Happiness is a State of Mind, Not a Destination

happiness is a state of mind, not a destinationThe Big Decision

Everyday we wake up and make a big decision.

Before our feet ever hit the floor, we must decide whether we will be happy or unhappy for the day.

Now, some people will automatically think that is an oversimplified statement, but really it’s not. Think about it. Everyone knows that one person who is always happy, no matter what. And often that person is not rich and does not have a perfect life. (At the time of this writing there is a documentary on Netflix called “Happy” which highlights this and I highly recommend watching it.)

You see, we often look to outside circumstances and other people to provide our happiness. We may not realize that, but we do. True happiness comes from within ourselves. It is a state of mind – a state of being. If you are a truly happy person, then things that happen around you generally don’t change that.

Make the choice right now to be happy and don’t let anything change that decision.

Stop Waiting for Happiness To Happen

One day a few years ago, I was talking to my father about some life issues when he said, “Angela, if you don’t stop that you will wish your whole life away.”

Wow! What an insight!

He was right. I was always living for the next weekend or vacation. I thought I would be happy when I got a new car, then when it was paid off. Or when I paid off a different bill or accomplished  something at work. There was always that one thing that I needed in order to be happy. I had been postponing my happiness for years without really realizing it.

I didn’t really grasp the concept that I could be happy while life was unfolding. It didn’t have to wait for anything. It was as easy as making a one second decision.

All those reasons I was using to not be happy were nothing more than excuses.

The Easiest Way To Happiness

The #1 way to get happy and stay happy is practicing gratitude each and every day.

Those who practice it religiously will tell you that emphatically.  When you start every day thinking about the abundance in your life, it is virtually impossible to feel unhappy. Also, your mind cannot think positive and negative thoughts at the same time. It is completely impossible. So while you are thinking off all the things you are thankful for in your life, you are literally pushing all the negative thoughts away.

For example, I begin each day saying “thank you” for everything I can think of.  As I get out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, etc. Then I also go back to that exercise throughout the day. Sometimes I do that when I eat, or if I encounter a negative situation or person. It immediately puts me back into a happy state of mind.

Most people have better lives than they think because they focus on the negative things instead of the positive ones. Once you start to focus on the good things, then your life will begin to feel more abundant. You will literally feel a shift in your life.

Say it in your head, say it out loud, or even keep a gratitude journal so you can look back at all your blessings over time. Just start today.

Steps To Happiness Everyday

  1. Decide to be happy when you wake each morning.
  2. Decide to be happy right this minute and stop using excuses not to be.
  3. Use gratitude throughout every day to remind you of your wonderful life.

It’s that simple! Start your happiness journey right now!


Why You Must Be Kind To Be a Minimalist

why you must be kind to be a minimalist

My husband and I always notice how most dog owners are friendly, outgoing people. It is quite unusual (at least in our part of the country) to see anyone walking a dog who doesn’t have pleasant demeanor and a kind word for anyone passing by.

Our theory is that dog owners:

  1. Are drawn to the fun loving attributes of dogs because they exhibit those traits themselves.
  2. Are less stressed because dogs provide stress relief in their lives by way of closeness and silliness.

The same goes for minimalists.

Well, not exactly…..but sort of.

Minimalist are also friendly, outgoing people. And it is also for similar reasons to dog lovers. In fact, minimalist often ARE dog lovers.

Stay with me here…..I’m going somewhere with this……I promise.

You see, being a minimalist allows you to strip away all the things in your life that are not important. And believe me, there are lots more unimportant things in our lives than most of us realize.

When you get rid of the things that are not important and only the good things remain, then you will become a more relaxed, happier person. Your joy will begin to overflow. Then the most amazing thing will happen. You will suddenly be super nice to everyone around you…..even complete strangers!

So you really shouldn’t ask why you must be kind to be a minimalist, but rather, how can you be a minimalist and not be kind?

As for dogs, as a semi minimalist (I’m still working on it) I find that a dog (or in my case 2) are essential to my happiness. When I strip everything away, my fur babies are on my top ten list of things that make me happy. They are a part of our family, and they bring joy to everyone in our home. (It’s like having two more kids that you don’t have to start college funds for.)

Besides, I truly believe that way deep down, even the meanest, nastiest person really wants to be kind to other people. When we take away all the clutter and see our lives clearly, then love and kindness stand above all else.

And, really, nothing else truly matters.

What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew (Please Take Notes Guys!)

what wives wish their husbands knew

What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew Is Truly Not a Secret!

It’s not even a book of secrets…….

So I am sitting here on this wonderful Tuesday night feeling particularly insightful and I just decided it was time to write this article.

Everybody knows that males and females are different, right? Women are both celebrated and vilified by guys. You think we are soft, alluring, intoxicating, and sometimes scary. (Want to clear any room full of guys? Just put one crying girl in there!)

I was watching a video clip on YouTube the other day (see below) where John Rzeznik (lead singer of Goo Goo Dolls in case you don’t know – I’m a huge fan) made a comment about having a girlfriend but that she could “turn into a b**** at any moment”  because women are “unpredictable” among other things. See? Even guys of that caliber have issues figuring out girls.


My own husband says I am unpredictable – which both excites and terrifies him. I call that entertaining, but he doesn’t think that’s nearly as funny as I do. But I digress…..

It is what it is, and you guys are not always a piece of cake to live with either. (Just thought I would throw that little fact in.)

We Are From That Other Planet (The Mysterious One)

Can you imagine how boring your life would be if we were JUST LIKE YOU? Some guys complain constantly about their wives/girlfriends, but how much fun would it be to live with a clone of yourself? Now, I am not saying that all guys are disorganized and smelly (I know a few who are neat freaks), but a house becomes a home when you put a female in it.

Back in my single days I had a guy friend who used to say he loved coming over because we (my roommate and I) always had candles burning and things were always cozy at our place. Looking back now, I can see it probably didn’t hurt that not one, but two females lived there too.

And let’s face it, your burping, bragging buddies get old after awhile and you want a totally different kind of companionship. I am not just referring to sex here, either. And you know that even though you like to joke about our monthly problems and other foreign matters that you don’t understand, you secretly revel in the fact that you know our most personal tidbits and are intimately involved in our mysterious world.

So here’s what you really need to know about us:

1. We Don’t Need To Be Fixed (So Please Shut Up While We Cry)

I realize you are a man and it’s your job to fix things, but please stick to changing light bulbs and killing spiders. Sometimes we just need to cry it all out and there’s nothing you can do about it, no matter how hard you try. When we are ready for your suggestions we will ask for them, and don’t worry because that time WILL come. Until then, we just need a big shoulder to cry on.

2. Our Ability To Turn Into a B**** At Any Moment Is Totally Relative To Your Mouth Opening and Things Coming Out of It

Now, I realize that you are not the cause of everything that goes wrong in our lives, but men have a way of rubbing salt into any wound we might have. There are many things that men can do that make us want to morph into those scary creatures you are afraid of, but here’s the worst one. You don’t listen to us and then try to cover it up. (^%^$%#$%@$#!$#@#$)!!!! That’s us saying bad words because we are SO frustrated when that happens for the millionth time! Just admit you weren’t listening and let’s try it again. Then please make an attempt to pay attention the next time.

3. Cavemen Are Sexy

Well, certain aspects of it anyway. With very few exceptions, women want to feel protected. Even those who act like they don’t usually do deep down inside, they just don’t want to admit it. Enter the caveman. He was tough, he had tunnel vision, and it was usually on getting what he wanted and needed for survival. So we like the fact that you get snorting mad if someone looks at us – in your eyes we are important and worth protecting.

So if you choose a night with us over a night with your buddies, you are really saying to us “I need you more than my friends” which also means “Because I need you, I will protect you”. (Can you see yourself swinging a huge club? Not the golf kind.)

Now, there are some girls who don’t like violence of any kind. But I am from the South where the girls are delicate and the guys are tough, so I really like the fact that my husband would beat anybody up for me. He doesn’t have to actually DO IT to make me happy, just the fact that he’s willing is enough for me!

4. Holding Our Purse Proves Your Love For Us

Actually, this proves that you value our opinion of you over the opinions of others. But this, in turn, proves that you love us. Every girl wants a guy who will make a fool of himself for her. There’s nothing like having a really tough guy be a total teddy bear for you.

5. If You Want Sex Later, You Will Listen Now

Intimacy is a totally different thing to girls and guys. If you want to have a healthy sex life, then you need to have a healthy relationship in every other way. Sorry, guys, but that’s how it works for girls. If you are being a jerk, WE ARE NOT EVEN ATTRACTED TO YOU! Literally. And what is the biggest way that guys are usually jerks to girls? You got it – not listening. It is SO frustrating to spend your time and energy telling a guy something that’s important only to find that he didn’t listen to one word of it!!!

6. You Don’t Have To Give Us the Moon

I know that male egos are something that guys have to carry around your whole lives. Your entire existence in one big peeing contest. I get that. A guy friend recently told me that guys are always wondering if they are “good enough” and that obviously includes how much you can give your girl. However, girls are a lot more forgiving than you probably think. We love you because you hold our hair out of the toilet when we are sick and because you make up sweet pet names for us. The smallest things you do are usually what matters most to us. Time and attention are what we need the most. That costs nothing but makes the biggest impact in our lives. It also shapes our feelings about you more than anything you could ever buy for us.

So to sum it up, what wives wish their husbands knew is this: we need your time, attention, and devotion. But I bet you already knew that deep down inside, right? Don’t treat her the way you want to be treated. She’s from Venus, not Mars.

