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Ed Hardy Jeans8The Happiness Habit - free article

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PostWysłany: Pon 3:29, 30 Maj 2011    Temat postu: Ed Hardy Jeans8The Happiness Habit - free article

'Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.' Abraham Lincoln
I'm happy. My Email software has developed a frustrating problem, it's been raining for days, the car has sprung a leak which will be very expensive to fix - and I'm still happy.
How can I tell?
How can anyone know when they're happy? What does happiness mean? Predictably, the term means different things to different people at different times in their lives. For myself, I like the definition 'An enduring feeling of contentment and capability' - a sense that life is good on the whole, and that you can deal with whatever happens.
What Do You Really Want?
Since Aristotle, many thinkers have concluded that everything we do is ultimately aimed at achieving happiness. We save for a holiday, long for an impressive car, have another drink, get to know popular people, strive for success - all because we think it will make us happy. A friend once told me, while I was hoping to sign a recording contract, 'Careful what you wish for - you may get it'. I was offered the contract, signed it and almost immediately it became a disaster. Soon after, I was spending a lot of effort on getting released from it. We tend to confuse what we actually want with things we think will get it for us - and we can learn from our experience.
One sure way to increase your happiness quotient is by making sure the things you do every day fit in with the things you find important - your values. I know successful businessmen who neglect their families by working sixty-hour weeks. When we discuss their careers I usually learn that all their effort is dedicated to giving their families the very best: a private education, a lavish lifestyle. I know wives of such men who feel lonely and unhappy and wish for a simpler, closer way of living. Whoever said 'Time is money' was wrong - you can lose money and make it again. Those businessmen often find ways of creating a different balance between work and home, often by learning to let go of things they had felt the need to control and learning how to trust others more and share the load.
Happiness is something you do.
More recently, during training for my work [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], I realised a vital point about happiness: it isn't a thing or a place or something that happens to us, it's an activity. Now I think of it in that way I feel better. I have a lot of choice in what I do, so the chances are that I can do more happiness - hey, it works for me.
Author Andrew Matthews writes on happiness: 'It is like maintaining a nice home - you've got to hang on to your treasures and throw out the garbage.'
Finding Flow
In his book 'Finding Flow', Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes how he and his team found ways of tracking just how happy people are at different times of day. The key is 'Flow' - a combination of high challenge and high skill. People experience flow in different ways, but some things are common to all. At such times '…what we feel, what we wish and what we think are in harmony. These moments are what I have called flow experiences ….. athletes refer to it as being "in the zone"… '. For me, flow is when I lose track of time because I'm so absorbed in what I'm doing.
Swept Away
We tend to feel some flow when working, travelling, talking, socialising and having sex. Our strongest experiences of flow tend to be our hobbies and sports, or when responding to a great movie or performance (not passively watching, but on the edge of our seats) or being swept away by music or an exciting football match. The opposite of flow would be deep in an apathetic trance, like the Royle family, gaping at the TV. Flow goes with active, rather than passive enjoyment. It involves stretching ourselves by operating near the limits of our skill. We do flow activities because we like doing them, rather than simply because we imagine they will bring us some benefit. In the process we may experience frustration, pain or expense, yet we still want to take part.
The Happiness Habit
The more I work with people to help them achieve wh

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