Five Keys to Being Happy

Did you notice the title?

It doesn’t say Five keys to happiness, it says Five keys to Being happy. We are not talking about some metaphysical or abstract concept called happiness. We are going to talk about being happy.

BE is a verb. It implies action. Being is the continuous form of the the verb, so we’re not talking about a one time deal either. It is a continuous process. But first let’s get that metaphysical concept of happiness out of the way, so we are not distracted by it.

My definition: Happiness is a state of BEING.

You can either be happy not be happy. There is no middle ground. Either you are or you’re not.

There are two ways you can be happy. The first, and the easiest way to do it, is to just make a decision to be happy. The second, less easier way is to first BECOME happy, and then stay happy. (There are no difficult ways of being happy)

While making a decision to be happy is the easiest way to do it, most of us find it very difficult because we are not taught to be decisive. We are told to get second opinions and to check the alternatives and always be suspicious of our decisions, because we could possibly make a mistake, and so forth. Yes, all of that has merit, but when it comes to deciding to be happy, you can never make a mistake. So if you are prone to indecisiveness, you’d have to use the second, less easier method to first get there, and then stay there.

In order to become something, anything, you must develop habits that are conducive to being what you want to be. The same principle applies to becoming happy. You must develop the habits that are conducive to being Happy.

1. Accept what IS. We live in a cause and effect Universe. What IS is a result of individual and collective causes. You cannot change it. That doesn’t mean you have to condone or like everything that is. As a matter of fact, if there is something that you don’t like, know that you have the power to cause it to change, but the effect of that cause will be in the future, be that a microsecond, or a millennium or an eon. Accepting what IS, empowers you, and that is conducive to being happy.

Lord! Grant me the courage to change the things I can, The serenity to accept the things I can’t, and
The wisdom to know the difference.

2. Know that everything always works out. Surrender to life knowing that in the end it will all work out for the best. This principle was confirmed for me and my family a few years back when we were returning home from a winter vacation in Oklahoma.

The roads were snow covered, and we saw numerous vehicles in the ditches and on the side of the road as we drove along on Interstate 35. My wife asked, “What would we do if we end up like that?”

I replied, “First of all, I don’t believe that we will, but if anything was to happen, it will never be a situation that we cannot handle.”

Needless to say, a little while later our van went into a spin on a thin patch of ice and when we finally stopped, we were parked in the median between the southbound and northbound lanes. As we were coming to a stop, from the corner of my eye, I saw a pick up truck from the other side making a U-turn into the median, and he was behind us before we knew it. I tried to drive out, but we were stuck. The man with the pick up truck pulled us out and refused to accept any money for doing so.

Life is meant to be easy; if it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. ~ Rasheed Hooda

3. Stay connected and centered. Happy people are always spiritually connected and centered. I was fortunate enough to be brought up in an environment that fostered and nurtured spiritual connection. We got up early every morning to attend pre-dawn prayer services, and we attended prayers services every evening. Today, I still do my best to attend pre-dawn services. I can feel the difference throughout the day when I miss them. Though I don’t attend the evening services regularly, I say my prayers before going to sleep. My children have learned the same principle of opening and closing the day with prayers, though they do not attend the daily services.

Gratitude is the best way to connect with the Divine. Happy people are grateful for everything in life. They realize that Life itself is a gift and are grateful for it. Gratitude takes many forms. Tithing, charity or simply appreciation for life are all form of gratitude and will keep you connected and centered.

Gratitude is the power line to the Universe. Make sure you are plugged in. ~ Croz from Oz

4. Nourish your mind and body. Stop! Take a moment to check in with yourself. How do you feel right now? Chances are that you’re feeling good. That maybe because you have been nourishing your mind for the past few minutes with this positive and life affirming article. Happy people keep their minds filled with life affirming thoughts and messages. Read books and articles that make you feel positive and vibrant. Associate with people who lift you up, rather than bring you down. Make time pray and meditate. When you pray, you are talking to the Divine. When you meditate you are allowing the Divine to talk to you.

Your body is the temple of your soul, or at the least, the space you occupy while you are on this earthly journey. Make sure it is well taken care of. In order to maintain your body in an optimal operating condition, you must provide it with good nutrition and ample physical activity.

