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How to Lead a Happier Life: Improve Your Happiness!

Updated on September 21, 2013

Learn How to Lead a Happier Life with My Happy Making Tips!

How to lead a happier life is a question many of us ask themselves. I know I do! Being happy seems to be hard. Many people feel unhappy in general. Or at least face many unhappy situations in their everyday life like at work, in relationships, when facing health issues, etc.

In my life I often wondered how to reach a state of happiness instead of feeling miserable all the time. My life wasnât easy. I had a horror childhood so my start in life wasnât very perfect! As a child I felt very unhappy. There were happy moments for sure, like when I was with my grandma. She was the most loving and important person in my life. She died when I was 17 years old. I was so angry, the only Angel in my life was gone. I felt unhappy and lived like this for many years.

Now Iâm 43 years and through the years I learned so much. I want to share my How to lead a happy life tips with you. Because I know what it feels like to be unhappy, to feel miserable, depressed, etc.! And I wish I knew in my early twenties what I know right now! Of course Iâm not ALWAYS happy, but even in the unhappy moments I can connect with my inner strength. Even though Iâm very happy now, I keep on asking searching for ways to lead an even more happy and fulfilling life! I keep on learning, improving myself never stops. I see myself as an eternal life student at the University of life. It never stops as perfection doesnât exist. At least that's the way I see it. So I keep on wondering, asking questions and above all: enjoying the journey on my way to answers (which of course bring in new questions!).

Be happy for no reason
Be happy for no reason

Are You Responsible For Your Own Happiness?

Is Happiness Your Own Choice?

I experienced happy moments when in was in my twenties, but in general I felt insecure, ugly, I hated myself! And I blamed other people for it! At that time I was convinced of the fact that other people made me unhappy. Happiness seemed to be something that was outside myself. I was convinced of the fact that external factors were responsible. Like not having enough money, the weather (no matter what it was like!), being sick, not having enough friends, being in miserable jobs, I even blamed my monthly periods from time to time...

I read dozens of books about how to lead a happier life. My heroes are most definitely autors like The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Joseph Murphy, Iyanla Vanzant, Doreen Virtue, John Gray, Neal Donal Walsch and many more. You name it and I read it! I participated in many (expensive!) workshops to learn how to lead a happy and fulfilling life. I meditated, went in therapy, wrote in my many journals (my secret treasures!), discussed the topic with friends, etc. And still I wasn't able to feel happier! This made me so angry! So what I did was (of course) blaiming others... I thought the authors were wrong , the teachers were only after my money, the meditations were worthless and so on...

I couldn't understand why I wasn't happy!

Needless to say that my life used to be a huge negative circle at that time, resulting in even more drama! Looking back I feel so sorry for the person I was at that time! I felt so miserable, so depressed, and by thinking that being happy was a matter of good luck or so, I made things worse! Can you imagine what my life looked like? You don't want to know! It might make you feel down and sad, and that is definitely not the intention of my lens! But maybe what I learned from it, the insights I found (I did learn and grow!) might inspire you on how to lead a happier life!

What I learned through the years was that nobody else and no situation in my life is responsible for my happiness in life. Even if there is a lot of misery in my life this doesn't need to hold me back from feeling good and staying centered!


Photo Credit

The Happiness Project - Do You Focus On What Really Matters?

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Do you focus on what really matters in your life? Most people don't. That is what the author of this bestseller book,, Gretchen Rubin, realized. She wanted to change this and started her personal "Happiness Project", a journey of one full year searching for how to improve life, how to feel better, happier and becoming a better person. What is really important and what isn't? She makes you as a reader witness of her search for strategies, tips, tricks, etc. to feel better.

After reading this book, which is really a mirror of your own thoughts, feelings and emotions, you'll find out great stuff. One thing is that simple things in life matter big time! And surprising: money can buy you happiness. Learn how and why!

 

Stop Negative Thinking!

Negative thinking won't help you to feel happy! If you spot negative thoughts try to ask yourself these following questions:

1. What do I really want?

2. Do I want to worry or do I want to search for a solution?

3. What is the best way to solve what's bothering me?

4. How can I realize this?

5. What is the first step I can take?

6. Who can offer me support?

7. How would I feel if I reached the result I want?

Develop a Buddha Brain

Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time

Learn how to get a more satisfied and fulfilled life with this lovely book. It contains really simple strategies and exercises that can become a daily habit to anyone. It doesn't take much time, the reward is big!

All the 50 simple practices in this book can be used every day and everywhere, that's what this guide towards developing a Buddha Brain makes so great. It really helps you on your way towards a happier life in the most simple way you can imagine!

 
How do i lead a happy life after a traumatic childhood
How do i lead a happy life after a traumatic childhood

A Happy Life After a Traumatic Childhood?

Read My Personal Story!

