Discovering Your Happiness with Inspiration, Inquiry, Exploration, and Action

mindset-series-happiness

The “Discovering Your Happiness” by Hustle to Paradise is a three part series.

Discovering Your Happiness – Part One

INSPIRATION

“I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.” – Willa Cather, My Antonia

INQUIRY

How do you know when you are happy? DO you know when you are happy? Or do you only know it later?

EXPLORATION

Happiness tends to be fleeting. And by that I do not mean short-lived or something you cannot grasp. I mean that it sneaks up on you, often when you aren’t even paying attention. You can be walking to work, and something catches your eye – those gorgeous yellow flowers blooming in early spring or the sun peeking through rain clouds. Or maybe you are pushing your cart through the grocery store, and suddenly you are filled with an odd but undeniable sense of comfort in the familiarity of knowing exactly where you will find your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Happiness fills you with a sense that all is right with the world. And the only thing to do is to stop and feel it. Don’t try to hold on to it. Don’t wonder why finding spaghetti sauce makes you happy. Just feel it. Let it be. And let it go when you turn the corner, sit down at your desk, place the bags in your car. Be grateful that happiness showed up. It will grace you with its presence again. Your job is to be alert and greet it when it does.

ACTION

This week, pay attention when the happiness shows up. That’s all. It is sneaky, so you will probably miss it. Frequently. When you catch it, do nothing. Just take a breath and be aware of it. Smile if you like. Sniffle if it triggers a tear. Then let it go. It will return.

Let me know down below in the comments section, what makes “YOU” happy!

Discovering Your Happiness – Part Two

INSPIRATION

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” – W.H. Sheldon

INQUIRY

Do you tend to question what you are doing? Do you wonder if you should be doing something different at the time? Do you second-guess yourself? Do you think a decision was a mistake? Does it hamper your happiness?

EXPLORATION

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is wisdom few of us follow. Every day – every single day – you will make a “wrong” choice. You will decide to hit the snooze alarm one too many times; take a route to work that leads to a traffic jam; order the wrong entrée; agree to take on a project you later regret. And every time you question your decision, you rob yourself of happiness. The antidote is to stop wondering about that decision. Just dive into it. Realize you may be late to work, and stop berating yourself. Sing along to a great song in the car while you sit in traffic. Take pleasure in the ravioli and be glad you didn’t settle for a salad. Immerse yourself in the project and see the glimmer of peace that results. When you immerse yourself in “what is,” happiness is the inevitable outcome.

ACTION

Look over your day and see how many small things you sweated. Review them. Were they really all that critical? Did it make such a difference that you did it “wrong?” Make a note to yourself to be aware of such inconsequential decisions tomorrow and see how it changes your outlook.

And realize you will probably blow this little exercise. No matter. Just try it for a week then.

Let me know what perhaps was bothering you this past week? How did you move forward from that issue?

Discovering Your Happiness – Part Three

INSPIRATION

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred “Mr.” Rogers

INQUIRY

Do you look around you and see all the things that are wrong with your world? Do you question the opportunity – even your right – to be happy, particularly because there seem to be so many unfortunate people living challenging lives? How does that make you feel?

EXPLORATION

In today’s 24-7 non-stop news feed, we can turn on the TV, check our online news sources, even eavesdrop on a conversation at the next table and hear about recent scary and devastating world events. But what if technology enables us to be aware of threats that we otherwise might not learn about? Tragic, even horrifying, stories of human suffering do not indicate that we are living in a more dangerous world. In most respects, we are living longer, better lives. Our chances of suffering a violent or premature death are very low. A dynamic economy has reduced poverty over the decades. Improved sanitation has enabled us to live healthier lives. And all these advancements have been created by heartfelt, caring people working in businesses and charities who are committed to furthering their own good and thereby the good of the world.

ACTION

Make a list of three disasters that made you sad. These might be damaging weather events, a devastating crash of an airliner, news of a child’s death. Investigate them and find the “helpers” who showed up to make the world just a little bit happier.

How can you be one of those helpers, too?

Let me know a “helper” that made a difference in your local community in recent times. What positive impact did they accomplish?




How to Live a Life of Gratitude

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We’ve learned many aspects to a successful mindset in the last few posts. One of the most important aspects that we’ll discuss about is:

Gratitude.

