Saturday, October 8, 2011

21 Habits of Happy People

I recently posted a link to my facebook with this title. As I read it, I realized that most of the 21 habits were things that I practice on a daily basis. Lets go through them together and discuss why each one is so important.

1. Appreciate Life ~ Wake up each day and be thankful that you are alive. Each day that we wake up is a new opportunity to make friends, share ideas, learn new things, and change the world. We can wake up each day and let others determine how our day will go or we can take charge of our own lives and make them what we want them to be. Although I have my opinion on which is the better route to take, whatever you decide, at least appreciate that you have the choice. Be truly happy to be alive. If you struggle with this, think for a minute about how many others would have given anything to take your place.......That kind of puts it into perspective, now doesn't it?

2. Choose your Friends Wisely ~ Take notice of how you feel mood wise when you hang around different people. Make an effort to surround yourself with happy people. This will aid in your own happiness. Aligning yourself with people who have a joy of life and the things that it brings rub off on those around them. The more you hang around these people, the better your days will seem. They will show you by example where true happiness lies. When you get good enough at it yourself, you can swing back around for Debbie Downer and maybe rub off on her a little bit at a time.  After awhile, you will begin to see exactly where you do and don't belong and where your happiness is stifled and where it is cultivated. Being aware of how others make you feel is always crucial to maintaining your happiness.

3. Be Considerate ~ You have the unique ability to touch lives every single day. You do not need to be responsible for changing any one's life but your own. Let your willingness to accept others for who they are serve as an example to them. Let your desire to help when possible without expecting anything in return resonate with those you come in contact with. I have found greater joy in doing for those who can offer me nothing than I have ever found in receiving favors from anyone. My reward of seeing someone else happy is all the reward I could ever need.

4. Learn Continuously ~ Learn everything you can about everything you do. Having knowledge about things is not only valuable to you, but to those around you. Share what you know and help others gain knowledge along the way. When sharing what you know, be sure to avoid being frustrated if someone does not catch on. When you share with others, you can either rejoice in the fact that you have helped them figure something out or rejoice in the time you spent with them while trying. Either way you win!

5. Creative Problem Solving ~ All of us face problems. It is our way of dealing with them that differs. Those who waste their time feeling sorry for themselves will never be happy. Make a decision to search for answers and make changes. Look at each problem as a puzzle and figure out the best way to approach it and overcome it. Do not allow it to overtake your mood in the process. Remain POSITIVE and find a POSITIVE solution.

6. Do What You Love ~ People who wake up every morning and go to a job that they hate are not happy. I have to tell you that I have been there. Let me share with you my solution to this problem. List for yourself anything you can think of that you like about your job. For me, number one is that I enjoy the interaction I get to have with my customers. I have the opportunity to see many of the same people often and some new people as well. Each person who crosses my path is viewed as someone who may be a piece of my puzzle. With nothing but a kind word and a smile, I may be able to influence someones day. I try to keep that in mind when someone is in front of me who is really testing my patience. When you find your list of the things you enjoy, keep them handy and remind yourself of them as often as you need to. Focus on then during the rough moments. In the rare case that there is not a single POSITIVE thing about your job, hit the classifieds and get a new one. It does not matter how much money you make if your job leaves you miserable and unfulfilled.

7. Enjoy Life ~ Often times we get so caught up in running around and getting things done that we fail to notice things. Life contains so many beauties that are right in front of our eyes and we do not stop for a second to enjoy them. There are sunsets, flower gardens, playgrounds full of children, and leaves that change colors every fall that hold more joy than some can ever begin to imagine because they do not take the time to stop and notice. Think of the world as free admission to an art museum on a daily basis.

8. Laugh ~ Happy people most certainly laugh! When you find the humor in situations they become considerably easier to deal with. Laugh with and at your friends. Laugh with and at yourself. Taking life too seriously leads to stress and stress leads to unhappiness. :)

9. Forgive ~ Here is one that has been argued by the best of them and my position has never changed. The biggest favor you can do yourself on your road to happiness is to forgive. It can be done, of that I am sure. I have forgiven unthinkable wrongs that were done against me and it was probably the single best favor I have ever done for myself. By forgiving those who have hurt you, you strip them of any power they have over you. You take all control from them and it is an instant release. (we will get back to this later)

10. Gratitude ~ Be grateful for every single thing. This goes hand in hand with finding your POSITIVES. As you learn to pinpoint the POSITIVES, you will find it easier to be thankful for even what appears to be the worst of situations. When you see the lessons you are learning through every one, you will be thankful for the knowledge gained by each of them. It takes time and can sometimes be a struggle but the reward in it is so great!

