Project to Happiness by Robert Lumsden

Be Happy

Be Happy

Happiness is something we all aspire to become but for those who allow the stresses of everyday life to take over their mind they will find the following extract useful from 23 Steps to Success and Achievement by Robert Lumsden.

In this section of the book, step 19, entitled Project to Project outlines reasons and benefits of keeping your mind occupied with a useful project in your life… so happy reading:

“One of the secrets of happiness is to keep busy. To launch out upon one project after another, to be planning the next before the current one is finished – this is the path to satisfying living.

Especially is the above true when we do things we really like doing. Perhaps you say, “I like doing nothing.” The author does too, but you will agree that you have enjoyed greatest satisfaction when you have been busily occupied with some worthwhile project. See to it, then, that the greatest part of your precious leisure is devoted to doing things, making things, achieving things.

It is normal and natural to be active and creative. During the long aeons of our primitive past, we filled our days with hunting or growing food, treating skins, making weapons or canoes, constructing huts, creating pottery or ornaments, engaging in tribal dances and ceremonies, placating spirits, making love and fighting,

Many modern day needs are met with little effort. It is important therefore that we keep busy by finding worthwhile projects, activities which will make demands on the mind and body, and challenge skill and ingenuity.

Remember, being busy doesn’t destroy peace of mind – it creates it! Idleness and consequent boredom are the trouble-makers. They give us time to smart under imagined grievances, chafe under emotionally-induced aches and pains, wallow in self-pity, and droop in depression and despair.

“There’s no way out of it,” writes R.A. Jackson in his unusual and delightful little book “How to Like People,” “you must have a project going, and work on it. To be a man, to have any balance at all, any fellow feeling, to have something to think and something to say, you must be working on something.”

That is good advice. Be sure to follow it. As you do so, you’ll experience the following benefits:

Your Health will Improve

As you pass your leisure occupied with satisfying projects, your general health will improve. This is because you will be happier due to the satisfying of one of your basic needs – to create. The intricate mechanisms of the body always function smoothly when the mind happy. In other words, you will now be enjoying emotionally-induced health. The killers and the disease generators are the negative emotions like jealousy, resentment, hate, envy, pessimism, worry; but you have little time, energy or desire for these when you are busy with a project.

Your Mind will keep Alert

Your most treasured possession cannot deteriorate when is kept busy grappling with project after project. Consider what is involved.

First conceiving the idea, whether it’s building a shed, making a swimming pool, raising money for charity, improving your home, painting a picture, writing a book, spring cleaning, learning a language or raising a prize chrysanthemum.

Second, the planning of the project: how long it will take, how to go about it, where to work, what materials to use, how much it will cost.

Third, the actual accomplishment of the project: wrestling with problems which arise, reading the necessary books, acquiring new skills, imposing your will on matter, and making yourself competent if not perfect.

All these make demands on mental powers and help to improve their quality.

You See Things in Truer Perspective

Doing things you like doing is therapeutic in the extreme. You face life’s problems so much more sanely and surely when you have plenty of recreational activity. Boring chores, heart-breaking duties, daily tasks, never seem quite so bad when you return to them after a spell on a satisfying project. You see then that woes and afflictions and duties are only a part of life. There is spring as well as winter.

What is more, keeping busy on a project helps you to recover from life’s calamities. While hands and mind are busily employed, wounds heal. Time carries out its blessed therapy, and self-pity is kept at bay. So next time life hurts you, turn to some absorbing project without delay.

You are Easier to Live With

The joys of creativity will shed a golden aura over your whole personality. You will be less irascible, better balanced, more fun-loving, more relaxed. Achievement and genuine effort will make you feel rightly proud of yourself, and self-respect, as pointed out elsewhere, makes it easier to like others. A virtuous circle is initiated. And of course, your very achievements will also earn you respect.

Keeping busy with projects increases your zest for living; it will put a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step. You’ll always have something to talk about, something to hurry home to, something to anticipate.

Another welcome by-product is increased self-confidence. You become a smiler and a winner. You fall in love with life.

Examine your present way of living. Are you a project person? What are you working on now? What do you plan to do next? If you cannot give positive answers, get launched on some project with the minimum delay. Once you have tasted the joys of project-living, you will adopt it as a way of life and never depart from it.

