December 21st, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

27 Simple Things to Start Doing for Your Happiness

27 Simple Things to Start Doing for Your Happiness

It only takes one person to make you happy and change your life: YOU.

I am endlessly fascinated by the link between the way we choose to live our lives and the happiness we enjoy on a daily basis.  There are choices that you make every day, some of which seem completely unrelated to your happiness, that dramatically impact the way you feel mentally and physically.

Over the years, through our coaching practice and premium course, Angel and I have literally spoken to thousands of people who are struggling to find happiness in their lives.  And what we’ve found is that it usually isn’t what you have, where you are, or what you’ve been through that makes you happy or unhappy, it’s how you think about it all and what you do with it.

In our day-to-day lives it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees and completely overlook some of the small, simple things that can disproportionally affect our levels of happiness and general fulfillment in life.

Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.  Angel and I have spent the better part of a decade working one-on-one with our coaching clients and finding the right habits and behaviors that support sustained happiness.  Below, I take a quick look at some of the more actionable tips that can be easily worked into your daily routine.

Reminder:  Have you checked out our book?  We just released a new bundle pack for “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently” which includes our eBook, audio book, paperback and bonus material on sale for a big discount.  Click here to check it out!

  1. Start learning to be more human again. – Gadgets are great, but they can get in the way if you aren’t careful.  Control them so they don’t control you.  In other words, put down the phone.  Don’t avoid eye contact.  Don’t hide behind a screen.  Ask about people’s stories.  Listen.  And smile together.
  2. Start filtering out the noise in your life. – Be careful about who you give the microphone and stage to in your life.  Don’t just listen to the loudest voice.  Listen to the truest one. Keep reading →

December 17th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

8 Ways to Free Your Mind and Take Back Control of Your Life

8 Ways to Free Your Mind and Take Back Control of Your Life

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,
none but ourselves can free our minds!
―Bob Marley

Since we were born, our minds have been gradually programmed by our surroundings and by society at large.  As we grow, evolve and awaken to this reality, we learn that it is in our best interests to uninstall some of this programming and take back control of our minds.

What are we taking control back from, specifically?  Well, in part, the immense amount of cultural, societal and institutional brainwashing that has greatly influenced who we are and how we view ourselves and our abilities.

For example, despite what you may have heard… You don’t need to be a person who requires everyone to approve of them.  Your relationships don’t need to model modern day sitcoms.  Your daily energy doesn’t need to be directed by mindless drama, which is often stirred just to distract you from your deeper purpose and passions.

You can clear yourself of this corrupt thinking and reclaim your sanity and effectiveness.

But it’s hard, because distractions are everywhere, pulling at us and creating needless points of focus meant to disempower us.  They drive us into compulsive consumerism and egotism, rather than meaningful connections and emotional freedom.

So today, it’s time to flip the switch.  It’s time to free your mind and take back control of your life.  Here are eight smart ways to start doing just that:

  1. Be selective about the media you consume. – Marketers all across the world are tracking your patterns, buying your personal information and studying your online and offline habits in order to funnel you into purchasing products from the companies that hire them.  If you are inclined to cave, and make impulsive, unhealthy purchases – like greasy fast food – they are aware of this, even to the exact percentage of likelihood that you will make this impulse buy.  They push ads upon you until your willpower gets weak.  This is just one form of mind control being practiced publicly every day.  It’s manipulative and it was created to be.  You have to take back control from these mega-corporations by making strong-willed, healthy decisions that support YOUR best interests.  Buy things that benefit you and those you love, not things that benefit big companies that don’t care about you. Keep reading →

December 14th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

7 Rituals You Should Steal from Extremely Creative People

7 Rituals You Should Steal from Extremely Creative People

“Creativity is just connecting things.  When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it; they just saw something and connected the dots.  It seemed obvious to them after a while.”
―Steve Jobs

Over the years, through our coaching practice and premium course, Angel and I have spoken with dozens of entrepreneurs, artists, and creative types about their unique rituals and routines.  The really nice thing is that we often learn just as much from our clients as they do from us.  They tell us about some of the most incredibly creative ideas and projects imaginable, and we teach them how to fine-tune the process of getting from where they are to where they want to be.  A good coach/client relationship is truly a win-win.

Today, I want to share seven of the most common rituals we’ve seen repeated by the most creative people we’ve worked with.