If you don't feel content with yourself and/or your life there might be many reasons for it. As for me, my unhappy thoughts were a result of my childhood. I'm a survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I had a 'mother from hell', she didn't want me in the first place. And she told me all the time. On the age of only 3 years old I was often told that I was to blame for her aches, when she felt sick I caused it, and more of those sick statements you shouldn't tell your child. Instead of being a loving mother she hurted me, confused me and gave me the feeling I was a failure in the first place. Untill the age of 7 she was married to my father (I'm not even sure if this man is my real father, but that's another story) who was an alcoholic and a Jehova Wittness. He beated me up telling me I was a child of Satan. I will spare you the further (ugly) details.

After my mother threw my father out of the house my so called "new daddy" arrived the same day! He was the one that sexually abused me for many years (untill I was 13). The only light in my life was my grandmother (and my grandfather). She was the mother I needed so much. If she wouldn't have been in my life I don't think I would have survived.

At school I was bullied, so I didn't feel safe anywhere! The world through my eyes was a very scary and unwelcome place. I felt very miserable, afraid of everything, not good enough and always nervous and insecure. I wasn't good enough, was what I thought. I didn't ask myself how to lead a happier life back then! I wanted to dissappear from this planet!

When I was 13 years a good thing happend. I was placed out of the house by the department of Child Protection. They placed me in a clinic. This wasn't easy but at least I was safe! I lived there for about 3 years when I went living on my own. I still was a sad little bird and a year after that my dear grandmother passed away from cancer. I really wanted to take my life by then, but I didn't!

I'm sharing this with you not because I want you to feel sad for me, but to give insight in how feeling unhappy can be caused and above all: that leading a happy life after so much trauma is still possible! It wasn't strange I felt so bad. And it also wasn't strange that I blamed other people/situations! You know, the message I got from my parents was that I was the cause of their misery! Which resulted in feeling guilty I was living on this planet anyway. My parents taught me that you should blame other people for the fact you're sick, unhappy, miserable, you broke your leg, the house was a mess, the food was spilled, etc. Do you get it? I hope you understand what I mean, because this insight is so important! I got this example and thought it was "normal" to blame others for my own pain.

Photo Credit

The Art of Happiness 10th Anniversary Edition

The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living
The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living

I truly love and admire the Dalai Lama. He's such an enlightened person. This man suffered a lot in life, but he is happy. And in his book, "The Art of Happiness", he teaches you how you can be happy too!

Great information and also humor this very wise man practices every day. Very easy to understand book, includes strategies and meditations that have proven to be successful!

 

I'm Living Proof!

Enough about my traumatic childhood. What I want to point out is that the messages you get and what you experience as a kid really matters.

But also that it is absolutely possible to learn how to lead a happy and fulfilling life no matter how bad your past has been.

I am living proof it can be done!

I'm strong believer of the fact that I am a student at the University called life. And so are you. By exchanging out life lessons and situations we can be each others teacher as well. So the student becomes the teacher and vice versa. Ain't that amazing! You might become my teacher too by sharing what you did/are doing to improve your life! Or ask your questions, please do. Feel safe and welcome!

How Happy Are You? - I love to hear about your experiences!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I'm very happy. Blessed to be here. Every day a holiday, every meal a feast! Great lens!

    • darkflowers profile image
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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @anonymous: Thank you! Sounds you're doing a great job! Every moment is precious! Have a lovely weekend!

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      paynui 3 years ago

      I'm one of the fortunate one and life is great.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @paynui: I feel happy for you Paynui and I totally agree that life is great! I wish you much happiness and blessings!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 3 years ago

      Wow! You have been through alot.. I hope your heart is healed from all the trauma you experienced. Many blessings!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @ZenandChic: Thank you Jewelsofawe, my heart has healed, there is only love and i'm grateful for this. Many blessings to you too!

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      DtKnight 3 years ago

      As someone looking for ways to find more happiness in my own life, your words are very inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @DtKnight: Your comment makes me happy thank you ;-)

    • stenila-simon profile image

      stenila-simon 3 years ago

      Good lens! It's good to remind people to find happiness in their lives in the middle of all this rush.Have a blessed day!

    • darkflowers profile image
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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @stenila-simon: Thank you for your nice feedback! I wish you a blessed day too!

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 3 years ago

      Just like you, I came a long way, from survivor to thriver. Happy and grateful most of my days now.

    • Mr Criminology profile image

      Bigwas 3 years ago from Philippines

      Its nice to share your experience of becoming happy, I may emulate you.

    • darkflowers profile image
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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Mr Criminology: Thank you for reading and your feedback, I appreciate it!

    • darkflowers profile image
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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Klaartje Loose: Let's shake hands Klaartje and continue to be the winners! Thanks for commenting on my Lens, I appreciate it!

