Tag Archive | happiness

31 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 31 Years

imagesCA5E29WHIt’s almost that time of the year, where I bid farewell to me being just 30 and saying hello to “30-something”. I remember my pre thirty meltdown I had last summer. (Looking back, I think I was just a tad bit too over dramatic). With that being said, this year, I’m embracing this change of age thing. I am not anywhere close to where I thought I would be at this age, or wanted to be. However, I do believe, that I’m right where I should be.

A week ago, I’ve decided to write down what are life lessons to me, that I’ve learned over my 31 years of life. This was way easier than I thought it would be, given that most of these lessons were really learned in the past year.

1. We must love….with all your heart. If you’re afraid to love because you might get hurt, then you might as well not live because you are going to die. Love is beautiful and free.

2. Love is not enough. It’s important to not just love, but also show love. The people we love needs to see it as much as they need to feel it.

3. Forgive not just the people who has hurt us, but forgive yourself. For past mistakes, past regrets. We would not be who we are had we not made those mistakes. If God can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves.

4. Happiness is Internal “Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn [read more]

5. Value family I might have not had the opportunity to choose them, but we are perfectly placed together. We have disagreements, we are all unique in our ways, but this bunch of people are the only ones who are going to be there for you when no one else will be. Cherish them.

6. Treasure friendships/relationships these people are my family, with no blood relations. They’re the people I don’t have to see every weekend to keep our friendship alive, and when we do see each other, nothing has changed, the friendship has not struggled because of time not spent together.

7. Quality over quantity I’ve learned that when it comes to friends, I’ve learned that less is more. A few close friends offer more support than a crowd of acquaintances. There are only a handful of friends I keep close to my heart and who truly understand and support me without a trace of judgment. Anyone else usually just joins me for happy hour. I don’t really need no new friends….

8. Give generously My dad always said to us, “Give with your right hand, in such a way that the left hand doesn’t even know”. Give with your heart, no one needs to know how much you do or for whom.

9. Energy is palpable be the positive! Have you ever met someone who is so negative, that you can feel your energy being drained when they speak, or a person who such a great aura to to them, that you can feel life being blown into you with every word that they utter? Be that person. Think only positive thoughts, and speak only positive words.

10. Define Success on your own terms ignore the standard one-size-fits all approach and live from a place of truth and knowing. Success might mean money or power to some. That doesn’t necessarily have to define your success. To me, true success means finding and living out my unique life’s purpose.

11. Take care of your health now, or prepare for illness later. Truth is, all the money in the world cannot buy more or new health. It’s our one principal capital asset, invest in it wisely.

12. Not everyone will like you, and if they do, they’re not necessarily your friend.

13. I am not the center of the universe, it’s incredibly difficult to think about the world from a perspective other than our own. We are always worried about what’s going on in our lives. What does my schedule look like today? What if I lose my job? Why am I overweight? Why am I not happy with my life? What did I do to deserve this? If you can consciously remove yourself – remove your perspective – from a situation, then you can see the world through a different set of eyes. Thus, the world can take on a different meaning.

14. Do not carry the past with you. It has everything to do with forgiveness. Carrying this burden with you, does nothing but weigh you down. It makes you a bitter person. You have the choice to let it go, or letting it haunt you for the rest of your days.

15. It’s Ok to not be Ok No, really, it is Ok. I know bad days don’t last forever, so it’s Ok to have an off one.

16. Embracing Silence is a way of developing a deeper connection with yourself and with others. Shut off the phone more, turn down the radio volume, or simply spend more time listening instead of talking.

17. Be thankful….. for everything. Count your blessings, and by blessings I don’t mean material possessions.

18. Live in the moment, the here and now, that is all that is guaranteed right? We have no assurance of waking tomorrow.

19. How you speak of others is how you feel about yourself. In fact, your perception of the entire world echoes how you feel about your own life. If you have nothing good to say about others, then best keep quiet.

20. Never go to bed angry with your partner. A piece of advise that came from my mum. And I fully agree with it. No argument or difference should be carried overnight. Clean out each day as it comes along, so when you shut your eyes at night, everything has been cleaned up. Life is precious….and uncertain.

21. Slow down! What’s the rush anyway. Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always easy, but it leads to a great appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.

22. Let go of past hurts, the past, clutter, grudges, toxic people, negativity, anger, guilt, worrying about the future, stress. Again, these things just pull us down, it poisons our souls. Let It Go!

23. Don’t do things you don’t like just to please someone else or because everyone else is doing it. I hate watching movies at a cinema. It’s cold, uncomfortable and dark. I don’t go because I don’t like it. However, if there’s a movie I really, really want to watch, I make the sacrifice.

24. Have a bucket list and as you scratch items off, add new ones

25. The power of prayer. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Regardless of your religion, or manner in which we pray, every day should be started in prayer.

26. Learn to say No! True freedom is experienced when we’re able to say no without feeling guilty. Stop being the people pleaser by committing to more than you’re aware of.

