I grew up reading way too many fairytales. I played with with Barbie and Ken. I watched monitored children's film and television so much so that I was always a child that thought life was going to be grand. I saw Cinderella get the Prince, Sleeping Beauty wake up and Rapunzel let down her hair and be saved.
My life as a child was not always "Ideal". My parents fought until they finally divorced. I rarely was able to get my way with my strict and over-bearing parents and I was teased and bullied as a young child. I realize the bullies were un-monitored and neglected latch-key children who sniffed out cared for and over-parented children. I was in accidents, injured, violated, lost jobs, and even had near death experiences. I am considered a "wounded healer". But, I never gave up on my dreams that a very handsome "prince" would ride up on a white horse, scoop me up and take me away to a grand life with a magical lifestyle. Guess What? I was correct, but he was in a Blue Mercedes and he cannot even ride a horse.
I finally did find my ideal partner, an ideal career, an ideal home and ideal friends and lifestyle. It was difficult to achieve, it did not come easily, but with hard work, an understanding of what I value most in life, healing from traumatic events in my life, discipline and hard work, a good amount of contemplation or lucid dreaming I arrived safe and sound, and usually without worry or concern, into a wonderful life.
I had a vivid imagination as a child. I also wanted to be an actress. My mom told me the first sentence I uttered was "I want to be a movie star." I dreamed of far away places and romantic love and white picket fences. I was the consummate optimist. The glass was always full to the brim, no matter what my everyday circumstances were. My life was always going to be what I dreamed of. Don't get me wrong I had days of doom and gloom and heave hoe sadness, but I would always come to the clearing on the path and realize that life was good, people are good and life is good. I believe that is why my life did turn out ideal. Despite very shaky parts, that normally would have caved an average human being into the pit of the earth, I thrived.
Martin Seligman http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/?gclid=CIi6woKMgbkCFUmi4AodmnAAgA wrote books called "Learned Optimism" and "Authentic Happiness" which I highly recommend. His ideas that even a downright irritating pessimist will be able to turn their negative and narrow outlook on life into a wide stream of HAPPY are from outstanding evidenced based research. This guy Seligman has been the leading researcher in the world on What Makes us HAPPY for over 40 years. I also have created techniques that really do work too, just not as profound or researched. Go smile at yourself in the mirror, think of your most embarrassing moment that makes you chuckle, read some funny jokes on-line and laugh out loud, loudly. Hang with people that uplift rather then demean you!
Seligman believes what makes us authentically happy are five key things.
1. Perceived Well Being- even if you're not well you see yourself as okay and that you are well inside and out. It is a "nobody can rain on my parade feeling, even when it is pouring" your good feelings are impenetrable.
2. Good Relationships with Family and Friends. That doesn't mean every friend you've ever had or all family members but friends and family you are having a good time with and that you can relate to.
3. A Spiritual, Cosmic or Understanding Belief or Path. It can be anything that floats your boat, but that you believe in something, rather than a "I don't know what I believe??" state of confusion and blankness or a "where am I from?" or "what is this thing called life?" state of being.
4. A group or job or organization or neighborhood belongingness or regular recognition of you as a person. This is that regular "Hi how are you Bob?" experience on a regular basis.
5. A good relationship with a partner or having a partner that is supportive, there for you, unconditional regard, and who loves and cares for you unconditionally. This is probably the most difficult thing to get in life, but yes it does matter. Stating that you "NEVER" want to get involved with someone again will result in unhappiness.
So does positive thinking help? Seligman says YES positive thinking helps you find, organize and keep the life that you always dreamed of. I say YES too that positivity and vision create your ideal lifestyle. Get started on the five objectives above and see if you can experience some "Authentic Happiness" to you, which may bring you closer to your ideal lifestyle.
I think some other key elements for a happy and fulfilled life are having an organized space to live and work in, a home that is aesthetically pleasing and decorated, in such a way that you want to go and be at home more than any other place. Also what make us happy and fulfilled is a career that you truly love and where you can earn enough money to create the type of life you want to live and do the things you love to do in life, a good sex life even if it is with yourself, a diet of healthy food, organized pantry, organized kitchen, organized bedrooms, organized bathroom, organized garage, organized life, organized parenting, organized everything and socialization with fun, uplifting and positive friends and family.
Marla Stone is a retired LCSW Social Worker/ Therapist who is currently a Professional Organizer, Décor and Feng Shui Specialist, Lifestyle Coach, Business Coach, Public Speaker, Author, Actress, Poet and Songwriter at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com Call Marla for a free 30 minute phone consultation at 949-709-7000 and find out how to get your self closer to an ideal lifestyle.
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of