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      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I am here looking for ways to be more happier in myself. Thanks for sharing your life story.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @flinnie lm: I hope what you read has supported you in happiness. It's a pleasure sharing about myself, I hope it can inspire others to let go the past and live in the present moment!

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      ArtWebb 3 years ago

      I can relate to this story. For me hapiness has become a question of choice, a state of mind.

      Whenever I am not in that state of mind, my body reacts, there's pain, discomfort or the idea of unhapiness. As soon as I realise this, I trace and observe what I feel and just love and accept it.

      Then I choose to think and feel something else. Took me a couple of years though, but most of the times. Happy vibes from Belgium. Have a life full of wonder !

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @ArtWebb: You're doing a great job! And I totally agree with you that happiness is a choice we make. Even when times are tough, wee can always choose to feel inner happiness and embrace life. Happy vibes back to you in Belgium from the neighbor country the Netherlands ;-) Wishing you a happy life full of joy!

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      changrcoacher 3 years ago

      I send you ongoing happy and healing thoughts. I too have survived the almost unsurvivable and have lived to celebrate my choice to be happy every day.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @changrcoacher: Let's shake hands and show all victims of severe trauma that it is possible to be happy, to be strong and to overcome it! You and me are living examples that it can be done! Lots of loving, happy and healing vibes right back to you and thank you for sharing your story!

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      Faseeha Harthim 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Wow... your story was so moving! I had a traumatic childhood myself. After the birth of my younger sisters, I felt alienated and lost. This feeling continued throughout my childhood and it was not a very pleasant one. I used to be a very unhappy child but when I started taking the reins into my hands, I felt the power to change the circumstances and now I feel that I'm totally responsible of my happiness. I thing detaching yourself from the rest of the world is the first step towards achieving happiness! Thanks a lot for sharing your story! It was so inspiring! :)

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @faseeha lm: Wow, Faseeha, thank you for your kind words and sharing your story. More proof that no matter what happened to you in the past you can be happy in the here and now. You're so strong and I'm so happy for you that you felt the power to turn around your situation and be a powerful human being! We can all do it, if we want it and know how!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Heart touching and inspiring experience ! I wish everyone lead a Happy life. Thanks for the share.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @anonymous: Thank you for reading and liking and your very kind words! Wishing you a life filled with happiness, health and love!

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      ghoststorylover 3 years ago

      I'm so sorry you had a traumatic childhood. :( But the good thing is you're still here and you're happy now. :) The kitty is so cute! :)

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @ghoststorylover: Thank you for your kind words and yes, I'm happy now! It is possible to climb out of the dark jungle of sadness and trauma and gain back power and happiness! I love the kitty too by the way, it looks sooo happy it makes you smile instantly :-D

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      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      I'm the world's happiest man. I wrote a book about it. Happiness is often mistaken for gaiety when lasting happiness is related to being in sync with your passions, going with the flow of discovery and achievement. It's all about conscious awareness, a thing more thrilling than the term sounds.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @David Stone1: What is the title of that book? You're absolutely right about being in sync with your passions, etc. Happy to hear you are happy! I wish you happiness for the rest of your life! Conscious awareness is very thrilling! An experience that is hard to describe if you haven't had it yourself!

    • EntrepBeings profile image

      EntrepBeings 3 years ago

      Hi Anja. Such an inspiration, your lens that is! Life is tough...And I think each of us has its own battle to win...Like you said, I do think it's possible to reach a state of peace and happiness. It's all inside us...Oh, and I love the kitty :). She has such a serene expression, it does make you want to smile ;). all the best

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @EntrepBeings: Thank you so much for your kind comment! Wishing you much Love, Health and Happiness! I love that kitty too, like you say: you can't do anything but give it a smile :-)

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      RANADEEP 3 years ago

      Hey maam,I think it is way too emotional when I was reading it because it was very tough to handle those

      situation,but as we know that john lenon said,if you prioritize happiness in your life,you understand the true meaning of life,as you are doing now,Great story and great inspiration,you are really a very good personalityand I appreciated it!!

      As far it goes,from now on I will follow your lenses,great work maam,wish you a very good future with lots of nice surprises!!

    • darkflowers profile image
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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @RANADEEP: Thank you so much for your kind words, Ranadeep! That is really kind of you! Wishing you a happy day!

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 3 years ago

      Its important to be happy and to do the things in life that make you happy. Sure there will always be those things around us that make us upset or stressed out. What's important is how you deal with it then move on.

