Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 9

*For explanation of The Happiness Experiment" go HERE .*

I know it isn't very much time to work on last week's secrets, but I am getting back on my schedule. So I'll really have 4 to work on this week.

Last week's:
If you're not sure, guess positively.
Believe in yourself.

Secret #17
Don't believe in yourself too much.

"Believing in yourself means thinking you are a capable person, not that you will never make a mistake. Don't think that because you are a talented person you cannot learn from others or you should never be criticized or others want to know how highly you think of yourself."

I guess it's good that I get to work on #16 and #17 together. There is a line between believing in yourself and believing only in yourself. You have to know that other people can still teach you. We are going to make mistakes. That's life. Accepting and learning from mistakes is progress. If you turn people away because you think you have nothing to learn from them, you are going to live a very lonely life. Everyone has something they can teach you. Even children have things to teach us. I learn from my kids every day. So don't ever believe in yourself so much that you stop learning from others.

"In studies on married couples, a significant connection is found between rigidity in one partner and discord in the relationship. Where one partner is convinced he or she is correct and therefore not open to suggestion, the length of time disagreements continue is about three times as great."

Secret #18
Don't face your problems alone.

"Problems can appear to be unsolvable. We are social creatures who need to discuss our problems with others, whether it be those who care about us most or those who have faced the same problems we have. When we are alone, problems fester. By sharing, we can gain perspective and find solutions."

You don't have to face things alone. Even if you feel like you can't talk to your family or even close friends, chances are there is someone who has experienced what you are going through. And don't forget that you can always turn to your Lord. He is always there, just waiting for you to talk to Him about your problems. 

"The only thing that hiding your problems accomplishes is making sure no one helps you with them."

"An experiment was conducted with a group of women having low life satisfaction. Some of the women were introduced to others who shared their situation, and some of the women were left on their own to deal with their concerns. Those who interacted with others saw a 55 percent reduction in their concerns over time, while those who were left on their own showed no improvement."

You are never all alone.

Keep leaving comments. I love hearing about how this experiment is helping you in your life. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 8

*For explanation of The Happiness Experiment" go HERE .*

This is really really late this week, but better late than never, right? I've been out of town without the internet.So without further delay...

Just to refresh your memory of last weeks secrets:
Be open to new ideas.
Share with others how important they are to you.

And now on to this week's secrets.

Secret #15
If you're not sure, guess positively.

"Unhappy people take a situation in which they are not sure and come to a negative conclusion. For example, if they aren't certain why another person is being nice, they assume that the person must have a hidden selfish agenda. Happy people take that same situation and guess the positive possibility, that is, that the person really is nice."

It is so sad to see in the world today that most people don't believe in genuine kindness. Every thinks that everyone else is out to get whatever they can. People can't just do something nice just to do it anymore. And not only do they think that other people can't do anything nice without gain, they believe that they themselves shouldn't do things for others unless they profit from it. "What has that person ever done for me? They are never nice, why should I be?" Why not? 

"Any situation can be viewed as an act of selfishness, if that's how you want to view it."

That statement is so true. It is all in your perspective. Why be cynical your whole life? Why not just believe that people can be nice just to be nice? It might just rub off and cause you to be nice too. I'm sure we've all heard of Pay It Forward. If we all lived that way, people would have more faith in other people.

"Happy people and unhappy people explain the world differently. When an unhappy person must interpret the world, eight in ten times he or she will see the negative in an event. When a happy person must interpret the world, eight in ten times he or she will see the positive."

Why not see the positive and be happy?

Secret # 16
Believe in yourself.

"Don't write yourself off. If you don't believe in yourself, you won't be able to function."

It doesn't get any easier than that. Just believe in yourself. Recently, my sister asked her son what he wanted to be when grows up. His answer: Awesome. 

