Jul 28, 2014
Jul 25, 2014
“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”Wayne Dyer
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
It is usually pretty easy to become a happier person.
It is also quite easy to rob yourself of your own happiness. To make yourself more miserable and add a big bowl of suffering to your day. It is common thing, people do it every day all over the world.
So today I’d like to combine these two things. I’d like to share 7 happiness stealing habits that I have had quite a bit of trouble with in my own daily life (and I know from all the emails I get that many of you do too).
But I’d also like to add what you can do instead if you find yourself being stuck in one of these destructive habits.
1. Going for daily swim in a sea of negative voices.
This one can be quite subtle.
You just go around in your daily life like you usually do. Hang out with the same people. Listen to the same podcasts or radio shows, watch the same old TV-shows and read the usual blogs, books and magazines.
But what influence do these things have over your thinking and the limits you set for yourself and what you feel you deserve in life?
What to do instead:
Make a list of the 5 people you hang out with the most and the 5 media sources you spend most time on during your week.
Then ask yourself this for each of these 10 things/people: is this one dragging me down or lifting me up in life?
Consider spending less time with the ones that drag you down (or cut them out completely) and to spend more of your time with the people and sources that lift you up and make you feel good, motivated etc.
If you have trouble getting started with this one, then go smaller. Take a few minutes to think about what one person or source that has the biggest negative impact on you. And how you can start to spend less time with it/him/her this week.
2. Waiting for just the right time.
When you have a dream then it is so easy to get lost in planning how you will accomplish it. To drift away in daydreams about how it will be. But also to get stuck in fears about failing with it.
So you make a common choice and wait – and wait and wait for maybe years – for just the right time to take action and get started with making that dream into something real.
What to do instead:
Sure, not every dream is something you can get started with right now. But there are many that you can get going with. Dreams that only fear is holding you back from.
So make things easy on yourself. You don’t have to dive in a big and extremely courageous jump. If that was the case then only the bravest people in the world would do and achieve what they want.
Instead, take a small step forward. Take one small action. That is it. Then tomorrow you can take another small step forward. The important thing is that you get started and get going instead spending so much time on just waiting and feeling more and more frustrated and unhappy about the state of your dreams.
3. Letting criticism get under your skin time and time again.
When someone criticizes or verbally attacks you then it may just roll off you like water of the back of a duck.
But if it on the other hand gets under your skin pretty much every time and drags you down into hours or days or self-doubt or self-beatings then you have a problem.
What to do instead:
- Let it out. Talk it over with someone close to you to let the inner tensions out. And to find a healthier perspective on what happened together.
- Remember: it is not always about you. If your self-esteem is low them it is easy to start thinking that all the negative things people tell you are your fault in some way. That is however often not the case. People will attack or harshly criticize to let their own steam out. Because they have had an awful day, week or simply do not like their lives that much. So don’t think it is all about you. There are two of you in this situation.
4. Focusing on the wrong people and getting lost in envy and powerlessness.
When you spend much time in your day thinking about what other people have and do and you compare your life to theirs then you have a good recipe for unhappiness.
Because you spend the attention and energy in the wrong place.
What to do instead:
Focus on you. Compare yourself to yourself. See how far you have come. The obstacles you have overcome. How you have improved in small or sometimes bigger ways. Appreciate that and yourself.
Focus not on what others have but on what YOU deep down want in your life.
And ask yourself: what is one small step I can take today to get the ball rolling with this goal/dream?
Keep your focus on yourself and what you can actually do to raise your self-confidence, to start walking on your own path and to spend your limited daily time and energy on something that will actually pay off.
5. Not allowing yourself times of peace and rest during your day.
When you are busy, busy, busy all the time and give yourself no time to recharge then you soon become fatigued.
And so each step and each thing you do start to feel heavier and you do not get much enjoyment at all out of pushing and pulling yourself through it.
What to do instead:
- Take a break every hour. Try setting the timer on your cell phone for 45 minutes. During that time-period just focus on doing your most important task at the moment. Then, as the bell rings, set the timer for 15 minutes and step away from your workspace. Have a snack, talk a walk or stretch a bit. By cycling rest and fully focused work like this you’ll get more things done, do a better job and it will be easier to keep the optimism and motivation up.
- Be 10 minutes early. Transform those traveling times during your day into relaxing breaks instead of passages of time and space that only increase your stress levels and other negative feelings.
6. Never trying anything new.
This one can be sneaky.
