Finding bliss, living a blissful life and staying blissful forever are universal desires that we can all achieve.
As I wrote in a previous post, “all cultures, bar none, put the experience of bliss as the pinnacle of all human experience. It is the ultimate high, the state of enlightenment that every single person should aspire to attain.”
Finding bliss is ultimately about finding meaning and purpose.
Living a blissful life ultimately means living according to a meaningful purpose you choose for yourself, the one that fires your blood.
And staying blissful forever ultimately means following your bliss.
Bliss is, of course, the cornerstone of blissful living and one of those universal desires that humans share – in pretty much the same way that everyone wants to be valued by the people they love or to give something of oneself to a greater cause (for more information, take a look at the classic Robert Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
What is a blissful life?
As I mentioned, a blissful life is simply one where you live according to your purpose and where your mind, relationships, home and finance – the four areas of blissful living – work synergistically to support the achievement of your dreams.
It sounds so simple but it really isn’t because the purpose of life is not only subjective, it’s also something that mostly exists in the subconscious.
Most people get caught up in the drama: the bills that need paying at the end of the month, the heartache after your cheating spouse leaves you for a younger model, the plans that go awry at the very last minute after you’ve poured your heart and soul into making it succeed.
It’s very rare that people ask why they’re doing this in the first place.
Why are we here anyway?
What are we doing all this for?
What is the meaning of life?
Why keep going?
Why keep pushing past the drama?
I know why I do.
Do you know why you do?
What I’m trying to say is simply this: A blissful life is one where you understand what your why is and you live according to it so that you may achieve it.
Stories say that when Andrew Carnegie died, people opened his desk and discovered a piece of paper where he had written his goal for his life. On this paper it says, “I’ll spend the first half of my life accumulating wealth. I’ll spend the second half of my life giving it all away.“
There is no doubt in my mind that he lived a blissful life and not because he gained wealth beyond imagining.
I say that Andrew Carnegie lived a blissful life because he had a guiding principle that he adhered to. He knew his purpose and he lived according to it.
He set a goal for his life and he achieved it.
What else is bliss but that?
How do I live a blissful life?
So, how do you translate what we’ve mentioned in the previous sections to practical steps that will allow you to live a blissful life too?
We know now that before we even begin to do anything, we need to set ourselves up for success.
The best way to do this is to prepare yourself for such a massive change.
And make no mistake, living a blissful life is going to be a massive change.
I won’t kid you: It’s not always a walk in the park. “It’s an unending challenge.” to use Jim Rohn’s words.
You will need to take action.
Listening to affirmations, watching The Secret, reading books on the Laws of Attraction and Manifestation are all well and good.
But at the end of the day, if your goal is to become wealthy and you don’t do anything to make money aside from meditating, watching and reading, all the opportunities in the universe could drop on your lap and you still won’t achieve your goal.
So, get ready to move. Like a cobra poised to attack, allow yourself to coil into a spring that will propel you in the direction you wish to go: a life of pure bliss.
Then, get to know yourself – really truly know yourself.
Dive deep into the inner workings of your mind and your heart – what turns you on and what turns you off?
Find your bliss.
Only after all this can we start looking at the four areas of blissful living – the ones that I believe underpin a life of bliss – and actually start working on improving them.
As I said, this would be a lot of work.
But you won’t have to do it alone anymore.
You don’t even have to bumble about, not knowing how to get from point A to B.
Now, you have this guide.
And this guide will help you define your destination and help you get there.
Side Note: I’d like to emphasise that this is really just a guide. It can’t get you the results you want until you actually do what it recommends. So, read it over once before you take action and then start doing.
And keep on doing it. Go over it. Repeat it.
And, as Jim Rohn said, “Sure enough, someday, some mysterious day, the idea takes root, starts to grow and shows up in your bank account and your dress and your personality and your lifestyle.”
One day soon, you will look back at your life and marvel at how far you’ve come.
Enjoy the journey! 🙂
I can guarantee you that it will be one heck of a ride.
Step #1: Prepare.
Abraham Lincoln purportedly said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”
According to Winston Churchill, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
And finally Stephen Keague: “Proper planning and preparation prevent poor performance.”
Those three statements alone should underscore the indescribably powerful force that is preparation.
In the case of life transformation, it is even more potent.
What’s the best way to prepare?
Again, this could be subjective but there are two that I recommend to virtually everyone and these are the ones I will discuss here.
First, start a journal habit.
