuting time into education time! If you drive a car to work, listen to podcasts or buy a subscription to Audible (a service that has 100,000 audio books). In addition, you can also look into commuting by train or subway, you can read, study or even get a head start on your work.

17. When you streamline your morning routine, you will become a morning master

Your approach to your morning makes a significant impact on your productivity. If you are disorganized and sleep in, a mad scramble to make out the door in time will be your daily reality. Instead, you can follow the morning ritual of successful people who get up early so they can read, exercise and take care of other important activities.
To streamline your morning, look for recurring tasks that you can optimize. For example, consider placing your keys and cell phone in the exact same place each night so you can easily locate them as you depart. During the winter, place all your cold weather clothes (hat, gloves, boots etc) so you they can dry out and be ready for another day.

18. When you set a timer on your work, your foucs will improve

In most professional work environments, individuals have a high degree of autonomy in how they organize their days. Generally, this freedom is a blessing. It is also easy to fall into bad habits – reading articles on the Web, watching silly videos or simply day dreaming. Instead, set a timer for 25 minutes to improve productivity. Once you master the routine of working according to a schedule, you can gradually increase the duration of your focus periods.

19. When you reduce the icons on your computer desktop, you will be more productive

Your computer desktop is not an effective filing system. For the best results, I recommend a maximum of one column of icons for your most frequently used applications. I suggest including your main productivity applications (e.g. Microsoft Word and Excel) and web browsers (e.g. Firefox and Chrome). The rest of your desktop will then be free and clear.
Once you have your computer desktop tidy, look for an inspiring wallpaper image that will put you in a good mood. Explore these seven websites for wallpaper images to get your imagination started.

20. When you moderate your alcohol consumption, your health will improve

On cruise ships and other vacation destinations, complimentary beer, wine and other drinks are served to guests. While enjoyable, downing too much alcohol hurts your productivity. Heavy drinking causes health problems which takes time away from other pursuits. Not sure if your drinking habits are excessive? Make an appointment with your doctor to ask his or her advice.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/fundamental-theory-productivity-less-more-2.html?ref=mail&mtype=daily_newsletter&mid=20161215_customized_editor_pick&uid=687414&hash=707e797f7e757e6d794c856d747b7b3a6f7b79&action=click

