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Starting Today You Can Be the Happiest Person If You Pick Up These Habits

Starting Today You Can Be the Happiest Person If You Pick Up These Habits

I think of myself as the happiest person whenever I walk into a room, and most people notice my smile right away. Here are 20 ways you can find yourself as happy as I am.

1. Let it go.

When someone criticizes you or says something not-so-nice, just forget it. Worse things have been uttered in human history. Even when you know the person meant it, remember that you become stronger by accepting them for who they are and knowing your capabilities.

2. Be kind.

People who are mean and feel the need to put others down are insecure with themselves. But when you are kind to others, kindness returns to you.

3. Think of your problems as challenges.

When you come up against a difficulty, whether a person or an event, consider what your future self will have learned from it. I believe it was Kanye West, or maybe Nietszche, who said, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

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4. Express gratitude.

When you let people know that you appreciate them, they are more willing to help you in the future. Saying thank you is more than good manners—it’s karma.

5. Dream big.

The happiest person has reached the highest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—self-actualization. If you want to be happy you must work hard to achieve something, and strive to attain that life goal.

6. Speak well of others.

The Buddhist notion of “right thought, right action” is an important one. It’s in the mind that negativity starts. By clearing your head of negative ideas of others, you will clear your mind of problems, worries and fears, and you won’t be tempted to gossip or speak ill and bring that negativity back to you.

7. Be in the now.

Yes, you have to do your laundry and clean the bathroom when you get home, but while you’re here now eating this cheeseburger, just enjoy the cheeseburger. Then apply this lesson to all other moments of pleasure and work—you can deal with the little stuff later.

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8. Do not compare yourself to others.

As soon as you start this, you fall into a trap of ego, a grasping at the temporal, fleeting aspects of reality. Instead, think about what you have that makes you happy, or at least satisfied.

9. Realize you don’t need others’ approval.

As long as you do what makes you happy, you don’t need other people to condone your actions. This will free you to act on what you believe, which will instill confidence into your every act.

10. Be honest.

Lies, even little ones, imply that you are willing to be lied to in return. But when you keep your conversation honest, you will maintain a higher level of integrity in your world.

11. Take time to listen.

The happiest person doesn’t interrupt because she knows that if she wants to be heard, she has to listen to others. By listening instead of waiting to speak, you can understand what motivates others, which can help you build rapport with them and understand yourself.

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12. Accept what can’t be changed.

Sure, I wish I was taller, smarter, and better looking. But I’m not. As soon as I realized that I wasn’t going to be President of the U.S.A., I figured out what I did want to do with my life: write.

13. Read daily selections from a book of wisdom.

Magazines and newspapers are all well and good, but the reason people throughout history have dedicated their lives to religion and philosophy is because of the wisdom these sacred texts hold. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Bible, Torah or Quran verse, reading these books of wisdom will remind you of what came before and what will come after you.

14. Travel at least two weeks of the year.

It’s even better if it’s foreign travel. Alas, getting out of the country can be expensive. When you go somewhere different, to remind yourself of how people live in places other than those that you’re used to, you will be happy to return to what you have when it’s time.

15. Catch yourself before negativity starts.

Yeah, it’s easy to read the above points and say, okay, I get it. But the hardest part of being happy is realizing when negativity starts to creep into your mind and from there, getting rid of it.

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16. Dress well.

You’re only as good as you feel, and you can only feel good if you look good. Personal hygiene, grooming, and fashion enter into this. Rarely will you find someone well-dressed crying by themselves.

17. Enjoy sadness.

John Keats said that in the “temple of delight melancholy has her sovran shrine.” In other words, at the heart of every joy is a glimmer of sadness waiting to shine through. The same goes for sadness—within every pain is a reversal of fortune that will lead you to feel happy again. So when those moments come, enjoy them. They won’t last long.

18. Eat well.

You are what you eat, so if you’re stuffing yourself with cheeseburgers and hot dogs every day, chances are you are overweight and you lack energy and mental clarity. Instead, make sure to eat enough fruit and vegetables, protein and carbohydrates—and indulge in moderation.

19. Keep in touch with your friends and family.

Your family—in most cases—loves you unconditionally. It’s important to keep in touch with them, whether it’s a weekly phone call or an annual visit. Friends too help to inspire and support happy people. Take time out of your week to communicate with them.

20. Be alone.

The happiest person is comfortable spending time by himself. That’s because he loves himself. A lot. He is just as comfortable spending an entire day alone as he is spending it with someone else. You should be too.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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