Many years ago one of my friends had an experience with cancer. Life threatening stuff.
It was a big wake up call. She decided it was never too late to live a happy life, one that she’d be proud of.
She was in the habit of waiting for happiness to arrive. She put off being happy until she accomplished her next goal. She was always in the ‘I’ll be happy when’ category. Not seeing happiness as something she designed, something she chose, but something somewhere in her future.
And when sickness struck, with it came the realization that we had one shot at this.
Living a life that isn’t filled with happiness now is a tragic waste and it was no longer okay to postpone learning, changing and growing into her best self for as long as she had left.
She shared with me some ideas that totally altered her happiness habits. Thankfully, she’s now vibrantly healthy and has built a beautiful life around these habits.
I make it a point to add as many positive habits into my life as possible. If you do the same, you might find one or more of these habits a useful addition.
Master the balance between persistence and quitting
Conventional wisdom says never quit. Quitting doesn’t sit well with many. Unless it’s cigarettes or something society, or our better judgement, deems isn’t good for us.
Think of the little engine that could. Think of Winnie Churchill with his never, never, never, never give up.
Think of our sports heroes telling us quitting is the easy way out.
No it’s not. Not always. But we’re conditioned to believe it is.
Staying in a lousy relationship is often way easier than leaving – it’s hard to leave something so familiar, however unhappy you feel. Sticking with a job that’s miserable can be easier than doing what it takes to find something else, regardless of whether the something else would be a much better fit for who you are.
We’re conditioned to believe that quitting is the end of something. We’re weak, we’ve given up.
Maybe not so much.
Maybe we’ve done everything possible and we’re mustering up all our strength just to let go.
Maybe, you’re letting go of people who suck the life out of you.
Maybe you just need to give yourself a chance to reboot your perspective, rethink goals and focus on things that create joy and support you in growing as a person.
Revisit what you want out of life and if where you are really isn’t in your best interests, don’t be afraid to quit when all else fails.
Manage energy not time
It isn’t time that needs to be managed. It’s us. Time might fly but you’re the one in the pilot’s seat.
Life is a balancing act. Trying to do the best we can by racing through it, surviving on too little sleep and not enough rest, relaxation and fun leads to making poor choices.
Remember the best way forward is to live fully and completely in ways that bring fulfillment and joy to you, regardless of whether society or family demand you make a different choice.
Care about yourself enough to recognize that downtime can be productive. Balancing work and play is necessary to create more positive energy to live with passion and eagerness; to love life.
Too much work isn’t healthy. Too much play prolongs the agony of eventually having to do something. Filling yourself with fast food, coffee and ice cream in order to make it through the day or to dull your senses benefits no-one.
Don’t make life harder than necessary
In the end if you want to be happy don’t join in the melodrama. Things are going to happen whether you like it or not. People are going to say things you don’t like, do things that make no sense to you, annoy and upset you.
Nothing is gained by being bothered by the events of life. Feel mad, feel sad, feel worried, just don’t stay there. There’s always the next thing that comes along and you can feel mad, sad and worried all over again if you want to.
Don’t focus on the hardships of the day. Allow your mind to take you over every obstacle in your way. And keep your attention on the vision you have for your life.
Be a dreamer, see the future finished in advance. Hear the cheers when you’re in the middle of a mammoth project. Your dreams have to be stronger than whatever might get in your way.
Decide that you’re going to be happy no matter what. Decide to be amused by all the shennanigans life has on offer instead of getting caught up in them. Replace anger with laughter. Rather than being upset, be curious.
Be grateful for who you are, for those who matter to you and plough through life’s dramas with head held high and eyes fixed on the incredible place you’re heading towards.
You’ll discover this choice is one giant step towards becoming stronger, wiser and more free to live a genuinely happy life.
How you can get better results
Spend less time working out ways of doing things and invest your time in being. This makes the eventual doing, natural, easy and fun.
Begin with the end in mind. Not the steps to get you there, simply focus on what you truly desire. And envision it done. An ounce of imagination is worth a pound of action.
Understand that your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your actions and your actions create your results.
If you want different results, think different thoughts. And you’ll find yourself taking different actions: the actions needed to draw what you want right to you. Don’t view every mistake as something you did wrong, view it as a lesson learned. Imagine, create, fail, succeed, persist, and seek the blessings in every day.
What we do arises from who we think we are. See yourself as successful, happy and fulfilled because what you believe influences the choices you make and the actions you take.
Believe in your future. Believe deep in your soul that you’ll experience it. Feel so convinced that this future is actually yours that it pulls you out of bed every morning, eager to fulfill your dreams.
Allow inspiration to stir your soul into action. Forget what everyone else did or does. No one will do anything quite like you. Be relentless. Stick with your big dreams. Have high hopes and don’t let anyone talk you out of them.
The lessons I learned from my friend:
If you want to change your mind, then change it.
If you want to head in a new direction then go.
If you’re not happy with what you’ve got do something about it.
What say you? If you were more successful, had more money, had a better relationship lived a more tranquil life would you be happier? How can you design your own life happiness? I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments below.
Encourage one another.
PS If you enjoyed this, please share on your favourite social media. Maybe it’ll change someone’s perspective and lead them to a happier life.