It’s often said that creativity can’t be contained.  That creative inspiration and ideas arise suddenly out of nowhere and then fail to show up when we need them most.  And while that may be true for a specific idea, when you look at the broader picture, you realize that sustained creativity – having lots of creative ideas over time – doesn’t come from a flash of brilliance or a single moment of inspiration.  It comes from a consistent set of rituals that serve as the bedrock for getting remarkable things done.

1.  Engage deeply in meaningful pursuits.

Marcus Aurelius once said, “Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”

One of our coaching clients brought this quote to my attention about a decade ago.  Today I have it pinned to the bulletin board in my office.  It stops me from squandering my most precious resource: my time.

Creativity as both a lifestyle and a profession is a daring adventure, and a truly Keep reading →

December 10th, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

10 Tough Truths Happy People Aren’t Afraid to Face

10 Tough Truths Happy People Aren't Afraid to Face

by Kendra Wright

Some changes appear negative on the surface but when you look back you’ll see that your deepest pain often gifted you with your greatest lessons.  The same way coal is only transformed into diamonds because of intense pressure, only through our challenges will we be changed.

Truth be told, life isn’t always easy; but if you can find opportunities in your oppositions you’ll spend less time wishing things weren’t so hard and more time being grateful that they are.

Rest assured – happy people are not immune to hard days, heartbreak, or feeling like a fool!  The difference is they turn frustrations into fuel and rebuild from the pebbles they discovered after hitting rock bottom.

If you’re having a hard time seeing the beauty in the ugly things life has handed you lately, here’s some truths happy people are already facing that could help you too:

  1. If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.  Most people want the reward without the risk.  The shine without the grind.  You are praised in public for what you practice in private.  You can’t have the destination without the journey.  Instead of thinking about what you want, first consider: What are you willing to give up to get it? Keep reading →

December 7th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

7 Things Happy, Healthy People Do Every Morning

7 Things Happy, Healthy People Do Every Morning

When you get up in the morning, think of what a priceless privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to learn, to love – and then make the day count!

The morning is extremely important.  It is the foundation from which the day is built.  How you choose to spend your morning can be used to predict what kind of day you are going to have, and thus, what kind of life you are going to live.

Each morning truly is a brand new opportunity.  Each day is another chance to get it right.

The happiest, healthiest people I know embrace this truth and use it to their advantage.  They have effective morning rituals that gradually improve their well-being and give their lives purpose.  Here’s what they do differently:

1.  They wake up with a sense of gratitude.

In other words, they start the day with love in their hearts and minds, and are truly appreciative of their life and all of its priceless idiosyncrasies.  They practice small acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness directly to the people they care about, and to the immediate circumstances (health, opportunities, etc.) they could so easily take for granted.

From the research and coaching Angel and I have done over the years, we’ve found that the more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is Keep reading →

December 3rd, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples

10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples

by Ash Roy

It’s important to understand that love is not just about finding the right person; it’s about working with them to create the right relationship.

Do you struggle in your relationship with your significant other from time to time?  Do you wonder if there’s a way to live together more harmoniously?

I’ve been there.

Can I tell you a little secret?

Most “happy, healthy couples” don’t expect to be happy and harmonious all the time.  They deal with their little quibbles and make conscious choices that lead to happiness as a couple in the long-term.

Being in a relationship with one person for more than a few years is one heck of a ride.  It ain’t always easy.  In fact, it’s hard a lot of the time.

See, it’s not about finding the right one, but rather about being the right one.

Before I got married, I embarked on a mini research project.  I asked over 100 couples who’d been married for more than 20 years this one question: “What’s the secret to a happy marriage?”

What I learned from them really broadened my perspective on relationships.  It set a realistic framework for my marriage.  Ten years later, my wife and I still love each other dearly — despite the various ups and downs all marriages are subject to.

The lessons that research project taught me, combined with my own experiences, have revealed key daily habits necessary for a happy, healthy relationship.

Here are 10 things happy, healthy couples do every day:

1.  They cherish their differences.

Have you noticed a happy couple together?  They aren’t fiercely independent or pathologically dependent.  They’ve struck a healthy medium.

I think of it as interdependence.  They can agree to disagree on the little things. Keep reading →

November 30th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

30 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

30 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

You will find that it is necessary to let some things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy.  So let them go… LET GO of them.  Tie no weights to your ankles.

“Yesterday afternoon my twin sister called me from her hospital room.  She’s been in a coma for almost a year now.  Entering the holiday season and New Year with my sister back at my side is a priceless feeling.  We actually spent the entire night together, talking and laughing.  She’s still weak, of course, but surprisingly coherent.”

