How to Be Happy in Life: The Happy To Do List

Happy to do list

Happiness is a choice! This is my motto in my life and in my work. I coach many people on how to make this choice and find their own happiness.

One of the strategies in bringing happiness into our lives is to get into good habits that make us pay more attention to the good things we already have. It makes us feel happy about what we have in life and attract more of it through our focus.

Together, my clients and I come up with a simple “happy to do list” – a list of things they can do to change their happiness level within 3 weeks. This list follows the rule that it only takes 21 days to make a habit.

This Happy To Do list is written in past tense. It’s more of a list of accomplishments to tick once they are achieved. When you go over it, instead of seeing things you still need to do, your focus is on your successes.

I promise that if you do this every day, then after three weeks, you will feel happier.

The Stress Pill: The Final 30 Causes of Stress

Smiley pill

There are many causes of stress in our life. In the previous chapter of the stress pill series, I listed 30 causes of stress, which you may choose to avoid. Here are some more scientific evidence-based beliefs, ideas and thoughts that increase your level of stress.

1. Be dependent on others! We are not meant to be alone and it is only fair to expect others to do things for us. If you can count on someone else to do the job, then let them do it. Avoid going to new place on your own and never associate with new people. Always go to new places with a friend. If your friend is not coming to school for example, do not go to school that day because your productivity will be low anyway. Alternatively, you could recognize that you are unique. Your desires are your own. If you wait for someone else to do things for you, you may never get them done.

2. Everything that went wrong is your fault! Even if you had no direct connection to it, think that it is your fault. You could have done something to change it, so why didn’t you? Take the blame for everything. It makes you a sage! Unfortunately, it makes you tired and stressed too. Despite what you might think, not everything is related to you, and not everything is your responsibility to fix.

This post is part 4 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

The Stress Pill: 30 More Stressors

A pile of pills

In the previous chapter of The Stress Pill, I described some ways people make themselves stressed. I call them “stress pills”. Others call them Stressors.

Here are another 30 tips on how to increase your daily dosage of stress. Of course, if you can avoid them, your stress level will go down and your happiness will go up.

This post is part 3 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

False Identity

Who Am I

In the first session with every new client, I go over the program I have written that has helped many people around the world find happiness, strength, confidence, love, power and health. I explain to them that finding who they are is crucial to the success of this program. The more confident and courageous clients tell me that they don’t really know what identity means. I like this honesty.

A great many people find it hard to understand what “identity” means. Kids, in particular, hear a lot about “identity”, but have no idea what it means.

To me, the simple definition of identity is being yourself, but this is very complicated, because it is not easy to answer the question, “Who am I?”

If you ask people to define themselves, you will find many beliefs and concepts they have that bring them lots of grief, anger, frustration and fear.

In finding who we are, it is very important to find out who we are not. Some negative examples can helps us refine the definition. Every time we have a problem, it is because we live in a false belief about ourselves – we use a false identity.

The Stress Pill: 10 Things that Increase Your Stress

Good Morning. Let the stress begin.

Stress is known to be the number 1 killer in the world today. More even than accidents and war (which are also attributed to being stressed). Even the disease in the world are related to stress.

In my work with my coaching clients, I explain that our feelings and thoughts are a choice. My slogan is “happiness is a choice”. With this choice, there are three main pills: the happiness pill, the chill pill and the stress pill.

The happy pill

Smiling bouncy balls falling out of a bucketOver the years, I have collected many strategies to make people happy. I have tried to share them in this blog. When I write about them, I want each of them to be a happiness pill. Ever psot contains a “pill of happiness”.

The thing is, people seem to understand happiness better when they can compare it to stress. I have written some posts about stress in the past and found this to be true. That is how the idea for this series was born. So in this chapter I will describe thoughts, beliefs and ideas in the form of a “stress pill”.

This post is part 2 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

From the Life Coaching Deck: Learning to Want

Couple holding hands under the table

A while ago, I told the story of Magda and learning about the “wanting muscle” and choice. She learned that she was allowed to want things for herself. That she had to live by her own expectations.

