A happy life is something that we all strive for. The issue is often that we find it difficult to achieve with the daily stresses and demands of life. Our obstacles in life seem to be an impenetrable blockade to the happier existence that we want. We also sometimes lose sight of the things that can make us happier in the long term, for the things that are exciting in the moment. However, if you ever ask someone that’s super happy why they’re happy…it’s rarely because of money, power, or fame. It often has to do with inner peace, doing good for others, or just enjoying even the smallest things in life. It’s almost as if all of those things we let in the way of our happiness, have nothing to do with it in the first place.
As someone who’s constantly in search of his own happiness, here are 5 simple ways that you can guarantee YOU a happier life, with no relation to money, power, or fame.
1. Don’t hold yourself back from new experiences
The first thought that you’re faced with when you want to try something new is feeling that you don’t know enough to start in the first place! That’s usually a big enough hurdle to get you to turn right around and keep on doing what you’re doing.
The bigger issue is that over time the idea of attempting something new becomes less and less appealing. You’ll get more and more complacent in whatever you’re already doing because it’ll continue to get easier. While this sounds great in the moment, it can lead to feeling unfulfilled in major areas of your life. What’s worse is that it holds you back from discovering new things that you could’ve enjoyed even more!
Keeping in mind that everyone has to start from somewhere, it’s best to lay out a step by step plan on how to attack. Breaking up big undertakings such as learning how to play the guitar or starting a new blog into smaller tasks can break that massive mountain down to manageable rocks. You can start from learning a few chords a day or registering a new domain to create action towards your goals. Make sure to mark the completion of smaller goal down to visualize your progression — SEEING IS BELIEVING!
The best part? When you look back at it, you’ll get to see how many new things you were able to overcome just because you took the first step and broke down what seemed like an impossible task.
What’s something you’ve been holding back on that you can start planning right away?
2. Practice being grateful everyday
Can you think of something that happened today that you’re super happy about? Maybe you got the promotion you wanted or maybe you got up to exercise this morning? But what happened right after the initial excitement of the accomplishment? Did your focus shifts from the promotion to why are you not already the CEO of this company? Where are the six pack abs?
I promise you that you’re not in this alone. We often go from being happy and grateful for our accomplishments to wondering why we’re not already at the next step. Instead of full embracing what we have right now, we want to move on to what more there is. But let’s not let ourselves lose sight of all the things (big and small) that we can be grateful for on a daily basis.
The happiest of people know that there’s always something to be grateful for — right from the start of the day they’re thankful for another day, during lunch they’re thankful for the food on their plates, and at bedtime they’re thankful for a productive day. Understanding the power of gratefulness unlocks within us happiness that’s usually chained by “what more?” and “that’s it?”.
It’s up to us to keep our focus on the good of every situation and fuel ourselves to the next level. It’s not about getting rid of all negative feelings but about taking a small step towards being more grateful for all that’s around us.
What’s something you can be grateful for right now?
3. Do something you truly love to do
For most of us, our day to day isn’t part of our long term plan. We dream about the way our future is going to be different than what we’re doing right now. But considering a massive shift in our lives to only do what makes us happy isn’t always practical. Family, money, and responsibilities are just some of the primary reasons that we feel we just can’t make the jump.
Another issue is we often feel if we were to pursue our passions, even if we’d be able to avoid shirking the primary reasons, it’s still an insurmountable task and too grandiose and time consuming to even consider. However, lucky for us…the biggest changes can start from the smallest steps. Say we were to just dedicate an hour a day to something that just made us happy. A hobby of ours that brought us joy. It wouldn’t require a daunting sacrifice and it’d returns the ultimate reward of self fulfillment and happiness.
The path to happiness isn’t always about uprooting everything to make the ultimate change. It can start with a small step in a positive direction. A hobby that makes you happy doesn’t have to pay the bills… it’s already doing something much greater! Some might say a hobby can always lead to money. I say let it do its thing. If it makes you happy…keep on doing it. If it makes you happy and you make money? KEEP ON DOING IT. Just remember, 50 years from now you’ll remember your happiness, not your money.
What do you love doing that you’re going to start up again?
4. Stop caring what others think about you
This remains as one of the ultimate ways to guarantee a happy and fulfilling life. How often does it happen to you that you’re upset or unhappy because of the opinion someone else has of you? Of course they’re entitled to their own opinion about anything but why let someone else’s thoughts affect the happiness you feel within your own life?
Too often we focus on the opinions of others over our own happiness and we just end up hurting ourselves. In the end, you are your own person. The happiness that you derive from yourself is the most powerful catalyst for a happy life. It can’t be taken by anyone…unless you let them.
The goal is not to ignore the opinions of others but rather to be selective of which thoughts you let affect you. It is up to us to filter the people that go in and out of our lives. Understanding and bettering our faults is necessary for growth and success but always absorb the productive criticism and reject the downright negative!
What’s something you need to start filtering out?
5. Don’t compare yourself to others
How often do you find yourself scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and then suddenly it ruins your day? But what could’ve been so bad? OH someone from your graduating class just found a cure to the common cold and you’re sitting here trying to write a single blog post.
But wait shouldn’t we be happy for them? What about their success makes us unhappy? Well it seems that human nature has struck again. Comparing ourselves to others is about as human as human nature gets. We are innately competitive and it can cause some serious damage to our own chance in the competition (if not used wisely).
We start comparing and sizing ourselves up to them to see if we’re better. If you think about it, there will always be someone that you’ll feel is doing better than you. It’s a winding, downward spiral of losing.
But instead of thinking that you’re not good enough, why not focus on how you can just get better? When we compare ourselves to others, we lose the focus from ourselves. We get lost in how we can be better than them, rather than how can we just get better than we are right now. It’s a disservice to ourselves and we know that we’re better than that!
Next time you’re comparing yourself to someone else, don’t make it a losing game! Put your head back down, focus on your own grind, and you’ll always end up on top.
As you can imagine…I’m still learning how to find my own happiness! Any thoughts, suggestions, or things that have worked for you would be appreciated so please comment below or email me at slapofoptimism[@]gmail.com! Looking forward to hearing the thoughts of this optimistic community on how they’ve started living a happier life each and every day!