Be happy by celebrating success

Can you be happy by celebrating success?  At the very least it can help you to feel happier – it is just one way of helping you to see the good things in life, rather than focussing on the bad things.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

– Oprah Winfrey

One of the ways to feel happier is to cultivate a positive outlook, and this includes appreciating one’s achievements and looking forward with positivity.

In one of Paul McKenna’s excellent books (“I can make you thin”) he encourages us to answer 5 questions at the end/beginning of each week.  I reproduce them here – give them a try:

1.  The best things that happened this week were:

2.  My biggest challenges this week were:

3.  I did these things for the first time:

4.  What I learned was:

5.  My top 3 priorities for the week ahead are:

Simple questions, but they encourage you to reflect on what went well, what could have been better, and how you will go forward based on what you have learned.

Be happy by celebrating success – by feeling good about what has gone well, and also by looking at how you can make things even better in the week ahead.

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done differently, as a result of answering these questions, to be happy with yourself  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

How to be Happy at Work

Are you tired of feeling unhappy at work?  Would you like to feel happy at work instead?  Or at the very least, happier?

If you don’t think being happy at work is important then you need to read the blog-post I made here: Is Happiness at Work Important?

It might feel like we have no control over how we feel at work, but in fact, we do.

Here are some things that you can do to feel happy at work:

Always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to your colleagues – the better you treat others, the more willing they’ll be to help you get the job done.

Keep clear boundaries – don’t mix personal and professional relationships – look for intimacy in other areas of your life.

Avoid toxic colleagues – the complainers, naysayers, gossips and critics who want to rain negativity on everyone’s parade – the more you expose yourself to them, the unhappier you will feel.

Look for win-win solutions – when we engage in win-lose battles we waste energy and it is counter-productive for all.  Try compromising, collaborating and accommodating as much as you can.

Handle your frustrations constructively – use your judgement: if small conflicts between you and your colleagues lead to improvements in how effectively the team works, then that’s constructive. If frustrations lead to anger, tension and upset then that’s not constructive!

That’s just a few ideas to get you started.  You could also consider looking at improving your work environment, how you organise your day, and a range of other things that might help you feel more positive at work

– What action will you take to feel happier at work? What changes can you make to your behaviour, to be happy at work?

You may well find that as you become more positive, your colleagues do too, making a better working place for everyone.

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done differently, as a result of reading this article, to put more happiness into your work life – how did you feel afterwards?  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

Do you pass the Happiness Test?

What if there were a happiness test, to measure how happy you are?  And to highlight the parts of your life that might be worth improving, to help you to feel happier.

Numerous tests and quotients have been developed by scientists to measure people’s happiness, and there has been general agreement on the key factors that affect happiness.  And, by the way, most of these factors are under our own control.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you right now?  Well, see what your answers to the following Happiness Test questions tell you about yourself, and your happiness level: answer simply YES or NO to each question.

– Happiness Test

  1. Do you feel safe in your everyday life?
  2. Do you feel you have enough of what you need to be happy?
  3. Do you have moments when you take stock and look at the whole of your life, instead of the events of the day?
  4. Do you often find a quiet place to enjoy a moment of self-reflection?
  5. Are you satisfied with your finances, relationships, and career?
  6. Are you optimistic about your life?
  7. Are you grateful for the way that your life is unfolding?
  8. Do you often experience peace of mind?
  9. Would you rate your health an well-being (physical and mental) as being above average for your age?
  10. Do you often find yourself feeling content and comfortable with where you are at this moment in life?

These Happiness Test questions were developed by the clinical psychologist W. Doyle Gentry. The more of them that you can truthfully answer YES to, then the happier you probably are.

How many times did you answer YES?  That is your score out of ten.

If you want to think of it as a percentage, 5 out of ten would be 50% happy, 6 out of ten would be 60% happy, and so on.

Looking at the questions you answered NO to, what life changes could you make to turn your answer into a YES?

These questions highlight some of the areas that my clients often work on with me – and they tell me they get huge benefits from making changes, with my help, in these parts of their lives.

Several of the articles that I have already posted in this blog also focus on these areas – for example, the last entry was about one aspect of gratitude (question 7).  So, if you would welcome some ideas,  read back through my previous entries.

– How will you increase your score in the happiness test?  How can you make changes, to improve your happiness level?

