Category Archives: Happiness and Peace

16 Tips On Happiness

1: See a therapist.

Life is too short to spend it in misery. If you’re miserable then you probably shouldn’t be reading inspirational blogs on happiness written by random maniacs. You should schedule one-on-one time to talk to someone who is professionally trained to help people improve the quality of their lives. Seeing a therapist is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of resourcefulness. Help is out there. If you need it, get it.

But understand that a therapist isn’t going to be able to wave a magic wand at you and solve all your problems.  A therapist can show you the way out of the darkness, but it’s up to you to make that journey. You’re the only person who can confront your demons, but it sure helps to have a trained professional to walk you through the steps.

 

 

2: Be healthy.

Getting healthy might not solve your problems, but it will make you feel better. I guarantee it. Eat healthily. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of rest. Get a massage on a regular basis. Drink lots of water, and don’t poison yourself. If you do those things your body will feel better, and when your body feels better your mind will feel better.

If you ignore this advice your body will hurt. Living with aches and pains will make you miserable, stress you out and sap the energy and inclination to solve the problems in your life.

3: Want less, but define and fulfill the wants you do have.

We feel unhappy when there is a disconnect between what we want and what we have. The quickest and easiest way to be happier is to want what you have, and be content with that. However, any virtue taken to excess becomes a vice. Some philosophers have argued that in order to have true happiness you must eliminate all wants. That’s worth considering, but life is rarely so black and white.

Life was meant to be lived. The universe was meant to be enjoyed. Our individuality was meant to be explored and expressed. Fulfilling your wants will bring you happiness. It might not make you happy forever, but our lives don’t last forever anyway. All we have is the moment. In those moments we have the opportunity to find enjoyment and meaning in the things we do, but in order to achieve those experiences, we first have to define them and then want them. Just don’t bite off more than you can chew.

4: Live in the here and now.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, and it’s essential to explore past traumas in order to bring closure to them. It’s also wise to plan for the future. However, the past is gone forever, and the future isn’t real yet. Life is lived in the here and now. This is where you get to experience the joy of living.

Living in the moment pushes the problems of the past and the future to your peripheral vision and frees you to make the most out of life right here, right now regardless of what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. Do that long enough, and eventually, you’ll look back on your past and find years of happy memories.

5: Look at life from the cosmic perspective.

Life has enough problems without making mountains out of mole hills. You only have enough time to deal with the problems that really matter. To keep your priorities in perspective it helps to take a step back and look at the big picture.

You live in an inconceivably huge, elegant and powerful universe that offers limitless opportunities.The matter in your body is almost 14 billion years old.You, yourself are a bipedal, sentient, autonomous supercomputer that inexplicably grew out of inanimate matter. There are a finite number of beings like you in the universe, and you will only exist for a short amount of time. For these reasons and more you are infinitely valuable.

Having said that, in the grand scale of things you’re as insignificant as an ant. You’re a fleck of dust flashing in a sunbeam. While that may seem discouraging, there is an upside. On a long enough timescale, none of your problems will matter. Your problems are dust in the wind.

You only have time to hold onto what matters. Keep everything in perspective.

 

 

6: Love yourself.

Each and every one of us is a cosmic miracle. Nothing we do or don’t do changes that fact. If there is some force in the universe that fits some definition of the word “God” then that force spent almost 14 billion years creating you. Even if there is no God, the universe went through the same effort. If love is something you do, then you are loved by the universe, and you deserve to be loved. Your flaws are specks of dust that are dwarfed by your inherent beauty and potential. You deserve to love yourself, and when you do you make the most of your life, which justifies your existence and turns your failures into stepping stones.

7: Stop obsessing over yourself.

Love yourself, but don’t obsess over yourself, because again, any virtue taken to an extreme becomes a vice. If you constantly fantasize about your virtues you’ll become conceited, and persistently dwelling on your weaknesses, failures, and mistakes will quickly make you feel like you’re living in the Swamp of Sadness. It takes a lot of time and energy to obsess over yourself anyway. As gratifying as it may seem at times, it’s a burden, and all you have to do to shuck that burden off of your shoulders is to stop thinking about yourself so intensely all the time.

