Life is Short. Be Happy. Live Life.
Here’s the thing, I believe that if you are not happy you need to make some adjustments in your life. We only have one life, so we might as well be happy.
They say money is everything, and some people get very tied up in making money. This is fine as long as you find a way to use your money to do things that make you happy. Even if you have millions of dollars, I think you are unsuccessful if you are unhappy.
Excess is ok, if it makes you happy. And also simplicity is ok, if it makes you happy. Do whatever you have to do to be happy; just don’t hurt other people in the process. We are put in this world to help others and to help ourselves; we help ourselves by being happy, by having moments of fun and connecting with others.
Ask yourself this question: Do I like the way my life is going? If your answer is no, this minute is the time to look for the things you don’t like, and fix them. Go to great lengths to fix them, as you will be happier.
Ask yourself this other question: When was the last time I laughed out loud? If you don’t remember, Houston we have a problem. If you do, who were you with? Try to associate yourself with people that make you laugh and feel good about yourself. Why would you hang out with someone that makes you feel bad? Don’t waste your time. It is up to you to put yourself in situations where you get to laugh. Laughter is food for our soul.
Rules that have thankfully/luckily worked for me for being happy:
Like yourself. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, it is up to you to change that, and change it today. You don’t like your nose? Fine, if it’s really going to bother you, go to the plastic surgeon and fit it. Wish you ran every morning? Don’t give it much thought, just get up tomorrow and run a few blocks. Try hard to fix things that you don’t like about yourself, look for help, do whatever you have to do, so that you can look in the mirror and smile from now on.
Exercise. Exercise at least five times per week, cardio for the body and spirit is almost as important as water. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, set time aside to exercise. If you have an awesome job that does not allow time for you to exercise daily, then it’s not worth anything. Run, bike, use a treadmill, kayak, do anything cardio related, and you really will feel happier for doing so.
Treat others with respect. Nothing to add here, you know what to do and if you do it, it will make you happy. Don’ think about why or how, it’s just true.
Be grateful for existing. We are all privileged to be alive, many people don’t get the chance to live or their lives are cut short. Enjoy the ride, and know that pressure is a privilege. Feeling pressure in your job? At least you have one. Feeling pressure at home? At least you have a home. Your parents pressuring you? At least you have parents. Pressure is a privilege of a few lucky ones, you are lucky.
I believe that although having money can create stability and comfort in our lives, truly the best things in life are free. A new Ferrari is nice, but does it make you truly happy? If it does, perfect. If it does not, try looking into things that you don’t have to pay for, like a few hours in a nature area, going out of your way to help someone else. Plenty of free things to do and places to visit that will make you happy.
Get out of the big city. Cities offer a great way of life and culture, but too much time in a big city is not good for happiness. I think we really lose touch with the wonder that it is that we are all actually here and alive. Make sure you take time to get out of there once in a while, running all the time is not good; you need to slow things down and enjoy the ride.
Moderation. Life in moderation is good. Excess is ok, but know that you will have a higher price to pay for excess later on. Balance is key, not too little, not too much.
Smile. Kill people with kindness, a smile goes a long way. An honest smile and handshake, and the will to do good things are the best negotiation tools you will ever have, in any situation. Sometimes it’s easy to be wary of others and assume they are at odds with what we want. Let them know you are on their side and people really are willing to work with you to make you both get what you need.
Don’t do drugs. This may sound like juvenile or obvious advice, but drugs dampen your senses, and true senses are the windows to happiness. An occasional beer, wine, cigar, cigarette is fine, but be sure it’s for fun. The moment you need that to escape reality, you are getting in trouble.
Work hard to make enough money to live comfortably. Debt and economic anguish is a happiness killer.
Love your job. If you don’t, change jobs. Do you really want to be doing something you don’t like 40+ hours per week? That is not living, that is surviving, and that is crazy. Of course sometimes we feel we don’t have a choice, and we do need to make some sacrifices for the future. But just remember that no one knows what will happen in the future, pad yourself with some happiness in the present.
Getting stuck in traffic often is a waste of time and a happiness killer. Fix this and the quality of your life will be better. Again, sometimes we need to see things as a means to an end, but just find a way to avoid this when possible.
