Becoming the best version of yourself

A “Share” From One of the “Smilingest” People I Know!

A while back, I got an email from my sweet friend CS with a great “share” idea!  We all want to smile, we all want to be happy.  So maybe below, might be a few ways to help us find our smile again!



Is the beauty “secret” we take for granted, the one we struggle with and the one we rely on others for, on top of your list?

I am thinking it is happiness, with a capital H.


Happiness is directly related to inner beauty and our inner beauty is what truly makes us shine.

It is easy to take happiness as a given and it’s not; it is not something we should ever rely on.  Life is messy and unpredictable every single day and we never know what might be coming our way. Our “guaranteed” happiness can be snuffed out in an instant.


What is important to know is happiness will re-appear but it might not happen alone. It is a work in progress and like most of what is worth pursuing, it takes practise.


Some people would seem to be born with a penchant for happiness.

They make happy look effortless as if cares and troubles are not on their radar. It’s not true; everyone has problems, tragedies and disappointments to overcome. We are not immune and it is a question of how we deal with darkness that makes or breaks.


The simple pleasure of feeling happy can oftentimes seem to be unattainable, but in my experience, all it takes is a little know-how and dedication.


How do we re-discover happiness?


Happiness starts with ourselves.

It is important to look within to find our own contentment and ultimate joy and we cannot depend on others to do the work for us. I try and reconnect with old pleasures that brought a smile in the past; it is so easy to forget when they are lost in the layers of everyday life. Once we understand our own happiness we can share it with others and pay it forward. It is a quality that has no bounds and no limits and truly, more is more.


Happiness is not a given.

We won’t necessarily wake up happy each and every day. Life intervenes and moods can swing and good spirits can require routine and perseverance. Expectations should be realistic so we don’t set ourselves up for disappointment. It is okay to have a bad day, a day where nothing seems promising. The art is to recognise, define and accept those feelings and to be aware they will not be permanent.


Happiness is about the practical.

A problem solved is one way to feeling happier. Losing the weight of worry can help us channel our brighter feelings. Dealing with problems and compartmentalising, so they don’t suck the positivity from our lives, is an important skill.


I find exercise is one way to relieve stress and allow happiness its rightful place. The other is to spoil ourselves in ways that please; to do what you enjoy not what you think you should be doing. Read the romance novel if it brings a smile, the Economist can wait. Watch the latest TV series in a binge; the housekeeping is going nowhere. Treat yourself in small ways and see huge effects. Use escapism to re-set the balance and recover some light heartedness, remembering it is a short-term fix.


Happiness breeds happiness.

Spending time with others who are upbeat is like an injection of positivity and nothing feels better than being around happy, I find it is infectious. The opposite can be said for those who view the glass half full.


Happiness in small bites.

Happiness does not always come super sized, life does not allow for that. Take the small wins and be thankful for those. We need happiness to be attainable, not elusive. There is much to be gained from small blessings.


Happiness and appreciation.

We can appreciate the beauty around us or we can ignore it. I choose to appreciate the beauty in the everyday and I acknowledge some days are harder than others. The smallest glimpse can elevate our mood and release happiness. It may be fleeting at times, but in my view it all counts. It is about riches but not about wealth. I have known those with so much who have so little and those with so little who have so much. I try and believe if we are grateful for the small, the rest will follow.



Happiness, there is no better feeling. xv

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Part Five – – –

The last of the attitude posts is one that will be harder to put into words, so bear with me.

Replace a rebellious attitude, with an attitude of submission.

In the book, they refer to six sources of rebellion.  However you choose to think of “rebellion” it could be something as juvenile as a two year old’s temper tantrum, or as significant as the overthrow of a government.  However you see rebellion – it’s certainly nothing close to laying down and always going with the “status quo”.

6 Sources of Rebellion as defined in the book are;







Yes, I’ve had all those feelings at one time or another although I don’t see myself as being particularly rebellious.

I was the good kid, I did not go out of my way ever, to upset the apple cart.  As a parent, I was the kid you wanted.   I lied to my parents once in High School, about who I was going out with one night, and got caught.  Go figure.  Just wasn’t worth “the look” I got of utter disappointment.

But then life catches up with you as you get older, and things don’t always go your way.   OK, things rarely go completely your way!  That is when I can identify with the six sources of rebellion listed above.

Life’s challenges are going to get you when you least expect them.  Will we give the attitude of submission a try?  Hmmmmm?

The author says:  “Submission, when properly understood and applied, replaces the pain and strife of rebellion and greatly increases human happiness.”

I think the best way for me to understand this submission thing, is to look at it as a way of not upsetting the apple cart.  I’m not saying not to have free will, or submit to overbearing or (heaven forbid) illegal things.  I look at it more like James MacDonald explains:

“Be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.  In a word, submissive – finding your place of humility and cooperation under the influence of others.”

Wasn’t it Sesame Street who asked us, “Can’t we all just get along?”

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Part Four – – –

Replace a doubting attitude, with an attitude of faith!

Faith – sometimes you feel like it leaves you.  You begin to doubt everything that you learned growing up, because most likely few of us have the lives today we thought we were going to.

Am I right?

My Father and I had a special relationship.  He was my hero, I miss him every day.  If he said he was going to do something, and the creek didn’t rise, he did it.  You could count on him and I did.  I never had any doubt in him.

Doubt was something that entered my life in college.  Was I good enough?  Was I smart enough?  Would I get a job?  Could I support myself?  He had always been my rock and my foundation making sure to bolster my self confidence and make me believe in myself.

As an adult, doubt enters your life many times – and suddenly your hero isn’t there for you any more.  Others that you depend on let you down, you fell abandoned.  You lose faith in all you were taught to believe in.

I’ve had the chance over the past ten years to face my doubts, and to re-establish my faith, both in people and in my own spirituality.  Don’t get me wrong, people will still let me down.  The difference is now I have the faith to move past those disappointments.  I have the faith that I am going to be alright!

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Part Three – – –

The third “attitude” change from the book:

“Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late”  

by:  James MacDonald

Replace a critical attitude, with an attitude of love.

This is a tough one; we all can be critical of people, places and things when we’re having a really bad day.  It just comes out whether we mean it to or not.

Case in point, never have a witnessed such a “divide” in our country since the last Presidential election.   NO – I’m not going to talk politics here, but I use as an example a severe case of criticism from all sides.  Mudslinging – It’s everywhere, there’s no escaping it.

People are unfriending people because of it.  When does it stop?  Where does it end?

It stops and ends when we begin as a nation, to change our attitudes to ones of more love, kindness and tolerance.

I’ve witnessed this first hand the last month + after Hurricane Harvey devastated my hometown of Houston and many surrounding areas.  Though Harvey made landfall over Rockport, TX, what you saw on the national news was all related to Houston.

A miraculous thing happened.  Neighbor began helping neighbor.  Strangers began helping strangers.  Everyone put aside their “critical attitudes” and showed tremendous amounts of love and compassion.  Critical attitudes were forgotten, and an outpouring of love such as I’ve never/ever seen replaced it.

Will this replace all the hate?  Sadly no, but it’s a start.  Proud of my city and state for coming together and showing a nation how it can be done.  Let’s keep it up!

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