Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Google's GPhone, Apps and Chrome

Google is encroaching into the territory of mobile telecommunications. iPhone and Nokia are being threatened now. Google’s GPhone is more than a mobile phone. Its like a mini PC using Android, a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, GPhone is manufactured by HTC of Taiwan. At US179 it is cheaper than iPhone (US199). GPhone is equipped with Chrome, an Internet browser by Google.

In a separate report by Forbes Asia it is reported that Serena a software house is switching from Microsoft Exchange to Google’s Gmail. Gmail is part of Google Apps which include Gmail and Google Docs (word processing and spread sheet). I remember when I was very much younger I was using WordStar and Lotus and when I bought a new PC it was bundled with Word and Excel. WordStar and Lotus were conveniently eliminated. Is Google Apps able to take over Microsoft Office software? To give you a hint the headline of the article states: Google is starting to expose chinks in Microsoft’s armor.

In the same issue of Forbes Asia (September 29, 2008) there is another report about Google using Nexus 7000 manufactured by Cisco to store its massive data. Just imagine in a week Google’s YouTube adds 57,000 clips to its library.

On another front Chrome, the new kid on the block is eating into the market of other web browsers, namely Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

At home we surf the net with Chrome and we blog with blogger.com and collect earnings from AdSense and when we are out of the house we equip ourselves with GPhone. You just can’t live without Google. No wonder Google is
the most powerful brand
on earth

Monday, September 29, 2008

Love Story: True Love Means Lasting Happiness

Old Couple
There was an old man waiting for his turn to collect his medicine at the dispensary in a hospital. He was rather impatient and kept looking at his watch. A nurse noticed it and came over to chat with him.

The nurse asked,” Why are you in such a hurry?”
The old man said,” Yes, I have an appointment at 9.00 a.m.”
The nurse was curious because he didn't have to go to work,” Why is it necessary to be on time?”
The old man replied,” Yes, I am on my way to the nursing home to have breakfast with my wife.”
The nurse was even more curious and asked,” To the nursing home? There’s no need to be in a hurry.”
The old man said,” Nothing much really, she’s been suffering from Parkinson disease. It has been quite a while.”
Then the nurse looked at the time,” It’s almost time. You will be late. Doesn’t your wife worry about you?”
The old man said,” Not at all, she has not been able to recognize me for the last five years. Even if I don’t’ go, she won’t know.”
The nurse was surprised and she asked,”Oh! Don’t recognize you for five years and yet you visit her every morning?”
The old man smiled and said,” She can’t recognize me, but I can recognize her, that's good enough.”
As the old man walked away to collect his medicine, tear drops came down from the nurse’s eyes. She was telling herself,” This is the kind of love that I want.”

True love is not being romantic. True love means accepting; accepting the past, accepting the present and accepting the future of the other person.

Happiness is not necessary to have the best. A happy person finds happiness in making the best of what he has.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Be Happy - Just Change Your Thinking

The reason why so many people out there are unhappy is because they are all thinking about what they want. When they have a house they want a bigger house, when they have a car they want to have a luxurious model. The fact is that their desire can never be satisfied. Because of that they are always under stress. When you change your thoughts to what you have instead of what you want you will appreciate and be grateful of your own situation. In other words, just count your blessings.

One of the things in your daily life is that when you go to work do not tell yourself that you have to go to work and complain about your salary. Instead thank God that you have a job and you get paid promptly every month to support your family so that every one in the family is able to enjoy decent meals everyday and children can go for tuition classes and the whole family can go shopping every weekend.

When you look at yourself in the mirror and you think that you are not as handsome as the other guy next door. It makes you sad. However when you think of the fact that you do have a perfect body and also about the number of physically handicapped people out there in this world you will appreciate yourself even more.

Don't wish your spouse and children to be different. Just focus on their virtues and you will be grateful and the thought of it will make you feel fine.

There is a Chinese proverb that says when you know you are contented you are always happy - 知足常乐 (zhi zu chang le).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting One-Way Links

One-way link means there is a link from another site or blog linking to your site. When someone clicks on the link he will be directed to your site or blog. There is no need for you to create a link from your site to the other site.