Connect, but not too much. Technology is great, but don’t depend on it or live your entire life through it. It’s much more invigorating and real to connect with people face to face than through a computer or iPhone. You can’t make a computer happy.
Try not to live your life alone. People need people, we are social beings and we all need interactions. Join a group with common interests, talk to your neighbors, strike up a conversation with the person behind you in line at Starbucks … do anything you want, but don’t live life alone; hard to be happy if you are always alone.
Help others. Helping others is actually helping yourself. Do good and you will immediately feel a sense of happiness.
Hug often. Hug your family and friends, hug people that you love. Not sure what it is, but a hug always feels good.
Look at your watch less frequently. When we always need to be somewhere at a certain time, life goes by too fast. I think the most important people are the ones that can be anywhere, anytime, without rushing. Although, if you set a time to meet someone, be on time, it is disrespectful to make people wait too long.
Earn things. You feel better when you earn something than when it’s given to you. Sacrifice is rewarded with more happiness in the end.
Get along with your family. Family is everything, even if they have wronged you. Try to live close to your family; that will increase the chances of spending more time with them.
Don’t hold grudges. With anyone, period. Grudges and sentiments of vengeance are happiness killers. And they really do end up hurting you more than the person they’re targeted at.
Live life with no regrets. We all mess up, and do so many times. What’s the point in regretting something that has already happened? Better to focus your energy in the future, and doing things better next time. Try to remember only the good moments from the past, leave the bad moments locked in a sealed box. Learn from them what you can, then move on. It’s a waste of time to relive past bad moments in your head.
Be a child. Have endless joy when you accomplish a goal, and bounce back from sadness easily. Keep remembering to admire and enjoy the little things in life!
Wake up in the morning wanting to live the day. If you don’t, ask yourself why not, and fix whatever is bothering you.
Find a hobby. For me, it’s tennis and golf. I can’t wait to get out on the tennis court or golf course, it makes me happy. Find activities that make you have fun, things you do that make time fly by and leave you wanting more. This is fuel for happiness.
Keep things in perspective. Next time you are in a conference room stressing and arguing with others about a number on a spreadsheet, think about millions of people that don’t have food, water or shelter. It might make the spreadsheet stress seem stupid and a waste of time. Make the best decision then let it go. Walk away from situations that stress you. Stress is a happiness killer. Say to yourself, is this matter really worth stressing for? In most cases I bet the answer will be no.
Stay away from laziness. Being active gives you energy, and energy is a catalyst for happiness. Take time to sit around in the couch, but don’t do it all the time, every day.
Don’t keep things that bother you inside. When you don’t like something, communicate it. Talk about it with the other person, or a friend, saying things helps the healing process and let you move on. Keeping them inside will either make you angry or sad, or make you explode like an atomic bomb when you finally get it all out at once.
Get out of the house. Being in the house all the time is not good, get outside, see and interact with other people, see activity, get some fresh air.
In my humble experience, I think a big factor for happiness is working in something you like. The vast majority of people I know do not like their jobs. The turning point in my life was leaving a job I did not like. That day marks the scariest day of my life, but also one of the best. I now do something that I love, something that I am passionate about, something that inspires me; and that has made a huge difference in my life. I did not know what happiness was really all about until I did something that I liked to do. Before, I had moments of happiness, mostly during week nights and weekends, but I realized that not being inspired by what I did was really holding me back from so much fulfillment. I’m glad I took the risk, thankful that it has paid off so far, and very thankful for the life that I now have, and wonderful people in my life.
I urge you to look out for your own happiness, do it now, before 30 years pass by and you realize that you only had moments of happiness, and that the rest of the time you “grinded it out and survived”. No one can do this for you, you are responsible for putting yourself in a position, and doing things to make yourself happy.
In having said all this, I am aware that I have been a pretty lucky guy in life, I have a great family and awesome friends, and have been given good opportunities to succeed, so being happy has been relatively easy for me. I am also aware that not all people have been as lucky as I have been, but I sure hope that some of these thoughts can help others out. It is not my intention to offend anyone.
My final thought is this, time takes care of everything. No matter how bad things get, there’s always calm after the storm. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they are, and stay balanced during the lows in your life, as they will pass.
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Warmest regards from the Golden Coast,
Mani & Sindy
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