Hey hey We are the Foolish Couple. I am Andrew
And I am Minna.
We are the founders of the Foco Academy, business consultants, health coaches and success mentors. We help people like you to achieve success in health and relationships.
This week we’re actually on vacation, visiting the beautiful Vancouver British Columbia so we’re keeping this one casual.
Recently I’ve got a comment from someone that I worked with, and she actually told me that I am the happiest person she’s ever met. And that got me thinking. Why am I always happy? Why are we happy?
And it actually took us a while to come up with these 5 things that makes us happy, and we believe that these 5 things is the foundation to pretty much everyone’s happiness. And these are actually pretty simple things that anyone can do. So let’s get started with our first thing.
The first thing that makes anyone happy, is, GRATITUDE.
You may have heard this before, you know, Oprah praising the effectiveness of keeping a gratitude journal and all that. But, most people tend to forget how lucky they really are.
Now if you really think about it. What do you really need in your life? And I’m talking about basic survival. All you need is probably a t-shirt and jeans, a jacket maybe. We need air to breathe, water to drink and clean, and very simple foods like vegetables and fruits, and a roof over our heads.
If you are watching this video, chances are you have way more than 1 set of clothes. YOU have a computer or smart phone or tablet and a lot more things that you really don’t need. Do we really need 10 t-shirts? 20 pairs of socks? 2 laptops? 3 TV’s? Do you need all those pots and pans in your kitchen? A 6 bedroom home and 3 cars in your garage? And it’s not just about stuff. Do you really need all 1986 friends on Facebook? If you have truly good friends, you only need a few.
So the lesson is this. Be grateful of what you have. It is good to pursue your dreams and what you want, but you would never be truly satisfied if you don’t appreciate what you already have. So for this week, we ask that you keep a gratitude journal for at least a week. At the end of each day, before you go to bed, write down a few lines about something that happened that day that you are grateful for. By the end of the week, see if you notice a difference in the level of your happiness.
To be happy is a state of mind. It isn’t a temporary feeling. Smokers think that when they have a cigarette in their hands, they are happy. That is a temporary feeling of satisfaction of ecstasy, like eating ice cream or chocolate. It’s like watching a comedy or hearing a funny joke that makes you laugh, you may feel happy at that moment but it fades away quickly.
To be truly happy it involves a peace of mind, a sense of gratitude, and feeling joyful about your whole life, not just part of your life.
The second point to being happy is LOVE.
We talk about healthy relationships all the time so you know that we are advocates about having a healthy, intimate relationship with your loved one. And we believe that being loved, and to have someone to love is essential to our happiness. And love doesn’t just apply to romantic love. We enjoy the love of our parents when we grew up, the love of your friends, and when you have your own family, the love of your children. There are also many people that love their religion and that gives them a peace of mind.
Our vacation to Vancouver has 2 purposes: one to celebrate our wedding anniversary and two to spend some time with our parents and our friends. We came up to celebrate my Mom's 83rd birthday and to spend some time with Minna's Parents too. We also saw some childhood friends that we have not seen for a while. It’s always important to reconnect with your family and friends and show them how much you love them and how much their love means to you.
On this trip we actually spent some time at a senior home and it is very obvious that the seniors who have their loved ones visiting them are happier than the ones that sits by themselves, with no one to talk to and no one visiting them.
Many of you know that we chose not to have kids, but we do have multiple cats that we took in as part of our family and we treat them like our own sons and daughters. With pets, whether they are dogs or cats, if you give them your love, they will love you back. But you have to take the first step by showing them that you love and appreciate your dogs and cats, and they will reciprocate 10 times back to you.
We chose to talk about being happy because we are seeing more and more people that are unhappy or worse, depressed. Recently we’ve heard of a couple of celebrities that committed suicide because of depression, and we are seeing more young people that are depressed.
Some people blame Facebook for this social phenomenon because, well, we tend to only post our good stuff on Facebook. Most people don’t put their issues and problems they face on Facebook. Therefore when we read these posts, we think that everyone else is having a much better life than we are.
We often have negative self-talk, whether we are aware of it or not. We’re not as good as someone else, we don’t get what we want, how come so and so looks so happy and I’m miserable.
To counter the negative self talk and all the negativity that you bring upon yourself, here’s our 3rd thing on how to be happy.
And that is GROWTH.
Growth is the processes of learning to do something better, to learn something new, to develop a new skill, a new experience. Growth can also be a failure to which we can learn on. I don’t know any successful people who have not had any failures. What we do is to learn and grow from our mistakes so that we become better at what we do. When you grow a plant, whether it is a flower or fruit or some other plant. What happens when the plant stops growing? It dies right? Same thing with you. When you stop growing, learning, and developing yourself as a person, you will feel your life slowly drifting away and dying.
So we feel that growth is essential for your ultimate fulfillment in yourself. Having growth will give you joy, you will feel more satisfied and happy!
We are down to our last 2 keys to happiness.
We believe that to be truly happy, you must have a HOBBY.
And this hobby maybe something like painting, drawing, baking, reading, knitting, quilting, building tiny little boats into glass bottles. Or your hobby could be more about serving the community, fostering pets, volunteer work, or, for some, their work is their passion.
We just came back from Canada so we’ll use a Canadian musician as an example. David Foster, a 16 time Grammys winner, a music producer, composer, song writer and arranger, is considered one of the most success music producers in Canadian history. He has discovered and produced records for famous singers like Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Charice. During one of his interviews, a question asked to him was, ‘What do you do on weekends?’, and his answer was:
"You know, on a nice, quiet Saturday morning, when no one is around and everything is peaceful, there is no other place I want to be other than my recording studio, making my favorite music.”
Wow, that’s Passion! That’s when you truly love your work and your work is your hobby.
When I was young I was somewhat of a musical prodigy if I could say so myself. I was really good with the piano but as I progressed to higher levels, I faced some real challenges with some of the classical masterpieces because my fingers are exceptionally short for a piano player.
As a kid, my grandma told me that if I kept stretching my fingers they would get longer so that I can have a successful career as a pianist. I’m sure she was just trying to make me feel better to keep my hopes up, but I truly saw my short fingers as a roadblock to be a professional musician. So everyday I stretched my fingers and I kept at it for many years, until eventually I gave up. When I graduated from high school and it was time to choose what I wanted to do in college, my own parents discouraged me from pursuing music as my major. In their eyes, I would never make it as a concert pianist.
So the lesson is this: I told myself this story that I will never be a successful musician because of my short fingers. And I lived with that story for a long, long time. I mean I’ve lived with that story since I was 18 years old. And it sounded like a pretty solid story because I really have not seen another professional pianist who has short fingers.
Until last year, I came across a Tim Ferris blog who interviewed this guy. He is a concert pianist, and what makes him special and unique, and makes me feel so embarrassed that I gave up music, is this.
This guy, his name is Nicholas McCarthy if you want to look him up in YouTube. What make him truly special, is that he has only 1 arm. He was born without a right arm and, like me, he was told that he could never be a concert pianist. But, unlike me, he told himself a different story. He told himself that he could be a concert pianist if he wants to, so he pursued his dream, went to the Royal College of Music and became a concert pianist.
So what does that tell you?
That I gave up too easily. Yeah. Where I failed is that I didn’t have the gratitude that I was born with a musical gift, but rather I focused on what I perceived as a roadblock. I at least have 2 hands but I told myself I couldn’t do it, so I didn’t.
So I asked myself a real hard question. Do I still want to pursue my musical career? And I had to really think deep and hard about that. And eventually, I believe that this is about growth. The reason I enjoy music is that I like to bring peace to the people. I like to bring a sense of joy and tranquility to my listeners. So now, we do exactly that by doing what we do now. By teaching you everything we know about living a successful, healthy, joyful and fulfilling life.
