9 Minutes and 50 Seconds to
A Happier Writer's Life …

Author Richard Wiseman was having lunch with a friend named Sophie a number of years ago.

She had recently bought a book on increasing happiness and asked him what he thought of the "happiness industry."

Wiseman explained he had reservations about the science backing some of the techniques and started a 15-minute discourse about the "complex work in happiness."

Sophie stopped him and told him that she was a busy person. Did he have some advice that wouldn't take quite so long to implement … say about a minute?

This prompted Wiseman to write the book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

As how happy you are often directly affects the quality of your writing, today I thought I'd share the 10 happiness tips in the last chapter of Wiseman’s book. You can do each in under a minute.

  1. Develop the Gratitude Attitude – Wiseman suggests that you list three things that you are grateful for or three things that went especially well over the last week. You'll feel more optimistic about the future, plus you'll improve your physical health. For freelance writers, optimism is key. Prospects prefer to deal with someone who is optimistic and upbeat.
  2. Be a Giver – Small acts of kindness significantly boost the happiness level of the giver. Things like giving a few dollars to the needy, buying a surprise gift for a loved one, donating blood, or helping out a friend. If you're a veteran freelance writer, why not offer to critique an up-and-coming writer's copy? The few minutes it takes you could have a big impact on how fast they advance in their career.
  3. Hang a Mirror in Your Kitchen – If you place a mirror in the kitchen, it can lead to a 32 percent reduction in the consumption of unhealthy food, according to Wiseman. Being able to see your body as you open the fridge or sit down to eat inspires you to make better choices.
  4. Buy a Potted Plant for the Office – Adding plants to an office environment, says Wiseman, boosts creativity. Creative ideas and solutions are a big part of a successful writer's life. I'm going out to buy a plant after I finish writing this.
  5. Touch People Lightly on the Upper Arm – Studies show people are more like to agree to a request if you lightly touch them on the arm. A good technique to keep in mind at your next networking event or the next time you meet a prospect or client in person.
  6. Write about Your Relationship – Partners who spend a few moments committing their thoughts and feelings about their relationship to paper boost their chances of sticking together by 20 percent, according to Wiseman. The reason being it results in them speaking about each other in a more positive light, fueling a healthier and happier relationship.
  7. Deal with Potential Liars by Closing Your Eyes and Asking for an Email – How do you spot a liar? They are more likely to use "ums" and "ahs" and avoid self-references (me, mine, I) in their conversation, according to Wiseman. He points out that people are 20 percent less likely to lie in an email because their words are documented and more likely to come back and haunt them.
  8. Praise Children's Efforts over Their Ability – Saying, "Well done, you must have tried really hard," encourages children to try regardless of the consequences, thereby sidestepping the fear of failure. Plus, they will be more likely to attempt challenging problems.
  9. Visualize Yourself Doing, Not Achieving – Wiseman says to picture yourself taking positive steps towards your goal instead of just fantasizing about the end result. So don't just imagine yourself in a big house with a million dollars in the bank; picture yourself being successful at cold calling, writing a great sales letter or email, and so on. Wiseman also recommends visualizing from the third-person perspective as studies show you are 20 percent more likely to be successful than those who take a first-person point of view.
  10. Consider Your Legacy – Spend a minute imagining what a close friend will say at your funeral. What do you want them to say about your writing career? That you never wrote that blockbuster sales letter or finished that novel (or whatever your writing goal is)? This will help you adjust your long-term goals and will encourage you to turn them into a reality.

Do you have anything to add that you can do in "59 seconds or less" that will add to your happiness? If you have suggestions or ideas, please share them by posting them here.

One thing you can do in as little as 59 minutes or less per week that will lead to you creating "money while you sleep" income is build a "money-making website." To find out more about this proven strategy for residual income, click here.

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Published: June 21, 2012

8 Responses to “9 Minutes and 50 Seconds to A Happier Writer's Life...”

  1. Awesome article, thanks John! I immediately went and did #6. I feel happier already.

    Rae RJune 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

  2. Thanks John, great article I will definitely refer to this often!

    Guest (Michelle Durham)June 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

  3. Get up early in the morning after it rains and step outside and inhale deeply.

    Inhale deeply anyway, nearly anywhere. the gift of breath is to be savored.

    Guest (Patricia)June 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  4. To be happy, remember to breathe...difuse a stressful situation and help clear negative thoughts, by breathing in a deep breath (with your eyes closed) for 4 counts and then slowly exhale for 8 counts (allowing your whole body to relax & your mind to calm). Do this 3 times or more until you feel blissful results.
    L. Kae Graniel - Author of "Chocolate Cake for the Thighs. The anti-diet book for women"

    Guest (L Kae Graniel)June 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  5. Happiness is different from bliss.

    You achieve happiness. Thus, happiness depends on something that is outside of your self. For example, winning a promotion makes you happy; a good report card makes you happy.

    Bliss, by contrast, is an inner game. Bliss is not an achievement, since you already have it. You experience bliss simply by going within and discovering your ground state. That is the state of your being. That is the real you; the essence of who you are.

    Make room for bliss in your life instead of just blindly chasing after happiness.

    Archan MehtaJune 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  6. I would add "Listen twice as much as you speak", just as the proverb discussing two ears and one mouth suggests. Will save you HUGE amounts of time, rewrites, unhappy clients, misunderstandings, and grief!

    Mark MehlingJune 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

  7. Happiness is an illusion, so why chase it?

    Happiness is the proverbial fool's paradise, because there is no end to greed and selfishness.

    Materialism and consumerism cannot make a person happy, so why pursue that kind of lifestyle?

    Instead, search within to find bliss. It is a journey for which there are no jobs and no market. It comes to you free of cost. You just have to find a quiet corner and turn the light down low.

    Taking this inner journey should be a daily habit. You will find fresh air, sunshine and flowers there. It will be your beacon of hope shining light on a world that is enveloped in darkness.

    Archan MehtaJune 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

  8. Give one of your most valuable possessions to someone who needs it more than you. The seed you sow will return to you hundredfold but be sure to give with a pure heart.

    CoreenJune 23, 2012 at 3:47 am


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