Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self Help Overload

After doing a few google searches and visiting perhaps one too many yoga studios, I noticed the self-help arena is chock full of conflicting advice, supposed gurus, and charlatans trying to sell you $400/person self-discovery weekend workshops. Like 99% of people, I would love to make some positive life changes and become more 'happy'. I feel a bit lost on my own, but one glance at the variety of advice on the topic is a quick recipe for feeling overwhelmed. There appear to be many paths to happiness, and one person's journey to another can fit like a size 6 shoe on a size 8 foot.

So what's the answer to this self help overload? How can we get results and discover our own recipe for happiness in the process?

Well, I recently purchased "The Happiness Project" and found the book to be helpful, but not in the typical way. This isn't a book that outlines exact steps to take in order to be happier - its a book about someone taking the time to sit down, reflect, and think about what might improve their life and in turn make them happier. The author does a bit of research on each area, picks strategies and then tests them out to see which are most effective and enjoyable for her. This concept is the most valuable take-away from the book. Happiness endeavors have to start from within as a desire to improve ourselves and enough curiosity to start sniffing around for answers that make sense to us. We can try to follow someone else's carefully outlined map to happiness, but it will never fit just right. This book encourages us to set out on our own journey and do our own due diligence.

I've decided I want to make my own personal map to happy. Here are the areas I believe tackling will get me to a happier place:

1. Banishing negativity, becoming a more positive thinker and person.
2. Beating procrastination and becoming an efficient, consistent producer.
3. Body transformation; Taking my soft, chubby body and turning it into a hard, toned, fit machine.
4. Personal rebranding; Matching the image I portray to people with the image I want to portray to people while staying true to myself and my values.
5. Increasing my finances; Learning how to sell my brand effectively, enjoyably, and for much more profit.
6. Meditation; Learning to calm the mind and attract the right things/people into my life.
7. Increasing patience, with others and myself.
8. Spreading happiness to others, without expecting/needing validation or a returned favor.

I intend to research these one at a time and post the most valuable insights and strategies I can find on these. Stay tuned..