There is no extra effort required to adopt this strategy. You are already writing unique and interesting articles, all you need to do is to use your popular articles to secure one-way links. You kill two birds with one stone.

This is how you can do it. From your blog you will select your most popular articles and then you submit them to:


When you submit an article, there is a resource box at the end of your article where you can add a linkable address to your blog. Among the list above those in bold are the ones that you don’t have to post you articles again. All you need to do is to submit your URL of the particular article. When the readers want to read your article all they need to do is click the link and they can read you article immediately at your site.

By submitting your original and unique articles to article directories your blog will get traffic from one-way links

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can You Attract Happiness?

Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone published the world-famous book, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. Inside the book they share with you how you can attract happiness with positive mental attitude.

According to them one of the surest ways to find happiness for yourself is to devote your energies toward making someone else happy. This is a very special kind of happiness that comes to those who do kind deeds.

It is mentioned in the book that the kind of happiness which is most common and most constant come closer to being a state of contentment, a state of being neither happy nor unhappy.

It is further pointed out that when you share that which is good and desirable you will attract unto yourself more of that which is good and desirable. For the more your share, the more you will have. And if you share happiness with others, happiness will grow richer within you.

Another thing to note is that happiness begins at home. Members of your family are people. Motivate them to be happy just like a good salesman motivates his prospects to buy.

In the book Napoleon Hill highlights his article entitled “Contentment" that the richest man in all the world lives in Happy Valley. He is rich in values that endure, in things he cannot lose – things that provide him with the contentment, sound health, peace of mind and harmony within his soul.

There is a quotation in the book that will bring you instant happiness. Abraham Lincoln once said. “It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Customer Relationships - Some Practical Tips

My wife did not study positive psychology, neither had she studied customer relationships but she is good at human relationships and customer relationships.

She owns a small stall selling dessert (糖水tang shui) such as red bean soup and green bean soup. While she is on the job she always wears a smile. There is a saying: When you smile the whole world smiles with you and when you cry you cry alone. The first impression is the most critical to attract customers.

She has no knowledge of marketing but she is an excellent marketer. One of her customers will always ask her to buy some dumplings (包bao) on her behalf at the weekend. Actually it is none of her business but she gladly accepted her request. Do you know that by going all the way to help the customer she makes more business. Because when she orders the dumplings the supplier has to deliver the item to her. And when he delivers the dumplings, inadvertently, he will order a few bowls of the herbal soup for himself and his fiends, thereby she makes more business. When you give more you will receive even more in return.

Sometimes at the end of the day when there is leftover she will distribute it to her customers for free. It is a good marking strategy. In the first place you don’t waste something that is still can be consumed. Another thing is that her customers will be pleased by her kind gesture. Needless to say her customers will come back to give her more business.

She will listen to her customers to improve the quality of her goods. When your focus is on quality and customer relationships, the income will take care of itself. This is a universal truth in conducting a successful business.

She is a satisfied, contented and happy woman.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happiness and Lifelong Learning

Does lifelong learning promote happiness? I am very positive that it does.
According to a paper, The Impact of Lifelong Learning on Happiness and Well-being published by Dr Ricardo Sabates and Cathie Hammond from the Institute of Education, London, it is stated that adult learning leads to increases in self-esteem and self-efficacy. Adult learning has its most positive impacts on self-esteem and self-efficacy when the leaning provided meets the needs of the leaner and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.

The message hits the nail on the head. I am referring to my own experience of learning more about blogging. The learning itself meets my needs and knowing more about blogging helps me to be a better blogger,

I enjoy learning the following topics and I find the learning process stimulating, interesting and enlightening,


Article title and marketing
Choose a core subject to write
Write unique content
Get to know HTML


Article marketing – article directories, social bookmarking, carnivals
Link advertising – advertising, submission to directories
Offline Marketing - newspapers, TV, magazines

Income sources

Pay Per Click
Pay Per Action


Search engine optimization and traffic building
Statistics – page view, unique visitor, bounce rate, referrals, keywords, visit length, came from and many more
Relationship building

There is a lot to learn about blogging and the learning is beneficial and so the learning brings happiness.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Citibank-Giant Credit Card for Extra Happiness

Giant-Citibank Credit Card

The credit card war among the banks has developed into a dog-eat-dog situation. The banks are all out to grab a piece of the lucrative card business. Citibank is without exception.