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      DrMAnderson 3 years ago

      VERY inspiring, and this is a truly wonderful lens - I know how hard it is to feel the way you do now, after experiences like you've had, and I'm extremely proud of you, if you don't mind me saying. Thank you very much for putting this lens out there.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @DrMAnderson: Thank you so much for your very kind words, Olivia! I'm proud of you too! Let's inspire this world that even after a very bad past it is 100% possible to be happy in the present moment! Wishing you much Love, Health and Happiness in your life!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @steadytracker lm: You're right! And we can learn how we deal with difficult situations! It's not so difficult when you know how to do it! Thanks for your comment!

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      Colin323 3 years ago

      I'm very glad you have worked your way through an obviously very difficult and emotional painful early background, Anja. I aim for 'content' in life, rather than happiness, as the latter is a bonus when it comes - which it does in small bursts and flashes. I find outdoor activity - walking, gardening, in particular - a good remedy for the blues and for reminding oneself of the privilege of being alive. Thanks for this lens.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Colin323: Thank you for your kind words Colin! Content in life is what makes us happy ;-) Have a lovely day and send my best wishes to your Green Man (great Lens of yours!)!

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      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      Lovely lens, so appreciated. Pinned to my board "inspirational" and linked to my own lens: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Happiness I think service really helps.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you so much and because I really LOVED your Seeds of Happiness I added it to my related Lenses in return (I only do this if I want it, not to do you a favor or so). Thank you so much for your kind words Bloomingrose!

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      Beatriz 3 years ago from Portugal

      I'm glad to say that I'm happy :)

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Fufurinha47: I'm very happy for you, Fufurinha!

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      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      For a young, senior gal, I believe I am pretty happy as I keep active - particularly working in the yard. I derive great pleasure, after busting my butt in the yard, seeing what I have accomplished. I also believe I would be a 10 on the happiness scale if I filled the void of companionship in my life.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @julieannbrady: Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jaguar Julie! If you become your own best partner, your scale of happiness will be a 10+! It is the trick to learn how to be happy no matter what. Of course companionship is great and fulfilling! But more as the cream on top of the perfect cake ;-)

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      FireHorse27 3 years ago

      I'm happiest when I have my family and friends around. Pets also bring me great joy. wonderful lens.

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      PlumberJorge 3 years ago

      I think I lead a happy life, I have a good family, girlfriend and my career is doing well. It's getting there. :) Nice lens!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @PlumberJorge: Thank you for your kind words PlumberJorge! Good to hear you feel happy!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @FireHorse27: Thank you FireHorse27! My pets make me very happy too by the way!

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      sunnydaze004 3 years ago

      When I hit 40, I realized I wasn't living my life in a way that was conducive to happiness. I also realized that that there's only so much time to make the changes I need to make to be a happier person. I'm not there yet, but I'm being more honest with myself and putting fewer things off.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @sunnydaze004: Thank you for sharing Sunny! You're well on your way. Doing your best and being honest with yourself are 2 important ingredients to success! I wish you a lot of happiness in your life, more of it everyday. We never stop learning!

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      TapIn2U 3 years ago

      I do agree that we are responsible for our own happiness. If you truly want to be happy, you must choose it! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @TapIn2U: Thank you so much for your kind words! And for your great comment! Wishing you a lovely weekend ;-)

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      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      I love your message, to always look at the positive side of things. Every event or situation can have its positive and negative sides, and concentrate on the positives to enjoy further happiness!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @mySuccess8: Thank you so much for your great comment! You get more of what you focus on, so it's up to you what you want let grow in your life! Have a very happy day!

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      IreneL11 3 years ago

      We can choose happiness. Great lens. Have a nice day!

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @IreneL11: Thank you so much for your kind words, IreneL11, I wish you a happy day too!

    How to Lead a Happy Lifestyle: - Stop Blaming Other People!

    Take responsibility for your life!
    Take responsibility for your life!

    If you want to learn how to lead a happy lifestyle you need to stop blaming others, situations, the world, etc. for the fact that you don't feel good about your life! I had to do this. It was a process that took many years of working on myself, counseling, therapy, reading, facing life challenged and much more. It wasn't easy but I did it. I now know I am fully responsible for what my life is like in the present moment. The past is in the past, I'm a grown up now (at least I hope I am...) and can't stick to what happened to me long time ago. I might feel bad when someone hurts me in everyday life, but this doesn't mean that this person is responsible for my happiness!

    Photo Credit

    Repair Your Happiness Manual - Your "Obligation" to be Happy

    Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual
    Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual

    Being Happy makes you a better person. But lots of people don't feel happy. It's normal. To learn how to be happy we first need to know what suffering means. Struggling through life can result into becoming the happiest person in the world if you know how to repair your Happiness!

    Becoming Happy means taking responsibility for your life! Stop blaming other people. Start today!

     

    Does Your Job Make You Happy?

    Full of Joy or Boring and Depressing?

