Want to get inspired?

Get your Free e-workbook & Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life motivation delivered straight to you inbox!

Tag Archives: confident

4 Ways To Develop A Happiness Habit


“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed,
from the domination of outward conditions.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson

A habit is something we do again and again until it becomes almost second nature. We can develop bad habits as well as good habits. When we have a habit that is not serving us or the people around us, we usually try to take steps to release it. If it is a good habit, such as meditating every morning, getting our daily exercise, and eating food that keeps us strong and healthy, we feel energized and experience a variety of other positive benefits as well.

What if we were in the habit of being happy? What if our go-to state was happiness? I believe that happiness is a state of mind that we achieve through practice and repetition. It is a choice we make in each moment. I admit this is a pretty far-reaching goal, but it is possible to develop a “happiness habit” so that even when we are thrown off course and feeling stressed, we can learn to live each feeling in the moment, take action when necessary, and return to a place of well-being: happiness.

In my book The Practice, I define my personal happiness this way:

For me, happiness is knowing that I am strong, capable, confident, secure, loving, and compassionate; it is knowing that within me is everything I need to handle whatever life sends my way, and that not only will I be okay, I will thrive.

Here are some ways I have found for uncovering the happiness within each of us:

  1. Invite gratitude into the moment.
    Feeling thankful brings happiness. When we are able to know what we feel grateful for, it becomes our conditioned response when times are tough. Life is difficult; that is a given. But if you can consistently shift your perception from what you don’t have to what you do have, you will be stretching your gratitude muscle. Make a list of all that you are grateful for in your life and hang it in a place where you will see it often!
  2. Challenge yourself to do your best.
    When we do our best, we naturally feel a sense of accomplishment. We feel happy with our effort —maybe not the outcome, but at least the effort. If you approach your daily tasks and interactions with the intention to give it your best effort, your sense of self-worth will reflect that. What is your best? This changes each moment.
  3. Be aware of your daily actions.
    Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Being aware of each action and paying attention to the choices you are making is how to start shifting from “This is always happening to me” to a place of power and responsibility. When we live this way, we are happy. We take actions that benefit others, including ourselves!
  4. Be Present.
    Focus your attention on the here and now. This is our number-one biggest challenge in life! Focusing on yesterday’s worries and tomorrow’s concerns can keep us from developing a fresh and happy outlook moment by moment. These worrisome thoughts are actually a habit in and of themselves! So, this is truly a practice: Whenever you find your mind wandering to unproductive thoughts, notice that you have left the present moment, and be vigilant to bring your mind back. I use my Sacred Mantra, my breath, and affirmations to train my mind to be in the moment. If my mind starts to worry or if anxiety is rising, these tools help me create a new pathway in the mind. And that is how a happiness habit develops!

Abraham Lincoln said: “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” We can make up our minds right now to choose to be happy, strong, and loving. Develop a happiness habit today: Choose to honor each moment, become aware, take actions, and consistently be fully alive in every moment of the day.


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

3 Steps to Finding Your Path


“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked,
in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
—Henry David Thoreau

We walk through life on a path of our own choosing. We can follow others and head the same way they are going, but the path we take is always going to be unique and personal to us. We can only truly experience life from our own perspective, so it is incredibly important for us to actually choose our path. When I talk about “finding our path,” it means making the choice to lead a meaningful life—one that fulfills us on a very deep level, that lets us know we love and are loved, and that we can be the person we came here to be.

The path I have chosen for my time here on this magnificent planet earth is to lead a peaceful, kind, confident life and to spread the message that “outer peace begins with inner peace” to all beings. Every moment of every day, I make choices that can either lead me further along this path or take me away from it. When faced with a decision, I ask myself, “Will this keep me on my path or will it send me off in another direction?” I am human, of course, so sometimes I take temporary detours, but I know my destination, and I recover through my daily practices.

So how do we find a path and choose to stay on it? Here are a few of my suggestions:

  1. Get the fire going.
    In looking for your path, please do not look outside yourself to find it. It is inside you just waiting to be realized. In The Practice, we begin the day with the first part of my three-part guide by “Waking Up,” or meditating. When sitting each morning in meditation, we get in touch with our path, our Truth.

    When you sit with yourself in quiet, you have the ability to connect with the light in your heart—your passion. Little by little, this light will illuminate your personal path and get the fire going in your gut, heading you in the direction of your dreams.

  2. Rein in a wandering mind.
    As you start to uncover your deepest desire, do not let your mind tell you it is not real. When you begin interacting with the external world, your mind will say things like, What are you thinking? You can’t do that! Reining in the mind’s thoughts takes vigilance, so this is where the second part of The Practice, Living Present, comes to the rescue.

    Throughout the day, bring your mind back to the present moment by placing your attention on whatever you are doing. When it wanders, use a Sacred Mantra to connect within, bringing you back to the moment and place where you can live your Truth.

  3. Make peace with your choices.
    When the day is done, you have temporarily reached a stopping point on your journey, a place to rest. Just as you began the day in silence with yourself, you will do the same in the third part of The Practice: Letting Go.

    Before going to sleep, reflect on the day and make peace with all the experiences and choices you made that day (whether they kept you steady on your path or you happened to waver). Then let the day go with the intention of sleeping in peace.

Life is not one long monotonous thread—it winds around, offering us unlimited choices and directions in which to go. When each day has a clear beginning, middle, and end, we have the opportunity to live with greater depth and presence. We discover that we have everything we need deep within to live our greatest and most magnificent life by following our chosen path! Just go in and open the door!


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.

4 Steps for Breaking Negative Patterns


“What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.”
―Madeleine Albright

How do we live in freedom? There is an inherent desire in all of us to be free, to be in control of our own lives. So just how do we release the thoughts and influences that negatively affect our lives? In my thirty years of practice, I have found that the key is to first start recognizing these thoughts and the power we give to our external circumstances.

When we allow ourselves to be at the mercy of the chaos and drama that happens around us, repetitive, unhappy thoughts have a tendency to keep us stuck in a cycle of fear, anxiety, stress, and addictive behaviors. We desperately want to control the world, thinking we know what is needed. But we absolutely cannot control what happens around us, so this is a fruitless effort. It’s only by becoming intimately aware of what is going on in our minds that we can make a choice to either continue traveling a circular path or move forward with renewed determination to create permanent change in ourselves—to really live in freedom

So, why does this seem so difficult? In one word, distraction. As we all know, the media’s job is to convince us that some new possession, program, or pill is the key to our happiness, our freedom. It diverts us from the truth, and we end up confusing our identity and security with outward things. We become distracted by these empty promises and dead-end solutions. If there were truth in advertising, the vast array of gadgets and gimmicks should have provided humanity with peace and happiness by now—but this is far from the case!

Despite all the outward promises, our problems don’t get resolved without action. And the Buddha actually says, “right action.” What is this right action we can take? I’m incredibly excited and hopeful to share with you that more and more people are coming to the same conclusion as the great teachers, saints, and mystics of the past:

Meditation and other spiritual practices are a means of tapping into the source of strength, fearlessness, peace, happiness, and freedom within each and every one of us.

The following four steps can help you get on this path of right action, too:

  • Step 1: Get to know your mind
    Understanding how our mind operates by tapping into our inner “source of strength and security” through the daily practice of meditation is the first step toward living our lives in freedom. With a daily practice, we begin to become aware of the thoughts we are having on a daily basis. With this awareness, we can cultivate our minds—actually train our mind to think with awareness and to make choices that are in line with our intention to be free of whatever holds us back from living the magnificent lives we wish to live.
  • Step 2: Practice daily
    Through daily practices such as meditation, mantra repetition, focused attention, reading for inspiration, and reflection activities, we can nourish our minds, strengthen our bodies, and live with certainty, with completeness, and with love. These are the tools that give us an alternative to anxiety-provoking thoughts about past and future events that can drive us to fall back into negative patterns. A daily practice shows us that living in the present moment is where we find the happiness and confidence to really live our lives in freedom.
  • Step 3: Say “no” to quick fixes
    In this day of “there is something out there to fix everything,” we continue to grasp at quick fixes. This is like patching a leaky boat with tissues. A Zen master once said, “Life is like getting into a leaky boat and heading out to sea.” This definitely speaks to the uncertainty of life that we all feel from time to time. In the face of this truth, of course, we have a general sense of uneasiness, worry, apprehension, and fear. In this “leaky boat,” we can sink at any moment! When we accept the uncertainty of life, we just never really know what is going to happen in any given moment, we are no longer taken off guard when something goes “wrong,” we stand firmly planted in ourselves, and we recognize that we have a choice to face challenges without reacting out of fear or retreating back into unwanted behaviors.
  • Step 4: Slow down
    The chaos and speed of life often interfere with taking the time to go within, sit in quiet, and restore balance. But it is precisely this connection to ourselves that is the key to breaking negative patterns. To change the outward life we are living, we need to slow down and spend some time each day cultivating our inward life. Little by little, we move out of fear and stress and can begin making the lasting changes we choose to make.

These four steps do not make our problems and challenges disappear, but they do allow us to see them from a fresh vantage point. The Practice, beginning with a morning meditation, helps us develop a deeper understanding and the will to change harmful ways of living. And despite all the problems of the world, we begin to feel that the world is not a hostile place that holds us back from leading a life of magnificence.

With the great source of strength we have within, we become balanced in the outer world, giving us the knowing that we are in control of our inner life, we are light, confident, and free, which is then reflected beautifully in the outside world. Our life has a sense of rhythm. With each “right action” we make, we are patching our leaky boat


About Barb Schmidt


Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.