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.

.../cont below

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by: Helene

*** Thirdly, could you tell me how you organize your time...I mean, i have read some articles on time management but i still suffer from the symptom called 'lack of time"
What really worked for you? ***


And I create my own daily/weekly/monthly planner pages for whatever my time demands are at any given time.

I photocopy these pages and keep these in a clip folder and use "monthly calendar" dividers like any other diary, but I can be flexible in my design this way.

When I work with lots of meetings & appointments I have a 'day to a page' planner/diary.... but at the moment I am 'retired' and just use a monthly calendar planner for 'notes and reminders' with the occasional "daily to-do" lists to keep me on track.

I literally plan the week ahead on Sunday. I decide 'what is most important to me this day/week' and break that into Action Steps... And I review the week on Thursday morning, to see what changes I need to make for Thursday/Friday to achieve my most important things for the week.

So allow space on your planner for extra tasks etc to be moved to the end of the week if you haven't done them... try to keep Thurs Fri as clear as possible for these 'extensions of time' on planned tasks.

I also have my major Goals broken down into yearly, 5 yearly, 10 yearly lists and I prioritize what I want achieved most ... I often have to move a Goal back another few years because I change my priorities or something like Health demands, or whatever, impacts your ability to be on track.

I also set all my clocks and wristwatches 5 minutes fast, to help me make sure I get out the door etc. on time for meetings etc. It is simple, but it is effective.

If you are a chronically late person, set your clocks 15-20 minutes early... whatever it takes to make sure you 'show up on time' as that is a basic courtesy to show all people you deal with, including yourself.

When you plan your month/week/day you must be REALISTIC... I will even colour in the time on my diary page for the day, that I expect to work on a particular job so that I can SEE what my day really looks like...when I'm about to write a report, or meet with someone, or anything that I know will take more than say 15 minutes, even allow for 'travel time' ... I will block out a generous amount of time for it, so that I dont get a back-log of tasks that are impossible to achieve in one day.

BE REALISTIC when you plan your time. Allow for interruptions and delays for EVERYTHING important you need to do, and try to have less than 8 important things to do a day... or you are overwhelming yourself.

Break your goals down into manageable steps, and if there are more than 8 major stages/steps in the goal, you need to break that Goal into sub-Goals... otherwise it is simply TO BIG to achieve in 'one-go'...

I have some time management books, I can paste one of them into an email for you if you want... let me know.


*** Anyway,there is something else i wanted to ask you. Imagine that you have to write a recipe for a happy life but you have the chance to choose only 10 ingredients. What would they be??? ***

A great way to work this out for yourself is to get a pen and paper and sit down to describe for yourself your 'IDEAL DAY'..

this is simple because you picture yourself from the moment you wake up... where are you? what are you wearing? who are you with? what do you look like? what is your room like?

When you get up, where do you go? what do you eat for breakfast? are you cooking or is someone serving you? do you eat alone or with whom else? what are you reading/watching/listening to?

When you start your day, do you go to work? stay at home? what do you DO in your perfect day...? garden, work, play, entertain, drive, home office, recreation... you decide what you DO in your perfect day.

At the end of the day, do you go home, go out to dinner, party, stay home, who are you with, what do you do, where are you...?

When you go to bed that night, who, where, when, what... etc.

When you have dreamed and documented your IDEAL DAY you actually have the ingredients you need for YOUR happiness....

Remember it is the ESSENCE of what you want that you work towards... if you want to 'ride horses' in your ideal day, you dont need to make all the money to be able to BUY a ranch and horses to stable... just find a riding club or countryside rides to HIRE horses for a few hours pleasure....

If you see yourself walking on the beach, you don't have to BUY a beach mansion... just go to the beach and take a walk.. or rent a holiday house/apartment on the seaside for a few days/weeks holiday to 'try it out' before you plan to work for years to BUY one...

Do this exercise and you will get the ingredients you need for your Happiness recipe...


My life lessons..... so far, anyway:

ENJOY yourself - life is short.
Be Creative.
Laugh everyday.
Be gentle with yourself.
Protect & Nurture your loved ones.
Decide on a Livelihood that you love to do.
Be Grateful for & appreciate the Abundances in your life.
Make all your Habits good ones to have.
Always Do More than you Promised to do, or are Paid to do.
Work to leave the Earth (and everything else) better than you found it.


So many people strive to make your life and every little thing in it complicated, often because it makes themselves feel more important... be polite to these poor souls, but keep your own life, perspective, goals, relationships, EVERYTHING.... as simple as possible.

Then you have a better chance of being happy.

I hope this is of some help to you to work out what you want in your life....

**Live Well - Laugh Often - Love Much**
Helene Malmsio


Not too shabby effort for a sleep deprived webmaster... hmmm nearly nine years ago, and I feel pretty much the same.

Hope it helped the person who asked the questions.

You're welcome!

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