    How do you feel when your alarm rings to tell you another day has started. Are you full of joy or are you feeling depressed because you have to go to work/school? Do you love what you do in daily life or is your job monotonous and boring? Do you hate your collegues/your boss? You can't wait till your next day off is there right? Do you consider it possible to change your situation in this area of your life? Perhaps you think changing jobs is your only way out. And this thought makes you panic, in this economy getting a new job is not easy. Well, I have good news for you: you DON'T need another job to become a happy worker!

    All it takes from you is commitment. Time for action! The only person that can make a change is you and nobody else but you so let's go for it! Are you ready?

    Do you feel hopeless about your non inspiring job?

    You are not alone! And it takes only a few small adjustments to spice up your situation at work! Here are a few suggestions that I applied in my life and were really successful!

    Improve your working skills!

    Make it your intention to become the best you can be in your working area.

    For example: if you work as a nurse intend to become the best nurse ever. What

    skills do you need to reach this goal? Read new books! Take classes and

    specialize yourself! Challenge yourself! Be creative.

    Improve the relationship with your collegues!

    Getting social with your collegues at work helps to find more joy and

    fulfillment in your job. Be open and honest, share your thoughts, ask questions,

    show interest in their personal situations! Be a great listener, your collegues

    will appreciate it and it improves the work ethos!

    Talk with your manager/boss!

    Do you feel stuck? Talk about it with your manager/boss. Together you can

    explore what he/she can do for you to help you! Do you want more or less

    challenge? Discuss the posibilities and you'll be surprised! Don't be afraid.

    Your manager/boss is there for you, it's his job to help you improve and feel

    better on the working floor. He/she might even appreciate it and see it as a

    sign YOU take your job serious!

    Make a list of all positive aspects of your job!

    It is a proven fact that what you focus on will grow, so encourage yourself.

    Write down all cool, nice aspects about your job. What is your passion? What

    motivates you? Now re-read this list and see if it pulls a smile on your

    beautiful face!

    Monday Mornings: Heaven or Hell?

    Monday mornings: heaven or hell?
    Monday mornings: heaven or hell?

    Are you looking forward to go to your job/school on Monday Morning?

    Photo Credit

    Do you like your job? - What do you do to become happier at work?

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        RinchenChodron 3 years ago

        I hated my job, but now that I am retired I am MUCH HAPPIER selecting what I do and when and how I do it. Such freedom!!!! Yeah!!!

      • darkflowers profile image
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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @RinchenChodron: Yesss it is all about freedom and making choices. I'm so happy you feel much happier now. Let's go for a happy world!

      • stenila-simon profile image

        stenila-simon 3 years ago

        I actually like Mondays. (I know, I'm crazy right?) Although studies can be boring and a chore to many, I try to pick out and enjoy the good parts of life- like getting to see your favorite people. (But I love studying as well!) I also keep in mind that I am way luckier than many other people who are worse-off with limited resources.

        Count your little blessings higher than your many hardships - that's my motto for a happy life! God bless

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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @stenila-simon: No, you're not crazy at all ;-) Counting your blessings is a wonderful way to lead a happier life and living life to the fullest! Thanks for your positive input!

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        Klaartje Loose 3 years ago

        I love my work! If I'm not feeling well, my mood improves by it...

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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @Klaartje Loose: That's the way to do it! Do what you love and you won't consider your work as a tough job, but as a wonderful playing field you can enjoy. I have this with writing, it brings me in a happy flow!

      • flinnie lm profile image

        Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

        I retired early for health reasons. So now squidoo is my hobby-job. I like it.

      • darkflowers profile image
        Author

        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @flinnie lm: I'm in the same situation Flinnie, shake hands! And Squidoo makes me very happy :)

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        LadyDuck 3 years ago

        Yes, I always worked as assistant to my husband, I like this because we are always together.

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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @LadyDuck: That sounds great LadyDuck!

      • David Stone1 profile image

        David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

        As a writer, my job is being me, and yes, I am, except when I take on freelance assignments for pay. Then, I only happy when I get a check.

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        Author

        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @David Stone1: I think a lot of people recognize this! Try to find fun ways to do the assignments, I assume you do them at home? Give it your own lovely swing :)

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        Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

        I am happiest when I am doing something to lift and encourage others.

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        Author

        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @Diana Wenzel: That is a great way to feel happy, you're so right, RenaissanceWoman! I love that too! I wish you a happy day :)

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        Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

        I was teaching art to Senior citizens... and loved it... till the budget cuts dropped my program. It was great.. I got to paint all day and they paid me for it. What could be better?

      • profile image

        changrcoacher 3 years ago

        As an entrepreneur I am responsible, I'm where the buck stops. You know..."If it is to be it is up to me". I choose to be ethical, principled and play my conscience. That feeling of being clear and clean is a happy feeling. Having the goal of making the world a better place is a happy feeling. Giving, making someone"s day better is a happy feeling.

