The 11 Steps to Happiness
11 Tips and tricks about leading a happier life
Would you say that you’re happy with your day-to-day life? You might *enjoy* some of the things that you do, but do they make you happy? If you’re having difficulties answering this question, then you’ve come to the right place! Today I would like to share with you a few of my personal tried and tested happiness tricks.
Life would be so much easier if we could be happy all the time! Just imagine the productivity boost, the seemingly endless energy, the feeling that you can do anything… But alas, happiness is rather hard to come by these days. As a matter of fact, most people spend the majority of their time in the exact opposite state. A considerable portion of the population is unhappy with their lives – they don’t have the jobs they’d like to have, they aren’t in the financial state that they’d want to be in, they aren’t as physically fit as they’d like … and they lack the motivation to change their lives for the better!
And that, in my opinion, is at the very core of unhappiness – the inability to make positive changes just keeps dragging people down in a vicious spiral. But should we really blame these people? Pressured by factors outside of their control, they’ve found themselves in an unfortunate situation with no easy way out. It’s not really their fault that they are unhappy … or is it?
I’m going to tell you something controversial. Something that you might’ve heard before, but you’ve dismissed as just of these things that people like saying for the sake of being positive, yet, it’s actually true.
Being happy is actually really easy! If you want to be happy and overcome the difficulties in your life, there isn’t a force in the world that can stop you! Because personal happiness is all about your mindset, your perception of the world, your way of analysing things and your lifestyle. It’s all about you! I found that out in Dr. Chatterjee’s book called The Stress Solution, which I recommend you buy and read.
Most people, however, have somehow failed to realise this simple fact of life. They’d much rather sit there all day and complain about all the things that “prevent” them from being happy, when, in reality, it’s their own mind that does it! So they end up complaining instead of making the right choices and learning to live effective and happy lives.
Yes, being happy is that easy! Keep reading, and I’ll share with you all my little happiness tips and tricks. And, if you stick with me until the end, I’ll even let you in on my big secret to happiness!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #1 – Stress is a big no-no
Even if you aren’t a healthy living enthusiast, you most certainly know that stress is bad. If you’ve got any interest whatsoever in being:
You absolutely need to minimise the stress in your life. There can be no “ifs” or “buts” about it. Stress and its adverse impact on every aspect of our lives have been examined time and again by reputed scientists all over the globe, and, for the most part, their results can be summarised by simply saying that “Stress is a big no-no.” Don’t believe me? Have a look at … just about any scientific research on stress out there.
But, beyond its obvious negative side-effects, stress also takes a toll on your mental wellbeing. When you’ve had a stressful day, you’re much less likely to have a good time after work, which translates into lower quality rest, which makes the following day worse. And it keeps piling up until something terrible happens!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #2 – Money isn’t everything
Oh yeah, I’m sure that you’ve heard this one before. This is probably the number one thing pushed by the various wellness gurus and life coaches that you’d find online. But there is a good reason for that – it’s actually true!
Most people fall into the trap of thinking that they need to have a lot of money to be happy. I mean, if you could just have a bit more money, you could buy yourself that fancy new outfit that you’ve been eyeing for months, right? But wait, there’s more! If you had even more money, you could get yourself a new car. Heck, why not a new house? What about that yacht in that you saw in the cool magazine? Where does it end? The honest answer would be – it never does, at least not for most people. And before you start swearing that you aren’t greedy and that you’d never act like that, let me tell you – appetite comes with eating. The more we get, the more we will want – it’s in our nature. Shutting off that desire to just get more of what we already have can be exceedingly difficult, especially if you’ve never tried to control it.
And even though amassing wealth can most certainly help you in achieving some of your goals, it is by no means a requirement. You don’t actually need a mansion, a personal yacht, or a garage full of brand-new sports cars.
The 11 Steps to Happiness #3 – Learn to appreciate what you have!
Most people fall into the trap of thinking that they need to have a lot of money in order to be happy. And even though amassing wealth can most certainly help you in achieving some of your goals, it is by no means a requirement.
You don’t need to have a mansion, rich friends, yachts and limos.
People think that this is everything there is to life. And when they look at what they have at the moment and how far they are from achieving their idea of happiness, they get depressed. That’s because they can’t figure out how to be happy with what they have.
The 11 Steps to Happiness #4 – Be honest with yourself
Focus on what’s really important
If you truly want to be happy, you need to start being honest with yourself. Think of what you have at the moment and realise that you’re lucky to have gotten this far. You’ve probably heard this before, but you should always keep in mind that whatever your current situation is at the moment, countless people across the world are much worse off that you are.
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The very fact that you can go online right now and read an article on the Internet, watch a YouTube video, or a movie on Netflix, is not something to take for granted. Things could’ve turned out much, much worse, without you being able to do anything to change them. Whatever your current situation is right now, however bad it might seem, you have the power to change it! And, with the help of these learning tools, given enough time and dedication, you can achieve almost anything!
