Archive for the 'My happiness project' Category

My happiness project 1

It suddenly hit me in September 2010 and gave me impetus that I wanted to initiate “my happiness project”, like what Gretchen Rubin has done. The project is still ongoing (it’s a life-long project!) and I am still going through the process of trial and error to find out what works for me, what does not.

To me, sharing our experiences and knowledge offers multiple benefits. It is through sharing that we learn more. More often than not, the feedbacks we get after sharing would enable us to have better grasp of the matter.

Ju and Ja encouraged me to keep a journal of my thoughts. Ju said by doing so (writing, instead of just thinking), I get to feel the thought/matter/incident through a different neurological pathway and therefore I could feel/look at it through another perspective. I have yet to ascertain the validity of this statement, but so far, it works well for me!

So, here I am, trying to kill two birds with one stone: sharing and writing down in the hope that the ideas will internalize more 🙂

Fe was the first one to point me to my irrational beliefs by giving me a handout entitled “10 irrational beliefs”. My first response was: Oh my god! I hold on to almost all of those in the list! No wonder i find happiness is so hard to come by for me!

There are many reading materials online (just google for “irrational beliefs”). Here’s my adding-value effort, by putting the irrational beliefs side-by-side with the rational ideas, for ease of comparison. I used to go through this comparison chart every day before I slept and let myself experience the shift in mindset. I guess it’s been too long that I did not practice this mindset-shift already and I had to revisit it yesterday.  I found the rational ideas manage to snap me out/alleviate my negative feelings yet again. I hope this will help you too!

Irrational Beliefs

Rational Ideas

I must be loved or liked and approved by every significant person I meet. I want to be loved or liked and approved by some of the people in my life, and I know I may feel disappointed or lonely when that doesn’t happen, but I can cope with those feelings, and I can take constructive steps to make and keep better relationships. 
I must be completely competent, make no mistakes, and achieve in every possible way, if I am to be worthwhile. I want to do some things well most of the time but, like everyone else, I will occasionally fail or make a mistake. Then I may feel bad, but I can handle that, and I can take constructive steps to do better next time. 
Some people are bad, wicked, or evil, and they should be blamed and punished for this. It is sad that most of us do some bad things from time to time, and some people do a lot of bad things, but making myself upset won’t change that.
It is dreadful, nearly the end of the world, when things aren’t how I would like them to be. It is disappointing, sometimes very disappointing, when things aren’t how I would like them to be, but I can cope with that. Usually I can take constructive steps to make things more how I would like them to be, but if I can’t it doesn’t help to exaggerate my disappointment. 
My bad feelings are caused by factors outside of my control, so I can’t do anything about them. My problem may be influenced by factors outside of me or my control, but my thoughts and actions also influence my problem, and they ARE under my control. 
If something might be dangerous, unpleasant, or frightening, I should worry about it a great deal. Worrying about something that might go wrong won’t stop it from happening; it just makes me unhappy now. I can take constructive steps to prepare for possible problems, and that’s as much as anyone can do. So I won’t dwell on the future now. 
It’s easier to put off something difficult or unpleasant than it is to face up to it. Facing difficult situations or problems may make me feel bad at the time, but I can cope with that. Putting off problems doesn’t make them any easier – it just gives me longer to worry about them.
I need to depend on someone stronger than myself. It’s good to get support and assistance from others when I want it, but the only person I really need to rely on is myself.
My problem was caused by event in my past, and that’s why I have my problem now. My problem may have started in some past events, but what keeps it going now are my thoughts and actions, and they are under my control. 
I should be very upset by other people’s problems and difficulties. It is sad to see other people in trouble, but I don’t help them by making myself miserable. I can cope with feeling sad, and sometimes I can take constructive steps to help them. 

* Original work by Albert Ellis. The table tabulated materials from the Counselling and Psychological Services of Unimelb.


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Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

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Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous