Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today is a blank canvas upon which you have the delightful opportunity to create. At this moment you are standing at the beginning of an impressive adventure, with the very real and present opportunity to shape the upcoming years into the happiest ones ever.
Start now, take the initiative, and…
- Foster your own personal growth. – If you want to awaken happiness in the world around you, start by living a life that makes you happy, and then radiate your happiness outward. If you want to eliminate suffering in the world, start by eliminating the dark and negative parts of yourself, and then radiate your positivity outward. Truly, the greatest power you have in this world is the power of your own self-transformation. It starts with the one in the mirror. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
- Be present in this moment. – Too often we run ourselves into the ground and sacrifice our happiness and health to make a little money. Then we sacrifice the money we made to recuperate some of our happiness and health. And as we’re stuck in this damaging cycle, we are so anxious about the past and future that we forget to enjoy life as we’re living it. The end result being that we don’t ever truly experience being alive. We subconsciously act as if time isn’t passing us by every second of every day – like it isn’t important and we’re never going to die. And thus we end up dying someday without ever having truly lived.
- Focus on your authenticity and integrity. – Start living life according to who you know you are and what you know is right. Your greatest accomplishments will be the ones that contain the greatest quantity of YOU. Be innovative and creative. The challenges you face will crumble when you apply fresh, original thinking to them. And as you move forward, do so with genuine and persistent integrity. That way, the results you create will be results that are actually worth attaining.
- Turn your goals into daily habits. – It’s a process! It’s a process! It’s a process! Ingrain this in your mind. Progress and change takes time. Success, like washboard abs, is the outcome of a habit. It’s the relentless daily practice of making small, diligent choices that add up in the long run. It’s about following through and doing what you said you would do even when no one would notice but you, and knowing in your heart why doing so matters. Read The Power of Habit.
- Be ambitious enough to fail, and be OK with it. – If you never fail, then your goals are not nearly ambitious enough. Comfort is state of being in which to find rest and renewal for a short time; it is a dreary and dismal place to remain permanently. If you don’t challenge yourself on a regular basis, your abilities and effectiveness will become stale and weak. The reason life can be so rewarding is precisely because it can be so difficult. When your efforts are met with failure, you know you are on to something; because on the flip-side of that failure is a real, substantial accomplishment that doesn’t come easy. Your failed attempt is simply evidence that you are reaching higher. And higher is always the best direction to travel in.
- Choose to push forward even when it hurts. – You have the potential to reach greatness, but you have to choose it. To reach greatness, sacrifices must be made. You have to be willing to dig deeper within yourself, push harder, and climb higher every day. When obstacles arise, as they will, you must break through them because you know it’s the only option. Yes, there will be pain, there will be sweat, and there will be suffering. But where others fall and give up, you must choose to rise again and try again. Everyone makes a choice, one way or the other. Have you made yours?
- Let go of needless worries and old wounds. – Every moment of your life you are either growing or dying – and when you are physically healthy, it’s a choice, not fate. The art of living happily rests in the fine balancing act of holding on and letting go. Being hurt is something you sometimes can’t avoid, but being continuously miserable is always a choice.
- Spend time with those who inspire you. – Don’t waste too much of your time with people who are not supportive of your goals and abilities. Surround yourself with those who believe in your potential. Anyone who inspires you to make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through passion and love, is a precious friend and teacher. These people are out there. Find them and conquer the world together.
- Help others when you’re able. – Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Make a difference. Take time to care. Tell someone how special they are. Do something that encourages a smile and a brighter day. By doing so, you will not only help those around you, you will help yourself too. Because when you seek to inspire happiness in all people, you will not only find it, you will become it. Read The How of Happiness.
- Rest your ego and the meaningless comparisons. – Remember to tame your ego and not to take yourself too seriously. You’ll climb much higher in life when you’re thoroughly enjoying the effort. If you think you are better than the rest, you’d better take a rest. Why be better, worse, or equal to anyone else? Drop the meaningless comparisons and just do your best, leave the rest alone, and don’t forget to take a rest when you need one.
Photo by: J.T. Noriega
Jay Baker says
I would add ‘the art of gratitude’ to this post. I know you’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but it is a wonderful thing. I have found that the happiest people I know seem to always default to what they are grateful for already in their life.
The people most unhappy are constantly searching for answers outside of themselves, or what they still need to achieve to feel complete… when in reality they have everything they need already in them. And it’s that constant awareness of being grateful for the small things that make it so.
Great read as always. Thanks for all the reminders.
Once again, incredible advice. My mother has always said that happiness is a choice, and even though it used to irritate when she said it, I now know it’s the truth. 🙂
Andrea Nordstrom says
Its crazy to think that you can simplify happiness to a series of 10 steps, but yet again Marc and Angel you have taken a complicated issue and shone a light on it to show how simple it really can be.
I love the way you highlight the power of using authenticity to face your challenges with “fresh, original thinking” – and I would connect that to being okay with failure by also being able to hold up your hand and say “I’m not perfect, and I’m perfectly fine with that!”
