HAPPINESS: 5 Secrets to a Happy and Prosperous New Year


By Aliker David Martin

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not people or things” Albert Einstein

A new year of new opportunities

It is the time of the year when every one is taking stock of their lives. Many are making resolutions while others have given up on making resolutions. According to them, it doesn’t work and it’s not necessary. One of my greatest friends always told me,” subject the mind in a state of free flow and only allow yourself to follow it where it takes you”. Like many of those who have given up on making resolutions, he has settled in a comfort zone. While at university, I also heard a student say, “If a Lizard is to put on a trouser, it must know where to place its tail”. Therefore, if you want to be happy and prosperous in 2012, you need to know what to do. Here are my five suggestions:

What is your potential?

The worst form of disability is the inability to know your potential. Do you ever take time to reflect on your strengths? Every one must have a habit to daily meditate on their strengths and weaknesses. This will stimulate the mind to dream and how to meet the dream. The gap between your dream and your current reality can only be filled through a commitment to maximize your potential.

Ask yourself if you have any goals in 2012

Opportunity is only for those who are  ready. If you don’t have a goal, you can never be meaningfully happy with any achievement. Having a goal gives you focus to grow in an area of your strengths. This is what people celebrate as a happy and prosperous year.

Do you have a time plan to achieve your new year’s goals?

My teacher used to refer to the adage, ”failure to plan is planning to fail”. Achieving your goals is not an automatic thing. Many people have wishes not goals. To develop a wish into a goal, you have to draft a plan on how to achieve the goal. Besides developing a plan, you must make a daily commitment to purposely follow the plan.

Does your environment support your goal plan?

High achievers need to keep an achievers mindset. This also implies you keep the company of those who boost your chances of achieving your goal plan. This reflects the saying, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. If your dream is to be a CEO of a company, think like one and act like one. Dress up like the CEO of your company.

Are you ready for change?

To achieve a goal is to accept change. The problem is most people want to achieve a goal but not accept change. You cannot eat your cake and have it just like you cannot become a CEO and not change the lifestyle. Many people resist change and this derails them from achieving their goal.

So if you want a happy and prosperous new year, you should identify your potential and set a goal. Place your self in an environment that allows you to achieve your goals and accept change.

HAPPINESS: Be kind as you celebrate Christmas


By Aliker David Martin

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Aliker uses Smart Board

How do you celebrate an achievement? It could be through a hearty laughter or dancing like the football stars celebrating a touchdown. While other people celebrate Christmas season by eating and drinking, I chose an act of kindness that would bring me fulfillment.

One of my best friends invited me over for Christmas with a fully paid flight. We met in Africa while he was an intern student of Notre Dame. I felt obligated to pass on the kindness. I decided to spend time in an elementary school visiting pupils with autism before they could break off for Christmas. I was greatly inspired by the world of possibilities in the lives of these children. Indeed, disability is not inability. My greatest sensation was seeing the children use Apple installed operating system in Smart Boards. Smart Board is an interactive white board developed by Smart Technologies. Relating and listening to these children gave me a strong sense of purpose. Any effort to meet our sense of purpose brings us happiness. Besides, I also treated my self in the evening to a great dish and some drinks. If you treat your self-kindly, it will reciprocate the gesture by bringing you joy and high spirits.

Having said that, I implore you to identify a sense of purpose this festive season and be kind. In Dalai Lama’s words, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion” Give yourself a treat to find happiness this festive season. A good massage could be so rewarding to the body just like an act of kindness brings you inner joy and fulfillment.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year