Monday, March 20, 2017

International Day Of Happiness

Every year on the 20th of March, the World celebrates International Day of Happiness.

The essence is to help world citizens keep at bay all issues that buffet them in their lives and just be happy.

I keyed into this maxim so many years ago when I realized that my happiness is really not dependent on the things I have achieved in life or the things I own, not even in the Wife and Children but in knowing that Christ came and died for me and that God is always there with and for me despite the circumstances and situations.

But I know that some people still think that their happiness is dependent on achieving one thing or the other; if only they can learn from me that happiness is not an event but a journey.

If your happiness is dependent on your achievements, then it will always be ephemeral and transient, because as soon as the euphoria of the achievement wears off, you enter into a despondent mood again.

When your happiness streams from inside because of the love of God in you, no matter what is happening around you, you'd always muster the courage to be happy.

Though we keep getting bad news about persons who take their own lives, it is really tragic but no one has the right to take his or her own life NO MATTER WHAT.

No matter how much the vicissitudes of life bellow on us, SUICIDE IS NOT AN OPTION

Today, just be happy and enjoy your life


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

7 Scientific Ways to Stop Complaining And Enjoy A Happier Life

Research shows that habitual complaining affects us mentally, emotionally, and physically. Such behavior may cause or worsen stress, sapping our energy and desire to pursue our dreams.
Above all that, it just doesn't feel good to complain, or hear complaints. They're negative by nature and they don't help resolve the situation you wish were different. Complaining can also keep you from being a likable person.
If you want to start attracting and creating the success you desire, you'll want to stop complaining. Here are seven ways to break the habit of complaining, backed by science.
Research from Loma Linda University in California reveals that the simple act of laughter increases endorphins and sends mood-lifting dopamine to the brain. This hormone also has the power to lower stress levels by helping us process emotional responses and experience pleasure.
This solution is pretty simple: Bring more laughter into your life. As Law of Attraction advocate Steve Harvey says, "Laughter attracts joy and releases negativity." If you allow more joy and laughter in your life, you won't feel the pains and stresses as much. You won't focus on them.
Whether it's funny TV shows, comedy podcasts, or time with friends and family, there are more ways than ever to get laughing.
Try the "Rubber Band Technique"
We've all heard the story of Ivan Pavlov, the Russian physiologist who discovered that any activity or object he associated with food--yes, his famous bell!--would trigger the same salivation response in his dogs. What did he really discover? The power of conditioning.
You can apply this same principle to stop complaining. Put a rubber band around your wrist. When you complain about something, think about the complaint while you pull the rubber band back. Then release it so it stings the inside of your wrist.
This simple action serves as a physical and mental reminder that you're complaining, and to reinforce the negativity around the action. It works by bringing subconscious acts into your daily consciousness. I did this when I wanted to stop my own complaining, and it worked.
See through the lens of gratitude
We tend to complain when we focus on the negative, not the positive. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you're grateful for each night. This habit will help you see your life through the lens of gratitude, and not lack. As a result, you'll simply see fewer things that prompt you to complain in the first place. Some schools of thought believe we can change our brain chemistry this way, and this process will help rewire you to see the positive.
Examine your relationships
Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn says it best: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." When trying to stop a bad habit, it helps to surround yourself with people--inspirational speakers or leaders, mentors, family and friends--who embody the same behaviors and discipline you want to live by.
Consider the power of your closest ties by examining how your relationships make you feel and behave. Take steps to end any toxic relationships, and invite more positive people into your inner circle and life.
Matthieu Ricard, a trained biochemist turned Buddhist monk, suggests we can train our minds to generate an ongoing sense of serenity and fulfillment through meditation. He cites brain plasticity, which is the ability of repetition and reinforcement to alter our synaptic connections.
I credit my regular meditation practice with raising my baseline for awareness and serenity, and lowering my baseline for stress and anxiety. After a few weeks of practicing meditation, I became more grounded and small things didn't bother me as much.
Get more sleep
Studies show that getting more sleep helps us to be happier and more positive, while also building the mental acuity needed to stay focused. How much sleep do adults need? Research suggests between seven and nine hours nightly.
Exercise out the stress
There are few better ways to counter negativity than by getting your blood flowing and releasing endorphins through exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise has been shown to reduce stress and ward off feelings of anxiety or depression, which can lead to chronic complaining.
Putting it all together
Complaining is a negative behavior that affects our happiness, attitude, and ability to perform. Learn from what science teaches us about this bad mental habit--and how to bring more positive practices into your life starting today.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stop This Habit Right Now!!!!