8: Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

The next time you’re having a bad day, stop and make a list of all the things you’ve been thinking about all day. Chances are most of the items on that list will be negative. Whenever you’re having a great day, stop and make a list of all the things you’ve been thinking about that day. Chances are most of the items on that list will be positive.

It’s a simple truth that the quality of your thoughts affects the quality of your mood. This doesn’t mean you should go through your life religiously suppressing any negative thought. There’s a time and place when it’s warranted to let yourself feel pain, but sometimes our worries are merely the product of worrying. In those cases, all you need to improve your quality of life is to quiet your mind and not think anything at all. Or you could consciously replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. If you can make a habit of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, eventually you’ll do it subconsciously.

9: Be consciously grateful for what you have.

Life is hard, but there is much to be grateful for. Take a sheet of paper and one side make a list of all the things that make you unhappy. On the other side of the paper make a list of things you’re grateful for. The list of things that make you unhappy may be longer than your list of things you’re grateful for, but over the weeks and months of looking at that list and amending it you’ll come to see that any one of the good things on your list are worth ten of the bad. Life is about the good things on the list, not the bad.

If you have a list of all the things that make you unhappy you can take that list to a therapist and get help from them on solving those problems. Even without the help of a therapist, you can address those issues yourself and check them off until your list of gratitudes is longer than your grievances.

Sometimes you may find it hard to enjoy the good things on your list when there are such horrible items on the other side of the page. Just remember that the point of enduring the bad in life is so that we can enjoy the good. If you don’t let yourself enjoy them then all your suffering is/was/will be in vain.

 

 

10: Eliminate negative influences in your life.

Having the right perspective and a positive outlook are important to being happy. However, this doesn’t mean that all unhappiness stems from having a shitty attitude. Sometimes external forces in life cause you pain and stress completely unrelated to your level of optimism. In those instances, the path to happiness is eliminating the sources of that hurt and stress.

If you hate your job then you might need to find another one. If your commute is sapping your will to live then maybe you need to move or find a new job. If your bed is crippling your back then maybe you need to buy a new bed. If there is anyone in your life who regularly makes you feel bad then maybe you need to cut that person out of your life. Eliminating these and any other source of negativity in your life will give you more room to be happy and less reason to be miserable.

11: Treat other people better.

Treating other people better pays off in immediate karma, aggregate happiness, and it releases positive karma ghosts into society that will come back to reward you eventually. Kindness is its own reward. How much of it you reap depends on how much you sow.

12: Improve your problem solving and conflict resolution skills.

John Wayne once said, “Life’s tough. Life’s tougher when you’re stupid.” If your life is riddled with problems then you’re obviously in need of improving your problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Read some self-help books, but make sure they were written by someone with a Ph.D. from a reputable school.

13: Enjoy the little things.

Happiness comes in many sizes. Sometimes happiness is as quiet as a breeze off the ocean, as still as a mountain vista or as brief as a sunrise. These joys may be more subtle than finding the love of your life, but they’re still important pieces of the overall puzzle of happiness. The less you pass these opportunities up the more you will have accumulated by the end of your life.

14: Invest in experiences, not possessions.

At the end of your life, when you look back on it all you won’t reminisce about the expensive decorations in your house or your designer clothes. You’ll think about the trip you took to that exotic island with your lover. You’ll think about the people you met at events around your home town. You’ll think about the things you did and the people you did them with, not the things you owned. If you’re going to invest money in happiness, invest it in a therapist and having new experiences before you go out and buy a shiny new toy to fill the void in your life.

 

 

15: Get money, but treat it as a means to an end.