PERSONAL SPECIAL ..............8 Signs You’ve Discovered Your Calling

8 Signs You’ve Discovered Your Calling

 Take a moment and take a deep breath, turn off the distractions and prepare yourself with a sense of excitement and positive expectancy because this is going to be an epic post taking you to the energetic fabric of who you are and why you have been called to Earth at this time.
Every human being experiences the Calling. Every moment is a calling, and as Oprah says, “If you’re here breathing, you have a contribution to make.” No matter what background, age, color, creed, religion or gender, we have all been called to Earth at this time for the authentic expression of who we are and the gifts we are here to give.
The Calling is sometimes thought to be associated with a career. Other times it’s thought to be associated with an adventure. Not to be mistaken with wanting and searching for the next thing (which is the game of the Mind), the Calling is a infinite wisdom that’s always there and never ends. At the core of it, the Calling is a knowing of what is true to us to feel and do, and it’s associated with every aspect of our life. Everything from the people we meet to the travels we embark on to the mentors that guide us to our natural gifts to the dreams we have, the miracles we experience and the contributions we make.
So, how do you know if you’ve discovered your calling? It took flight for me in the form of downloads every night from 9 months of vivid, lucid dreams. For others the heroic journey began with an unexpected person coming into their lives. For Harry Potter it showed up with his house flooded with tons of letters delivered by wise owls from Hogwarts. If you feel like you’re living your calling and if you feel like you’ve been struggling to find it (which is another game of the Mind), these 8 signs will serve you in knowing that you’re living your life congruently with the Calling.
1. You have had an irrational urge involving a quest
Joseph Campbell describes the first phase of The Hero’s Journey as the Call To Adventure. It’s a setting where the hero (you) is living in an ordinary world, monotonously going about life in the same way, and often times wishing for more. At some point for us in discovering our calling comes the urge to venture out into the unknown world… in some sort of quest. For me throughout the 9 months of vivid, lucid dreams, I had the urge to leave the traditional academic world for a one-way ticket journey around the world focused on mentoring, adventure, extraordinary experiences, self-education, mastery and having soulful connections with the people I’d meet. For Peak Performance Strategist Tony Robbins, this came as an unexpected gift one of the worst experiences of his life where his father walked out on his family after feeling worthless because a man delivered a Thanksgiving basket for them. From that day to now, Tony Robbins has created a foundation that feeds millions of people every year during Thanksgiving with basket brigades.
2. It hurts you not to act on this irrational urge
Generally after hearing the call to adventure, many of us refuse the call. “Oh, I can’t do that. That’s crazy. That’s wishful thinking. Someday.” Those are all excuses to keep our sense of constancy in living an ordinary life as opposed to embracing uncertainty to live an extraordinary life. To not live purposefully, authentically, and heed the Calling is painful… and the only way we are able to survive with the pain is to numb it and distract ourselves — through alcohol and drugs, excessive television use, smartphone addictions, monotonous lifestyles, problems and limiting stories, and surrounding ourselves with others committed to mediocrity. There’s nothing wrong with anything mentioned above, and if we’re honest with ourselves… it hurts us at our souls to play small in this gift of life.
After having my first dozen vivid, lucid dreaming experiences, part of me got very excited to begin pursuing the messages of the Calling; another part of me ignored the call and wanted to continue in the traditional academic system that I felt was eating away at my soul… out of the fear of not being accepted by loved ones and others if I left this expected path they wanted to see me pursue. That winter of college, I went to Argentina and had a phenomenal month with my cousin. I shared with her many of my stories and dreams of exploring the world with this hunger for personal development. She was enthusiastic with what I shared and encouraged me to go through with it. I said I was going to leave college to pursue my passion, and when I returned I refused the call. What happened next was I got sick with salmonella for almost three weeks, and then a more intense case of strep throat for nearly another two weeks. Missing many of my classes, I went to the doctor’s office on campus and asked for advice. He recommended I take a medical leave of absence. The light of passion flickered in my eyes. I took him up on his offer and within minutes of leaving his office, all of my strep throat symptoms disappeared and I was enlivened with a new sense of passion, energy, vibrancy, inspiration, joy and being empowered.
3. You find yourself more embracing of uncertainty with open arms
The Calling does not follow logic nor rational thought, however it makes perfect sense. When engaged with the Calling, we become more trusting in the unknown; we trust in our experiences, in the timing of things, and in the people we meet as if everything is to shape us and guide our soul to who we are meant to become and what we are meant to contribute. In the beginning of The Matrix, Neo is at his work when he receives a call from Morpheus, a person who he has yet to meet and who asks for his trust and guidance away from the agents. Neo participates with embracing the uncertainty of where he’s going as Morpheus gives him step by step directions.
Another case is with Oprah’s story about surrendering to God in receiving The Color Purple. She wanted the part so much, knowing she had been called for it spiritually, and as she tried to control her outcomes she was rejected… until she surrendered.
Kris Carr is another phenomenal example of embracing uncertainty. She was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer that was deemed untreatable, and she went on to create the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. She still has the cancer, it’s still untreatable, and she continues to live an extraordinary life filled with passion, joy, fun and inspiration, and has gone on to be a voice for health, wellness and living an amazing life regardless of circumstance.
4. You have mentors that guide, teach and support you for your journey
When Tony Robbins was starting out in the personal development industry, Jim Rohn was his mentor. For Oprah Winfrey it was Maya Angelou. For Mark Zuckerberg, it was Steve Jobs. Richard Branson accredits David Beevers and Sir Freddie Laker as significant mentors in his life.
In today’s day and age, our mentors are not limited to only showing up in person. We can find the book that inspires us, YouTube channels and online blogs that teach us just what we need to know for where we are and where we’re heading. For me it was a few books, including The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, and The Education Of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg. I actually drew a water color painting of myself reading two books, one with an orange cover and the other with a blue; this was weeks before I even knew about both of Tim’s books, and I was shocked at the coincidence of discovering them after creating the water color painting.
The key is that you will find the right people at the right time to support you on your journey, and they will find you as well (as you’ll support them on their journey) with grace when you’re living with the Calling.
5. You have heightened sensitivity, intuition and awareness
Intuition is what helps us understand something immediately with the Mind’s reasoning. You’ll just have clearer insights, a strong sense of knowing of what is true and where to go. We are all intuitive at our Soul, and the Calling is an urgent invitation to live our Soul’s journey. As we embrace the Calling, intuition along with heightened sensitivity and awareness becomes more accessible as tools to guide us to fulfill our Calling.
Sometimes this comes with a gut feeling like you’ve known someone all your life, and maybe you have only met them once. This has happened to me a number of times and I’ve taken it as a great sign to be more curious and see the wisdom we can share with each other… and it’s been an extraordinary experience every time. Sometimes you might notice your heightened sensitivity when you’re in a coffee shop full of noise, and in the midst of all the activity you notice a conversation relevant to what you’re doing right now in your life.
Steve Jobs accredits his intuition as more powerful than his intellect in creating the extraordinary technology he has in the world. He’s famously known for having said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” Now you don’t need to go to India, nor take psychedelics to experience intuition. We all have it. All you need to do is call for it, ask for what’s real, and pay attention. Heightened sensitivity, intuition and awareness are all gifts for you to experience to hear the Calling and live your legend.
6. You notice that time seems to fade away
When you’ve discovered your calling, you’ll notice that time fades away in the mystery, joy, excitement, wonder, awe, passion and thrill of being alive. On my journey around the world, I constantly forgot about time. Sometimes I felt like things were lasting for hours when it was just minutes, and vice versa. When Oprah spoke about surrendering to the higher organizing power and experiencing the ebb and flow of life, that is living in sync with the Calling in a sense of timelessness, and yet experiencing perfect timing… all the time.
7. You notice serendipity and synchronicity more clearly
Serendipity has been defined as good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries accidentally. Synchronicity is a concept defined by Carl Jung, which means that events are meaningful coincidences. In mathematics, when two angles are to fit perfectly together, it’s called a coincidence. In life, when things click together, it makes perfect sense. If you listened to Oprah’s story about surrendering from the link above, you’ll hear how she noticed the strong coincidence when she was praying to be in the movie The Color Purple and got a call from a casting agency for a movie called Moon Song (which later became The Color Purple). She was to act for a major role as Sofia, who is married to Harpo. She realized that Harpo is her name spelled backwards and was stunned at the coincidence of that.
When you’ve discovered your calling, these phenomena become more transparent in daily life. In fact, they become guiding messages to keep you on purpose.
8. Your life becomes centered on growth and contribution
The purpose of the Calling is to guide you on your personal Soul’s journey. It’s about evolution and contribution of the gifts you have to bring to humanity, and perhaps the greatest gift you can give is yourself. As you grow, evolve and change, humanity grows, evolves and changes… and it can happen at the level of your lineage, family, community, and at the level of the world based on the depth and width of your contributions.
I wish these 8 signs have given you the clarity you needed to know when you’ve been aligned with the Calling, and have inspired you to live congruent with the Calling, so that you can live and contribute soulfully.
Now, these are just 8 signs that you’ve discovered your calling. There are plenty more, and from reading this… have you been living your calling? If not, I invite you to now give up the Mind’s quest for constantly searching for the next best thing and claim the destiny that’s calling you right now. It’s simple, Oprah said it… just surrender to it.
ADAM SIDDIQ