27. Live simply. Simple? no, not that simple. Living simply is paring away – stuff, obligations, expectations, people. It’s removing all the glut and rubble from your life, making space in your house, your heart, your brain and your life for exactly and only what you need. It’s getting down to the core of things and returning to a way of living that most of us can only vaguely remember; pleasures that don’t cost tons of money, rewards you don’t have to buy in stores, amusements that don’t require a screen.

28. Turn off the TV and read a book. In the Last Lecture Dr. Randy Pausch makes mention of how TV is mankind’s greatest time-waster. Cut your Tv time in half and start making time to do the things you love. Read a book instead. Not only do you stimulate your brain, but you learn more about things that interest you. No better place to find inspiration than in the pages of a book.

29. Judging people is harmful….to me. We do or have done this from time to time. I have now just become better at noticing when I’m doing it. What I’ve found is that when I waste my time on judging people, I am robbing myself from enjoying my here and now. Judging becomes harmful to me because in judging others; I’m ignorant of what the person is going through, I have unrealistic expectations of people, I think I’m superior to other’s. When I’m overcome with these feelings, it stops me from judging, sort of keeps me grounded.

30. Enjoy your own company and you will never be lonely. I enjoy my own company now more than I have ever before. I recall seeing people having lunch by themselves and always felt sorry for them….for being alone. I now realise what a privilege it is to be at that point of comfort with yourself, where sitting down to a cup of tea, in a crowded cafe is absolutely normal.

31. I’m still trying to figure it all out…And while I do that, I will live life beautifully

 

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Happiness Is Internal

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn

This is a lesson I’ve learned quiet late in my life, but all too grateful that I did. I’ve been searching everywhere for something that was right inside of me. I just needed to have my windows cleaned, the windows to my soul, that looks internally, to where my own happiness lies. Nothing and no one is responsible for happiness but you, cliché I know, it’s so easy to say those words, but living it is another story all together….

Two months ago, I attended a workshop “Discover Yourself” and that’s when I experienced a true paradigm shift. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I see the world differently, and finally I can give meaning to life, my life. Attending that workshop was the best gift I could have ever given to myself.

We sometimes put our happiness in things, or times. How many times have you not said to yourself “I will be happy when…….[fill in the blank]” or “I will be happy if I have……[fill in the blank]. I’ve done this over and over. I also know that when that time arrived or things materialised, I was not fulfilled, that void was still there. It’s sad,  how we wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all our lives for happiness, when all the time it was right there, we just never looked inside.

I choose to free my mind of worry….
I choose to free my heart of hate….
I choose to live simply…..
I choose to be happy!

When Life doesn’t go as Planned

Most of us have a plan for our lives, relationships, careers, jobs, spouses, marriage, kids and so forth.woman-falling-off-ladder-007

We have these images, plans and dreams long before it actually happens, believing this “plan” will bring us happiness, success, joy and fulfillment, and what we imagine as an ideal existence.

But what happens when life doesn’t go according to our carefully laid out plan?

Our hearts break. Nothing makes sense anymore. Dreams disappear like smoke and seem impossibly out of our reach. We lose our faith. We lose control. Doubt creeps in. Then we try, desperately hard to get things back on track. We work, and stress and do everything we possibly can to find hope and a glimpse that at some point, this pain will end.

Then we ask ourselves the three most appalling questions;

What’s wrong with me?

Whom can I blame?

What’s the worst-case scenario?

The truth is; Plans are funny things. Most of the time, when we make them, we aren’t the ones who have control over the outcome. Sure, we can do our best and try to make them happen, but so much of our world – and our lives – are dictated by things outside of our control. We all encounter things in life (to some degree) that aren’t “supposed” to happen. Suddenly, plans change, and sometimes, totally disappear!

Many of us have to deal with impossibly difficult situations, that were never part of the plan. Though some of us are never faced with such dramatic decisions, we all have things that didn’t work out the way it “supposed” to.

I “supposed” to get that promotion by now.I “supposed” to be married by now. I “supposed to have achieved (fill in the blank) by now.

Life happens. Plans change.

Plans can be good, but when our focus is so intent on making them happen, it can be crushing when things don’t work out how we wanted them to.

The thing about our plans is, they can always change.

