10 Steps to Happiness

These 10 simple steps are proven to be effective and will change your life forever.

They are courtesy of Professor Richard Wiseman and his excellent book “:59 seconds; Think a little Change a lot”.

  1.  Every week you should rate your week and write down 3 things that went well.  This will improve your happiness and your health for the next month.  I hope it is a cumulative effect.
  2. Carry a cute baby photo in your wallet (read the book to know why)
  3. Hang a mirror in your kitchen.  When you can see yourself eating, you eat better food and you eat less.
  4. Put a pot plant in your office.  It boosts creativity and reduces stress.
  5. Touch people on the upper arm when you ask them to do something and they are more likely to do it.  But read the book because you can get this one very wrong!  Think “Sexual Harassment” suit!
  6. Write about your relationship and you will make it stronger.  If you write your thoughts about your relationship on paper, the positive language will leak through when you speak with your partner.
  7. If you think someone is lying, shut your eyes and ask them to send it in an email.
  8. Praise effort, not ability.  Instead of saying “aren’t you a clever boy to get first place” say “you really worked hard to get that first place”.
  9. If you want to reach your goals don’t visualise the goal, visualise the steps to get there.  If you are in a sand trap, don’t visualise the golf ball going into the cup, visualise your stroke lifting the ball out of the sand and on to the green.
  10. Write your obituary.  When your friends speak at your funeral, what will they say you did?  If you are not happy with the material, now is the time to change it.  This is how Alfred Nobel moved from making Dynamite to giving prizes for Science and Peace.

The time Before Death; by Kabir

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.

Jump into experience while you are alive!

Think… and think… while you are alive.

What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,

do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic

just because the body is rotten–that is all fantasy.

What is found now is found then.

If you find nothing now,

you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.

if you make love with the divine now, in the next

life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,

Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,

it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that

does all the work.

Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

Fake it till you make it


Feeling down?  Feeling sad?  Want to be happier.  Well – here is the secret.  Smile!  People who smile are happy.  How easy was that.  Now you are happy.  No?

Not happy yet.  Well, keep smiling, it may take longer but it will work.  There is hard science behind it, but the photos sum it up neatly.  Hold a pencil in your lips without allowing it to touch your teeth.  You need to purse your lips and it makes your face muscles move into a frown.  This makes you feel sad.

Hold the pencil in your teeth without touching your lips, and you are forced into a smile.  The face muscles move into the happy smiling position, and endorphins are released into your system to make you feel happy all over.

If you want to be a happier person, smile intentionally for five minutes every morning.  OK you will feel like a fake, and you will feel awkward, but think of it like morning exercise, facial yoga.  You will feel happier.

Now there are dangers here. Being happier makes you more confident.  You will be open to wearing brighter clothes.  So do it.  Other people will be more open to approaching you and they will be nice to you and that will make you even happier.

Happy confident people also carry themselves differently.  Sit up straight, don’t slouch, walk with a bounce in your step.  Your body then becomes fooled into thinking you are healthy, and you don’t get sick.  No really!  Happy people get sick less than unhappy people, and they live longer healthier lives.

What else do happy people do?  They spend money on experiences rather than things.  They spend money on other people, or they give to charity.  If they have no money, they do things for other people or for the community in general.  Next time you see litter in the street, bend down, pick it up and put it in a bin.  You will be amazed at how great you feel about yourself for the rest of the day.

So if you are feeling sad and lonely, just be happy.  Fake happiness, and you will be happy.

Studies show that 50% of our happiness is genetic.  You can’t change that.  You may have been born a miserable git to a family of miserable gits.  10% of your happiness is down to circumstance.  If you have just lost your job, you are not going to be feeling really happy right now.  But 40%, a whopping 40% of your happiness is down to you.  Your attitude to you.  Your decision to be happy or to be sad and miserable.  BE HAPPY

Finally, money, beyond having the basics you need to live, does NOTHING to make you happy.  Winning the lotto will not make you happy.  Only you can do that.  So SMILE (Hold it, hold it, hold it……..

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile…………………………………….Charlie Chaplin et al