Since little, I dreamed of having my own inspirational brand that people love - where I get to write to inspire and design beautiful inspirational products that help people cultivate happiness and foster personal growth. Now my dream has come true and this is just the start of the journey.
In March 2015, I launched The Happiness Planner, a beautiful planner/journal that embraces the power of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development. I believe that happiness is a state of mind; it lies in the way you look at things - and this can be practiced, influenced and shaped based on these 3 principles;
- The way we look at something affects how we feel about that thing. When we change our focus or our attitude about something, our feeling about that thing also changes.
- Our brain subconsciously picks up things. We are subconsciously shaped and influenced by our environment - whether we realize it or not.
- Changing the way we look at things and the way we think is basically a habit change. We can't just adopt a new mindset, change a habit or an attitude overnight. We have to practice it over and over until our mind is trained.
I believe that if we increase our self-awareness, cultivate positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and personal growth, we will increase our happiness level and will be okay no matter what happens in life. The Happiness Planner is designed to help you cultivate these 5 key elements. By practicing these over and over, one day they will become a part of who you are and no matter what happens in life, you will always find joy and peace from within.
People often ask me what sparked my interest in personal development and how I got started with the idea for The Happiness Planner. Several years ago when I was just a young teenage girl who wanted to experience life to the fullest and explored all parts of me, I found myself struggling to grow up as an independent young girl because my mother and I are very different - I am very independent and liberal, however, my mother is very strict and conservative - the ultimate of a Tiger mom. Hence, we argued a lot. Luckily, my father helped me get through the emotional turmoil I had. Whenever I had an argument with my mother, I'd turn to him because he's the only one who understands.
"Your mom has been that way for over 40 years. It's almost impossible for her to change or to even understand your point of view. But you're only 14. You can learn to change your attitude and how you look at situations that are outside of your control. Whenever you feel upset and frustrated, remember that the only thing you can control is what you focus on and what you think about. See this as a opportunity to train and strengthen your mind."
This was just one of the things he said to me which taught me to realize that I have the power and control over my attitude. Changing one's attitude is not easy. You have been living a certain way for all your life. But with determination, willpower, and an open mind, you can. Slowly. One day at a time. Make notes of what it is you want to change in your attitude or your outlook on life. If you have been somewhat negative, try to look at the positive side of everything. It will be hard at first. But over and over, your mind will be trained and it will become automatic to look at the positive and feel grateful for life challenges because they teach you to grow. Our Happiness Planner is specifically designed for this - to help you put yourself into the positive frame of mind, to plan your life around things that make you happy, and to make changes to the things that don't.
Born in a Buddhist country where meditation is a part of school curriculum and being calm is culturally preached, I put mindfulness to practice everyday. Whenever I wanted a toy, my father would tell me to wait as he wanted me to practice patience. He said, "Patience is one of the most important skills you should master in life. You will realize later on how valuable this skill is." At the time, I didn't completely get what he meant. But now I realize that it is through a cultivation of patience that we become better parents, powerful teachers, great businessmen, good friends, and live a happier life. I have encountered so many difficult, hot-tempered, and stressed-out people in my life either through work or through personal experiences that I now highly cherish the value of being patient.
My father also introduced me to several self-help books. Some of my favorites are Stephen R. Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Magic of Thinking Big, Staying OK, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. Besides marketing and business, I also took psychology subjects like Developmental Psychology and Personality Psychology which got me hooked on human psychology even more. Whenever I read something, if it's not business, then it's motivational, self-help, and psychology books. Personal growth has become one of the things I highly value in my life that I feel like your life stops the minute you stop growing.
My real desire to inspire people actually started when I was in my last year of high school. I went to a selective school so all of my friends were pretty smart. I asked them what they wanted to become when they graduate. Most of them had their minds set on careers that seem most decent and well-paid that they absolutely had no passion for. That moment really inspired to want to inspire people to follow their passion. Not everyone has found their passion, but I would love to help and inspire people to at least understand themselves and find their life's purpose because that's when you'd feel happy, fulfilled, and inspired everyday waking up to do something you love and something that gives your life meaning.