I am not a health professional, so I am not qualified to give you health advice, but I’ll share with you what works for me. I have learned, over the years, to listen to my body. It has an inherent, built in intelligence that is capable of sustaining it. I tune into this intelligence by paying attention to the signals my body sends me. I know when I have had too much of a good thing, or not enough of it. In first case I feel miserable, in the latter, I feel weak and drained. I let the body guide me to the right solution. Sometimes it is physical activity, other times it is a particular food or simply drinking more water. Let your talk to you, it won’t lead you astray.

My mind, body and spirit are the most powerful things in this Universe. And becasue of this blessed gift, I can overcome anything ~ Jaferaly Hooda

5. .Do what makes you happy. Take Action. If the pursuit of happiness is making you stressed and miserable, there is something wrong with what you’re doing. Quit it! The goal of every activity is to create joy. If it is not doing that, stop it.

BEING HAPPY is a moment by moment undertaking. Now is all you’ve got; and if you’re not happy NOW, then I can assure you that whatever it is that you’re doing now, will not make you happy in the future.

Evaluate your business and career. Is it something that invigorates you or something that drains you. The answer will determine your next action if you truly want to be happy.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind! ~ Dr. Seuss

Life is too short. Live with Passion and Purpose. And don’t settle for anything less than Happiness if you want a fulfilling life. You deserve it.

——

Was this post helpful? Do you agree with it or do you have different opinions? Share it with others in the comments below. We all learn and grow when we look at different perspectives.

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(c) 2009 Rasheed Hooda aka CoachHappiness

Mind, Body, and Spirit

Last week my son called from school. he had fever and his stomach was aching. My wife picked him up and brought him home. Later that day, he was running a fever of 103 degrees. I was out climbing Enchanted Rock. My wife called and I got home at 10 PM.

View from the top of Enchanted Rock

View from the top of Enchanted Rock

Later that night, around 1 AM, he woke me up. His body was shaking uncontrollably. He said he had no chills, but couldn’t control the shakes. I gave him a hug and I was shaking. We got in the car and headed for the Emergency Room.

 A urine test, several blood tests, a cat scan, an hour of IV drip. Five hours later, we came back with a prescription for pain medication. Diagnosis: we couldn’t find anything. It’s probably a virus, and there is an outside chance that it may be the appendix; can’t tell by the cat scan. If the pain returns, hurry back to ER.

We figured a couple days of rest should take care of the virus. But the fever persisted. It will come and go. So finally we made the trip to the pediatrician. She had all the records faxed over. Glad we don’t have a serious problem. Just rest and you should be okay by tomorrow. Then, oh, just in case, let’s test him for flu. Result was not only positive, it was definitely positive. They took another sample to send it to the county Health Dept. to check for the Swine Flu. She prescribed some medicine, and no, you can not sit for the SAT exam this weekend.

He was still running a fever of 103, when I took my daughter to take the SAT exam yesterday morning. I did some shopping for balloonsafterwards before heading to have fun. (I make balloon animals and other creations to entertain children – and adults – and make a lot of money in the process. It’s a great way to make a living) I was gone all day. I received reports through out the day that he was getting better.

Balloon Swords

Balloon Swords

When I came home around 10 PM, I asked him how he was doing. He said he was fine. The fever was gone and he was in good spirits. He came into my office around 10:30. “Hey, papa! You know all these signs you that have posted and use to remind yourself of your power? Well, I made up one of mine. Wanna hear?”

“Sure what you got?”

“My mind, body, and spirit are the most powerful things in this Universe, and because of this blessed gift, I can overcome anything.”

“Oh, that’s awesome.” I said. I immediately added it to my collection of quotes. He said he had a a few more. (Note to self: Get them from him later, and next time don’t wait to do so).

Now, he didn’t say so, but I know, it was the affirmation and the FEELING of power he got from it, that cured him almost instantaneously. When you are focused, the results are almost instantaneous.

I am so grateful that I was able to impact his of thinking and so very proud of him. I know I will be spending quiet  some time today repeating that affirmation and feeling its power. He is such an inspiration to all.

Do you have a particular affirmation that worked for you particularly well? Share it with everyone in the comments. I know I would like to know about it.

Enchanted Rock

Last Monday I went to climb the Enchanted Rock, located in the Hill Country in central Texas.

Enchanted Rock climb was my first step toward preparing for my Big Dream of climbing Mt. Everest.

I wanted to see what kind of physical condition I was in and at the same time take some action that will be moving me towards my goal instead of just talking and dreaming about it.

The trip went well and I came home excited, energized and a little sore.