Second, create more time.
I’ll discuss each in greater detail below.
Start a journal habit.
Okay, so if you’ve been following us for a while now, you’ll realise that I keep going on about journals.
And why not?
So, get a journal.
If you’re addicted to stationery like me, then just go to your favourite stationery shop and get a journal that appeals to you.
This is actually very important.
You want to choose a journal that you’d love using.
You also need to choose one that’s portable.
A journal that’s too big and does nothing but sits on your desk at home will not get much use and defeat the purpose of getting it in the first place.
You can also do what I’m doing, which is to journal online.
Once you’ve chosen a medium, just start the habit.
It’s your journal, which means it’s private, you can write whatever you choose and no one will do a spellcheck or a plagiarism check. No one will tell you that your handwriting is too messy or that you should’ve organised it a certain way.
You can do whatever you want with it so long as you write in it and write often, preferably once a day.
The reason this comes first is because you want to capture your journey.
You’re embarking on a quest to dramatically transform your life and it would be to your advantage that you write things down.
Write about the things you tried but didn’t work and write about the ones that did.
Reflect on the problems you encounter and the solutions that you employ.
Write about the changes that you implement so that you can see which ones to keep and which ones to discard, which ones were beneficial and which ones weren’t.
A journal will hold such vital information a lot more effectively than your mind.
How To Use A Journal – Learn why you absolutely need to start a journal habit, how to start so you actually make it into a habit and what you need to pay attention to when you’re journaling.
The Value of Reflection – Discover why you need to start the process of reflection, when you should engage in it and how to use your journal to facilitate this.
Journal Prompts – If you’re the question and answer type of person, these journal prompts will help you learn more about who you are and can definitely lead you to a greater awareness of yourself, your dreams and your life purpose.
For many of us, the busy-ness of daily life can get in the way of making the kind of change we need to create deep and lasting happiness.
That’s why we believe that creating time is incredibly important and should be completed before we even try to implement anything else.
Once we take note of what drains our precious time and discover how to plug that leak, we can then start getting our baseline.
We need to know where we are just now so we can decide what needs to change.
For example, if you’re like most moms, then you probably don’t take as many breaks as you need or even have any self-care routine in place. This means that chances are great that you’re feeling harassed and stressed-out on most days.
You probably also don’t appreciate all that you accomplish and this feeling of unproductiveness can cause you to snap at the people around you.
This then eats away at your self-esteem and makes you feel disgusted with yourself.
It’s a vicious circle.
So, what can we do when you can’t actually create more time?
We all only have 24 hours in any given day. How do you cram more into an otherwise already packed schedule?
I have two key recommendations: start time tracking and time blocking.
Time tracking simply means keeping a log of the things you do and when you do them and is an excellent way of becoming accountable to yourself if you’ve never done this before.
We almost always think that there isn’t enough time. Or that someone is doing something because they have more “free” time than us.
But actually, they’re only better at time management, which has been described as the best well-kept secret of the rich.
And to be better at time management, you first need to know where your time is going.
Like a food diary, you need to be consistent, accurate and honest.
There’s no point in lying to yourself: you’re the only one who’ll suffer.
You also need to take some time doing the exercise.
Jeremy Anderberg recommends time tracking for a minimum of two weeks so you can really reap the benefits (he’s listed six really good benefits you can enjoy).
Finally, you need to write things down. You’ll never remember exactly what you did 2 hours ago so it’s essential that you put the information on paper so you can review it in two weeks’ time.
Thankfully, you now have a journal, where you can store such vital information.
When you’re finally ready to start tracking your time, here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Set aside some time.
Step 2: Experiment with the frameworks (track by time of day or track by task).
Step 3: Go over your results.
Step 4: Implement any changes.
After two weeks of time tracking and reviewing your entries, you’ll have a better grasp of your own levels of productivity and will probably be raring to change quite a few things.
By this time, you might be ready to start time-blocking.
How To Get More Free Time – Written specifically for multitasking, creative free spirits like myself, this post will give you 3 actionable tips you need to get more free time.
Plus: A list of 4 personal time management systems that will help you accomplish your tasks in as little time as possible – resulting in more free time for all the other things you want to do. 🙂
How To Time Track – Learn how to time track effectively in four easy steps. This is a basic step of time management that most people forget.
Time tracking helps you learn where your time is going and how much time it actually takes you to get things done (no more guesswork!).
Plus: A bonus list of all the tools you need to time track effectively.