Music is still my hobby, and it is a hobby that makes me happy.
What about you? What is your hobby? When you are alone, on a quiet, Saturday morning, with nothing else to do, what would you choose to do? If you came up with nothing, think about what you used to do as a kid. A lot of times we tend to forgot what we like to do as we grow older because of time constraints or obligations. Take some time to ponder and figure out what your hobbies are. And when you figure it out make sure you start scheduling time to do those things. You will be amazed at how happy you can be with a hobby you love!
To wrap things up, our last point to our 5 days to Happiness, is HEALTH.
We talk about Health all the time; in fact, we have an online video series developed just on helping you get healthy.
That program is free and all you have to do is click on the link below and it will get you to sign up for our free program.
We truly believe that HEALTH is probably the most important thing that will make you happy.
I was born with pretty severe eczema and as it actually made my childhood rather miserable. I had rashes on my elbows, arms, knuckles, back of my ear, my neck, and all over my legs. I was embarrassed of my skin condition so I tended to always wear long sleeves whenever I can or however I can hide it. And that didn’t work when I went swimming. One time, I went to a swimming pool and a lady came up and asked me to stay out of the pool because she thought I was contagious. That incident hurt me so much that I could still feel my embarrassment at that moment. I seriously wished I had a hole to go hide into. And not only was my skin rashes hard to look at, it was also itchy and annoying, it bothered me so much that I never had a good night’s sleep. I was never able to sleep 8 hours straight, even as a child. I always woke up in the middle of the night feeling itchy and the urge to scratch something.
Health conditions maybe something you’re born with like Minna, or it may be due to a traumatic event like a car accident. Like mine.
On my graduation year of grade 12, I was driving through this green light in my brand new sports car and a one Tonne truck ran a red light and rammed me on my driver's side. The impact collapsed my roof and pushed me from the driver's side to the passenger side. I was admitted to the hospital with fractured neck, broken collar bone, bent spine, dislocated knees and internal injuries. When I recovered from my internal injuries I went to see my specialists to see what I needed to do to recover.
He Said " Andrew, due to your multiple injuries, you will absolutely have Chronic Degenerative Arthritis by the time you hit 30 and the body, health and aches of a 60 year old!
So I worked hard through my 20's with aches and pains. When I hit 30, I needed prescription medicine to get out of bed and as I approached my 40's I needed to crawl out of bed and could barely walk without pain. So Traumatic accidents can really hurt your health and it's important to know what to do to get your health back.
Luckily 4 years ago, I learned how to gain my health back and have the energy, vibrancy of a 20 year, the energy I should have had back them. It took over 20 years of pain and suffering for me to find the solution!
This is what we like to share with you!
So as you can see, having any type of medical conditions and health issues has a direct impact on your happiness. I managed to get rid of my skin condition and Andy is able to live stronger and happier than before because we figured out what we had to do to get our health back. And you can too!
Before we wrap up, I want to show you a way to instantly make you just a tad bit happier, that would instantly lift your spirits.
When you are feeling down, lonely, sad, hurt, depressed, try this. Just smile. Put as big of a smile on your face as you possible can. And you will instantly feel better, happier, a bit more cheerful. Here’s how this works. Your physiology can affect your psychology. When you sit up straight, you feel more confident. When you flex your arms you feel stronger. When you smile, you feel happier. I know we often think that when we are happy we smile, but it also works the other way around. This is a success principle called ‘Act As If’, and it works extremely well. Act as if you are happy, put a smile on a face, and you will feel happier.
To be Healthier, we came up with this free program and we called it "Why we are aging faster than our grandparents."
This is a free, 3-part video series where we talked about the reasons why we are now aging faster and longer than ever before, and how we can potentially reverse that process. So make sure you sign up for it and get access to it below
If you like this video, make sure you share this with your friends using the Facebook link . We’d love to see your comments as well. Just go ahead and leave us a quick note below so we know whether you like this blog or not.
Until next time, love what you live, and live what you love.
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