12 Ideas to Boost Your Happiness


Want to be happier?  Try these 12 steps and move in the right direction.




Look for opportunities to compliment others today everywhere you go.  Be genuine and sincere.  No sarcasm.  Write a thank you note.

“Thank you for checking me out so quickly.”

“I appreciate your attention to detail.”

“Your children are very well behaved.”




Studies show that nothing raises happiness more than helping others in need.  If you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter, or nursing home, you will be happier.  Almost any act of helping others in need will boost your happiness.  And it’s not just volunteer activities.  Try holding open a door for someone; shoveling a neighbor’s walk; letting someone pull in front of you in traffic.  Put others before yourself.




Slow down and listen.  Really listen and connect.  There’s something magical when you understand someone’s views.




Find someone to express your love and gratitude.  Happiness always goes up in the presence of those we love.




Start something new and exciting.  When your brain is learning and your body is moving, you will be engaged and create good feelings.




Countless studies show the benefits of exercise.  It can get you out of a rut and boost chemicals in your brain to make you happier.




The opposite of starting is accomplishing.  When you are crossing off important “to do” items, it will increase your satisfaction.

33 Quotes on Happiness


March 20 is officially the International Day of Happiness.  Somehow I missed the announcement, but in 2012 the General Assembly of the United Nations created this day to recognize “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.”

I’m all for celebrating and for happiness.  With that in mind, I selected some of my favorite quotes on all things happiness.


“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.” -Charles Spurgeon


“If you want to be happy, be.” -Leo Tolstoy


Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.” -Denis Waitley


“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” -Marcus Aurelius


“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” -Aristotle


“Happiness . . . is governed by our mental attitude.” -Dale Carnegie


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Gandhi


“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde


“Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.” -Ayn Rand


“Happiness is a byproduct of making someone else happy.” -Gretta Brooker Palmer


“Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.” -Ogden Nash


“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” -Carl Sandburg


“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln


“Happiness is a large, close-knit family…in another city.” -George Burns


“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” -Albert Schweitzer


“Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” -Andy Rooney


“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” -John Barrymore


“Nobody cares if you’re miserable so you might as well be happy.” -Cynthia Nelms


“When what we are is what we want to be, that’s happiness.” -Malcolm Forbes


“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” -Mark Twain


“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” -Michael J. Fox


“If one speaks with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow.” -Buddha

The Price of Right

You’re sitting at your desk when the call comes in from your boss.

“You were right.  I was flat out wrong.  I want to thank you for working here and having the vision that we all lack.  You called it.  Never again will I doubt you.” 

You straighten up in your chair, basking in your newfound status of business wizard.

Seem far-fetched?  That’s because it is.  It’s unlikely to happen in this lifetime.

Then why do we strive for it?

Why The Joy of Being Right is Wrong

So much of our life is spent trying to be right.  Correcting others.  Carefully editing others’ statements as if we were polishing an encyclopedia, making sure everything was just perfect.

We spend so much time on defense when we should be on offense.

Think of the wasted energy.

Think of the wasted mind power.

Think of what we could do if we didn’t resist that individual’s energy, but built on it and moved it forward with additional new thinking.


The joy of being right is short-lived. The joy of peace lasts a lifetime. -Skip Prichard


Let’s have less of this:

10 Ways to Reduce Stress

This is a guest post by Charu Chandra, an aspiring leader, entrepreneur, and blogger. Charu blogs about the beneficial effects of yoga and strength training and other things fitness-related at strongyogi.com.


A good leader is expected to always remain in control of his emotions.

But like it or not, things don’t always go according to plan, and leaders, even good ones, are prone to emotional outbursts. And if stress is not recognized and corrected early, it usually snowballs into bigger problems.

So, it is imperative that a leader remains calm at all times. As you may have experienced, situations only tend to get worse when approached with stress.

10 ways to reduce stress in your life

1) Tidy up your workspace/room.

A cluttered room or workspace is a great way to build up stress. I have noticed that removing all unnecessary items from my desk (all I have on my desk is my laptop and a glass of water), making my bed every morning, etc. keeps my mind really calm.

2) Tidy up your inbox/computer/desktop.

Since we spend a lot of time on our computers and smart phones, keeping them clutter-free is as important as keeping our physical workspace clean. For example, until recently, I had close to 7,000 unread e-mails in my inbox.  So I sat down for three hours and cleaned up the entire thing. Once I was done, I felt incredibly relaxed and peaceful.  So make sure you don’t let things get out of hand in the virtual world.

3) Speak your mind.

