As part of my own GOAL for 2018, I want to re-find and define my own happiness. 2017 had some awful moments, but there were some WONDERFUL and truly happy moments (in my own life), from the birth of my grandbaby to my son & Brooke coming ‘home’.
A few of MY 2018 Goals:
- Live my Mantra: A Simple Romantic Life
- Keep my Job my Work and my Creativity my Passion
- To no longer dwell on my past and be manipulated by others actions or inactions
- Continue to support my family, but choose my support wisely
- Build my Confidence, Strength/Health and Friendships back up
- Create a Legacy – one that even I can be proud of
I hope you enjoy some of these as much as I do. They definitely gave me inspiration!
TED Talks on Happiness That Will Make You Smile from Ear to Ear (the whole post on this link).
PHOTO:Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images
Fact: Bad days happen to good people. Even when you give up those old habits to be happier, switch up your morning routine, and do that one thing all female leaders do to be successful, sometimes the world has its own way. You can either see it as a hurdle or use the mess to your advantage and flip the script. It’s as Tim Harford writes in his best-selling book Messy:” Life cannot be controlled. Life itself is messy.”
So what should you do when life throws you a curveball? There’s one thing that always helps us gain perspective: TED talks. Tuning to the positive stories of others who have overcome adversity and personal struggles not only inspires gratitude but makes us realize how darn lucky we all are. Not sure where to start?
These are best TED talks on happiness to watch when you’re having a bad day.
3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed
If there’s one inherent fear many of us have, it’s being on a plane when it goes down. Ric Elias was on the Flight 1549 that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. While panic rushed through his veins as he braced for impact on the way down, there was a moment of clarity as he reflected on his life, not knowing he would still be alive at the end or not.
In this inspiring TED Talk, Elias reveals three things he learned that day. Lesson one: It all changes in an instant. “We have this bucket list, we have these things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I wanted to reach out to that I didn’t, all the fences I wanted to mend, all the experiences I wanted to have and I never did,” he told the crowd.
“As I thought about that later on, I came up with a saying, which is, ‘I collect bad wines.’ Because if the wine is ready and the person is there, I’m opening it. I no longer want to postpone anything in life. And that urgency, that purpose, has really changed my life.” You’ll have to watch the talk to hear the other two, but we seriously recommend that you do.
The Takeaway: Don’t wait. Do it today.
How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are
Throughout his childhood, author Andrew Solomon suffered terrible bullying. He was labeled Percy by one child and taunted by his peers for his sexual orientation. He survived those years by avoiding bullies and discovering the power of endurance. But rather than allow this pain to destroy him and set him on a destructive path, he found meaning from his biggest struggles and forged a new identity.
“You need to take the traumas and make them part of who you’ve come to be, and you need to fold the worst events of your life into a narrative of triumph, evincing a better self in response to things that hurt,” he told the TED audience.
This TED Talk forces us to reconsider our struggles and recognize pain but not let them take us down; instead, we should consider how they changed us into powerful, resilient individuals. You’ll burst out crying when you hear what his son said during his birthday celebration. This is incredibly moving and motivational.
Takeaway: Turn your struggles into your strengths.
The Beauty of Being a Misfit
Why do we loathe failure so much? Our inherent fear of falling short and not attaining perfection is actually crippling us. Take a note from Lidia Yuknavitch: The author shared her story of loss, shame, and the slow process of self-acceptance on the TED stage, and how not getting it right the first time should be seen as a blessing. “Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful,” she told the audience. “You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.”
Raised in an abusive family, Yuknavitch had two failed marriages, flunked college twice, went to rehab for drug abuse, and even spent time in jail. But her dream of being a writer prevailed, and in her early 30s, she won a giant literary prize for a short story she’d written. But despite being flown to New York, mingling with best-selling authors and agents, and even being offered representation, she didn’t feel worthy. She has since overcome that shame, and now as a woman over 50, she is a professional writer, mother, and a teacher. Yuknavitch realized she did deserve to be there and be successful.
This talk serves as a reminder that everyone’s story deserves to be heard and that at any moment, you can change your story. You can be a misfit and still be successful and wonderful.
“You can be a drunk, you can be a survivor of abuse, you can be an ex-con, you can be a homeless person, you can lose all your money or your job or your husband or your wife, or the worst thing of all, a child,” she shared. “You can even lose your marbles. You can be standing dead center in the middle of your failure and still, I’m only here to tell you, ‘You are so beautiful. Your story deserves to be heard, because of you, you rare and phenomenal misfit, you new species, are the only one in the room who can tell the story the way only you would.’ And I’d be listening.”
The Takeaway: You are more than worthy.
Your Elusive Creative Genius
Just like her instant number one New York Times bestseller Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk will change your life. In this inspirational presentation, Gilbert asks us to stop seeing the rare person as being a genius and realizing that all of us have a genius. After penning her first book, Eat, Pray, Love, many people told her she was doomed and asked if she was afraid she might never top it.
But this kind of fearful questioning has followed Gilbert throughout her creative life, from the moment she decided as a teenager she wanted to be a writer—questions like Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to have any success?Aren’t you afraid the humiliation of rejection will kill you? While Gilbert certainly did feel these rational fears, she refused to let them hold her back.
So in order to continue doing the work she loves, she decided to create a “protective psychological construct” to distance herself from her writing and her anxiety.
“What I have to sort of keep telling myself when I get really psyched out about that is don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance.”
The Takeaway: Believe in yourself. Believe you are great.
“The 3 A’s of Awesome”
In a world of strikingly negative headlines highlighting everything from natural disasters to the worst of humanity, it can be challenging to stay positive and view life’s misfortunes with silver linings. New York Times best-selling author Neil Pasricha came to this realization shortly after dealing with the devastation of the economic crash of 2008, his wife admitting she was no longer in love with him, and a dear friend took his own life. After finding it difficult to see anything good in the world, he decided to start a blog called 1000AwesomeThings.com.
“I was trying to remind myself of the simple universal little pleasures that we all love but we just don’t talk about enough—things like waiters and waitresses who bring you refills without asking, being the first table to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding, wearing warm underwear from just out of the dryer, or when cashiers open up a new checkout lane at the grocery store and you get to be first in line,” Pasricha said.
The website turned into a wild success, giving Pasricha a Webby for the Best Blog in the World, a best-selling book, and a new lease on life. Now he lives by the three A’s: attitude, awareness, and authenticity. To him, having a great attitude is necessary to move forward in life, being aware of all the beautiful aspects of everyday things can change your perception of the world, and being authentic to who you allow you to follow your heart and feel fulfilled.
The Takeaway: There is joy in anything if you take the time to notice it.
“Let’s End Ageism”
There’s no avoiding it: We’re all getting older. It’s the ultimate reality that many people have the most trouble coming to terms with—except for author and activist Ashton Applewhite. “It turns out that the longer people live, the less they fear to die, and that people are happiest at the beginnings and the end of their lives,” she says.
Applewhite takes a witty approach to shutting down ageism, keeping her audience laughing all the while. She doesn’t see aging as a problem; instead, the problem is a culture of holding prejudices against the elderly. The key, she believes, is to focus on the positives without worrying so much about what negative things could come with old age, and there’s research to back her theories.
“People with more positive feelings towards aging walk faster, they do better on memory tests, they heal quicker, and they live longer. … What did they have in common? A sense of purpose.”
The Takeaway: A positive attitude can change everything.