Time blocking, according to Rescue Time, is “the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities.”
Instead of just relying on a to-do list that can take an entire day to complete because it’s just literally a list of things to do, a time blocked schedule helps you decide what tasks need doing today and when exactly you’re going to do them.
This was a real game-changer for me.
In fact, the first day we implemented this, we managed to clean and tidy most of our house in half a day when before, it took the entire weekend to do so.
So, what are the basics of time blocking?
Time blocking effectively really only has six simple steps.
Step 1: Select a template to work with. You don’t have to but if you’ve never done this before, then it’s always best if you have an example you can follow.
Step 2: Let the fun begin. This is when you really focus on your workday – what it looks like, how long it will last, what it contains.
Allocate your time so you can increase your effectiveness and productivity.
Step 3: Start your workday by eating that frog.
Step 4: Always overestimate the time it will take you to complete a certain task. This is especially important when blocking time for labour-intensive, high priority projects.
Step 5: Block your time and then put together your to-do list.
Step 6: Allocate all the tasks in your to-do list to specific blocks in your schedule.
For more information, check out the resources below.
How To Time Block – A step-by-step guide that will help you effectively time block and get the most from your daily schedule.
Eat That Frog! – A book that will help you organise each day so you can focus on your critical tasks and accomplish them. A must have for anyone needing help with discovering which tasks are priority (and with getting these tasks done).
Day Theming – A more advanced way to time block your schedule.
Step #2: Find your bliss.
According to Jack Canfield .”I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honouring this purpose is perhaps the most important action that successful people take.”
Dame Rebecca West writes, “It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.”
And Joseph Campbell, from whom this statement comes, states “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid. And doors will open for you where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
I believe this wholeheartedly.
Each of us has a purpose in life and to align yourself with that purpose is to live in a state of bliss.
This step is where the work really starts.
The inner work that you need to complete if you want to know who you really are and why you’re here in the first place.
Now, for the most part, finding your bliss is difficult because you don’t know how to do it.
So. most people just bumble along, setting small goals after small goals but not really sure if those small goals align with the overarching goal that is their life purpose.
And then, something happens, that forces you to come face to face with the aimlessness of your wanderings.
It might be a sudden financial windfall that suddenly erases all of your financial problems and forces you to realise that money is indeed just a number, a symbol of safety and security. It’s not why you’re here.
Death might come knocking but don’t actually enter, leaving you rattled and suddenly insecure. Life is short and death can come at any time. Have you actually been living all these years that you’ve been alive?
Or perhaps you’re retiring or maybe even hitting midlife or some chapter is ending in your life (like a long-term relationship) and you start questioning all the choices you’ve made up until that moment. Is there actually a rhyme and reason to what you’re doing?
I know because this is pretty much what happened to me.
The past ten years of my life, if you didn’t already know, has been quite unstable. Relationships – and not just romantic ones – came and went. I moved at least seven times. I held and walked away from a few jobs.
It’s easy to get lost when your life is in flux like that.
And eventually, I got tired of being lost and somehow ended up attending Jack Canfield’s seminars and buying his book, The Success Principles.
In that book (which is solid gold, by the way, you really need to read it), he emphasised the importance of being clear with why you’re here and to assist you with that, he included a couple of exercises.
These changed everything for me so I’m sharing them with you.
Make a list.
The first exercise is actually very simple.
All you need to do is to make a list of the times you’ve felt the happiest, those moments when you were totally in the zone and you felt so alive.
They’d have happened once or twice on average by the time you’re in your twenties.
And they will stand out.
Write them down in your journal.
If you’ve always been keeping a journal, now is the time to find the entries that discussed those experiences.
Once you have the experiences firmly in your mind, you can start analysing them.
What are the common elements that tied them together?
Can you figure out a way to make a living doing these things?
And I encourage you to be creative and just think outside the box here because the digital age has opened up a lot of opportunities for everyone.
For example, if you find that being a plumber is your passion but would really love to have more free time, have you considered creating a DIY plumbing course that you can deliver online?
That would give you the chance to still do what you love but be in control of your time.
Let your imagination run wild.
It’s your time to shine.
The life purpose exercise.
My personal preference, this exercise made my life purpose so clear to me that I now recommend it to anyone who asks.
Again, go to your journal and go through the following steps:
Step One: List two of your unique personal qualities. I chose single minded determination and unshakeable faith in the inherent goodness and abundance of life.
