6 Zen-like Habits To Inspire Success and Contentment

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[success]Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. ~ Ray Bradbury[/success]

Very little separates the highly successful and contented people from the average. Every day you’re called upon to make lots of decisions. What you’ll use your time for, where you’ll focus your energies, what’s important to you, who you’ll spend time with, even to the simplest things like what to wear.

There’s nothing more important to the success and contentment of your life than these little daily decisions. They are the makers and builders of your life, the creators of your future.

Here’s some zen-like quotes to help make decisions that inspire your success and contentment.

1. It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it. ~ Dale Carnegie

Don’t make the mistake of saving happiness for some future time. When you have a great relationship, when you get that new job, when your bank account is full, when you’ve lost those extra pounds, when you publish your greatest novel, when you no longer have obstacles in your way…then you can be happy. That’s no way to live a successful, contented life.

Remember that 90% of happiness comes from how you decide to think about events and only 10% from the events themselves. Success is living your own version of happiness. Let your inner voice speak happy words and decide today to never look for someone or something to bring happiness into your life.

2. Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss? ~ Susan Gordon Lydon

Don’t allow negative thoughts to run your life or ruin your day. Find a way to move them on, squish them, whatever works. Move into a more positive mindset and you’ll find success and contentment not far behind. There’s a secret to happiness…it’s called a selective memory.

Learn to find it easier to feel gratitude and to quickly let go of what ticks you off.

Still feeling annoyed…you haven’t let go.

When memories still stir up negative emotions…you haven’t let go.

When you keep talking about the situation mentally or to others…you haven’t let go.  If you’re struggling with letting go, try the release technique. You can read about it here and here. Make a choice not to let the misery from your past create an unhappy future.

3. Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not really the fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Whatever the thing is that you currently want more than anything else in the world, you might be surprised to discover that it isn’t what you’re really after. It’s not that new car, it’s not that new body, or bigger house. What you’re really after is the feeling that having the thing gives you. It might be the feeling of success, or joy or even relief.

Never forget you’re a spiritual being with everything you need to overcome obstacles, rise to greatness, and live a generous fulfilling life. Wanting something is the fulfillment of a hunger that leads you to grow. Understand your desires are more about who you’ll become than what you get and then relax and LET them come.

4. You have to open up to the world and learn optimism…Contentment with the past, happiness with the present, and hope for the future. Learned optimisim. ~ Jennifer Crusie

Are your eyes drawn to the weeds or the flowers in the garden? Truth be told, all of us get hit by bad days when our optimism thermostats take a big hit. The overriding influence in how quickly you get over an upset is your attitude.

You can learn to be more naturally optimistic by creating good attitude habits. Practice expecting something good to come out of each experience. Understanding that you’re at choice as to how you view outside events will soon lead you to greater contentment.

Focus on what you’re moving towards, not what you’re moving away from…changing your perception has the effect of changing everything. Take credit for your success, it’s not about being lucky, it’s about having great habits. You deserve a big pat on the back.

5. Unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. ~ Noam Chomsky

Don’t over think things. There are plenty of people who are more than willing to help you create hurricanes just to put out a match. Pay no attention to them.

When mentally predicting the future…instead of assuming the worst, assume the best.  Your job is to live in faith, be hopeful and keep showing up, remembering the Universe moves in mysterious ways.

Put a smile on your face. Scientists from Darwin to present day tell us that a smile triggers a part of our brain that leads to happiness and optimism; and right behind them are their cousins, contentment and success.

Make it your mission to pass on your happiness to others. Share a few kind words or smile at a stranger, allow someone to go in front of you in the grocery store, or in traffic. Shared happiness draws more things in life for you to be happy about. Leading you towards a happier future.

6. To Do Today…1. Sit and think…2. Reach enlightenment…3. Feed the cats. ~ Jarod Kintz

Stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Practice not taking life so seriously and learn to laugh at yourself. Remember there’s life, there’s love and all the rest is just commentary. Laugh at yourself, but never doubt your capabilities.

Have a laugh even when you’re not feeling your best, when you’re sad, or when you’re tired.

Try to smile, even through your tears and that lump you have in your throat from trying hard not to cry.

Sing, even when others tell you your voice sucks.

