"Catching Happiness"

Listen to our monthly conference call, "Catching Happiness,"  in which  I interviewed Barbara Altman, author of the book, Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery.

In this call we explored an approach to growth that rejected pathologizing termonology in favor of a language of hope, individual character strengths, and personal longings directed toward meaningful goals.

Make a Difference: Your Actions Count

Many of us have good ideas.  We want to make a difference, but the action needed seems too big and the ideas get tucked away. Then we feel frustrated, angry, and depressed because the problems did not get solved.   Taking action to make a difference is important.  With the many challenges before us, -- unemployment, declining resources, and the need to rebuild our local communities, we cannot wait for an expert’s solution or a leader’s permission to act.  Others may not know the situation as yourself.  Sometimes you know just what you have to do, and may have no other authority than the good intentions

Your Winning Mindset

•    Do you want to create a more positive and meaningful life?
•    Are you happy with what you have attracted into your life?
•    Have you discovered that it was not what you expected?
•    Would you like to transform it into an opportunity for expansion and growth
•    Tap in to your strengths to activate your winning mindset

We all like the experience of playing on a winning team.  If we want to create change, a major key to success is knowing how to play a winning game.  The first key is to know the difference between a win-win, and win-loss mindset.  A win-win game is very different from a win-lose mindset of “winner take all.” 

Empower Yourself: Align Your Intentions with Your Strengths

January is a month for setting new intentions and goals.  These intentions reflect our higher aspirations.  A major challenge in carrying them out is handling the obstacles, disappointments, and setbacks that inevitably occur.  Success is more than setting an intention and visualizing the positive.  It requires us to persist in following our goals, transforming our challenges into a positive direction.

Happy Endings, New Beginnings

As we come to the close of this year, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what you would like to change.   It will give you clues and insights for your direction for next year.  One of my colleagues, Connie Green, believes that the last seven days of the year are the most important ones when it comes to planning for the next year.  Consider what you accomplished, what was the most gratifying, and where you want to grow and change.  Then write it down and develop a written plan on what you would like to accomplish next year.  Writing it down is critical for firming it up in your mind.

Adversity - Meet it With Strength

Napoleon Hill once said “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”  Adversity is part of life. Adversity gives us opportunities to connect with others and use our strengths to rise to the occasion and overcome it. When we are clear about our values and character strengths, we can hold things together, for the best interest of all, to come out stronger on the other side.

Becoming Resilient

Have you found that listening to the news leaves you fearful and depressed? Does it leave you feeling unsettled, doubting your abilities, and the future? When times are tough, some businesses and relationships fail, while others take it as a challenge and continue to flourish and thrive. What makes the difference?

Stressed Out: Release, Renew and Relate

One big change that has occurred with the downturn in the economy has been an increased communication and connection in the grass roots community.  For example, two years ago, none of my neighbors had a garden.  Now they all do.  Previously, I would search the phone book for a repair man, now the repairman is easily accessed right in the neighborhood.  Rather than connecting with impersonal corporate businesses, I much prefer connecting with local businesses.

Reduce Stress: Try a One-Minute Happiness Shift

Have you ever noticed that you tend to make dumb decisions when you are stressed out?  That is, you might talk excessively or lash out angrily. By contrast, when you are calm and peaceful, it is much easier to find creative,insightful solutions. One way to move from stress to calm creativity is to shift to a happier state. 

Celebrate Your Strengths by Expressing Appreciation

Have you been able to express what you appreciate today? One way to remember to do it, is to focus on your strengths. Stop and think, what is it that you enjoy doing the most?  Then start observing what you appreciate in that strength around you.  It helps you to form a focus so you can get things done.  It also makes it easier to take action.  As you take more action, you will find your confidence and happiness will be begin to surge.

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