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Published on September 9, 2020

How To Make Yourself Happy Today And Every Day

How To Make Yourself Happy Today And Every Day

Make yourself happy and do it with no regrets. Happiness is a gift from life that you should protect daily. Doing this will help you see more of the pleasant things in life even in the face of the toughest of challenges.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs, and everyone will have a share of joys, sadness, disappointment, and other kinds of feelings associated with living. Moreover, each encounter can help you discover how to make yourself happy.

The secret to navigating through life’s challenges is by remaining happy intentionally and always wearing a smile because sadness does not help solve any problems. It only makes a person so miserable that they won’t be able to think up solutions to the issues being faced.

It is important to know ways to make yourself happy irrespective of the situation you are currently facing. James Oppenheim once wrote, “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.”

That said, it is no surprise that most of the things you can do to make yourself happy revolve around finding happiness in yourself and not from other people.

When you make your happiness dependent on someone else, you are very likely to get disappointed a lot. Likewise, when you attach your happiness to material things, you will never find happiness until you get that particular material thing you seek.

Here are 11 things you can do to make yourself happy.

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1. Only Say Nice Things to Yourself

Do you know that little voice in your head you have conversations with? You control it even though it feels like a different entity sometimes. You are happy when people say nice things, and it’s the same when you say nice things to yourself.

If you tell yourself that you are miserable, your brain will believe that and that will make you sad. In contrast, when you say nice things to yourself, your mind reads that as a compliment and that will raise your mood and make you happy.

So, to make yourself happy, it is very important to always say nice things to yourself even when you do something silly.

2. Understand That Life Is a Process

People sometimes put a lot of pressure on themselves by setting their goals alongside a certain age. You hear people say things like, “I should be earning six figures at the age of 27,” or “I should be married at 25” and similar things. If these things fail, they begin to hate themselves or feel ashamed of themselves.

This feeling is one of the significant causes of depression. People get depressed because they are unable to achieve unrealistic goals.

It is essential to accept the way you are at every point and keep working towards your goals. No time is too late to achieve anything you want to make yourself happy.

3. Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

This is a very vital tip on how to make yourself happy. Most people make the mistake of comparing where they are at a particular time with their school mates. And when they see them live what they perceive as a better life than them, they begin to hate themselves for that single reason.

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It is vital for people to always remember that every person runs a different race, and one person’s life shouldn’t be used as a yardstick to judge your progress in life.

Social Media, on its own, has increased the pressure people feel when they see their mates posting their success. You should learn to find happiness in the little things life has offered you, yourself, your family, and many other simple things.

4. Always Forgive Yourself

Some people beat themselves up for so long when they make a mistake or do something wrong. When you beat yourself up for too long for a mistake, you begin to hate yourself for the mistake you made, and you can never make yourself happy when you hate yourself.

The right thing to do when you make a mistake is to sit down and have a complete analysis of the whole issue. If you are wrong, admit your fault and ask yourself questions like, “how can I be better next time?” Then, forgive yourself with a promise that when faced with a similar situation, you will make the right choice. This is important to know if you are determined to know how to make yourself happy.

5. Avoid People Who Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

In life, certain people want to make you feel bad about yourself every single time. Sometimes, these are people we hold in high regard and have a lot of respect for. They can be family members, partners, friends, colleagues at the workplace, etc. These people see no good in people and are toxic to people around them.

Such people will only make you unhappy whenever you have close contact with them. Therefore, it is important to stay away from them if you want to be happy. If a person does not make you happy, then it will do you a lot of good if you stay away from them and find more positive people.

6. Prioritize Your Health

The numerous benefits of eating healthy by consuming less sugar and junk, eating more vegetables, exercising regularly, and taking supplements cannot be overemphasized. Apart from making you healthy, they make you look better, and looking better translates to you loving yourself more.

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Working on maintaining overall health is a form of self-love as that is going to benefit you both physically and mentally. However, when you slip up, you shouldn’t go hard on yourself. A good number of people get very angry at themselves when they eat what they are not supposed to eat or drink what they are not supposed to. It is okay to have that less healthy food your body craves as long as you don’t make it a habit.

7. Spend Money on Yourself

This is one very important part of how to make yourself happy that a lot of people skip. Some people don’t believe that there is a need to spoil themselves sometimes. They would instead get the best stuff for their partners, family members, and even friends, but when it comes to spending on themselves, it becomes a very difficult thing to do.

They would buy the cheapest clothes, shoes, and accessories for themselves even though they would instead want a much more expensive one.

If you can afford the best clothing, then buy them for yourself and make yourself happy. You should make it a part of you to always put yourself first. Try to spend money to get what you want regardless of the price today and see how happy it makes you feel.

8. Make the Places You Spend Most of Your Time in as Comfortable as Possible

As a human being, where you spend most of your time should be made to be very neat and furnished to your taste. This may sound unnecessary, but studies have shown that you sleep better in an elegant, beautiful room and comfortable bed than you will in an untidy room. Likewise, people tend to be more productive working in an orderly and neat office.

Aside from these benefits, being in a place that is as comfortable as you want it to be will give you happiness that will affect your total well-being. So, buy that comfortable bed that has been on your mind or that furniture or appliance you have always wanted to buy if want to be happy every day.

9. Take Out Time to Have Fun

In an ever-busy world, it is very possible to forget about fun and just be all about work. Irrespective of how much you earn from your work or how much you enjoy your job, the human brain is programmed to get weary when the same activity is performed day after day without taking time to wind off and breathe.

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Having fun now and then is very beneficial as it gives the brain the much-needed rest it deserves after a while of working, and it also improves your mood and makes you happier. So, take time away from work and go for vacations, the beach, or any other place of interest that will keep your mind away from work for the time being.

10. Always Have Three Square Meals Daily

Some people get so occupied with their work that they forget to eat sometimes, thereby making them skip a meal or, in the worst-case scenario, two meals. This is a habit a large number of people are guilty of today. This is a very unloving habit to do to yourself.

Don’t ever be so busy that you won’t have time to eat. However, the possibility of actually being so busy cannot be ignored, but a meal should not be skipped even if you end up eating something very light. It is better than nothing.

When you stop skipping meals, you will be surprised to see the effect that can have on your overall mood. That said, it is essential to eat every meal as it is essential in knowing how to be happy always.

11. Helping People Who Are in Need

Helping people who are in dire need also has a way of making you happy. It is essential to show love and care to the vulnerable members of society. This act of kindness has a way of making you feel fulfilled and happier after doing them.

Take a portion of your salary and give to the homeless, the sick, and other people who need help around you and watch how the joy you caused them through your gesture finds a way of coming back to you.

Final Thoughts

Learning a new thing is just a tiny part of the work. Applying what has been learned is where the real challenge lies, and that is where a lot of people falter.

Happiness is something every human should not be deprived of. A life without happiness is a tough one to live. These eleven tips have shown a couple of practices that can be applied to your everyday life to make yourself happy and help keep a smile on your face even when there is nothing much to smile about.

More Tips on How to Make Yourself Happy

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

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Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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