      • darkflowers profile image
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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @changrcoacher: I know exactly what you mean, thank you for sharing, changecoacher!

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        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @PAINTDRIPS: Wow, that sounds lovely, doing what you love to do anyway and get paid to do so! Sorry your program was dropped, but you never know what beautiful things will come instead. Thank you for sharing, Denise!

      • profile image

        IreneL11 3 years ago

        My family makes me happy.

      • darkflowers profile image
        Author

        Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

        @IreneL11: That is wonderful IreneL11 , thank you for sharing!

      The Paradox of Choice - Why More is Less

      The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
      The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

      Having something to choose from is great, but in this modern society it has become too much. Too much choice can paralyze you and make you feel confused!Too much Choice can become an obsession! And this obsession leads to feelings of unhappiness instead of making you feel better. This book explains exactly how this works.

      In 11 steps the author teaches you how to reduce the number of choices in your life. He makes you aware of which choices do matter and which don't. After reading this book you'll know what to focus on. Less choices leads to a happier life! You'll be more relaxed and will reach more on every level with less to doubt and wander about!

       

      Great tips to live a happy and rewarding life!

      Life is simple, if you pay close attention to the tips in this video and apply them in your daily life, you already make a change! Great quotes!

      More happy tips for you!
      More happy tips for you!

      Live a Life of Happiness Without Limits!

      Focus on Positive Things!

      Close your eyes for a moment. If you could do whatever you wanted in life, what would it look like? What would you do to make your life perfect? What if there were no limitations?

      Write a story about your perfect limitless life. How do you feel? What does your life look like? What would you love to do in the morning after getting out of bed? How do you fill your days. What people will suround you? What kind of things would you eat/drink and what would you avoid? Remember in this exercise there are NO limits, so imagine you have an abundance of everything. Be very specific. Describe all your actions, your emotions, the tastes, smells, colors, etc. Dare to dream and explore your mind!

      Focus on the positive: so if you now focus on illness turn it around and state you are a healthy person, describe this in the story you are working on. If your now focus on annoying people in your life turn it around and see yourself having the ideal relationhip with them, describe exactly the way YOU want it to be. Avoid negative statements, so skip the don'ts out of your vocabulary!

      Write as much as you can about the life of your dreams. Buy a special and very beautiful notebook for this goal and keep it with you if you want to continue writing. A good question to start with for me is always 'How do i lead a happy life?' This strategy is called 'mindmapping'. In other words: you reorganize your brains/way of thinking/feeling. It is important to complete this task before you continue with the next step. Grant yourself this personal time. Schedule time if you're a busy person. Do it now! There is always time, even if it's only 10 minutes a day, but most probably you can find more time. Even if it means you have to get up (half) an hour earlier!

      Photo Credit

      It's time to take action!
      It's time to take action!

      Become a Happier Person: Take Action!

      And Keep on Moving!

      My intention is living the life of my dreams and although I realize I haven't reached the final destination yet I know in which direction I walk the path of life. And so can you. It helps you to feel happier and more satisfied with all you do/have in life. So it is important to have a clear picture of your destination. And I can say from my own experience that there is no such thing as a 'final destination'. I set myself goals, reach the ending point and when I do new exciting destinations pop up in my mind. I love that because it means life keeps on moving. While traveling my road and enjoying the traveling I learn a lot and keep on improving. I'm never done and I hope you won't be too!

      I set big and small destinations. Like a small one could be: I want to clean up my house, clear clutter, attend a workshop, etc. The bigger ones are broader and take more time like: being more loving, writing a book, becoming even more happy, etc.

      Whar I usually do is start with the small destinations. So if I want to reach clearing clutter I intent to do this before the holliday begins, by the end of the week, or so. I set myself a clear dead line and that helps me. I can be pretty chaotic from time to time so this strategy if working for me. See for yourself if it works for you too. Working with clear goals is important. And the goals should help you on your way towards happiness! All smaller and bigger destinations are part of my journey towards how to lead a happier life, towards living the life of my dreams. All steps I take must feel good!

      Then I focus on the bigger picture, my dream life story, the ideal reality I want to reach in my life! And I wonder what steps I need to take to make it a reality! I see this as the guide to my ideal reality.

      Photo Credit

      How to live a happy life on YouTube

      Cute cartoon like video with tips on how to make your life happier, it puts a smile on my face every time I watch this!

      This is one of my dogs, watching this picture makes me happy!
      This is one of my dogs, watching this picture makes me happy!

      Can You Be a Happy Person?

      Believe in Yourself!