I am in the process of setting up a blog to document my Journey to the Top of the World. I will post more details and lessons learned from the trip on that blog very soon. Stay tuned

If you’re going to dream, Dream BIG

“I like thinking big…if you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” — Donald Trump 

I love that quote.

When was the last time you thought big? I mean really big. You’re wayyyyy out of your league, BIG?

For me, it was about five years ago. I decided that I want to become the oldest person to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest. At that time, the record was 64 years old, and I figured by the time I am 64, that record probably will be gone.

Considering the physical condition I was in, and the fact that I have never climbed anything higher than 2000 feet above sea level, maybe 500 feet above ground, I knew it would have to be in the distant future. I figured 75 would be a good round number. So I set a goal to climb the Mount Everest on my 75th Birthday.

That was five years ago. Just last month I celebrated my 55th birthday, which gave me reason to ponder on my dream. What have I done in the past five years that has brought me closer to the realization of my dream?

My initial response was, “not a darn thing.” But, upon further pondering I realized that I have made considerable progress towards the fulfillment of my dream.

First and foremost, it is no longer a whim. In the past five years I have ingrained it into my subconscious as something that will take place. it is a given, not a wishful thinking. I must confess, that it started out as a joke, upon a whim of thinking big, but it has taken on a life of itself now.

The first thing I did, when I made that goal, was to search for a picture of Mt Everest on the web and set it as my desktop visual. Then, I told my family about it. My wife laughed, my daughter (13 at the time) thought it would be cool, and my son (11 at the time) wanted to know how old would he be then and if he could go with me. (he has since then changed his mind about it).

The next thing I did was to share it on-line in a forum at SOGR. I was studying the Science of Getting Rich (SOGR) at the time, as I am now, since it is a continuous study, and I was very active on the forum and had a following with whom I exchanged ideas. Everyone was very supportive. Not only that, some people promised to hold me accountable for it. (I am so grateful for them)

Next, I started telling people in my off line network – friends, extended family, colleagues, Toastmasters – about it. In five years, I have only found only one person who ever made fun of it (“I suppose you can pay someone to carry you up there”).

It is funny, when you make a commitment and are focused on something, life will bring you whatever you need. About a year ago, while sitting in the ortodontist’s office, I saw a magazine with Harrison Ford’s picture on the cover (the new Indiana Jones movie was coming out). As I looked at the table of contents to see what page the story was on, another article caught my eyes.

“Three year plan to the top of Mount Everest” 

I forgot about Indy Jones. That article made me realize that it was time to supplement my visualization with some serious planning and action. The article described the minimum physical capacity BEFORE starting the training, which would evetually lead someone to the top of Mt Everest. That was an eye opening list. I figured I could do it in six years instead of three. That would put me at sixty.

Earlier this year, I set that as my primary mid term goal. I am going to make my first summit of the Everest in 2014, on or around my sixtieth birthday. I made the commitment that I will change my lifestyle so as to make that a reality, not just a possibility.

I have made a few Quantum Leaps, and life is constantly presenting me with new information and opportunities to make the needed changes as I move towards the realization of my dream.

As a result, I am working on launching another blog in the near future, that will be dedicated to my journey to the top of the world. The purpose will be create a blueprint for others to follow, but I know, along the way, it will become much more than that. Life just works out that way.

COMMITMENT

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.

 All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, that no man could have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

 Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. 

W. H. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

What are you dreaming of?

Whatever it is, Make it BIG!

Larger than life BIG!.  

Out of this world BIG!

I promise you, Life will go out of its way to help you grow into it.

And when you have discovered it, you’ll realize that it is one of the main reasons why you came into this world.

“To find out what you love to do demands a great deal of intelligence; because, if you are afraid of not being able to earn a livelihood, or of not fitting into this rotten society, then you will never find out.

But, if you are not frightened, if you refuse to be pushed into the groove of tradition by your parents, by your teachers, by the superficial demands of society, then there is a possibility of discovering what it is you really love to do. So, to discover, there must be no fear of not surviving.” — Krishnamurti

Surrender

As I sit down with the title on top of the page to write about surrender, the first thought that crosses my mind is, “surrender is the hardest thing to do” contradicted by another thought immediately, “It is the easiest thing to do.”

So, I got paralyzed with the conflicting ideas, struggling about how to get started with the essay. I decided to just start expressing this inner conflict to start out the essay and see where it takes me. I simply surrendered and took the first step. Surrender is easy.