There you have it – insight into the female mind. Thanks for visiting our world, please return often!

If you will do the things above, you will get the following things in return: our undying love, devotion, and admiration. In short, you will be our heroes! Isn’t that what your male ego needs to begin with?

Here are two resources to help you make your wife extremely happy:

If you are having relationship issues and need a plan to keep your relationship from failing, please visit The Magic of Making Up.

Just need a little something to spice things up a bit? Try 1000 Questions for Couples instead.

Husband Tips: How To Be Her Hero

husband tipsNeed a Few Husband Tips?

Ever wish marriage came with a manual? If only life could be so easy! Most men could use a husband guide to with give exact instructions to get them from Point A to Point B. You know, one hundred and one husband tips for an incredible marriage. But alas….God finds humor in wiring men and women differently, but aren’t we glad he does? Just think how boring life could be without our differences. Anyway, your wife does not expect you to be perfect, but she does want you to at least try. It’s not a hard as it might sound, and she’s worth it, right? So here’s some pointers to help. Let’s cover the basics first:

  1. Love her
  2. Show her that you love her (This IS different than Number 1.)
  3. Respect her in private and in public
  4. Make time for her
  5. Apologize when you are wrong
  6. Put her above everything except God (if you are a believer)
  7. Go to church with her (if she likes to go)
  8. Talk and listen to her
  9. Protect her
  10. Do little romantic things for her

Got that covered? Now, let’s talk about other things that you can do. I have been married for close to 14 years and have two adorable little boys, so I have some wisdom I can share with you guys. You are not lost, here is where you start…..

1. You Are Probably Not Off Track As Much As You Might Think.

You deserve a good ole pat on the back. You have already made some good choices along the way. First, you were innovative enough to find the woman of your dreams, then you were savvy enough to marry her. Second, you made the life-changing choice to marry that woman. Third, you love her (and yourself) enough to find information to make your marriage the best it can be. (There is always room for improvement, no matter what.)

Next, all you need to do is make a few small changes and you will see some spectacular changes in your marriage.

2. Consider Telling Your Wife That You Are Making Some Changes.

Honesty will usually get you far and sometimes it is best to come right out and tell your wife that you are trying to improve your marriage. When you tell her what you are working on she might even give you some ideas. Each wife is different but she might provide you with some specific ideas on things that need some improvement.

3. Start With Little Things.

Making changes can sometimes be difficult and even more difficult to maintain over time. That is why you shoud aim for no more than one change per week. If this seems daunting to you, then go for one change every two weeks instead. It is important for you to have a plan that you can stick to. A husband guide is only useful if you are able to follow it.

4. Spend At Least 20 Minutes Each Day Giving Her Your Complete Attention.

You are probably thinking that is not much time, but it may be more quality time than you are spending together now. Set aside the time just after you get home each day or right before bedtime. It can be hard to establish this habit, but the importance of this step in improving your marriage can not be overstated.

5. Make a Short List of Things You Do That Annoy Her.

Be honest with yourself. You know the things you do that make her crazy. Maybe you do not close the kitchen cabinet doors. (Some of us short girls get bumped in the head from that, you know?) Do you leave the lid off the toothpaste? Could it be that you forget your anniversary every year? Is you mother’s birthday more important to you than your wife’s? You must be honest with yourself or you will not know what to fix. These husband tips only work if you use them.

6. Take Charge – You Are the Boss of You!

Attack that list of annoying things. It is important to write this all down. Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. Now list the behaviors on one side and the action you will take to fix the problem on the other side. Implement one thing each week. This step goes a long, long way. It is sort of like your own personalized husband guide. This is NOT difficult. You are the boss of you and you simply must decide that your marriage and her happiness is worth the time and effort. It pays off big in the end, trust me.

7. Now Fix the Really Big Things.

Honestly, some things take more time and effort to overcome. If you and your wife have undergone a huge hurt in your marriage, then outside counseling might be needed. Real men take charge and make real steps to fix problems in their home and marriage. There are lots of places to get free counseling out there, especially in churches. Try one and see what happens. If a particular counselor does not seem right for you, go find another one. Don’t give up.

8. Love Her – and Show It To Everyone.

Here’s how to make her truly happy. Don’t just tell her you love her, show her too. Do it in huge ways that shows everyone around you that you love her completely. You want to feel loved, respected, and cherished, right? So does your wife. Engulf her with love in so many ways that she is mesmerized. Think that will not make an impact on her? So how do you do that? Pack a great picnic and candle and surprise her at work. Just eat it at her desk if necessary. Or just go to her break room, does not matter. Bring her a flower everyday for a week (or a month). Place notes for her everywhere in the house or at her work. Send or drop off small presents for her at work. Rent a large billboard and say “happy birthday” to her. Place an add in the newspaper. Say lovely things about her on your Facebook page. Always show love and adoration for her in front of all your friends and family. Lots of hugs and kisses with some special compliments help do the trick. You want the world to know how great you think she is.

