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The Pursuit of Happiness

By Leanne Batey 0


The Pursuit of Happiness Written by Leanne Batey

Words checked = [5049] Words in Oxford 3000™ = [96%]

Written by Leanne Batey of E44B Instructor: Kenneth M. Smith Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages Kaohsiung, Taiwan June 2013 1


About The Author

Leanne Batey was born in 1994, Taiwan. She now studies at Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages. This is her first English novel and she hopes that readers will be inspired by it. This novel is based on her thoughts about life and happiness after she read a book called ―Being Happy!‖ by Andrew Matthews and a film called ―The secret‖ by Rhonda Byrne.

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Contents  About The Author  Prologue

 Chapter 1 – Finding the key to happiness  Chapter 2 – Change from within  Chapter 3 – Living in fear  Chapter 4 – Being optimistic  Chapter 5 – Giving  Chapter 6 – An ideal life  Chapter 7- Being grateful  Chapter 8 – Living in my dreams  Acknowledgements  Reference

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Prologue

Tears turned into smiles. Fear was replaced by confidence. Boredom vanished because of excitement. Lack was filled up by abundance. Hopelessness was saved by love. Resentment was washed away by gratitude. Sickness healed into full health. Loss became success. Life changed entirely after I found out incredible knowledge from a book and film. Magic happened because of — Happiness!

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Chapter 1 Finding the key to happiness

I was not happy. Not happy at all. There were things wrong with my studies, relationships, family, health, luck, and more. Things needed to change. I thought and thought and thought how it could be done, and then it happened!

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I was in my study when a book on the shelf caught my eye. This book had been sitting there for 11 years. I was attracted to it in some way. It seemed so special at that moment, yet I had never noticed before. The second I saw the cover I knew that it was the answer to my question, for the name of the book was ―Being Happy!‖ by Andrew Matthews. The content had everything to do with happiness. During the few weeks it took me to understand and practice the whole book, my entire life changed. I understood how everything had happened in my life, and found

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out how to do to change every circumstance into what I wanted. Then, I saw a film in the school library called ―The Secret‖ by Ronda Byrne. Again! I had found the key to happiness. From that moment, the world I saw was not the same anymore. For years, I thought that things in life just happen to us, but after reading the book and watching the film I understood how it really works, and how to change my life into a phenomenal one.

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Chapter 2 Change from within

To change life, we need to change from within. I understood through the book ―Being Happy‖ and the film, ―The Secret‖ that our mind is like a magnet. Our every thought sends out a frequency

attracting

things

with

similar

frequencies into our lives. This means that 8


everything in our lives is actually being attracted by us. This is called the law of attraction. I can attract success, and I can attract failure. It is me attracting every single thing into my life. When I feel good, I attract good things into life. On the other hand, when I feel bad, I attract bad things into life. So if up till now my life has been great, it is because of my happy thoughts. And if my life is boring, tiring and depressing, it is my own fault, too. And as long as I keep on sending out unhappy thoughts, I will continue to attract bad things into life. This was hard for me to swallow

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at first, but eventually I got through it. If things were really working this way, I owe it to myself to stop feeling upset, and start to feel good about life. By doing so, I can attract more goodness into my life. This was exactly what I wanted, Happiness! The only way to become happy is to imagine myself feeling happy already, being grateful for all the little things, sending out gratitude and little bits of happiness. By doing so, I can attract more happiness into life. To me, it was worth a try, besides, what did I have to lose? So that’s what I did.

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Chapter 3 Living in fear

While trying to change from within, I found that I had a serious issue. That is, living in fear. In order to deal with my problem, I decided to look into it deeply and think of some solutions using the information I learned from the film and

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book. The number of people living in fear has been increasing due to the growing pressure and change of attitude towards life over the decades. Fear, which is caused by worrying, deeply affects people’s lives. Some people worry unconsciously. They feel tense and are unable to totally enjoy themselves in several occasions, yet they don’t know why they are feeling uneasy. On the other hand, some people worry consciously and daily. These people spend time thinking or talking about their worries. For example, they worry

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about their finances, family issues, relationships, career or health problems. They have ―What if…‖ thoughts going on in their head. ―What if people don’t like how I dress? ‖ ―What if there is a traffic jam and I’m late?‖ ―What if my health gets worse? ” ―What if people find out the mistake I made and think I’m a failure?‖ ―What if I can’t make enough money this year?‖ What if……‖ These worries affect people’s daily lives, sleeping quality and causes people to live in fear. However, the good news is that living in fear which is caused by worrying can be solved by

