Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finding happiness - is it an illusion?

In our lives, we often pursue things that make us excited and happy such as buying a new car, getting new clothes, going on an overseas trip, or getting a job. But how satisfying are these in the long run?

Psychology studies have shown that about a year after the 'happy event', a person's happiness will decrease to the same level as if the event never happened. Thus someone who won the lottery a year ago would be just as happy as someone who was seriously injured and became a paraplegic at the same time.

These studies suggest that there is no such thing as true happiness and many authors support this view. Some say finding happiness lies mostly in the anticipation a happy event -- actual attainment of the goal is not important in the quest for happiness. The idea is that happiness is an illusion and finding happiness is just like chasing a rainbow. However futile this may seem, chasing the rainbow is necessary in order to live a full life. See my previous post on work for more.

Other authors claim that true happiness comes when one resists anticipation and lives in the present. Regular meditation and contemplation is necessary to achieve this state of mind. By stopping to smell the roses, we can often work more efficiently or avoid imminent danger.

My view is that you need a balance of both in order to live your life to its fullest potential. Whether you lean towards the first or second approach, if any, will depend entirely on your personality and philosophy. Here are some quotes which may guide you in finding happiness.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What to Do After Writing Down Goals - Two Thoughts

Here are two thoughts that popped up in my head about what to do after you have written down your goals:

  1. Have a think about how you are going to achieve your goal. If you have no idea how to proceed with your goal, do not worry because the solution will come to you soon enough. Have you noticed that whenever you think of something you see more of that thing? Opportunities are everywhere. Most people do not see them unless they are looking for them. If you be alert to opportunities you will eventually find them.
  2. Do not be afraid to change and adjust goals as your life changes. For some people it may take a few years to discover their 'true' goal. Other people may find their purpose in life immediately. Life is about growth. So when you think you are not in tune with your goal, then move on and you will have renewed strength and motivation to continue on your life journey.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Persistence is essential to get to your goal. All great and successful people have exhibited undying persistence in their lives. Every endeavor you embark upon in your life will eventually run into a difficult period and 99% of people give up during this period. Only the remaining 1% succeed. If you are going through that difficult period and you persist, you are pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. We can only grow through resistance.

Here are some tips to encourage persistence in you:

  1. Clarify your reasons for your goals. If your reason stirs up strong emotions inside you, then you will be more likely to persist at that goal.
  2. Break down your goals. Take baby steps and celebrate each small achievement and you will begin to enjoy working on your goal.
  3. Find a way to keep score. If you know you are moving forwards then you'll be more inclined to work harder towards your goal. However if you are moving backwards, work out why.
  4. Believe in yourself. Visualize yourself achieving your goal.
Persistence is usually a key factor that separates the average from the exceptional. Think about how easy it is to be catapulted to the top 1% when you persist. You will get a major head start in your endeavor if you persist. The best thing is anyone can persist. Think about a race with 100 contestants. You can be first just by simply persisting. No knowledge or skills required. It is one the best deals you will ever get.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why you might not want to be successful

Many people fear success. It's true. These people will unconsciously do all they can to escape success. Let me explain.

Anyone who embarks on a journey to success will meet obstruction. Many will meet danger. The journey to success is risky and it is this inherent risk that people fear. People want certainty. The last thing they want is to exchange their current conditions with something uncertain. However they know that if they do nothing, they will eventually fail. If they do something, they at least have a chance of succeeding. In other words, they fear success more than they fear failure.

If you are to be successful you need to come out of your comfort zone. This is why I suggest you, when you are writing your goals, to make goals that seem impossible. This will force you out of your comfort zone. As you keep on pushing the limits of your comfort zone, your comfort zone will gradually grow larger and encompass more experiences. Eventually your 'impossible' goals will become possible.

One of the biggest obstacles to success is the fear of disapproval. If you plan to become successful, people are going to try to pull you down. It's a fact. All successful people were at one time ridiculed and many of them are still in that position. If you want to be successful you have to be so motivated that no amount of disapproval will stop you.

These thoughts were inspired by the book Thick Face Black Heart. The book has some of the most novel ideas I have ever encountered. In fact the original text was once banned in China because of it's potent ideas which the officials feared may have lead to the common people overthrowing the government. I found this book very empowering. It was one of the first self-help books I read and I still refer to it. I recommend this book and you can buy it at a discount here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Start with small goals

Start with small goals before tackling big goals. Every morning, write down a mini-goal. It could be anything, from finishing off that piece of work to ordering a cup of coffee. Keep it simple at first and stick with things that are easy to accomplish. If you do this everyday, you will begin to experience the feeling of success and the power of thought.

Progress by choosing more difficult goals. These may take more than a day to complete. The more you practise the easier it'll become.

The Feeling of Success

Have you ever contemplated the wisdom of flipping a pancake? If you think of what could go wrong (pancake sticking on the ceiling, not catching the pancake, pancake not landing flat, to name a few), then those very things are likely to happen. However if you have a feeling of perfection and poise inside you, then you are likely to flip the pancake successfully. You may have experienced this in other endeavors of your life, for example, when you are playing sport. You must clear your mind and only think of perfection to be able to apply physical technique successfully in sport.

