With the first quarter of the year gone, how well would you say your year is coming along? If all is going well, then you should still be right on top of your goals. If not, there is still time to adjust and get back on track.
But with life happening, and as we move through this world, we tend to lose out happiness over time. Between the year 2014 and 2015, I lost two levels of happiness, according to a happiness test I took. I took a look at the previous year and I could identify one major thing that killed my happiness… my job!
But I have always been a happy person and my friends could testify to that. Even so, I noticed little ways in which people let their happiness slip away. So here are seven little ways in which you can take back your happiness this year.
1. Seize the Moment
I often ask people what their lives would look like if money was not a problem. The reason is to help them realize how different their lives could be. And they often give the same reasons for not living their lives as they want.
Most people are waiting to live their lives in a big way, after making all the money!
They want to travel the world, but want to do so in a grand style.
They want to run a business, but want to start at where Microsoft is today.
They want to run a charity, but want to do so like Tony Robbins does today.
They are waiting for the perfect start, the perfect story, the perfect moment. But truth be told, not a lot of people will ever get to live their true lives. Why? Because they keep waiting for that perfect moment, and forget to seize the moment and make it perfect. For many, that perfect moment will never come.
If you want to travel the world, seize the moment and start. One city, one state, one country. Just start! With each point you cross, you feel happier. Or if you want to make an impact in the world, do not wait to do it all at once. Start with little steps, one life at a time.
Remember that Rome was not built in one day. And the Microsoft that you see today, did not get there in one day. Everything takes time and success is made up of little efforts continually put together over time.
Little steps get you closer to that life you always dreamed of, and will ultimately make you happier now and on the long run.
Waiting for that perfect moment can steal your happiness; do not let it! So seize the moment. Do not wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make if perfect.
One thing the oldest living people today have in common, is a reason to get out of bed in the morning. They have something much more than themselves that they work towards everyday.
I am talking about something beyond your job or career. It feels like a “calling”. Call it your purpose in life, your grand mission, or whatever. But having a reason to get out of bed in the morning, can be a source of motivation in life. And this is besides the health benefits (just ask the oldest living people).
Starting each day with nothing exciting to look forward to, can steal your happiness. But as long as you have that focus (your ambition), you will always find happiness in working on something larger than you. It can be a fuel source for your day, and will keep your happiness topped up at all times.
People often think that forgiveness is for the sake of the offender. Little do they know that forgiveness benefits them, they who have been offended.
When you let go of resentment and you forgive, you release yourself from the bondage of hurt. Forgiving releases you off the the power or control that the offender or hurtful situation has over you. You set yourself free by forviging!
You cannot be happy if you have bitterness and resentment at heart. If you still doubt it, go and ask the happiest people you know, and they will confirm. Happy people have no room for bitterness in their hearts. It is hardly possible!
How can “happiness” and “bitterness” exist in the same space? It does not happen! So when you forgive, also “forget” and let go. And by doing so, you let out the darkness and make room for light and happiness in your life.
Bitterness and resentment, are little habits that replace happiness in one’s life. Learn to forgive, let go and forget your way into happiness.
RELATED POST: How to Forgive and Forget the right way
4. Positive Thoughts
Negative thoughts, like bitterness, cannot exist within the same space as happiness. They are opposites and extreme to one another. You cannot truly be happy if your thoughts are more negative than positive. Remember, what you feed and focus on, will grow. The more negative thoughts you focus on, the more your heart will be filled with them.
If you want to be happy, try positive thoughts. This has been one of my biggest secrets to happiness. There is always a positive side and a negative side to things. You have the freedom to pick whichever side you prefer. Any why not go for the positive? More often than not, I choose to see the positive side of things. I have done this long enough that by default, I see the positive side of things.
What you seek, you will find. If you are always looking for the negative side of things, that is what you will find. And that is how you lose your happiness, little by little. But you can become happier, by choosing to see the good rather than the bad. Acknowledge the bad, but focus on the good and choose happiness always.
5. Seek Knowledge
Often times, negative thoughts can lead to fear. In fact, negativity gives birth to fear more often than not. And with fear always lurking around the corner, your happiness slowly slips away.
There is hope though! Knowledge is the antidote! The more you know, the less you are afraid of. So besides the negativity of the mind, a lack of adequate information can also lead to fear.
Why not kick fear in the ass by learning more? Get more knowledge, and understanding because we are often afraid of things we do not know or understand. But with more knowledge, you have far less to fear… believe me.
Do not let fear steal your happiness. Know more, be more, do more, fear less, and be happy.
6. Seek Understanding
Next to knowledge, is understanding. In fact understanding matters more, though they are hardly ever separate. Sometimes we lose our happiness because we do not understand what goes on around us.
One day a friend called me crying over the telephone because a colleague got assigned on a project instead of her. After we did a little analysis, it became obvious why she was not picked for the project… she was simply not qualified for the project!
The moment she understood this, she immediately stopped crying. In fact, she started laughing at herself for making such unfair comparison of herself. She had a new understanding of her situation, and her reality was changed for better. She was no longer sad.
So before you compare yourself with someone else, please seek some understanding first. Doing so can save you a lot of hassle. Failing to do so can cost your happiness.
7. Choose Your Friends
You really do not have to be friends with people you do not like. It does not matter how long you have known them. It does not matter how close you are. Sometimes you need to unfollow some friends in real life. When you choose your friends wisely, you control who shares or steals your happiness.
There are toxic people in our lives, and we often times feel that it would be rude or unfair to cut them off. But for the sake of your happiness and sanity, cut anyone off who drains or steals your happiness!
I used to have this friend who always complained about how negative and pessimistic her best friend was. And it was true; her best friend was about the most depressing and sadistic person in her life. But she was her best friend… what should she have done?
What am I to do? she asked me. To told my friend… Get rid of her, for the love of Moses!
Why hold on to someone who saps away all your happiness? You have been friends since childhood, so what? They could even be family or a relative… and yes, so what? Keep your distance, if you feel you cannot cut them off completely. You can relate with them from a distance, and maintain your happiness still.
A lot of people endure relationships with toxic people and wonder why they are never happy. I learned to get rid of people whose negativity rob me of my own happiness, and I have never been happier than before.
RELATED POST: Six Ways to Tell If You Are in a Toxic Relationship
There are more ways to stay happy, but these are by far the most valuable ways for me. Try them and see how much happier you will be by the end of the second quarter of the year. And please let me know how well they worked for you.
Now it is your turn! What tips do you use to stay happy all year round?
Please share in the comment section below. Thanks!