Step Two: List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others. Mine is to inspire and to instil hope.
Step Three: Assume the world is perfect right now. What does this world look like? How is everyone interacting with everyone else? What does it feel like? Write your answer as a statement, in present tense, describing the ultimate condition the perfect world as you see it and feel it. Remember, a perfect world is a fun place to be.
My perfect world is one where everyone knows – not just hopes, but knows – “that all dreams, no matter how big, are achievable, that abundance is infinite and available to all, that love is all there is.”
Step Four: Combine the three prior subdivisions of this paragraph into a single statement: “I am alive so that I can use my single-minded determination and unshakeable faith in the inherent goodness of life to inspire others and instil hope that all dreams, no matter how big, are achievable, that abundance is infinite and available to all, that love is all there is.”
You now have a clearly defined life purpose that you can use as a guiding light in your life.
Follow Your Bliss – A video of Joseph Campbell talking about his theory of bliss in four short minutes.
The Success Principles – An effective strategy that will get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Breakthrough To Success Online – A self-paced, 10-part online training version of Jack Canfield’s signature flagship training that will accelerate your personal development. It will allow you to do an interactive deep dive into his most powerful success principles and experience a breakthrough in some (or many) areas of your life where you may have previously been held back… all from the comfort of your own home and on your own timeline.
Step #3: Tackle the 4 areas of blissful living.
Once your life purpose is clear, it becomes easier to then tackle the four areas of blissful living that underpin your life: your mind, your relationships, your home and your finance.
Now, obviously, people have different priorities and you may think that you don’t have time to go through the cycle in the order I recommend because you need to fast-track a specific area.
If you’re like most people, you’d probably want to ignore the mind and just go straight to either finance or romantic relationships.
Obviously, transforming your life so that it becomes a study in bliss is a personal journey and you, better than anyone else, would know what that means.
That said, let me just underscore how synergistic these four areas are.
You can’t really work on and improve one without improving the others (even if you don’t really work on them deeply).
I always recommend starting with the mind (even and maybe especially if you’re in debt and need to find a way to clear it fast or when you want to get married and are hoping to attract The One).
And then work on your relationships.
Then your home.
And finally your financial situation.
I’ll dive deeper into why this is in the following sections.
Cultivate a blissful mind.
Why should you cultivate a blissful mind before anything else?
First off, I am neither a philosopher nor a neuroscientist so I won’t even attempt to discuss if the “mind” and “brain” are the same things.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dualist and you believe that the mind is definitely different from the brain or a materialist and you think they’re the same, one thing is certain: the brain / mind is the seat of control and if we’re not aware of how it works, we end up reacting to life instead of creating it.
And that is exactly why cultivating a blissful mind is very important.
What the heck does this mean?
Most of us believe that to be happy, we need something to happen first.
For example, we need to be with the love of our life and then we’ll be happy.
We need to earn £45,000 per year and then we’ll be happy.
We need to have those designer clothes, own our home, drive a fancy car and then we’ll be happy.
We think because we don’t have all these things (or whatever is we think we need), we can’t be happy.
When, in fact, we’ve got it upside down.
Christie Marie Sheldon of Mindvalley fame says that “it doesn’t work the way you think it does. You have to be happy first and then when all the other things happen, youʼre already happy. All the other things will happen and magnetise to you because you are already happy.”
If you think this is just spiritual voodoo, think again.
Scientists as far back as the 1980s have suggested that “happiness depends not so much on objective life circumstances as on the way in which these are perceived and evaluated.”
In other words, what actually happens outside ourselves doesn’t matter as much as what we think about what happens outside of ourselves.
For example, we get fired from our job just as we realise that we are neck-deep in debt.
Do we wallow in self-pity, believing that we’ve hit rock-bottom and that’s the end of it all? Or do we sulk for a bit, shake off that heavy feeling of defeat and make a plan of action to solve the problem?
Notice that the ‘objective life circumstance’ is the same: We are in debt and we have no job.
But what happens next, how we respond to the problem will change depending on the way we think.
“Is the glass half-empty or half-full” isn’t just a trite cliché. It’s a very important question with far-reaching answers.
Another example is our relationship with other people. Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “As you think so shall you be! Since you cannot physically experience another person, you can only experience them in your mind.
Conclusion: All of the other people in your life are simply thoughts in your mind. Not physical beings to you, but thoughts. Your relationships are all in how you think about the other people in your life. Your experience of all those people is only in your mind. Your feelings about your lovers come from your thoughts.