Do you have the habit of comparing yourself with others?

If you do, there is a good chance that you are comparing yourself to someone who has done better than you.

"Johnny scored higher for the class test than me.... again."

"My boss does the same job as me, but her pay is a lot more than mine. Unfair huh?"

"Brad has rich parents, that's why he can stay jobless. Wished I had that kind of luck."

Notice the bit of negative energy that is associated when you compare with people who are "better" than you?

You can be awesome at what you do, and be well loved by your friends...

but as long as you make unnecessary comparisons with what others are better at, you will never be truly happy.

I have to admit - I am a fiercely competitive person.

I used to compare myself with others when I was younger and more aggressive (and more ignorant
too, haha).

But now my biggest competitor is myself.

I always ask myself 2 questions.

1) Am I better than myself 1 year ago?

2) What can I do today to make myself better in 1 year's time?

I don't care about other people's achievements.

Now, friends earning big money has nothing to do with me - Good for them, but I'm more concerned about increasing my income.

If I have the energy to criticize other people's achievements (and their rich daddies)...

then I certainly should convert the energy to do something useful for my personal growth.

So how do you break the habit of comparing yourself to others?

You just have to consciously stop yourself when you are about to compare.

Sounds easier than done?

All of us have our strengths and weaknesses.

You are happy while he is smart. It's comparing apples to oranges, so why make your life miserable? 

Life is a long journey - get yourself ready for it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

How Do Leaders Excel In Hard Times?