http://www.lifehack.org/276333/8-signs-youve-discovered-your-calling?ref=mail&mtype=daily_newsletter&mid=20161227_customized&uid=687414&hash=707e797f7e757e6d794c856d747b7b3a6f7b79&action=click

BOOK SUMMARY 306 Intrinsic Motivation at Work

BOOK SUMMARY 306 Intrinsic Motivation at Work

·         Summary written by: Jill Donahue
“…a disturbing number of the managers they see are running on empty - low in intrinsic rewards and approaching burnout. I don’t want this to happen to you.”
- Intrinsic Motivation at Work, page 84
Employee engagement has become more important than ever. Why is that? What do we mean by employee engagement? And how do we get it?
Maybe it was easier in the manufacturing era of the past. Organizations used two simple devices: centralized and hierarchical control, and detailed rules and procedures. Now, in the service era, we talk about the need to “work smart,” “use judgement,” “take responsibility,” and “apply your intelligence” toward organizational goals. This requires self-management which is the defining characteristic of employee engagement.
The heart of this book is twofold:
1. What are the intrinsic rewards that reinforce self-management?
2. How can you and your team increase those rewards so that engagement and self-management flourish?
Kenneth Thomas, a Professor Emeritus of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, teaches us that self-management begins when you commit to a meaningful purpose. You then choose suitable activities to achieve that purpose, perform those activities, monitor your competence and finally monitor your progress.
Below are three big ideas I garnered from Thomas’ excellent work.