For example, they may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behaviour, it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behaviour. Their actions are theirs, you cannot own them, you cannot be them, you can only process them in your mind.”
Change the word “relationship” to home or finance and his statement will still be valid. This is why we say that the way you think matters. Because it truly does.
And this is exactly why we recommend that people start with creating a blissful mind.
Now, imagine that you completed the previous exercise and you’ve now found your bliss.
Do you think this knowledge will affect the way you look at your life?
You bet it will.
In fact, it will begin to colour the thoughts that form in your mind so that it’s now easier to stay in your bliss now that you’ve found it.
A common question people ask is this:”After you find your bliss in life, how do you now stay blissful forever?”
Answer: You need to cultivate the mind for it.
And to do so, we’ll be looking at such things as meditation, affirmations and education.
Meditation for Beginners – A collection of our favourite meditations for beginners. These are free videos you can find on YouTube and are quite short, only about 10 minutes long each so perfect for those who don’t have much time.
Affirmations of Love – A collection of 50+ affirmations so you can fall in love with yourself and your life, and attract the love you desire in the process.
How To Stop Worrying – 3 quick and easy tips to help you stop worrying, a fruitless exercise that robs you of your inner peace.
How To Declutter The Mind – Marie Kondo your mind and keep only those things that spark joy (translation: the things that spark joy are those that align with your bliss).
Tapping Therapy For Anxiety – An effective way to help you cope with anxiety. You can use this alongside any form of treatment your therapist has prescribed.
Self-Help Videos For Depression – An effective way to help you cope with depression. Use this at home every day together with any treatment your medical professional has prescribed.
How To Be A Happy Person – Easy ways to lift yourself up and become happier in just 7 days. Yes, it’s possible!
Create blissful relationships.
Once you have cultivated a blissful mind, it then makes sense to follow it up with creating blissful relationships, not just with other people but most importantly, with yourself.
Don’t worry, this will come practically naturally once you’ve found your bliss.
Learn how to practise self love
The first and most important relationship you need to nourish is your relationship with yourself. Self-love is fundamental to creating and maintaining a loving relationship with everyone else around you – from intimate partners to platonic friends, from adults to kids.
It is the cornerstone of all love.
Yes, they say that it’s better to give than to receive but really, that’s just a load of rubbish.
You cannot give what you do not have.
If you neglect yourself and your needs (and we all have them, don’t we?), you cannot function at your best.
It’s just impossible.
In fact, if you’re a caregiver whether by profession (such as nurses) or personal situation (a full-time, stay-at-home parent), neglecting to care for yourself does not only limit your ability to function well.
It can be downright dangerous to your mental health.
Compassion fatigue, a secondary traumatic stress disorder, happens when people focus so much on others without nurturing themselves and manifests in destructive behaviours like apathy, isolation, bottled up emotions and substance abuse.
So, we’ll go through a lot of different ways to nurture ourselves and then recommend a strategy so we don’t neglect ourselves even when especially because we have so many responsibilities that we need to meet.
The Ultimate Guide to Self Love – The only post you’ll find that will give you all the information you need to finally fall in love with your own worthy self.
Meditation for Self Love – The best meditation to help you fall in love with yourself. If you’ve never listened to this before, you need to do so now. I included the script so you can also use it as an affirmation.
Top Self Love Resources – Clue’s in the name. These are the top resources I recommend to anyone wanting to discover and cultivate self love, possibly for the first time ever.
How To Date Yourself – Want to focus on yourself but haven’t got a clue what to do? This has got you covered with easy to implement ideas that will soon get you partying with the best person ever: yourself.
Learn how to handle romantic and platonic relationships
Immediately after working on our relationships with ourselves, we then look at the quality of our romantic and platonic relationships with other adults and how we can improve them.
Improving these relationships don’t have to be tedious. Actually, you can inject a certain element of fun in your bond.
Just realise that this step is incredibly important, especially as more and more studies begin to show that the quality of our relationships is linked to the states of our emotional, mental and physical health.
And sometimes, without us even knowing it, they can completely derail us from our bliss through subtle nudges that take us off course.
This happened to me nearly half a decade ago and I didn’t realise until nearly two years into the friendship that it’s become quite toxic. I had become quite toxic.
Four years after our friendship ended, I’m still trying to remove the last of her influence.
So, be very careful of the people you allow into your life.
