How Do I Make My Life Happier?
BY CHRIS SAVAGE
1. Choose a Positive Mindset
It's no secret that if you want a long and happy life you need a positive outlook.
Life throws throws hardballs at you, and it’s not always easy to stay positive.
When you're developing a positive mindset it takes conscious effort in the beginning.
You have to choose to see things through an optimistic lens even when it's easier not to.
When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop and find at least one positive aspect to refocus on.
If you want to feel good, look for things to feel positive about.
They’re right in front of you every day, you just need to open your eyes to see them.
2. Acknowledge All Your Wins
People beat themselves up when they do something wrong, and rarely congratulate themselves when they do something right.
There's no need to brag or boast, but acknowledging your wins sends your brain a message that you’re a winner.
People think they can only celebrate big achievements.
The promotion at work, the new relationship, the high distinction result in an exam.
But small wins are just as important, if not more.
The presentation you spent weeks preparing that led to your promotion.
Having the confidence to approach that beautiful person that led to a new relationship.
Putting in hours of study leading up to the exam.
All your accomplishments deserve to be acknowledged.
When you win or succeed at something your brain produces a release of dopamine.
That dopamine flood makes you want to succeed again, and a positive feedback loop begins.
But if you don’t take the time to acknowledge your wins, your brain doesn’t get that chemical spike.
3. Seek Some Life Balance when You Can
Finding balance in your life isn't always easy.
If your time is consumed with big commitments like work, study and family, life balance can be more fantasy than reality.
The irony is that as much as these things require our undivided attention, when you take some time out you become better at them.
Taking a few hours to go to the gym, walk on the beach, or sit and read good books.
Recharge your batteries, and reset yourself.
With all the expectations of society and the pressure we put on ourselves, stress and anxiety have become a serious problem.
Always have an outlet you can use to release pent up energy and clear your mind.
Being present simply means you're not living on autopilot.
You think before you act, and you’re aware of what's going on around you at the moment.
We get programmed with habits and mannerisms that become so ingrained we don’t even notice them.
Personal growth is recognising the traits you picked up in your past that no longer serve you deciding to change them.
The alternative is living out your life as an old outdated version of yourself, making the same mistakes again and again.
So how do you become more present in your day to day life? Observe yourself.
What types of thoughts go through your mind?
How do you respond when things don’t go your way?
What behaviours and attitudes would do you well to discard and replace with something better?
The first step to any change is to acknowledge and recognize the problem.
Then you can decide what you want to put in its place.
Being present also lets you experience more of the richness of life.
The beauty of nature, the smile of a child, the love you feel when you embrace someone you care about.
If your mind is always regretting past mistakes or worrying about the future, you miss out on a lot of great things that are happening right now.
5. Be Creative. Think Outside the Box
If you blindly follow the herd, or accept what society tells you without question, you're putting yourself in a box of mediocrity.
Instead of accepting what is, start asking “what if?”.
Creative thinking stimulates your brain to produce pleasure chemicals that result in the state we call happiness.
When you’re in empowered states what used to bother you can now be handled effortlessly.
Solving problems is an important part of achieving any goal.
But it's your responsibility to improve your mindset and your ability to think and be more creative.
You’re going to encounter obstacles along the way.
If you can think of creative solutions to your problems, you can have whatever you want.
6. Accept You're Not Perfect & Be Ok with it
High personal standards is your key to long term success.
But striving for absolute perfection can have the opposite effect, leading towards failure.
Mainstream society pushes perfection, and unless you’re perfect (whatever that means) you’re not good enough.
The relentless pursuit of perfection causes stress and anxiety because you're chasing something you'll never catch.
If you wait for perfection before you do anything, nothing will ever get done.
I was guilty of this for years. I like creating a perfect little something, and I couldn’t complete anything until it was perfect.
If it wasn’t perfect, I’d beat myself up.
Then I realised that perfection is an illusion, but excellence is attainable.
Accepting you’re not perfect doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.
Make a decision: you'll identify your weak points and improve them.
The truth is that whatever you want in your life you don’t have to be perfect to get it.
Being the best version of yourself, directing your focus, and taking action is more important than being perfect.
7. Spend More Time Doing What You Enjoy
This sounds obvious. Of course, being happy means doing what you enjoy.
But how many people say they want to be happy then spend their time doing things that ultimately make them unhappy?
Think about three things you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done?
Write them down in order of importance and make a plan.
Reallocate more time to doing what you enjoy and less time to the things you don’t.
Be careful though, life isn’t a permanent vacation. If you want results you have to work for them.
If your goal is important enough, the end result will exceed any short term pain you might experience along the way.
8. Be Smarter with Your Money
No one can deny the importance of money.
It's not the only thing to aim for, but you need to have this part of your life taken care of.
If money gives you freedom, choice, and opportunity, why wouldn’t you want to have more of it?
If you follow a few simple rules, in a short amount of time you can be ahead financially.
Getting on top of your finances isn’t rocket science. It’s actually quite simple.
Having the self-discipline to stick to a plan is what trips people up.
Here are a few simple ideas you can follow to improve your money situation;
1. Immediately cancel all monthly expenses that aren’t essential to your survival
2. Pay down your debt as a priority
3. Whenever you receive money, always put some aside for yourself
4. Don’t use credit cards, ever. Pay them off then cut them up.
5. Save every dollar you can.
Money itself won't necessarily make you happy, but not having to worry about money definitely will.
9. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity
It’s been said that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.
When you see an opportunity, take it.
If you sit around waiting it probably won't show up.
Opportunities come as a result of your actions.
When an opportunity appears it’s up to you to make something of it.
Don’t question yourself. Say “yes” and make the most of good fortune when it comes your way.
10. Be Grateful for What You Have and Strive for More
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself, your family, your community, or your business.
Problems arise when you don’t take a minute to appreciate what you already have.
If you can’t feel grateful now, then no matter how much you have you’ll never experience happiness.
Most high achievers are never fully satisfied.
That’s what pushes them to be more, to do more, and to have more.
Dissatisfaction can be a real gem when you channel it the right way.
Think of your family and friends. We take them for granted until one day they’re gone.
Then we regret not being more appreciative of them when they were here.
Be grateful for everything you have, and everyone in your life.
Don’t let it be taken away before you realize how blessed you are to have them in your life.
A sense of calmness comes from gratitude and works like a magnet to attract more success and happiness into your life.
Happiness and success are lifestyle choices.
Instead of waiting until something happens to feel happy, choose to feel happy now.
Quotes About Having a Happy Life
“Happiness is a direction, not a place” — Sydney J. Harris
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” – William Morris
“The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness” – William Saroyan
“People should find happiness in the little things, like family” – Amanda Bynes
“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom” – Benjamin Franklin“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness” – Bertrand Russell