Ever wondered how people can stay happy all the time and have that ‘something’ about them that makes them a joy to be around? Being happy takes work but it requires the same amount of energy to be unhappy then it does to be happy, so why not choose happiness?
Here are 5 Daily Habits of Happy People:
1. Every day: Realize that things are the way they are, and not how you want them to be
Part of the internal confusion that we all face is that we get caught up in imagining how things could be, then, we compare that to what our lives are actually like and it leaves us dissatisfied. I’m all for visioning and goal setting, but you have to be real with yourself and stop living in fantasy land. Look, I get it. Goal setting and seeing the future as how we want it to be is neurotic. It’s almost like a drug. It excites you.
For a moment, you leave your current situation and reality slips away. This is addicting.
But then you return to what is, and it may cause disappointment. To relieve this, you seek out to dream and vision some more so you don’t have to feel the disappointment of the current situation. That’s where the problem is. Dreaming with no action leads to frustration and disappointment. Identify where you want to go and set goals, but be careful to not spend all of your time dreaming, but not doing anything to make the dreams transpire. By realizing how things currently are, rather than how you wish them to be, you can use that to be pro-active to pushing forward towards what you want. Use the failure, the frustration, the let down, and the pressure of your current situtaion to drive you to take action.
2. Every day: Remember what matters most
There is the one thing that matters the most and then there is everything else. Leaving some things undone is the sacrifice for extraordinary. This is just a fact of life. There are a lot of things you can do. But what is the one thing you should do? In your work, what’s the one thing that matters the most and if you do it will have more impact than anything else you do? In your marriage, what’s the one thing that matters the most and if you do it will have more impact than anything else you do? In your own personal development or spirituality journey, what’s the one thing that matters the most and if you do it will have more impact than anything else you do? The simple reality is that you are too busy to be truly committed to anything. In order to be more, you’ve got to commit to less. Be relentless in reminding yourself what matters most. Identify the essential and eliminate the rest.
3. Every day: Invest time into your spirituality
Taking time everyday to have quiet time or pray is essential. Every human longs for meaning and purpose. We’re hungry for our lives to mean something. But we’re heavily distracted with everything that goes on with life. Information overload, decision fatigue and societal pressures keep us from investing into our spiritual lives. Then, when we are starving spiritually, hate, greed and envy is what comes out.
4. Every day: Focus on your strength and find opportunities for growth in your strength zone
You may call these “weaknesses.” I have a different approach to weaknesses than what you’ve probably heard before. I don’t think you should spend much time on your weaknesses. This only takes away time from building up your strengths. The stuff you’re naturally good at AND love to do. Here is an example:
LeBron James is a professional basketball player. He makes his living by playing basketball, and he’s good at what he does. His strength, generally speaking, is to be an athlete and play basketball to the best of his ability to give his team the best chance to win. He gets paid to play. So for him, focusing on his game (which is his strength) is the most important thing for him to do. Now, within his strength, there are opportunities for him to get better and that’s where he should spend most of his time. Practicing free throws so his free throw percentage bumps up, working on his two dribble pull up jumper, weight training with a focus on explosiveness so he can finish at the rim with 2 guys crawling on his back and so forth.
Let’s say LeBron James likes playing golf. This is not his strength, he doesn’t get paid to play golf, and there are many areas of opportunity for growth in his golf game but do you think it’s time well spent if he invests hours and hours into his golf game? No. That would be ridiculous. He doesn’t get paid to golf and it’s not his strength.
The point is this: You need to find what your strength is and then head hunt areas within that strength where you can get better. Stop spending your time trying to turn weaknesses into strengths. It will never happen. Sure, you need to make sure weaknesses aren’t ruining your life. Get them up to par, then after that spend no time trying to improve them. Focus on your strength and invest as much time as possible into building that up.
5. Every day: Forget what can’t be changed
Regret, unforgiveness, guilt and shame can eat you alive by living in the past. You can literally get stuck in life if you hold onto the past.
Perhaps this passage from the book of life says it best:
“I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” -Phillipians 3:13 (NLT)
In order to look forward to what lies ahead and forget the past, you must have three things in place:
- A vision Where do you want to go? What dream do you want to pursue? What fires you up to get up every morning? What keeps you going when you’re tired? You have to define what it is you want, which starts with a vision. Michael Hyatt says, “If the vision is not clear, no strategy will work and it will be impossible to prioritize correctly.”
- A plan Once you’ve defined you’re vision, it’s time to put it into action. Dreaming is good, but that’s all it is; a dream. You’ve got gather resources, do some research, and put a plan of action together to give you a roadmap to follow.
- A daily schedule You have the vision, you’ve done the leg work to create an action plan, now you have to manage your energy and yourself. Time cannot be managed. It’s fixed. We all have the same 168 hours. It marches on with or without you. So how do you leverage time? By managing your daily schedule. It’s important to be ruthless with your energy and where you invest yourself. The most simple way to make sure you stay on track with your plan is to limit yourself to no more than 5 CRITICAL tasks that must be done each day to move the needle forward in your progress. If you can narrow down further, to less tasks-even better. Your daily schedule is the number one indicator of where you’re headed. In fact, if you told me what you’re goals were and I spend a day with you, I would be able to predict if you were going to hit that goal or not. If your daily schedule is comprised of behavior that supports your goal, it’s very probable you’ll hit that goal. If your daily schedule and behavior doesn’t support your goal, it’s very probable you wont’ hit that goal.
Photo – shutterstock.com