Happiness tips from Helene
by Helene Malmsio
I just came across this email I had archived and since I'm closing that email service down, I've decided to save a copy of it here in my About Me page as a curiosity that I can look back on in the future.
It was written in 2007 in reply to the questions from a MySpace friend, who wanted to know what I could share with them about "how to be happy"
It has been a really hectic week again, and as I'm still going at top speed and its now 2.am here, I'll reply as well as I can, rather than keep this waiting....
**Firstly, how long it took you to become what you are now? I mean when for the first time you felt happy with yourself..perfectly comfortable in your own company? ( this is what i..m striving for)**
I have always felt comfortable in my own company, I don't seem to need the company of other people to be happy, or distracted.
In my early 20's I did have to make the classic "Positives & Negatives" list about my personal attributes and characteristics, to overcome the negative views my husband kept putting in front of me to try and control me by keeping my self confidence and self image low....
After I completed the list of all the good and bad things "about me" I decided that I was a good person overall, someone I would be happy to have as a friend or wife, so he was not able to control my self esteem any more. I felt good about myself and I knew that I was a good person.
But there has still been a journey over all of my lifetime to keep growing and BELIEVING the good things about myself and any new skills I learn, but as long as you like the person your are, and would welcome a friend like yourself, you know you have much to be happy and grateful for.
This also gives you a natural optimism and cheerfulness, as you are not 'self defensive' or trying to put other people down.
*** Secondly, what do you think on self-discipline? For example, i can impose it on me for a few days doing things at a specific time, setting daily goals and accomplishing them.
But in the end of those days i feel something is missing...
Once you told me that :"life is a journey, not a destination"
But how do you manage to enjoy the whole process of challenging yourself?
Doesn't challenge implies difficulty?
Oh..there is something else to clarify my point...Freud believes that the reason behind mental illnesses is every desire , every genuine passion we suppressed.
And here is what i add:"why do we suppress it? in the name of self-disciple of course" ***
Without challenges in life, we have no Achievements either. And I believe that our greatest satisfaction in life tend to come from learning new things/skills and then being able to APPLY them in a way that gives us the JOY OF ACCOMPLISHMENT....
A challenge is only worthwhile when it is a stimulating and exciting opportunity to grow and develop... becoming a better person, more skilled, creating more opportunities and choices in your life.
When you can see FUN or some valuable GAINS to yourself to improve your life, a challenge is not self discipline or even difficult.
It is a lot like "Do what you Love for a Living, and you will never have to 'Work' a day in your life"... because it is 'fun' instead of 'hard work' every day.
When you first learn to drive a car, it is totally overwhelming, but you know WHY you want to tackle this enormous challenge, and I think that overrides any messages in your mind and spirit that this is "too hard"
And soon you drive without a second thought of all the things you have to manage and be in control of at the time.
BUT... when you 'force' yourself to study something that is a 'have to' not a 'want to' it is pure discipline, not pleasure.
That is only creating a miserable life... like a lifetime of dieting without ever getting results...
If you were to study French language, you would need a big WHY to make the process more palatable... if you do it only because you 'have to' achieve a scholastic rating etc. try asking yourself "HOW can I do this ........ and ENJOY the process???"
You will be surprised at how creative your mind can be at coming up with solutions to this, and may just work to make the challenge an actually satisfying process, or pleasure to do.
Discipline is healthy in common sense moderation, like not eating junk food all day, but not to deny yourself that pleasure forever!
Everything in moderation, including self sacrifice.
Most life pleasures can be granted, just try to aim for the best or healthiest pleasures & desires in life... then you don't need to suppress them.
And life is much too short to spend it doing things you totally LOATHE... your job, your studies, your partner, your friends.... if you do not enjoy your life .... CHANGE IT..... Get a new job, study what you really want to do/be in life, attract better people into your life, sack your boss.... CHANGE IT ...
I know I sound glib here, but I have suffered in jobs I hated, because I was self disciplined enough to show up and get paid to take care of my bills, but be sure, I was working on getting another better job at every opportunity.
I still contributed great value to the organisation, so I was proud of the work I did, even if they did not deserve it, but I made sure I was creating better opportunities for my future jobs & work so I was not stuck there and miserable.
Take responsibility for doing what you 'must' as well as you can, but be creating better pathways for yourself to live your desired life destiny, at the same time.
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