Clear Perspective

6 Gestures to Boost Happiness and Confidence in 5 Minutes

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Body language is usually considered from one angle: How does your emotional state of mind affect your body language? But this is only half of the picture. But there is another aspect to consider:

Our physical actions, gestures and expressions can directly impact our emotional state of mind – for better or for worse.

The research into this area of science is extensive – and intriguing. Let’s take a look at 6 ways that you can change your body language to increase your happiness and confidence…

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The Bridge to What You Want is Littered with Failure. Cross It.

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Alexandra, an optimist, and Richard, a pessimist, live on opposite sides of the country, but both decide that now is the time to turn their passion for wedding planning into a real business. So, they acquire a business license and open up shop.

On the surface, they both seem to be optimistic about their new ventures. They imaging themselves in the midst of big, fancy weddings — directing each occasion like an elegant conductor leading an orchestra.

Fast forward 2 years, and they both have failed miserably. For both, it just didn’t work out. This is when the difference between a true optimist and a pessimist begins to show.

Richard, the pessimist, feels that he just doesn’t have what it takes to run a business. To him, some people have what it takes and others simply don’t. After giving entrepreneurship a shot, he’s found out which camp he belongs to. Going forward, Richard freshens up his Resume and decides to stick with corporate life from here on out.

Alexandra, the optimist, feels she didn’t have the right combination of skills and resources to make her business a success — but she knows that if she acquires these skills and resources then she will be successful the next time around. Herein lies the critical difference between an optimist and a pessimist and the reason why so many entrepreneurs are optimists.

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How Can 10 Dollars Make You Happier?

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What’s the best way to spend 10 dollars? Buy a coffee? Chocolate? A paid iPhone app? According to research out of Harvard Business School, any of these will work – as long as you give them away to somebody else.

They key to purchasing happiness, it turns out, is to spend your money on gifts rather than on yourself. In one of many studies (which have all come to the same conclusion) researchers gave money to participants in an envelope and told them to spend it on anything before 5 PM. The primary difference between the two groups was this: Half were told to spend the money on themselves and the other half were told to spend it on somebody else.

Some people picked up a coffee from Starbucks, others spent it on gifts like stuffed animals. Regardless of the purchase, or the amount of money that was provided inside the envelopes, the participants who gave their purchases away became happier – and the happiness of those who spent the money on themselves didn’t change at all.

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A Single Action for Dramatically Improved Relationships

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I heard a thud next to me, as I lay next to my wife. It was late at night, and eerily quiet in our little hut, which happened to be floating in a giant man-made lake in a nature preserve in central Thailand called Koh Sok. Cherise was already sleeping.

We had spent the last week hiking through deep, dense forests. Our ‘guides’ seemed to be making up new trails as they went. Leeches were our biggest enemy, wriggling up from the trail and clearly visible in the threads of sunlight that could be seen through the dense canopy of trees. Just the day prior, I was bitten by a pufferfish while floating down an isolated, gently flowing creek.

The generator in our cabin was already turned off for the night, so I pointed my flashlight at the thud. It was a giant bug, about the size of a chicken nugget, that had fallen from the ceiling and landed on my sleeping wife’s neck. I brushed it off, told her what happened, and we laughed about it as we checked the room for any other intruders.

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True Happiness vs Mainstream Fun: Settling the Debate

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When you achieve happiness, you can have fun just about anywhere. Some of greatest memories are during times when I was in what are, on the surface, miserable environments. In Thailand with my wife, Cherise, we went hiking through a dense forest which, little did we know, was littered with millions of leeches. Jumping around to escape the leeches with Cherise was a blast! And, it is a memory I won’t forget. Now, we say things like, “Love you times all of the leeches in Thailand” – An acknowledgement that this is essentially the largest multiplier in existence.

When I was traveling Europe, my mom and I went to Venice on a backpacking trip. The last bus dropped us off at the wrong location, and we had to hike through torrential rain in the middle of the night, on no sleep, for over an hour. Cars drenched us, and our massive backpacks, with buckets of water as they passed. And when we got to our campground/hostel, it was locked up for the night. This, among hundreds of others, is one of my favorite memories with my mom.

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The Most Poisonous Phrase in the World: ‘Let’s See How it Goes’

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The phrase is ubiquitous – I hear people say these words in nearly any situation:
– “I hate my job, but let’s see how it goes.”
– “I’m not happy in my relationship, but let’s see how it goes.”
– “I just went on a first date and I think she likes me, but let’s see how it goes.”
– “I’ve started a new diet and don’t think I’ll make it all the way through, but let’s see how it goes.”

There are far better responses to the situations above, and I’ll tell you what they are. By changing what you say, you will empower yourself to have a more successful, enjoyable and fulfilled future.

It’s a strong statement to label this ‘the most poisonous phrase in the world.’ There are other, far more evil phrases (e.g., “Let’s plant a bomb in that building”). However, no other phrase is both so widely used and so damaging to our collective perspective on life.

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5 Tricks I Used to Conquer Imposter Syndrome

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At the age of 23, I received my first taste of success in my career. I definitely wasn’t buying my first yacht, but I was able to take care of myself well, enjoy several international vacations every year and put aside some savings. Additionally, I led a big-budget design project that had the eye of members from the Abu Dhabi royal family. Most members on my team were over a decade older than me. At the time, I assumed I was just lucky – in the right place at the right time. Or, perhaps, I was just good at appearing to be intelligent. Eventually, I thought, my luck would run out. I imagined the day when my boss would suddenly realize that I’m just a normal guy and I’d get dropped down a few pegs.

If you’ve ever had this feeling, that you might be ‘found out’ to be in a role, or relationship, that is better than you deserve, you are not alone. It is called ‘Imposter Syndrome,’ and it is shared by many.

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How To Get Negative Thoughts, Depression and Anxiety Out Of Your Head

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I Can’t Stop Thinking About It, So It Must Be True! Right?

We humans have very active imaginations. Thoughts come and go, like clockwork. For the most part, we don’t give much credibility to thoughts that randomly pop into our heads (“Am I an alien?” or “I bet cats can talk to each other!”). Sometimes, though, a thought doesn’t go away.

This unfortunate thought process is the result of several brain functions that, independently, serve perfectly reasonable purposes but are disastrous when activated simultaneously. Think of it like a toddler, a hammer, and a laptop. Separately, these items are great for their purposes. But combine them, and unlikely you’ll be checking your emails anytime soon.

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Will Your Natural Instincts Lead You To Happiness?

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Over the past decade, I’ve read volumes of books, articles, journals, interviews, blogs, tweets, and musings on the topic of happiness. My favorite flavor of happiness writing is the exploration of our brain structure – particularly the way that our minds are wired and how we can use this understanding to our benefit.

Through this inaugural blog post, I’ll share with you the thesis of this Blog: That our minds are not naturally set up to lead us to happiness in the day and age in which we live. You see, our ancestors, the Homo habilis, spent about 2.8 million years evolving. Their ancestors, the Hominidae, diverged from Gibbons about 15–20 million years ago. In fact, the earliest known fossils of primates are from the Paleocene, around 55 million years ago.1 That’s a lot of evolution and, for the most part, provided a consistent environment within which to evolve – Dangerous animals, rival tribes that might kill you, long gaps between finding food, and sexy tribal women wearing nothing but loincloths.

All of the sudden, about 10,000 years ago, agriculture and civilization appeared. This changed everything. Fast forward to our modern age, with fast food, porn, theme parks, and functioning legal systems – it is clear that our environment is strikingly different from that of our ancestors. Unfortunately, our brains haven’t had a chance to adapt to our new world.

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