Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Power of Habit

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

I recently came across this poem and I really appreciate it. BeHappy4Life.com is founded on the belief that we can be our best and live a lifestyle of health, happiness, and love by the choices we make and the habits we develop and practice. May these words inspire and motivate you to change some bad habits and develop good habits for life! Krystal


I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do you might as well turn over to me,
And I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done,
And after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great individuals
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great I have made great
Those who are failures I have made failures.
I am not a machine,
Though I work with all the precision of a machine
Plus the intelligence of a human being.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin;
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me,
And I will put the world at your feet
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?

I am habit!

~author unknown

I highly recommend the old classic called The Greatest Salesman in the World. It addresses what I strongly believe in: the keys to real joy, successful relationships, and a fulfilling life. It begins with the importance of habits. Good habits are essential to all success. We all have bad habits we've developed, but we can replace them with good habits and change our lives!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Optimism - Simply a Good Attitude

We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes. It is a matter of personal choice. Who we are today is the result of choices we made yesterday. Tomorrow, we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose to change. ~John Maxwell

What kind of thoughts come to your mind when you think about your life? How about your family, your work, your future? Suppose your thoughts could change your destiny. Would you want to change or improve any of them?

We might believe our thoughts just happen, and we do not consider the fact that we can choose to stop certain thoughts and refocus. We can choose what we accept and meditate on, and we can choose what we resist and reject. Our thoughts shape the attitudes that direct our lives. We make decisions based on our attitudes and beliefs.

Thoughts lead to other related thoughts. When they are hopeful and positive, we develop a good attitude. Likewise, a bad attitude results when a habit of negative thoughts dominate our thinking. For example, suppose you feel hurt that your friend did not invite you to lunch. You might begin to think that it is because she does not want you to come. That thought may lead to you wondering if she really likes you. Maybe you did something wrong. Maybe there is something wrong with you. You feel angry and rejected. You dwell on the offense and have a bad attitude. If you hold on to it, it might come out as rejection and bitterness toward your friend.

Hurt and angry feelings affect our choices and attitudes. We might not be able to control how we feel, but we can control how we direct our thoughts. Suppose you were to stop the negative cycle after feeling hurt that you were not invited. There could be many good reasons why your friend did not ask you to join her. Maybe she just wanted to go alone and it had nothing to do with you. You would have liked to go, but it is okay. You can choose to not dwell on the offense and negative feelings. You can refocus. Forgive and release it. If need be, talk to her about it.

Our thinking patterns become habits and attitudes. Optimism and pessimism are the result of the kinds of thoughts we choose to dominate our thought life and perspective. If we were to live by these words of wisdom, we would spare ourselves of the negativity that keeps us from fulfilling our potential and purpose: Fill your mind and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Philippians 4:8).

We can choose to occupy our minds with the best in people or situations, rather than the worst. We can choose to see the beauty and splendor of every rose rather than its thorns and ugliness. We can notice and praise what is right and good rather than dwell on mistakes or problems. We can hold on to hope rather than submit to despair. We can appreciate and embrace what we have and all is before us rather than live in regret of the past. We can choose to live today as best as we can because that is all we have right now.

It is your choice: you can either count your blessings or recount your disappointments. ~Jim Gallery

We should not deny the pain of what happens in our lives.
But, we should refuse to focus only on the valleys. ~Charles Swindoll

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. ~Max Lucado

Copyright © 2009 BeHappy4Life.com,
written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Employed for Life & Never Out of Work

Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something which must be done, whether you like it or not. Work breeds a hundred virtues that idleness never knows. ~Charles Kingsley

Work keeps our minds occupied. It forces us to set and meet goals that lead to a sense of accomplishment. It encourages us to put our skills and talents to use. Work helps us to develop confidence in what we can do and how we can contribute. It connects us to other people. It is an essential part of our lives and a human need.

So how about those who have lost their jobs and cannot find work? Or, how about those with a disability or illness that leaves them unable to join the workforce? Are they resigned to feel idle, useless, or bored? Absolutely not! So long as we are alive, there is work for us to do. Getting paid for a job is not the only thing that constitutes real work. Work is any assignment, duty, or undertaking. It is anything that keeps us busy using our energy in positive ways. It includes simple things like giving someone a ride to the store, mowing the lawn, researching an idea, praying for a need, helping a neighbor, tucking children into bed, cleaning the house, preparing dinner, calling a lonely friend. All of these activities require some effort and skill. They all contribute to making life better or easier for someone. And they all require a willingness to give and to do what we are able.

Every morning presents us with new work opportunities for the day. There may be things we will enjoy and look forward to and others that we will dislike and even dread. But there is always something for us to do. If we are already busy and occupied with plenty to do, it would be wise for us to prioritize our time and make the best use of it. However, if we have more time on our hands than we know what to do with, we ought to invest our time in some short and long term goals that are important to us.

Time spent can never be retrieved. Once it is gone, it is gone. All that is left are memories and the consequences of the choices we have made. Let us not waste time. Wasting time is like letting life pass us by. It is letting dreams die and relationships fade. It is missing our potential and settling for less than we were meant to be. May we choose to appreciate our days and use our time with wisdom and purpose today and always.

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. ~Psalm 90:12

Copyright © 2009 written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
BeHappy4Life.com, New Day Family & Couples Counseling

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family marriage counseling, child teenage counseling center, BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and Baby-Poems.com where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Krystal is also author of several other blogs: Be Your Best, Give Thanks Journal, & Baby Poems blog and The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Anger Management: What Are You So Angry About, Really?

