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happinessDon’t put limits on the Universe!” – was the first thought that popped into my mind as I was entering the huge stadium in the suburbs of Milan. I was there to see a press conference given by… you’d never guess… His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama! Himself!

If a few years ago someone had told me that this was going to happen, I’d probably have laughed, thinking that it was the craziest joke I had ever heard. But I am a believer now – if the Universe has a dinner with a Johnny Depp planned for me, so be it… I’ll take it humbly any day!

But back to the Dalai Lama’s lecture on happiness…

There is one concept that I would like to share with you, because I believe it can help you look at many life situations differently, more patiently, more wisely.

This concept talks about the underlying cause of all our unhappiness and misery. And no, it has nothing to do with past failures, lack of money or even a stupid boss.

To the Dalai Lama the cause of our problems lays in our ignorance. Although, it is not the kind of ignorance we usually think about. It is not the “lack of knowledge” or the “lack of education”.

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What does it mean to you to stay optimistic?

A few days ago I stumbled upon “The Optimist Creed” and I got my question answered. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that this creed was written exactly 100 years ago! It first appeared in Christian D. Larson’s book “Your Forces and How to Use Them” in 1912. Since that time The Optimism Creed has turned into a Positivity Mantra for thousands of people. It has been used in hospitals to help patients recover from illness; in locker rooms to improve athletes’ performance; in offices to help people find their inner drive and motivation.

I hope that it will remind you of all great things that are worth remembering and fill your days with optimism, inspiration and love.


optimism creed

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difficult peopleI don’t like to judge or talk poorly about people and I sincerely believe that EVERY single person possesses at least 3 wonderful qualities.

In fact, it is a game I sometimes play when I get really frustrated with someone. While I am huffing and puffing, I try to find 3 positive qualities about the person, who has pushed my buttons.

Not always an easy task, but 3 good qualities is a realistic number.

So where were we… Oh, yes – people that make our life harder. Not because they are bad people, but because they do certain things that may demotivate us, hurt our feelings or rub our ego the wrong way. Ultimately, it is not their problem but ours.

So here is what we can do to avoid unnecessary conflicts, stress and hard feelings.

1. Teachers that suggest that we might not be talented enough to do something

Years ago psychologists did a classroom experiment. A group of children were randomly divided into two classes. The teachers were told that the students in first class were high achievers that should do well. The second class was labeled as “underachievers” who needed special help.

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think bigOne of my old bosses had a funny habit. He would always walk into his office asking a secretary, “So what heroic exploit do I have planned for today?

At the time this question seemed a joke to me and I did not give it much thought. Only years later after I had changed several jobs, started my own websites and learned a thing or two about human psychology I started to see the real connection between Thinking Big and Accomplishing a Lot.

Oh, have I mentioned that this boss of mine was one of the most productive, creative, intelligent and,definitely,the strangest person I have ever worked with?

He passed away a few years ago, but every time I think of him I catch myself smiling.

Today I want to ask you a question – What heroic exploit have YOU planned for yourself?

Anything daring? Anything fascinating? Anything that will push you out of your comfort zone?


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positive thinkingEven the most optimistic people are not immune to occasional negative thoughts. We all have to deal with moments when our problems seem too big, our pain too strong and our future too gloomy to look forward to. But the great thing is that as these moments pass and we learn that “Everything has a happy end, and if it is not happy, it is not the end”.

But until we realize that the situation that we considered the most difficult and problematic, actually turned out to be exactly the situation that changed (and improved) our life the most, we need to learn how to deal with destructive emotions on a day-to-day basis and stop the flow of negativity.

9 Practical Ways to Stop Thinking Negative Thoughts

1. Don’t Cherish Negative Thoughts

This is a strange statement – how can anyone cherish negative thoughts? Yet I bet that you know a couple people, who cling on to their problems and misfortunes and take strange satisfaction in telling everyone how miserable they are. Usually these people are not looking for solutions, only for empathy.

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Sometimes, we get so caught up in a whirlpool of our daily routines, responsibilities, urgent deadlines, business meetings and snap decisions that we start living in our heads. We become too business-like, too rational, too busy to open our eyes and truly see the colors of the world.

But then we stumble on a stunning picture, an inspirational video, a genuine smile, an uplifting quote and like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day, they spread warmth through our stomach and fill our heart with joy and gratitude.

They pull us out of our daily routines, social templates and the drama of things that are not really important. And they shift our focus onto everything that is good in this world.

