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Stop chasing happiness (and you might find it)

Stop chasing happiness

There is a catch in all this happiness business. The more you search for it, the less you get it. Stop looking for it, and you might find it. Why is that? Because hoping for happiness and directing your thoughts and energy to it creates expectations. And expectations lead to discontent. So the more you expect being happy, the less you are. Happiness is a noble cause, that’s for sure. A nice goal. But we tend to think that being happy is the end of the road, when in fact it isn’t. Happiness is not a perpetual state. I think that the biggest myth about happiness is that when you are happy, you are all of the time. Nothing would be less true. We will all experience hardships, difficulties, negative emotions at one point or the other. Without darkness, how can we know that there is light? Ok, so we can’t be happy all of the time. And we can’t look for happiness or we’ll lose it. So what can we do to be happier, without trying too hard? Two […]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Getting things Done

A Beginner's Guide to Getting Things Done

Back in 2014, I was undergoing a major life overhaul. I had just started the Miracle Morning and was also starting my project of becoming a full-time blogger. I soon realized that, if I wanted to juggle my regular job and my side hustle, I needed to improve my productivity game. I heard of a book called Getting Things Done. The tagline of the book piqued my interest : The Art of Stress-free Productivity. That’s what I wanted! Get everything done with a zen attitude! Don’t we all want that? In today’s article, I will share a beginner’s guide to Getting Things Done, the productivity system that will allow you to get your life under control and achieve what David Allen calls “mind like water”. First, let’s start by stating what Getting Things Done (GTD) is not. It is not a quick-fix technique to boost your productivity. It is not a single tip, but a whole system, a methodology to encompass everything you need and want to do in your life, both professionally and personally. The GTD system is not […]

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Man’s Search for Meaning – A Summary

Man's search for meaning summary

I don’t know if you believe in synchronicity, but I certainly do, especially regarding books. Sometimes, I’ll keep seeing a book everywhere. EVERYWHERE. When that happens, I know that I have to have it. That’s what happened with Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Recently, I wrote an article about a book called The Happiness Makeover. The author mentions Man’s Search for Meaning more than once in her book, and it has been the millionth time I’ve seen this book mentioned by happiness authors. I felt that I had seen enough signs and I decided to splurge and buy the book on Amazon. And it blew my mind. Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist from Vienna. During WWII, Frankl and his family have been taken away from their lives and imprisoned in Nazi death camps. Frankl wrote a memoir from his time in the concentration camps, which constitutes the first half of the book. He describes life in the camps, how the prisoners were treated, but most of all, he described the psychology of the prisoners and how hope for a […]

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Flow : The Pleasure of Getting More Done

how to achieve flow state

We’ve all experienced a time in our life when we lost ourselves in a task that we truly enjoyed. We were having such a nice time, creating, writing, playing sports, that we lost track of time and felt a deep, powerful feeling of wellbeing. We were completely in the zone. A Hungarian psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, coined a term for this state of consciousness :  flow. What is flow? According to Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, “flow is an optimal state of consciousness, when you feel and perform your best. It’s the moment of total absorption. Time speeds up or slows down like a freeze-frame effect. Mental and physical ability go through roof and the brain takes in more information per second, processing it more deeply.” Experiencing flow state has many positive impacts on our levels of performance and on our productivity, but also increases our concentration, reduces stress and increases our creativity and our ability to solve problems. Flow state is also linked to happiness; while in flow, we are […]

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How to feel better – A model to be more positive

how to feel better - A model to be more positive

If we have one thing in common as human beings, I would say that would be the hardships that we have to go through. Some of us have more luck than others, but at one point in our life, we will all go through something that’s hard, something that will shatter our world. I certainly am one of those. My parents’ divorce when I was 11 was certainly a difficult point in my life. In one of my articles, I’ve shared about my experience with sexual abuse. I’ve had my fair share of depression and I tried more than once to end my life. But today, I would say that, even though hardships still come and go, I have become more resilient than ever, and I believe that I can face any trials and remain strong, happy, serene. There is one thing I’ve learned in my life that made me into the resilient being that I have become. This is what I will share in today’s article. No matter what happens in our lives, there is one thing that will always […]