Image Source:

Related Posts: 

HOME  |  Inspirational Words | Keep Your Thoughts Positive | Change Negative Thoughts into Positive Thoughts | Words To Live By | Overcoming Fear | A Reflection of Who You Are | 12 Steps to Self Care | Fear and Love Quote | Power of Thoughts | Emotions Chart | Emotional Maturity | Overcoming Self-Doubt | Please Listen Poem | SITEMAP  |

8 Rules for Good Listening by David Preston



Listening is by no means an easy skill. It is something which has to be worked on continuously and can be improved and developed further in many ways. Below is an extract for the 8 rules of good listening by David L. Preston from the book “365 ways to be your own Coach, published by HOW TO BOOKS.

Which of these do you already do naturally? Which do you need to practice and improve?

  1. Make Time and be Patient:

This is the only way you can show respect and be fully present. Stop what you’re doing and focus your full attention on listening and observing.

  1. Take Responsibility

Take responsibility for making sure you understand their full meaning. If you don’t hear first time, ask then to repeat it. If you don’t understand, ask. If necessary, keep checking until you’re sure you’ve understood.

  1. Show that you are Listening

Let them know they’ve been heard. Memorise this useful mnemonic: SOFTEN:

Smile and project your warmth

Adopt an Open posture (e.g. uncrossed arms and legs)

Lean towards them and Face them squarely

Use Touch (where appropriate)

Make Eye contact (but don’t stare). Appropriate eye contact inspires a feeling of trust and closeness

Nod your head to signify understanding and/or approval

Do these in a non-threatening manner. For example, touching another person can be a gesture of support, but it can also be misinterpreted. Similarly, while appropriate eye contact inspires a feeling of trust and closeness, prolonged eye contact can be disconcerting. Hold your gaze for long enough to acknowledge the other (three to four seconds is quite sufficient), but not so long to intimidate. A useful tip is to gaze at the bridge of the nose rather than straight into the eyes – it’s much less intimidating.

  1. Don’t Interrupt

Don’t interrupt unless to ask a brief question to ensure you’ve really understood. In the early days of telecommunication it was impossible to speak and listen at the same time when talking on the telephone, and it’s no different today if both parties are listening well. If you catch yourself interrupting, stop immediately, apologise, and invite them to continue.

Try this: When the speaker has finished talking count to three and wait before replying. This way you know they’re not just stopping to take a breath.

  1. Learn to read Body Language

Listen with your ears and your eyes. The human body is capable of transmitting over half a million signals, many of them subconsciously. The face alone can produce over a quarter of a million different expressions. A shrug of the shoulders, for instance, or a dismissive wave of the hand can express far more than words.

We are all continually telegraphing out thoughts, attitudes, feelings and intentions non-verbally. Here are some clues:

  • Eyes looking down or away – self-consciousness or guilt
  • Raised eyebrows – disbelief
  • Rubbing the nose or pulling the ears – they don’t understand, even if they say they do
  • Hand touching the mouth- anxious or trying to deceive you
  • Folded or crossed arms – nervous or shut off from you (or feeling cold!)
  • Hands on hips or active gesturing – aggression
  • Tapping on the desk or chair – nervousness or impatience
  • Tremor in voice – nervousness
  • Shrugging the shoulders – indifference to what you say
  • Facing you squarely, full height, smiling, head forward – confidence

Beware: Body language is not universe – different cultures have their own gestures and ignorance can inadvertently result in offence.

  1. Focus on the Content

Ignore extraneous factors, such as appearance, dress sense, accent, choice of words, grammar, etc. Even if you find their language or ideas distasteful or offensive, keep listening. They won’t open up to you if they think you’re being prudish or condemning.

  1. Check the accuracy of what you have heard

This reassures the other person that you have indeed been listening. There are two ways to do this: First put what you’ve heard into your own words and subtly feed it back to the speaker. For example:

  • You feel… because… e.g. “So you feel worried because you haven’t heard from your mother for several weeks”
  • “What I understand you to be saying is…”
  • “Let me make sure I understand you clearly…”

Alternatively, reflect back what you heard in different words:

  • “So you don’t see much of a future in this job…”
  • “So you don’t think the scheme will work…”
  • “It seems to me that you don’t think the relationship will last…”

If you’re still not clear, ask directly for clarification.

