Results for category "Living Positive"

The Secrets to Happiness

Dana Houser 0 Comments

I don’t know you, but I do know one thing about you.

How can I know anything about you if I don’t know you, you ask?

Well, it’s simple. Everyone wants to know how to achieve happiness. And the thing I know without a doubt, about you, is that you want to be happy. So I’m going to share the secrets to happiness with you.

I stumbled across these secrets from Ted Nicholas awhile back. And Ted Nicholas knows a few things about happiness. He also knows a few things about business, marketing and longevity.

I’ve added my personal thoughts in the ( ) following the initial statement.

The Secrets to Happiness

1. Decide to be happy. (Easier said than done? Maybe. But try it before you knock it. Get up tomorrow and tell yourself, “I’m going to be happy today.” Then when someone starts dripping negativity on you or gossip, remind yourself of the decision you made).

2. Make happiness a priority. (This means you might, no you’ll definitely, have to stop hanging around certain people. If you can’t avoid them completely, make your encounters as short as possible. You know the people I’m talking about. And tell yourself every morning that you’re going to be happy today. After all, it is a decision you have to make).

3. Accept yourself, forgive others and stop making judgments of them or yourself. (You are you. You can’t be someone else so stop trying to be. And believe it or not, some people are wishing they were you. Yep, it’s true. You have gifts that NO ONE else on this planet has. Get better at the things you’re good at and quit trying to be good at the things you’re not good at. If someone has wronged you, forgive them and move on. That doesn’t mean you like them or have to hang out with them. But holding a grudge to the grave isn’t going to damage anyone but yourself. And don’t judge people, especially yourself. You don’t know what the other person’s story is. They could be terminally ill or have a sick child and that may be why they’re acting like an asshole. There’s countless things that could be going on in someone’s life that you know nothing about. Be kind to them anyway. Your act of kindness might be exactly what they need at that moment. And it could completely change their attitude. When you screw up, and you’re going to, we all do, don’t beat yourself up over and over. Accept whatever it is that happened, apologize if you need to, but move on as soon as possible. Keep moving forward and trying to become a better person).

4. Live in the present moment. It’s all you have now and all you will ever have. (In other words, don’t waste what you have and enjoy it while you can. The last time I saw my dad it was around 4pm and he was standing in my entryway playing monsters with my kids. Roaring like the Abominable Snowman and they ran by smiling and screaming. That night he was out in the field checking on his horses and dropped dead of a massive heart attack. You never know when your time on this earth is up. Make the most of it. Make the most of every moment God has given you).

5. Discover the enormous power of gratitude for all your blessings. Create a daily gratitude diary. (There’s a lot of bad things happening in the world and there’s a ton of problems you encounter throughout life. But… there’s a lot of great stuff happening in your life too. And when you start focusing on ALL the good that’s happening, and showing gratitude for ALL the good that’s happening in your life, you’ll forget about most of the crap. Try it. You’ll thank me.)

6. Move! Walk or swim for at least 30 minutes each day. (This speaks for itself. And don’t say you don’t have time. If you can’t give up your favorite TV show, then put a freakin treadmill in front of the TV. But move. Do something. You’ll be feeling better in no time).

7. Give all you can afford to suitable children’s charities. My favorites are The Hole in the Wall Gang and Make-a-Wish Foundation. (No child chose their dire circumstances. Do what you can to improve the life of a child and you’ll change the world).

8. Listen to beautiful music and go dancing at every opportunity. (Music moves the soul. It soothes and inspires. And if you don’t dance, start. Even if you just stand at the side of the room & shake it a little you’ll feel better.

9. Read romantic poetry often. (There’s nothing more beautiful than love).

10. Do not fully trust the country of your birth to provide a safe passport forever. In this uncertain world, obtain a legal second passport for insurance in case you ever need it.

11. Stop fully trusting any government in the world with your assets and freedom. For safety, at the barest minimum live a three-flag life. Place your money in one country. Set up your business in a second country. Live in a third country. I live a five-flag life. (The government is not your friend).

12. Let yourself cry. Whether you experience tears of joy or sadness, crying often is one of the most beneficial things physically and psychologically you can ever do. (Crying = happiness? Yep. It’s a way to show your emotions and you need to let those tears out. Crying is NOT a sign of weakness and there is no shame in it. When my kids were younger I could look at them lying in bed and just start crying because I love them so much. Now I find myself crying watching a movie or a show because I can relate to different situations. Have you ever heard someone say, “I need a good cry?” Good is the key word. It let’s things out. Then you can move on).

To Your Happiness

I’m so pleased to share what I’ve discovered about happiness with you.

My own commitment to living fully has deepened as will yours.

Best of all, that which I have most wanted to give to others I value and love has been given to me.

Best wishes to you on your quest. Your happiness level will inevitably increase just as sure as night follows day. When you experience the happiness you deserve, I would love to hear from you about your experience.

~Ted Nicholas

A Better World

In order to make the world a better place, I believe we need to share those things that make it better when we discover them. I hope this list helps you discover happiness for yourself.

