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Return on my first workshop

Return on my first workshop

Last Thursday, I was hosting my first workshop ever in a cozy little café in Montreal. We were a group of 15 or so working together on our life plans. The goal of the workshop was to teach my attendees how to create a life plan that is both compelling and actionable. We had a really nice time and I learned a lot on how to speak in public and how to take charge of a group. My productivity skills were put to the test while I was preparing the workshop, working on expanding the reach of Productive Happiness and entering a school program at my local college. Time management was of the essence and I am proud to say that I have been able to accomplish everything that was on my to-do list before the workshop. I came fully prepared and the exercise sheets I have designed for the workshop have been appreciated greatly by the participants, as shown in the appreciation survey that I distributed at the end of the workshop. I have greatly enjoyed the experience of […]

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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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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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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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Seasons of life : why tilting is better than balance

Seasons of life : why tilting is better than balance

When I wrote this article about seasons of life two weeks ago, I did not know that it would be so on point. You see, I was supposed to post this article last Tuesday, but life got in the way as I have been moving offices and I have not been able to post at all last week.  That is exactly what I was trying to demonstrate when I wrote this post, that different seasons of life demands our attention and devotion and how I make the most of it. In the last few weeks, I’ve been very preoccupied. The office where I work is moving and I’ve been in charge of coordinating the move. It would have been a fairly simple task, but the move has been postponed three times and I had to coordinate the whole thing from scratch each time. I was worried that I would forget something and I would spend the nights restless, going through each step in my mind again and again. Insomnia is not your best friend when you need to concentrate, to […]

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