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My secret weapon to productivity : the Bullet Journal

A few years ago, I came across an article on Lifehacker about a new productivity tool using only a pen and a notebook. The creator of the new method, a designer called Ryder Caroll, created a beautiful video to explain his method, along with a companion website. He called his tool the Bullet Journal. At first, I really liked the idea of writing bullets next to my tasks in my notebook of choice and to check them off as I went. It took me a whole year before I decided to really implement his method and I am now a fervent advocate of the Bullet Journal. A brief overview of the Bullet Journal method The Bullet Journal is essentially composed of a notebook that will hold your tasks, appointments, ideas and projects, organized into different “collections”. A collection is a page in your journal dedicated to a specific subject. I would highly suggest that you watch the official Bullet Journal video to have a complete overview of Ryder Caroll’s method. The video is fairly short but so well made that […]

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My #1 habit to stay sane and boost my happiness

number 1 habit to stay sane journaling

April is National Journal Writing Month, also known as NaJoWriMo, a journaling challenge  inviting people from all over the world to keep a journal for 30 days. Since journaling is a huge part of my personal development, I thought the end of March was the perfect moment to write on the topic of journal writing as a tool for happiness to inspire you to join me for NaJoWriMo. A few years ago, I had quite a rough patch when a health problem forced me to stay home for 3 years, unable to work. I had to experiment with different medication, dealing with the backlash of a myriad of side effects, ranging from memory loss,  to incontrolable shaking, to hair loss. The effects on my morale were devastating. As a self-proclaimed workaholic, staying home for so long made me feel useless, depressed and my self-esteem plummeted. There is one thing that allowed me to process the difficult situation I was in and to find positivity in those trying times : journaling. I started back then a blog to share my healing […]

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The Happiness Makeover, review of a short, empowering book

Last year, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps. My life seemed a bit out of alignment with what I truly wanted for myself, my career and my relationships felt unsatisfying and I was feeling depressed. I was having a happiness slump. One day, I was taking my usual afternoon walk and came across a second-hand bookstore. Something inside me whispered that I should go in. I did and, while perusing the shelves, I stumbled upon a mysterious book called the The Happiness Makeover, how to teach yourself to be happy and enjoy every day by M.J. Ryan. It had to come home with me. I quickly dove in, and, after a few chapters, I knew I had to share this awesome find with my readers. Here’s a short review of this little gem. Structure The book is divided into 53 short chapters, each one laying out an actionable advice on the topic of happiness. M.J. Ryan talks about neuroscience, money, optimism, relationships, purpose, each chapters a few pages long and loaded with insights and wisdom. The book […]

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Productive Happiness is BACK!

Productive Happiness is back

Hey y’all! Productive Happiness is back! After 4 long months on a medical leave, I am fully rested and ready to get back to blogging! I missed writing so much, I realize that it is such an important part of my life and I am so glad I have this blog as a creative outlet to share my passion for personal development! The last few months have been quite difficult for me, being sick at home unable to work on my projects, or do anything really… This led me to a lot of thinking and, as I reflected on my life, I decided to rethink my goals. I spent the last 4 weeks soul-searching to find out what direction I wanted to take from now on, so I decided to go on a silent retreat to figure things out. Last week, I rented an Airbnb in a charming neighborhood here in Montreal with the only company of my notebooks, my trusted fountain pens and a few books. I was lucky to share my rental with a lovely female cat named Samy who […]

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Essentialism : review of a new way of life

Today’s review has been on my to-do list for a long time. I think that I wanted to make sure I had the right words to share with you how much Essentialism : The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown had an impact on my life. It has a special place in my list of ten books that have changed my life for the better! At first, I wanted to write an extensive summary of the book and prepared detailed notes and quotations. The more I thought about it, the less it made sense. In the spirit of Essentialism, I had to write a minimalist review. Something simple and to the point, something that would inspire you to buy the book and read it yourself. I hope I will give you this urge with my review. Here we go. To me, Greg McKeown’s Essentialism is more than  a simple non-fiction essay. It encompasses a philosophy, a way of life. Here is, in McKeown’s words, what is an Essentialist : “The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by […]

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