I realize that ‘happiness’ is subjective but there seem to be recordable traits of people of are generally more ‘happy’ than others. Some of which are pretty easy to follow.
I for one, am ‘happy’. The major reason for this is, although I have ambition and am motivated by that ambition I am in the most part, content. Content with my life, right now.
It seems to me that a lot of people in a capitalist world feel that it’s all a big race to see how much money we can die with. Who can get into the top 0.01% of wealthy people in the world. fact is, a lot of us (the vast vast majority) won’t come close, and that’s fine.
True contentment comes with having enough money to live on, having a loving circle of friends and family around you and good health.
What Can I Do to Help My Happiness?
- Work-Life balance
- Staying present
- Helping people
- Eat right
- Work in something you enjoy!
- Learn new skills
- Understand your values
- Find the good
- Pay off debts
- Misery Loves Company
- be accountable
- Sleep well
- Get A hobby
- Drastic Change
Work Life Balance
This isn’t always straight forward, but it does mean reflecting on your priorities and understanding what is more important to you. If you work for yourself and can include your family or friends (positive ones) do so. Working with people you love, can get tough, but when you succeed you succeed together and it feels 100x better.
You can work a 9-5 and come home spend 2-3 hours with your family then crack on with your own business ventures. At weekends, switch off completely. Those days are for the family. These people will be with you until you die (if you treat them with kindness and love), your 9-5 would get rid of you in a heartbeat and replace you in the next if they needed to.
Family first, business close second.
Such an important part of living a happy life is trying to be positive. This might mean switching the news off. I deleted the news apps from my phone, and the one I do have only displays good news. I no longer want to hear about murder and other terrible tragedies. Not first thing when I wake up. There are great things that happen in the world.
Unfortunately we are swamped by negativity through mainstream media. Step away for a few weeks. The world will still be there when you get back.
Also, if you can, try and find the positivity in every situation. Every cloud has a silver lining. Every door that closes, another one opens etc.
Most people, like myself are only able to count my good friends on one hand. And to be honest, that’s all I really need. A few interactions, virtual dates, game nights with a friend or two and I’m content. Actually working on a number of business opportunities with friends at the time of writing this. Keep a close circle. All those virtual facebook friends aren’t really real.
Your real friends will help you move house (for free).
Your family are right up there in priorities. It could be your siblings or parents or perhaps you, like us, have children and a little family of your own.
Try and attach the positivity rule here as well, negative parents, or negative cousins can really drag you down so be careful to distance yourself from these characters while you are happying up!
Keep a strong family bond, keep positive family members close.
This one I find particularly difficult to do. It just means not living in the past or future and to concentrate on living right now in the present.
It’s a good notion. But a challenge as so many things in life pop up to test our fortitude. Living in the present requires you to totally focus on the task at hand and not be concerned by the outcome. You can achieve this by breaking down your tasks into smaller chunks and handling each one at a time in succession.
This will mean you don’t have time to think about the past or future.
Living in the past is pointless, you can’t change it. Only you can make whatever future you want possible.
You could volunteer, help an elderly person with their shopping, fix a flat tire, give money to those who need it, offer your services to someone struggling (for free). The list is endless.
As cheesy as it sounds giving is living, living is giving. Help people and make their lives better in someway and you will feel better yourself. And who knows where that person will end up. Perhaps one day they will help you too.
If you have a choice between being right, or being kind. Choose kind.
Common sense I know, but eating right will give you the fuel you need to feel happy. Put more vegetables on our plate and study up on your calorie intake. You will be surprised how much energy you get from eating right.
Fruit, vegetables, complex carbs, grains and plenty of water.
This ‘fits’ right along with the above. Get in shape and feel good and you will be well on your way to feeling happier in yourself.
I personally, go to the gym about 3 times a week, I use a Stronglifts 5×5 program and a boxing regime to stay as healthy as possible. Boxing the heavy bag for stress relief and cardio and weights for body shape and muscle strength.
Stay fit, stay strong. Exercise, Live long.
Set a budget for your household and stick to it.
You spend 1000 on rent/mortgage, 200 on food, 300 on bills and 500 on miscellaneous. You can save the miscellaneous money. You really don’t need that extra Xbox game you have had your eye on but don’t really have time to play.
Setting a budget will help you get into a routine, and a routine will help you to straighten out your finances. Don’t save money for a ‘rainy day’, generally rainy days don’t ever come. Save money to invest. Maybe put a deposit down on a house, or invest in your start up.
Budget = Savings = Savings = more security and happiness
Work in Something You Enjoy
This is one of the most important messages to get into your head. Cannot stress this point enough. You have to enjoy what you do. You must.
You are born, you go to school for 15+ years, you start your job for 45+ years, you retire, you die.
Your working life is the majority of the time you have on this earth. Spend it doing something you enjoy! If you don’t know what you enjoy then start to search. Join groups, find some hobbies, get some part time work, learn and grow. You will find something that you really enjoy. Once you have found it, it’s time to figure out how you make money from that thing.
You like cleaning cars? Great you have to go work for a car washing company or valet company, or start your own business doing it. Knock on doors and clean peoples cars, gain experience, learn your craft then spend the next 40 years enjoy the hell out of it.
Do you like making videos? Great! start a YouTube channel, it’s never too late to do it. You just have to be consistent and make sure your content is good quality and provides value to people.
You want to make websites? or apps? or games? OK awesome! Go do it! grab a $10 USD coding course from UDEMY and learn how to do it. You need equipment? ok grab a part time or full time job doing something, save and buy the stuff. You will have plenty of time to do it.
We have full time day jobs and two children and we still find time to create videos, posts and podcasts every single week. No excuses!
You can get that cushy sales job that pays well each month, but in twenty years when you have the Porsche and that swanky suit you will regret not trying to do something you enjoy and you scream silently into your cold pillow at night.
If you can buy the Porsche from doing something you love, that’s the dream.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO AND FIND A WAY TO MAKE MONEY FROM IT!
Learn New Skills
Always be trying to improve yourself, always trying to learn new skills and expand your horizons. How do you do that?
It’s so easy today.
I, personally, listen to audiobooks and watch videos on YouTube to learn new things. Recently I have been learning how to use Adobe After Effects by playing with the software myself and following some online tutorials. Oh and of course, always learning Mandarin.
I have also been listening to a number of audiobooks on business and life including -:
- Contagious: Why Things Catch On
- Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive
- Business Adventures
- Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
There are many many avenues you can take to continue to learn and improve. By continuing to grow you will feel better. Learning a new thing everyday, if nothing else, is an achievement. something you can be proud of.
Learn something everyday.
This is a simple one but sometimes difficult to do. Try and laugh as much as possible. Whether it’s with your friends or family or even with your favourite TV show. Just try to laugh. Release dopamine into your system and feel better about the world.
Laugh more, Live more.
Understand Your Values
Getting to know yourself and what you stand for is a key in being happy. Understanding yourself will take an act of deep self reflection. Do you take pride in helping people? are you a fun loving happy person inside? Do you like the routine and pressure of a business environment? Do you yearn to be loved? Do you want a family?
Ask yourself these questions -:
- what makes me happy?
- What makes me sad?
- What makes me angry?
- What do I find the most satisfying at work?
- What do I find the least?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
If you cannot answer the above questions then try and write a short story about yourself. You are the main character. Write about what kind of character you are and what that character likes to do and say and think. You can find yourself this way.
Find The Good
Trying to find the good is every situation is a real skill. It takes a special kind of someone to be able to stub their toe on the corner of the coffee table in the morning and find something good about that.
“That taught me to be more careful” you say trying to hold back the expletives.
I have known people to be able to take a break up or divorce or redundancy as see it as a real opportunity to shine. I have been made redundant twice, and both times it promoted great and drastic change in my life for the absolute better both times.
But, obviously, this is easier said than done. Certain situation will require a greater deal of reflection than others and a strong will to find the good in.
Find the good in anything, and you are a special person.
Pay Off Debts
Big one. One step to getting closer to happiness is being debt free. So for me, that meant paying off a credit card, long overdue.
Settling any over drafts you may have and working on putting a dent in that mortgage will go a long way to making you feel happier and less until pressure from the bank.
Nothing ruins your day more thinking you have some cash in the bank only to find it was taken with interest automatically.
Start paying off your debts, right now.
Misery Loves Company
This is so true. Miserable people love to bring happy people down with them, it makes them feel better. You see a great movie, they think it was terrible, or that actor was rubbish, or that phone is crap.
You have heard the saying, you become who you hang around with? It’s that. Don’t do it. Cut anyone from your life that is overly negative and try and surround yourself with people of the opposite ilk. Again, cutting people from your life isn’t easy, none of this is easy. But it needs to be done for a happier you.
I read a few times that once you start taking responsibility for your actions and truly accepting the fault is your own, you will have a new lease on life.
Understanding that everything is not someone or something else’s fault is a great step forward in understanding how the world works. The table you hit your toe on this morning isn’t in the wrong for being there. It was your fault you didn’t look.
That pizza you burned your tongue on, that’s your fault too. Your kids misbehaving…yup you guessed it. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that things don’t happen to you, they happen because of you.
You reap what you sow
I’m not sure where this ‘don’t sleep, get up at 4am’ idea came from, but there is plenty of research out there to show that not getting enough sleep can lead to terrible things. You can get plenty done in a normal day, and get eight hours rest.
Some people can function on six (I am one of these). Some people need more. Point is, make sure you get proper sleep. Turn your phone off at least twenty minutes before sleep, get away from blue light. iPad included. Don’t have a TV in your bedroom! Your bedroom is for sex and sleep. That’s it.
Sleep well, feel well.
Get A Hobby
This is super important if you are searching for what you enjoy doing in life. If you already know you enjoy grooming cats and dogs, i would still suggest join the local Brazilian Ju Jitsu club, badminton, ping ping, knitting, dancing, acting or whatever club.
Get out every week, once a week to do something fun.
with everything you do, even if you only do a few things on this list. They will take life altering, drastic change. Every good that has happened in my life has come from drastic change.
Being made redundant from my job made me reflect on my goals and as a result moved country and learned another language.
Moving country forced me out of my comfort one completely and I ended up meeting my wife, and having two beautiful children.
Whatever you decide it will start with a dramatic change in your personal circumstances. If you are currently not happy and want to be, it’s a huge sign that you need to change something!
Find it and change it!
P.S – being grateful for the things that you do have is also a big thing, so remember to reflect and remember the things that you do have.
P.P.S – you could also learn a new language. Just sayin. Maybe Chinese?