Remember you became the person you now are because of heartache and sorrow and the challenges you’ve overcome. You’re stronger now that you’ve dealt with the ups and downs of life than you ever were when you started.  Celebrate that.

The saddest thing about taking life so seriously is you rarely have a mind at peace so you rarely experience contentment. As a zen monk once said, if you’re not laughing, you’re not getting it.

Your turn.

In the comments below share any habits, zen-like or otherwise that would make the biggest impact on your success and contentment. Leaving out the obvious like meditation.

Thanks a lot for reading and sharing and commenting…you seriously rock.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

ElleSommer
Elle Sommer is the author and founder of Live Purposefully Now, a website focused on sharing the insights and ancient wisdom that have collectively changed her life, in the desire to make a meaningful impact on yours. Trained at Coach U and having completed a year long training with Bob Proctor, her mission is to encourage and inspire others to build the business, relationships and life they want. You can also find her on Healthy Natural Oils her new website for helping you get started with essential oils for more natural health, well-being happiness and success in your life!

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20 Comments

  • You have given us the true pillars of contentment, Elle. If we don’t recognize the wisdom in your very first point – that happiness lies within -we’ll never find contentment. I also love the idea of selective memory!

    I think kindness makes for a special life so I would add kindness towards self and others to the list.

  • Lovely post, as always Elle. I’d like to share that my biggest realisation on the path to being content is in the realisation that everything was a perception. Being able to for a moment, step away and realise that nothing is personally aimed or intentioned, and that success and failure, while not necessarily the same as defined by society, is always in the perception of the perceiver.

    • You are speaking truth here kiddo. We are the lens through which we see, judge, decide, choose. Which means we get to define our life ourselves. How liberating is this? ‘Cos then we’re at choice to change and change again. I ღ this system. 🙂

  • Hi Elle,
    It has never failed to strike me that whenever i read your posts time freezes for me and I’m locked into the mesmerising hum of your words,your deeply moving thoughts.
    You are blessed.!
    Thank god we have people like you around.

    I love the message of bullet #5..brimming with hope and sunshine…
    Thanks n deep regards for such a fantastic “pep post”
    Mona

  • Hi Elle,

    I like the idea of creating zen-like habits. They sound less of a struggle and more about being in the flow. And that is really what we want. Habits that don’t feel like hard work but ones that will help us attract success and contentment easily and gracefully.

    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Evelyn

    • Sounds like you’re a soul sister Evelyn. I don’t want or believe that change has to be that hard. We need a little determination and dedication it’s true but that can be fun and certainly being in the flow feels fantastic. 🙂

  • Elle love the opening quote. letting go has been big in part of my past few weeks as I clear and clean the physical stuff, the mental stuff and next wil be the tech stuff as I declutter my blog and my computer.
    Thanks for sharing your zenhabits xxoo

    • I shared your list of clearing stuff with my friends and family Suzie, I thought it was so cool. As an army brat, moving around the world every couple of years we were brought up to part with ‘stuff’ relatively easily and even though we don’t move quite that often nowadays we don’t have as much to de-clutter as those who live in the same place for many years. ‘Tho there’s always my closet which seems to be in a permanent state of needing clearing out! 🙂

    • Hi Wan…it’s a good thing for everyone who cares about others and life to remember. Let me know if it makes a difference to how life shows up for you. 🙂

  • Thank you for a great list. They are all simple things, and so life-changing. For me, realizing that I could decide how to think about events turned my life around. Another thought-habit I have is reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, and things always have a way of working themselves out for the best.

    • Love that Lori…a simple thing like being at choice as to how to think about events and then choosing to think differently is a fantastic way to write a different life story. I like your belief that things eventually work out for the best. Which is sort of a souped up version of the fat lady singing. If it isn’t the best yet, then it isn’t the end. 🙂

  • Hi, such a great article! The zen like quotes are really very motivating. I think being a positive person helps a lot in achieving success. I’ll share this post with my colleagues. Thanks and have a great day.

    • Thanks for stopping by and joining in the conversation Sherill and thanks for sharing with your colleagues…I appreciate the love. You’re spot on with your comment about a positive attitude, it can make or break our days. 🙂

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