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done differently, as a result of reading this article, to put more happiness into your life – how did you feel afterwards?  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:


Gratitude Makes Us Happy

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

– William Arthur Ward

Evidence shows that feeling gratitude and expressing thanks actually make us happier.  It is rewarding and helps us to feel good: happy with the person we are grateful to and happy with ourselves for having shown appreciation.

Thinking about the things we are grateful for also stops us from overlooking the good things that we have going on in our lives, that we sometimes fail to see.

So, today, focus on what is working well in your life.

AND, express thanks to those who are a part of that.

  1. Who do I love?
  2. When did I last tell them so?
  3. How can I better show my love and gratitude to them?
  4. Who loves me?
  5. How can I better show my appreciation to them?
  6. What am I most grateful for in my life?
  7. What is it about that which makes me feel grateful?
  8. What else am I grateful for?
  9. And what else?
  10. Who can I thank today, and how?

Today, I am simply grateful that I am here, to experience all the wonderful things that life (and the universe) has to offer.

Of course it can be a challenge at times – two people close to me have had cancer scares this month – but that has been a gentle reminder to me that there are always things to be grateful for, and sometimes it is simply my existence.

How can you develop an attitude of gratitude, to improve your happiness?

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done differently, as a result of reading this article, to put more happiness into your life – how did you feel afterwards?  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

Happiness Workshop – How to feel happier

People living in the Manchester, UK area might be interested in this Happiness Workshop next Tuesday:

Do you feel Happy?  Successful?  Fulfilled?

 Would you like to feel Happier?

 Spring-Clean Your Future – the Happiness Workshop

 Tuesday 12th June, Chorlton Library

Doors open 7.15pm       Workshop starts 7.30pm

 BOOK your FREE place at:


  • What happiness means to you
  • How you can take control of your own happiness and well-being
  • 9 steps to a happier life; things we can all do to feel better
  • 2 things which, done daily, can help  increase your happiness
  • How to set a fulfilling personal goal, and how to achieve it

Workshop Limited to 50 people –  


Workshop facilitated by

Chorlton’s own Happiness Coach,  Mary R. Perkins

on behalf of Manchester City Council

Beliefs and Happiness

Can your beliefs affect your happiness level?  YES.  Beliefs and happiness go hand in hand.

Our beliefs and happiness are both things that we have some control over.

People who focus on choosing positive beliefs over negative ones tend to feel happier.  This is because our thoughts affect our feelings.  And our feelings affect our behaviour and ultimately how we experience the world.

Your subconscious mind tries to support you in whatever you do.  So, whatever beliefs you choose to hold, your subconscious mind supports you by finding evidence to support those beliefs.

For example: if you are running round the house saying “I can’t find my car keys,” your subconscious mind takes on this belief and raises your feelings of stress. The feelings of stress affect your behaviour: you become less observant, and so are less likely to spot where your keys are. Your belief becomes true – it has determined how you experience the world.

On the flip-side, another example: research has shown that people who believe themselves to be lucky actually tend to be luckier – the reason behind this, scientists suppose, is that they tend to spot opportunities that people who consider themselves to be unlucky do not.

So, what can we do?   Change the way we think!

Whenever you catch yourself thinking something negative, grab hold of the thought before it can take hold, and replace it with a thought that will be more helpful to you.

So, for example: if you catch a thought that says “I am rubbish at X,” stop yourself and replace it with “I am getting better at X,” or even, “I am great at X” and keep repeating these positive thoughts so that they sink in and your subconscious can find ways to support them – it really makes a difference!

So too with happiness.  A thought like “life sucks” can be replaced with “my life is getting better” or “I am making my life better” or “I am feeling happier every day”.

The aim isn’t to become a grinning loon and get carted off by men in white coats – no one wants to be smiling 24-7.  It’s about creating more positive thoughts, to change our perception of the world and allow us to get more out of life.

Incidentally, when you are feeling down, try adopting the posture of a happy person (shoulders back, sit up straight, chin-up), and smiling.  It is amazing what a difference that can make to how we feel.  Even the simple act of smiling releases ‘happy chemicals’ that elevate our mood.

So beliefs and happiness are strongly linked.

What positive beliefs can you take on, to improve your happiness?

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what beliefs you have taken on to put more happiness into your life, and how you felt afterwards  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

PS if you live in Manchester and would like to find out more about feeling happier, then book yourself a FREE place on my Happiness Workshop next Tuesday.  Limited to 50 people, so BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW BY CLICKING HERE.