One of the sources of stress in my life was my roommate. He used to go to bed late and would always play video games loudly late at night when I was asleep. So, the second or third time I was disturbed, I got up from bed and talked to him about this. This helped a lot as I let go of the anger in me and also because the noise stopped. So, if something needs to be said, say it.

4) Pinpoint the source of your stress.

Stress is not always general. Sometimes, specific events or people can stress you out. For example, a job interview scheduled for tomorrow may be causing you stress today. In my experience, the best way to deal with such situations is to do everything you can to address it and leave the rest to god/fate/luck.

5) Give up control.

Trying to control situations too much can cause stress. Don’t misunderstand me, leaders should always be in control of a situation but shouldn’t expect to be in control of its outcome. A good leader adapts to whatever turn a situation takes and is always ready for anything. Using the interview example from above, I do my best to prepare for it and then relax. Because I know that there will always be unexpected events no matter how well I prepare.

6) Take a break.

If you’ve been working hard on something, taking a short break to get away from it all is always a good idea. Taking a walk, playing with an animal or a baby, watching television, listening to calming music, taking a nap and exercising are all great ways to de-stress. Find out what helps you relax.

Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed

How to Set and Attain Your Goals

Mark Divine retired as a commander in the US Navy where he had served as a SEAL for 20 years. He holds an MBA from NYU and is the founder of SEALTFIT, NavySeals.com, and U.S. CrossFit. His latest book is The Way of the SEAL: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed.

Mark, it’s great to have a chance to talk with you as everyone is thinking about New Year’s resolutions: how to make them, but more importantly, how to keep them. Your book is a blueprint for success and is packed with principles, ideas, methods, and specific actions all designed to change your life. We can’t cover even a fraction of them, but I want to ask you about just a few.


“The best leaders keep their minds positively focused.” –Mark Divine


Visualize Powerfully

Let’s start with visualization. You put it this way: “Visualize Powerfully.” How do you personally visualize your goals and your success?

I learned in the SEALs the importance of winning the mission (goal) in my mind before stepping off the ramp into the dark of the night.

What this means for me is a three step process:

Go after well defined targets

First, I ensure that the targets I go after are the right targets and are super well defined so I don’t waste valuable time and energy chasing impossible dreams or improbable projects. In the past I often had poorly defined new year goals that quickly fell by the wayside. That happened because they were the wrong targets, or poorly defined to begin with. I outline a powerful process for preventing this and selecting the right targets in my book.

Imagine what victory looks like

Second, I imagine what victory looks like for my target / goal. I see it as clearly and with as much detail as possible in my mind’s eye. In fact I have built an imaginary training space I call my ‘Mind Gym’ where I do this inner work. In the gym I see the outcomes of the goal, see myself achieving it and what my life is like after. I see myself as the type of person who CAN achieve the goal and possessing all the skills and knowledge necessary to crush it.

Review your goals daily

Third, I visit my mind gym daily to review the visualization while tackling the tasks and preliminary steps toward accomplishing the goal. This strengthens the image and eventually leads to greater confidence and certainty of mission success.


“Decisiveness is a must for anyone seeking to gain momentum toward their critical targets.” –Mark Divine


Breathe for Success

You talk about the importance of breathing in your book. Why is it so important and would you share one of your breathing exercises?

The Benefits of Deep Breathing

In a firefight or any intense situation, I learned to perform better by controlling my physiology and psychology. The key was learning how to breathe more powerfully. It is the first and most important of what I call the ‘big four of mental toughness’ skills. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, through the nose, brings two immediate and critical benefits for mission success:wayofseal_cov

First, It is a stress release mechanism because it stimulates the automatic nervous system’s calming function. We are riddled with stressors coming at us from all angles, many self-imposed, and this breathing technique slows down our heart rate, calms our body and allows us to get back in control of our physiology so we can direct it towards performance.

Second, it centers us by narrowing the range of our critical mind’s thought patterns. The concentration required to breathe deeply means you are now focusing on health and stress release. This triggers positive feelings and thoughts, and the mind slows down so we can direct it towards the important tasks leading to success.

The training technique is simple, called the ‘Three part breath.’ Begin by exhaling all the air from your lungs, then inhale deep into your belly . . . your belly will move out. When the lower part of your lungs are full (your belly is ‘full’), then activate your diaphragm to fill the middle of your lungs. When that is full, then use your upper chest to fill the top of the lungs. The exhale is then done in reverse order, and the whole breath cycle should be a five count inhale and five count exhale. Over time you will do this naturally and unconsciously in one step, versus three steps. It will help you stay positively focused on your important goals in 2014 AND have great benefit for your overall health and peace of mind.