Recently I applied for their Citibank-Giant credit card. The good thing about this card is that you get 2% rebate on all your purchases at Giant. Not only that, from time to time Giant offers many items for further discount to card holders on top of the 2% discount.
In addition, you will get a RM50/= voucher when you apply online or by SMS. Furthermore, for non-Giant products and services (except for fuel and petrol) you also get 0.5% rebate. However, the rebates are in the form of vouchers in denomination of RM20/= and you will get it only after six months from successful credit card approval date. The rebate is subject to a maximum of RM600/- per year.

This card is not free for life. When you receive the card please read the fine print. You have to use your new Citibank-Giant credit card at least 3 times within 45 days in order to enjoy your first year annul fee waiver offer.

The other day I got a good deal at Giant, I bought some moon cakes at 25% discount and I received 1 moon cake free for every 4 that I purchased. And because I used the Citibank -Giant credit card to pay I got another 10% discount on top of the normal 2% rebate. It was real happiness for me.

This card is worthwhile to acquire, at least for the first year, to purchase essential items and stretch your ringgit further.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happiness and Rich People

Are rich people happy? According to Richard Easterlin, an economist who postulated the concept of Easterlin Paradox in 1974 (a key concept in happiness economics), happiness at a national level does not increase with wealth once basic needs are fulfilled.

Esterlin's argument is that people’s desires and expectations change along with their material fortunes. When an American in 1970 may have once dreamed about owning a house, he or she might now dream of owning two. Where people once dreamed of buying a new car, they now dream of buying a luxury model.

“People are wedded to the idea that more money will bring them happiness,” Easterlin said, “When they think of the effects of more money, they are failing to factor in the fact that when they get more money they are going to want even more money. When they get more money they are gong to want a bigger house. They never have enough money, but what they do is sacrifice their family life and health to get more money.”

The irony is that health and the quality of personal relationship are among the most potent predictors of whether people report they are happy. – and they are often the two things people sacrifice in their pursuit of greater wealth.

Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman has found that being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things, and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed,

Money does not equal happiness; at least rich people don’t have financial worries.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happiness in Gratitude

A grateful person is a happy person. In China during the Sichuan earthquake a man carried his mother in a basket from the mountain to safety. The son is a happy son because he has saved his mother‘s life. And the mother is a happy mother because she has brought up a son who knows about gratitude.

I m not a Christian, but every night when I go to sleep I thank God that I have a great day and I can go to sleep with peace of mind. When I am awake I tell myself the same thing,” I thank God for giving me another great day to live.” I am also grateful to God because I am in good health and I have a happy family.

Here are a few things you can do to develop gratitude so that you can be happy as well:
You will be amazed to see the positive effect immediately.

• Every day give thanks for everything that you have in life
• Give to others, not necessary a present, you just wish someone you meet to have a nice day or pray for their happiness.
• Send a gift unexpectedly to someone you are grateful.
• Send a thank-you note.

According to Jack Canfield, the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, he mentions that when you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on and complaining about what you don’t have. Your focus is on what you have received, and you always get more of what you focus on.

When gratitude becomes a way of life, you will get success, health and happiness.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happiness is Getting Free Stuff from the Net

Every day when I have nothing else to do I’ll surf the net to look for free stuff like valuable tips and useful information.

The net is full of helpful tips and information. I can take up a free course in HTML. I get free training courses in article writing and marketing. There are articles telling me how to improve my search engine ranking. There are quick guides to help me social bookmark my blog posts and there is another article telling me about the 5 main types of online advertising techniques.

The best thing is that you can download valuable e-book for free. Among the e-books, I find this one very useful.

This e-book is very down to earth. In the first place it tells you to write good articles to build up credibility for your site. When you have enough good or pillar articles the next thing to do is to market your site. In order to be successful, according to the e-book, content and marketing equal traffic.