But some times we get so hung up on knowing the outcome, being perfect, and all that jive, that we get paralyzed by it, and surrender becomes the hardest of things. And so it is with everything in life.

When we become clear on what it is that we want, what we desire, the next thing to do is surrender; surrender to a power that is greater than us, a power that knows the solution to our desired outcome; and let that power guide us to the first step we must take to get moving.

While visualizing and daydreaming has its purpose, and allows us the peace and contentment of knowing when we have come to the place that we desired at the onset, we must act so that we may experience that outcome.

Some people just sit there visualizing all day and never take action, or at least not the correct or effective action because they are paralyzed by the fear of taking the wrong action. Others jump right into taking action, believing that any action is better than no action and that by acting they will get to where they want to go. Only trouble is that they don’t have a clear enough picture to know when they get there, so they keep on going, never stopping to enjoy the benefit of their actions.

The solution is obviously in the balance between the two, in harmonizing your thoughts and actions. One without the other is futile. An old Japanese proverb sums it all up.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Inspiration

One of my mentors, Ian Crossley aka Croz from Oz (twitter @CrozfromOz) posted this survey on Twitter.

Who has inspired you most and why? #inspiredby Should be fun and very interesting. Thank you for your input. Let’s go!!

I thought about it, and the more that I thought, more I became convinced that I couldn’t do it in 140 characters or less, so here is my response and i will put up a link to this on Twitter.

My first inspiration was my dad. He never tried to teach me anything. Instead he always helped me to learn for myself. If I asked him the meaning of a word or something, he would bring out the dictionary. He is the reason I am always learning new things. He also had a wry sense of humor. When I told him I was cutting a wisdom tooth, he replied, I hope it brings you some wisdom. Thanks Puppa.

Then there were a couple of Middle school teachers, Mr Liaqat and Mr Naqvi who encouraged and instilled in me the love of public speaking and writing.

That led me to reading a lot and I found many authors that inspired me at various times in my life. M Scott Peck, Wayne Dyer, Zig Zigler, Deepak Chopra, Richard Bach and Shakti Gawain to name a few. Peck and Bach in particular.

Barney Paradise taught me how to run a traditional business in a very unconventional way. he inspired me to be the best and I always credited him for my success in corprate world.

My biggest inspiration is my Spiritual Master Prince Karim Aga Khan, whose Aga Khan Development Network (http://www.AKDN.org) is probably the largest of its kind, that has been working wonders in the developing countries for the last half a century.

These are just to mention a few. of course I would be doing myself a dis-service if I didn’t include my children in this list. They inspire me to stretch beyond my comfort zone.

I am very fortunate and very grateful for having these wonderful people in my life to help me grow, and I only hope that I can repay them adequately by paying it forward.

Thank you Croz for this opportunity to express my gratitude to these people and please accept my most sincere thanks for what you have done to help me move forward and for this wonderful opportunity.

Are you happy making a living?

I was having a discussion with a friend last night on the topic above. He was not pleased that he had to do the work he did. He likes writing but he wasn’t happy with the fact that he was having to write for a living.

I told him that my philosophy was simple: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.

He replied, “Which works if you’re willing to be poor and let others feed you.” I asked him to challenge that belief, to which he said no.

Do you believe that you have to make a living? and if you didn’t you would remain poor?

Here is another question for you. What is a belief?

Belief is an opinion that you have accepted as truth. But do you ever stop and ask yourself if it really is the truth?

I challenge you to do so. Is the statement “We all have to make a living” a truth or an opinion?

Now don’t get me wrong. Sure we need money to live a comfortable life and more money to live a luxurious life and even more to live a life of opulence. I am all for luxury and opulence. But does that mean you have to do something you don’t want to do?

My point is this; don’t just make a living, live a fulfilling life.

People who say they have to make a living would tell you that they have to do that so they can have the things they want in life, but they very seldom have more than bare necessities like paying the mortgage and utilities and putting the food on the table. When you’re focused on making a living, very seldom, if ever will you have time or money to live a life. I know this, because I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.

But, when I decided to stop making a living and start living a life of fulfillment, I started making more money while working less hours and improved my standard of living.

Sure it was a challenge in the beginning to stay focused on the new way of thinking, but today, a little over a year later, I am in a better place and my relations with my wife and children are better than they have been in years.

So what I am saying is this…

If you’re not happy doing what you do, why do it? After all, isn’t happiness the goal?

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