We need these Reminders to stay grounded and to help us find peace, joy and warmth every day.

Here are a few Irish Blessings that you may like:

1. inspirational quotes

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positive psychologyDon’t you wish that instead learning about Ancient Mesopotamia and the speed of electrons at school, they had taught us something more practical – for example, how to be happy.

In fact, this subject is taught. Just not at high school but at Harvard University. The course is called Positive Psychology and its underlying premise is that we can learn to be happier, just as we can learn to drive a car or to speak a foreign language.

For everyone, who does not plan on applying to Harvard in the near future, below are

10 Happiness Tips from Harvard’s very-sought-after lecturer Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar:

1. Become conscious of things that make you happy

There is a great little technique to do this. Take a piece of paper and complete the following sentence: “To bring 5% more happiness into my life…

Think of experiences, not things. It is not a million dollars that will make you happy. It is the opportunity to spend more time with your family, to travel around the world, to gain financial stability. But Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, suggest that we start with the smaller blessings.
If you feel that you have run out of ideas, here are some things from my list.

2. Combine pleasure and meaning

Aristotle had a great concept called “golden mean”. He believed that we should look for a desirable middle between two extremes. This makes a lot of sense, but when it comes to making everyday life choices, we often forget to follow his sage advice.

Let’s take food for example…

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self-helpDo you set reminders on your iPhone or PC, so that you do not forget about work meetings, medical appointments, relatives’ birthdays and other important tasks?

And what about self-help reminders that help you to stay grounded, optimistic, creative and focused throughout the day?

I have plenty of these around my house. They might not make sense to anyone except for me, but they help me to cultivate awareness and stay focused on things I would most likely forget to do.

For example, I have a note by my laptop that says, “Remember to blink”. I put it there after I read that we tend to blink less when we look at a computer screen or a TV monitor, which makes our eyes feel tired and irritated and strained. Reminding myself to take a few minutes and just blink rapidly is one of my resolutions to keep my vision from declining again.

There is also a big poster in my bathroom that says, “The poor long for riches, the rich long for heaven, but only the wise long for tranquility”. It is hard to explain why, but this quote by Swami Rama leaves me feeling peaceful and relaxed at the end of the day.

Maybe you have such reminders around your house as well?

I recently walked into my friend’s office and saw a piece of paper attached to the wall that said, “Find a way”. Chris told me that whenever he was facing a problem or had to make an important decision, staring at the blank wall in front of him, made him feel even more stuck. Having a sign there that said “Find a way” had helped him to stay focused on possible solutions and stay more productive.

This is not as strange as it may seem at a first glace.

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self-help quotesHave you ever read a great quote and thought, “Why didn’t I think of that? It is so simple!

This is the power of brilliantly said self-help quotes – they pass your through your mind and find immediate response in your heart.

It does not matter if you read them when you are 10 or 87, they will still remind and inspire you to be kinder, to dream bolder, to work harder, to forgive faster, and to love deeper without expecting anything in return.

I noticed long ago that whenever I start my day with a positive and inspiring quote it is much easier for me to stay focused on the things I prize the most and to be more patient with myself and those around me.

Today I thought maybe you too are in need of some motivation and positive energy. If this is the case, I want to share with you some carefully selected Self-Help Quotes that are very dear to my heart. I hope that they will inspire you to continue improving yourself (because that is what all great quotes are supposed to do).

1. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Peter F. Drucker

2. “Believe in Yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”
Cynthia Kersey

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doing imperfectlyIt is often helpful yet incredibly frustrating to be reminded of how imperfect you are. Don’t you think?

I mean there are tons of things in our life that could be improved. For starters, there are the ten – fifteen extra pounds to be lost. Then there is a credit card debt to be settled, a few childhood issues to be resolved, and possibly a broken heart to be mended.

I do not think there is a single person reading this article, who would not want to change something about them self, their work or their life.

Even now, as I am writing these words there is a voice in the back of my head wondering if I could write this article better?

The truth is I probably could. I could dedicated a few hours to finding a captivating title. Or I could deleted and re-written each phrase several time, until it sounds just right. But I am not going to do this.


Because this article is not about perfection.

It is about the 3 truths of being imperfect and actually feeling pretty good about it.

Truth #1: Perfection is a myth

We can all sit around and wait for our life to be perfect. Or we can get busy and try to mold our life to our image of perfection. In either case, we are doomed. Because achieving perfection in any area of life – while being a worthy and motivating goal – is a myth.

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