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living in the present, taking action, and trusting in life. Living in fear is a problem because it affects our daily performances and distracts us from focusing on what we are doing. Since worrying cannot improve matters, it is also a waste of time. If the problem can be solved, then action should be taken, instead of worrying. If the problem cannot be solved, then what is the point of worrying anyway? In fact, I found some statistics on the internet stating that ―40% of what you worry about will never happen. 30% of what you

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worry about or fear are things that happened in the past and can’t be changed. 10% of what we worry about are considered by most to be insignificant issues. 12% of what we worry about are issues about our health that will not happen. This means that 92% of what we fear or worry about will never take place. It should be meaningful to realize that there is only 8% of anything we worry about that can be considered legitimate concerns.‖ According to the film ―The Secret‖, worrying has an even worse effect. When people

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worry, they send out negative frequencies and therefore attract more negative outcomes into life through the law of attraction. It is possible that one of these negative outcomes include exactly what you are worrying about. So if you don’t want something to happen, do yourself a favor, don’t attract it by worrying! “Living in the present‖ means to focus on the ―now.‖ Worrying is doubting the ―future.‖ If we are totally focused on living in the present moment, our thoughts won’t drift off into doubting the future. ―It is never safe to look into

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the future with eyes of fear.‖ says Edward Henry Harriman. So if you catch yourself worrying about something and can’t seem to stop, a good choice would be to devote your energy, time, and thoughts into doing something at that moment. It is hard to replace a ―something‖ with a ―nothing,‖ therefore it is easier to do a project, cook a meal or do some exercise, rather than just sitting down and trying to empty your head. “Taking action‖ is an even better approach. As stated above, ―if the problem can be solved, then action should be taken.‖ Think of possible

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solutions and actually do them. This is ―doing something in the present‖ and also helping the situation improve. If you spend an hour worrying that you are not well prepared for the test tomorrow and may get a bad grade, you should use this hour to study instead. In this way, it is more likely that the situation will be improved. Even if you think that ―the problem cannot be improved by simply doing something,‖ there is still good news. What cannot be controlled by outside actions can be controlled by inner actions, which is our thoughts. For example, if you have a

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serious disease that doctors say they cannot help at all, it is up to you to help yourself. You think of the ideal health you wish to have and through the law of attraction, miracles might happen. According

to

Saint

Augustine

(345-430,)

―Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.‖ ―Trusting in life‖ brings us peace within. There are times when we face situations that seem too big for us to handle. We feel that we cannot find perfect solutions. Therefore we feel confused and depressed. When encountering

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these situations, it is important for us to ―try our best and then let life do the rest.‖ Trust that life will find a way, and feel at peace in the meantime. Trusting in life is to be distinguished from ―giving up.‖ ―Giving up‖ is not trying and holding a negative attitude towards the problem. While ―trusting in life‖ is giving it your best shot and then believing with your heart that things will eventually work out. According to Robert Collier (1885-1950,) ―See the things that you want as already yours. Know that they will come to you at need. Then let them come. Don’t fret

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and worry about them. Don’t think about your lack of them. Think of them as yours, as belonging to you, as already in your possession.‖ When we live in the present, enjoy the ―now‖ instead of doubting the future, we don’t feel so much fear. When we take actions to improve situations we are taking a positive approach, and when we trust in life, life will respond in its own way, while we feel at peace. For me, this was important. I had to face my fear and clear it up. ―Then there would be space for happiness.‖ I thought. So I did my best to stop

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worrying and replaced it with positive thoughts and actions.

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Chapter 4 Being optimistic

I started to change the way I thought about things. I needed to look at things in a happy way, which meant I had to become an optimist. I had never really thought about weather I was an optimist or pessimist, but it was obvious that I

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wasn’t as happy as I was when I was still a child. Perhaps it’s because of having people telling me to be realistic and that ―some things are too good to be true.‖ Somehow my optimistic childhood characteristic was influenced by those so-called unhappy grownups. Thankfully, I still had lots of loving people in my life who taught me to have dreams and believe in good things. Either way, my job now was to become an absolute optimist. In order to do so, I decided that I had to understand the differences between optimists and pessimists, how the attitudes are formed and what

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outcomes they get. I studied the book ―Being Happy‖ carefully and after thinking about it for a while, it became clear. We are all born on the same planet. However, different people develop different attitudes towards life when growing up. This could be influenced by our experiences, success or failures, and opinions we have learned from others. We see optimists and pessimists in our lives, and everyone chooses whom they want to be. The attitude we hold changes our lives significantly, therefore optimists and pessimists often have