John Earl Shoaff said, “Stand guard at the gates of your mind.” and it’s true.
To succeed in living a life of bliss, to stay true to your own life purpose, you need to have strong boundaries.
Keep people who will tear you down far away from you to stop them from influencing you.
Remember that when we are surrounded by people who think life sucks and everything goes wrong, we eventually start thinking the same way.
And because we start thinking that life sucks, guess what?
Our minds start to subconsciously look for evidence to prove our point and before we know it, life does begin to suck.
Look at how you feel when you are surrounded by negative people.
Don’t you feel heavy, icky and sad? And when you feel this way, how do you react to the events and people around you?
Some relationships, you can repair and they flourish. A failing marriage, for example, can be salvaged if both sides are determined to do so and neither has inflicted too much pain or damage on the other.
That’s not true in all cases, of course.
Some marriages may be abusive and one party may decide to step away from the other person and their relationship completely.
According to Jim Rohn, some people, you can spend a few hours with but not a few days. Some, you can spend a few days but not a few weeks.
Go through your list of people – family, friends, acquaintances and even the voices you pay attention to when you watch the telly – and check if they’re serving you.
Some truly toxic people and relationships (abusers and abusive relationships, for example) leave you with no choice but to walk away.
Letting go is tough. Walking away hurts. But sometimes, they need to be done for the sake of everyone involved.
We don’t want toxic people in our lives not because we’re quitters or we don’t know how to fight for the people we love but simply because, as Nishan Panwar said, “one of the simplest ways to stay happy is to just let go of the things that make you sad.”
Finally, as Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.“
So, looking at the people you spend the most time with, do you like the kind of person you are?
Side Note: If, after going through your relationships, you find that you’re in an abusive situation, please seek help immediately.
The Five Major Pieces To The Life Puzzle – A proper goldmine of information that is relevant to anyone wishing to live an inspired life. I especially love Chapter II: Attitude where Jim Rohn says that “how we feel is influenced by our associations” and gives a clear strategy on how to deal with these relationships.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – The best resource anyone involved with an intimate partner can consult. If you feel that your relationship is not as good as it can be or if you suspect that there is something going wrong, then this is the best book for you. Pay close attention to the four horsemen and examine your relationship to see if they’re there. Then implement the recommended strategies as and when needed.
Learn how to parent with respect
A discussion on relationships won’t be complete unless we include happy parenting – not only because I’m a parent myself but because we all encounter kids (and their parents) at some point in our lives.
The way we treat children, others and our own, reflect the way we look at the world around us.
How do you react, for example, when you see a toddler in the midst of a glorious and very public tantrum?
Do you roll your eyes in disgust at such a display of emotion and at the parents for being so ineffective before stomping away? Or do you smile sympathetically at the parents in silent solidarity?
Oftentimes, parents are judged because of the way they feed the baby, their sleeping arrangements, the age when they start potty training, how often they pay attention to their children, how they discipline their children and so on.
We read all about the tiger parent vs the elephant parent, the permissive vs authoritative vs authoritarian parent, the modern vs earth mother, the helicopter parent, the gentle parent, the peaceful parent and all sorts of ‘parent’.
On this site, we try to stay away from labelling parenting styles because we believe that in the end, we all just really want to raise our children well so that they succeed later in life. And not lose our sanity in the process.
So, we stick with the kind of parenting where parents are happy and therefore, raise happy children who then grow into happy adults.
This section is all about supporting children in the very important task of growing up and parents in the equally important task of raising them.
Fortunately, once you find your bliss and you start working on your mind and your relationship with yourself and others, the way you parent or support parents also starts to change.
You begin to notice that traditional attitudes towards children are particularly ageist. Forced sharing, for example, is something you would never expect of an adult. Neither would you smack an adult to teach him a lesson.
Try to do the former and most adults will look at you as if you’ve grown two heads and simply refuse your demand that an item be shared because “you have to share”.
Try the second and you’d likely be charged for assault and battery. The specific charge may vary depending on which country you find yourself in but realise that hitting another adult is grounds for a criminal charge in many places.
You’ll also begin to notice that traditional expectations of children and their abilities are, for the most part, based on myth.
A self-soothing baby a mere few months after birth? Myth!
A toddler who never has a tantrum, listens and obeys without question the first time you ask them to do something or responds well to such things as time-out, rewards or punishment? Myth!
You’ll also, slowly, develop more compassion and understanding for the parent trying to do right by their child.