When you strike out in anger, you might miss the other person, but you will always hit yourself. ~Jim Gallery

Striking out with angry words is the cause of so many relationship problems. Words are powerful. They can encourage, strengthen, and change destinies. They can also destroy potential and robs us of hope and peace. Most major fires begin with just a small flame. Before long the fire spreads and becomes more and more difficult to contain. It damages or completely destroys everything in its path. Do we realize how quickly unmanaged anger can do significant damage? And as the quote above humorously expresses, anger always hurts the angry person. Sometimes even more so than those to whom it is directed. That is because we cannot have both peace and bitterness in our hearts. An angry person loses his or her peace and joy. Anger obstructs the expression of love, and without love there is no true happiness.

We all get angry. It is inevitable. But, not all anger is bad. We have heard stories of people who have made major contributions to society, fought against injustices, and made positive life changes as they were motivated by righteous anger. Problematic anger, on the other hand, is usually explosive, hidden, or denied. If not faced and dealt with, anger hinders our ability to have healthy and loving relationships.

So how do we deal with anger? We can begin by recognizing the underlying emotions that lead up to our negative reactions such as feelings of hurt, frustration, shame, rejection, fear, jealousy. The next time you feel angry, ask yourself What emotion is behind my anger? You may begin to see a pattern. For example, a woman gets angry every time her boyfriend is late for their meeting. She realizes that his tardiness makes her feel rejected and this leads to her angry outbursts. What is the underlying problem that needs to be addressed? Rejection. How about the boyfriend who expresses his anger by shutting down when his girlfriend tries to engage him in conversation? As he identifies the pattern, he realizes that he feels jealous every time she talks to other guys. He tries to hide his anger and does not express his feelings to her directly, so he pulls away instead.

Anger does not have to bring ruin to our lives and relationships. There are healthy and effective ways to manage it. I have briefly discussed the underlying emotions of anger and the importance of dealing with the causes. If you need more help in this area, I highly recommend participating in an anger management group. It can be an extremely supportive and helpful resource to equip you with many tools for a better life.

Above all else, may peace rule in our hearts, Krystal

Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it. ~Brian Tracy

Copyright © 2009 BeHappy4Life.com,
written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC

For more info on Anger Management Classes in the MetroDetroit Area, Click here:
NewDayCounseling AngerManagement

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Remember 911

I recently came across this beautiful quote:
Close your eyes and you will see everything you actually possess.

In a world of materialism and self-indulgence, it’s easy to get distracted from what is most important and valuable to us. You have probably heard of the wealthy executive who paid for his “success” with his health that he could never buy back. Or the workaholic father, wanting to provide his family with the many “things” he thought they needed, kept too busy to give them his time and attention. We can strive to accumulate things, but before we know it, those very things can begin to own us.

Can we buy a happy marriage or family? Good health? True friendship? Peace? Can we attain them by pursuing our materialistic visions and vain indulgences?

I am not only talking about being grateful for what we do have. If we think about it, most of us can say we are truly blessed. I'm talking about priorities. Do our choices and actions reflect what matters most to us?

As we remember 911, I want to think about what matters most in my life and in my country. I remember the tragedy, but I also remember the love. I remember the love that united us as a nation; the love that reached out to those hurting; the love that made sacrifices to help and serve. Remember 911 today and always.

Remembering 911

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life Lessons That Set You Free

True learning can take place at every age of life, and it doesn't have to be in the curriculum plan. ~Suzanne Dale Ezell

It's already September and it's back to school for children as well as adults pursuing higher education. As I was thinking about education, I thought about how we have so many opportunities to continue to learn every single day. If we stop learning, we stop living. Not only does learning help us grow, develop new skills, and prepare us for work and service, but it helps us to know and appreciate our world.

I see education as a gift that leads us to freedom and insight. With education, we can become free of bad habits by learning what steps to take for real change. We can develop new skills by getting the necessary instruction we need. We can make better choices by getting direction that guides our path. We can maximize our potential as we learn more and put into practice what we already know. We can learn and relate to others better by learning from our mistakes.

We are never too young or too old to learn something new. We just need to apply ourselves, listen, and learn. I believe education is freedom because the truth sets us free. Ignorance leads to bondage and keeps us from becoming all we can be. Let's encourage our children to value education and do their best. Develop a love for learning. Show respect for those who teach us. Seek wisdom, knowledge, and discernment. Learn from the experiences of everyday life. Let mistakes be life lessons. Let problems push us to learn and find solutions. Let challenges motivate us to conquer. And let us be thankful that life is an ongoing education. Living is a learning experience!

May we all have another blessed year of learning and growing!


Life Lessons Exercise:

At the end of each day, write down 2-3 things you have learned throughout the day. It can be anything. You may have gained greater insight into something you already had some knowledge about. You may have learned an inspiring truth or a sad reality. You may have learned how to be or not to be from someone else's example. You may have learned a simple lesson from another person's good luck or misfortune. You may have learned that you are more special and loved than you had realized. The list never ends.

This simple exercise can be very empowering. It can help us to recognize and appreciate our daily life experiences. It can help us to grow and become better than we were as we reflect and allow ourselves to learn from all life has to teach us.

Life is a journey and an educational experience. What have you learned today?

Copyright © 2009 BeHappy4Life.com,
written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC