“Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.” – Herman HesseAdvertising
The older we get, the more that we experience life and the more that we learn what truly makes us happy.Advertising
Personally, happiness has always been an intriguing point of interest for me. I have always seen happiness as the epitome of all success that life can bring. If you’re happy, then surely you’ve got everything sorted, right? What more could you want?Advertising
Happiness comes in many forms. The good thing is it can be extremely different from person to person. Why is this a good thing? You can tailor everything you do in your life to bring out the happiness in you. There are however, a number of key themes that span across all individuals for finding happiness.Advertising
To bring out the best in you and help you live a super-happy life, there are 10 things that you need to learn.
- Learn to say I love you. For some reason, this can be a hard one for many people, particularly with immediate family members. Generally, as you grow older you will come to realize what your family (particularly your parents) have done for you throughout your life and you will learn to become more grateful for what you have. Learning to say “I love you” can make your relationships blossom, and it builds transparency, honesty and trust, ultimately helping you in becoming a happier person.
- Learn to forgive. Have there been times in your life where you have felt betrayed or let down? Have there been times when you have felt that you have let others down? Although sometimes hard, forgiving others and being able to forgive yourself is essential for being able to move forward and regain a positive outlook in life.
- Learn to say no. Do you struggle with saying no to people, events or situations? Without saying no, you can become overwhelmed and experience imbalance in your life. Learning to say no is essential for being able to focus on what you truly believe in, what you value and what is important to you in your life.
- Learn to live your passions every day. Do you currently incorporate your passions into your everyday life? Spending even the smallest amount of time living your passion each day can have a huge impact to the way you feel and to what you want to achieve in your life.
- Learn to eat healthy & exercise regularly. The old saying goes ‘you are what you eat’ and even in this day and age the saying is truer than ever. The amount of information on health and wellbeing these days is absolutely enormous. Scientifically proven through the release of endorphins, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you live a more fulfilled life and help you feel happier on a daily basis.
- Learn to connect deeply. Are you afraid of connecting deeply with others at the thought that you may be making yourself too vulnerable in doing so? Making yourself vulnerable and connecting deeply with others is actually not that hard. Connecting deeply with others can help you become more relaxed, open and honest, helping you to be yourself and ultimately help you become a much happier person.
- Learn to see life differently. What’s unique about you? Are you creating your own life and your own lifestyle? Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Life is simply about enjoying the time that we have. We only live once. The older you get the more you will realize how fast time slips by, reminding you to slow down and appreciate the moment.
- Learn to set your own goals. Do you set your own goals and work towards them? Or does the World around you do it for you? We normally get brought up in a society where parents tell you what grades you should aim for, the media tells you how you should live your life, and your teachers tell you how to go about your schooling. Setting your own goals, focusing on them and pursuing them will enable you to follow what you truly believe in, live by your values and ultimately help you live a much happier life.
- Learn to count your blessings. What do you take for granted? As you grow and become more aware of the World around you, you will come to realize that you are extremely blessed. Perhaps you are blessed with good health, a good community or the freedom to live a life that you choose. The fact that you have the ability to connect to the internet right now in your leisure, read and learn is a blessing that many do not have. What do you have in your life or what experiences have you had that other people may have not? Remind yourself of this every day. Counting your blessings will help you take to the World with a positive outlook and a mindset to make a difference.
- Learn to give. Giving is a fundamental and essential ingredient for happiness. There is no doubt that the more you give the more you get in return. Giving to others can enhance your relationships, build trust, but most importantly, it can make a difference in the life of someone else, and this is the ultimate in happiness!
Have you mastered the 10 key ingredients for happiness? Which ones do you feel would benefit you the most? What can you do today to ensure you go to bed tonight feeling super-happy?
(Photo credit: Woman Holding Smiley Emoticon via Shutterstock)
Last Updated on September 16, 2019
How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators
You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.
We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.
The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.
Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:
1. Break Your Work into Little Steps
Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.
For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –
- (1) Research
- (2) Deciding the topic
- (3) Creating the outline
- (4) Drafting the content
- (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
- (6) Revision
- (7) etc.
Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.
2. Change Your Environment
Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.
One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.
3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines
Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.
Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.
My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.
Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines
4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops
If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.
Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.
I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.
5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action
I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You
Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.
As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.
6. Get a Buddy
Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.
I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.
7. Tell Others About Your Goals
This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.
For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.
8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome
What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.
9. Re-Clarify Your Goals
If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.
Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?
10. Stop Over-Complicating Things
Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.
11. Get a Grip and Just Do It
At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.
I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.
More About Procrastination
- 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life
- 10 Best Ted Talks About Procrastination That Will Ignite Your Motivation
- Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)
- What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)
Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com