As content is king you need to develop a niche, a topic that you are passionate about so that you can carry on writing about it. The e-book listed the following marketing ideas:

Submitting to directories
Article directories
Blog Comments
Forum comments
Blog carnivals
Link exchanges

However, these are small successes and you need a breakthrough in order to be at the top.
The secrets are in the e-book.

The e-book is published by Yaro Starak and the title of the e-book is Blog Profits Blueprint. You can get the free e-book by clicking the ad at the sidebar on the right.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happiness Economics

According to Wikipedia happiness economics is the study of a country’s well-being by combining economists’ and psychologists’ techniques. Up to a certain threshold, increases in incomes result in increases in happiness, but beyond a certain level, further increases in incomes do not lead to higher levels of happiness. The goal of happiness economics is to determine from what source people derive their well-being.

Here are the findings from such statistical happiness research as reported by World Bank Institute:

1. For a person, money does buy a reasonable amount of happiness. But it is useful to keep this in perspective. Very loosely, for the typical individual, a doubling of salary makes a lot less difference than life events like marriage.
2. For a nation, things are different. Whole counties- at least in the west almost all the research has been done - do not seem to get happier as they get richer.
3. Happiness is U-shaped in age. Women report higher well-being than men. Two of the biggest negatives in life are unemployment and divorce. Education is associated with high reported levels of happiness even after controlling for income.
4. The structure of a happiness equation has the same general form in each industrialized country (and possibly in developing nations, though only a small amount of evidence has so far been collected). In other words, the broad statistical patterns look the same in France, Britain and Australia.
5. There is some evidence that the same is true in panels of people, i.e., in longitudinal date. Particularly useful evidence comes from looking at windfalls, like lottery wins,
6. There is adaptation, Good and bad life events wear off-at least partially-as people get used to them,
7. Relative things matter a great deal.

Above is the World Happiness Map showing the average self-reported happiness in different nations. It was created with date of Satisfaction With Life Scale from a paper by Adrian G. White using date from a metastudy. It is an attempt to show life satisfaction in different nations. From the map we can see that Malaysians are a happy lot.
By the way, Malaysia was ranked No. 17 in the 2006 International Ranking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happiness and Female

According to a paper, “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness”, published by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers from the University of Pennsylvania, it is found that the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet the measures of subjective well-being indicate that women‘s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to male happiness. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found examining multiple countries, datasets, and measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups.

Here are some of the possible reasons given in the paper:

• Decreased social cohesion
• Increased anxiety and neuroticism
• Increased household risk
• The increased opportunity to succeed in many dimensions may have led to an increased likelihood of believing that one’s life is not measuring up
• Women may now compare their lives to a broader group, including men , and find their lives more likely to come up short in this assessment
• The complexity and increased pressure in their modern lives to have come at the cost of happiness
• The changes brought about through the women’s movement may have decreased women’s happiness

You can view the full report here.

Are Malaysian female happier than before or their happiness has declined?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tai Chi Quan (太极拳) for Happiness and More

Tai Chi Quan (太极拳)
Image source:http://www.sinolatamforum.com/opiniones_detalle/1-m177-250/the-virtues-of-tai-chi

The first thing I do when I get up early in the morning is to have a round of Tai Chi for about fifteen minutes. As the movements of Tai Chi are slow and graceful I feel calm, relaxed and a sense of inner peace after the exercise.

Tai Chi is a form of meditation in motion. It is suitable for all ages and is risk free. It consists of 108 (the long form) soothing, relaxing, and continuous movements or postures. When you practice Tai Chi do not allow you mind to wonder about. You will reap the full benefits by concentrating on the smooth movements. The other thing is that you must be relaxed. Do not tense you body. .It is best performed in the open air in the morning. It helps you start a new day with the right frame of mind, body and spirit.

When you combine deep breathing with Tai Chi Quan you enjoy tremendous benefits mentally, physically and spiritually.

