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3 Keys To Happiness

3 Keys To Happiness

I got my degree in engineering because my brother was going to school for that and I couldn’t think of any other career paths that I wanted to do. After graduating college and securing a job at Westinghouse I was excited and ready to start my career.  I soon realized that I had made the wrong choice and that it wasn’t what I thought it would be.  The people I worked with seemed lifeless and passionless about their jobs and the feeling was contagious.  There always seemed to be an air of tension among people and the way they acted seemed fake and somewhat nervous.

This corporate world was not for me and it was resonating throughout my life in various negative ways; my health was failing, I felt empty inside, I drank more…

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1. Do What You Love

My first goal was to simplify my life so I didn’t need all of this income to exist. I sold my expensive sports car, moved into a smaller place, stopped going out so much, and focused on getting rid of anything that wasn’t mandatory. I started my own painting company on the side and was able to leave the corporate world for good within a year.  After a few years even this kind of freedom wasn’t enough, something was missing.  All throughout my life friends would tell me I was funny and I should be a comedian.  I finally took this to heart and tried a comedy course at a local comedy club.  Well, that was over a decade ago and I am more passionate than ever about this career in the performing arts.  It has opened my eyes to a new way of looking at life and reignited my spirit.

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You must find that calling that you were meant to do and go for it regardless of the pay.  If you get good at anything there will always be a sector of people who are willing to pay it.  This way you won’t be counting down the years left in your career, but counting up the years that you’ve been doing it and hoping for more. There is no retirement for me, I’ll do this till the day I die.  There is more to life than just getting by.

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2. Have What You Need

Things don’t make us happy, they may be exciting at first but once the thrill wears off you are just left with bills in the mail causing even more stress than before.  If you minimize and simplify your life one step at a time you will create more freedom and free time to do the things that you enjoy.  Money does not equal happiness, it is more just a tool to help you get the things you need.  Don’t just buy things that you want, it is a never ending cycle.  There is always another gadget to buy, another subscription to join, only causing you to fall further in debt and making it so you have to work more.

When I was a little kid I had food to eat, a place to sleep, and transportation to get around and I didn’t need to work 40 or more hours a week to have this.  My goal is to have that freedom back that I had when I was a little kid and it is possible to do.  It doesn’t take much to make you happy if you are doing what you love, that itself is fulfilling enough.  Think of the things you need to feel better;  exercise, sunshine, silence, passion, love.   Most of these things are either free or very inexpensive to have, make it a point to get more of what you need and you won’t want anything more.

3. Help Other People

They say if you want to be happy focus all of your attention on making other people happy, and if you want to be miserable focus only on making yourself happy.  We like to think we are independent but, in fact, we are interdependent beings.   If I put you on a desert island with nothing but your computer and Facebook “friends” you would end up being extremely lonely and very unhappy over time, we need each other.   Compassion, or concern for others, helps to humanize us and connect us making us feel like we are part of something bigger and, in return, making us feel better about ourselves and happier in the process.  Just start in small ways to care about others, it doesn’t happen overnight.  You can train your mind to become anything you want, it just happens slowly over time.  Set your intention to be a more compassionate and caring person and as time goes by you will become just that and end up a much happier person than when you began.

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More by this author

Dave Celestian

Philosopher and Humorist

3 Keys To Happiness

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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