That’s the opening paragraph to an email I received this morning from a reader named Amber.  It caught my attention for obvious reasons.

Amber then went on to say, “But you know what the really crazy thing is?  A month before my sister’s accident, we got in a ridiculous argument and didn’t speak to each other for that entire month. And today, honestly, neither one of us can even remember why we were so darn mad.  We were just being stubborn and holding on to the wrong thoughts.  I’m so grateful we were able to let it go and get another chance to love each other.”

Wow!  Talk about a wake-up call and a great reminder for all of us to LET IT GO.

And since the New Year is just around the corner, which inspires many of us to refocus our energy and attention on the right things, I think it’s a perfect time right now to start letting go of the wrong things.  Wouldn’t you agree?

So today, I challenge you to this:

Before the New Year…

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  1. Let go of your temper. – Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
  2. Let go of petty grudges. – Life is far too short to be spent nursing bitterness and registering wrongs.  If there’s someone in your life who deserves another chance, give it to them.  If you need to apologize, do it.  Give your story together a happy, new beginning.
  3. Let go of the idea that everyone has it better than you. – If the grass looks greener on the other side…  Stop staring.  Stop comparing.  Stop complaining and START watering the grass you’re standing on. Keep reading →

November 23rd, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

10 Great Privileges We Forget to Be Thankful For

10 Privileges We Forget to Be Thankful For

Even in times of uncertainty – even when life seems far from perfect – it’s always important to keep things in perspective.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
― Henry David Thoreau

  1. You are alive.
  2. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
  3. You didn’t go to sleep outside.
  4. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
  5. You haven’t spent a minute in fear for your life.
  6. You know someone who loves you.
  7. You have access to clean drinking water.
  8. You have access to medical care.
  9. You have access to the Internet.
  10. You can read.

Some might say you are incredibly wealthy and privileged, so remember to be Keep reading →

November 16th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

9 Good Reminders that Will Change the Way You Think

9 Good Reminders that Will Change the Way You Think

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.  It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein

“This morning, nearly five years after my husband’s passing, a beautiful couple and their three kids knocked on my front door.  The man smiled and said, “Your husband was my heart donor.  He saved my life.  Not a single day has gone by that I don’t pray for him and think of you.  Thank you!”

This is the opening paragraph right out of an email I received today from a reader named, Colleen.  She goes on to admit that she couldn’t see any positive sides of her husband’s death, until she was staring at them on her door step.  “It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it certainly changed the way I think.  I feel like a small piece of my broken heart has healed.”

And the truth is, it happens just like that.  Although Colleen’s experience is unique, and somewhat extreme, at some point life slaps all of us with a good reminder that shifts our perspective.  Personally, I have been slapped with several of these reminders over the years.   And today, I want to pass a few of them along to you…

  1. Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now. – Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  Sometimes these circumstances knock you down, hard.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.  Because our most significant opportunities are often found in times of great difficulty.  Thus, you will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle. Keep reading →

November 12th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today

The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today

At the end of the day, the questions we ask ourselves determine the type of people we become.

When you’ve been running a successful personal development blog and life coaching business for the better part of a decade, one thing becomes crystal clear:

Everyone has the same basic wants and needs.

No kidding, over the years Angel and I have gotten to know thousands of people of different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, and trust me, every one of us basically wants the same things.  We want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment, money, and hopes for a better future.  The way we pursue these needs is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.

Think about it.  If I ask you, “Quickly, in one sentence, what do you want most out of life?” I bet your rushed response is going to be something like, “I want to be happy, and have a healthy family, and a career I like that pays well, etc.”  Your response is going to be so common and ubiquitous that it basically doesn’t even mean anything.  Which is precisely why senseless, happy-go-lucky questions like this aren’t very helpful.  And yet, this is precisely the kind of questions we often ask ourselves.

So what kind of questions might you ask instead?  Questions that force you into a corner.  Questions that help you embrace the sacrifices it takes to get where you want to go.  Questions that motivate you to focus on the next step forward.  In other words, questions like…

  1. What is worth suffering for? – If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.  If you want the six-pack abs, you have to want the sweat, the sore muscles, the early mornings at the gym, and the low carb meals.  If you want the successful business, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business deals and decisions, and the possibility of failing fifty times to learn what you need to know to succeed.  If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is just an idealization, a fantasy, and a false promise.  Maybe you don’t actually want it at all, because you’re not willing to suffer though the work it’s going to take to achieve it. Keep reading →