  • Reduces stress and release tension
  • Promotes concentration and mental focus
  • Improves memory

  • Promotes flexibility of the joints
  • Improves posture
  • Promotes immune functions
  • Deeper breathing and increases oxygenation to all tissues
  • A balanced body not easily succumbed to falls
  • Reduces pain in shoulders, back, legs and knees
  • Cures chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, digestive disorders and arthritis
  • Improves circulation, the functioning of the internal organs, delay aging and prolong life
  • Increases energy or qi ()

  • Higher level of happiness and well-being
  • Inner peace, tranquility and relaxation
  • A state of calm not easily disturbed by external influences

The fun and easy way to learn Tai Chi is to join a class conducted by a Tai Chi master.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival is for Happiness Together

moon cake
Mid- Autumn Festival is a very important
celebration for the Chinese all over the world.
The festival is just as grand as the Chinese New Year. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. pomeloes, taroes and water chestnutsThis year the big day falls on September 14, 2008. The moon is at its fullest and brightest on this night.

This is an occasion to foster togetherness and close relationships with family members, relatives and friends. On this occasion we exchange moon cakes among friends and relatives. Happiness fills the air when all the family members are together for once. We sit outside the house to admire the full moon and savor the moon cakes with Chinese tea; children will carry their lanterns with lighted candles.

Mid- autumn Festival or Lantern Festival is associated who moon cakes, lanterns, and most importantly pomeloes, taroes (芋头yu tou) and water chestnuts (菱角ling jiao). Eating taroes, according to old folks at home, will get rid of evil spirit and neutralize disaster. While pomeloes (柚子you zi) which sounds the same as (佑you), it means protection in Chinese. So pomeloes signify the wishes of protection by the moon. As for water chestnuts, children will grow up to be smart by eating them.

The shadow that you see on the moon is that of Chang E (嫦娥), a pretty woman and a jade rabbit pounding herbs. There are many versions of the folklore. This is one the stories. Once upon a time there lived a husband and a wife by the name of Hou Yi (后羿) and Chang E. At that time there were ten suns and the earth is scorching hot so the king ordered Hou Yi, an archer to shoot down the suns and he shot down all except one and he was rewarded with a pill by the king that gave him eternal life. However, his curious wife swallowed the pill and she could fly. Hou Yi wanted to reprehend her but she flew to the moon. Landed on the moon she was exhausted and she started coughing and part of the pill fell out from her mouth. As there was a rabbit on the moon she asked the rabbit to make another pill for her so that she could return to join her husband on earth.

Fro those who are working away from home, it is a good time to return home and see your loved ones. Your presence at home on this occasion is more important than your presents. This is a time to be happy together.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happiness and Buddhism

Buddhism holds the secret of happiness and the key method of achieving this is meditation. From meditation Buddhists train their brains to feel true happiness and control aggressive instincts. It is backed by research.

According to Owen Flanagan, professor of philosophy at Duke University in North Carolina, Buddhists appear to be able to stimulate the left prefrontal lobe (the happiness centre) ,an area just behind the forehead ,to generate positive emotions and a feeling of well-being. Another study of Buddhists by scientists at the University of California has also found the meditation might tame the amygdale, the part of the brain involved with fear and anger.

According to Buddhism the purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. When our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience genuine happiness. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enable us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances.

For Buddhists, the highest form of happiness lies in this inner freedom rather than the freedom to acquire and consume. Happiness is determined by one's state of mind rather than by external events.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CIMB PETRONAS MasterCard Brings Happiness

Petrol Credit Card

I have mentioned in my previous article, CIMB-PETRONAS MasterCard for Fuel Savings, the advantages of using the CIMB PETRONAS MasterCard. Now the card is bringing more cheers to us. During their promotion from September 18, 2008 to November 17, 2008 you will get a 3% rebate instead of the normal 2%. On top of that you stand a chance to win 888 monthly prizes including 1 monthly grand prize of free petrol for 3 years.

From my personal experience of using the card, the discount is given in the monthly statement and you only pay the discounted amount. When you make other purchases you do get a 0.5 % discount and it is also reflected in the bill. So your monthly payment is the net amount after discount

Unlike other cards that give you discount that sucks. You do get rebates but you still pay the full amount. You have to meet their terms and conditions in order to redeem the discount.