It is true that success breeds success. The more success you have experience in life, the more success you'll be expecting, and the more success you will get. Have you ever noticed that people who are successful in one field tend to be successful in many others? You can utilise your success in one field to catapult yourself to success in another field. The good thing is your original success can be as simple as, say, winning a game of golf against your friend.

If you don't have any recent successes, then dig up your memory for past successes. Past successes may have lost their significance in your life but you can rejuvenate these memories simply by reliving it. Every night before you go to sleep, visualise your past successes and see it like a movie. Make the picture so clear and the sounds and smells so sharp that you truly think it is reality. This is what I mean by reliving a memory.

Anytime you need to accomplish a daunting task or have doubts as to your own abilities, just draw on your memory of successful moments. You will be surprised at how much this will help you attain your goals.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Proof of the law of attraction

Have a listen to what the psychologists have to say about the law of attraction. According to research lead by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, happiness leads to success. He says that a happy individual is likely to :
  • be more productive
  • have better personal relationships
  • be healthier
  • be wealthier
  • be more generous
  • be more sociable
than one who is not happy.

This study is one of many proofs supporting the law of attraction. If you are happy you will think of positive thoughts and hold positive emotions inside you. This will lead to a positive reality. You can read more about the psychology study here.

A step by step guide to getting rich

Let me tell you a step-by-step guide to getting rich.

  1. The first thing to do is to write your goal down. Don't just write "I will be rich". Write every single detail down. I will earn a passive income of $10,000 a month and have 3 million dollars in net assets by the end of the year.
  2. Read your goal every morning after you wake up and every night before you go to sleep.
  3. Say your goal out loud. You must say it with conviction. I WILL EARN A PASSIVE INCOME OF $10,000 A MONTH AND HAVE 3 MILLION DOLLARS IN NET ASSETS BY THE END OF THE YEAR!!!
  4. Visualise yourself as a millionaire. Imagine as much detail as you can. Where would you be living? What would you be driving? What would you be wearing? What would you be doing?
  5. Meditate daily. This will open up your subconscious so it is more receptive to suggestion. The subconscious cannot tell between imagination and reality. So if you let your goal creep into your subconscious it will think that you have already achieved it.
  6. Give thanks and be grateful for what you've got. This will plant seeds of abundance in your mind. If you think of abundance, that is what you're going to get. If you think of scarcity then that is what you'll get - nothing. Donate to charity to create an illusion of abundance and you will attract successful people in your life. Abundance will quickly become reality.
  7. Know who the richest people are. More importantly, know how they became rich.
  8. Read motivational books as often as you can.
If you have done all these steps, then getting rich will be inevitable. Remember, the law of attraction can work for any desire - not just monetary wants. If you truly believe that you already have what you want, then you will get it. The law of attraction seems like a very simple idea at first. However it is actually more difficult to practice than you think.

Truly believing in something is very different than pretending to believe. Notice how I haven't said anything about acting or taking that first physical step. If you truly believe, you need no effort to act. If you follow the steps you will act before you know it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Secret - Does it Work?

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is the latest self-help sensation. But does it actually work?

The main theme running throughout the whole book is the notion of thought. The current hype about the law of attraction rests its foundations on the notion of thought. Thought can bring love, happiness, money, and guide you through life. My opinion? I truly believe in this. The theory is approved of by great thinkers of old and modern times like Napoleon Hill, Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Emerson, Robert Kiyosaki, and Bill Gates. For a previous post on the notion of thought click here.

The law of attraction is in fact very simple: what you think is what you will attract. It is analogous to the well established phenomena of resonance. You've all seen the soprano break a wineglass just by singing the right note. What is physically happening is the soprano sends out a wave or a vibration of air molecules. This vibration travels through the air and everything (including the wine glass) in the surrounding vicinity will begin vibrating at the same frequency. Now the wine glass has a particular property called the natural frequency - in fact all objects have a unique physical property called the natural frequency. Physics tells us that the closer the frequency of the singing to the natural frequency of the glass, the more vigorously the glass will vibrate. So as the soprano hits the right note, one that is very close to the natural frequency of the glass, the glass will shake so violently that it'll break.

Same deal with thought. When you think, you send out a thought of a particular frequency. As a result, all surrounding things will begin vibrating. In particular, things which have the same or similar natural frequency to your thought will vibrate violently. And that is how the law of attraction works. By sending out thoughts, you will 'be in tune' with objects or situations which have the same natural frequency as your thoughts. You can apply this to all aspects of your life whether it is money, fame, relationships, or health. And that is the basic essence of The Secret.

I recommend The Secret if you have not come across the law of attraction before and you can buy it at a discount here. However, it is true that the law of attraction is an ancient concept and The Secret is just a modern representation of the law. If you want a read a more comprehensive and original (but longer and more difficult to read) treatment of the subject I would highly recommend The Master Key System by Charles Haanel. I have recommended this before and I still think it is the most comprehensive book on this subject. One thing's for sure, it is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, comprehensive text on the law of attraction. You can buy it at a discount here.