Two weeks later, I saw Magda for the second time. She looked so much more alive and beautiful. Her skin was shiny and she was smiling and happy. She behaved like a giggling teen when she told me the list of her wants was getting bigger every day. Funnily enough, her daughter was the one who helped her with this homework task. Which was good news for Magda, because she had managed to teach her daughter that it was OK to want.

“I saw my mom 4 days ago and I am going again after work tomorrow. I have decided to take 4 days off in between. It is bliss. She still complains but no more than she did when I was there every day”. She was grinning from ear to ear.

The Stress Pill: Seeing Shadows of Lions

Stress ball shaped like a pill

I have written a lot about happiness over the years. I think happiness (in all its variations) is what everyone wants in life. For example, researchers found that parents name happiness as the ultimate goal of their parenting role. Happy parents = happy parenting = happy kids.

Happiness is not only the goal of parenting, it is also a most basic human goal. We are here to be happy, to find happiness and to enjoy it. We want to be happy with our relationships, with our families, at work, with our health, with money. We want to be happy with our friends and hobbies, with our achievements, with our homes. We want to be happy with what we have and we also want to be happy about some things we don’t have. For example, if I don’t have sick kids, that makes me externally happy.

One small thing that gets taken away from us helps us feel happy about what we have in our lives. For example, it’s only when you get a muscle cramp from lifting too much that you learn to appreciate the simple ability to raise your hand to the steering wheel or to take off your shirt. That is basic human nature, to define happiness by comparing it to unhappy times.

The most common obstacle to happiness is stress. In reality, stress is fear. It is fear that manifests in tensions that drive us into primal behavior (fight or flight). In the old days, it was what made us freeze in the face of a lion. While in the past, it was very obvious that lions, snakes and other scary animals were the enemy, today, the enemy is inside of us. We get anxious and stressed just thinking about a possible scary future.

This post is part 1 of 4 in the series The Stress Pill

Attachment Theory: Attachment Styles in Relationships and Marriages

Family walking through a park

So far, we’ve covered how attachment styles affect babies and individuals, but what about attachment styles in relationships and marriages?

Have you ever heard the theory that we pick partners who are similar to our parents? I have wondered about this over the years. My life partner, Gal is similar to my dad in some ways and totally different in many other ways. He is also similar to my mom in some ways and totally different to her in many other ways. I find it hard to either confirm or deny the theory.

While it is hard to decide if this theory works based on personal attributes, attachment theory claims that in some strange way we relate and attach to our partners and in a way that matches the attachment style that was created between us and our caregivers in those first years of our lives.

This post is part 6 of 6 in the series Attachment Theory

Be Kind Like Socrates: Triple Filter Test

Statue of Socrates - we can learn from him how to be kind

If there is a trait I want my kids to have, it is kindness. Being kind to others brings more kindness to your world. I want my kids to feel that they are surrounded by kind people.

Unfortunately, they are not always surrounded by kind people. At least not as I would like. It is frustrating because I can’t choose who they hang out with. When they were 5 or 6 years old, I could monitor their surroundings (even then it was not 100% of the time) but the more I wanted them to experience the world, the more I had to let go of this desire to control whether they hang around kind people or not.

My youngest daughter is now 13 years old and she is experiencing lots of the not-so-kind things her friends say about each other. There is a constant struggle for popularity and power through gossip and talking about each other behind backs. We as parents think this is the opposite of kindness and we don’t want our daughter to be part of it.

Talking about other people who are not present is not always bad. Our family rule is to only say nice things about others and “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything”. The more brutal version is “when you have nothing good to say, shut up!”.

Socrates had a very logical way to tackle the same problem. He called it the Triple Filter Test. Here is a nice story that explains Socrates way of deciding whether to talk or not talk about others behind their back.

100 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Life

Three grown children on the beach

Everyone wants to have either a happy and healthy life or a healthy and happy life, in these orders. I think of happiness as a very inclusive concept: I want to be happy with my health, happy with my relationships, happy with my family, happy with my work, happy with money, happy with friends, happy with my art, happy with my friendships, happy with the direction I take in life and happy with an endless list of other things.

Here is one of my top tips for a happy and healthy life. Take the tips that resonate with you, feel free to change any of them to make them fit your style and your life, or add new ones if there are some that are not applicable to you.

If you have 100 tips and you follow one every day, your life will quickly become both happier and healthier.