Happiness, Guaranteed

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Happiness, Guaranteed
For three years, I’ve been researching and writing about happiness. I’ve published two books and endless articles. Among my research and experiments, the following tips stand out as the four most powerful steps toward happiness. Follow them and you’ll feel happier. I guarantee it.

1. Live your life’s purpose.
Put another way, don’t hate you’re work. I once heard Deepak Chopra remark, “If you want to know how long you will live, ask how you feel on Monday morning.” Identifying and living you life’s purpose is not as hard as it sounds. Before every major decision, ask yourself, “Which choice feels right, is in line with my values, ignites my creativity and passion, and imakes me feel most alive?” Ask this question at work, at home, in relationships, every day. In the words of the late Steve Jobs, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Every swami, researcher, life coach, and psychic that I’ve met gives this same piece of advice: The way to develop this is to listen for and follow it. With time and practice your ability to identify your life’s purpose clarifies and strengthens.

2. Meditate.
Meditation is the bomb. It raises your level of consciousness and makes it easier to identify and live your life’s purpose. I often think of the scene in Return of the Jedi when Luke is fighting the emperor and at the same time Han and Lando are battling the empire’s ships in space. Both these battles are happening simultaneously, and they both matter, but Luke’s struggle with the emperor is what really matters. If he loses it, all fails. If he wins, game over. It’s the same here. Searching for your life’s purpose is very powerful. But ultimately, without meditation, it can be Han and Lando diddling around in the Millennium Falcon. Meditation, on the other hand, well, now you’ve awoken the spirit of Anakin Skywalker that still lives deep within Darth Vader, and you’ve transmuted darkness into the light. In other words, you can think a lot about who you truly might be, but meditation drops you right into it.

3. Be vulnerable.
As the Zen proverb says, “Not knowing is most intimate.” When I pretend to have my life in order, I feel seperate from friends and family. I notice myself trying to be the funniest or most interesting, and it’s exhausting. But when I’m vulnerable and honest, I relax and the dynamic shifts to a few imperfect humans sharing and connecting. When I interact from my ego, I’m insecure and competitive and ultimately alone. When I interact authentically, vulnerably, from my heart, I’m most connected.

4. Express gratitude.
Count your blessings. Thank God, the universe, chaos theory, Zeus or Tim Tibow, but do it every day. If you’re not sure who to thank, you can talk to my Guru, Swami Kripalu. He’s happy to listen. Start and end every day by giving thanks for five things you appreciate. Do this and you’ll feel happier. I guarantee it.

Oprah Chai: How She Created Her New Tea With Teavana And Starbucks (VIDEO)
Oprah shared a big announcement at the Starbucks shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday: She has collaborated with Starbucks and the tea experts at Teavana to create her own signature chai blend.

Teavana Oprah Chai will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada beginning April 29, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth . The tea is described as a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. Arriving at the perfect chi blend was a process — one captured in the above behind-the-scenes videos of Oprah’s visit to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.

“I was a little nervous coming in today,” Oprah admits in the video. “I woke up at 2:16 this morning thinking about choosing the best tea that would satisfy me and also satisfy all of our customers.”

Standing at a table lined with different spices, Oprah begins the process of selecting the tea’s flavor profile. Along with Teavana’s director of tea development, Naoko Tsunoda, Oprah first gets a handle on the available spices, which include black pepper, chicory, cardamom, cloves, ginger and red rooibos, among many others.

“I like things really spicy,” Oprah says. “I like things chai’d up.”

As she smells and tastes the various blends of tea, Oprah hones in on the flavors she likes. One is “not robust enough,” another is “more enticing.”

“As this process was going on and on, I could tell that [the] tea needed to be a little more robust and fuller-bodied, because it was a little too soft,” Oprah says. “I was thinking it needed a little more ginger and a little more pepper… I like things that have a little kick to them.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz participated in the tea tasting and shares one of his favorite moments in the process. He says, “At the end, when she tasted that, watching her expression and her smile, saying, ‘This is my tea!’ — [that] was fantastic.”

