Ever thought about your goals in life? What is your purpose?

Glenorchy, New Zealand

If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s where you’ll end up.

What are your short- and long term goals? Successful people know exactly what they want to achieve and can answer straight away. Others struggle and may answer – see how it goes – not sure or I will see what happens. Well to be honest, nothing will happen if you don’t know what you want.

So, do you know what your goals are in life? Do you know what you want to be known for and what people will remember of you? What is your purpose in life?

These are hard questions but important to know. When knowing what you want to achieve, that’s where you will end up with. However, not knowing what you want, will lead you to nowhere. At one stage you probably will feel that you wasted your time. You don’t want this to happen, life is too short. So make the most out of it and be happy.

So what can you do in order to know where you are going? I once attended a great seminar which was based on the book “The 7 habits of highly effective people”. One exercise we had to do was pretty intense and I encourage you to do it:

Close your eyes and imagine you attend a funeral, you can see your friends, family, work mates, bosses, neighbours and very close friends. Now imagine the people mentioned above are there for your funeral. Listening to that task was a shock to me and very irritating, however, keep going. Now imagine how a respresentative of all those groups will be talking about you. What would they say about you? What were you known for and what do they miss about you?

This exercise is eye – opening. You look at the end of your own life and imagine what people would say about you. Whatever you come up with, is your end goal, your vision. Once knowing that, these things will be your drivers in your life. You will suddenly act in that way and find new ways of doing things, you might change your career because you realised your current job is just it – a job – but not your purpose in your life. Once I thought about my life, I realised that I have to make changes. I love helping people and having an impact to their life. That’s what I am trying to achieve with my happiness blog; I love photography and telling stories which make people aware of how beautiful our planet really is, to stop worrying and to enjoy the nature and other people’s company without limitations, no matter the background and culture.

Take some time off for yourself or I should better say, make time and think about what your personal goals are. Become aware of it, write your vision and goals down. Read it every night until it becomes second nature to you. You will notice your life will change for the better. You suddenly see directions and purpose in your life, you will make decisions which will help you achieving your long and short term goals.

If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s where you’ll end up.

Glenorchy, New Zealand
If you don’y know where you are going, that’s where you will end up

Let go of the little things

Do you realise that we worry sometimes too much. You wonder what would have happened if you wouldn’t have made certain decisions in your life or are you worried because somebody was nagging you or said something which hurt you. Are you worried how people may think about you? We all deal with this kind of situations in life. However, the way you deal with it, makes a real difference to your life.

Worrying means being negative. Negativity brings more negative things into your life. It is an endless bad cycle which brings unhappiness. So let’s stop worrying about what other people may think, let go of the past, move on and enjoy your life in the here and now.

Easy said but how do you do this?

The moment you realise you are worried, stop for a second, go for a walk in the fresh air, breathe in and exhale. Now, think about your problem again. Is it worth going crazy about it? Lot’s of the times it is a ‘first world problem’. Stop thinking and analysing things, instead move on. Don’t worry about what other people think about you, you are unique and special, they are probably just jealous or need something to bitch about. Don’t worry about how you look when you dance like a crazy or you try something new you have never done before; enjoy it. The person next to you is probably busy with him- or herself. Stop worrying about decision you made in the past and a potential impact in the future – remember, you made a decision for a reason. It is time to move on. If you stop worrying, you will see that everything will fall into its place if you just trust and believe in yourself. Let go of the little issues in your life.

In the North of Thailand people celebrate a festival called ‘Loy Krathong’ where thousands of candle fuelled paper lanterns drift into the night sky creating a red glow. This is a symbol of letting go. As the lanterns float away people celebrate.

Let your resentments, worries and sadness go
Let your resentments, worries and sadness go.

Depending on where you live, there might not be this type of festival, nevertheless you can do something similar. I was reading once to write down everything you worry about, rip the paper into pieces, burn it or destroy it in whatever way comes to your mind and celebrate the moment of you letting go of all the issues affecting your life in the moment. Just don’t burn your house:)

You will feel that it makes you feel better, you move on and embrace the here and now in your life.

Have a fabulous day.

 

Make time for things which make you happy

surfing

What do you do for your well-being?

