As a coach one of the most common things that I hear from my clients is that they want to be happier – in their lives, in their careers, in their relationships…
I believe most people have gone about it all wrong and that is why they are struggling to achieve any sustained level of happiness! You see, you don’t get happiness or have happiness, or find happiness – you create happiness and you choose to BE happy. Just like anything else, happiness is a habit you can choose and create. Personally, I’ve made tremendous strides in my life to be happy and I know for sure that is has little to do with life being easy and comfortable, outside influences or material things and everything to do with inward focus and daily choices. Now I’m not saying those things are bad or don’t matter but in and of themself they will seldom lead to lasting happiness. Because unless you create authentic happiness and comes from within then the car, the house, the clothes, the job etc. will at best only provide you with a temporary sense of happiness and as soon as the novelty wears off you will again find yourself in search of the next “happiness fix” – it will be a never ending roller coaster. So what does it take to enjoy a more sustained level of happiness even while enduring life’s ups and downs and challenges versus happiness being the exception that occurs in random bursts?
Here are 5 habits that I have noticed all happy people choose to bring into their life and that you can do as well:
- They think with their hearts and follow their intuition. Instead of always trying to solve problems by overanalyzing, worrying or stressing out, the happiest people in the world trust the advice of their heart and have the courage to act on those feelings. That’s not to say they don’t do they homework – they do but then even if everything on paper and in their head is telling them one thing but their heart and intuition tells them another, they follow the latter.
- They embrace the process of life and the challenges that come along with it. They understand that the real reward is the journey, in the pursuit and progress made not the destination. Both challenge and change are key human drives that we actually need and thrive on. It will get messy in the middle. Happy people understand and know this and instead of fearing and worrying about the mess and the unknown they are curious about it and focus on what steps they need to take to keep moving forward. They know and use their strengths and focus on what they are good at. They have confidence in their ability to figure out what they don’t know. They believe that everything is as it should be and happens for a reason – they are open to the lessons their journey has to teach.
- They change their minds and aren’t afraid to quit. Happy people understand the growth that comes with living life fully and that over time what once may have been right no longer is. They understand that changing their mind is not a set back or a failure but rather a step forward. They are not afraid to walk away from and let go of situations and things that that drag them down and no longer support their passion and mission, including people. They are not afraid to let go of relationships and respectfully walk away from people that they realize are not meant to stay in their lives. They know exactly where they want to go and how important it is to surround themselves with supportive inspiring people who believe in them and can help them get there. They know it’s more important to honor their internal compass and stay open to new and different opportunities than stay stuck out of fear of loss or judgment.
- They are grateful and appreciative. Happy people focus on and appreciate what they have in their life. They understand that everything happens for a reason and that every experience will enrich their life in some way even though they may not see how in the moment it happens, especially when tragic events occur. But they have an inner knowing and belief that all is as it should be and they find a way to be at peace with and learn what happens in their life – especially the ups and downs, bumps and detours. They make a conscious choice to appreciate what they do have and to be grateful even in those moments when all seems bleak and dark.
- They are present and engaged. They’ve learned “here” is the most important part of life. When we can be present and engaged in whatever we are doing we can feel fully alive and joyful and happy. Happy people are able to eliminate distractions and challenge themselves to bring their full awareness and consciousness to the moment. They are truly alive in the experience – they are there. And not only do they feel the difference but so do the people around them. You will seldom find them just going through the motions of life, drifting along. Regardless of the task at hand they find away to bring their full and positive attention to it – they are intentional. And this is something that almost every spiritual text and teacher tries to help people with – to become more present in the moment, to be here now!
So today, I challenge you to follow your intuition, embrace your day and not be afraid to change your mind; to be grateful and appreciate for all you have and don’t have and to be present and engaged in all you do. Do this and then be ready to experience the joy and happiness you will feel from within!
Until next week – embrace your inner truth, live your purpose and make your contribution in the world.
With gratitude and appreciation,