I think we all have the potential to be awesome when we grow up. We just have to believe that. If we don't believe that we can get out of our dead-end job and do what we've always wanted to then it's almost sure that we won't. When we were thinking about making our photography business our full-time job, we were skeptical. But when events happened that basically forced us to get going with it, we started to believe that it was possible. We had to have immense faith that this is what we were supposed to be doing. We had to believe in our own ability to make it work. No doubts. That belief in ourselves has helped us be what we are today. And it just keeps getting better, because we know it can and will.

"Across all ages and all groups, a solid belief in one's own ability increases life satisfaction by about 30 percent, and makes us happier both in our home lives and in our work lives."

So now that I've been working on this experiment for 2 months, I look back and try to see if it has helped. Or if anything has changed. Am I happier? 

I honestly think that I am. This year has been great so far. So many reasons to be happy. And the thing that I'm starting to realize, is that all those reasons have always been there, I just needed to open my eyes and not take them for granted. The biggest thing this book has done for me so far is help me realize my own worth and potential. 

How is it going for you?

Friday, February 19, 2010


We took the kids into the doctor yesterday, just to make sure this sickness that they have didn't involve some kind of infection. When the doctor started checking Iris he asked what her name was.

Her response: "Princess Iris."

I was busting up. (Along with the med student who was observing.)

And the funniest part was that she looked at us like she couldn't figure out what was so funny!


I'm hosting a giveaway on my Craft Blog. Go check it out if you want to win something really cute.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Picture Time

I decided it was about time for my usual picture overload. Some of these are actually pretty old but have been in my blog folder just waiting to be posted. So here you go.

This was taken when we went out to Monitor Valley for Evan's deer hunt. Meghan took us to see Diana's Punch Bowl, a really really hot spring in a really really deep hole in the top of a hill. Hard to explain but really cool to see. This is down at the bottom of the hill.

This was out at my parents. The kids loved all the puppies. And the puppies loved all the attention. They are so cute. To see better photos or to buy one, go HERE. 

My little Mozart.

I looked down the hall and saw this. Donevan with a trail of diapers leading to the back room.

So I followed the trail and found more diapers.

And that's when I discovered that the diaper stacker needed to be moved to a much higher location. Diapers everywhere.

Donevan has found his new favorite seat. It's a side table by our couch. He won't fit under there too much longer.

Sometimes I wonder if it was such a good idea to put the book shelf in his room. Pulling them off the shelf is so much fun.

So I started taking pictures of all the lovely little surprises I find in my cupboards and drawers and laundry basket; pretty much anywhere. Donevan thinks it's great fun hiding things. I have yet to take a picture of the pile of stuff that usually accumulates on the other side of the cat door. That's a fun one. Except when one shoves a precious blanket through and can't get it back, then it's a frustration.

I just thought this was a pretty picture. All the frost we got a while back sure made for some nice photos. This one I especially liked because it looked like I changed it to black and white but I didn't. Winter, though aggravating at times, can be so pretty.

Future stunt man in the making. Always with the tongue out.

We were actually going to get rid of this container but they love to play in it so much that we decided to keep it around for a while.

Such a precious picture of Iris. Her bangs aren't really that crooked. Just messy.

I couldn't not take a picture of this. She couldn't even make it all the way up on the couch before she fell asleep. The tutorial on how to make the cute sweater dress that she is wearing can be seen HERE .

She found this headband and refused help with putting it on. She did a pretty good job, don't you think?

Notice the concentration while drawing on/signing the Valentines we sent to grandparents. I will be posting photos of those on the craft blog soon.

This is one of the reasons I love living where we do. We can have animals. Getting fresh eggs like this every day is awesome.

More Sleeping Iris pictures. This was just too cute not to take a picture of.

Here's the close-up. Notice the squished nose and the fruit snacks wrapper in her hand. Priceless.

And then she changed positions.

Well I do have a ton more but that will have to do for now. Hope you enjoy

Week 7

Sorry this is a couple days late. I was out of town without my book.

Here are the secrets for week 6:

Friendship beats money.
Have realistic expectations.

And now I will give you the secrets for this week.

Secret #13
Be open to new ideas.