Some people love to go shopping when they feel down and need a break. It makes you feel good and some people even use it as a ‘happiness’ therapy. Did you buy a cool new dress, a brand new fancy car or you are now an owner of the newest computer equipment? Did it make you happy? Maybe yes. You probably got excited but for how long did this feeling last? A few minutes, maybe an hour and tomorrow you realise you don’t need all this stuff and the same unhappy feeling is creeping in again?

No, don’t go shopping again. Material things don’t make you happy, you are just wasting money. Save your money and do something for your mind and body. Surely you have a hobby. For me it is dancing, excercising and being outdoors taking photographs. I know some people who don’t have a hobby which is hard for me to understand. I have too many hobbies and never get bored in my life. If you are one of them without a hobby, think about what you love doing, you might not even have thought about it. Anyways, the point is to do what brings excitement to your life and makes you happy.

Did I just hear – yes I would love to but I don’t have time? Make time! If it is something you really want to do, you will find the time slot in your schedule. If you still don’t find time, you probably don’t want it hard enough and are just looking for excuses. Leave work on time to meet friends or pursue your hobby. In fact it makes you more efficient at work because your brain needs a mental break.

Think about it – are you working to live or living to work?

Focus less on things you can buy but more on your mental well-being and do things you love doing.

surfing
Make time and do what you love doing

Good morning sunshine – why getting up early in the morning is worth it

Hello sunshine. Especially in winter it is hard for many people to get up early in the morning. I am not a morning person which makes it even harder, but once you do get up and watch the beautiful sunrise, you suddenly forget about being tired and cold. You feel energetic and excited instead. Isn’t it worth starting a day with an amazing sunrise and red sky?

Being outside and breathing fresh air is also healthy for you; sunlight is essential to our well-being. Sunrays help our body to produce vitamine D.

A little fresh air and sunlight can work like magic for us. Don’t wait for summer; get out and say hello to sunshine.

A little sunshine can go a long way

Never lose your sense of wonder
Never lose your sense of wonder

Does money makes you happy?

happy smile

Have you ever noticed when travelling that people and kids in third world countries appear to be happier than people in the westernised world? Why is that? So, money does not make you happy?

Most of the westernised people seem to be too focussed on the material things they own and cannot get enough from money. The driver for lots of people is money. Kids are growing up with ipads and smart phones, watching TV and have plenty of toys. I wonder how kids nowadays will learn to appreciate the things they own. They get used to the habit of getting everything they want. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people out there who are not like this, however, the majority are unfortunately focussed on money. Surely you need it to survive, to pay your rent and to buy food, I get this but when people make money to be an important driver for their actions in life and thinking that more money makes them happier there is something wrong. Money might make life easier but you can’t buy happiness and love with it.

Travelling to Peru opened my eyes. On our way from Machu Picchu to Cusco we stopped to see the beautiful scenery and approaching sunset but when I saw the little kids in their traditional clothes with their donkey I immediately was drawn to them. Most of the kids in Peru don’t have all the fancy toys the westernised children have. They are poor but happy. Those kids don’t need an ipad and a phone to play with. The little cute girl had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. Observing this makes you think. Most of the people in that country don’t have a hot shower or just a small little shelter to live in but they are friendly and happy because they consider their family and friends the most valued assets in their lives.

Happiness comes from the inside out and not from the material things you own. Declutter your life and appreciate the little things you see and have around you every day. You cannot buy friends and family, you cannot buy love and you cannot buy health. Yes you can buy medicine but you cannot buy a healthy and happy body because this starts with your mindset. Love yourself, your family and friends, be healthy, smile every day and be grateful for the little things in life. Did you wake up being healthy? That is already a reason to be appreciative. Happiness comes from your mindset and not the assets you own.

People are just as HAPPY as they make up their minds to be

happy kids
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Look at this photo and imagine you are there…can you see the happy smile and the simplicity?

happy smile
the most beautiful smile in the world

I hope this post will make you think and reflect on your life. Being grateful and smiling every day is a huge step forward in finding true happiness.

Have a happy day.

Be happy and see the good in everything

orchid in Black and white

I took this photo of an orchid in the rainforest in Costa Rica when it was raining all day. I could have been annoyed about the rain and unhappy about my trip but instead I was talking to myself – ‘well, there is a good in everything, you just need to look for it’. So I went out and took photos of the flowers. The freshly-laid raindrops added some additional sparkle and glimmer to the orchids. Now I was happy to be in the rain.