Can exercise make you happier?

Can exercise make you happier ?  Really?

Yes, it can!

Stretching your body, with even gentle exercise, releases chemicals that enhance your mood.

Ways to stretch your body might include:

  • move more; be active; exercise;
  • join a yoga class, a walking group, or a sports club;
  • go outside and smell the flowers or play games with friends;
  • use movement, breath and proper rest to energise you

Our body and mind are connected – so not only does moving more make us physically healthier, being active makes us happier.

Questions to help you think about how to put more movement into your life:

1. How could you put more movement into your journey to work, or journeys to visit friends, etc?  E.g. get off the bus one stop earlier, cycle, etc

2. How could you put more movement into your day generally? E.g. take the stairs rather than the lift, etc.

3. What sort of activities might you enjoy doing outside, in the fresh-air, which would get you moving more? E.g. walking, playing Frisbee with friends…

4. What groups might you join that would involve movement? E.g. walking club, football team, aerobics classes….

5. What sort of movement have you never tried before, that you might fancy trying or learning? E.g. salsa dancing, rock-climbing, paragliding….

6. What do you do to help yourself to sleep well?
For more information on better sleep see:

7. What could you do to relax and breathe deeply, to get more oxygen to your brain, in a gentle way? E.g. yoga, meditation, etc
For more information on meditation see:

The questions above are just the starting point to thinking about how to put more movement into your life, but hopefully it has given you some food for thought…

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done to put more movement and/or exercise into your life, and how you felt afterwards – can exercise make you happier ?  – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

Is happiness at work important?

Happiness at work is more important than you might think.  

More and more employers are starting to recognise the bottom-line benefits of having happy employees.  Enlightened bosses are investing in one-to-one happiness coaching, for themselves and for their staff, to positively prime their work-force for higher performance.

The old view was that if you work hard, you will be successful.  And once you are successful, then you will be happy.  But this doesn’t work: with each success we adjust to it, so happiness keeps getting pushed just over the horizon.

The science of positive psychology has demonstrated that things actually work the other way around – If you can find ways to be happy, then you will be more successful!  Happiness is the precursor to success, rather than the result of it.

Countless studies have now shown that happiness at work leads to higher performance at work, and in other areas of our lives – this is because positive people are more motivated, more efficient, more creative and more productive, which drives performance upwards.

Sadly the picture in many work places today is rather different, with studies showing that only 45% of workers are happy in their jobs.  And depression rates today are ten times higher than they were in the 1960s.

The cost of this unhappiness at work is not just about the emotional cost for the employees, but the financial cost for their employer – unhappy employees take more sick days, an average of 15 extra sick days a year.

Yet if we can inject some happiness at work, it makes such a difference!

Research shows that happy workers have higher levels of productivity, produce higher sales, perform better in leadership positions, and receive higher performance ratings and higher pay.

For example, one study found that doctors in a positive mood show almost 3 times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they come to an accurate diagnosis twice as fast.  Another study showed that optimistic sales people outsell their pessimistic counterparts by nearly 60%.

There are many things, big and small, that can be done within the work-place to increase employee happiness at work.  Some are things that the company can do; and some are things that the employee do.

Examples include: finding things to look forward to at work (perhaps by setting goals); meditation and exercise during lunch-hours; performing acts of kindness towards colleagues; infusing positivity into the surroundings; giving employees the chance to use their signature strengths; learning how to have more positive interactions with colleagues; encouraging self-belief; giving employees more responsibility and control…. the list goes on!

Studies have shown that our external circumstances predict only about 10% of our total happiness. That means that our happiness is 90% down to internal factors – what’s in our head.

So it is within the power of every employee, given support by their employer, to create their own happiness at work (and across all aspects of their lives) for themselves.

There is much we can all do (with help) to work on our internal circumstances at work: for example we can change our thoughts at work, feelings about work and the way that we behave at work.

What could you do differently at work, to feel happier there?

How could you think differently about work, to feel happier there?

If you are the boss, what could you do differently, for your employees, to help them create more personal happiness at work?

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done to create more happiness at work, perhaps for yourself, or for others – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me:


Use NLP to be happier

What is NLP and how can you use NLP to be happier?