The Golden Egg
4 Key Elements and Drivers to Engagement
"If you’re not thinking all the time about making every person more valuable, you don’t have a chance."- Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, Intrinsic Motivation at Work, page 10
There are four key elements to create engagement. Workers are engaged in their work when they have a sense of:
1. Meaningfulness: The feeling that you are on a valuable mission and that your purpose matters in the larger scheme of things. This is driven by:
1. A non-cynical climate
2. Clearly identified passions
3. An exciting vision
4. Relevant task purposes
5. Whole tasks
2. Choice: The feeling that you can use your own judgement about how to contribute to the purpose.  This is driven by:
1. Delegated authority
2. Trust
3. Security
4. A clear purpose
5. information
3. Competence: The feeling that you are doing good, high-quality work. This is driven by:
1. Knowledge
2. Positive feedback
3. Skill recognition
4. Challenge
5. High, noncomparative standards
4. Progress: The feeling that your work is moving forward toward the purpose and that you can take corrective action when needed. This is driven by:
1. A collaborative climate
2. Milestones
3. Celebrations
4. Access to customers
5. Measurement of improvement

Gem #1
What Do You crave?
"What they crave…is the sense that they make a Positive Difference in something of value."- Intrinsic Motivation at Work, page 45
Yes, organizations need profits, but as De Geus is cited “[they] need profits the same way as any living being needs oxygen. It is a necessity to stay alive, but it is not the purpose of life.” People suffer when they lack purpose. Yet what is presented at every all-associate meeting? Market share, profitability? The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) gets the stage, when really it should be the CPO (Chief Purpose Officer). Workers are rarely inspired by economic purposes involving profit.
Meaningfulness is about the energy or passion you have for the purpose. This may change over time. Having a university-aged daughter who insists that everyone in her business class is driven by money alone, I was intrigued when Thomas talked about this changing over time. Younger workers, he says, are focused on proving they can handle things: work and life. So at this stage, their passion is simply showing their competence. But as they begin to realize they can do it, they commonly suffer a crisis of meaning. The work feels empty. Sound familiar? Thomas also pointed out that people are quick to recognize the importance of purpose in their own behavior, but tend to assume that others are motivated by economic deals and personal gain.
Average organizations and people don’t make the effort to identify their purpose. Exceptional ones not only identify it, but it is the guiding factor in every move. Think of Coca Cola. Their purpose is not to make sugar water. Rather, some brilliant marketers decided years ago that their purpose would be to share happiness! Brilliant. Their recruitment ads say “Make sharing happiness your life’s work!”
What do your recruitment efforts say? Does your vision express what your organization stands for? It should be a statement of an exciting future that would be meaningful and worthy.

Gem #2
Think Partner—Not Control
"Workers are engaged in the new work to the extent that they are actively self-managing at that work."- Intrinsic Motivation at Work, page 38
Are you engaged in your work? Are your people? The essence of today’s work is self-management. This is the defining characteristic of employee engagement as well as the source of the intrinsic rewards that drive employee engagement. In other words, engaged employees are:
1. Committed to a purpose
2. Using their intelligence to make choices about how best to accomplish tasks
3. Monitoring their behavior to make sure they are doing the task well
4. Checking in to make sure their actions are actually accomplishing the purpose
5. Taking corrective action when needed
So how do you create this? Many managers felt like they were “losing control” when they shifted from command and control to worker self-management. A better way to think of it is a shift rather than a loss. The workers take responsibility for the nuts and bolts decision making while the manager stays informed on issues of performance competence and progress.
You will use less authority and coercion to impose decisions and instead provide more information and advice. You will think of your relationship with them as a partnership, underscoring the free flow of information between leader and team member as they work toward their purpose. Coaching is another way of looking at it. As workers take increased responsibility for task purposes, they are more likely to welcome or even seek helpful input.
Thomas shows us is that engaging your employees is not a matter of personality or charisma. There are specific guidelines or tips to help. When you review the four elements of engagement and the five driving forces (listed under the Golden Egg), do you see room for improvement in your organization? What can you do today to contribute to building those drivers?


HAPPINESS SPECIAL....... 18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

It’s common to hear people say that fame only brings unhappiness. Not true! As these wise words from modern and historical celebrities (and a group of happiness scientists) show, they’ve figured out the secrets of happy people and a happy life. Let’s hear it in their own words, shall we?