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very different outcomes since they have different beliefs. In order to tell the differences between decisions that optimists and pessimists make, I thought of three points, which were forgiveness, self-image, and happiness. When facing forgiveness of our self and others, choosing to be positive or negative can make a big difference. Optimists usually take some action to improve matters. For example, they let go of guilt or anger towards others, and they don’t punish themselves by feeling bad because they know matters won’t improve by

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doing so. They believe they deserve to be happy and healthy, so they try their best to be that way. This

means

that

they

take

their

own

responsibility for happiness. They understand that moving on is the only way to improve matters. This is because when they change, others respond to their changed expectations. By deciding to let go and be happy again, they are on their way back to attracting more happiness into life. Pessimists, on the other hand, usually live in the past and take no actions. According to the

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book ―Being Happy‖, ―when they feel mistreated or things didn’t work out the way they wanted, they sit and stew on the inside, as though acting miserably

proves

that

other

are

wrong.‖

Andrew Mathews says that ―Actually, most of the time the other person doesn’t even know what the pessimist is thinking about, and they still go on living their own lives while the pessimist put him or herself through all that mental anguish.‖ The other person doesn’t lose sleep, feel upset or get sick, the pessimist does. He also said that ―Acting in this way never got anyone anywhere. It is

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fruitless and destructive.‖ This shows that pessimists refuse to take their own responsibility for happiness, they don’t believe they deserve to be happy and healthy either. We should note that blame and guilt are also very wrong, we should focus on taking positive actions instead. The world is a reflection of our self. When we dislike ourselves, we dislike everybody else. When we love being whom we are, the rest of the world is seems lovely. Optimists choose to have a good self-image and self-respect. Therefore, they attract good things and people into their life.

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Having a healthy self-image is different from having a high self-esteem. High self-esteem makes everyone feel unpleasant, a healthy self-image does not. Pessimists choose to have a bad self-image. Therefore they attract bad things and people into their lives. The more we love ourselves and others, the more happiness we feel. ―Most people are as happy as they make up their mind to be .‖ So said Abraham Lincoln. Happiness depends on what we ―decide‖ to notice. One of my favorite sentences in the book ‖Being Happy‖ is ―Some people notice the

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―beautiful‖ view, and some people notice only the ―dirty‖ window.‖ Optimists decide to look for good things in life, and they are grateful for all the wonderful things that occur. Therefore, they get to enjoy and celebrate every moment of it. They understand that life is too precious to be wasted on looking for faults and that if they can’t change the world, they can start by changing themselves. As for pessimists, they decide to look for bad things in life. They chose to ignore the good things happening in the present, and chose to pick on faults. By doing so, they miss out on

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all the fun and make unhappy things seem worse. They feel unhappy all the time, waiting for the world to change while staying the same themselves. Another wonderful sentence I found in the book was ―Being happy is like maintaining a nice home – we hang on to the treasures and throw out the garbage.‖ It is our choice to do it that way or the other way around. Although people face similar difficulties and challenges, optimists and pessimists have very different results. Optimists seem to attract more happiness into their lives, and pessimists seem to

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attract the opposite. It is not the world treating them differently on purpose but because of the beliefs they hold. Once people understand this, they can choose to change or not. It all depends on what kind of life the person wants to have. The book ―Being Happy‖ totally convinced me to become an optimist. By following its great suggestions and actually using them all the time, my life became better and better every day. This made such a big difference, I actually felt the world had changed in some way.

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Chapter 5 Giving

When I look at the people around me, I find that the happiest people are the ones who ―give‖ the most. This is definitely related, and so I started listing out the possible reasons and decided to find out whether ―giving‖ made us

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happier or ―receiving‖ did. Positive actions can also bring us happiness. Actions can be divided into two kinds – giving and receiving. Both giving and receiving brings us happiness. However, giving is the one that makes us feel happier. ―No matter how much or little money people have, they feel happier after they give to others than buy for themselves.‖

Receiving makes us happy only through results caused by external circumstances, such as getting our personal needs and wants fulfilled,

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feeling the love others give to us when they share, and lastly, feeling appreciation towards other people and what they have done for us. However, we don’t necessarily gain happiness from our own actions, which is simply ―taking‖. Ben Carson says ―Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.‖ Therefore, happiness only emerges due to three results of the external circumstances when receiving, which is fulfilling personal needs and wants, feeling the love others give to us, and feeling appreciation.

