Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

What should I do with my life? Click here.
You are browsing articles on “happiness”

Letting Go of Expectations

Photo by Shannon
Editor’s Note

I loved this article. Don't miss this one. Enjoy. P.S. Read it without any expectations. :)

Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~John Wooden

Right around the time I reached middle school, when the presence and opinion of my friends trumped that of anyone else in my life at the time, birthdays started to represent something more than just a day I might get all the things my parents refused to buy me the rest of the year.

Birthdays suddenly became the one day that I expected to have an outpouring of love and adoration, the one day that my presence in the world could actually be validated.

Yes, friends and family could shower me with love on any of the other 364 days of the year, but if they didn’t do it on that one day, that simply meant they didn’t care.

My Story of Overcoming Fear

Photo by Valerio Boncompagni
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. ~Jim Morrison

I was pacing back and forth after the plans were almost finalized.

I was going, finally, to meet this guy who I’ve been chatting with from an online dating site–my first foray into the world of online dating!

As soon as I hung up the phone with him, I was trying to talk myself out of going. I was trying to think of the possible reasons why I had to cancel.

The lame excuses included: I had to take my cat to the vet. There was a work deadline I had to meet. I came down with the flu.

Why was I being such a “Sissy La-La” about this?

I was afraid.

How to Overcome Perfectionism

Photo by Jonathan Jacobsen
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

My neighbor came to my door while I was baking my first loaf of gluten-free bread. She said she admired our diets and told me how she was doing more to eat less sugar.

“I’d heard from a lot of people that it makes a lot of sense for them,” I said, “but I just didn’t think I could cut another thing out. I mean, after getting rid of dairy, wheat, caffeine and sugar, what would be left?”

She laughed a little and said, “Well it’s all about just cutting yourself some slack. You don’t have to be perfect or anything.”

Here’s my confession: I have this compulsion to be perfect. Everything I do has to be just so, or I don’t want to do it at all. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

How to Find Your Purpose

Photo by Shannon
There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we give to our life. ~Anais Nin

What is MY purpose?

This is the recurring question I would ask myself over and over: searching, seeking, arm-wrestling with each day, in a quest to find where my place was in this grand universe.

I would look around and feel a bit left behind; others seemed to be intensely purposeful, wholeheartedly embracing a career, a path . . . why couldn’t I? What is my path?

I have read dozens of books over the years, complete with countless worksheets and self-development exercises to expand my sense of belonging in the world.

The Gifts of Being Vulnerable

Photo by Hannes Caspar
The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy. ~Jim Rohn

Not too long ago, I found myself sitting around with a group of friends playing the One-Word game—a game where each person uses one word to honestly describe another person in the group. Everyone goes around until they have been “worded” by everyone else.

It’s fun and exciting until you get labeled as something you don’t necessarily identify as positive. The word that kept coming up for me: Guarded.

I got it. It made sense. I have a difficult time opening myself up to people.

Finding the Perfect Job

Photo by Alex Stoddard

Today I received an email from a man named Nick (not his real name) who wants help finding a job. He has two different resumes, one for his “business life” and one for his “adventure life”.

As I browsed through his resumes, his many accomplishments stood out. So I began to wonder why Nick needed my help to find a job? He certainly has his pick of fields from which to choose.

Then it dawned on me. If Nick was a carpenter and only a carpenter, he would search for carpenter jobs. Easy. But, since he is an adventurer as well as a business man with many accomplishments in various fields, the issue really was finding the direction, not finding the job.

How to Find Your Unique Strength

Photo by Hannes Caspar
We grow primarily through our challenges, especially those life-changing moments when we begin to recognize aspects of our nature that make us different from the family and culture in which we have been raised. ~Caroline Myss

When Oprah Winfrey interviewed Jane Fonda for The Oprah Magazine, these two amazing women touched briefly on the subject of caring about what others think of them.

Oprah: I’ve read that, like me, you’ve always struggled with the disease to please.

Jane: I used to walk into a party and think, Oh, my God, will I be interesting enough? Will people like me? Will I be pretty enough? Do I fit in? Now I go into a room and think, do I really want to be here? Are these people I want to spend a few hours with? It’s a big shift.

Oprah: How did you make the shift?

Jane: Hard work. Growing up.

Jane didn’t elaborate on her answer, and I’m not qualified to speak for her. But I think we can all relate to how she used to feel.

Love Yourself: The 90/10 Principle

Photo by Natalie Dybisz
Loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric. Loving oneself means caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself. ~Erich Fromm

I was going through a bad patch a while back. My self-esteem hit rock bottom, and nothing I did seemed to work. My relationships were a mess and my work was faltering. I felt unhappy and unsure of myself.

I have often wondered if The Mid-Life Crisis was smacking me. In retrospect, I think it was. And it was a good thing too, because I needed to change my ways a little.

Fortunately, my friends were there for me. While having coffee one day, a friend of mine lectured me, as good friends do when they’re tired of seeing you miserable.

She said “You’ve gotta love yourself before anyone else will love you”. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that all before, I thought.

5 Tips to Avoid Overextending Yourself

Photo by Jon Jacobsen
To overextend yourself is to invite defeat. ~G. William Domhoff

A few years ago, after my husband and I got hitched, we flew to Italy and had a wonderful vacation, and when I got back I volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner for our family and many of our friends. Early that day, my jet lag really kicked in, I was exhausted and couldn’t believe I’d offered to do this. Never again, I thought.

This is probably one of the best times to talk about overextending yourself. The holidays are here, and between shopping, baking, parties, and volunteering there seems to be hardly enough time for a regular work day, let alone exercise, laundry and cooking dinner.

I want to stress that I’m going to deal with general, low-level problems of over-committing ourselves. That is one symptom of what can be a larger problem for some of us. It certainly was for me; about six years ago I was extremely codependent. If you’re interested in more information on that, you can check out Codependents Anonymous’ Checklist.

Regardless of how much you struggle with codependence or taking on too much, these tips can help make things a little easier.

Flow – The Secret to Happiness

Flow is the natural, effortless unfolding of our life in a way that moves us towards wholeness and harmony. ~Charlene Belitz & Meg Lundstrom

The majority of the books that sit on my shelves are ones that I have read, or deliberately decided not to read after losing interest after a page or two. So I was a little taken aback when I found one sitting smack dab in the middle of various dog-eared novels that I hadn’t read yet—The Power of Flow.

In all likelihood it was a transplant from my parent’s extensive self-help collection, one that must have snuck into one of my boxes. Yet, I hadn’t noticed it until I was—conveniently—experiencing stagnation in many areas of my life.

I’d say this is what “divine timing” is all about.

I spent the next few hours swimming in the pages, recalling all the times in my life when things seemed to fall in to place and doors opened without any physical effort on my part–the times when I was completely and totally “in the flow.”

Think Simple Now, a moment of clarity © 2007-2014 Simple Life Media, LLC Privacy Disclaimer
Back to top