“What can I start doing today to make my life happier and more rewarding?”
This is the most common question readers ask us via email, Facebook and Twitter. So today I dug into our archives and came up with a list of twelve simple, actionable ways to improve your well being on a daily basis. (Each tip links back to its original corresponding article, so you can read more at your leisure.)
- Smile. – A smile is a choice, not a miracle. Don’t wait for people to smile. Show them how. A genuine smile makes you and everyone around you feel better. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. This reaction has been studied since the 1980’s and has been proven a number of times. Bottom line: Smiling actually makes you happier. Read The Happiness Project.
- Treat everyone with kindness and respect. – Yes, treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. People will notice your kindness.
- Perform one selfless act. – 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. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less. I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience. One you’ll likely remember forever.
- Avoid needless drama and those who create it. – Never create unnecessary drama, and don’t surround yourself with those who do. Choose to spend time with people who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Don’t walk away from negative people, RUN! Life is too short to spend time with folks who suck the happiness out of you.
- Think of the positives. – Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start thinking of what could go right. Better yet, think of everything that already is right. Be thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and past dreams and goals that turned into realities. And use this positivity to fuel an even brighter tomorrow. Read How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
- Inject a little love into the world around you. – Love what you are doing, until you can do what you love. Love where you are, until you can be where you love. Love the people you are with, until you can be with the people you love most. This is the way we find happiness.
- Take decisive and immediate action on something that needs to get done. – It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action. There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It’s as simple as that.
- Follow your intuition when making decisions. – Following your intuition means doing what feels right, even if it doesn’t look or sound right to others. Only time will tell, but our human instincts are rarely ever wrong. So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks, and keep living and speaking your truth. The only people that will get mad at you for doing so are those who are set on living a lie.
- Spend time working on something you believe in. – Never put off or give up on a goal that’s important to you. Not because you still have tomorrow to start or try again, but because you may not have tomorrow at all. Life is shorter than it sometimes seems. Follow your heart today.
- Meet someone new. – Most humans have a habit of stagnating in a small circle of friends; but it doesn’t help us grow. Get out there and meet new people. You’ll be surprised at the lessons they will teach you and the new opportunities they will inject into your life.
- Exercise and eat healthy. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Those who exercise have a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth. Read The 4-Hour Body.
- Be a student of life. – Experience it, learn from it, and absorb all the knowledge you can. Prepare yourself for greatness by keeping your mind conditioned with fresh knowledge and new challenges. Remember, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready when great opportunities arise.
Photo by: Ashley Rose