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Make a Difference Every Day!

Dr. Heap with Kids

Recently I was able to be a part of an amazing group of people who traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide dental care for people in need. Every time I participate in one of these trips, I always feel like the people I am serving are having a bigger impact on my life than I am having on theirs. I always feel like I am the one receiving the charity.

I’ve thought a lot about that feeling over the years. What is it about doing good for others that changes us and inspires us to give more? Why do I feel the most excitement and energy when I spend every ounce of it trying to improve somebody else’s life?

The Giving Paradox

I’m sure that most of you have all had the same experience that I described above.…

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2 Questions that Cure Depression

Depression ProzacI know that I am going to get some angry comments on this one. I get the most “hate mail” when I write posts about depression and creating happiness. It’s okay. I completely understand. It is a very difficult topic and there are many forms of depression. Some are self-induced, some come from hardships in life, and some come from chemicals in the brain getting out of balance. Some forms require medication, some require time alone, and some just require an encouraging word. I know that people who have never had it, could never fully understand it.

The advice I give below comes from years of counseling and giving advice to people who have come to me or e-mailed me asking for help battling depression. I have seen this technique pull people out of depressive and self-destrucive thought patterns and even get people off of medication who thought they would be on it for the rest of their lives.…

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The Formula for a Happier Day

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“When will I ever use this again?”

We all know that question. We thought it a million times in junior high and high school. I know that I said it every day in algebra and trigonometry.

But today I want to share a math formula that you can actually use every day to improve your life. This formula isn’t some new revelation like Einstein’s theories but it is a formula that you are already using every day without realizing it.

The formula is E x P = O

Seems so simple, right? Where here is the explanation:

E stands for “Event”

In any given day you have hundreds of “events”. Most of them are small, some are big, and every once in a while you get one that is a huge, big, deal.…

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Life Lesson from a Competitive Athlete

Cross Country Lesson

I found this through social media this morning and love the lesson it teaches:

Very little has been said about this…..On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.

Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.

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Amazing Advice on Happiness at 92-years Old

Age and Positivity

This delightful story was shared with me on Facebook this morning and I wanted to make sure I captured it so I wouldn’t forget about it. Great words of wisdom from an elderly lady. We could all learn something from her:

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.…

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The Merchant and the Prospector – A Happiness Parable

Gold-Panning     I once heard a story from the 1849 Gold Rush that teaches an important lesson about our search for happiness:

    Gold Nugget 2 “Oftentimes we are like the young merchant from Boston, who in 1849, as the story goes, was caught up in the fervor of the California gold rush. He sold all of his possessions to seek his fortune in the California rivers, which he was told were filled with gold nuggets so big that one could hardly carry them. Day after endless day, the young man dipped his pan into the river and came up empty. His only reward was a growing pile of rocks.

Discouraged and broke, he was ready to quit until one day an old, experienced prospector said to him, “That’s quite a pile of rocks you are getting there, my boy.” The young man replied, “There’s no gold here.…

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7 Ways to Have an Amazing Day

Pop Quiz 3Do you remember that dreaded day in high school when you sat down in class and the teacher at the front of the room said, “Get a paper and pencil out, today we are having a pop quiz.” I’m sure some kids weren’t even phased by it because they had studied and were prepared, but for me it was terrifying. Those were the days when I came face to face with the consequences of my procrastination and lack of preparation.

What if at the end of the day there was the possibility of a pop quiz? What if someone came in and said, “Get a pencil and paper out and write down your greatest accomplishments from the day. The strength of your answers will determine your ultimate success and happiness in the future.”

Would we be eager and ready to write down how we took advantage of every moment and focused on becoming better, or would we feel that terrified because we knew we had procrastinated and wasted our time?…

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10 Simple Things to Make You Happier At Home

10 Simple Things to Make You Happier At Home

10 steps to happy.jpgThis is a post I found at www.apartmenttherapy.com and I thought it was pretty insightful. Enjoy!

Our homes are an extension of who we are: what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.

It’s amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home.

1. Make your bed. In a popular post last month, I explained the many benefits of daily bed-making.…

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Let It Go! A Parable for Reducing Stress

Let It Go PitcherWhen I was young, I loved to play baseball. My friends and I played every day. When Little League started, I wanted to be a pitcher. My dad was an all-star pitcher when he was a young boy and I wanted to be just like him. So he and I practiced in the backyard almost every night.

Finally, the day came for me to pitch in my first game.

I was nervous but so excited as I walked up to the pitcher’s mound. I still remember the anxious jitters I had as I put my foot on the rubber strip. I looked to the catcher for the sign, wound up and pitched.

Ball 1. No problem.

I wound up again and pitched…ball 2.

Soon ball 3 and ball 4 followed and I had officially walked the first batter I ever faced.…

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22 Things Happy People Do Differently

This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to address those with clinical depression or other mental illnesses.

happinessThere are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a person living in the slums of a third world country could be happy and content. I have spent plenty of time amongst both groups to have seen it first hand. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.…

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