There’s some truth to the old saying that “Money can’t buy happiness,” but money does buy security and freedom, both of which are vital prerequisites for happiness. Plus, since achieving your wants is another important aspect of happiness, and money buys everything, money will help you achieve your wants and make you happy. Money allows you to pursue your dreams. It will help you. Not having money seriously cripples your ability to do anything in life. Poverty is bad for your mental and physical health. It’s depressing. So eliminate your debts, save your money and increase your revenue; you will set yourself up to achieve everything else that yields happiness.

16: Don’t expose yourself to advertisements.

Advertisements are manipulative propaganda designed to make you feel bad about yourself so that you’ll be motivated to buy a product to solve a nonexistent problem. You would be a fool to expose yourself to that.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

Tweets by The Wise Sloth #4: Being Mean vs Being Nice

Cartoon image of a sloth sitting on a mountain top. He is wearing a yellow robe. His head is bowed with his eyes shut, and beams of light shine from around his head. With his left arm, he is holding one finger in the air. Above him are the words, "Tweets by The Wise Sloth."

Unless your goal is throwing away allies, you’re not winning anything by being mean to strangers.

If you want to turn a bad person good, educating them is far more effective than scaring them.

Don’t expect people you’re not nice to, to be nice to you.

If you value life, then treat it with respect. Boom. Morality explained.

Justifying hurting people is always justifying being one of the bad guys.

Nobody has to be mean to you because you did something wrong. When someone is mean, it’s because they’re mean.

It’s amazing how bad of a person you can be when you convince yourself you’re an ideal person.

If you choose to bail someone out every time they screw up, their problems will always be your problems and yours alone.

If you can’t figure out a better way to respond to anger than with hatred… you’re obviously not trying.

You’d be surprised what people will give you sometimes if you just ask.

If you have a good reason to be mean to someone, it doesn’t mean you’re justified. It means you’re great at justifying being an asshole.

When someone asks for forgiveness for something they’re not really sorry for, they’re really asking for permission.

The more dogmatically you label yourself the good guy and someone else the bad guy, the more capable of evil you become.

You can measure how horrible of a person you are by how small an inconvenience it takes to make you mean.

There are 2 kinds of people: ones who treat others well because they care and ones who treat others bad because they only care about themself.

If you’re the only person in the world you care about, then why should anyone care about you?

Anytime you send food back at a restaurant, assume whatever you get back has spit in it, even if your complaint was valid.

If you only care about yourself, you don’t give other people much reason to care about you. In fact, you give them good reason not to.

An apology is not a substitute for changing bad behavior.

Everyone deserves a second chance, but be aware that almost nobody ever changes.

The better you are at making people happy, the more the world will be your oyster.

Everyone is partly good & bad. You can choose to focus/dwell on either side. Both are right, but beware where both paths lead you.

Having a bad day is not a valid excuse to be hurtful to other people. But any 10-year-old could have told you that.

Everyone loves freedom until you do something they wouldn’t. Then freedom is offensive and frightening.

Everyone has hurt someone. So we may as well either preemptively hate everyone or forgive everyone.

Every time you feel you’ve won an argument, there’s a 50/50 chance you just dogmatically defended your completely wrong self-serving delusion.

Whatever tone of voice you use with someone, they’ll probably use the same one back.

You can only be mean to someone so many times before they act mean back to you. Same goes with being kind.

You’ll almost always be swamped with important, pressing issues. Festering over people who wronged you ages ago is never a priority.

Every time you’re rude to someone you burn a bridge to an ally.

You can measure how horrible you’re capable of being by adding up all the situations where you believe being mean to others is justified.

If more than 2 people have called you an asshole, it’s probably because you are.

There’s a direct correlation between how much a person looks at things from others’ point of view and their tendency to kindness/hurtfulness.

If you have time to bitch about other people, you have time to do anything else that doesn’t waste your time being petty and negative.

No one but you is responsible for you throwing a tantrum.

Making cars wait as you walk across the road all slow and gangsta lets strangers know you’re selfish, petty and insecure, not tough.

Crushing people’s hand when you shake it is a great way to let people know you have to make a dick waving competition out of everything.

 

If you enjoyed these Tweets, you’ll also like these:

My Tweets About Self-Help
My Tweets About Romance
My Tweets About Philosophy 
My Tweets About Religion
My Tweets About Politics
My Tweets About Economics
My Tweets About Pop Culture

Tweets by The Wise Sloth #1: Happiness and Sadness

Cartoon image of a sloth sitting on a mountain top. He is wearing a yellow robe. His head is bowed with his eyes shut, and beams of light shine from around his head. With his left arm, he is holding one finger in the air. Above him are the words, "Tweets by The Wise Sloth."

 

The more time you put into thinking about things that make you sad and angry, the sadder and angrier you’ll probably be.

Thinking about good things generally makes you feel good. Thinking about bad things generally makes you feel bad.

Holding other people accountable for how you feel disempowers you and burdens them.

The more effort you put into thinking about things that make you happy and inspire you, the happier and more inspired you’ll probably be.

The longer you drink because you’re depressed, the more likely you’re still depressed because you’re still drinking.

The sources of people’s unhappiness are usually found in their lifestyle. If you’re unhappy, that’s where your life probably needs change.

If you cash a lottery ticket and use the winnings to buy cigarettes in lieu of payment, that’s a metaphor for your level of hope in life.

The people I know who have been depressed the longest tend to have spent the least amount of time actively engaging themselves in treatment.

If you hate yourself, your life is going to suck no matter what… until you deal with why you hate yourself.

When things are good, tell yourself they’re good. When things are bad, tell yourself good things are possible.

You can overcome the punches the world throws at you. When you beat yourself up, you don’t have a fighting chance.

If someone pushes you down, it’s their fault you’re down. If you don’t do everything you can to get up, it’s your fault you’re still down.

If you think about solutions to your problems more than the causes, you’re going to have a better time.

Your day will probably be as wonderful as you are.

It’s harder to appreciate life when you’re poisoning your body every day.

Your life won’t improve until you improve your thoughts.

If you’re ever feeling bad, try thinking of something good.

You won’t find peace outside of you until you find peace inside of you.

Don’t expect life to just calm you down, center and focus your attention every day. If you don’t consciously do that yourself it won’t happen.

You could hold on tightly to all the regrets, grievances and pains of your past forever… but what would be the point?

You’d think the pickier you are, the sweeter life will be, but the less picky you are, the less difficult life will be.

With everything wrong in the world today, you’ll explode if you don’t master the art of being mad without feeling mad.

You are not the sum of the way people have treated you.

You deserve more kudos than the world gives you. Don’t resent it. Just know it.

Everyone could eliminate at least half their problems by just shutting their mouth and not bitching and complaining about bullshit.

If you don’t think happy thoughts when things suck, then life is just pretty much always going to suck.

The more you tell yourself the world is on your shoulders, the more it will feel like it.

It takes less time to be calm than it does to panic.

If life doesn’t give you excuses to be happy, you just have to do it yourself or be miserable forever.

Step one of everything you will ever do is to love yourself.

 

If you enjoyed these Tweets, you’ll also like these:

 

My Tweets About Self-Help
My Tweets About Romance
My Tweets About Philosophy 
My Tweets About Religion
My Tweets About Politics
My Tweets About Economics
My Tweets About Pop Culture

 


My Philosophy On Being Calm

As a child, my favorite characters on television were the old guys (usually Asian karate masters) who were always perfectly calm and had everything figured out. They’d sit there and smirk as the young fledgling hero fumbled through their quests like a clueless 11-year-old lost in a big city.

 

Black and white photo of Mr. Miyagi (from the movie, "The Karate Kid) holding chopsticks and looking calm and wise.

 

One day it dawned on me that I’d been fumbling through life crippled by my own ignorance just like the fledgling heroes on my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, and just like the young heroes on television, I was the only obstacle keeping me from becoming a calm, centered Zen master too. All I had to do was figure out the supreme truth they understood. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask my parents or any other old people in my real life to teach that secret to me, because they didn’t know it either.