CIMB PETRONAS MasterCard is different…truly different (Senheng's tag line). With the recent reduction in petrol prices and the Mesra points that I can earn from pumping petrol it is really triple happiness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Hour is 9 to 5

This is the title of a book written by someone who called himself the Chief Happiness Officer. His name is Alexander Kjerulf. He speaks and consults on happiness at work all over the world.

This book tells you that you can be happy at work and when you do you get:

· More drive and motivation
· Better relations with co-workers
· More success
· More creativity and good ideas
· More energy
· Better health
· Less stress
· Much more fun

He tells you that happiness at work is that feeling you get when you:

· Really enjoy what you do.
· Do great work you can feel proud of.
· Work with amazing people.
· Know that what you do is important.
· Are appreciated for your work.
· Get to take responsibility.
· Have fun at work.
· Learn and grow.
· Make a difference.
· Feel motivated and energized.
· Know that you kick butt.

Of course, he will also tell you how to make yourself happy at work

1. Knowledge- The basic theory of happiness at work, based on real-life experience
2. Tools – Simple practical tips and tools that will help you achieve fast results
3. Energy – He will try to make you excited about the concept of happiness at work and all fired up to do something about it.
4, A plan - A specific plan tailored to your situation

You will be very happy indeed to know that you can read the book for FREE at
You can also go to Alexander Kjerulf’s websit for more doses of happiness at

Happy reading and be happy at work.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happiness at the Workplace

Are you bored at work? Do you find yourself with little to do at your workplace?
Actually it is not the job itself, it’s the way you react to the job. Here are some help to make your job more interesting and rewarding:

1. Do more: When you find yourself doing monotonous tasks, look for something else to do. You can help your co-workers and learn something interesting from them. You make yourself more valued at the work place for the extra knowledge you have gained. You also get variety in your work.

2. More efficient: When you do the same job day in and day out, do you find a better way to do it more efficiently, thereby cutting down the time. Set a goal to do the same job in less time and make your work more challenging.

3. Nothing to do: As an example, when there are no customers at the counter to serve, you can use the free time to learn more about the products you are selling. If you are selling health products get to know the ingredients, the benefits of the products. The knowledge you gain is good for you and your customers. You are also making your job more enjoyable.

When you do more than your job required, and you know more about the products the company is selling and you also know about other workers’ jobs, very soon your boss will notice it. Your boss will come to you for ideas. You are very likely to be promoted and you can also ask for a change of job in the same company with another one which is more varied.

You can be happy when you change yourself and change the way you respond to the job.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Joy and Happiness of Daily Life

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning, another dreadful day, nothing to look forward to? What you tell yourself early in the morning says a lot about what kind of a day it is going to be for you.

I wake up early in the morning just after 6. When I am awake I tell myself that this is going to be another great day. I know what I am going to accomplish for the day because I have the to-do list ready. The list may be routine but it has psychological impact on me because when the things get done at the end of the day, I get a sense of well-being. Waking up early in the morning also tells me that I have wasted no time to start a new day. I don’t have to do things in a hurry because everything has been planned for. I feel relaxed and calm to greet a new day.

As I drive along the way to work I listen to music and songs. My pleasant feeling is further heightened.

As the day goes by and the work gets done accordingly I feel a sense of achievement. By the end of the day, I have another to-do list ready for the following day. It gives me peace of mind to know that I have taken care of the things to do for the next day.

At home, I enjoy dinner with my family. We sit down together and we chew and taste each mouthful. The atmosphere is harmonious. A sense of joy and happiness fill the air.

In the evening when I have done another good article, I am pleased and thrilled.
When I see my Alexa ranking improves further I rejoice. I am over the moon when I notice more visitors to my blog.

Every day is more or less the same, to be happy just enjoy the little pleasures here and there. Don’t wait for the big celebration in order to be happy, the day may never come. Sonja Lyubomirsky, the happiness expert tells us that one of the strategies for lasting happiness is to savour life’s joy. Pay close attention and take delight in momentary pleasures, wonders, and magical moments. Focus on the sweetness of a ripe mango, the aroma of a bakery, or the warmth of the sun when you step out from the shade.

