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.
21 thoughts on “4 Little Known Habits You Can Use Today To Increase Your Happiness”
Your words dance lightly off the screen but land deeply in my core.
Please continue with the artistry of your wisdom.
Thank you, Brian
Hi Brian, lovely to have you join in the conversation and I thank you for your wonderful words. 🙂
Great article as usual, Elle. We all need reminded–NOW is the right time. Thanks
Hi Mary – it’s so true, and so easy to forget as we get caught up in managing our daily affairs. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts. 🙂
Thanks for the reminder on not making life harder than necessary. Sometimes it’s easy to get pulled down and all the tools in the world have a hard time working. It’s people like you, who have a gift in lifting others up, that make a big difference. Thanks so much.
Hi Melissa – thank you for stopping by and I truly appreciate your kind words. I love writing, I love encouraging, and I’m so grateful to be able to do both via this site. 🙂
A hugely thought provoking post.
Especially about “getting better results”.
I agree with what you aver about bettering our results.
And I personally feel there is another factor that impinges
on our potential to get better results;that is the self imposed
limitations we follow with blind obedience.While committing
ourselves to increasing our capability, we must stop imposing
self generated limitations.Some limitations are figments of
imagination;constraints of education, culture,gender, age, time,
environment, or history,are rusty barriers. They have been
broken in the past and will continue to be trashed in the
future as well. No champ ever stopped at imaginary obstacles.
As always Mona, you share great wisdom with us. It’s always wonderful to read your perspective on life and your point is spot on. We’re all capable of telling ourselves stories that make life more complicated than necessary. 🙂
Thanks for the helpful reminder Elle — it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of seeing life as too stressful to allow for happiness right now, instead of doing something about it! This year I’ve resolved to give myself an attitude adjustment by visiting and commenting on a positive blog every day, while keeping a list on my own blog as a reference for myself and others. I’ve added your site as today’s entry. 🙂
Hi Meg and thanks for joining in this conversation. Love the idea of your attitude makeover. I will confess there are days when I need to readjust mine more than once! How wonderful to be added to your site, I consider it an honour. 🙂
I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t be happier with more of those things. I think it aids in happiness because it makes everything else easier.
I think the most basic way to increase your happiness is finding out what you want or enjoy and factoring more of it in your life. Like you said, don’t wait around for the right time for it, make it happen.
Isn’t that the truth Lea, without clarity we simply move around in a fog of wasted busyness. Decide to be happy today is my motto and if it’s not happening, adjust my attitude. As I said to Meg I have my days when more than one attitude adjustment is necessary, but fortunately these are few and far between. 🙂
Not getting caught up in melodrama has been so important for my overall wellbeing. It has also been helpful to not get up in the melodrama that my own mind tries to create by projecting thoughts or feelings on to other people. Reframing our thoughts into positive is a sure fire way to increase happiness.
I agree that it is our energy needs to be managed. Without energy we are doomed to come up short.
I am happy where I am right now. I don’t need anything else to be happier then to accept where I am in this very moment and embrace it.
Hi Sebastian, you made me smile when I read your comment. So full of vitality and joy. How could anyone not feel good when reading about a decision to be happy right now, regardless! I think you’re right most of the melodrama is created via the meaning we give to life events and the stories we tell ourselves about them. If we would but give up the stories that don’t help and create stories that do, our life would be amazingly wonderful. 🙂
Another excellent article, Elle !
I particularly was intrigued with ‘persist or quit’ .
When engaged in enduring endeavours, there is often a point at which one is given time and space to review progress and to re-access the objective.
At some of these junctures, I have radically changed my course and thus it had been suggested that I quit short of fulfilling my desire.
However, from my viewpoint I had merely retooled my focus on how to achieve my new and improved end.
So all though persistence has quite a bit more popular capital that quitting, as you so wisely suggest “quitting” may sometimes be the most prudent and high-yielding action.
Write on, Elle !
Hi Joseph – it’s so nice to see you back! Interesting to hear you say how you’ve discovered retooling your focus has enabled you to move towards more high yielding action. Good for you my friend…you’re obviously not conditioned by common wisdom. 🙂
This post very inspire me, sometime I work so hard, lack of relax and sleep, stress with work…etc
Your post clear to me that I have another choice to live with, live only for myself one time, try this time.
You really give many lesson for me.
You make good job.
Hi Chu Nam, welcome and thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. I’m truly happy the post is encouraging for you. That’s my plan…to encourage and uplift and motivate. 🙂
I will make sure to practice these habits often.
Hi Shaun, let me know how it works out for you. Feedback is always a good thing. 🙂
Seeing things in a positive life instead of dwelling on the negative makes me happy.