If nobody would tell me the secret to supreme calmness then I’d just have to figure it out for myself, and I reasoned I could do it without having to go through a lifetime of meditation and martial arts training if I just worked backward and reverse engineered the process from the conclusion.

The conclusion was that all life’s problems aren’t worth stressing over. I just needed to know why.

The difference between the old, wise, tranquil guy and the man who jumps out of a skyscraper when the stock market dips, is perception of priorities. When you know what’s important then you don’t worry about the unimportant things. When you have a skewed perception of what’s important, then you overreact to unimportant events. So you have to ask yourself, what’s important and why?

Imagine all the worst possible things happening to you at once. Your loved ones die. You go bankrupt. You go to prison. You lose your legs. You lose your rank in your high school’s social hierarchy. Once you’ve lost in every way that you can possibly lose in life, what have you really lost? All you’ve lost is external luxury. But you still have your self, the only thing you ever truly owned. Nobody can take that away from you, and as long as you have yourself then you can still till a life for yourself.

The only time you’re taken from you is when you die. Even then, it’s not logical to fear the inevitable. And the big kicker about death is that when you die you lose everything in life anyway. So when you lose anything in life before death…shit…you were going to lose it anyway. So you can’t ever lose anything that you weren’t going to lose anyway.

This makes a lot of suicides ironic. The point of suicide is to escape your intolerable life. If people could choose between suicide and a better life they’d just choose the better life. So if you’re at the point that you’re willing to kill yourself then you’re free to do anything. If you’re willing to let go of all the ties that bind you to the earth then you’re free to fly to the ends of the earth.

Look, shit happens. So don’t be surprised when it does, and don’t freak out because you think it’s the end. It’s never the end until you’re dead, and in the meantime, shit happening doesn’t change the fact that you’re still you and you can still experience life.

So the old, wise guy realizes that nothing really matters. but the reason the young hero can’t achieve the same Fight Club-esque sense of freedom from worry is because he’s trying too hard. Don’t try to hold the philosophy that loss is unimportant tightly in your mind. Just let go. Say, “Fuck it.” All you have to lose is your anxiety.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

My Theory On Aggregate Happiness and Immediate Karma

Aggregate Happiness

 

There are millions of moments throughout your life where you’re faced with a decision that can cause you a tiny bit of happiness or a tiny bit of distress. The amount of happiness and stress is so small that it basically doesn’t matter: like waiting to use the restroom until later, satisfying a slight hunger, resting for five minutes, rubbing one out before work, etc. These choices might seem inconsequential, but when you think of the millions upon millions of these tiny choices we make in our lifetimes, if we always choose to take that extra piss, snack, nap, or whatever then those millions of choices will add up to a huge chunk of happiness, but if we always choose to tough it out we will have amassed a huge pile of misery over the course of our lives.

 

Text: "It all adds up."

 

Immediate Karma

 

We only have so much time in this life. Therefore we only have so much time to be happy. Whenever you’re angry, confrontational, jealous, convincing, condescending, etc. you feel angry, confrontational, jealous, etc. If you’re always acting that way then you’re always feeling that way. So at the end of your life all you’ll have to look back on, all you’ll have experienced will have been negativity.

The second you’re mean to someone, you’ve already created an experience for yourself that is not worth remembering and is wasted time that could have been spent experiencing happiness. So when someone is being a dick to you, understand they may or may not ruin your day, but they sure as hell are ruining their own. Even if they look like they’re enjoying harassing you, they’re not experiencing pure, honest joy, and they’ll never be able to get that moment back. It will have been wasted on sub-par joy for the rest of eternity.

On the other hand, no selfless act is ever unrewarded. Anytime you do something virtuous you get the reward of feeling happy. Even if you don’t get a tangible reward, ask yourself why you would have wanted a tangible reward anyway. You would have wanted a tangible reward because it would have made you happy. Well, if you take joy in doing good without getting a tangible reward then you just skip straight to the end goal: immediate happiness.

Example of cause and effect: A man jumps on a see-saw with a boulder on the other end, causing the boulder to fly in the air and crush him.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

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