That father over there who’s staring at their phone whilst their child is having a meltdown? Maybe he’s looking for that song his wife used to sing to their child to calm him down – when she was still alive.
Or that mother with the crying baby who has just exploded at her toddler’s exuberance? Maybe she’s a single mother running on zero sleep and has postnatal depression and the insistent demands on her by both children has finally made her snap?
Whatever the case may be, you’ll soon realise that living in bliss means you’re feeling blissful all the time – a state of equilibrium that spills over to practically all aspects of your life.
You might even find yourself at a point where, instead of judging and condemning both parent and child, you offer your help instead.
And you might not even notice you’re doing this until you receive a grateful look from an exhausted parent or an open smile from a happy child.
Side Note: If you don’t have children, you can choose to skip this but we recommend at least finding out what you can do when you see a struggling parent.
(Hint: There is no place for judgement and condemnation when you live a truly blissful life so if your initial reaction is to judge or condemn the parent for the actions of the child or equally worse, judge the child for being a child, then know that you have more inner work to do.)
The Gentle Parenting Book – The book that I read from cover to cover before I gave birth and which, I think, should be required reading for anyone thinking about becoming a parent.
This book describes in an easy-to-understand language what science has found to be true of children from newborn babies to seven-year-olds.
No myths here!
Gentle parenting is not a trend but rather a method of parenting that embraces the needs of parent and child in a way that embraces current science and child psychology.
It also offers ways to help parents who started as authoritarians but now want to transition to a more gentle (but completely evidence-based) approach.
No Drama Discipline – As the name suggests, this is a parenting book that revolves around discipline.
It contains strategies that help parents identify their own discipline philosophy—and master the best methods to communicate the lessons they are trying to impart.
Also, discover actual facts on child brain development from professionals (and not self-professed experts with no scientific background or even parenting experience) and what kind of discipline is most appropriate and constructive at all ages and stages.
Finally, find out the best way to calmly and lovingly connect with a child—no matter how extreme the behavior—while still setting clear and consistent limits.
Bonus: This book also contains tips for navigating your child through a tantrum to achieve insight, empathy, and repair instead of engaging in a power struggle that serves to prolong the tantrum and sever your connection with your child. It also has twenty discipline mistakes even the best parents make—and how to stay focused on the principles of whole-brain parenting and discipline techniques.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids – This is practically my parenting bible and has really helped me cope with my own child who, like all children, pushes all my triggers.
This book is designed to help parents better understand and regulate their own emotions so that they can become more peaceful and, therefore, parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication.
The author gives step-by-step easy-to-implement examples of solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.
Side Note: These parenting books are written by people who are experts in the fields of child psychology and psychiatry whose views are informed not only by current research but also by their professional and personal experiences.
Develop an effective financial strategy that supports a blissful life.
We put finance third on our list because money, when it’s needed and it’s not there, can be a major source of stress.
Nothing ends a state of bliss quite like discovering that all your bills are due to be paid, your fridge is empty and your car has broken down…and you do not have a single penny to your name.
Add to that the fact that you have a spouse and kids who depend on you and your mental health can quickly spiral down.
Money puts so much strain on a relationship that it is in fact a leading cause of divorce, with one in 5 British couples citing money strife as a reason for the separation.
Not only that, A Silent Killer has found that “over 420,000 people in problem debt consider taking their own life in England each year, and more than 100,000 people in debt actually attempt suicide.”
With these alarming statistics in mind, we created this section so we can talk about the very important topics that make up the bulk of effective financial planning:
- Financial education – how to manage money so you never find yourself in financial disadvantage,
- Budgeting – the right and wrong way,
- Debt – how you get in it and how the heck do you get out of it,
- Savings – even when you’re totally skint and living from paycheck to paycheck,
- Financial freedom – what it is and how to get it
Whilst everyone can benefit from this section, there will be areas that might be of particular interest to breadwinners and the people who rely on them – especially if you have to survive on one income.
We know how difficult it can be these days to do that when we have so many responsibilities to pay for.
Things become especially dire when our monthly outgoings begin to outstrip our monthly income.
We know because that’s what we’ve had to do in 2018.
So, let me just say that I can totally relate to your frustration and anxiety.
I get it.
So, once you decide to take on this area, know that the articles here are informed by our own experiences as well as research.
And we’ll gladly share them with you in the hopes that you can avoid our mistakes and learn from our triumphs.