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Giving makes us feel happy through both results caused by external circumstances and our own actions. If we look at happiness that comes from external circumstances, we can find three very significant causes. Firstly, we feel warmth and happiness because of being appreciated and loved. Secondly, we feel confident because of compliments and encouragements others give to us when doing charity or good things. Lastly, we feel livelier because of increased friendship and admiration from others since people tend to like givers more than takers. As for happiness that

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emerges because of our own actions, we can see another three causes. Firstly, love emerges from within you so that you can share love with others. This makes you feel full of love, and that you have enough to give to others. Mother Teresa said ―It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.‖ Secondly, recognition and confidence of oneself emerges because you understand that you have the ability to do more than just taking care of yourself, that you can achieve something that is bigger than oneself. Lastly, satisfaction from making life more

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meaningful by contributing emerges. Research shows that people find lives more meaningful when they have done some kind of contribution. Charles Dickens said ―No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.‖ With that being said, people feel happy when giving due to three results of the external circumstances and another three feeling that emerges because of our own actions.

When we receive, we only feel happiness due to three results of the external circumstances

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- Fulfilling personal needs and wants, feeling the love others give to you, and feeling appreciation. However, we feel more happiness when giving due to three results of the external circumstances and another three feeling that emerges because of our own actions. After comparing the above results, I saw clearly that giving brings us happiness through multiple ways, which makes us happier than simply receiving. And that is how I started giving more.

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Chapter 6 An ideal life

After I becoming an optimist and giving whenever I can, life seemed wonderful, or almost. I could tell that my life had changed vastly since my shift of mind, and was amazed by how big a difference it had made. It was incredible. This

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made me believe in every word of the book ―Being Happy‖ and the film ―The Secret‖. How could I not, when they had brought me so much happiness in such a short time? So I took it further. The film ―The Secret‖ told me that if I imagined my idea life and believed that it was possible for me, it would come true. How could anyone say no to a dream life of his or her own?

So I gave this a try, too.

The only thing I needed to do was to ―picture myself having the ideal life right now.‖ By imagining it being real, my mind will attract

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everything about it into my real life. This then turns my life into my wildest dreams! So I started to think about how my ideal life would be. I imagined that I was living in it right this second, and the following was what I came up with. Life is short, so I’ll try to make the most of it. I will set goals and try my best at achieving them. To live an abundant life, I will need to feel both mentally and financially abundant. So I’ll set a goal to make a rather substantial amount of money. With enough money, I can live a good

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quality life, and at the same time, have some extra to spare for those in need. I can sponsor children who have financial difficulties to have education, help countries construct hospitals and shelters by donating. I can also help protect the natural

environment

by

supporting

both

governmental and non-profit organizations which aim to solve environment issues. Also, I won’t need to work all the time, so I’ll have extra hours to devote myself to volunteering. Helping others and making the world a better place makes me feel happy and abundant. Therefore, I believe it’s

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a very important goal. In my ideal life, I’m always physically and mentally healthy. I exercise every day, make sure I get nine hours of sleep every night, and always keep a healthy diet. To have a happy and healthy mind, I choose my thoughts carefully, making sure I maintain an optimistic view. I constantly remind myself to be grateful for all the wonderful things in life, and keep on learning, in order to become wise. Relaxation is also very important in my daily life. It’s what keeps my life balanced. With a healthy mind and body, it makes

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achieving other goals easier. Ideally, my life is surrounded by loving people and living in a beautiful environment. The environment affects our lives deeply, that’s why I will choose to live close to nature, giving myself the chance to relax and enjoy the natural rhythm of 1/f, clean air and water. Being with loving, encouraging and optimistic people is a wonderful blessing. And that’s exactly whom I wish to be with in my ideal life. All in all, my ideal life would be full of happiness, abundance, worthy goals, health,

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balance, and living in a good environment surrounded by loving people. I started imaging my ideal life every now and then, enjoying the wonderful feeling of knowing it will come true, and actually finding my life getting closer to my ideal state!

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Chapter 7 Being grateful

It is a fact that, when being grateful, you cannot have any negative feelings. Therefore you are always happy and positive while doing so. Like attracts alike, which means that good attracts good. The ―attract‖ here, is the law of attraction

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working. The film ―The Secret‖ inspired me in many ways, and I learned a lot of amazing information from it. According to quantum physicists, the law of attraction is a natural law, the same as the law of gravity is a natural law. When you feel or think, you create an energy field, and you send out a frequency. The law of attraction then brings you things that are on the same frequency as you are. So if you are feeling grateful, which is positive, you will attract positive situations into your life. This means that when you are grateful, the law of attraction will

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bring you abundant money, good relationships and great health.