Also – another great point Jay! There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for…
I’m thankful for another great post from you guys!
Gaye Pauroso says
I just wanted to write and say that I really enjoy your blog. So much great advice packed in to every post. Thanks for sharing your insights. Glad I subscribed.
I love the clarity of these 10 points, especially the one about living in the now. Happiness is a natural occurring emotion in the now, as is love, peace, freedom, and the kind of hope that is in the present. You cannot feel happy if your mind is in the past or the future which is where the ego-mind resides.
Keep spreading your light. It is awesome.
#2 and #10 are surely for me. Thank you for some of the greatest advice I have received in recent times. I forget about living in present 🙁 did same as you mentioned, spent precious moments to make money. You mentioned the flaw in me. The last one is also superb. One should avoid meaningless comparisons and enjoy his/her efforts. You made my day 🙂
Good points for being happier. An awesome post that feels like it was crafted specifically for me… 🙂
“Be ambitious enough to fail, and be OK with it.” “Your failed attempt is simply evidence that you are reaching higher. And higher is always the best direction to travel in.”
“Choose to push forward, even when it hurts.”
“But where others fall and give up, you must choose to rise again and try again.”
I REALLY needed to hear this right now!
I’m going to keep these words of happiness ingrained in my brain. They mean SO much to me!
I would add an 11th point . . . actually it would be the first point.
Make the decision to be happier. Without the firm decision to actually pursue happiness, any attempts we make will be half-hearted.
We all want to be happier, but how many have actually made the decision to be so? People may say they have, but look to their actions to see if they are following through. If they are doing nothing to achieve their happiness, then they haven’t really made the decision.
Have you decided to be happier? Are you following through?
Gina Krupsky says
Thanks for your ever-inspiring words. I always feel a little happier and more positive just seeing your email in my inbox.
just what I needed, thank you guys!
Really, you two are incredible. Whenever I read a new email/post from you I am discovering something within me. Number 10 is fantastic one for someone like me who wants to be happy more often. Thank you so much.
Wow this is just wonderful… printed it out and keeping it with me as a reminder. Thank you yet again!
All SO true–especially #’s 5 & 8!!!
Kim Sanderson says
You’re so so good! I love these, I share work work with my group of pals often. Today’s post is perfect for my yesterday’s events, so I thank you and am so happy to have found your blog.
Awesome article my friends!
Happiness is a habit in itself and you have to work on it everyday! We all have challenges in our lives – but it’s those that can bounce back from the challenges that find the best happiness 🙂
Susanna @Happyologist says
Another great list with good points!
I’d also add gratitude to the list – when you’re thankful for what you have, you’re more likely to notice even more good things and new opportunities.
Research has shown how positive emotions open up your mind and brain so you can think out of the box.
And of course – Smile more! To yourself, to your friends, to strangers in the train. Just the act of smiling boost your happy chemicals making you feel happier 🙂
Seriously?! I’ve been following u guys for more than a year and it seems like your posts are about me a lot. What’s up with that? I think u guys have it in for me.
Kevin Halls says
Haven’t been here for a while but glad I read this today. I watched the news tonight and in half an hour it mentioned war, robberies, and other negativity. Left me feeling miserable and low ,so read this and now feel better. It shows what we take in affects our mood so much, so we have to shift it to a positive state. I know this works by reading your articles, so thanks for that.
Keep up the good work – in these times we need your positivity, as there is so much of the opposite elsewhere.
Nick Goodall says
Your lists of personal development always have me inspired 🙂 I always make sure I come back to this blog when feeling a lil down, or faced by an obstacle! Thanks 🙂
You are awesome!!!
Thank you very much.
Mark L says
As I am traversing a new plateau in my life… the last few postings have resonated with me. Thank you for your insight and willingness to share with us.
I love #9..I have been focused more on helping others and it has been helping me. Yes, I was surprised how this works and it has been a blessing in disguise.
Thank you for lifting my spirits and helping me to see life in a better light.
Hilary R says
Wise words. Car crash five weeks ago made me realise how precious life is. Tiny things are important and huge things often aren’t. Thanks.
Thank you so much Dear. This is inspirational. I am a big fan of your blog. 🙂
“the act of living happily is a fine balance between holding on and letting go”. Really needed this line. Thank you (:
This blog’s given me much strength over the years (:
Thank you Marc and Angel!(:
Prema Sankaran says
All your blogs are worth reading as well as worth following. This one too. I am sure we all can identify the points relevant to our lives and take remedial action, to attain happiness and peace so that we can spread the same in the world. We and the world sure needs it!! Thanks for the lovely blog!
teress weber says
I would add two more: 1.) Be grateful every day for your life and what you have earned or been given. This means that you have to take time to reflect on your life. 2.) Work to help others have a better life and better health. Many people were not born with the DNA Lottery and have special health care issues. We can help these people by working to support the Affordable Care Act!