It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what
you do that is the secret of happiness.
– James M. Barrie
You should never be too busy to smile, because creating happiness in your life does not take a lot of time. You just have to do a few things right.
1. Smile at perfect strangers.
Don’t wait for people to smile. Show them how.
Let your guard down. Talk to someone you don’t know straight from your heart. Compliment them. Don’t anticipate awkwardness. Just be you in that beautiful way only you know and give them the chance to smile and connect with you.
The more you smile at others, the more others will smile at you. And life’s a lot more pleasant when everyone around you is smiling. Read How To Win Friends and Influence People.
2. Pretend today is going to be great.
Do so, and it will be. Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences.
3. Reflect on what’s good.
Appreciate all the good things in your life, no matter how small. You already have some amazing things in your life, whether you realize it or not.
Most of us have incredible family members, friends, other loved ones who love us back. Learn to appreciate what a miracle that is. Most of us have good health, which is another miracle. Most of us have eyes, with which to enjoy the amazing miracles of sunsets and nature and beauty all around us. Most of us have ears, with which to enjoy music, one of the greatest miracles ever.
Be grateful for each of these things, and more! Take time every day, throughout the day, to thank life for all that it has given you, to thank others for what they give you, to be grateful.
4. Use personal strengths to get things done.
Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your personal ability to get the job done, the psychological rewards are priceless. Read StrengthsFinder.
5. Use your imagination.
Yesterday I saw a kid in the grocery store having the time of his life with nothing more than a banana and his imagination. He was pretending the banana was a rocket ship, and he was flying it all over the store.
How is it that we are born knowing how to enjoy life, and yet after learning all of the wonderful things we adults learn, we somehow forget how to have fun? It’s almost like we get dumber in this regard as we get older.
The solution? Counteract the aging process with the full power of your imagination. You don’t have to pretend bananas are rocket ships – although that would be fun – but try to imagine something that makes you smile at least once a day.
6. Create something.
Creation is a process like none other. Putting to use your innovative faculties and constructing something with your own two hands will leave you with an indescribable sense of wholeness. There really is no substitute for it. The only caveat is that it must be related to something you actually care about. If you are creating financial plans for clients all day and you hate it, then that’s not going to work. But if you can find something you love, and create something related to it, it will make all the difference in your life.
If you haven’t created something in a while just for the sake of creating, try it. You will not be disappointed.
7. Help someone else for a couple minutes.
In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.
8. Share your lunch break with a close friend.
Get out of the office, away from your work and spend 30 to 40 minutes eating and socializing with someone you care about. You’ll find that your mind will naturally start to unwind and you’ll begin to feel a bit more like yourself again.
9. Get rid of one thing a day.
We have so much clutter surrounding us at any given moment (at the office, in our cars, in our homes) and we’ve become so accustomed to it that we no longer notice how it affects us. If you start cleaning up some of that external clutter, a lot of internal clutter will disappear as well.
Choose one needless item each and every day and get rid of it. It’s that simple. It might be difficult at first, so expect some resistance. But after some time you will begin to learn to let go of your packrat tendencies, and your mind will thank you for your efforts.
Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness.
On a general level, meditation helps you slow down, accept the moment you are in and achieve a higher sense of presence. If you use meditation as a form of relaxation, it really doesn’t take long for you to start feeling the positive effects. Read Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation.
11. Avoid negativity and negative people.
Don’t belittle yourself and don’t put up with people who try to belittle you. You are as capable as you believe you are. There will always be obstacles, but if you think positive thoughts and seek solutions, you can accomplish what others say is impossible.
12. Enjoy the moment.
This moment is your life. Enjoy it.
Whatever you’re doing, regardless of the circumstances, pay attention and appreciate it. Reading, writing, talking with a co-worker, taking a shower, walking up stairs, eating, washing dishes, sweeping, etc. These small moments make up a huge portion of your life. They can be enjoyed if you open your eyes and ears, and pay attention to what you’re doing. Happiness is found with steady awareness.
This article was co-written by Marc and Fred Tracy. Fred Tracy runs a personal development website where he shares his insights and quirky stories. All of his information is distilled into articles with the sole purpose of teaching you, the reader, how to build character and achieve the life of your dreams.
Photo by: Meredith Farmer