Happiness is the purpose of life. Despite this, only handful people around us say they are very happy. We are so quick to take for granted the remarkable things going on in life, rather than being reactive to what is going on around us, happy people take control of their lives and emotions. If you are unhappy in your life, who else can you blame other than yourself? And if you can blame someone or something else, how is this blame game going to make your life any better?
Bad things happens to everyone. But life isn’t about what happens to you. It is about how you proactively respond. Many people believe that by working long hours they might get successful and result in happiness in our lives. According to a research by Stanford University’s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education — working harder and longer hours will not necessarily make you happy or successful. In fact, hundreds of neuroscience and psychology studies suggest that the opposite is often the case. The key is to find happiness first. When you are happy, then you will find the success you are looking for.
Top selling book, The Happiness Track, author says, “Happiness — defined as a state of heightened positive emotion — has a profound positive effect on our professional and personal lives. It increases our emotional and social intelligence, boosts our productivity, and heightens our influence over peers and colleagues.”
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the following behavioral traits, if applied, will change your life. Let me make it clear, if you do these things, you will be an incredibly happy individual resulting in a successful person.
1- Be Thankful
Make gratitude a daily habit. Every day, jot down 10 great things that happened to you or that you are grateful for. Keeping your focus on the positive will really make a difference. Become involved in a cause that is important to you. As you become aware of other people who are less fortunate than you, you will start to feel a deeper appreciation for what you do have.
Focus on your relationship with people you admire and are close to. Cultivate appreciation for others and let them know regularly that you are grateful to them and for what they do for you—whether it be helping around the house or going out for dinners. Spend your time wisely with people who matters to you, instead of spending over time in your workplace, go out with your friends or family for recreational activity.
3- Challenge Yourself
Happy people step out of their comfort zone. You cannot grow if you do not challenge yourself. And growth is a requirement of happiness. If you are not growing, you are slowly decaying and dying. Elevated risk makes you feel more alive and puts you in a state of flow, which is an optimal conscious state where you feel and perform at your highest level. When you do things that involve high risk and have high probability of failure, you are forced to think differently than you normally do. You are forced to be creative and innovative.
4- Life Balance
Work takes up a lot of our day, but it should not be the only thing we do. It is important to pursue activities and interests beyond our job. Do you have a hobby? Are you spending time with friends and loved ones? Do you exercise regularly? Creating balance in your life will reduce stress and give you other outlets to express yourself and have fun.
5- Goals and Expectations
The first step to goal setting is to have absolute belief and faith in the process. Start the process with visualising what you want, write down your thoughts, make your thoughts turn into real goals. To achieve your goals you need to commit to work on achieving those goals. You may not know how you will reach your goals but when you make a daily practice of focus, they become easier to reach. Having your goals written down somewhere where you will see them each day is a good idea.
Being really clear about what you want, knowing your purpose, writing your goals down, committing to them and staying focused gives you the power of clarity to write down a list of action steps. Make it part of your day to review your goals and take action. This keeps your goals alive and top of mind.
6- Set a deadline
Once you have identified your goals, the next step is to set deadlines to achieve and work on these goals. Having a deadline will make you focus; this will lead to inner contentment.
7- Don’t work for money
Successful people all around the word unanimously agree to the fact that one should work to learn. One should work to become an entrepreneur, an investor or by developing your high-income skills first. Successful entrepreneur creates opportunity, which leads to income.
8- Never have inferiority complex
Feeling inferior means feeling inadequate or below others in terms of social, physical, intellectual, or psychological attributes. Feeling inferior stems from comparing oneself with others and perceiving oneself as not being at par with others on a certain scale. One of the key steps to feeling less inferior to others and more confident about yourself is being kind to yourself.
9- Be a giver
Work to improve other people’s lives, people who are less fortunate, be a giver. It does not necessarily have to be monetary, even imparting knowledge and skills to others will make them happy.
10- Make memories
Lastly, it is very important to make memories of the events that matter to you in this life. Memories will make you happy when you reflect on them in your dark days. Far from being self-indulgent, remembering the past can leave you feeling happy about the future. Individuals who remember their earlier lives also have a more positive outlook of the future, a study has found. The findings suggest that recalling happy memories improves your sense of wellbeing.
Finally, a study at Harvard, which is spread over a span of 80 years, has concluded that embracing community helps us live longer and be happier. Hence, we must prioritize the quality of our relationships in order to reap the important benefit of happiness from the fruit of life.