I personally think that the three most essential things in life are our:
- Relationships with others
The 11 Steps to Happiness #5 – Take care of yourself
First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. Your health is crucial for your happiness and success on so many levels. Your physical and mental health affect your performance at work, your willingness to engage in social contact, your ability to secure resources for yourself and your family, your desire to improve, and so much more!
If you’re weak and ill, you won’t be able to enjoy your life. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they’re doing great just because they haven’t had a cause to visit their doctor recently. But I’ve got news for you – there’s probably a lot of things that you are purposefully ignoring. Did that ring any bells?
Get out of the habit of pushing things to the back of your mind. Instead, try to take care of yourself daily.
- Improve your eating habits – A green life is a happy life! Try to drink more water, eat healthier foods and avoid using plastic containers! Personally, I like using stainless steel and bamboo utensils at home. And, for taking some of your healthy home-made food to the office, you can try out this..
- Get some movement in your life – physical exercise, no matter how light, will brighten up your mood and is guaranteed to give you an energy boost! If you don’t have the time for going to the gym, don’t worry – you can also work out from the comfort of your home (I do that too!). Here’s what I use for my workout sessions at home.
- Throw away the commercial cleaning solutions – As most of my frequent readers know, I’m a firm believer in eco-friendly & DIY cleaning products! Commercial cleaning solutions are very dangerous – both to your health and to the environment, and I’ve written extensively on why you should try your best to avoid them. If you are unfamiliar with the subject, give this article a quick read.
Try following these general guidelines for a couple of months, and the results might surprise you!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #6 – Celebrate your successes
Share your happy moments. Sharing your happy moments with people that you care about will make the experience much more enjoyable and memorable. Focus on the journey – it’s just as (if not even more) important than the end goal! A well-celebrated victory, however small it may be in the grand scheme of things, will help you recuperate, both physically and mentally. It will supercharge you with energy and give you a sense of purpose.
The 11 Steps to Happiness #7 – Don’t take anything for granted!
Be grateful for what you have
Another thing that people often take for granted is their family and friends. Yes, everyone has, at some point or another, had a family. But having your friends, relatives, and even colleagues, by your side today, is something that you should cherish! The people closest to you are the ones that will be there to lift you up and support you through difficult times, who will share the celebrations for your successes and cheer you up after a failure! When you encounter any problems, being in the right company will help tremendously! You don’t need to have a large circle of close friends – a couple of great friends and a great partner are more than enough!
Being grateful for everything you have at the moment is one of the most essential steps on the road to happiness!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #8 – What you shouldn’t do
Avoid doing these things
Even though I dislike giving people a list of don’ts, I’m going to share with you a couple of things that I personally avoid doing at all costs.
- Don’t make compromises – More often than not, you’re going to get the short end of the stick!
- Don’t take up jobs that you hate – Spending half of your waking time every day doing something that you can’t stand is one of the worst ideas imaginable. Instead, try to find something that you’re passionate about and focus on it. I can guarantee you that there is a job opening related to your passion somewhere out there, and they’re just waiting for the right person to apply!
- Don’t settle for less – especially when it comes to relationships!
- Don’t surround yourself with negative people – If you want to be happy, you need your close friends to lift you up, not drag you down!
- Don’t worry about things outside of your control – If you can’t do anything to change the outcome of a situation, there’s no point in worrying about it!
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself – we compare ourselves to those around us all the time, and it can be very damaging to our self-esteem. I’m not asking you to drop the habit altogether, but try to not beat yourself up over your differences.
If you’re interested in learning more about social interaction, I’ve got just the book for you – “How to win friends and Influence people”. Even if you’ve already read it cover-to-cover, I’d suggest giving it a second pass – I’ve found great value in re-reading it a couple of times over the years. For those of you short on time, I’d suggest getting it in audiobook format (that’s what I’ve done as well). You can get it on audible by clicking here.
The 11 Steps to Happiness #9 – You miss every shot you don’t take
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m a huge fan of careful planning and of reflecting upon your experiences. But don’t fall into the trap of overthinking things. Overthinking is, and you should avoid it at all costs. Just do your homework before you get started with something, and you’ll do just fine!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #10 – Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Reflecting upon your experiences is absolutely crucial to your long-term happiness. If you spend a couple of minutes every day thinking about the situations that you’ve been through, you’ll not only learn a lot more from your experiences, but you’ll also be able to appreciate your successes that much better!
The 11 Steps to Happiness #11 – A couple of extra tips
Before we wrap it up for today, I’d like to give you a few quick tips that have helped me in my search for happiness. If you’ve found the article too long to keep up with, or if you happen to be short on time, these pointers will hopefully be enough to nudge you in the right direction!
If you want to be happy, try your best to:
- Meet new people
- Surround yourself with the right people
- Appreciate what you have
- Explore new places
- Learn new skills
- Disconnect from social media
- Spend money on experiences, not on things
Remember – Happiness doesn’t just happen out of the blue – you need to work for it, every single day!
Have you tried any of these happiness tricks before? Which approach worked best for you? Give me your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! And, as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line – I always love hearing from you!