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

Is it worth fighting for everything? Don’t worry and be happy.

monkeys Costa Rica

Aren’t we all sometimes in situations were we fight with our friend, partner or family and then you reflect and wonder if it was worth it?

When I was in Costa Rica in Manuel Antonio National park I was watching the two monkeys for a while. They were fighting, screaming at each other and running around like crazy. Suddenly they stopped and it was absolutely quiet. They looked very exhausted. I knew I had to get this shot. Two exhausted monkeys hanging on the tree – too funny.

…but hang on…this reminded me of some situations we face in life. When you are fighting with one of your loved ones and you feel exhausted and upset after it, just stop for a minute and think about it. Was it worth it fighting for? Maybe not? Come on, life can be short.

monkeys Costa Rica
enough with fighting, we are so exhausted now.

Enjoy life together and stop fighting about little and non important things; it might be a first world problem when you really think about it.

Don’t worry and be happy

Have a lovely day.

The journey of happiness

happiness

Happiness is a journey and not a destination but why is that?

Don’t we all get confused and think we need to reach certain goals in life in order to be happy; meaning we need to meet our soul mate and life partner, buy our dream house or land our dream job in order to reach the destination ‘happiness’? I am sorry to say but the answer is NO.

Happiness is not achieved by getting everything you want. Happiness is your state of mind. It is a feeling of joy and contentment. We all have to overcome some obstacles in life in order to reach our goals. Remember these are the life lessons we have to learn to become a better you.

The photo below was taken in Costa Rica. It was a beautiful slightly foggy day and the sea was very calm. All you could see was this fisher boat on its way to work. It reminded me that we sometimes just have to stop, look around, open our eyes and enjoy each single second in our lives. How wonderful is our mother nature we live in. Can you see and feel it now?

Happiness is a journey and not a destination

(quote by Souza)
happiness
Happiness is a journey and not a destination

Be grateful and enjoy every moment you have in your life with your loved ones as you never know when it is too late. Live in the here and now.

Have a happy day.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Monochromatic.”

 

The power of positive thinking

orchid in the rain

Nowadays everybody talks about positive thinking but what are the benefits of it and what does it really mean. How do you think positively? Can you just press the button and there you go? Well, it is not that simple.

A positive mindset focusses on the bright side in life. People who are positive, seem to have more energy and attract a lot of other positive people around them; they are optimistic. On the other hand there are negative thinking or pessimistic people. They are mostly perceived as being toxic and people stay away from them. Have you ever been in a situation where you had a great and happy day until you catch up with your ‘negative’ friend. After that you go home feeling depressed?

Having a positive mindset is very powerful and has a great impact on our health:

It reduces stress. We all know that stress makes us sick, so being positive improves our health.  We are dealing with stress situation in  a more effective way. We are staying focussed and positive about an outcome which helps us in dealing with it in a calm manner.

When being positive our voice becomes more powerful and our body language shows the way we feel.

Positive people get more physical activity, such as exercising or dancing, they follow a healthier diet, don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess. Some health benefits could be connected to them:

  • people with a positive mind live longer
  • they are unlikely to suffer from depression
  • they show lower levels of distress
  • having greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • reduced risk of getting cardiovascular disease
  • coping better during hardships and stressful times

Positive minds are attracting positive things in life. It seems that everything is just flowing without greater effort.

What actually does it mean to be positive, what exactly do we have to do:

  • It starts with our self-talk. How many times do we realise that we stop believing in ourselves and started the doubt talk…”oh I am sure I won’t be able to achieve that…they don’t want me…’I am not good enough….etc”. I am sure we all do sometimes. That’s were we need to step in. Believe in yourself. You can do and achieve everything you put your mindset to. In order to start the positive self talk, use positive words such as I can do it; I will do it, there is an opportunity and get rid of ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘cannot’ etc.
  • Believing in everything happens for a reason: Sometimes things happen in our life which makes us feel unsettled and upset. Once you start believing in ‘everything happens for a reason’ you will see it from a positive point of view. You might not find out immediately what the reason was but in the end you will. Don’t get too upset and instead look at the bride side. Maybe it was not meant to be. For example in case you lost your job due to redundancies in your firm it could have been a good thing for you. Maybe you didn’t like that job anyways and you would have stayed there forever being unhappy because you are afraid of changes. Sometimes we need that push from the outside in order to follow our real purpose in life and finding happiness.
  • Having a sense of humour helps. Instead of getting mad at certain situations, it is good to laugh about it. That way we create positivity and it might not be as bad anymore. Sure we all have been in situations where you wait at the airport and the plane is getting delayed for hours. It might be annoying at that stage but once you have a laugh about it you feel better. When I was in South America I experienced it quite frequently. However, we started joking about it, laughed and felt good. Have a cup of coffee and chill out.
  • Exercising increases the level of endorphins in your body which leaves you with a happy feeling.
  • Listen to your favourite music and sing (if you are like me and you cannot sing then only sing where nobody can hear you:))
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Stay away from negative, toxic friends.

Positive minds attract good things. Nevertheless you still might have to encounter unpleasant situations in your life but the way how you deal with it makes the difference. With a positive approach you see the good in everything, you learn your  lessons in life, improve and move on.

Remember after rain is always sunshine and where there is a dark side there is always a bright side. You just need to open your eyes.

Always look on the bright side.

orchid in the rain
Even in the dark you can see the light

It is that simple to be happy?

Sometimes we are facing not so pleasant challenges in life which makes it hard for us to be happy. If you don’t like the life you are living at the moment, then change it. However, there can be circumstances in which we cannot change a particular situation in our life but there is one thing we can do. We can change our attitude. Once your mindset is positive; life becomes so much easier. You start seeing obstacles as chances rather than negative road blocks in your life. So choose to be happy and you will be.

If you want to be happy then be.

If you want to be happy then be
big smile from a happy sloth