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Friday, 24 April 2015

Finding your Way in the Labyrinth of Life

Paul Dolan defines happiness as 
"experiences of pleasure and purpose over the time".
The keywords of Prof. Happy’s definition are experiences and time as he advises to pay attention to living in the moment; i.e. instead of evaluating or comparing our lives to someone else’s or to our own expectations about it, just focus on finding the balance between pleasure and purpose in the present.

Apart from pleasure and purpose, you will encounter other emotions as well, such as pointlessness or pain – says Dolan. Negative feelings are also part of the big picture; so be ready and accept your unpleasant sentiments, as you experience these for a reason. Very often, negative emotions prepare you for something or make you avoid dangerous situations. However, be aware of the difference between necessary negative feelings (e.g. anger) or unnecessary ones, like self-doubt or limiting beliefs about yourself.

To be truly happy, you need to clear your mind, with regular physical exercise, mediation and practicing mindfulness every day.
Then, you must stop having expectations about your own happiness. Instead, just live in the moment and accept that life is not black and white. Start living the grey lifestyle; accept your failures and do not regret anything; finally dare to risk and challenge yourself often. You might fail but by focusing on having a good balance of pleasure and purpose in the moment, you will always be able to follow your true passion and be as happy as you should be.

If you need some more guidance in finding more happiness and exploring yourself and your dream-life, check out Caroline Zwick’s blog. She is another amazing expert on mindfulness and self-fulfillment. Her articles and videos have had a really beneficial effect on my transformation into the person who I really am. 

have just started to discover my true passion in the last couple of years and I would like to share some of the "secrets" that I explored recently; to be as happy as possible, the following are really important:

  • Knowing who you really are and what you want in your life
  • Setting intentions
  • Being positive
  • Appreciation and Gratitude
  • Living in the moment
  • Being courageous; daring to risk and fail
  • Trying new things often (especially things that you do not want to do at all)
  • Balance between pleasure and purpose 

What would you read about in the next posts? Please share your suggestions in the comments below!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Some Secrets of Finding Happiness

Professor Happy’s top tip for happiness is to find the balance between pleasure and purpose every day. Dolan suggests living a meaningful life which is full of activities; being a conscious, mindful and active protagonist in your story. Doing things that you enjoy, as well as completing tasks that you have to do will lead you to the next level. Once you find your passion, the path that you know that you want to follow, things will start to happen and happiness will come to you.

As soon as you finish every task that you have to or want to, you will be happy and content. You will not feel guilty because you have not done something that you planned to do and will be able to fully focus on enjoying yourself and doing something that gives you pleasure. Missing projects or failing to complete duties regularly can cause serious unhappiness. Similarly, living a life without any goals could result in feeling depressed and hopeless.

In her video, Shannon Kaiser advises us to always set intentions in order to be happy. Having goals seems to be the key in finding balance between pleasure and purpose. If you have aims, you actually focus your energies into something that is really important to you. With setting certain intentions, you clearly say what you want in your career, relationship, etc. So, instead of describing what you do not want, you better focus on some really important aims and step on the right path, now. Whatever is your dream job or dream holiday, you can get it by simply saying to the universe that you want them. Once you set clear intentions and start acting, things will happen magically. But first you have to claim the dreams you would like to materialise in your life.

So, in order to be as happy as we could be, instead of wasting time and energy with wanting to be too happy, we just need to allocate our attention appropriately, by focusing on things that we want and are important to us. Set intentions regularly, in order to find balance between pleasure and purpose; act accordingly; fulfill your duties and make sure that you enjoy your free time to experience the most happiness in your life.

Next week, I would like to find out what happiness actually is.  How would you define happiness? When are you happy? When have you been the happiest and why? Please write down in the comments below.

Saturday, 11 April 2015


Focus has always been one of my favourite words but not because I like two-syllable words or photography but for the various layers of meaning in it. What is more, after having read Paul Dolan’s book about designing happiness, I started to get to understand more about what an important role focusing plays in our lives.

picture: Pinterest

Prof. Happy simply says that your happiness depends on how you allocate your attention; i.e. what you focus on. He also claims that “if you are not as happy as you should be, you must be misallocating your attention”, therefore, if you want to maximise your happiness you need to make sure that you give attention to things that actually make you happy. It sounds so simple and easy to follow; so why are most people so unhappy and unsatisfied with their lives?

The answer to this question according to Dolan is that we are trying to be happy with thinking about it too hard.  In our busy lives, we are surrounded by so many distractions that we simply forget that it is actually possible to control how we feel.

Our behaviour is influenced by the environment, the context in which we exist, e.g. by other people’s feedback. However, instead of others’ opinion we better turn to inwards to find the answers. Besides, we tend to either pay too much attention to the past or worry about future events and eliminate present from the centre of our attention. With simple affirmations, we can easily bring our focus back to the present, making our life easy and happy. One example is one of Lousie Hay’s mantras: 

All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come. I am safe.

If you want to know what is the key to happiness according to Paul Dolan and what this expert on wellbeing suggests us to pay most attention to, come back to the Rhythm Blog next week. In the meantime, follow our facebook page for some extra inspiration.