How To Improve Financial Literacy – Financial literacy begins in the home and as early as possible.
If you have children as young as two, start teaching them the basics of money management.
If you’re a parent or planning to be a parent, the resources in this post are a must-read for you.
They contain videos, books and apps that can help you manage your own finances so you can afford to have a child, make sure you don’t go into debt due to child-related expenses and teach your child effective money management skills so they don’t get into debt when they’re older.
Financial Planning Tips – Jam-packed full of tips that will allow you to manage your finances so you can get a handle on debt. Stop living paycheck to paycheck by following these quick and easy steps.
How To Manage Money – From the financial classic, The Richest Man in Babylon, this money management post will teach you not only how to manage money but also how to become wealthy and, more importantly, stay wealthy.
How To Clear Debt Fast – If you’re already in debt, then you need to read this post for our best tips on how to get rid of that debt as fast as you can.
Living Beyond The 9-5 – Financial freedom – the ability to stop trading time for money – is a goal for many. This particular post and the series it introduces will give you a blueprint you can follow so you too can start living a blissful life free from the traditional constraints of a desk job.
Design a blissful home.
The last area of blissful living involves creating a blissful home that will provide a safe haven when life’s inevitable storms come raging.
It’s a place where we can drop the mask we all wear in public and simply be ourselves.
Therefore, it’s essential that it’s warm, welcoming and inviting.
Have you ever been to a place where it just feels right, where it’s peaceful and you just know that you’re stepping into a place of love?
In contrast, have you ever been in a room where the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife?
Once you’ve found your bliss and you stay true to it, you inevitably want to create or even start creating a home that is really a home, in the truest sense of the word.
It’s not just a place to sleep in, it’s a place that reflects the well of bliss inside your heart.
Creating a set of family rules will be the first step in this section and possibly the most crucial.
These rules need to be inclusive, especially of gender and age. Everyone must be involved – from the very old to the very young.
Obviously, if you’re living on your own, then the process would be slightly different and might even be easier since you only have to account for yourself.
It’s also possible that you’ll need to do a bit of pruning, of decluttering, of tidying and organising to achieve and maintain this state.
It’s a bit hard to exude bliss when your kitchen is overflowing with dirty dishes, dead plants and things you don’t even need.
When you curate the things that are inside your home and you know that each item makes you smile instead of cringe, your home inevitably becomes a reflection of who you are.
And if who you are is pure bliss, then you will inevitably have a blissful home.
How To Make A House Feel Like Home – Just because you own a house doesn’t mean you have a home. The difference is in the details and this post was written to help you with the transformation.
How To Create A Family Manifesto – Harmony is essential to a blissful home. When you have a set of rules, it’s easier to create harmony. When these rules are made by each member of the family who all agree to abide by them, then there is a greater desire in each of them to follow said rules. This post is easy-to-implement and, in the process, will help you discover what each family member believes is important.
How To Keep Your House Clean And Organized When You Have Kids – When you have children, it’s so hard to keep on top of housework. This is the post you need to read if you need help in this department. I certainly needed the help and am so grateful that many of my blogging friends were happy to provide helpful hacks that really work.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The bible of all minimalists, organisers and declutter-enthusiasts. An essential resource for anyone who wishes to create a blissful home. A must read!
Things to remember about the 4 areas of blissful living
Each area of blissful living feeds from and into each other.
You cannot have a blissful home or relationships if your mind is consumed with negative thoughts.
In the same manner, it is difficult (not impossible, but certainly challenging) to remain happy when you live in a hovel where people fight each other all the time because the bills are coming in and you have no way to pay them.
Each area needs the other if it’s to function well.
The good news is that all you need to do to change all four areas is to start with one little change in one specific area.
If you follow this step-by-step guide, you’ll soon find that your life has changed so drastically that you may not even recognise it anymore.
Instead of the daily grind, you have daily bliss.
Life is filled with joy.
And the universe seems to support your every goal and fulfil your every desire.
It can happen.
All you have to do is to start the process now.
Final thoughts on living a blissful life
To end this post, let’s all remember the late Jim Rohn‘s practical but often forgotten words of wisdom, “happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
Living a blissful life is possible if you really want it.
And the beauty of it is that because we all have different ideas of what that looks like, we all have different paths to bliss because we all have different purposes, you can design your life any way you choose.
How exciting is that?
What about you? What tools do you use to live a blissful life? Pop them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.