26 Good Little Things in 26 days

17 12 2012

This from the creators of the spectacular Facebook page “Amazing Things in the World”:

We tend to forget to do all the good things in our busy lives such that the bad has gotten so much bigger. Here is a small start to remind us all about the responsibility of doing the good and spreading it too.

’26 Good Little Things in 26 days’ – thats the challenge, Brandon Ornoski, one of our fans on the page, has started after the disheartening shooting lately which killed 26 people.

All of us in this community, lets do it and also involve all our friends and see what magic these good “little” things can bring to our character and the society 🙂

Random Acts of Kindness... what will YOU do?

Random Acts of Kindness… what will YOU do?

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What are your relationships worth, in dollars?

19 11 2012

Found this fantastic and very interesting article this morning, by Eric Barker, author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Want to improve your happiness and life satisfaction? Then check these stats out…

–          Quinton

Having a better social life can be worth as much as an additional $131,232 a year in terms of life satisfaction:

There is substantial evidence in the psychology and sociology literature that social relationships promote happiness for the individual. This paper explores the use of shadow pricing method to estimate the monetary values of the satisfaction with life gained by an increase in the frequency of interaction with friends, relatives, and neighbours. Using the British Household Panel Survey, an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

A happy marriage is worth $105,000 a year: economists have been able to show using happiness surveys that marriage (compared to being single) is worth around £70,000 (or $105,000) a year for a representative person in Great Britain.

Separation, on the other hand, is equivalent to around minus £170,000 (or $255,000) a year (see Clark and Oswald, 2002).

Seeing friends and family regularly is worth $97,265: So, an individual who only sees his or her friends or relatives less than once a month to never at all would require around an extra £63,000 a year to be just as satisfied with life as an individual who sees his or her friends or relatives on most days.

By comparison, your health is worth $463,170: Improvement in health has one of the largest effects on life satisfaction; a move from having a very poor health to having an excellent health is worth around an extra £300,000 a year.

Unemployment takes a big happiness toll. You’d need as much as an extra $114,248 a year to make up for the life satisfaction you lose: There is a large psychic cost associated with joblessness. The cross-sectional estimates suggest that a pay package around £66,000 to £74,000 a year is required to compensate for being unemployed (compared to being employed full-time).

Divorce seems like a bargain, costing the equivalent of only $34,000 a year. Why so low? By the time people get the divorce they are happy to be moving on with their lives: This finding is consistent with the recent conclusion made by Gardner and Oswald (2006) that divorced couples tend to gain happiness from the dissolution of their marriage.

Death of a spouse, on the other hand, is equivalent to a drop in income of around $308,780 a year.

By comparison, your life is worth about $6 million to $9 million dollars, according to various government agencies:

–          $9.1 million (Environmental Protection Agency)

–          $7.9 million (Food and Drug Administration)

–          $6 million (Transportation Department)

–          $7 million (median value for prime aged workers)

What’s the best bet? Agreeing with Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert, more time with friends and family, say the researchers: By allowing unobserved individual fixed effects to be factored out from the life satisfaction equation, an increase in the level of social interaction with friends and relatives is estimated to be worth up to an extra £85,000 a year. In terms of statistical significance, this is strikingly large. The estimated figure is even larger than that of getting married (which is worth approximately £50,000). It can compensate for nearly two-third in the loss of the happiness from going through a separation (minus £139,000) or unemployment (minus £143,000). It is also roughly nine times larger than the average real household income per capita in the dataset, which is around £9,800 a year. So if you want to play real life Monopoly (Life value = $6-9million):

–          Health: +$463,170

–          Better social life: +$131,232

–          Marriage: +$105,000

–          Seeing friends and family regularly: +$97,265

–          Divorce: -$34,000

–          Unemployment: -$114,248

–          Separation: -$255,000

–          Death of a spouse: -$308,780





This is your LIFE!

12 06 2012





How to really LIVE

18 05 2012





Tired of Being Tired?

16 11 2011

This is a fantastic post written by Leo Babauta on the popular blog Zen Habits, which focuses on ways to simplify life and in doing so enjoy it more. I wanted to share this, though don’t have a lot more to add as the post pretty much says everything perfectly. It certainly made me think, and perhaps it will for you too. Lifestyle change, anyone?