"Never stop learning and adapting. The world will always be changing. If you limit yourself to what you knew and what you were comfortable with earlier in your life, you will grow increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age."

The world is not standing still so why should you. People who are not willing to change and adapt to what is going on around them will never be happy. For example, we are photographers, and if we weren't willing to adapt and change with the times we probably wouldn't get much business. People know what is in style and they like to feel like they are getting something that is up to date not out dated. The technology in photography changes and improves daily. If we weren't willing grow, our business wouldn't grow either. The same is true for anyone. We must constantly learn and grow. Otherwise we'll force ourselves to be stuck in the same place forever. Doesn't sound very happy to me.

"In research on older Americans, what predicted satisfaction more than finances or the state of their current relationships was their willingness to adapt. If they were willing to change some of their habits and expectations, their happiness was maintained even when their circumstances changed. Those who were resistant to change, on the other hand, were less than one-third as likely to feel happy."

Secret #14
Share with others how important they are to you.

"Relationships are built on mutual appreciation, and there is no better way to show that appreciation than to tell someone how much you care."

Telling the people you love that you love them is so important. Of course, not all people show their love by just saying it. If any of you have read "The Five Love Languages "by Gary Chapman, you will know what I'm talking about. Every person speaks love in a different language. Actually saying you love someone is only one way to show them that they are important to you. Maybe you like to show your love by giving gifts, whether bought or made by hand. Or maybe just serving people is your way of showing appreciation. However you show your love, make sure you do it. People need to know you love them. And in return it will make you happier with yourself.

"Research on unemployed adults has found that the length of unemployment was less important to a person's self-esteem than the amount of social support received from parents, family members, and friends."

Be open to new ideas.
Share with others how important they are to you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 6

*For explanation of The Happiness Experiment" go HERE .*

Review of last week:
Remember where you came from.
Limit yourself to thinking about one subject as you lie down to sleep.

Secret #11
Friendship beats money.

"If you want to know if people are happy don't ask how much money is in the bank. Don't ask how large their take home salary is. Ask them about their friends."

I'm beginning to see how important friendships are in happiness. In my opinion, a person can have absolutely no money but have many good friends and they will be infinitely more happy then any millionaire without a single friend. Money can't make you happy unless you have friends and family to share it with.

"Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family and relationships with coworkers and neighbors. Together these factors explain about 70% of personal happiness."

Secret #12
Have realistic expectations.

"People who are happy don't get everything they want, but they want most of what they get. In other words, they rig the game in their favor by choosing to value things that are within their grasp.
People who find themselves dissatisfied in life often set unreachable goals for thenselves, setting themsleves up to fail. Yet people who set high goals for themselves and reach them are no happier than people who set and reach more modest goals.
Whether you are assessing your position at work or your relationship with your family, don't begin with fantasy pictures of the world's richest person or the world's ideal family. Stay within reality and strive to make things better, not perfect."

This book involves really looking into one's goals and analyzing what it is that you are trying to do. Until this year I've always made somewhat general goals. Eat healthy. Exercise. Read more. Goals that are good, but not really measurable. But making goals like Read 500 books this year is incredibly unrealistic for me. So if I were to make a goal like that I would be setting myself up for failure and ultimately unhappiness. So this year I've really been looking over my goals, over and over again, asking myself what I'm doing to accomplish them and if they are really something that is attainable for me. I must say that this has been the most that I've looked at my goals. Usually around February they are already forgotten about. It has really helped me to focus on those things I want to improve and change. And it really is making me happier. I am already saying that this year is going to be great and I feel so much happier than I did at this time last year. It's incredible.

" The congruance of people's goals with their resources strongly correlates with happiness. In other words, the more realistic and attainable people's goals are, the more likely they are to feel good about themselves. People who conclude their goals are out of reach are less than one-tenth as likely to consider themselves  satisfied with life."

Friendship beats money.
Have realistic expectations.

Please continue to comment and tell me what you are thinking about all this. Are you happier?