      On my way learning how to lead a happy and fulfilling life it is really important I keep on believing in myself! I know deep down I CAN DO IT! And so can you! Believing in yourself and the fact that you can realize whatever dream life you desire is 50% of the steps on the way to your biggest destination! The other 50% is sticking to your goal and taking all necessary steps. Staying motivated is not always easy. I am a human being like you, I have my good and bad days in life. The challenge for me is to stay motivated whatever happens! And I'm getting better at it every single day. If I have a hard time finding my motivation I go search for things that make me happy like my dogs for example! Or music I love. If it helps me feel better it is good and you can do the same!

      I know it takes a lot of self confidence to learn how yo lead a happier life, you need to love yourself. I struggled with this for many years. One of the books that really helped me was "How to heal your life" written by Louise Hay. It was a life transforming book for me!

      I takes courage to make a change. Sometimes I face scary situations, instead of running away I dive into them so the fear goes away and I overcame another block on the road. Set it as your intention too not to avoid what scares you. If I can do it, so can you (and I can so there is no reason why you can't do the same!)

      Photo Credit belongs to the author

      You can heal your life -Louise Hay

      You Can Heal Your Life
      You Can Heal Your Life

      If you have trouble loving yourself and/or struggling with your self confidence I recommend you read this book. To me it was life transforming!

       
      One of Gandhis best quotes!
      One of Gandhis best quotes!

      Happiness and Making Sacrifices

      Giving up What No Longer Serves You!

      I have learned throughout the years that I only can reach my dreams and goals if I am willing to make sacrifices! I am like everybody else and face things, people, situations etc. in life that no longer serve my goals, that no longer make me happy. But I find it hard to let go. In such areas I sacrifice, so I give up to get loads in return! Try it out! Maybe you freak out by the idea, but there is no need to. Take your time, take small steps, as long as it feels good. Remember that the road to a happier life is not an easy one. You will face many challenges and you must be willing to learn from them, to work hard, even if you don't want to. Keep the final goal in mind and you'll do great. I don't like all I do, but I need to. For example I had to give up sugar... and I was a big sugar addict. So I didn't like that but still I did, because I know that sugar is so bad for my health and energy in general!

      You must be willing to change!

      Focus on the pleasure and many happy feelings you get when dream about the ideal life you want to reach. That is a big motivator! Don't stick to the old, but reach for the new better me is what I focus on. And you know, improving myself is fun and hard at the same time. As long as I am willing to change things go very well!!!

      Being patient

      For me personally I think this is the most difficult one. Patience is not my strongest quality, so this is work in progress so to say. If it were up to me I would already 'be there' but that is just not possible. It takes many steps and actions, some take real slow, I hate that but others are real quick so that compensates and gives me faith the stuff that takes longer will become successful too!

      Enjoy the present moment!

      All I have got in my life is the present moment. The future isn't a fact yet. I'm working on how to lead a happier life, and try to give it all to suround myself with happy feelings, clearing blocks on the road, overcoming difficulties, and becoming stronger every single moment. I LOVE life right now, even when I have my down moments! Life is good as it is and I improve with every single successful step I take. I keep on exercising because I don't believe in failure, this is really not an option. No matter what it takes to reach a goal, I am willing to do it. If you want to be successful so should you. Simple :)

      You live right now, you're not dead, so don't wait untill your ideal life is reality, start living and enjoy your (baby)steps. Feel grateful for all the beauty that is present in your life. I do that, I write about it. I read about it. I practize it!

      Photo Credit

      I love hearing from my readers, it means a lot to me, thank you taking time to share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.

      Did my Lens make you happy? - Please share your useful feedback

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        • profile image

          RinchenChodron 3 years ago

          Great advice here. Thanks also for linking to my Buddhist Quotes on Happiness lens.

        • sponias lm profile image

          sponias lm 3 years ago

          This is a very helpful lens! I agree with your tips.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image

          WriterJanis2 3 years ago

          This lens is so inspirational. With everything you've gone through, it's amazing what a wonderful outlook you have. I hope many other people find their way to this lens.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @WriterJanis2: *Blushing* Wow, thank you so much Janis! It is my intention to inspire people to do the same, it is possible. Thank you for reading!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @sponias lm: Thank you so much for your compliment and for reading my Lens!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @RinchenChodron: Thank you and your Buddhisr Quote on Happiness Lens is really worth visiting! Namaste!

        • SavioC profile image

          SavioC 3 years ago

          You are a winner. From your traumatic childhood to the new you I am sure your journey has been a roller coaster but you hung in there & you won . Thats important . Now you are enlightening others too. What more could anyone ask for. you are truly blessed. Stay focussed & be happy. I learnt something today and I am going to use that. Always be grateful & keep smiling. I wish you all the very best.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @SavioC: Hi Savio, thank you for your kind words. It sure is a blessing! And I'm very grateful. Wonderful you learned something, compliments to you, I hope it brings you much good! Really appreciate your feedback and I wish you all good in life, blessings to you!