–          Quinton

Tired of Being Tired

‘A man grows most tired while standing still.’ ~Chinese proverb

It’s tough being tired all day. I’ve had days like this, when I’m struggling through the day and don’t have the energy to tackle anything that matters. Hell, I’ve had years like this. When you’re tired, not much seems appealing. Life is dulled, and you don’t get much accomplished. Worst, you don’t have the energy to change the situation. These days I don’t have many days like this, but when I do, I rest. We have gotten good at ignoring our body’s signals — much of our lives is training our minds to pretend our bodies aren’t tired, so we can be more productive. This is wrong. It ends up in burnout and less production, because we inevitably run out of energy. Listen to your body — your long-term health and sanity depend on it.

Why We’re Tired

Mostly we’re tired because we don’t rest enough. Yeah, I know: duh, Leo. But if it’s so obvious, why do we ignore it? The Spanish famously have siestas. When I get tired, so do I. It’s a luxury not everyone can afford, but even when I had a day job I would find ways to sneak into a back room and take a power nap of 20 minutes. We don’t rest enough. It’s not as important as other things: waking early, getting stuff done, attending to a thousand meetings, being sucked into the world of online connections and reading, god-forsaken television. So we cut rest in favor of these other things that are much more important, and then wonder why our energy levels are low.

But there’s more. If you’re like me, you drink coffee in the morning. You might drink more later in the morning, to keep yourself energized. By the time afternoon rolls around, you’re in caffeine withdrawal. This is often why people are sapped by mid-afternoon.

We also run ourselves too fast, like a sprint, when life is much longer than a sprint. Try it: go outside and sprint all-out for two minutes. Stop, breathe for a sec, then sprint again. See how long you can keep that up — most can’t go very long. Our days are like a series of sprints. Note: Sometimes chronic fatigue can be a sign of deeper problems. For athletes, it’s often a sign of overtraining. For others, it could be a sign of depression or other medical issues. If it’s a continuing problem, I’d recommend getting checked out, just in case.

How to Get Started When You’re Too Tired to Start

My first suggestion is to take a nap. If you’re too tired to take other steps, taking a nap is easy. If you can’t take a nap, at the very least disconnect from digital devices. Computers and smartphones are powerful tools, but being on them for too long tires us out. Disconnect, get outside, take a walk. Cancel an appointment or two if you can. Stretch. Massage your shoulders. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Breathe. These are small things you can do right away, and they will help you become more rested. Once you’ve taken the first steps, you’ll be a bit more rested and can take a few more steps:

1. Sleep more at night. If you’re not getting at least 7 hours of sleep, you’re probably getting too little. Lots of people need a full 8 hours, and some need more. Go to bed earlier — the Internet will be fine without you. I like to read before bed (a book, not websites) as a ritual that helps me sleep. It takes awhile before your sleeping patterns change. If you have insomnia, try my simple cure.

2. Take stretch breaks. We sit for too long at the computer, sapping energy. Get up, stretch, every 20-25 minutes. Walk around for a minute or five. Move in any way you can — do pushups, squats, lunges, jump up and down, do a dance. Get the blood circulating.

3. Exercise regularly. You needed me to tell you to exercise, I’m sure. But it’s amazing how even a little exercise can help you to feel more energized throughout the day. A huge workout session can leave you exhausted — in which case you should rest — but shorter workouts leave you physically just a bit tired, but mentally you feel amazing.

4. Cut back the caffeine. If you go cold turkey with caffeine, you’ll really have no energy. But cutting back a little at a time, while doing some of the things mentioned here, won’t be bad. And you’ll skip the afternoon withdrawal, which can ruin half your day. If you feel tired from drinking less caffeine, take a short nap.

5. Be less busy. Seriously, we’re too busy these days. Cut back on commitments, put space between things, allow yourself to have a slower pace. Your energy levels will thank you.

6. Focus. While most people multitask, in truth that’s mental juggling. And there’s only so much you can do in a day. As most of you know, I advocate single-tasking — it’s basically doing one thing at a time, and being fully present while doing that task. This really transforms anything you do, from work tasks to conversations to chores like washing the dishes. It’s less tiring, mentally, and it can make anything you do more enjoyable. Life is less tiring when you single-task.

7. Hydrate. This is actually a huge factor that most people don’t realize is making them tired. Drink water throughout the day. You don’t really need 8 glasses of water (we get some in food and other drinks), but drinking more water doesn’t hurt. Your pee should be a light yellow if you’re well hydrated (not clear, definitely not dark yellow).

8. Freshen up. Sometimes a quick, cold shower in the afternoon or evening can be refreshing. Or change your socks. If you’re sweaty, a fresh outfit also helps. Wash your face. You’ll feel brand-new.

9. Work on something you’re excited about. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll feel energized. If you don’t really care about your work, you’ll be dragging. Read this if you need help.