When we are hustling, at times, we maybe so busy that we potentially could have tunnel-vision and only see what is just right in front of us.

Or perhaps, you have worked so much that you may not have had the chance to step back and see how much progress you have made.

This is where the act of “gratitude” comes into the picture.

Why Gratitude is Important to Our Hustle

1. Not Taking Things for Granted – Unfortunately in today’s world where everything needs to be functioning properly, we take for granted many things. We take for granted our food being delivered to our grocery stores. We take for granted that our roads are maintained. We take for granted that our loved ones are with us. What happens is, we don’t end up simply appreciating what is. Realize that things can easily be taken away at any given moment. Appreciate what you have, and where you are at in life.

2. Brings Happiness – Feeling grateful removes anything negative that might be on your mind. Perhaps you haven’t been able to successfully launch a product. Perhaps you haven’t been able to reach your sales goal. Whatever it is that you may not have achieved … take solace in the fact that you at least tried your best in reaching those goals. Remember our talk about “fails”? When you bring in gratitude to your failures … it immediately reverses the negative emotions and turns them into personal happiness.

3. Gratitude Fosters Connections – People like to be with or work with those that are positive and genuine. No one likes to work with people who whine and complain a lot. Likewise, no one likes to work with those who are ungrateful and selfish. Showing gratitude to people you work with, even if a small “thank you” mention, makes a big difference in their day. Gratitude helps open up connections and when properly cultivated can help lead you towards success.

Remember this – we are ALL in it together with the ups-and-downs of the entrepreneurial hustle. It’s one TOUGH WORLD to hustle in.

My gratitude is being thankful for all of the positive, inspiring, and wonderful entrepreneurs, travelers, and nomads that I now call my extended family. I am also as well, grateful to all of those past tough challenges I had to endure. Without those challenges, I would not have ended up where I’m at today. I’m BEYOND grateful to have shaped my present “hustle” and simply blessed to call Maui my home – living out my passions in surfing and outdoor adventures.

What are you grateful for?

  • Reply back and share what you are most grateful for.

Up Next: Discovering Your Happiness with Inspiration, Inquiry, Exploration, and Action




How to Develop Patience

mindset-series-patience

Accepting failure as a normal part of life will help you out with the next topic:

Patience.

As hustlers, we are in it for the LONG RUN. And for some, it’ll be a LONG LONG RUN.

Personally, patience was something that I struggled with, and from time-to-time, still am fine-tuning with how I approach patience. I was realizing that my tunnel-vision of seeing only the “end intention” resulted in never reaching that destination. It’s always easy to see the prize, but never simple when it comes to taking time to get to the prize.

In today’s world, everything is fast pace and things we want and do come to us instantaneously. Need that email? Boom. Want your favorite sandwich? Fast food made. Need to alleviate that headache? Pop a pill.

Unfortunately for the tougher things we want in life – instantaneous doesn’t work. Want to lose weight? Get the gold medal at the next Olympics? Make six figures?

Better start practicing the “art of patience”. Otherwise, the journey towards your end intention will never happen.

Positive Patience – How to Be Great At It

1. Identify Cause for Impatience – Much of everyone’s impatience stems from our own version of what “reality” is. Something that one person thinks happens often, isn’t necessarily what another person has in mind. Basically, it’s having preconceived expectations. Take for example, the infamous waiting in traffic. No one likes to wait in traffic. Yet in our minds, we tend to have the expectation that there shouldn’t be traffic “for ourselves”. Impatience stems from the “me” attitude. When you have the urge to be impatient, step back and identify the source of your impatience. And then recognize that the impatience materializes internally from yourself, not from the external source.

2. Slow Down and Take a Break – Basically relax. Calm your mind. SLOW DOWN. It’s always easier said then done. Especially with the crazy fast pace world that we all live in. When you are in the habit to always rush, rush, rush – then that is exactly how you will act with anything that you do. What’s the best way to slow down? Simply STOP. Stopping helps break the “frantic” flow. It forces yourself to think about the present moment.

3. Realize Some Things Take Time – Accept that some intentions will take time. It’s not to say to procrastinate. as procrastination is simply inaction and putting it off into the future. Take your big intention and break it down to bite size steps that you can do daily.

