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10 Basic Rules of Happiness You Need to Follow

10 Basic Rules of Happiness You Need to Follow

Happiness they say, is a state of mind.

Great riches, the mansion, a swanky boat and a fancy car won’t necessarily make you happy, nor will a life completely without work. In fact, many of the suggested routes to happiness that we’re fed by the powers that be are leading us to early graves and fits of depression.

The basic rules of happiness are quite simple, and here are 10 easy to follow rules that you need to learn in order to be happy.

1. Turn Your Happiness Switch to ‘On’

We are all born with a happiness switch. Remember when you were younger and you’d race home from school with a heart full of joy just because school was out?

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Think back to what made you happy as a child and you’ll probably find it was the small mini-experience that made your heart race, rather than the big wondrous experiences we crave as we get older.

Find that small happiness switch within you and keep it turned ‘on’ to your own happiness level, always.

2. Understand that Happiness is a Journey not a Destination

We’ve all been given a magic book; the book of life. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Make sure you focus on fulfillment and enjoy the journey of your story. Live every page, and savor every word, just make sure to live each day as if it were your last.

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3. Learn How to Cope with Frustration

Remember that total control in life is not an option and we all get frustrated for different reasons about different things. A basic rule of happiness is to be able to raise your frustration tolerance and this means letting go of being in control. Too much control kills happiness and feeds frustration.

4. Live in the Moment and Embrace the Present

There’s no use in waiting for tomorrow to arrive, hoping that it will bring you more of what makes you happy. Today is all you have, right now is all you have and you need to find ways to be happy in this moment. Enjoy your family, live your dreams, let your imagination soar, whatever it takes because this is your journey.

If you’re banking on winning the lottery to make you happy, you’re probably on the wrong track for happiness.

5. Understand Your Life’s Purpose

When you’re in sync with your purpose, you are more likely to feel content and happy. If you don’t know what your values and purpose in life really are, then take a good hard look at what you stand for as well as what really makes your heart sing.

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6. Set Achievable Goals and Pursue them Within Reason

Goals are the essence of hope, and they inspire you to get out of bed in the morning. Happy people have short, mid-term and long term goals that they are striving towards, but they don’t pursue them at the risk of their well-being.

Make sure you have goals, but weave them into your life in a balanced way.

7. See the Wonder of the Simplest Things 

Take time out every day and enjoy the simple things in life. Many millionaires have found out that money isn’t everything and chasing life’s big pleasures instead of the small ones is futile in the pursuit of happiness because you are as likely missing tiny sparkling diamonds that are strewn across your life’s path.

8. Give, Give, Give

“Give and you shall receive,” but how about forgetting about the receiving bit and just give, give and give some more? Giving of yourself, your time or a percentage of your money will most likely reward you with huge chunks of happiness – it’s a universal law.

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9. Never Sacrifice Family for Achievement

Just imagine for a moment … you are living in a big house, perhaps the house of your dreams with a fancy car in the garage and money in the bank account for a five star holiday. Wow, you’ve really made it … or have you?  Great wealth nearly always means sacrifice, in the form of large chunks of your time. You might have had to relegate your loved ones to second best, perhaps you have a failed relationship in your wake, perhaps you have missed your children’s childhood years, or been too busy to celebrate birthdays and remember anniversaries. At the end of the day, it’s no good having all life’s fancy trappings if there’s nobody meaningful to share them with.

10. Don’t Let the Past Color Your Future

Your past is over. It’s happened. The water has flown under the bridge and disappeared from view leaving fresh water in its wake. You have no power to change events that have occurred already and happy people know this. Don’t waste time worrying about the past, instead  focus on what you can change or accomplish right now.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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