10. Work with interesting people. If you work with other people who are passionate about something, you’ll feel more excited about the work you do. It’s incredible to work with a partner or group of people who care about what they’re doing, who are fired up. If you don’t have that, seek it out.

11. Learn what makes life effortless. We thrash about in the water all day, making the swim exhausting. Instead of working against the world, learn to glide. I write about this more in my new book, The Effortless Life, which comes out next week. More soon!

‘A lot of people are tired around here, but I’m not sure they’re ready to lie down, stretch out and fall asleep.’ ~Jim Jones





Your Thoughts Make You Happy – Not Events

9 11 2011

The following post is an edited compilation of various articles by speaker and brand consultant Richard Sauerman. Enjoy, and let it cHaLLeNgE you!!

– Quinton

AN EVENT is one thing. Your reality of that event is another thing. Events are created by conditions and occurrences outside you. Reality is created by conditions and occurrences inside you. It is in your mind that events are turned into data; which are turned into truths; which are turned into thoughts; which are turned into emotions; which are turned into experiences; which then form your reality.

 It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It’s what you think about. It’s not what’s happening around you that determines your health, wealth, attractiveness, popularity or success, but what’s happening inside of you – exclusively. You ARE your thoughts.

Think back to when you were 7,12 and 18. Remember the dreams you had then for yourself, and for your life? And then somewhere along the way to becoming an adult you stopped listening to your heart. One day the tape recorder in your mind said “my dreams are childish fantasies”. Well perhaps it’s time to turn off the tape recorder that’s saying “no”. Because anything is possible, if you believe it. And wonder, as you read this, whether the universe might just be brought back from the brink of destruction, every time you smile 🙂

Here is an extract from the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go, by none other than the legendary Dr. Seuss.

The Waiting Place

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you! Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!





Recognising your Sphere of Influence

28 10 2011

Recent psychology research shows that when you are influential – or at least when you believe you have a decent amount of influence on the people around you – you tend to be happier. Researchers, Drs. Sommer and Bourgeois from Baruch College and Florida Gulf Coast University, clearly showed that the more influential you feel you are, the greater your overall subjective well-being (http://bit.ly/nFTedf). Being influential leads to a sense of worth, feeling in control and a belief that life is purposeful.  Thus, thinking of yourself as influential leads to well-being or happiness. 

 

So if you want to increase your levels of happiness and life satisfaction, how about working on either (1 increasing your influence on those around you, or (2 increasing your awareness of just how much influence you DO already have?

Popular business coach Robin Sharma is famous for saying “we are all leaders, whether we know it or not, and whether we have a title or not”. Most of us do not even begin to comprehend the level of influence we have on the people around us, and the level of impact we can have on our immediate circle of friends / family / loved ones / colleagues, and how that impact can radiate out into the wider world. “Social network” studies have also been conducted on the effects of attitude changes in one person, and how those effects travel from one person to another, often up to three or four ‘degrees of separation’, almost like a virus. So if Johhny becomes very upbeat and positive for a week, his cousin Mark will be more like this too, and pass it on to his girlfriend Nina who also passes it on to her work colleagues, etc.

Given the above, how about trying out a simple exercise. Stop for a moment, get yourself a pen and paper (or a Word document!). Start writing a list of everyone in your ‘inner circle’ – i.e. those you would want at your wedding, those closest to you. And think about their lives, what they are struggling with at the moment, the weaknesses they have, the encouragement they might need. Think about how you could contribute more and better to their lives, and how you could use your closeness to really benefit them. Next, move to your outer circle, and start listing the people who you know but may not be so close to. This will take much longer, so it may be easier to just think about them rather than write them all down. Go through your phone contacts, Facebook friends, and email contacts – that should be a pretty comprehensive overview.

You will probably find you will have 20-40 people in your ‘inner circle’, and 100 – 300 in your outer. How is that for numbers? By sheer volume alone, you can’t deny that no matter who you are or what your position is in life, soceity, the world, YOU HAVE INFLUENCE. If you dramatically changed your behaviour, it is GUARANTEED to have an impact and an influence on the world around you. Everyone has a certain degree of influence – and remember, influence is not all about being able to tell people what to do. It’s about the living reality that if you change your behaviour, or attitude, other people NOTICE and will be affected, whether they want to be or not.

Think about how much influence you have. What potential you have! With great power comes great responsibility. Make a decision today to become more aware, and more proactive, in the way you live and operate in relation to the people around you. You might just be surprised by the effect you can have on your world – and the increased levels of satisfaction, purpose and meaning you can experience as a result 🙂

– Quinton