According to the law of attraction, feeling good about money is the only way to attract more money. When you are grateful for the money you already have and are grateful for the people and job you receive money from, you feel better about having and receiving money. When you appreciate your job, you feel better when doing your job, and will have more energy to do better. When you put more energy into your work, you

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get to learn more and perform better. This might lead to receiving better pay. Money itself does not promise happiness. It is when you use it to enjoy your life and help others in need, that it brings you satisfaction, love and happiness. To give is to receive. When you are ―giving‖ gratitude, you are ―receiving‖ more of what you are grateful for. When you ―give‖ others financial help, you ―receive‖ prosperity. With positive feelings, these events of giving will eventually bring you more money in return. Therefore, if an abundance of money is what you are looking for,

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giving gratitude is the key to receiving it.

Good relationships bring us all kinds of wonders and joy. When you are thankful for the good things others do, they feel appreciated and want to do more. When you focus on the good about someone, the negative parts don’t matter so much anymore. You love the person the way he or she is. And when people tell you they like you just the way you are, you always feel great. This definitely improves the relationship between you. Appreciating and being grateful for the love and

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happiness other people bring to you is the key to a better relationship.

Health is the most fundamental thing in our life. Without health, we would not be alive, and we would not be able to pursue other things which we may value. However, health is also the easiest thing people take for granted. When you take something for granted, you are taking, and not giving. This will not bring you more in return. On the other hand, giving thanks and gratitude for your health improves your physical and mental

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health. You also become more conscious of your health and take more care. According to Emmons' research on gratitude. "Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations." If you look at water crystals under a microscope, you will find that when words of gratitude are spoken to them, the crystals become clear and beautiful. On the other hand, when negative words are spoken to them, they split and become mangled. Seventy percent of our body is made up

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of water. This gives a hint of how much impact gratitude affects our body. It is clear that you cannot be healthy if seventy percent of you is broken and mangled. The cells in our body are mostly made out of water, too. Gratitude makes the cells round, energetic and healthy, which makes healing faster, and this is very important for having a healthy body.

As for mental health,

when being grateful, you are always in a good emotional state, which brings you happiness. ―In positive

psychology

research,

gratitude

is

strongly and consistently associated with greater

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happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.‖ With these areas of life getting better, it is likely that your mind becomes healthier, too. Being grateful for our health attracts more good health into our life, which might also lead to extra years of enjoyment.

No matter if you are conscious or not, by being grateful, you are using the law of attraction

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to bring abundance into your life. It is not only said so by people with experience, but also proven

through

medical

researches.

Improvements in money, relationships, health, and other areas of life are what happen when you are grateful. This was one of the best information I have learned for years! I was really fascinated and

felt

really

enthusiastic

―grateful‖!

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about

being


Chapter 8 Living in my dreams

After

being

optimistic,

grateful

and

imagining my ideal life every day, my life actually started to change! It started with attracting happy people and circumstances. Then, my health improved. Eventually, I had enough money to start to help others. I accomplished my goals one after another, experienced my dreams 58


and everything got better and better! The amazing knowledge in the book ―Being Happy‖ and the film ―The Secret‖ literally changed my life. They brought me happiness in ways and quantities that I have never imagined. My thoughts of fear were replaced by gratitude, and it makes me feel grateful just by knowing that I can be grateful. They brought me hope and guidance when I was confused and depressed. They made me realize the meaning of life and enabled me to see all the joy and goodness in my life again.

I feel truly blessed to have

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encountered them, and wish to give them my biggest thanks. All of this started because of my question about finding a way to change my life. The law of attraction succeeded again and brought me the perfect resolution-Happiness! For those who are still looking for happiness, my best advice would be to start imaging yourself feeling incredibly happy right now! With all my heart, I wish your life will be filled with love, happiness, abundance and gratitude.

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Acknowledgements To every being on earth. Life is wonderful because of your happiness. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Special thanks to amazing people who made this novel possible: . Mr. Smith, who encourages his students to write novels. . My parents, who love me and support me in every way. . Susan Liu, for being so kind, supportive and my best friend. . All the people I know, who helped me learn and grow. Great big thanks to Andrew Matthews and Ronda Byrne, for changing my life and making me so much happier.

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Reference Matthews, Andrew. ―Being Happy!‖ A Handbook To Greater Confidence & Security. 53rd Reprint. Singapore: Media Masters, 2001. 1-132 Print,

Byrne, Rhonda. ―The Secret‖ New York: Atria Books, 2006. 1-199 Print.

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Tears turn into smiles. Fear is replaced by confidence. Boredom vanishes because of excitement. Lack is filled up by abundance. Hopelessness is saved by love. Resentment is washed away by gratitude. Sickness heals into full health. Loss becomes success. Life changed entirely after I found out incredible knowledge from a book and film. Magic happened because of — Happiness! 63


Leanne batey the pursuit of happiness