Stop and smell the roses today!
If you want to be happier in 2015 then it makes sense to consider what the experts say about becoming happy. Surprisingly, happiness doesn’t come in the order most of us think; get into the right school, get the right job, live in the best location or find the right mate and then you’ll be happy. It’s actually the reverse. First work on making yourself a happy person and then you’ll be more capable of achieving success in reaching your life and career goals.
Harvard professor, author and researcher Shawn Achor’s refers to this as the “happiness advantage. ” Achor says that when you’re happy you’ll be more likely achieve success. When you’re happy you can be more creative and innovative. So if that’s the case, how can we become happier so we can then achieve more success?
Develop a Happiness Regimen
Start Your Day Expressing Gratitude
As soon as you awake each morning say out loud something that you’re supremely grateful for… try doing this at least three times per day (morning, noon and evening and before going to bed)
Seek Humor in the a.m. and throughout your week
Read, think or look at something funny at the beginning of your day to start your day off laughing. Laughing out loud is underrated. You don’t need to wait for a night at a comedy club or with that person who makes you laugh all the time. Find something funny online or even on Facebook. There are so many zany people out there who post wholesome, funny material. Once you find a few of those people, follow them online so you can regularly tap into their humor and awaken your joyous self.
Create an action plan for the day.
Delineate your goals for the day for being productive with your time.
See the miracle in breathing
It’s really a miracle to breathe on our own. No one else is required to help you do this and as long as you’re not on a breathing machine, (which in itself is amazing) you have the possibility of doing something worthwhile with your life. If you can breathe, there are infinite things you can do with your time. Next, ponder how amazing it is that you have a mind and can think, eyes that can see and a mouth plus vocal chords to speak. These physical capacities are absolutely mind-blowing with the potential they all have for instigating and perpetuating joy in others and ours lives.
Watch, listen to or read something that inspires you.
Seek out people who’ve overcome a struggle or someone whose message is positive and uplifting. Read the book Unbroken: A World War 11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. It is a true story of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken. It’s hard to believe people who have been through so much suffering and trauma could be so incredibly positive and uplifting to listen to. When you hear someone who has found something positive from a tragedy you can’t help but feeling humbled and inspired to feel appreciative for the small things (and big things) that are most important in life that we have and sometimes overlook.
Educate Yourself and GrowRead something that educates you on a topic that matters to you and awakens your desire to learn more. When you learn something new on a topic that matters to you it immediately triggers a happiness button. You can actually feel empowered and invigorated when you increase your knowledge.
Apply Your New Knowledge for Greater Good
Find a way to apply this new knowledge to help someone else.
Do at least one thing for yourself
You know better than anyone else what you enjoy doing most on your free time. Try to pick a wholesome activity everyday that could boost your spirit and give back to yourself.
Do an act of kindness everyday with no strings attached
Try to do one favor for another person or group every day without expecting any reciprocation. You can give someone your time or make a charitable gift. In Naples, Italy’s cafes, people have been offering anonymous acts of generosity purchasing a second coffee for a stranger when purchasing their own. “While Naples is known for its grit, beauty, chaos and crime, people are famous there for their solidarity”. Perhaps this helps alleviate some of their hardship by doing a small act that uplifts a stranger.
Give others the benefit of the doubt
If someone’s hurt you or done something you disagree with, try to find a reasonable excuse for them and cut them some slack. Hope that someone will do this for you someday when you make a mistake
Forgive someone who hurt you who did not ask for forgiveness. This is the most difficult to comprehend and yet one of the most freeing experiences. It allows you to let go of anger that eats away at you and use that energy for other activity.
Many say that true happiness comes from realizing the miracle of being alive and from seeing that everything that is in our life is meant to be there, including the challenges and difficulties we experience. If we see every challenge that we have as an opportunity for personal growth and attempt to elevate the experience, we may be able to bring lasting joy from the experience. It may be another opportunity to build on our strengths, skills and perhaps on our giving to others.
Commit to Happiness for 2015:
When you adopt a regimen that’s focused on seeing the good in your life, you’ll become a more positive, happy person. Taking time to develop new skills and acquire new knowledge is enriching and can lead to more creativity and innovation. And when we use our skills and abilities to help others life becomes more purposeful. This recipe for happiness is within everyone’s reach who disciplines himself to make personal happiness a priority in life. Happiness is the fuel you need to achieve all your other goals. So for 2015 get happy first and then go after your goals!