Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 33

I am going to continue with the summary of secrets that I have missed and try and get caught up to where I should be.

Secret #59
Be your own fan.

"We need self-reinforcement, a belief in ourselves that is strong and unwavering. Be ready to pick yourself up when you are feeling down."

"The tendency to reinforce one's own self-confidence improves life satisfaction by about 20 percent for both men and women."

Secret #60
Join a group.

"Take in inventory of your interests. Chances are there is a group in your area dedicated to your special interest. People in groups develop positive personal relationships that tend to make them feel more comfortable around others, less lonely, and more in control of events."

"Group membership tends to make people feel more connected to each other and increases personal confidence and satisfaction by 7 percent."

Secret #61
Be positive.

"Whether you are at home, in the workplace, or among friends, be the person who exudes optimism, and you will find it reflected right back at you."

"Scientists have a very hard time predicting a person's happiness based on the events he or she has experienced. Instead, a far better predictor of happiness than the number of good or bad events a person has endured are the beliefs and attitudes he or she maintains."

Secret #62
There will be an end, but you can be prepared.

"One of the great sources of anxiety as we age is that we will never get a chance to do that thing we always wanted to do, or to finish that project we were working on years ago, or to mend the fences that may have fallen into disrepair as our relationships evolved. Don't wait until the end of your life to figure out what you wished you had done. Think of those things now and do them."

"Research on senior citizens finds that those who are most comfortable with their own mortality do not ignore the matter, but prepare themselves for it."

Secret #63
How we see the world is more important than how the world is.

"What is the shape of world, what condition is it in? Scientists, philosophers, and kings could offer a never-ending debate on the question. But there is no real grade for the world apart from the one you assign it."

"People who have experienced similar life events can wind up with nearly opposite perceptions of life satisfaction. Researchers have compared, for example, people who have received a job promotion, and they found that while some of the people treasure the opportunity others lament the added responsibility. The implications of life events are a matter of perspective."

Secret #64
Keep a pen and paper handy.

"People often feel frustrated that they can't remember a good idea they had last week or an interesting dream they had last night. Those who keep a notebook feel like they are more in control and are missing less."

"While purposeful activity contributes to happiness, feelings of lost thoughts and opportunities contribute to an unhealthy frustration. People who feel like their best ideas escape them are 37 percent less likely to feel content than people who do not."

Secret #65
Help the next person who needs some minor assistance.

"Giving help is a win-win situation, so take the time to pay attention to your surroundings and offer the help that you can. It could be as simple as making a habit of holding the door open for the person coming in behind you. It's a gesture of friendliness that makes another person feel better and makes you feel good about yourself."

"Life satisfaction was found to improve 24 percent with the level of altruistic activity."

Secret #66
Take care not to harshly criticize family and friends.

"We rely on those closest to us for support. We can accept critical words from those who are not close to us because we can believe they reflect a lack of knowledge about us rather than an actual flaw in us. From our friends and family, however, critical words cut deeply. Try to avoid fixing your friends and family. Love them for who they are. If you must say something negative, always be constructive. Make your criticism reflect your love and respect, not your disappointment."

"Aggression and fixations on disagreements reduces satisfaction in relationships by nearly 70 percent."

I know that I am not really hitting on these too much but even just reading the secret itself is helpful to me. The book really wants us to be positive. Whether with ourselves, the world, or with our criticism. I really think being positive with become a habit and you won't be able to do anything but be happy.

I am planning on posting a lot of pictures soon. So don't give up on me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 32 I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I just needed to not spend so much time on the computer. I needed a break from all the blogging madness. But now I am waaaayyyy behind on my Happiness Experiment. So what I am going to do is go through all the secrets that I missed just briefly. Not give my commentary, just the quotes from the book. There are a lot so I apologize now. And I promise that I am going to start putting picures on here again. I have let my blog folder of photos get way too big. So here goes...

Secret #53
Don't pretend to ignore things your loved ones do that bother you.

"In the name of being agreeable, some people try to avoid areas that might cause dissension. But with our loved ones, this strategy sometimes make us uncomfortable. We can feel unappreciated because we have made a sacrifice but nobody thanks us for it. Sometimes we feel angry because this problem doesn't go away. Raise the subject of your disagreement, but do so lovingly and constructively, not with anger or aggression."

"In relationships, those who feel they can freely communicate their concerns and needs to their partner are 40 percent more likely to feel satisfied than those who do not."

Secret #54
Get a good night's sleep.

"Don't skimp on sleep. A full night's rest is fuel for the following day. Rested people feel they work better and are more comfortable when the day is over."

"Quality and quantity of sleep contribute to health, well-being, and a positive outlook. For those who sleep less that eight hours, every hour of sleep sacrificed results in an 8 percent less positive feeling about their day."

Secret #55
Buy what you like.

"Don't accumulate possessions for the sake of having a lot of stuff. On the other hand, don't deny yourself something that you really want or need. If you buy things that are important to you, you can appreciate them every day and won't feel the need to fill your home with every item at the mall."

"Anticipating and accumulating consumer goods can contribute to a sense of personal well-being; however; placing too much emphasis on material goods has a diminishing effect on happiness."

Secret #56
Accomplish something every day.

"Sometimes days fly by without anything standing out in your mind, without any tangible improvement. Every day make sure, no matter how small the effort, that you do something to make your dreams come true."

"In research on hundreds of college students, individuals were found to be happiest when they felt they were moving closer to achieving their goals. Students who could not see progress were three times less likely to feel satisfied than students who could."

Secret #57
Be flexible.

"When we want to be with friends and family, often we want it to be on our terms. If everybody approaches relationships this way, no one will be happy. Instead of thinking only about what you want think about what the others want too, and consider why it is important to spend time together. Accept that there are always differences between people and that if you are flexible you will enjoy your time with them more and feel closer to them."

"Nearly all individuals report significant changes in their lives and in their values over the course of time. Those who viewed these changes as inevitable and remained open to the possibilities that changes would be positive were 35 percent more likely to be satisfied with their lives than those who did not."

Secret #58
Events are temporary.

Bad things happen, but usually we do not feel their effects on us forever. It's really true that time heals wounds. Your disappointments are important and serious, but your distress will pass and your life will take you in new directions. Give yourself some time."

"Studies of thousands of Americans show that happy people are not immune to negative events. Instead, they are characterized by the ability to think about other things in the aftermath of negative events."

I think that I am only going to post half of the "catch-up" secrets this time and post the other half later this week. I don't want to overwhelm or bore you. These are all great things to think about. Especially the one about accomplishing something every day. Some days I think to myself, "What did you do today?" So if I can focus on getting at least one thing done every day I will feel better about myself. I also believe in getting enough sleep. It is so important. I don't know how I managed when I was getting up at 3 am to go bake bagels at 4 am then going from there to my other job until 5 or 6 pm and then staying up with friends having fun until sometimes midnight. What was I thinking?? I love my sleep now. I am trying to get in all I can before this new baby comes.

So look for the other half of secrets that are late and also for a whole lotta photos. I just need to bite the bullet and get it done.