Over the years I’ve tried and tested a number of principles of life to grow myself, my mind, spirit and yes even my body.  And discovered the end result was greater happiness.

Though sometimes I think my body would take the idea too literally and actually grew in places I’d rather it didn’t! So some revision was required for what I meant by growing my body 🙂

There’s nothing fancy about these principles, but they’re rock solid life principles that set the agenda for your life. And if you’re looking to grow happiness these could be a great foundation to help you be happier in whatever area you want to be happier in.

1. Keep an open mind

If your mind is closed you’ll limit opportunities and possibilities to make progress in everything; severely limiting your chances for growing your happiness.  Search your heart and mind about who you currently are and who you’d like to become.

Don’t sabotage yourself by letting your ego run the show and don’t let others sabotage your desire to identify where you’ve decided you want to go. An open mind is one of the small principles of life that little by little adds up to greater feelings of good .

2. Be picky about who you hang out with

Look out for the ripple effect. Studies show that by hanging our with people who are happy in what they do you’re more likely to end up the same way. Avoid those whose main role in life is to negate all that’s good or happy.  The ones who encourage you to be your best, and who embrace the person you’re working on becoming, make up the best tribe you can belong to.

Many great sources of inspiration come from those who have done well and have much happiness in life and their quotes can be found online or in the large number of quote books that you can find.  Invest your time in gathering information.

Read books. Go to seminars. Your tribe doesn’t have to only consist of those you know personally.  You can hang out with the greats via listening to or reading about their life experiences and perspectives. This is one of the important principles of life you really should pay attention to.  It matters.

3. Invest in yourself

Everything in life should be an investment. The way you think, the things you choose to believe, the actions you take.  Investing in taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually matters. Taking care of your needs doesn’t prevent you from looking out for others too. 

And every investment in yourself is an extra something you get to share with those who need your support most.  Take classes, do yoga, meditate, walk in the woods, anything that adds to your happiness quotient is fair game.

Feed yourself with positive affirmations – put them up around you. Your office, the fridge and anywhere you visit frequently in your day.  Think thoughts of positivity and encouragement such as:

“All things are possible for me.”  “Everyday in every way I am doing better and better.”  Or whatever positive thought works for you.  This is a great way to frame a great attitude and steer you away from the negatives of life. It’s worth remembering that the conditions of life are brought to us by our attitudes not our actions.

4. Design for the hard stuff

Forcing yourself, using that thing we call willpower, is not only over-rated it often doesn’t work worth a damn.  Check the will-power at the door. As anyone who’s a chocaholic with a house full of chocolates can attest to, willpower betrays more than it supports.  I know about this because…well our Christmas holidays are often filled with chocolate which means I’m usually filled with chocolate too.

If your challenge like mine is staying away from the sweet stuff, it doesn’t help to have it floating around everywhere you look and willpower can be over-rated as a tool to use in these circumstances.  Much easier to remove it from the equation.  Don’t keep it in the house. 

Same with being distracted by devices.  If you can’t stand to not look at the latest message on your cell phone, it’s easier to keep it turned off and, if possible,  out of the room you’re trying to work in. 

Designing your life to make the hard choices easier on you, might be one of the smartest principles of life you can operate.

5. Be fully present for those joyful moments

You’d think this would be a no-brainer wouldn’t you!  But it’s not.  We all might think we want to experience joy in the moment, but many of us in our drive to grow, prosper and progress neglect to be there in the very moment of success.  It gets dismissed as we move right onto the next thing.

Forgetting to celebrate the successes, or worse totally letting them slip by unnoticed dissipates the vibration of energy that success brings. Taking a simple moment to feel the joy and happiness of success is life affirming.  It’s a message to your subconscious that you are worthy and in this moment life is really great. Now that’s got to be worth a moment of your time in anyone’s book.

Final thoughts on principles of life

Even if life is hard right now, keeping everything in perspective helps.  Chances are you didn’t go to bed hungry last night. Or have to sleep outside or in your car.  You have access to the internet if you’re reading this and some might even call you lucky.

Remember to feel gratitude for what you do have and life will continue to feel if not good, then at least okay and if you practice these five principles as an added benefit all aspects of your life will improve.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I love the tip “invest in yourself”. It’s true that if we can wrap ourselves around the idea of investing, we’d be making choices that matter in the long run. It’s a great life principle to uphold!

  2. All good suggestions. I think the actual things that work are going to be slightly different for everyone. I know, for me, keeping an open mind and working with my habitual thought patterns makes a huge difference. Surrounding yourself with positive people is also a major factor. Emotions are contagious.

  3. These are great principles to keep in mind Elle. I love the idea of being fully present for those joyful moments. Living in the present has helped me appreciate the happy times in life.

  4. These are great, Elle! It’s sad how we miss fully taking in the victories and the pleasant moments. We could enjoy so many tiny pleasures each day if we did this!

    • I know Sandra…it’s so true. I’d like to say I’m never guilty of this but in all honesty I can’t. But I can say I’m doing better than I ever did. 🙂

  5. Loving these principles for happiness Elle! I especially love “design for the hard stuff” as this is where the procrastination bug sets in 😉 Thank you for sharing!

    • Good point about the procrastination bug Zeenat…and as a recovering procrastinator I need something like this to keep me on track! 🙂

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