It can make you think that things are pretty OK. You have your safe and comfortable routine. I know, I have been there for long stretches of time.
But during those times there was also denial of feeling dissatisfied. A vague feeling of standing still that sometimes bloomed up into a big burst of undefined, negative feelings directed towards the world or myself.
What to do instead:
- Remind yourself of the past times when you tried something new. And how you most often did not regret it one bit but had an exciting, interesting or fun time.
- Go small. You don’t have to try skydiving. Just take one small step and try some new and different music, a movie or book you would normally not go for or the vegetarian dish if you usually have the beef or sausage for lunch.
- Say yes just once this week when your mind says no. If a friend invites you to go out running, doing yoga or to go fishing or to a party and your mind goes “let’s say no, that is not what I usually do” then stop yourself for a second. And reconsider. You don’t have to say yes to every suggestion you get this week to try something new, but give it a shot and say yes to just one of those things.
7. Taking things too seriously.
When you take life too seriously then it is easy to become so afraid of making a mistake of stumbling a bit that you get paralyzed in analysis.
When you take yourself too seriously then, in my experience, it becomes difficult to fully enjoy the moment and what is happening, to let go of the past and to laugh about yourself and life when you need it the most.
What to instead:
- Put up a reminder. When I wanted to develop a lighter mindset quite a few years ago one thing that helped me was a simple note on fridge that said: Lighten Up! This reminder helped me to snap out of overly serious thoughts several times a day until this way of finding a lighter perspective became more and more of an automatic thought habit.
- Surround yourself with lighter mindsets. As mentioned in the section about habit #1, what and who you surround yourself with will have a big effect on how you think. No matter if it is a positive or negative aspect they add. So one powerful thing to do is to add lighter mindsets via people, books, the internet etc. to your daily life.
- Raise your self-esteem. I have found that as my self-esteem has gone up I can laugh about myself more because I am less defensive. I have more trust in myself and so I fear a temporary failure less. And I like myself more and so I am less concerned about getting everyone else to like me all the time.
Jul 22, 2014
Jul 17, 2014
Jul 16, 2014
Discount grocer Aldi may soon be facing competition from cut-price European rivals if trends in the $88 billion Australian grocery market mirror those in the UK.
UK retailer Sainsbury’s controversial decision to back the relaunch of Danish discounter Netto has underscored the popularity of budget grocers Aldi and Lidl, which have almost doubled their share of the UK market to more than 8 per cent in the last few years.
Aldi has been even more successful in Australia, garnering 10 per cent of the eastern seaboard market in just over 10 years as consumers become increasingly frugal and seek to reduce the cost of their weekly grocery shop.
In a report released this week, Commonwealth Bank analyst Andrew McLennan says there is room in Australia for a second discount grocery chain.
Mr McLennan sees scope for Netto, Lidl or other discount operators to open stores in Australia, either under their own steam or in partnership with incumbents such as Woolworths, Coles or Metcash.
Lidl, owned by Germany’s Schwarz Group, was reported to have been scouting for sites in Australia and speaking to potential suppliers earlier this year with a view to opening its first stores in 2015.
“Based on the trends from international markets and the apparent willingness of Australian consumers to embrace the format, we see potential for another discount retailer to enter the Australian market,” Mr McLennan said.
“While Lidl has previously been mentioned as a candidate to enter the Australian market, there is also the potential for Netto or a local alternative,” he said.
The arrival of a new discount player would have significant implications for Woolworths, Coles and Metcash, which have been forced to respond to Aldi’s growth by reducing prices and expanding their range of private label groceries.
Mr McLennan said market leader Woolworths, which has the highest profit margins in the world, had the ‘most to lose’, but was also in a strong position against other incumbents because of its low cost of doing business.
“Like Tesco, we see potential for Woolworths’ food and liquor margins to come under pressure, but we recognise Woolworths does not have the same exposure to superstore formats and is well positioned online in Australia,” he said.
Metcash was the most exposed to the arrival of new players, Mr McLennan said, because of its relatively high cost of doing business and high retail prices.
However, there was scope for Metcash to enter the discount market directly or in conjunction with an international partner.
“While a low probability outcome, this could be an avenue for growth to a company that otherwise appears to be lacking options,” Mr McLennan said.
In the UK, Aldi and Lidl have been growing at a faster rate than the four major players - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Morrison’s - as middle class consumers battling rising living costs embrace their low price private label offer.
The major chains have retaliated by slashing prices, but the price cuts have come at a cost to sales and margins.