Enjoy your daily life to the maximum and be happy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Happiness, Positive Psychology and Martin Seligman

Positive psychology is a recent branch of psychology. It, among other things, seeks to make normal life more fulfilling. Martin Seligman, the Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, is considered to be the “father of positive psychology”

As a psychologist and writer who wrote the book, Authentic Happiness, he pioneered a new area of psychology in 1998 when he chose Positive Psychology as the theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association. According to him, in the last fifty years, psychology has been primarily dedicated to addressing mental illness rather than mental "wellness”. The pioneering research of a new generation of psychologists has led to a firm scientific foundation for the study of human happiness and optimal function.

Researchers in the field of positive psychology are divided into three overlapping areas of research:

1. Pleasant Life or the “life of enjoyment”: It examines how people optimally experience ,forecast and savor the positive feeling and emotions that are part of normal and healthy living(e.g. relationships, hobbies, interests, entertainment, etc).

2, Good Life or the “life of engagement": The research is to investigate the beneficial effects of immersion, absorption and flow that individuals feel when optimally engaged with their primary activities. These states are experienced when there is a positive match between a person’s strength and the task they are doing.

3, Meaningful life or “life of affiliation”: This is to study how individuals derive a positive sense of well-being, belonging, meaning and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves (e.g. nature, social groups, organizations, movements, traditions, belief systems).

Practical application of positive psychology includes helping individuals and organizations correctly identify their strengths and use them to increase and sustain their respective levels of well-being.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happiness and Unhappiness

According to psychologist Professor Ed Diener happiness is made up of several vital ingredients:

Firstly, family and friends are crucial – the wider and deeper the relationships with those around you the better. Marriage also seems to be very important. According to research the effect of marriage adds an average seven years to the life of man and something like four for a woman.

The second vital ingredient is having meaning in life, a belief in something bigger than you – from religion, spirituality or a philosophy of life

The third element is having goals embedded in your long term values that you are working for, but also that you find enjoyable. Psychologists say that you can find satisfaction when you have interesting goals to work on by using your strengths and abilities.

Professor Ed Diener also identifies two key events which can have lasting unhappiness.

After the loss of a spouse it can take several years to regain the previous level of well-being.

The loss of a job can affect a person for years even they are back to work.

You cannot be happy all the time; at least you can look at the bright side of things. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Workplace Happiness and Career Skills

Mind Tools conducted an international survey covering 10,310 experienced business people in 131 countries in April 2008 and published their findings in a white paper.
The survey studied the relationship between people’s assessments of their own skills in 10 major career skills (stress management, time management, team management, leadership, communication, team-working, decision-making, problem-solving, project management and change management) areas and their happiness at work

Respondents were in a wide range of organizational positions, were equally balanced in gender, and were mainly in the 30-59 age range.

According to the survey, they found that 66.3% of people who were happy in their job were confident in their stress management skills.

It means that people with good stress management skills are very much more likely to be happy at work. It also means that people with good career skills are much more likely to be happy at work than those with weaker skills. Managers should strongly consider training their staff in stress management and other career skills if they want to improve workplace happiness.

Workplace happiness is important because it strongly affects employee performance and organizations' ability to retain staff. Happiness is also a key factor in motivation, and therefore in productivity. Happy people are often exceptionally productive performers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lasting Happiness - The 11 Strategies as Recommended by a Happiness Expert

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist from University of California who has been doing research on happiness for almost 20 years, offers you the 11 secrets of lasting happiness. The strategies are contained in her latest book, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.

1. Count Your Blessings: One way to practice this strategy is with a “gratitude journal” in which you write down the 3 to 5 things for which you are currently thankful – from the mundane (your flowers are finally in bloom) to the magnificent (your child’s first steps). Do this once a week, say, on Sunday night.

2. Nurture Optimism: This strategy involves such practices as looking at the bright side and finding the silver lining in a negative event.

