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How To Live A Happy And Successful Life: 7 Simple Tips To Enlightenment

How To Live A Happy And Successful Life: 7 Simple Tips To Enlightenment

Everyone wants to live a happy and successful life and nobody wants to live in mediocrity, always feeling inferior. In fact, anyone can be as successful and as happy as they want. You don’t have to be lucky or a rocket scientist to achieve it.

If you look at all the successful people out there, extraordinary people such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, and more, you will notice that they all possessed certain traits of success.

And all these great people come from different backgrounds. Some of them lived in poverty before they become famous; some of them are college dropouts and some of them have difficulties in learning.

However, despite all the challenges and difficulties, these successful people go on and produce outstanding results in life.

And guess what, if these people can do it, you can do it too. Living a happy and successful life is not all about driving a sports car or living in a big mansion. It is more about enlightenment from within.

“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from the inside.”

Here are 7 tips how to live a happy and successful life:

1. Be More Self-Centered

Self-centered is different from being selfish. It is not being a narcissist and it is not all about you. Self-centered is living life on your own terms without worrying too much about what other people think of you.

Extraordinary people don’t really care how others look at them. If you look at Steve Jobs, he lived a hippie lifestyle when he was young. He went to work with his bare feet; he ate only vegetables and fruits as meals. Did he care what other people thought of him? Not at all.

In fact, successful people are self-centered. They live the way they want and they don’t think too much about how other people look at them.

This is why they are extraordinary. Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors who is said to have failed more than 10,000 times at his experiments did not really care about how others thought of his failure.

He knew what he wanted and he continued to work on his inventions. Eventually, he succeeded in inventing the light bulb and changed the world. Imagine what would have happened if Thomas Edison had worried about his failures and constantly thought about how people perceived him.

So, be more self-centered starting from today. Live life on your own terms and bring out the best in you.

You don’t need to follow the crowd and you don’t have to live your life like what other people want you to.

You are you and you need to take 100% responsibility for your life.

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2. Practice Minimalism

If you want to be happy, practice minimalism. Living in minimalism is not about not owning any car or luxury items, but instead, it is about detachment.

It is about becoming less possessive and focuses more on your inner feelings. It is not about what you own, but how can you shine with what you already have.

A lot of people make the mistake in life and think that being successful is all about driving a luxury car, living in a big mansion, dining in the finest restaurant and spending lavishly.

It is not. Money does not define your level of success. Instead, money is just a score for the value you have created in other people’s lives.

Bill Gates got rich through his invention of an easy-to-use software system that changed everyone’s lives. He foresaw the future where every home has a personal computer.

Warren Buffett made his money through investing in companies and businesses that require capital for growth. Michael Jackson brought entertainment to people and Lionel Messi has great skills that command top dollars.

These extraordinary people are successful because they created some form of value that people want.

It is not material items or shiny objects that made these people successful. If you own a luxury car, it does not mean that you are successful.

Physical things do not define who you are. It is how you shine from within, how you unleash your potential, how you are able to use your capability that creates value for people that count.

Therefore, practice minimalism if you want to be happy and successful.

3. Maintain Your Health Physically And Mentally

Health is wealth. What is there to shout about when you don’t have the health to enjoy life. If you are always feeling sleepy, sick and tired, you can never truly live your life to the fullest.

And when you are not performing at your best or living to the fullest, you will never be happy and successful.

Seriously cut down the consumption of alcohol and get rid of the smoking habit. Spend time exercising and reading. You want to maintain your health both physically and mentally.

Do you know that Xerox CEO, Ursula Burns wakes up at 5:15 am every day and schedules her personal training at 6 am? GE CEO, Jeff Immelt wakes up at 5:30 am to work out. Similarly, Michelle Obama, FLOTUS wakes up early and exercises at 4:30 am. The same goes for Jack Dorsey, the Twitter and Square CEO, who wakes up at 5:30 am for meditation and jogging.

Just like what Laura Vanderkam said in her book, What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,[1] these are extremely busy people and if they spend time waking up early to exercise, it must be something crucial that we cannot miss out on.

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So, take care of your health. Successful people are productive people. And being productive is all about energy management.

The only way to maintain your energy throughout the day is to maintain your health. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy foods.

When you have the energy, your willpower is stronger and so is your confidence level. And when you have the energy, you can accomplish more than most people who treat their health lightly.

4. Attach To A Meaningful Goal

Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

If you practice being a minimalist, should you still set goals? Allow me to explain.