11. Invest in Relationships ~ Take the time to make sure that the people in your lives know exactly how much they mean to you. When you are clear about your feelings and the part people play in your lives, they tend to take that into account and have more respect for how they treat you in return. It also just plain feels good sometimes to tell people just how much they mean to you!

12. Keep Your Word ~ Lets face it.....liars downright suck!! I do not like lying and do not tolerate it. Therefore, to do so would be hypocritical. When you say something, mean it. Be someone that others can count on. Be trustworthy!

13. Meditate ~ This is the one that I have never done. The reasons why are exactly what it is supposed to help so perhaps I will start. From what I hear, meditation is a way to rest your brain which may be thinking a million and one things at any given moment. For me, I never seem to be able to stop thinking about all the things I have to do and accomplish long enough to focus on complete nothingness or even just one solitary thought. In admitting this, I think perhaps one blog post will be completely on meditation and maybe we can learn together. There may be some tips that you all can offer me that would help in my quest to begin meditation. (This takes me back to number 4 where I told you to learn continuously.)

14. Mind Your Own Business ~ Now I have to admit that this one can be a real challenge. Taking a step back and seeing what stress other people's drama can cause you is a big eye opener though. When we are making an effort to find our own POSITIVES and change our own lives for the better, this added outside stuff just begins to get in the way. When we get good enough at finding our own POSITIVES, there are times when not minding our own business may be beneficial to others. You will begin to find that you look for positives everywhere and it feels so good that you feel compelled to show others how to do the same. At that point, I urge you to pass along what you know. If other peoples business is not causing you stress and you do not find yourself in the midst of business when you are unwanted there, by all means, point out the POSITIVE!

15. Optimism ~ Ahhhhh, my favorite!! Learning to see the POSITIVE makes optimism inevitable. How can you possibly be pessimistic when you always find the good in every thing your confronted with? I was where many people are. I would wake up and wonder what was going to go wrong that day before I even got out of bed. When things were going good, I would wonder why and when was it all going to go bad. This way of thinking is typical after going through trial after trial. Training your thoughts takes conscious effort but the rewards are well worth the work you put in.

16. Love Unconditionally ~ When we love someone, we cannot just love the parts of them that we approve of. People you love will disappoint you almost daily but it is sometimes your love through the hard times that will get them back on track. It is your love of them regardless of their shortcomings that will bring them to you for advice and guidance when they need it most. It is your love that could quite possibly be their example of how to love themselves! I want to make this part very clear ----> Without first loving yourself unconditionally, you will not be able to love someone else unconditionally!

17. Persistence ~ When you decide that you want something, do not ever give up. There is nothing that you cannot achieve when you set your mind to it. You may have to change your approach in order to attain your goal but when you finally get there, you can look back with a sense of pride at the hard work you put in and what you were able to achieve by not giving up.

18. Be Proactive ~ Wasting time and energy on things that are out of you control will be counterproductive to your quest for happiness. Accept that some things can just not be changed. There are indeed things that are not possible for us to change as humans. The time we do not waste on these is valuable time that we can focus on improving things that are within our control.

19. Self Care ~ Take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually and whatever else-ally :) Being healthy will save you plenty of time on doctors appointments and feeling crappy tends to make thinking POSITIVE a bigger challenge than it has to be.

20. Self Confidence ~ Look at you!!! You are absolutely fabulous! You are wonderful just because you are you. There is no law written that says you must look or act or like any thing. You do not have to be anything other than exactly what you are. When you discover that and truly love yourself, you will be better suited to be an inspiration to those around you. When you exude a love for yourself (this can be easily be confused with cockiness which is never good) others have no choice but to want to be around you and want to know you. (I will share how I learned this later on as well!)

21. Take Responsibility ~ Do not allow responsibility for any piece of your life to fall on someone else. Not a single person but you is responsible for your actions, your moods, your attitudes, your thoughts, the words that come out of your mouth, or most importantly, your happiness! Depending on anyone else to make you feel better is setting yourself up for disappointment. You have the power!! Don't ever give that away!



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