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If you close your eyes and envision your ideal life, what do you see? What joyful activities are you engaged in? What type of body are you living in? Do you feel strong and vibrant? Energetic? Grounded? Peaceful?

All of us deserve and have the capacity to live our ideal lives, starting today. But we often view happiness, joy, and comfort as rewards to enjoy once we reach our finish line. We think we’ll be at peace when we lose the weight, change jobs, retire, win the lottery, or find our soul mate.

The surprising news is that being happier, more joyful, more at peace right now can actually help you reach your goals and find your life’s true purpose. Research over the past decade backs this up; including work done by Tal Ben-Shahar, author of the book, “Happier,” and Chris Peterson & Martin Seligman, who are known as two of the founders of the Positive Psychology movement.

In fact happiness –  and even more specifically, gratitude –  has been touted as a way to boost your immune system and increase your ability to heal from and prevent disease. To take this a step further, if you spend time each day focusing on things that make you happy and things that you are grateful for, your outlook and attitudes will begin to change. If you keep this up, watch out! Because you just might change your disposition overall and if that keeps going you could begin to take on a whole new personality. Imagine walking around all day smiling at strangers and erupting into spontaneous laughter at the silliest of things! As if that’s not enough, if you get really good at it, you may begin to notice that your clothes are fitting a bit more loosely, your skin is glowing, and strange and serendipitous coincidences start happening all around you.

So please, don’t just take my word for it: try this out and see what happens. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