~Dana

You Must Declare This

Dana Houser 0 Comments


I want to talk about two things today. Independence Day(that’s what we celebrate, NOT the 4th of July), and declaring YOUR independence. In my opinion, I think Independence Day should be the second biggest holiday that we celebrate in America, next to Christmas. Sadly, a lot of our younger generation doesn’t even know why we celebrate Independence Day. They think it’s just a day off from work to grill out, drink beer and light fireworks. And those are all great and fun things to do. But they should at least know what the hell they’re celebrating for.

Independence From Great Britain

The colonists were sick and tired of being told what to do, how to run their lives and taxation without representation. So, it all came to a head, and the course of history was changed forever on July 4th, 1776.

It’s Time To Claim Your Dependence

What or who are you tired of controlling you? Is it a person, your job, your physical health or something else. We all fall prey to something and we wish it would change. We’re all sick and tired of this or that, but a lot of times we don’t do anything about it except wish for something to change.

Well guess what…

Nothing’s going to change until you change it. That’s right, you. That person staring at you in the mirror on Monday morning when you’re dreading going to work at a job you despise.

The Good News

Whatever it is that you think is holding you back can be changed. And I say that you think it’s holding you back because that’s all it is. You’re letting whatever it is control you, control you. When you decide to do something about it, when it hurts bad enough, you’ll change it.

One way is challenge yourself. Decide what it is that you want to change and improve about your life, commit to doing it, and do it. I’d suggest taking a look at and doing the 100 Day Challenge. But I can only suggest what to do, you have to actually do it.

Now, I want to share an article from a Steve Roller. He’s a copywriter, a friend of mine and shares a great perspective on this same subject.

Enjoy, and Happy Independence Day.

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

I’m a bit of a U.S. history buff.

I once stood in line for three hours to get a 30-second glimpse of the original Declaration of Independence at the National Archives in Washington D.C. I carry a pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence in my iPad case, and I can recite from memory the first 108 words of it.

Some of the most beautiful words in our country’s history start with “When in the course of human events … ”

So what does one of the most important documents in U.S. and world history have to do with your career as a freelance copywriter?

Plenty.

You see, the colonists were fed up with Great Britain’s control over their future. Things had been brewing for a while. First, the Stamp Act of 1765. Then the Boston Massacre. Later, the whole taxation without representation thing.

It all came to a head when the Second Constitutional Congress met in Philadelphia in early July, 1776.

You could call it the “defining moment” for the colonists.

July 4, 1776, changed the course of history forevermore.

What are you ready to kick to the curb?

Like the colonists, I believe each of us has a defining moment. That moment when we get fed up with the status quo and decide to do something about it once and for all.

It could be when you first make the decision to check out this idea of being a copywriter because your job is no longer fulfilling. Or further along when you make the leap to launch your full-time freelance business because you know if it doesn’t happen now, it may never happen. Maybe you’re an experienced pro and just need to redefine your niche (and bid good riddance to the old one that’s no longer in demand).

No matter where you are in your journey or what your particular issue is, the exercise I’m going to describe for you in a minute will work.

The “Great Britain” I needed to separate myself from

Recently, I realized that I had been plodding along for about a year at a moderate pace. I was bringing in enough to pay all my bills and then some, and I had gotten to the point of equalling my most recent best year.

But then I hit an invisible ceiling. I think it was the idea that I was making as much as I used to, had gotten comfortable, and wasn’t pushing myself like I did in the beginning.

On top of it, I was spending too much time with a client who wasn’t overly profitable and hanging onto another client in an industry I didn’t enjoy.

I was stuck in a rut, and I couldn’t get past it.

Time for another declaration, like the one I made three years ago, stating that I would leave my job within six months.

I needed to declare my independence from the shackles of mediocrity, and I did.

I actually wrote out, in declaration form, that I was no longer going to wallow in the average income, modest lifestyle, and relative obscurity of a mid-level copywriter.

Enough of underpaying, demanding clients! Goodbye to all clients in the niche I hadn’t chosen but fell into.

No more middle-of-the-road complacency. Time to bust out and move on to the next stage of my career!

It wasn’t complicated to write out my declaration, and it didn’t take me long.

On Walden Pond (kind of)

But first, I took three days off.

Grabbed some books, a journal, and headed for my brother’s cabin in northern Wisconsin. Not quite a Thoreau experience – I had Wi-Fi, a stocked refrigerator, and a nonstop pot of coffee going. But a good head-clearing experience nonetheless.

I took a personal inventory, like I described in “What’s on your Freedom Trail map?” Figured out where I’ve been, why I’m not satisfied, and where I’m going. When I emerged from the woods a few days later, I had crafted a one-page document suitable for framing (as long as no one else ever sees it).

And you know what?

Making that bold declaration served as a turning point! It’s exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling. I wake up with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, I’m thrilled about focusing on a new niche, and I have prospects in the pipeline again.

Now, before I go further, let me tell you what this exercise is NOT. This isn’t at all about …

  • setting goals
  • writing down your goals
  • creating a mission or purpose statement (I’ve never been able to figure those out)
  • visualizing success
  • positive expectations
  • the Law of Attraction

None of those things. This is quicker, easier, and I believe, more effective in moving you in the direction of your dreams.