4. Meditate – I for one have never like to meditate at all. I don’t like the idea of sitting idle for more than even a minute long. However, meditation ended up being the best thing to teach me “art of patience”. How? Meditation allows you to be connected to your own mind and body. When you sit and close your eyes – you’ll start noticing an ounce of when your impatience starts. Recognize the types of emotions that permeate through you while you start your meditation. How do you feel? I suggest for those who are extremely impatient like myself – to start out in the beginning with 1-minute meditations. Then after two days, add on another minute. So on and so forth. While you are meditating, practice deep breathing.

5. Be Present – Just like you can’t do anything in the past (failures), you also can’t do anything in the future (impatience). Simply focus on what you can do presently. Whether it’s creating a short task list of items to complete, focusing your energy on what you can accomplish today allows you to get things done.

Why is patience so important to the entrepreneurial hustle?

Because without it, you will never see your set intentions materialize. You will keep moving on to the next intention and then the next intention, hoping that one of them will materialize instantly.

What is a project that you are working on that is requiring lots of patience?

  • Reply back with how you will approach patience with that project.

Up Next: How to Live a Life of Gratitude




How to Overcome Failure and Achieve Success

mindset-guide-failure

We talked about the negativity that “naysayers” bring into the hustle towards your intentions. We’ll go over the next topic:

Failure.

Ideally, no one likes to fail. I mean, who really does?

But cornerstone to becoming a “hustler”, is to fail. SO MANY TIMES. You might see the rare occasion where someone achieves their intention successfully on the first try – but 99.9% of the time, you’ll have to try more than once. Perhaps, you may have to try a dozen times.

Ways to Deal with Failing

1. Try New Ways and Methods – The reason most people fail is simply because of “lack of experience”. To gain experience, we have to take actionable steps in whatever task we need to accomplish. Reaching the end intention takes practice and you will find that you need to constantly evaluate and adjust your game plan according to the failed results. The most important thing is that you keep trying.

2. Don’t Take Your Fails Personally – Inspired by Toltec’s Second Agreement, don’t take your failure personally. Know that everyone in the world goes through the same exact emotional roller coaster when it comes to failing. But what can separate you from the masses who fail often, is to accept that failing is just a part of the journey, both in your entrepreneurial hustling and personal life. The sooner you can let failure be simply a part of your life, the sooner you will become successful.

3. Stop Thinking About Your Fails – This goes along the lines of thinking about the past. Just don’t dwell on your failures. It’s quite okay to “evaluate” what went wrong, but then quickly shift your mindset to how you will “proceed” with the next step and move forward. Always move forward.

4. Failing Is Not a Waste of Time – We have the tendency to think that failing ultimately leads to wasting time. Thoughts like “I wish I didn’t do that, I could have saved myself time” can run across your mind. But the thing is, every fail that you make teaches you something, so that the next time around, you don’t make that same mistake. Interestingly, the “fail” is to make that same mistake a second time and not learn from it. Don’t be THAT PERSON.

5. Fake It Til You Make It – While you are on your entrepreneurial hustle journey, always keep an optimistic mindset. Perhaps you may think you aren’t good enough at whatever you want to become. So who cares if you don’t have all of the skill sets at this point – go learn them! I personally live my life with the “fake it til you make it” motto. Continue failing until you hit the golden mark of succeeding.

What are the top 5 failures you have made?

  • Reply back with how you will (or have) rebounded from those failures and the lesson you learned from them.

Up Next: How to Develop Patience




How to Best Deal with Naysayers

mindset-series-naysayers

Hopefully you have been working on some of the intentions you set yourself back in Week 3. For this week, we’ll go over Week 4’s topic. Naysayers.

Now that you have proclaimed your intentions, perhaps you may have also stated it out to your friends, family, teacher, or anyone.

Some of them will be encouraging. Unfortunately, some will say otherwise. These are the people most commonly known as “Naysayers”.

Along with procrastination, and lack of focus, naysayers are once again a huge “hustle-killer”. They simply feed off of negativity and relish in shutting down people’s intentions and dreams.

How To Deal with Naysayers

1. Forgive Them – Understand that perhaps the person who is giving you negativity went through times of hardship or failure. Of course that doesn’t give them the right to put out their negativity on you, however, just know that “most” people aren’t necessarily bad evil from the start. The unfortunate thing is that these people are projecting their own pain on to people they feel a slight jealously towards.