The Last Step Is: Get To Work Today.

the magic of making upLittle things make a big impact, so it will not take long to start enjoying the benefits of your efforts. The changes will be huge and you will soon want to do more things for her. Too many spouses are only willing to put in their 50 percent of effort into their marriages. If you don’t keep score and just make a commitment to put in 100 percent yourself, you will probably find your wife starting to put in 100 percent too. Hope these husband tips will kick off a new phase in your marriage. May your life and marriage be peaceful and harmonious. Be an amazing husband that makes your wife swoon!  If your relationship is in trouble, get a step by step plan to turn it around at The Magic of Making Up.


How To Be The Best Husband You Can Be

How To Be the Best Husband You Can Be

How To Be the Best Husband You Can Be

Every man wants to know to be the best husband you can be, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

For example:

You have had a stressful day. Your back aches, you have been in gridlock traffic for an hour, and your best client dumped you. You cannot wait to get home, read the paper and kick back in the recliner.

Then it happens. She meets you at the door and immediately starts giving you a rundown of her entire day – how she was late for work, where she ate lunch, how her hairdresser cut her hair too short. You are so exhausted that you completely ZONE OUT…..

You do not want to have this conversation, or any other conversation for that matter. You wish she would take the hint and stop bothering you with it for now. You start thinking about who you will invite over to watch the big game this weekend…..then it happens. The look on her face tells you that she is waiting for an answer to something. What did she just ask you? Should you ask her to repeat it? That sure did not go well that last time you tried it. Yep, you are in trouble. She knows you were not listening and there is no way out of it.

How NOT To Be In the Doghouse…..

Here is your best move. Admit the obvious – you were not listening – and ask for forgiveness. Try to do better the next time. She will respect your honesty and for taking responsibility for your actions.

You were probably expecting a different response, but let’s assess the situation.

When the day comes that she does not tell about her daily life, buddy, you are in some serious trouble.

It is her prerogative to include you in her life, even the little details. When the day arrives that she is not interested in telling you about her daily activities, she is not interested in YOU.

But here is the one thing about women that you might not realize: The number one thing they need from you is ATTENTION. And it naturally takes time to give that attention.

What you need is a plan. Set aside 10 minutes every day to talk, I mean REALLY talk. You need to decide if you need 10 minutes to unwind first or if you want to give her the first 10 minutes when you walk through the door. If you always give her the time, she will respect your need to unwind first.

This should not be a chore. Have a glass of sweet tea (I’m from the South) or coffee. Turn off the TV, cell phones, etc. and try to eliminate all distractions. After you have done this for a while you will find yourself looking forward to that time too.

This is a simple step that you improve your marriage no matter how good it is to begin with. Most all women want to be treated like a princess, and admit it – deep down men really want to be a hero. Both things can be accomplished here. Little moves to pamper her like this will leave her feeling like a princess and will definitely give you hero status with her. Try it for a month and see the changes for yourself.

For a more husband tips and a more comprehensive guide for husbands, please see the Free Husband Guide.

If your marriage is in trouble, get this step by step plan to be the best husband you can be and turn your marriage around immediately at The Magic of Making Up.

However, if you just want a few pointers to bring you closer, then please go to 50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships. This comprehensive resource will bring joy to your relationship and life.

50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships

What Is Love?

What is loveWhat Is Love?

I have given a fair amount of thought to this question and I this is what I came up with:

Love is knowing someone’s faults and forgiving them for those faults.

Now, I know this sounds a little simplistic, but stick with me here.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest emotions for humans to conjure up. For some of us, it is nearly impossible.  In order to forgive someone for something we must make ourselves vulnerable and be willing to take a chance on someone. After all, that person could do that thing again that hurt/annoyed/angered/embarrassed us.

The deepest level of love constitutes that we forgive that person for not being perfect. I know this last sentence makes it all sound extremely simple, but humans are not simple creatures and sometimes it FEELS harder than it SOUNDS.

When I write about love in this instance, it could apply to any type of love for any person. It could be a family member or a friend. Must you forgive a person for their faults in order to love them? Not necessarily. But in order to truly love them on the deepest level possible you absolutely must forgive them. (Think of unforgiveness as a fence that you can see over but not quite climb over. Therefore, it is always blocking you to some degree.)

So the next time your spouse (or other person) doesn’t something that upsets you, try to shift your thinking away from the thing that upsets you. Instead try to focus on all the things he or she does that are RIGHT. Over time your feelings about that person will shift and you will learn to forgive him or her for not being perfect.

Then you will be entering the realm of the truest kind of love. ❤

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by Angela Christian Pope @ ModernRelationship.org