  • “I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand. Could you please explain…”

If this is a new skill for you, practise until you are confident you can do it without sounding like a mimic.

Secondly ask open ended questions such as:

  • Tell me more about…
  • How do you mean?
  • In what way?

Open-ended questions keep the other person talking and encourage them to explain themselves fully.

  1. Learn to cope with Silence

Most people find silence uncomfortable. Good listeners resist the tendency to jump in when the other person stops talking. During periods of silence the speaker’s mind is still active and often moments of profound insight take place. Shut up and be patient, no matter how disconcerting it feels.

Image Source:

Related Posts: 

HOME  |  Inspirational Words | Keep Your Thoughts Positive | Change Negative Thoughts into Positive Thoughts | Words To Live By | Overcoming Fear | A Reflection of Who You Are | 12 Steps to Self Care | Fear and Love Quote | Power of Thoughts | Emotions Chart | Emotional Maturity | Overcoming Self-Doubt | Please Listen Poem | SITEMAP  |

Brian Tracy – 21 Ways to Stop Procrastination

Procrastination - Now or Later?

Procrastination – Now or Later?

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield.

Procrastination is something we all indulge in, sometimes without even realizing it: so are you really getting the most out of your time?

“Eat that Frog – Get more of the important things done today” (published by Hodder) is a lovely easy read, written by Brian Tracy, who sets out a fantastic list of 21 ways to stop procrastinating.

  1. Set the Table: Decide exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin.
  2. Plan Every Day in Advance: Think on paper. Every minute you spend on planning can save you five or ten minutes in execution.
  3. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything: Twenty percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top 20 percent.
  4. Consider the Consequences: Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all else.
  5. Practice Creative Procrastination: Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count.
  6. Use the ABCDE Method Continually: Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a few moments to organize them by value and priority so you can be sure of working on your important activities.
  7. Focus on Key Result Areas: Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well, and work on them all day long.
  8. The Law of Three: Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90 percent of your contribution, and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life.
  9. Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin: Have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all the papers, information, tools, work materials, and numbers you might require so that you can get started and keep going.
  10. Take it One Oil Barrel at a Time: You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time.
  11. Upgrade Your Key Skills: The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at your key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done.
  12. Leverage Your Special Talents: Determine exactly what it is that you are good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well.
  13. Identify Your Key Constraints: Determine the bottlenecks or choke points, internal or external that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals, and focus on alleviating them.
  14. Put the Pressure on Yourself: Imagine that you have to leave town for a month, and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you left.
  15. Maximize Your Personal Power: Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day, and structure your most important and demanding tasks around these times. Get lots of rest so you can perform at your best.
  16. Motivate Yourself into Action: Be your own cheerleader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive.
  17. Get out of the Technological Time Sinks: Use technology to improve the quality of your communications, but do not allow yourself to become a slave to it. Learn to occasionally turn things off and leave them off.
  18. Slice and Dice the Task: Break large, complex tasks down into bite-sized pieces, and then do just one small part of the task to get started.
  19. Create Large Chunks of Time: Organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks.
  20. Develop a Sense of Urgency: Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Become known as a person who does things quickly and well.
  21. Single Handle every Task: Set Clear priorities, start immediately on you most important task, and then work without stopping until the job is 100 percent complete. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productively.

Brian Tracy Writes:

Make a decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you. With these habits of personal management as a permanent part of your personality, your future success will be unlimited.

Image Source:

Related Posts: 

HOME  | Forgiveness Quotes  | Rules for being Human  | 10 Ways to Love  |  Inspirational Words | Keep Your Thoughts Positive | Change Negative Thoughts into Positive Thoughts | Words To Live By | Overcoming Fear | A Reflection of Who You Are | 12 Steps to Self Care | Fear and Love Quote | Power of Thoughts | Emotions Chart | Emotional Maturity | Overcoming Self-Doubt | Please Listen Poem | SITEMAP  |