How do you coax an epiphany? Why should you take action on your epiphanies? What are some ways to spread happiness and well-being in the world?
Answers to these questions and a lot of other valuable information awaits in the cover story of Psychology Today and are part of the discussion in Live Happy Magazine this month.
I’m honored that I was asked to weigh in for both articles. Both are highly informative and I encourage you to check them out.
I’ll also be speaking with Live Happy as part of their “Wake Up Happy” Campaign, April 13-17:
Beginning Monday, April 13th through Friday, April 17th, Live Happy magazine is giving their magazine subscribers and database of connections the opportunity to listen to a 30-minute, upbeat, energizing interview with an accomplished, knowledgeable and inspiring expert. The discussion is going to center around the things the expert does personally to enhance his or her own happiness and insightful recommendations they have for others who want to live a more fulfilling and happy life. Each day a different expert will be featured for the 5-Day Wake-Up Happy campaign.
So make sure you go sign up and get connected with them if you want to participate!
I’ll also be speaking on Friday, April 10 in Dallas at a CONNECT event from 11:15a-1:15p. To join us or for more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are excerpts from the “epiphanous” magazine articles.
How to Coax an AHA!
To trigger an insight, the best strategy may be to try generating a preparatory state of mind. The idea is to lower your resistance to breakthrough perspective shifts, which often just means easing your grip on the wheel – concentrating on not concentrating, if you like. Here are nine approaches to laying the groundwork for an aha moment and helping it emerge. (Note: only ONE approach is below – go check out the article for the others!)
Practice Taking Action:
Over the course of hundreds of interviews conducted for her book, Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight, Elise Ballard discovered that everyone has hunches, but they rarely become full-blown epiphanies because one of a few things happens: Noise drowns out the signals, we don’t take meaning from them, or we fail to act on them. Ballard concluded that each part of the process is a developmental skill: * We can listen better, trust ourselves, and take action even if we can’t yet see the whole picture. We all have little insights, she says. The difference is that some of us treat them as messages, almost as marching orders.
* Patterns of Life-Changing Epiphanies: Listening; Belief; Action; Serendipity (the link goes to the introduction of the book so you can read about them and more about these steps can be found in the new paperback.)
Live Happy Q&A with Author/Writer
and Epiphany Expert, Elise Ballard
(There is only a piece of this Q&A that appears in Live Happy so I’ve included the whole interview below for you.)
LH-How do you define happiness?
EB- Through my work, interviews and studies of epiphanies, I’ve discovered the basis of happiness could be defined in one word:
Fulfillment (n.): deep satisfaction as a result of fully developing one’s abilities or character.
When you are living a life feeling for the most part fulfilled by your work/career, personal relationships (romantic, family and social life), and spiritual and/or creative pursuits and growth, you are energized by life instead of drained by it. When challenges come your way, because they do and will – no one gets out of here unscathed – you have a strength, baseline and support system to get through them. During the darkest times, you can still see beauty and maintain hope and a knowing that there will be “light at the end of the tunnel.” Likewise, when your moments of great joy and achievement happen, you are able to fully embody, enjoy and appreciate them. You also are energized to reach out into the world in bigger ways when you have a strong baseline of fulfillment, which cultivates even stronger feelings of fulfillment, love and moments of joy and satisfaction. To me, fulfillment is the deeper, grounded state of happiness. It allows for normal feelings and states of being such as sadness, grief and even anger, but at the same time you can still be fulfilled in life and get through those kinds of feelings and experiences more quickly and don’t get paralyzed or stuck by them.
LH- What can we do to help spread and foster happiness to each other?
1.) Smile. Look at people around you (instead of at your phone!) and look people in the eye when you speak and when you listen. People need and want to be heard. And this is big – truly listen. Master the art of listening. It will serve you in every area of your life and is one of the keys to living a fulfilling, successful life. It is also the first step of having an epiphany!
2.) A great question to ask people in your life- especially after listening to them tell you about a hardship or problem: What can I do to support / help you? (But if you ask this, mean it and follow up.)
3.) A sure-fire way to foster happiness in others is to notice something wonderful, fun, positive, attractive, GREAT and AMAZING about them and tell them so. I don’t care what anyone says, a sincere compliment and a smile can change a person’s life – if even for an hour or day but possibly forever. I know of many-a-life-changing epiphany because someone took the time to notice and express it.
4.) Work on your own personal levels and capacities of fulfillment, self-compassion and love. When you are in a positive, energized state of living, you will spread that loving energy and happiness on accident. You will affect everyone you come into contact with in positive ways.
LH -Why is important for people to act on their “Aha!” moments?
Our epiphany “aha” moments are what I call life’s wake-up calls. Whether you believe they are the Divine or our innate inner intelligence or both calling us to our greatest selves and paths, I guarantee if you don’t take action, life will call you a little louder, and then louder, and even louder still if you keep ignoring them…until you can’t anymore. That’s why a lot of people don’t have epiphanies that they take action on until they’re in absolute crisis. If you get into the practice of listening and taking action on your “aha” moments, you will find you are much more “in flow” and in alignment in every area of your life and you won’t need a major crisis to occur for you to create positive change in your life. The most successful people I’ve interviewed over the years in terms of fulfillment as well as those with great worldly prestige always listen to, believe, take action and honor their epiphanies and “aha” moments. Always. I believe taking action on our “aha” moments is key to living our best lives and helping others do the same, not to mention the major breakthroughs and the positive ripple effect they can eventually lead to for all of society. Please take action on your “aha” moments – if not for yourself, for your loved ones and the rest of us! 🙂