“I gotta be me, I have to find my own truth, my own way to be odd and ungainly and weird.” – Rainn Wilson, in a recent HuffPostLive interview
The first time I ever saw Rainn Wilson being…well, Rainn Wilson, he was appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday show (which I absolutely love most weeks!).
Wilson was discussing having left NBC’s wildly successful nearly decade-long sitcom, The Office, and at first, he had me laughing, as usual.
But then as the conversation between Wilson and the amazingly talented and beautiful Oprah Winfrey (y’all know I love me some Oprah!), a chord was struck, and I got all “in my feelings,” as we say in St. Louis.
Not only was he nothing like his anal-retentive, awkwardly hilarious character, but he was clearly a surprisingly light-filled being who understood creativity and self-realization on a level that impressed me.
Then he started talking about this really amazing project he’d been working on called Soul Pancake.
I was already a fan, but this development changed my whole perception of Rainn Wilson.
If you’ve never seen the “real” Rainn Wilson, or if you have and you could use a little pick-me-up, you need to check out his recent appearance on HuffPostLive (see link at the end of this post).
I love when that happens. You know, when a preconceived notion is challenged by a new way of seeing things. Don’t you?
Rainn Wilson was asked to share some lessons for living a good life. Moments later he was convulsing on the couch, showing off how he experiences “rapturous joy.”
Post-convulsion, during an appearance on HuffPost Live, he shared some poignant thoughts on happiness, his marriage, and being true to yourself.
“I gotta be me, I have to find my own truth, my own way to be odd and ungainly and weird.”
I was doing my first Broadway play and I was terrible in it. I was bad. I had so much pressure on my shoulders. It was kind of a classic play and I thought I needed to be a certain way as an actor. And oh my god, I stunk. I was so distraught, I would be weeping in the middle of the night, calling my wife.
It was one of the hardest experiences I went through, to show up everyday to a Broadway play knowing that you suck.
Sometimes as an actor youre just in the wrong part at the wrong time. But it was mostly my belief systems that really screwed me up and then after that something broke, something cracked.
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” ~Dale Carnegie
In my experience as an individual as well as in my practice as a life coach, perception is what it’s all about. Just like Dale Carnegie said, it’s not what you have, who you are or what you’re doing that makes you happy or not – it’s all about what you think about.
With that in mind, I am well-aware that everyone needs to look at things differently in order to truly “get” it, so I’m offering up this roundup of what the experts say are the secrets to happiness.
Each link will take you to a more detailed article that offers that particular author’s (or study’s) take on what it takes to be happy. Check them out, below.
Why Danish People Are Happier Than Everyone Else – Apparently, it’s all in their DNA! Genetics could be the key to explaining nation’s levels of happiness, according to research from the University of Warwick, where researchers say they have looked at why certain countries top the world happiness rankings. In particular, they have found the closer a nation is to the genetic makeup of Denmark, the happier that country is. The research could help to solve the puzzle of why a country like Denmark so regularly tops the world happiness rankings.Warwick
The Secret to Happiness, According to Kids – In the search for happiness, adults are turning to Eckhart Tolle and Joel Osteen and Xanax and Valium and diets and surgery. But we may only have to look to the schoolyard for the remedy. Our survey discovered five reasons kids are grinning ear to ear, and adults would be wise to put down the self-help books and take a lesson on happiness from their children. Check out the link to find out how kids take control of their own happiness and how you can too. Huffington Post
Five Life Lessons for a Happier and More Meaningful Life, According to Harvard Researchers – A group of Harvard researchers recently produced “a comprehensive, flesh-and-blood picture of some of life’s fundamental questions: how we grow and change, what we value as time goes on, and what is likely to make us happy and fulfilled.” The Harvard Grant Study provides an unrivaled glimpse into a subset of humanity, following 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 (now well into their 90s) for 75 years, collecting data on various aspects of their lives at regular intervals. And the conclusions are universal. The Huffington Post did a fab roundup of the five lessons from the Grant Study to apply to your own pursuit of a happier and more meaningful life. Check them out inside this link.
The Secrets of Happiness, According to Psychological Research – It’s not about how rich you are, and it’s not about how young you are. In fact, happiness is a whole other thing, according to researchers at the National Institute on Aging, who say they’ve found that well-being is “strongly influenced by enduring characteristics of the individual. In a 10-year study, they found that, regardless of whether their marital status, job, or residence had changed, people with a happy disposition in 1973 were still happy in 1983.” This is good news, scientists say. “Given the right disposition, in the face of difficulty, people can still find renewed happiness.” What makes for a happy disposition? Who are these people who stay basically up despite life’s downs? Visit this link to find out the four traits that happy people share. Psychology Today
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” ~Betty Friedan
I’m not getting any younger, people, so it might not surprise you to know that I’m thinking about what it means. And being the vain creature that I am, I am focused primarily on the way it’s going to make me look and feel as a female.
See, our society tells us that without physical beauty, we’re “less than,” and yet it also tells us that physical beauty often equals youth. So us old (and almost-old) chicks? We’re at an odd impasse in our lives.
I’ve got my theories on how positive thinking and intention can help you to create the life you want – and I’m living proof that stuff works.
