“Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
We all want to know “the secret” for how to be happy. It can be quite difficult to see through our pain and past our beliefs, though. But sometimes, the answer is staring us right in the face. Use these 7 strategies to help you create more happiness in your life right now.Advertising
Let your natural emotions flow freely.
Sometimes life throws you lemons that test your resolve in unimaginable ways. When this happens, it’s okay to be angry, to cry your eyes out, and to seek answers. Let the emotions you’re experiencing come out in full force. It’s therapeutic. It’s healthy. It’s necessary. And expressing your emotions allows you to let go of your past.
Put the past behind you.
If you want to be happy now, you need to let go of the past. Open your eyes and see the world around you. It’s a beautiful place. Ask yourself: how can I grow from the tough situations I’ve experienced in the past? How will I be better in the future because of this experience? You may not know the answers right now, but this will help put you in a more present-focused mindset.Advertising
Figure out what happy means to you.
Happiness is subjective. There’s no concrete way to define it. It means something different to each of us. So think about what happiness means for you personally. When are you happiest? Who are you happiest with? If you’re struggling to find out how to be happy now, answering these questions will help you immensely.
Be mindful of the present moment.
Take a minute to ponder this: you’re alive and breathing. Your life is filled with people who love you. What more do you need? Humans tend to always strive for more, more, more. But when we open our eyes and focus on life, moment by moment, we stumble upon one of life’s great truths: that every moment is a miracle, and if you treat them as such you will be happier.Advertising
Here’s something happy people do differently: they constantly give thanks for what they have, rather than focusing on what they don’t. Take time every day to be grateful. Do something nice for a total stranger. Say “thank you” often and actually mean it. And when someone does a favor for you, pay it forward. The universe could use more grateful, kind people. So be one of them.
Do the things you love today.
Take a minute to ponder this: if you knew you only had six months to live, what would you do? Who would you see? How would you spend your time? Those answers will reveal something profound: that you need to stop worrying about trivial, meaningless things and focus on doing the things you enjoy and spending time with the people you love right now.Advertising
Call someone close to you and tell them you love them.
Here’s one of the easiest ways to be happy right now: pick up the phone, call a friend or family member you care about, and tell them you love them. If your life or the life of someone close to you ended suddenly, what’s the last thing you wish you could say? I love you. Say those three words as often as possible. Don’t let meaningful thoughts and fears in your life get in the way of telling people how you feel about them. You have the power to change someone’s life (and your own) with your words.
Last Updated on November 18, 2021
10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character
We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.
A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.
So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:
- kind and compassionate
- capable of taking the blame
- able to persevere
- modest and humble
- pacific and can control anger.
The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.
1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?
All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.
But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.
2. Can you witness acts of kindness?
How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?
I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.
“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
Abigail Van Buren
3. How does this person take the blame?
Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.
4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.
You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.
5. Read their emails.
Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:
- Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
- Frequent errors may indicate apathy
- Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
- Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
- Too many question marks can show anger
- Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of people still use them.
6. Watch out for the show offs.
Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity! Another person to avoid.
7. Look for evidence of perseverance.
A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.
Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.
8. Their empathy score is high.
Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.
People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.
9. Learn how to be socially interactive.
We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.
“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”
10. Avoid toxic people.
These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:
- Envy or jealousy
- Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
- Complaining about their own lack of success
- Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
- Obsession with themselves and their problems
Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.
Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?
Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com