Get Happy: The Most Popular and Glorious Lessons From The Self-Help Age

November 2, 2011  |  
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“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Even though many miss the fact that Oprah is not on the air, doling out spiritual lessons on happiness, goal-setting and passion, there are still a myriad of sources out there to keep us on track. Having The Alchemist, The Power of Now and any book by the Dalai Lama certainly helps; the internet provides an endless supply of inspiration from life coaches and therapists, and of course, there is the Sunday service. In the days since “self help” and positive psychology exploded onto popular culture, we have definitely not been lacking for guidance. The challenge is to remind ourselves of the most important tenets day to day. Here are just a handful of the most important beliefs, lessons and tenets about happiness that have re-emerged during this “self-help” age.



You get what you put out there

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. –  Dalai Lama 

This is the grand-daddy of many positive psychology philosophies. If you see the world as hard, you’ll experience a hard life. If you see your entry level, low-paying job as a stepping stone in your wonderful career, you’ll have a great learning experience. In a sense, what you expect is what you’ll get. The age-old question of “Is the glass half full or half empty” is based on this idea of the power of your perspective.


Your Vision Can Be Your Guide

Ever been to a vision board party? The concept of having a party around envisioning your goals and your ideal life has become very popular amongst women clubs. Usually, you’ll find images that speak to your ideal life and your desires and assemble them into a collage. By putting energy into the project, you’re also communicating to the universe your utmost desires.

Your Words Are Powerful 

It’s not enough to just believe; your words and actions also need to reflect your intentions. For example, if you think “I want to find a loving partner,” you can’t sit around with your girlfriends and lament about being doomed because all the good men are taken. So be mindful of your words and what you are communicating to others around you.

Passion Is Key 

“When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.”  -The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Finding your passion is a cornerstone of our societal values these days. Fortunately, we do live in a country that is capable of reinforcing this idea that one can find a career that aligns with her passions. It’s not about just doing what looks good on paper, it’s about creating a career that will compliment your energy and contributions for many years to come.

Live In The Present

Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” focused on the idea that inner peace came from living in the present moment.  When you really think about it. It’s so simple: living in the present cancels out any worries about the future and the pain of your past. But admittedly, it’s much easier said than done. Regardless, living in the present allows you to really experience the immediate joys of your life and tap into your ultimate consciousness. Just think about driving to work and admiring the trees, nature, and people that inhabit your route rather than worrying about if you’ll be five minutes late. It’s a nice concept.


Give Unto Others Is Giving Unto Yourself 

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” 

-Khalil Gibrain

No-one can argue with this belief. Whether it’s giving back by engaging in community service, helping a friend in need, or supporting the dreams of a family member, contributing to the advancement of another person is rewarding. It gives you a sense of purpose and also streghtens this idea of community and fosters goodwill towards yourself.

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