We human beings are wired for certainty. A lack of it tends to trigger anxiety that drives people to resist anything that may further threaten the status quo...regardless of the cost. Good leaders not only work to dial down fear but to tap the passion, ingenuity and innovation it too often stifles.
Of course uncertainty is a staple in all our lives, including the organizations in which we spend much of them.  Yet you’d have to be living in another Twittersphere not to have felt it dial up a notch or ten in recent times. Speculating about what’s to come has consumed a vast amount of column inches and dinner time debate. It’s also fueled a great deal of anxiety.
Our need for certainty was  hardwired into our psychological DNA back in our cave dwelling days. We like to make plans for a future we can reasonably predict. At the very least, we want to think we know what lies just ahead. The impact of uncertainty on our stress levels has recently been validated by a study by University College London (funded by the Medical Research Council). It found that people who are certain they will receive a small electric shock experience far less stress than those who know there’s a chance they may get shocked and a chance they won’t.  When we know something is about to happen that we won’t like, we can brace ourselves. It’s the not knowing, the uncertainty, that triggers stress and anxiety.
The problem with hyper-uncertainty is that it drives people to cling on to anything that provides any sense of certainty – however fragile or imagined it may be - and to resist all change, including change for the better. People stay with jobs they loathe simply because they’re familiar.  Organizations and teams stick with outdated and inadequate systems because they work, albeit not very well. Leaders put plans on hold to avoid disruption and mitigate risk should markets, policies or politics take a turn for the worse. When what once seemed unthinkable becomes a reality, nothing seems sure anymore.
“Let’s just wait until things settle down a bit,” a manager I know told his team last week,  referencing plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Mexico. Another shared with me how they are holding off an international relocation to expand their mid-sized IT company’s business in China until they had a stronger sense of the political and economic climate. Their indecision is understandable, yet it exacts a toll.
Disruption to the status quo may produce anxiety, but it also creates opportunity. In today's climate of uncertainty, leaders have an opportunity to harness this anxiety in positive ways to fuel the innovation and productivity it so often stifles. This requires spending less time trying to guard against all external threats to their organization, and more on tapping the ingenuity, passion and potential that resides within its walls.  Below are seven ways leaders can do just that.
1. Keep people focused on the mission.
Keeping people on task when the headlines are so distracting is no small feat. Good leaders communicate a compelling vision for their organization, and make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing in order to achieve it. Does this eradicate all anxiety? Of course not. But when people are clear about what’s expected of them, and know that what they do provides a meaningful contribution to the larger whole, they’ll have less time and inclination to sit around catastrophizing about all the “What ifs?”
2. Dial down the anxiety-meter.
Organizational psychologists have found that every workplace develops its own group emotion, or "group effective tone." Over time, this creates shared "emotional norms" that are proliferated and reinforced by behavior, both verbal and non-verbal. Leaders have to set the tone for these norms. In many ways they act as emotional barometers, as people look to them for cues on how to think, engage and behave in the face of change and uncertainty. It’s why  great leaders are very deliberate about harnessing the contagious nature of emotions in a positive way , dialing down anxiety and dialing up optimism complete with its "we’ll figure it out" mindset.
3. Acknowledge unspoken concerns.
While good leaders don’t spread stress, they also don’t ignore what’s causing it.Tuning into and acknowledging the concerns and anxieties of those around them – legitimate and otherwise -  reassures people that they’re not alone and that the people they work for have got their back.
4. Shrink the holes in the psychological safety net.
Nobel Laureate and psychologist Daniel Kahneman wrote that when deciding whether to take action, “Potential losses loom larger than potential gains.” When uncertainty is running high, it further amplifies our innate tendency to focus more on what could go wrong than on what could go right ; more on what we might lose than on what we might gain. This in turn creates over-caution, intensifying any underlying insecurities. After all, as Bill Treasurer wrote in Courage Goes To Work, “People play it safe when they feel it’s unsafe to do otherwise.”
It’s why creating a safe environment is even more important in uncertain times when future security feels threatened, when people lack confidence in their ability to predict what lies ahead or how it will impact them, their family, their ability to pay their mortgage and their kid’s college fees. Leaders who focus solely on what could go wrong can enlarge the holes in people’s psychological safety net at a time when they most need to shrink them. Leaders must continually embolden people to ‘lean toward risk’ rather than away from it as a prerequisite for their own growth and success.
5. Reward bravery.
The more frequently people are exposed to uncomfortable situations, the more comfortable they become with them. Coined the "Mere Exposure Effect" by psychologists, it explains why bomb disposal experts, given both the right training and sufficient practice, can keep their cool in situations that would turn most of us into a shaking mess.
Encouraging people to embrace discomfort, risk mistakes and stretch themselves creates a scaffolding that builds confidence for taking bolder actions in the future. It’s why leaders must encourage people to take risks, but must also reward them for doing so. Reassurance that risks won’t be punished—assuming they’ve prepared properly—offsets anxiety and grows a willingness to innovate, experiment and disrupt old paradigms. Unless people feel that they’re able to make the odd bad decision, they won’t be willing to risk making good ones.
When leaders reward courageous behaviors—not just successful ones—they’re also demonstrating to everyone what is valued. The reward should be immediate (not delayed until their annual review), meaningful to the person receiving it and, ideally,  linked to the behavior you want to encourage.  It could as simple as a handwritten note or a few encouraging words of acknowledgment in a team meeting.
6. Encourage decisiveness.
Auto-chief Lee Iacocca once said, “The one word that makes a good manager—decisiveness.” But let’s face it, when we’re dealing with a lack of information, ambiguity, and a future that’s anything but predictable, being decisive is easier said than done. Yet just because making a decision can create greater uncertainty, that's not a good reason not to make it.  While waiting a little longer can feel like the sensible option, the price we pay for putting off a decision often outweighs the benefits we get by simply committing to a course of action. To quote
As a manager, you need to both practice and encourage decisiveness. Avoiding change because the future is uncertain makes us less secure, not more so.
7. Lay your own reputation on the line.
Are you venturing on to new ground, being decisive amid the ambiguity, risking mistakes and challenging the paradigms that govern how you do business?
If you’re not, you can hardly expect those further down in the ranks to be doing so. Let’s face it, people will always be more influenced by the power of your example than by the example of your power. In short: you’ve got to walk your talk.
Consider where you need to lead with greater courage and move through your own fears and anxiety to disrupt old thinking, generate new ideas and set your organization up to compete in the world we’ll be living in ten years from now.  While none of us can predict the future, it is the organizations which have been industrious in creating it that will be best poised to seize the opportunities it holds.

Source:     Forbes