Happiness is the highest form of wealth and doing things and making changes that are conducive to happiness can be quite easy and simple. I can certainly vouch for the fact that these ten steps have worked wonders with making my life happier – so hopefully they might do the same for you.
I’ve illustrated this article with photographs that I took on my most recent trip to the Philippines as it’s where I’ve had some of my happiest memories.
1. Take responsibility for your happiness
“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? – Rumi
2. Enjoy now
“You will never been as young again as you are today”
3. Be nice
“The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves” – Amelia Earhart
4. Have Balance
Leading a balanced life is integral to being happy. Don’t let any one aspect of your life dominate or define you. Allot your time and energy out to different parts of your life such as family, friends, relationships, work, hobbies, self development etc so that you can give each one your undivided attention and presence. When you have a diverse and balanced life, it means that you are not reliant on any one aspect, so if a fraction of it falls away, you won’t feel as though your life has totally imploded.
5. Treat yourself well
6. Let go
At times it can feel as though we are bearing the weight of the world on our shoulders, but sometimes we can do ourselves a big favour by simply letting go of some of the heavy stuff. Why agonise over something that is out of your hands or written into history. Things that you wish you’d done differently, pent up anger, sadness, betrayal or grudges, just let them go. Forgive and forget, we are all human and we all mess up sometimes and we can only hope that when we inevitably mess up that other would treat us with the same forgiving nature. If someone has hurt you so badly that you feel your life would be better off without them, then let them go, or simply take some time away to heal.
Similarly when you set your heart on something, it puts you in a very vulnerable position because nothing in life is guaranteed. You can’t always get what and who you want. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and take up what life brings you, whether it was what you were hoping for or not. If you tried your best and still didn’t get what you hoped for then at least you can walk away, confident in the fact that you did all you could and it just wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes you just have to accept what you can’t change or change what you can’t accept. It’s really that simple.
7. Do what you love
Make doing what you love a priority, it’s important! Getting a bit of ‘you’ time can works wonders for morale and motivation. Experiencing some nature is a great one, getting some sunshine, breathing in fresh air, admiring the greenery and wildlife is fail safe way to lift your mood. Of course travelling is a big recommendation from me. You don’t necessarily need a lot of time or money. Explore during your lunch break or go to a bit of your city that you’ve never been before. Just discover something new that you never knew existed yesterday.
“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted” – John Lennon
8. Be grateful
There is something very attractive about people who simply enjoy their lives and are grateful for who and what they have. You can have the best of everything but if you don’t appreciate it then you are still poor at heart, in fact some of the wealthiest people I know are also some of the unhappiest. Be grateful for what you have in your life, because some of the things you have now were things that you once always wished for. Show gratitude to the people around you, always say thank you, because it’s a small gesture of gratitude that we can all do.
9. Have real relationships
As difficult as it can be, sometimes it’s best to cut the dead wood from your life. There are certain relationships in life that we can’t chose such as our family but there are others that we can choose such as our partner and friends. Know what it is that you expect from the relationships in your life and stick to your standards, be decisive with ending relationships with people if you feel it’s necessary for your own well being. No more toxic relationships, no more dead end relationships. Instead invest your time and energy in developing relationships that have real longevity. Ask yourself which of the people who are currently in your life are you likely to stay in touch with years down the line and work on really connecting with those those people.
10. Change your Attitude
A lot of the time people look to external sources for happiness, be it money, success or other people, when really a lot of it comes from within. Life is unpredictable, who knows what the future has in store for us. None of us can control what happens in the world around us, but there is one thing we can control… our reaction. Life gets difficult for all of us sometimes but chances are there is someone out there who is happy with much less than you, or who has overhauled their life for the better with access to less resources or support than you. Some of the most unlikely people have been though some of the most unimaginable hardships, yet still smile. “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it”. Never underestimate the power of the mind. So…what’s it to be? 🙂