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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 and Internet Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max

Workplace stress is a modern epidemic. More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress. This is estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year in lost work hours and medical bills.[1]

Clearly, if you’re suffering from work stress – you’re far from alone. But, work stress isn’t inevitable.

In this article, I’m going to help you identify the root cause of your stress and suggest the most suitable ways to cope with job stress so you can become a happy and productive worker again.

Where Work Stress Comes From

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. The causes of stress include:

  • Too much work – you feel overwhelmed by your work and find yourself saying: “There are not enough hours in the day!”
  • The job is too easy, not challenging or inspiring – this is where boredom (which is stressful) sets in.
  • Pressure from co-workers or lack of social support – colleagues are not helpful or only care about their own tasks.
  • Little praise and lots of criticism – this is where a lousy manager uses constant criticism to ‘try’ to motivate you.
  • Very demanding or competitive working culture – sales departments often fit this category.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions – this is when people try to micro-manage you.
  • High expectations on yourself or seeking perfection – while it’s good to do your best, being a perfectionist can be a powerful stress generator.
  • Low salary – if you work hard but receive slim financial rewards, you may start to feel downhearted, frustrated and stressed.

The Negative Effects of Stress on Your Mind and Body

Chronic stress is bad news for your mental health and physical health. These are some health symptoms of stress:[2]

    If stress hormones are triggered in your body for extended periods, they can lead to increased physical aging. This is because stress makes your cells look and act older – and this is reflected in your physical appearance.[3]

    In addition to the negative effects on your body, stress also has a significant influence on your brain – negatively impacting your daily performance.

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    I recommend you watch the 4-minute video below to see just how stress can wreak havoc on your brain and your performance:

    How to Cope with Work Stress (A Step-By-Step Guide)

    You don’t need to be a victim of work stress. Here’s how to manage stress in the workplace:

    1. Set aside some time for planning

    If work has become too much for you, and you’re constantly falling behind… stop! Instead of trying and failing to catch up, you’d be much better off spending some time thinking about your goals and how your prioritize your tasks.

    Learn how to set clear goals with this step-by-step guide.

    For instance, if your initial goal is just to get on top of your work (probably for the first time in months), then take 10 minutes to think clearly and deeply about how you can achieve this. Most likely, you’ll be able to come up with tasks that you need to complete to reach your goal. And once your goal and tasks are clear in your mind, you’ll be ready for the second step.

    2. Align your tasks with your goal

    Just knowing your goal and associated tasks is not enough. Many people reach this stage but still fall behind with their work and fail to achieve their goals.

    The secret is to understand which of your tasks should be high priority and which ones can be done when you have spare time.

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    For example, checking your inbox every 20 minutes may seem to be a productive task for you, but in reality it acts as a constant distraction and productivity killer. Instead, you’d be better off setting aside 30 minutes in the morning to check your emails and 30 minutes in the afternoon to do the same.

    By doing this, you’ll free up the bulk of your day for tasks that can help you reach your goal. These tasks are likely to be things like: writing a business proposal, creating a PowerPoint presentation, and finishing an important project.

    These tips on how to prioritize will help you align your tasks with your goals and work 10X more efficiently.

    3. Remove, change or accept the stressors

    How to tackle specific work stressors? I recommend the following method that WellCast introduced:[4]

    Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. At the top, write remove in the first column, change in the second and accept in the third.

      Next, think of the stressors that are getting to you the most. Perhaps it’s your paycheck; it might be way smaller than you’d like or feel that you deserve. Don’t worry, this is your chance to break free from the stress surrounding your low pay.

      Think for a few moments, which would you prefer:

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      • To remove yourself from the company
      • To try to change your salary by asking for a pay rise
      • To accept that your salary is okay for you

      You may be surprised at what thoughts come into your mind. Don’t reject them, but allow yourself time to be clear on how you’d like to proceed.

      If the status quo feels good to you, then write “paycheck” in the accept column. If you decide you want to increase your salary but stay in the same company, write “paycheck” in the change column. And finally, if you decide the time is right to seek a new opportunity at a different organization, then write “paycheck” in the remove column.

      By being decisive in this way, you’ll immediately feel freer and in control of your destiny. And your stress levels will begin to trend downwards. All that remains is to set yourself a clear goal of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do this.(Luckily, steps #1 and #2 above will help you out!)

      Of course, if you have multiple work stressors, then use your remove, change or accept sheet to work through all of them. It will be time VERY well spent.

      4. Create positive relationships at work

      One key to improving your ability to manage stress is being able to accept help from others. Not only does it alleviate negative circumstances by simply distracting you and creating a buffer between daily tasks and their negative connection, it will provide a sense of support and relief.

      Make an effort to create friendships with your colleagues. Go to the after-work happy hour or just ask a colleague out for coffee at lunchtime. Not only will you have someone to confide in, but you will start to associate positive feelings to work.

      Forming a healthy relationship with your manager or supervisor is also a good way to alleviate stress. Positive, two-way conversations about where you stand in your job, being honest about how you feel, and working together to make a plan of action in terms of improved work conditions and expectations are paramount. This will lead to opening up and receiving the necessary resources you need to support or help you.

      5. Take time out for yourself

      Anyone can get overwhelmed when stress occurs at work, and this can spill into other areas of your life. This is why it’s important to clock out mentally from your job from time to time.

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      Take time off to relax and unwind in order to regain your energy and come back to work invigorated. Make sure you actually do something you enjoy like spending time with your kids or partner, or visit that country you’ve always wanted to explore.

      If taking time off work isn’t possible in the midst of your stress, take scheduled breaks throughout your day. Sit quietly somewhere or do some stretches to get your blood flowing like in the example below:

      6. Take mindful action towards your health

      The irony of stress is that your healthy habits can take a backseat. Maintaining and even improving your health will keep your stress under control. Here are some ways to keep you physically fit:

      • Eat healthy foods. Make sure your diet is full of foods that provide your body with sufficient nutrients. Eat more fruits and green vegetables, whole foods, omega-3 rich fish, and seeds such as flax, chia and hemp. These types of food ensure your body is working optimally to cope with its stress mechanisms.
      • Avoid unhealthy foods. This is obvious, but it’s these kinds of food you reach for in times of stress and negativity. High fat foods such as cheese and red meat cause sluggishness and tiredness. Foods high in refined sugars like biscuits, chocolate bars, and bread can be convenient snacks, but they cause you to crash and burn. Same with caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas – these are just ‘band aid’ habits that interfere with your ability to sleep.
      • Exercise regularly. Endorphins are the best for counteracting stress, and what better way to release them than doing physical exercise. Exercise creates a distraction and helps you get your thoughts back together in an orderly way. Start a new exercise regime – whether it’s running, swimming, cycling or walking to work. Getting your blood and endorphins flowing will make you feel happier.
      • Get enough sleep. Make getting 8 hours sleep a priority. When we’re stressed it can sometimes feel hard to get to sleep but sleep deprivation only exaggerates our current stress. A well-rested mind is able to find solutions to problems more easily and reacts better to daily stressors.

      Final Thoughts

      Everyone encounters stress at work. It’s a natural and normal human reaction. The difference between letting the stress overcome you and coping with it is getting a head start by creating a positive environment and lifestyle.

      Counteracting stress is both an inside and outside job. Focusing on improving your health will create a positive mind able to react better. Forming positive relationships with certain people around you will give you emotional support.

      Beat stress with the right mindset!

      Featured photo credit: whoislimos via unsplash.com

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