Change Your Perception to Find Happiness

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • If there’s anything I’ve learned about happiness, it’s that is has much less to do with your possessions and achievements, but rather your perception of what you have and the world and people around you.

    Reframe Your Perception: Each of us has dreams that for one reason or another we do not achieve. And we all make choices that perhaps were not the best we could have made. Yet, rather than allowing regret to overtake us, we must see and celebrate all the other goals we’ve accomplished and positive choices we’ve made? Human nature so often leads us to perceive the one negative in a sea of positives. But, we can retrain ourselves to acknowledge both, learn the lesson embedded in our mistakes, and allow ourselves to see and feel pride in the beauty we are capable of.

    Make Time for Gratitude: Gratitude can take us far in reframing how we see ourselves and our worlds. When we begin a daily practice of recognizing the positive events that occur and the pleasant encounters we have with others, we start noticing more things to be thankful as the days pass. Perhaps it’s someone who holds the door for you at the supermarket, the nice conversation you have with a stranger while at the coffee shop, or a hug with someone you love. These are the small moments, and often the ones we forget. Savor their beauty and what they tell you about humankind—that we do live amongst many good people.

    Be Kind Just Because You Can: It’s easy to judge others for their actions and take for granted those we love or meet in chance encounters. We sometimes get so caught up in our busyness that we forget others are busy too, they have rough days just like us, and they benefit from our kindnesses just as we do theirs. Go out of your way to smile at strangers, say good morning, say thank you, give a compliment, and listen attentively to someone who needs your ear. Do it because you can, because it feels great, because it makes someone else feel good. Don’t worry about a subsequent thank you; let a thank you be a beautiful perk, rather than an expectation.

    Work Before You Play, But Make Sure You Play: When the metaphorical dinner on our plate seems too huge to digest, it’s expected we might wish to eat our dessert first. Work can overwhelm us, however several big projects can be broken down into smaller, achievable steps. Keep a weekly calendar and/or to-do-list, assess the steps required to complete your tasks, and determine when each needs to be completed for your success and sanity. Decide what you’ll do each day, cross sub-tasks off your list as you complete them (it feels great!), and celebrate at the end of each day by doing something you love. It’s a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment, and balanced in allowing yourself play time as well.

    Colleen Georges

    Dr. Colleen Georges has been serving as a counselor and coach for 15 years, helping to guide individuals through self-discovery, and personal and career goal achievement. Today, she ownsColleen’s Career Creations and Life Coaching with Colleen, where she facilitates personal and professional development workshops, and provides career and life coaching services. Dr. Georges is also a faculty member at Rutgers University, where she teaches graduate-level counseling and undergraduate women’s leadership courses. She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Rutgers University. Dr. Georges is a NJ licensed professional counselor and holds over a dozen certifications in positive psychology, parenting with positive discipline, life and career coaching, résumé writing, and job search. Her publications include co-authorship in Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories & Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking and 101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career, and work featured in the Gallery of Best Resumes, 5th Edition. Dr. Georges has been interviewed for and quoted in key online and print media including and The Trenton Times. She is also mother to a four year old son, Joshua.

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    1. Mark Mazuroski
      Mark Mazuroski says:

      If I could add something about Work Before Play, I always found that somehow making a game of your tasks always made them less tedious. Repetitive tasks can be made more interesting just by adding some simple competition with yourself, or even setting a minor goal to get a treat at break. Breaking the routine also helped with me.
      It’s true, “Work Before Play,” but don’t abandon play just because you’re at work!


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