1. Happiness is who you are

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition”
– Martha Washington
Genuinely happy people have an almost magical ability to stay in good spirits even when there isn’t a great deal to be cheerful about. When happiness is a core aspect of your personality, nothing can force you to be unhappy.
2. Happiness is a choice you make
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.”
– Groucho Marx
The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask yourself this: would you rather have a difficult and unhappy time, or stay happy through the tough times? Your choice.
3. Happiness comes from self-consistency
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
As any psychologist will tell you, it’s human nature to want your thoughts, words and deeds to be consistent—but you’ll often find yourself trying to fit the mould of what you think other people want instead of being fully and consistently yourself. That leads to conflict in your mind, which leads to a less happy life.
4. Happiness is your responsibility
“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”
– Alice Walker
There’s nothing more depressing than waiting for the happiness delivery guy. Why? Because he doesn’t exist. Decide to deliver your own happiness, and you can free yourself from a very long wait.
5. Happiness is best served in moderation
“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”
– Thomas Merton
Guess what? Spending all your time wishing you were happier will only make you more depressed. Aim for a comfortable day-to-day background level of happiness, rather than a huge blast of ecstatic joy that leaves you feeling wiped out.
6. Happiness is not in your memories
“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”
– Andre Maurois
Reminiscing about good memories can leave you feeling happy for a while, it’s true, but the source of happiness is now. Dwelling on past happiness doesn’t change today, so stay in the present to make this your happy day. And if you find yourself dwelling on unhappy memories instead, let them go—all they do is keep you from achieving happiness today.
7. Happiness is not in your ambitions
“Future: That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.”
– Ambrose Bierce
The author of The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce knew exactly how to be happy: simply avoid pinning your hopes on the unpredictable future. (He also knew a lot about sarcasm.) Hopes and ambitions for the future are nice, but being happy in the moment is better.
8. Happiness is contagious
“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”
– Anne Frank
It’s a fact: smiling at somebody tends to make them feel happier. Laughing has an even stronger effect. So wherever you go, share your happiness with the people you meet, and surround yourself with happy people if you can.
18 Secrets of Happy People
9. Happiness is destroyed by envy
“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.”
– Woody Allen
Nobody who spends their life wishing they had more than they’ve got is ever going to achieve lasting happiness. But if you dial down your sense of envy and entitlement, you’ll be happy more often than not.
10. Happiness can’t be bought
“Money won’t make you happy… but everyone wants to find out for themselves.”
– Zig Ziglar
As a cliche, “you can’t buy happiness” is right up there with classics like “no use crying over spilt milk” or “crime doesn’t pay”, but the reason those cliches are so popular is that they’ve got a big hunk of truth in them, so don’t expect to get happier by spending more money!
11. Happiness can’t be compared
“The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Before you make yourself unhappy by fretting that everybody else is happier than you, realise that they’ve all got problems; that’s… well, that’s life, folks. Instead of comparing your happiness to somebody else’s, try comparing it to your saddest moments. Suddenly, things don’t seem so bad after all.
12. Happiness is not on Facebook
“The more they used Facebook… the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.”
– Ethan Kross et al., in a research paper published by PLOS One
Seriously, did you think all those party photos and excitable status updates meant that everyone’s having a ball? Nope, it just means they post on Facebook when they’re happy because they want to share that happiness (and maybe brag about it just a tiny bit). See happiness secret #11!
13. Happiness is making every day matter
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Inaction rarely makes people happy. We need to feel that our existence has meaning and purpose in order to be happy, so spend each day doing the things that are most important to you.
14. Happiness means knowing what you love
“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
– Lucille Ball
Let’s face it—if you don’t know what makes you happy it’s about time you started to figure it out. What makes you smile? What leaves you feeling great? Keep on with those things and your happiness will always have fuel.
15. Happiness is a gift. Accept it.
“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”
– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Are you cheating yourself out of happiness because you don’t feel you’ve earned it? Breaking news: you don’t have to earn happiness. It’s a gift—from your friends, from strangers, from the universe, from yourself. Give it and accept it freely so there’s always plenty in circulation.
16. Happiness is one side of life’s coin
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
– Carl Jung
Nobody can be happy all of the time. If you were, you wouldn’t be able to recognise your happiness because you’d have nothing to compare it to!
17. Happiness is loving (and being loved in return)
“If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
– Socrates
For most of us, a great deal of life’s happiness comes from being around the people we love, and knowing that they love us right back.
18. Happiness comes when you stop looking for it
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
– Albert Camus
The quest for happiness is easily confused with the desire for things that we believe might make us happy. On closer inspection, though, some of the happiest people in the world are those who’ve stopped hunting for a magical happiness guarantee, and are simply happy to exist.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/18-timeless-secrets-happy-people.html?ref=mail&mtype=daily_newsletter&mid=20161228_customized_editor_pick&uid=687414&hash=707e797f7e757e6d794c856d747b7b3a6f7b79&action=click