 

images: google.com

The World can be a Better Place

“Without respect for people of different races or ethnicities or religions, how can we have a peaceful and harmonious society or world? And without a harmonious society, how can there be the necessary economic development and atmosphere conducive to spiritual happiness and self-realization?” Jagad Guru
After the recent events around the blasphemous film (which I have not seen) depicting the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), I found it necessary to share my thoughts and feelings.
(Please note that this is entirely my opinion)

So, I like a silver car, you like red, I prefer white bread, you prefer brown. I’m an evening person, you’re a morning person. These are the kind of differences that we have as people and need to accept it. And we do, most of the time anyway. So why is it so much more difficult when it comes to accepting the beliefs, religion, way of life, faith, (whatever you want to call it) of others?
Religion can be a touchy subject, a taboo. However, the fact that it is taboo needs to be addressed. Belief, whether in religion or science, is a concept that should be respected and admired in us as humans, not something used as a tool for persecution.
As a woman of Islamic faith, born into a marriage of interfaith, (where my dad’s born Muslim, and my mum reverted to Islam from Hinduism), I feel that I have gained something that not many people have, and that is exposure.
I have had the freedom of being able to practice my religion, but at the same time be exposed to other religions as a result of having family and friends with other beliefs. If I have to single out one valuable lesson that I’ve learned from my parents; it would have to be respect! Respect for others beliefs, culture, traditions and race.

We must begin to reach common ground, where we can all believe as we wish without fear of discrimination. There is no justification for trying to oppress any religion or lack of religion, for that matter. A lack of religion is another aspect of the issue that needs addressing. There is nothing wrong with a lack of religion, just as there is nothing wrong with believing in any religion. The only wrong in the equation is the intolerance between belief systems.

In a perfect world, we would all have the freedom to believe as we wished or not at all, if that was our choice. To grow closer to that ideal, we have to make the first step and stop our discrimination of other beliefs, so they can grow in their tolerance of us in turn. This wouldn’t be easy, but it’s vital. The religious must stop trying to prove that their belief is the only way, while the ones who don’t believe in much must stop trying to prove that religion is a lie.
Why is it so difficult for us to reach a common ground? Religion should be something worth respecting and valuing, not a tool for mockery.
How can we expect tolerance of our faith when we cannot be tolerant of the faith of others? Tolerance is a two-way street; we cannot expect to change or fix anything when all we do is demand respect for our views.
This unfortunately is one of those issues that are not going away anytime soon. Perhaps one day, we will all be able to live in this world in peace and harmony.

I believe that the world can be a better place.

Learning to be Happy

Although most people believe happiness is essential, it is often dependent on factors outside of themselves.
From what I have learned, is that happiness has less to do with your circumstances! And all the happiness you will ever need resides within you. Finding happiness within, is not discovered overnight, nor is it something that is taught to you. But it can be discovered by changing our thinking and habits.Here I will share a few of my guidelines used on my journey to being happy!

Be the optimist – After reading The Secret in 2006, I have made a decision; I will never, or at least try, to never be the pessimist. The Laws of Attraction made a lot of sense, and I decided, that is how I will go through life. By being the optimist, I choose to see the bright side. All the obstacles or hard times I’m faced with is seen as temporary. And yes, sometimes it’s not easy, but I’ve learned to respond to life’s challenges with confidence knowing that I can handle them. When problems or challenges are resolved,I usually look back on them and try to make sense of it, sort of, find the meaning and purpose. By doing this, I noticed that each obstacle or challenge makes it easier to be optimistic about, because I know that they’re there for a reason, even if I may not know what it is now.

Happiness is a choice – Choose to be happy! To increase inner happiness, I have learnt to make a deliberate decision to do so. A lot of times we blame others for our unhappiness. And we are all guilty of that, we have all blamed parents, teachers, bosses, because it’s easier to push the responsibility onto someone else. Stop! We alone are responsible for our actions, and reactions! Whether we’re in unhappy relationships, or unhappy in our jobs, the unhappiness still lies within ourselves. You have a choice, to stay and be unhappy, or change your attitude! And the attitude comes from within. And its this attitude that determines whether we’re going to be happy or not!

Clear the clutter – This is by far one of the hardest things to do, but its well worth it – Clear your mental clutter!and make more room for happiness. Of all the things that require your mental energy, make the distinction between things that are really important and things that are not. Actively release thoughts, worries, resentments, etc. that consume your mental space. Without unnecessary things to clutter your mind, you’ll have more room for things that add to your joy.

Enjoying nature – Bridal veil falls – Sabie

Live your Bliss – We all have that one or two things that makes us extremely happy! If you still do not know what it is, take time out, observe yourself, learn what makes you truly happy, and add more of it to your life. It is that simple.
Recognize your passion, respect your goals! Find things that bring you happiness, and do them in your own unique way.

Stop comparing – And trying to keep up with the Joneses. That is the number one cause of our own unhappiness. Having things might make you appear trendy and happy to everyone else, but it doesn’t make you happy inside. But happiness, as the saying goes, is not in getting what you want, but in wanting what you already have!

Give – I saved this one for last, because this one is the easiest, and hardest!(for many people) By giving, it doesn’t have to have any monetary value. It can be anything from a compliment to a smile, a hug or a pat on the back! When you make someone else happy, you find yourself being twice as happy inside!

You now know how to find happiness within yourself, and it is something you can access all the time regardless of your circumstance or situation. Be an optimist, intentionally choose to be happy, clear your mind of unnecessary clutter, and find ways to nurture your own unique bliss. This simple strategy will allow you to access your inner joy at all times.