NLP, or Neuro-linguistic Programming to give it its full title, is a set of tools that some coaches use with their clients.  I find that NLP techniques can help my clients to achieve even more powerful life-changes through their coaching with me.  It’s hard to describe in a sentence, but it works by using language to influence mind and behaviour, to make positive changes in our lives.

I won’t attempt to describe NLP techniques here (there are lots of different ways to use NLP to be happier).  But here are some basic ideas from NLP which, if taken to heart, and acted upon, can lead to real change:

  1. Be clear about what you want in life – Coaching helps with this one!  But it is about having a clear idea of where you are now, where you want to be, and a strategy to get there using the resources you have (or can get).
  2. Pay attention to all the feedback you get – Once you know what you want, and have a strategy, pay attention to what results you are getting – it’s all feedback.  Feedback helps you to know what to do next to keep you on track.
  3. Be flexible – keep fine-tuning what you are doing in the light of the feedback you get.  If what you are doing is not working, then try doing something else.  And the more choices you can create for yourself, the more strategies you have to get what you want, and the greater your chance of success.
  4. Choose to feel positive towards others and yourself, by believing that all actions have a purpose and a positive intention – we are always trying to achieve something, even if we may not realise what.  Our actions are to achieve something we value and that benefits us.  If someone seems to be behaving badly, or raising obstacles to you getting what you want, then remind yourself that a person is not their behaviour – when people can find a better choice of behaviour that also achieves their positive intention, then they will take it – be flexible – try to find choices, for both of you, that achieve a win-win for all involved.
  5. Take responsibility for communication – There are no failures in communication, only responses and feedback.  If you are not getting the results or responses you want, then change what you are doing, how you are saying things, and what you are saying.
  6. Believe that there are no unresourceful people, just unresourceful states of mind – so when you struggle with any of the above, pause, and think what you might do to put yourself in a better mental state, so that you can be flexible, see more options, feel better about others, etc. – it is tremendously empowering!

The ideas above are just the starting point in how to use NLP to be happier – there are a whole range of tools and techniques beyond these that I use with clients to make our coaching sessions powerful – I hope you have enjoyed this little taster!

Think about how you might apply the ideas above to the things you want to change in your life…

Got any questions?

Or, want to tell me what you think? – perhaps share how you have used the above, and how you felt afterwards.

Leave a comment here, or email me:

How to have happier relationships with others

The 7th step in my “Steps to a Happier Life” is to Engage with Others, and it is all about having happier relationships.

People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer.

This has been on my mind over the Easter break, as I have connected with those close to me like my Father, who came to visit.

Springtime is full of new life, and some people celebrate springtime, or Easter, by giving one another eggs – I bought my Dad a mint chocolate egg, which seemed to go down well! The ancient Zoroastrians painted eggs for their New Year celebration, which falls on the Spring equinox. Later, Christians began exchanging eggs as a symbol of Christ’s tomb (or the boulder at its entrance) from which they believe Jesus rose, alive once more, on Easter Sunday.

In many traditions then, eggs symbolise new life. And they are often exchanged as tokens of friendship, love, or good wishes.

Gifting small tokens is one of many ways we can strengthen our relationships and connections with others. And strong relationships become happier relationships, increasing our own happiness too.

Answer the questions below to get you thinking about your connections with others:

Which groups of people do you connect with at the moment? (e.g. family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, community groups, charities, hobbies, sports…)

What other groups exist nearby that you could consider getting involved with?

Who could you have some fun with this month, to strengthen your relationship? What might you do together?

What could you do to improve your relationship with your partner?  See this website for some ideas:

Who haven’t you telephoned for a while, that you could call?

Who haven’t you seen for a while, that you could arrange to meet up with?

Who could you connect with more at work, perhaps for lunch, or for a coffee/pint after work?

Think about all the relationships and connections in your life – list all the possible things that you could consider doing to strengthen them?

One of the things I work on with my coaching clients is building happier relationships with the people close to them.  Amongst other things I help people to examine their behaviours in their relationships, to identify any limiting beliefs about them that are holding them back and to take action to make all their relationships better.

The questions above are just the starting point to thinking about how better to engage with others and develop good social connections, but hopefully it has given you some food for thought…

Good luck!

And, tell me what you think – share what you have done to strengthen your relationships and develop new ones, and how you felt afterwards – it’s great to hear your experiences, and I feature some of them in my newsletters.

Leave a comment here, or email me: