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8 Changes To Make If You Want To Be A Truly Happy Person

8 Changes To Make If You Want To Be A Truly Happy Person

The pursuit of happiness is believed to be one of the basic human rights, but even with all the freedom in the world to pursuit it, a lot of people can’t seem to attain this elusive state of mind. We all get sidetracked by daily problems and goals like putting food on the table, so it’s easy to forget what it takes for you to be happy. True happiness is born out of daily effort, and there are certain lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to get starter down the right path.

1. Stop procrastinating and focus on the present

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Planning and preparation are important if you want to reach your goals, but if you find yourself spending too much time thinking about what you want to do, instead of actually making moves and getting things done, then it’s time to make some changes. You see, once we actually get off the couch and start finishing all those little tasks and chores that we normally put off, we can deal with 80 percent of your to do list within a few hours. Not having to worry about obligations that are beginning to stack up will do wonders for your stress levels, and it only takes a few hours here and there to get most of the work done.

2. Take care of your body

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

Our bodies are wonderful little biological machines that can adapt and survive in various harsh conditions, and the way we feel on an emotional level is closely related to how we feel physically. A lot of stress and anxiety comes from being unsatisfied with how we look, but a weak body that lacks proper nutrition will host a fatigued and unsatisfied mind. Common problems such as acne can be resolved with home remedies and a healthy diet, and just a bit more attention to personal hygiene and grooming can make you feel like a million bucks. On top of that, a few running sessions and a few workouts a week will help keep you happy and energetic.

3. Work out what it is that you need to be happy

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

Not everyone has the same vision of happiness, so chasing someone else’s dreams or trying to achieve happiness through a paint by numbers method laid out by a supposed guru isn’t going to get you what you need. You have to write down the top 3 things that you need to be happy, and add several key points that will make each one of your goals happen. Once you start dissecting things in this manner you often find that a seemingly minor problem like getting 2 hours of sleep less per night than you need, can actually be holding you back in different areas, e.g. you can’t focus, your less productive at work, work cuts into your personal time and so on.

4. Free yourself of things and people that keep you down

“Surround yourself with the right people, and realize your own worth. Honestly, there are enough bad people out there in the world – you don’t need to be your own worst enemy.” – Lucy Hale

We tend to get stuck with toxic people, as well as items and tools, that don’t allow us to reach our full potential because we get used to things being a certain way, and change is too difficult and scary. That car that keeps breaking down and costing a fortune to repair, fairly dull kitchen knives that will just about do the job, a “friend” who is only interested in his or her own problems, a partner that sucks the life energy straight from you – these are the things that limit you and cause you grief.  Try to hang out with good friends, cut the bad things from your life one at a time and you’ll breathe much easier.

5. Give up some of your bad habits and replace them with good ones

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield

While certain habits may be born out of necessity, a lot of them are a matter of laziness or indulgence. You may not think of things like eating a lot of junk food or smoking as all that harmful to your mood and emotional health, but it’s when you give them up that you realize how much better of you are off. Each bad habit should be replaced by a good one, e.g. stop smoking and start walking for an hour a day.

6. Let go of the need to “win” arguments

“Convincing yourself doesn’t win an argument.” – Robert Half

Alright, I’ll be the first one to say that arguments are a necessary part of life. They can actually help resolve big issues, but not if you approach them with a “winning” mentality, and not if you start them over the smallest things. In fact, you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you just focus on preventing arguments by effectively communicating with those around you. Once you start preemptively resolving potential arguments, you’ll get upset far less often, and you will have less drama in your life.

7. Enjoy the little moments

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam

The old saw about stopping to smell the roses is a real gem, but not a lot of people actually try to apply it in real life. The key here is to make a mental note to stop, take a few deep breaths and focus on your immediate surroundings every time something pleasant happens, or if you are feeling down and want to calm your mind. Perhaps a cute girl or guy smiled at you at the coffee shop, or maybe you had a fun little chat with your friends – savor those moments and let the little wave of euphoria wash over you.

8. Take up something that you are passionate about

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Taking up hobby or devoting a good deal of your time to master a skill has several benefits:

  • Your work prevents your mind from wandering off into the land of self-doubt
  • Being really good at something will make you feel more confident
  • Seeing the fruits of your labor will make you very happy
  • You’ll get to socialize with fun and like-minded people
  • You get to focus your energy on something creative and relieve stress

If you spend just a few hours a week on doing something that you are passionate about, you’ll be able to reduce your anxiety and get a strong sense of accomplishment.

It can take some time, and quite a bit of serious effort to reach a stage in your life where you feel relaxed and content for 70-80% of the time, and can honestly say that you are happy in life. The points covered here will definitely help bring you a step closer to achieving your goal, but remember that knowing is not the same as doing.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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