When it comes to goal setting, a lot of people get the wrong idea and set material goals. They set goals to earn a million dollars. They set goals to own a luxury car or to build a multi-million dollar business.

These goals are good, but you must make sure that your goals are meaningful to you.

There is no point to set a goal such as earn a million dollars, but aren’t passionate to achieve it or do the work.

This, my friend, is why 92% people fail to achieve their goals in life.[2] They follow the crowd and set financial goals or material goals because that is what everybody is doing.

If your goals are not meaningful to you, you will never keep going when the tough times come. People want to be rich because of what they can do with the money. They don’t want to be rich just for the sake of being rich. It is what you get from money that drives you.

Money is just the means to an end. The same goes when you set material goals. What does owning a luxury car mean to you? Why do you want to live in a big mansion by the sea? It is the meaning behind the goal that motivates you.

Thus, make sure you set meaningful goals and not just any goal.

5. Becoming An Inverse Paranoid

Jack Canfield mentioned that one of the success principles that’s responsible for people’s achievements is being an inverse paranoid.

Instead of thinking how the world plots to do you harm, think of how the world is helping and supporting you. When you are fired by your company, think of the possibility and the opportunity that you can get. Maybe you will finally find a better job that you truly love and get better pay.

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba once said that successful people are extremely positive and they always expect something good to happen in the future. And I strongly believe that this is true.

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Think about it, would you spend money to innovate and build a better product to sell to the market if you think that the economy is slow? If you are pessimistic, you will never do the extra because you believe that all your effort will be thrown into the drain and no one will appreciate your hard work.

Successful people are inversely paranoid and they are extremely positive about the future. They believe in their dreams and themselves.

You will never buy the lottery ticket if you don’t believe that you stand a chance to win. Similarly, you will never put in the effort if you don’t believe that you are going to get the results.

Hence, when something is out of your control, stay calm and trust that everything happens for a reason. Always look at the bright side and the great possibility that can happen to you.

6. Live In The Moment

Learn to live in the moment. When you are enjoying your holidays with your family, stop worrying about your work. When you are working, stop thinking about having a fun time playing games.

Happy people are people who live in the moment. They are worry-free.

Do you know that humans feel stress because they worry too much? Unlike animals, they only have immediate worries that they can solve right away.

When a lion is hungry, it will hunt for food. When it rains, the lion will find a shelter. Animals don’t suffer delayed worry like humans do and animals can get rid of their worry immediately.

Humans, on the other hand, are stressful because they worry about something in the future and something that they don’t have control over.

They worry about whether they should change jobs. They worry if they have enough money to pay the bills by month’s end. They worry what if they fail to achieve their goals.

These are concerns that we cannot solve immediately. Thus, they make us feel stress and anxiety.

If you want to live a happy life, get rid of these concerns and live in the moment.

There’s no point worrying about the future that you have no control over; instead, do something that you can do right now.

Here’s a meaningful quote for you:

“Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that is why they called it the present.”

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What you can do is right now. You don’t have to worry too much about the past or the future. Instead, choose to learn from your past and use the future you want to inspire you.

Work on the now.

7. Be Action-Oriented

Happy and successful people are action-oriented people. They are always on the move. They don’t wait for things to happen to them; they go ahead and make things happen.

If you want to be successful but you spend your whole day playing games, by the end of the day, you will feel inferior and guilty.

On the other hand, if you use your time to work on your goals and produce some result, you will feel happy and extremely fulfilled. You feel good and you feel satisfied because you are doing things according to your plan.

This is why being action-oriented is important.

Furthermore, success will mean nothing to you if there is no hard work. Think about it, if you are a professional tennis player and you play with a beginner who can’t even serve properly, how would you feel?

You will feel bored and the match will finish in an instant. Conversely, when you play with other professional players, you will feel excited about the match because you will have to put in hard work to win the points.

Hard work is what makes you happy. When you are able to achieve something easily without any hard work, the fulfillment will never last.

Oxygen in the air is available to anyone and thus, no one will appreciate it. You don’t have to work hard to breathe, unless when you have problems breathing.

People will never appreciate things that they don’t need to work hard for. Hence, be action-oriented. Put in the hard work and do the extra.

The more you put in, the more results you will get. The more you work for something, the more satisfaction you will feel.

Conclusion

These are the simple tips that will make you happier and more successful in life. However, you will never see the results right away.

Success takes time, but you will know if you are on the right path when you do. So, follow the suggestions here and live a worthwhile life today.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Shawn Lim

Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Motivation Expert

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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