        • takkhisa profile image

          Takkhis 3 years ago

          Thanks for those great tips! And your lens is very inspirational, no doubt about that. Everybody seeks for happiness and it will come once we stop hurting other people or not be harmful to them and of course we have to erase the word "Envy" from our mind :)

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @takkhisa: You're welcome Takkhis and thank you for visiting my Lens, have a lovely day :)

        • flinnie lm profile image

          Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

          Hi I wish you a very happy life. Thanks for all the great tips about living a happier life. Such good advice, God bless.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @flinnie lm: Thank you for your kind words and of course I wish the same for you!

        • marktplaatsshop profile image

          marktplaatsshop 3 years ago

          You have had your share of misery, I hope you're happy for the rest of your life, thanks for sharing your story and all tips, I recently read a lens of someone, and this lens was about abuse there is a poem in it which I get chills all over my body again, and the tears roll down on my cheeks, that people can do this to their children, is incomprehensible.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @marktplaatsshop: Thank you so much for your kind words! Child abuse is terrible, I don't even want to understand why people do this, it's just a big "no no". I'm very grateful I was able to overcome the trauma and be strong and independent now! I learned how to be happy no matter what happens!

        • HappyTom LM profile image

          Tom Christen 3 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

          Yes! I really like your lens! Thank you so much for sharing! Great job!

        • Bercton1 profile image

          Bercton1 3 years ago

          A great lens. Thanks for sharing such Inspirational experience!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @Bercton1: Thank you Bercton, it's a pleasure. I wish you a very happy day!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @HappyTom LM: Thank you HappyCoaster, it always feels very good to share Lenses like this, wishing you tons of happiness!

        • adragast24 profile image

          adragast24 3 years ago

          Nice lens, I reciprocate the link!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @adragast24: Thank you so much!

        • VspaBotanicals profile image

          VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

          Wonderful lens!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @VspaBotanicals: Thank you so much!

        • profile image

          SteveKaye 3 years ago

          This wonderful lens should help many. Thank you for publishing it. You've shown great courage and wisdom here. I wish you the best.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @SteveKaye: Thank you so much for your kind words, Steve! Wishing you the best too!

        • David Stone1 profile image

          David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

          Well-done with lots of insight and persuasive strategies. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd probably have written something like this.

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          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @David Stone1: Thank you so much for your kind words Dave! I appreciate it a lot!

        • profile image

          rakesarm 3 years ago

          I always know the happiness is inside but we always look outside for it. We will never find it outside.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @rakesarm: You're absolutely right, it settles within you, that is what true happiness is all about!

        • Stephanie36 profile image

          Stephanie 3 years ago from Canada

          This is a really interesting lens with lots of great ideas!

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @Stephanie36: Thank you so much for your kind words Stephanie!

        • smine27 profile image

          Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

          Thank you for such an inspirational lens. I try to work on my personal happiness everyday but sometimes I need some extra motivation like today. HUGS

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @smine27: Thank you so much for your sweet words, hugs back! I'm really happy you found extra motivation in my favorite Lens :) Have a lovely weekend!

        • Minoru10 profile image

          Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

          Wow !!! great lens, it can really be a challenge from day to day. Thank you for sharing and being so upfront with your lens. : D

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @Minoru10: Thank You so much for your very kind words Minoru10! It can definitely be challenging sometimes, but let's make it a happy challenge :)

        • rking96 profile image

          Rick King 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

          I enjoyed your lens. I agree that happiness is in your control. If we look externally for happiness, we will never find anything that can sustain us long term.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @rking96: Thank you rking96. Happiness is within us, we create our own. It has nothing to do with the material world, or little. Some material stuff helps of course, like you need money to pay the bills. But you don't need to be a millionaire to become happy.

        • profile image

          anonymous 3 years ago

          Being happy, looking at the good things within our lives is far more beneficial and healthy for us. We should never worry about what we don't have, we should be happy with what we do have.

        • PAINTDRIPS profile image

          Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

          You lens may not have made me happy (that is something I decide to be regardless) but it made me smile today. Thanks.

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          changrcoacher 3 years ago

          I loved this lens the first time I read it...and I loved it again today! Congratulations on being chosen as one of the best. Applause!

        • darkflowers profile image
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          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @changrcoacher: Thank you changcoacher, nice to see you back again!

        • darkflowers profile image
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          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @PAINTDRIPS: I'm happy it made you smile, Denise!

        • darkflowers profile image
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          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @anonymous: I agree with you 100%, awelldressedbullet! You really get more of what you focus on and being grateful helps you to realize how rich you already are, from the inside and outside. Thanks for sharing!

        • profile image

          IreneL11 3 years ago

          I think happiness it's a choice. Great lens, great words.

        • darkflowers profile image
          Author

          Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          @IreneL11: Thanks a lot again, IreneL11 :)

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