The Happiest Video About Happiness Ever

January 27th, 2014

Want to know the real secret to happiness?

This 2-minute video will reveal it to you—and may make you want to jump up and hug someone when you’re done.

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A happy life checklist can change your life. So watch this and find out how.

And if you’re inspired by the video and want more ideas on how to savor the small moments of happiness every day, grab the brand new book that inspired it today! Buy The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Ways To Find Your Bliss on Amazon.com.

—Amy

My New Book The Happy Life Checklist is Almost Here!

January 23rd, 2014

The way I see it, we all have at least a couple of areas in our life where we feel pretty darn good, right?

Maybe, for instance, you’re feeling confident about work or you’re good at giving yourself little moments of tranquility, but you could really use a boost in the love department or the engaging-with-others-with grace one. But the way I see, the more balance you have, gratefully appreciating all areas of your life—from being busy to kicking back; from time with others to time alone—the more fulfilled you allow yourself to feel.

That’s why I wrote my new book The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Simple Ways to Find Your Bliss, which will (holy cow!) be on shelves in just over a week. (Release date: Feb. 4) It’s a collection of small ideas that will help you savor and celebrate every day in every area of  life that produces happiness.

For this reason, the book covers ten areas you can focus on that contribute to a life of beautiful balance. So you can flip through the book and pluck small ideas from the places where you could a boost, be it delightvitality, wonder or comfort.

Here’s a big happiness secret: If you are always focused on the big goals ahead, always gunning in one or two areas of your life but ignoring the rest, you won’t feel as blissful as you could. So slow down. Savor the little things. Experience it all. Because happiness is in the second and minutes of life, not just in the years. Start filling your list with more fun and fruitful things today.

The Happy Life Checklist is available now for pre-order on Amazon.com. So…ready to get your happy on?

—Amy

Happy Life Trick: Pick a New Year’s Theme Word

January 2nd, 2014

Successful companies know a little something about branding. They decide how they want us to view their company, and they run with it. Looking to “save money” on your car insurance? You think Geico. Looking to “think different” about your technology? You might pick Apple. A company can’t be considered a master in comfort, price and innovation. It’s better to pick one element and aim right for it.

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

And the same goes with branding our own lives. To achieve our dreams, we have to know how we want to live, in order to make the choices that get us there.

That’s why, a few years ago, I started giving my life a theme word. One year it was “Authenticity” and another was all about “Passion.” This past year was about “Freedom and Abundance.” So for me this past year, I ran every opportunity past my theme to see if the choice was right for me. Hmm, some extra paying work that also fed my curiosity about a topic I wanted to research? That was an abundant yes.

For 2014, I’m playing around with the ideas of “Fortify” and “Family,” and I want to give you a chance to think about whatyou want from your next year, too.

Try this: Instead of making New Year’s resolutions about little goals in your health or habits, think bigger: Think about how you want to feel in your body, among your friends, as you walk through the world. The come up with an adjective or phrase that best describes that feeling. To make it easy, picture this: You run into an old friend on the street and talk for a bit. Then, she suddenly stops and says, “It’s funny. But looking at you, I see such ______________.” What do you want her to see? What feeling do you want oozing out of your pores? Strength? Contentment? Joy?

Here are some other ideas to get you thinking:

 Brave/Bravery. Perhaps you want to feel more bold with your work choices, your travels, your heart.

• Persistence. One of my friends has said she’s through being told “Maybe” by potential clients, and she’s determined to make her company a success by trying again and again and again until she makes it. And when she’s walked out of another maybe meeting, she’ll think, ‘Persistence, baby,” and throw her shoulders back and schedule another one.

• Love & Tenderness. Maybe you’ve been a bulldog go-getter all year, and you could use a reminder to soften up and make more loving choices in the months ahead.

 Light/Lightness. If this year has been particularly grave and serious, maybe your new year could be about lifting the weights, breathing, letting loose, and letting go.

Take your time. Think about how you want to feel strolling down the sidewalk of life this next year. Go deep. Brand your heart’s choices. And aim for a truly new year.

Big love,

Amy

If you want to receive inspiring posts like this, sign up for my happy email Vitamin Optimism at amyspencer.com.

Singles, Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong!

December 31st, 2013

The other day, I was trying to get a spark going in our fire pit, when a friend of mine stopped me and said, “Here’s what you’re doing wrong…” I found myself stiffen a bit, a precursory defense, steadying myself for the blow. It turns out I wasn’t pulling the butane lighter’s saftey back while I was pressing the flame button. A simple fix. Too bad all of life isn’t that easy, right—especially in dating. Well, maybe it is.

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

Are you tying yourself up in knots with the negatives?

I realized after fixing my butane button issue that hearing “Here’s what you’re doing wrong” is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and pay attention. This isn’t easy for me to do that for you: I’m a dating optimist. My first book, Meeting Your Half-Orange, is all about loving who you are and being authentically, gloriously happy in your own skin while you focus all your energy on how you want to feel in your ideal relationship. Which is to say I believe every “single” person is uniquely awesome and that you’re not doing anything “wrong.”