3. Practice acts of kindness: Being kind to others makes you feel compassionate and capable, gives you a greater sense of connection with others and earns you smiles, approval and reciprocated kindness. These are all happiness boosters.

4. Learn to forgive: The inability to forgive is associated with persistent rumination or dwelling on revenge, while forgiving allows you to move on.

5. Increase “Flow” experiences: When you are absorbed in doing something without noticing the passage of time you are in a state called “flow”, a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The key is to be fully engaged at work, at home and at play.

6. Invest in relationships: This is one of the biggest factors in happiness. This strategy involves putting effort into healing, cultivating and enjoying relationships with family and friends.

7. Avoid over thinking: There's a time to think about the bad stuff in your life, but it is unhealthy to dwell on your problems excessively.

8. Savor life’s joy: Pay close attention and take delight in the momentary pleasures, wonders, and magical moments. Some psychologists suggest taking “mental photographs” of pleasurable moments to review in less happy time.

9.Take care of you souls: Studies show that religious and spiritual people are happier and healthier than others.

10. Commit to your goals: When you pursue your dreams or aspirations, you are happier than those without goals. However, being dedicated to any pursuit won’t make you happy if you’re just doing it for superficial reasons such as making money, boosting your ego, or succumbing to peer pressure.

11. Use Your body - Exercise, meditate smile and rest: Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, stretching, meditating, smiling and laughing can all enhance your mood in the short term and promote energy and strong mental health. When you do it regularly you can make your daily life more satisfying and increase your long-term happiness.

It is easy to learn the secrets of happiness but not simple to carry out. With determination and commitment you will achieve and maintain higher levels of happiness. You do not need to attempt the entire list of happiness activities but should choose to focus only 1 to 4 strategies that seem most natural and enjoyable to you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How Happy Are You?

How Happy Are You?

You can find out your happiness level by responding to the following statements:

1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal.
2. The conditions of my life are excellent.
3. I am satisfied with my life.
4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Use the 1-7 scale to show your level of agreement or disagreement:

1. = strongly disagree
2. = disagree
3. = slightly disagree
4. = neither agree nor disagree
5. = slightly agree
6. = agree
7. = strongly agree

Your score:

31 to 35 extremely satisfied
26 to 30 satisfied
21 to 25 slightly satisfied
20 neutral
15 to 19 slightly dissatisfied
10 to 14 dissatisfied
5 to 9 extremely dissatisfied

The Satisfaction with Life Scale was developed by Professor Edward Diener and colleagues. Edward Diener, also known as Dr. Happy, is a founding father of happiness research at the University of Illinois.

Happy people on average have better health, live longer, seek and enjoy good social relationships and are more likely to give money to charity.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happiness in Blogging

Ever since I started blogging in October 2007, I have found more and more happiness.

I find happiness whenever I write a good article. When an article is written without any difficulty and my thoughts are flowing freely, I know it’s going to be a good article. A good article is one that the readers find it interesting, useful and a joy to read. My gut feeling can tell me whether an article is popular or not even before it is posted.

The other happiness is that when my article is accepted by EzineArrticles.com. The acceptance by EzineArticles.com. tells me two things. One thing is that the quality of my article is good enough, and the other thing is that I can expect a lot of readers reading my article and linking to my site.

I also find happiness as my site is rated 9 in a health directory, www.nature-ally.com. Every day when I look the widget I am very pleased with it.

Happiness is also seeing my readership growing slowly. I must thank my readers for their support. The growing readership motivates me to write more and more.

Another dose of happiness is from Alexa Traffic Rank. It has improved by leaps and bounds. In fact the ranking gives me a lot of (jingxi). It means surprise and happiness. As I don’t know when the figure is going to go up, I just take a look at the counter every day. And on the day when I see a big change for the better I jump with joy and happiness

There is a tinge of sadness in me because my PageRank has gone down form I to 0. But I look at it positively because I know one fine day it’s going to go up again and I will be very happy when it does happen.

Blogging does not bring me a lot of money. Every month I do earn some pocket money. It is the fun and happiness of blogging itself that spurs me to carry on.

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