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7 Beliefs of Happy People

7 Beliefs of Happy People

The way a person thinks matters. A person’s beliefs about himself, other people, and the world can critically influence his level of happiness.
These beliefs are what allow some people to remain calm and content,  even during those inevitable occasions when life serves up some pretty miserable circumstances. Alternatively, these beliefs also have the power to make a person feel as if his world is crumbling around him if a stranger says something nasty or he gets a parking ticket.

An overall happy person sometimes feels frustration, pain, and discomfort, but he is able to shrug his shoulders and move on without getting caught in the trap of suffering.

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These are common beliefs of overall happy people: 

1. There are no “shoulds.” 

Happy people  believe that when it comes to situations and behaviors, there are no automatic “shoulds.”  They genuinely accept, “No, it isn’t true that the police officer should have let me off with a warning, my neighbor should keep his dog quiet or I should get new shoes.  And it’s definitely not a fact that I should not have gotten in that car accident, that I should always be kind, that I should have gone to law school…”

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Happy people don’t invest energy dwelling on or fighting what “should” or “should not” have happened. They also think for themselves about whether doing something makes sense instead of relying on “shoulds” to guide their own behaviors and choices.

2. Everything is a shade of gray (and that’s okay). 

Happy people accept (and can tolerate the uncertainty that comes with admitting) that the world is not “black or white”, “all good or all bad.” They can face the facts that they have some strengths and some limitations without shuddering; They accept that a person can be rude or show poor judgment in an instance and still not be completely selfish all the time. They truly know that just because something awful happens, their life is not all bad.

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3. All relevant things are based on facts (not judgments or assumptions).

Happy people see themselves, others, and the world realistically, meaning they stick to the facts when they acknowledge the bad things and the good things.  They don’t think to themselves, “I am such an idiot” when they forget to turn off the oven; They simply think, “I forgot to turn off the oven.”  They don’t think to themselves, “Now my kid will never graduate college” when she struggles with reading in first grade; They simply think, “It takes more time and intervention for her to practice phonics right now.”

4. It’s not all about me, and that’s okay. 

Content people believe: “I am not the best or the most handsome or the smartest or the most successful human being on the planet, and that’s okay; Not everyone likes me, and that’s okay; Often times people are focused on their own thoughts and perspectives more than they are focused on me, and that’s okay.

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5. It is okay to accept that things are what they are (or were what they were), even when it’s painful. 

People who are generally happy accept that people are sometimes irrational and hurtful, that obstacles and tragedies have occurred and there is no way to undo them, and  that they will go through periods of pain and hardship in the future. They believe that it is okay to experience and ride-out that pain without fighting it, numbing it, or drowning it.

6.  Even though I must surrender to some painful things, I am not completely powerless.

Happy people look at the world and situations with a sense of personal-accountability and control.  They know that they are in charge of making their lives what they want it to be and being the person they want to be.  And they feel capable of doing just that. A happy person bravely focuses on his own role in any problems (even if it is small), so that he is able to make positive changes.   As for the happy person that forgot to turn off the oven in #3?  He simply takes personal responsibility for making sure to set a timer next time he bakes.

7. This moment is worth enjoying.

Happy people aren’t telling themselves,  “as soon as I get a better job, I’ll be happy,” or “When I find a boyfriend, I’ll be happy.” They truly believe that the small joys of everyday life are worth noticing and experiencing with enjoyment.

Featured photo credit: TheresaOtero via mrg.bz

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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