2. Ignore Them – If the naysayers have nothing valuable or constructive to provide, ignore them. If the only things coming out of their mouths is negativity, then you don’t have to mind them. Distance yourself from “what they say”. I understand this might be harder if it is your close relatives or your best friend, but just know that you have to do what’s best for yourself, not what other people think you should do.

3. Don’t Engage with Them – For the most part, naysayers already have their “set beliefs”. Sometimes, no amount of reasons or convincing can change their mind. Be okay with this and let them be. You don’t want to fuel their fire.

4. Keep Your Intentions – Just because someone else says “you can’t do it”, doesn’t mean you have to believe them. Keep your intentions close to you. Protect them. The really unfortunate thing I see quite often in the entrepreneur world is where after people are told many times “that it can’t be done” – then it becomes their reality. Don’t let your intentions go to the grave!

5. Engage with Enablers – Find other people who will support you. On your hustle, the advice you take should be only from people that you aspire to become. Just ask yourself – is that person whom you engage with someone that you would want to trade places with? If you said yes, include them into your network of “success” connections. If not, then no need waste your time with them.

Who in your life has been your “naysayer”?

  • Reply back and tell me how you will combat against one.

Up Next: Overcome Failure and Achieve Success




How to Manifest Affirmative Intentions to Reality

mindset-series-intentions

Now that we have gone over and addressed two of the aspects that kill “da hustle”, let’s get right to next topic:

Affirmative Intentions.

Perhaps you are at a point in life where you aren’t happy … it could be with yourself, or your work life, or where you live, or simply everything.

That’s OKAY!

As hustlers, we have the ability to set our intentions, and actually make them a reality. It sounds difficult at first and out of your control, but when you no longer have procrastination and lack of focus as your barriers, your intentions can be easily achieved. In later weeks, we’ll go over couple more “barriers” that might hinder your hustle.

Until then, think about what you want your life to be like. Think about “who you want to be”. Think about “what kind of work you will love doing (and hopefully can make a living off that). Think about “where you want to live”.

Now write these intentions on piece of paper or type it out on Word doc. List style, mind-map, however you like. Also be specific with your intentions. Add in details instead of generalizing your intentions.

Keep that piece of paper/Word doc safely somewhere and don’t look at it again. Just keep those intentions in mind.

Achieve Your Intentions

1. Create a Game Plan – Now that you have specified your intentions, you have to create a plan to get to them. Divide up your intentions by short and long-term intentions. People commonly divide up with 1-Year, 5-Year, and 10-Year intentions. That timing is just one example, but it is up to you what kind of timeframe you choose. Then decide what are the necessary steps you would need to take in order to get to the end goal. The best way to achieve this is to find someone that you look-up to and would like to be. Research and find out that person’s path and emulate parts of it. At the end of the day though … you’ll have to set foot on YOUR OWN JOURNEY.

2. Hold Yourself Accountable – With your Game Plan on hand, now you have to be accountable for your intentions. Simply setting your intentions and not taking any action won’t get you anywhere. It’s not to say that you should know how the exact outcome will come as no one knows how the future plays out, but going along the lines of what we discussed with procrastination and lack of focus will both impede on your intentions. Find a industry related mentor who will help coach you through the process. Or simply have a friend who may hold you accountable for completing your game plan.

3. Join a Mastermind Group – I joined a mastermind group of 8 other entrepreneurs and it was the BEST decision I made. When you are in an active mastermind group, you get the support of people who you can throw around ideas and again, hold YOU accountable for completing your intentions. Mastermind groups are great places for bouncing ideas off each other, sharing ideas that work and didn’t work, and making meaningful connections from people who share similar intentions!

4. Adjust Your Intentions – Embrace uncertainty. Although you may think you have the exact plan that will get you to your end intention, life will always throw curve balls. Be open to what the universe may throw at you. Let the universe handle the details and put the pieces of puzzle together. What you need to do is LOOK OUT for these pieces and take the opportunities that may present itself to you.

List out all of your intentions.

  • Reply back with one intention you will have a game plan to accomplish by the end of this year!

Up Next: How to Best Deal with Naysayers




How to Beat Distractions and Take Control of Your Focus

mindset-series-focus

In the previous Mindset Series post, we addressed the issue of Procrastination. Now that we hopefully have gotten over the urge to put things off into the future, we will have to figure out how to stay on that persistent track.