When reflecting on that, not everything in life is always positive but if we look closely we can see the good things. I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we were meant to learn a lesson which leads us to a better path in life.

Be happy …not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.

orchid in Black and white
the magic orchid in the rain

Open your heart and let the sunshine in

park of love

When you open your heart and let the sunshine in, you will live your life to its fullest potential.

The park of love in Lima, Peru, has some interesting and fascinating mosaics designed by Peruvian artist Victor Delfin which were inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s Parque Guell in Barcelona. The photo of the mosaic below is showing the sun overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the Miraflores suburb in Lima.

What comes to my mind when looking at the sunshine mosaic is to open up your heart and let the sunshine in. Your heart is connected to your feelings. Have you ever been in situations where you trusted your gut, you made a decision based on your feelings because it simply felt right to go a certain way? Your heart was telling you what to do. Or did you make decisions in life which came from your brain and in the end you tell yourself ‘oh, i just should have listened to my gut’ then I wouldn’t have ended up in that situation?

Sometimes our brain is telling us to go a different directions in life. That doesnt’ mean it is a bad thing but mostly our brain considers fears, being comfortable in doing things we know and in the end enforces us to make safe decisions. Have you ever wondered if you missed out in life? I am pretty sure we all have experienced this. However, I hope you are one of them who learned from it and started to trust your instinct.

Once you listen to your feelings and stop worrying about how other people think about you and your decisions, you will realise how good life feels. When you open your heart, take some risks and follow your instinct, you will be able to live your life to its fullest potential. Get out of your comfort zone and experience life. It is fun and makes you feel being alive. Don’t let your fears bring you down and step back in life. Trust your gut as it is mostly the right feeling from your heart.

Open your heart and let the sunshine in.

park of love
Let us get lost in the sun and it will shine in our hearts

Do you have any experiences and stories you want to share about trusting your instinct? Feel free to comment below.

I wish you a happy day.

Alex

 

Being happy when skies are grey

Flower in the rainforest

Even though skies can be grey on a rainy day, there is always beauty around us if you open your eyes.

I travelled to Costa Rica and stayed in an eco lodge (Hotel Quelitales) near Cartago last year in December. Unfortunately when I was there it was raining all day. This hotel is located in the rainforest. It is a really nice place and the chef cooks fantastic fresh food from the garden.

When the rain stopped for a while I immediately took my camera to take some photos of the colourful flowers. I love the fresh look of flowers when raindrops are sitting on the petals which highlight the vibrant colours. Even though the sky was grey you could see the beauty in nature.

When reflecting on that – Life is not always sunshine but when you look deeper you can see the positive things in life and move on.

Life can be amazing and colourful when skies are grey

 

Flower in the rainforest
walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers

What are the essentials of happiness?

surfer

What is essential for being happy?

One Saturday I was watching some surfers in Bronte Beach, Sydney. They had so much fun surfing. Surfers are living the essentials of happiness to me:

something to do,

something to love and

something to hope for.

Surfing
A happy surfer is living happiness – something to do, something to love and something to hope for
Do what you love doing.

Happy day.

Alex

See the moonlight? Life is pretty amazing.

Moonlight reflections

Life is pretty amazing when you stop and look around.

The other night I observed the moon shining over Sydney’s ocean. I was excited to get out to capture the beautiful moonlight and the reflection in the water. The light was magical.

These are the moments were you just stop, stand still for a moment and enjoy the beauty of our mother nature.

Most people are getting caught up in their daily routine: getting up in the morning, rushing with breakfast or not even have one, getting a coffee on the go, hurrying up to get on the train or bus and into work, working for long hours, going home, dinner and sleep. Does it sound like you? How many times a day do you actually stand still for a moment and observe our surrounding? How many times a day do you look into the sky and wonder how beautiful the clouds are? Do you pay attention and actually watch the sunrise or the sunset and what about the moonlight?

Were you answering most of those questions with No? Stop rushing and take your time in the morning when you go to work, have a look at the sunrise, go for a walk during your lunch break and watch the sky. After work enjoy the sunset. Stop rushing through the day and stand still for a minute, look around and see what our planet is made of.

Moonlight reflections
Moonlight in Cronulla, Sydney

Because when you stop & look around, this life is pretty amazing.

Have a happy beautiful day.

Alex