Last month market leader Tesco reported a 3.8 per cent drop in first quarter same-store sales and chief executive Philip Clarke said he could not remember a worse trading period in more than 30 years.
Mr McLennan said the traditional full-service supermarket channel was fractionalising as consumers shopped in discount, convenience and online channels.
“The loss of market share and sales is putting these formats under pressure,” he said.
Sainsbury’s is one of the few major UK chains that has grown market share in recent years, but is nevertheless taking a 50 per cent stake in Netto’s relaunch into the UK, effectively backing the future of the discount business model.
Netto previously had 193 stores in the UK but they were sold to Walmart’s ASDA in 2010 and rebranded.
Jul 10, 2014
"Hamas is playing a dirty game," rages Khaled (name changed by the editor). "Gaza is your game board, and we are their pawns. They do not care if many of us lose. mainly, they gain the game! "
The man who makes air his wrath is a Palestinian journalist who has spent his whole life in the Gaza Strip.A man whose family has badly suffered from the crisis and blockages of the past years, and the reason is not so much a fervent hatred of Israel, but to the ruling of the Gaza Strip radical Islamic Hamas has developed.
Therefore, it also does not write better his real name. Hamas is the most rigorous action against their opponents.If you will, Hamas aims with their current hail of missiles not only to Israel but also to men like Khaled: With their latest weapons transition the organization wants to polish up her shattered image as a representative of the legitimate resistance against Israel. By letting shoot rockets that Hamas deliberately provoke Israeli air strikes. The suffering it causes is to do two things: on the one hand radicalize the war-weary people of Gaza and back into the arms of Hamas. Men like Khaled to get caught again by the rhetoric of resistance.
On the other hand, the Hamas leadership aims to increase the visibility from: The break with the Syrian regime in 2011 and the military coup in Cairo last summer, as the Generals beat the interleaved with Hamas Muslim Brotherhood from office, the extremists of their main ally deprived. "Now they want to make us civilians as long bleed front of the cameras until pities the Arab world and exerts pressure on Egypt to open its border with the Gaza Strip," says Khaled.
"Hamas is deep in the shit," says political scientist Mkhaimar Abu Sada rare in blunt language. The otherwise reticent academics teaches at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City. The population of Gaza was close to open revolt against their rulers, says Abu Sada. Since the cash flow from Syria, Iran and is now dried up from Egypt, put the motion in massive financial trouble. For nine months, the government of Gaza can no longer pay the salaries of its 40,000 officers.
Thus under pressure, Hamas had, after much hesitation admitted in early June on the formation of a unity government with the hated Fatah Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the. But the kowtow to Abbas, who governs in the West Bank, did not produce the desired result: The unity government was unable to work due to internal feuds from the beginning and could not repay the outstanding balance of Hamas. The expected improvement of living conditions in the Gaza Strip remained from that Hamas continued to lose prestige.So the radicals sat on escalation: the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers on June 12 and the subsequent alleged revenge killing of a Palestinian youth in the past week triggered the current cycle of violence. hundreds of rockets flew in on Tuesday night direction Israel .The Israeli government approved the mobilization of up to 40,000 Reserve soldiers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in the fight against Hamas, it was time to "take off the gloves."
He stands inside under political pressure to respond with full force to the provocations of Hamas. So far, he hesitates. A new Gaza war would create major risks, Netanyahu reputation and even the office could cost.His foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who is pushing for the use of weapons, Netanyahu announced on Monday because of the following.
Israel's mobilization must draw no invasion by itself
The now approved mobilization to Netanyahu buy time, serve to satisfy the desire for revenge right-wing nationalist Israelis. The fact that it automatically pulls the invasion of ground troops with the associated escalation by itself, is not to say 2012, when it came to the last major slugfest between Israel and Hamas, Jerusalem was to march his troops along the coast, but agreed after eight days mutual bombardment to a ceasefire.
Whether the conflict in Gaza grows into a real war, now depends to a large extent by Egypt from President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. Abbas assured on the phone that his country would push for a cease-fire between Israel and the radical Islamic Hamas, it said on Wednesday in Ramallah.In plain language this means that Cairo think about it, to make concessions to Hamas. Hamas will get involved only to a ceasefire if in return some of their demands are met. Its primary objective at the moment is to move Egypt to open its border with Gaza. If Cairo engage in it, the living conditions in Gaza, would suddenly improve - and Hamas would have their power for a while longer ensured.