Focus.

Like procrastination, lack of focus is also a huge “hustle-killer”. It’s great that you may have started on a project, but realistically … “things” get in the way. What’s the one word that summarizes all of those “things”?

Distractions.

Distractions is the fire that burns away any focus that you are trying to keep while completing tasks.

In the modern world, there are so many things vying for our attention, no wonder most people cannot focus on whatever it is they need to do.

Beating Distractions and Taking Control of Your Focus

1. Turn Off Your Cellphone (or any other electronics) – People have tendency to always check upon their phone every second. It turns into a bad habit that gets harder to break. When you are working on something, TURN IT OFF. And put it far, far away from yourself.

2. Multitasking Kills – Don’t believe anyone that says they can efficiently multitask. Our brains are wired only to focus on one task. Don’t eat while you work. Don’t talk with someone while you use your phone. This also includes keeping one window open on your laptop instead of having a million tabs open! If we could multitask, then we theoretically should be able to text while we drive? Apparently, real life shows that we can’t. SO DON’T!

3. Find a Quiet Place – How can you expect to work and finish things, if let’s say there are lots of noise happening from the TV playing or people talking loudly. Find what works for you. If you choose to work at a coffee shop, but on headphones and tune out from the world!

4. Don’t Work in Your Bedroom – From personal experience, working in your bedroom can just subconsciously make you want to take that short 30 minute nap … which then turns into hours of sleep. Again like #3 – find another type of quiet place.

5. Power of “No” – To devote time on what you have to do, you have to learn the art of saying “no” to people’s invitations, activities, or even client projects. Always saying “Yes” can start cluttering your daily schedule and then create unneeded stress that will kill your focus and productivity!

What has been a time-wasting distraction you battle with?

  • Reply back with how you will stay focused this week!

Up Next: Manifest Affirmative Intentions to Reality




How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

mindset-series-procrastination

Procrastination.

We all do it. But why?

While you may think that “hustling” starts off with intentions and goals, there are couple of aspects to address BEFORE we get to them. No point in having those intentions only simply to stay as figments of your dream!

Ironically, I’ve procrastinated in completing my first email newsletter for over 4 years. FOUR FREAKIN’ YEARS. That’s quite a long time to procrastinate.

I always wondered why I never just simply created one in the first place.

Well here are some reasons why procrastination can be a “hustle-killer”:

1. Beating Around the Bush – Not facing straight on the task on hand, simply reverting to what is comfortable. Perhaps you are afraid to fail and try something of the unknown. Perhaps you feel you are inadequate and don’t have the proper skills. Who cares? No one starts out knowing everything in the world. It’s all an experimentation. Which segues to the next point …

2. The Perfect is the Enemy of the Done – You want everything to be perfect. Except this holds you back. You can seem to get all of the problems sorted out. The flaws and imperfections are too much, and then you end up just never launching and finishing. That’s exactly what happened to me, several times over the course of 4 years in trying to launch a newsletter. At the end of the day, just launch the damn thing, imperfect or not.

3. Biting More Than You Can Chew – Feeling of overwhelm can lead to mental paralysis. When you overwhelm your mind thinking of all of the tasks you have to complete in order to get to the end goal, your brain shuts down. And then you end up wasting lots of time!

4. When You Have Nothing To Lose – If you have nothing on “stake”, then you are more than likely to procrastinate. Basically, you have nothing to lose. If you have nothing to lose, then why would you need to finish it? There’s no pressure to get it done.

The method I’ve found that has helped me time after time to BEAT procrastination is simply declaring a “stake” to a friend. For one of my projects involving completing a WordPress “How-To” course, I staked $600 to my friend if I didn’t complete the course within 2 week time-frame. Luckily, I did complete it and didn’t have to give her the money … but the pressure to not “fail” + lose $600 did the job in pushing me to get the course done and completed, even if it wasn’t perfect.

Here are some other assortment of tools you can use to beat procrastination:

Write or Die
Pomodoro Technique
Go Fucking Do It
Eisenhower Decision Matrix
Focus At Will
StayFocusd

What have you been procrastinating?

  • Identify the potential reason you procrastinate.
  • Reply back letting me know what you will do to kick procrastination in the ass.

Up Next: Beat Distractions and Take Control of Your Focus