The Power of Imperfect Starts: How Good Do You Really Need to Be to Get Started?
When you have a goal — whether it’s starting a business or eating healthier or traveling the world — it’s easy to look at someone who is already doing it and then try to reverse engineer their strategy.

In some cases, this is really useful. Learning from the experiences of successful people is a great way to accelerate your own learning curve.

But it’s equally important to remember that the systems, habits and strategies that successful people are using today are probably not the same ones they were using when they began their journey.

What is optimal for them right now isn’t necessarily needed for you to get started. There is a difference between the two.

Let me explain.

What is Optimal vs. What is Needed

If you set your bar at ‘amazing,’ it’s awfully difficult to start. –Seth Godin

Learning from others is great and I do it all the time myself.

But comparing your current situation to someone who is already successful can often make you feel like you lack the required resources to get started at all. If you look at their optimal setup, it can be really easy to convince yourself that you need to buy new things or learn new skills or meet new people before you can even take the first step toward your goals.

And usually, that’s not true. Here are some examples.

Traveling the world. Every time I travel, I see so many backpackers who have spent a fortune on gear: rainproof bags, moisture-wicking clothes, special shoes. Now I’m not saying gear is useless. Great gear can make your life much easier on the road, but it’s not required. You don’t need new shoes to start running. You don’t need new cooking bowls to start eating healthy. And you don’t need a new backpack to start traveling. Those things might be optimal, but they are not needed in the beginning.

Starting a business. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get obsessed with optimal. This is especially true at the start. I can remember being convinced that my first website would not succeed without a great logo. After all, every popular website I looked at had a professional logo. I’ve since learned my lesson. Now my “logo” is just my name and this is the most popular website I’ve built.

Eating healthy. Maybe the optimal diet would involve buying beef that is only grass-fed or vegetables that are only organic or some other super-healthy food strategy. But if you’re just trying to make strides in the right direction, why get bogged down in the details? Start small and simply buy another vegetable this week — whether it’s organic or not. There will be plenty of time for optimization later.

Avoiding by Optimizing
Claiming that you need to “learn more” or “get all of your ducks in a row” can often be a crutch that prevents you from moving forward on the stuff that actually matters.

You can complain that your golf game is suffering because you need new clubs, but the truth is you probably just need two years of practice.
You can argue that it’s hard to travel light without the right backpack, but the truth is you could make it work with what you have now.
You can point out how your business mentor is successful because they use XYZ software, but they probably got started without it.

Obsessing about the ultimate strategy or the ultimate diet or the ultimate golf club can be a clever way to prevent yourself from doing hard work.

As regular readers know, I’m all for optimizing and improvement. One percent gains fill me with joy. Tiny habits leave me smitten. Disturbing levels of consistency make my heart flutter. But don’t let visions of what is optimal prevent you from getting started in the first place.

An imperfect start can always be improved, but obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares strategies that make it easier to live a healthy life – both mentally and physically. For fresh ideas on how to boost your productivity, improve your health, and master your habits, join his free newsletter.

Get The Tissues, This Sharks Fan Just Had His Dream Come True (VIDEO)
Even though the San Jose Sharks lost the game on Tuesday, they won something much bigger.

In association with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the NHL allowed the team to sign 17-year-old Sam Tageson to a one-day contract. Then, after a morning practice with the team and a tour of the Sharks’ facility, Tageson got to skate out of the shark tunnel with the team before their showdown against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Tageson, who was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, was in full uniform when he was introduced with the team and became overwhelmed by emotions.

His new teammates couldn’t help but be affected as well.

Tough game but amazing to see what hockey can do… Touching night to see Sam fly outta the shark…amazing experience at the tank

— Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) March 19, 2014

It was just another reminder that some things are bigger than the game.

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