So you can imagine how pleased I was when I read this post over at Longevity LIVE, which outlines several basic qualities of people who age gracefully.
For the record
All of this is based on research, of course. I’m a journalist and a research geek, y’all, so you know I love me some research.
So how do researchers say you should go about aging gracefully? You’ll love it – well, I know I did, anyway. The list looks like this:
Live for today.
Be proud of who you are and what you’ve achieved.
Find your passion.
Keep on loving.
See the author’s explanation for each of these when you click through to the link below.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”― Oscar Wilde
Updated Progress Photo: On the left, me, prior to losing 100 pounds. The photo on the right was taken Dec. 2014.
Listen, I’ve always said I don’t like feeling deprived. I could never lose weight on a consistent basis until I figured out that doing it right didn’t mean ALWAYS eating right. It meant eating right most of the time, and just paying attention to how much I ate all the time.
Bottom line, if you love food and you don’t want to live on lettuce and carrots, it’s all about HOW MUCH you eat, not necessarily WHAT. As long as it all adds up to a calorie deficit by the end of the day, you’re all set for weight loss. If not, at least burn as much as you take in–and you won’t gain any weight when you splurge a little.
Portion control is key to losing weight without feeling deprived.
So, can you really eat what you want and still lose weight? Well, yes, you really can. For example, you can eat chocolate cake and other foods you love if you just reduce the serving size – or eat less calories elsewhere in your day. Try these strategies to reduce your portion sizes and lose those extra pounds.
1. Plan weekly menus. Sketch out your eating plan for a week at a time and use it to guide your grocery shopping. Many people underestimate how much they eat. This system will make any discrepancies obvious. If you run out of food before the end of the week, you may need to re-evaluate your diet.
2. Read the package labels. It’s easy to assume that convenience foods would be packaged in single servings. Check the label to be sure. A single bottle of juice often contains 2 or more servings, so find out how many calories you’re really consuming.
3. Learn to eyeball. A three-ounce portion of grilled fish is about the size of a deck of playing cards. A cup of breakfast cereal looks about as big as a tennis ball. You may want to measure and weigh your favorite foods while you’re learning to visually estimate portions.
4. Count your bites. Counting each bite is another temporary method that can help. Notice how many bites you’re eating. By eating more mindfully, you may find that your taste buds are satisfied with just a few spoonfuls of ice cream.
5. Divvy up your plate. As you learn to visually estimate portions, you’ll discover about how much of your plate they typically cover. Keep this in mind when you dish up your food. Health experts recommend that most adults get about 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily, so get used to giving them the most room.
6. Use smaller dishes. Smaller plates and bowls will make servings look more generous. Keep big platters off the table to remove the temptation to help yourself to more. When snacking, put just a few chips in your bowl at a time. Force yourself to walk back to the kitchen again if you want more.
7. Package or freeze leftovers. You can save time by baking big batches of lasagna. Just put the leftovers in the freezer right away so that you don’t succumb to the temptation to have just a little more.
Tips for Dining Out:
1. Set aside leftovers immediately. The same strategy works when you’re eating out. Cut your hamburger in half and push the remainder to the side. If your powers of resistance need a little support, ask ahead for half of your meal to be packed to go.
2. Ask for sauces on the side. Sauces and dressings can add a lot of calories to otherwise healthy dishes. Request that condiments be served on the side so you can control how much you use.
3. Order the smallest size. You can minimize the damage at fast food places by ordering the smallest size on the menu. Hot French fries taste better so you can actually have a more satisfying experience by eating less.
4. Share a meal with a friend. Splitting a meal is often more fun than having leftovers. Ask your server to divide it or just bring two spoons if you’re very close friends.
5. Ask questions. Some items are obviously dangerous to your diet, but others may require clarification. Ask what’s in the salad or how big the seafood platter is. You may want to leave out the bacon or decide that the appetizer has enough calories for a whole meal.
These new eating habits are effective and easy to learn. By reducing your portions sizes, you can manage your weight while enjoying a wide variety of delicious and healthy foods.
What are your best tips for eating what you want and still losing weight? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Been feeling a little overwhelmed lately? Too much on your plate and you don’t know where to begin? Maybe you just feel like giving up.
Here’s a quick hit way you can easily change your flow and get back on track – a simple move that will help you increase your persistence and start getting things done again.
Queen Bee QT: A Simple 30-Second Trick to Increase Persistence
A 2007 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that the simple act of crossing your arms for 30 seconds will increase your resolve to figure out a problem or stick with something until it’s finished.
So, the next time you feel like you just can’t do something or you’re having trouble figuring something out, cross your arms for 30 seconds and give it another go!
Here’s the science behind this trick.
Researchers did two experiments based on their hypothesis that arm crossing can serve as a “proprioceptive cue for perseverance within achievement settings.”
According to their documentation, experiment 1 found that “inducing participants to cross their arms led to greater persistence on an unsolvable anagram,” while experiment 2 revealed that “arm crossing led to better performance on solvable anagrams, and that this effect was mediated by greater persistence.”
No differences in comfort, instruction adherence, or mood were observed between the arms crossed and control conditions, and participants appeared to be unaware of the effect of arm crossing on their behavior. (See the full study here)