But if you’re killing yourself trying to come up with the end-all reason for why you’re still frustratingly single, the fact is, you are doing something wrong. And to be all “meta” about it, here’s what it is:

What you’re doing wrong is that you’re focusing on what you’re doing wrong.

What you focus on, you see, is everything. And that’s because what you choose to focus on actually affects the neuronal pathways in your brain, which affects how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. The scientific term in play is neuroplasticity, and I explain how it all works in relation to dating and love in Half-Orange. It is utterly fascinating stuff and it’s no joke!

If you’re single and focusing on “what you’re doing wrong,” then it’s all you’ll see, and it’s all your brain will store in its implicit memory. In other word, it’s time to stop the cycle. Today, focus on what’s right—and only what’s right. Just for today, at least, don’t think about how old you are, or how long you’ve been single, or what past boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses have said about you for a minute. That’s all irrelevant. All that matters is who you are right now, this minute. And if you can look at what’s right about your dating life, you can change what ensues from this minute on.

So do this for me: List three things that you’re doing right, right this minute:

1.

2.

3.

Visualize what you’d write in those blank spots—the awesome things you’re doing that are spot-on. Maybe how you’re giving it a shot with dates you’re not 100% on, because you’re open to seeing what might happen. Maybe how you’ve come to love a physical aspect about yourself—a mole, a height, a curve—and will settle for nothing less than a partner who loves you for it. Maybe how you’ve mastered making tapenade and can’t wait to show it off.

Fill in those blanks your own way. If you don’t, well, that’s what you’re doing wrong. You owe it to yourself and to your love life to give yourself positive props every single day. The more right you see, the less wrong your life will feel, and the better the energy you’ll be putting out there for your wonderful other half to come find you. It’s an easy fix: Pull back the safety and push the right button, and you’ll light the spark you’re working on, too.

You might also like:

Whaddaya Doin’ New Year’s Eve?

Big love and happy listing,

Amy Signature 4

 

 

 

What Would You Do with a Karma Camera?

December 10th, 2013

I’ve always thought it would be fun if each of us got a “Karma Cam” after someone screwed us over. You know karma, right? The belief that a person’s negative act ripples through the universe and at some point comes back to them like a boomerang?

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Well, just imagine if, after someone dumps you, or steals your client, or cuts in front of you in line at Target, a Karma Cam would let you see the moment their negative action comes back at ‘em. It sounds kind of delicious. And the other day, I essentially got to see a Karma Cam in action.

I was driving along a busy road when I needed to switch lanes, so I put on my left turn signal. I was just about to slide over in front of a white car, when they hit the gas and inched up as close as possible to the car ahead so I couldn’t fit in.

The nerve, I thought. I was so peeved! But I kept driving, confident I’d find a spot to slide in soon. Well, as we all pulled away from a stop light, that white car lagged behind (texting, maybe?), so I took the opportunity to switch lanes in front of it. And a few minutes later, I noticed in the rearview mirror that the woman in the white car was now trying to change lanes herself. And guess what? No one would let her in. I watched as car after car in the other lane inched up close just like she had. As she banged on her steering wheel with frustation, I admit it felt kind of good.

But after I turned off that road, I started thinking how I was still carrying that negative energy with me. And I wanted to shake it! So when I reached the next stop sign with another car, I smiled and waved it on ahead of me. I was determined to balance out the bad by passing along some good.

That’s when I realized the happiness math: Sure, it would be fun to see the negative come back around on the Karma Cam, but it’s even more fun to actively do something positive to cancel it out.

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So try this: The next time someone really jabs you—in a little way or a big one—resist the urge to jab back. It’s hard! But rather than paying the negative experience forward, pay it forward positively instead. Balance the world with better things. Because that is what is going to make you happier.

• If someone has rejected you in love, turn around and accept another person in a kind way.

• If someone has taken from you, give.

• If someone has said harsh words to you, say someflattering, kind and loving words to someone else.

• If someone has elbowed you out at work, let other people you work with in.

It’s not always easy, I know. To this day, every time I’ve opened my closet for the past two years, I still bristle at the thought of the publicist who nabbed my adorable go-to J. Crew blazer during a celebrity interview. But while I work on getting over that one—and I’m determined to!—I’m doing my best to balance the universe with better things.

Join me. Those people in bad moods, with prickly natures, the people who lie or steal or push or hurt? Let them go do their thing. And show them by your actions what it means to act with a giving, generous, warm, open heart instead. Shake the anger and spread the love.

Let’s see how we do.

Big love,

Amy

Note: This first appeared as one of my Vitamin Optimism emails. So if you’re signed up, you got this post early!

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Be sure to sign up for my next Happy Emails so you don’t miss any! You can do that in the upper left box on this site, or on my web site. And if you want to see the original post, here’s the full Happy Email of What Would You Do With a Karma Camera?