You won’t instantly, magically hit all your goals. But it’s a starting point, a catalyst to help you move forward.

A declaration, plain and simple

Your Declaration of Independence is simply declaring to the world that you are fed up with your current situation. Explaining why you’ve come to this boiling point … what you’re separating yourself from … and why things are never going to be the same.

That’s all.

Only, it’s not really for the world.

This is one piece of copy that is for you.

Your simple 4-step action plan

The reason I love this exercise is because it packs a serious punch in a simple little document. I took three days because I needed a little vacation, but you can easily do it in three hours or less.

Here’s the plan:

Step 1: Identify it.

Spend some time thinking about the chasm between where you are and where you should be.

What’s been holding you back?
Why is it taking longer than you planned?
What challenges are proving difficult?
Who or what has gotten in your way?
What are you really getting annoyed with in your current situation?
Do you have any toxic people or things in your life that need to go?
Are you starting to get mad?! Good.

When you get frustrated with yourself and where you are right now, that’s the starting point. Identify exactly what you’re fed up with and what current connections you may need to break.

Step 2: Write it.

There’s serious power in the sheer act of writing something down. More than writing down your goals (which I also advocate), this is making a bold declaration and making it official!

Here’s a suggestion. If you want to have some fun with this, read the first two sentences and the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. You’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Mine starts out, “When in the course of my copywriting career, it becomes necessary to dissolve the unprofitable connections and habits I have developed, and to assume among the powers of the earth, my rightful place alongside rising copywriting greats like … ”

Craft some cool language that fits you. No one else has to ever see this, so don’t worry about how it sounds.

Step 3: Frame it!

I’m serious. And put it in a place where you can see it from your desk. We’re talking about a document that’s going to help change the course of your career, right? Make it count!

I did this three years ago when I declared that my loyalty to King George III (my employer) would be ending soon. Somehow stating it and posting it made it real.

Step 4: Use it.

Let your bold declaration, whatever it is, change you.

First, you identify it. Then you write it out. Then you post it.

Now stake your claim on the new territory and move in.

What next?

Think of your Declaration of Independence as a starting point, a launching pad, not a goal to be achieved.

Let it be a daily reminder that you got to a point where you had to change course.

I can tell you this. When you’ve formally made a declaration, even just to yourself, things naturally start falling into place.

Then, in the words of Thomas Jefferson: ACT

I think Steve shares some really good stuff there. If you’re ready to claim your independence and improve your life, the time to do it is now. Don’t put it off. Challenge yourself and make it happen.

Make The Most Out of Your Ticket

Dana Houser 0 Comments

I’ll never forget the first roller-coaster I saw that went upside down. I had been on several other rides, and I loved them. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get on that one that went upside down.  The anxiety was horrible and I remember almost getting physically sick. My cousins wanted me to and I wanted to, but I just couldn’t do it. However, numerous people kept boarding that roller-coaster and it kept right on going with or without me on it. And this time, it was without me.

Unlimited Rides

I’m not exactly sure when or where it was, or even how old I was when I finally got the courage to jump on one of those roller-coasters that went upside down. But once I road one there was no looking back. In fact, ever time I’ve gone to an amusement park since I’ve gotten there when they opened and stayed until the park closed down. And I try to go when it’s not peak season and the lines are short so I can ride the coasters as many times as possible.

Taking Full Advantage of My Ticket

I used to go to the State Fair when I was younger I would have to buy tickets for each ride. I could buy in bulk and get a discount and then each ride would cost ‘x’ amount of tickets. However, the amusement parks charge one price to get in the gates and you ride the rides as many times as you want. A much better deal.

One ticket and the good times begin.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie you run to get back in line. If you don’t get on the ride fast enough, the gate closes and it takes off without you because there are people strapped in and ready to go. You’ll have to wait for the next one.

Ticket to Life

You need to approach life in the same way. You’ve been given one ticket and you’re already on the ride. It’s not going to start at some point in the future when you’re finally ready and think you have everything in order. The train is moving. And

The train is moving. And

And unlike an amusement park ride, you have no idea how long this ride we call life is going to last. So don’t wait another second to start enjoying and making the most of it.

Uphill Battles

The first part of almost every roller-coaster is climbing the “big hill.” The gears lock in and there is clanking and crunching but that sucker makes it to the top. And as soon as it crests the peak it’s on. That baby starts down the first hill and the fear from climbing instantly turns into adrenaline. You start screaming and throwing your hands in the air while you’re smiling ear to ear. You blow through the twists and turns and go flying upside down so fast you don’t even hardly realize you’re upside down. You want this ride to last forever because you’re having so much fun.

Then It’s Over

But on a roller-coaster, you can get back in line and ride it again. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. So start enjoying it now. Make the most out of every moment. Even the bad ones because they are usually just stepping stones or tests to get you to the good stuff. We all have uphill battles. That’s just part of life. But when you know what’s coming on the other side, all the fun and rewards, you’ll climb that hill before you know it.

You have your ticket and the ride, your life, is in motion. It’s not stopping for anything but you’re the one who’s in control. Make the most of it.

Enjoy the ride.