“Do you want to be happy for the rest of your life”? There was a song entitled this many years ago. Pretty tacky lyrics but the title represents what most of us strive for. Trouble is, nobody gave us that personalized memo instructing us on how to do that. A number of writers, including me, write about this with some regularity. Most of us need reminders to do some basic things that are in our best interest, so here goes some more tips for you to consider. There is a blogger called mindopenerz (not a typo) that writes some good stuff. I am borrowing his 21 points, while adding my own twist to them. C’mon along and let’s explore and/or be reminded of some good habits for becoming a “happy” person!
- APPRECIATE LIFE: Be thankful that you are experiencing another day on the planet. Make the most of each day, seeking out beauty and not “sweating the small stuff”.
- CHOOSE FRIENDS WISELY: Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. They help you feel good about yourself and can lend a helping hand when called upon.
- BE CONSIDERATE: Accept and respect those with whom you come in contact, yet keeping a boundary from those who may be hurtful.
- LEARN CONTINUOUSLY: Keep an active mind, seeking information and activities that keep you vital and help you avoid “hardening of the categories” and stiffening of the joints.
- CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING: Don’t throw yourself a “pity party” when challenging obstacles occur. Actively seek out answers and solutions that move you forward. A whole new positive opportunity may emerge.
- DO WHAT YOU LOVE: Ideally your day can be spent enjoying what you do, both vocationally and personally. See how you can max out both of these areas.
- ENJOY LIFE: Learn to live life in the present, not bemoaning the past or living in fantasy land for the future.
- LAUGH: Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. Yes, there are moments to focus on the serious stuff. Look for opportunities to laugh, or at lease ones that put a big ol smile on your face!
- FORGIVE: Holding a grudge just stores up negative energy within you. But also, keep some physical and emotional distance from those who have, or might, hurt you. Forgive yourself as well. Guilt is debilitating.
- GRATITUDE: Be appreciative of the good people and experiences in your life. Tell those special people how much they mean to you. Don’t wait for the memorial service!
- INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS: Nurture and grow quality relationships. Some research says that you are a composite of the five closest persons to you. Choose well!
- KEEP YOUR WORD: Integrity is important. Be a trustworthy person whose word means something. “Walk your talk”!
- MEDITATE: Not just any type of meditation. Learn a type that calms your brain, healthfully affects your body, and results in a clearer creative mind.
- MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: Do not be a “busy body”, rumor monger, gossiper, judger, name caller. It diminishes you and invites others to negatively talk about you behind your back!
- OPTIMISM: This is a tough one for a lot of people. Seeing the “glass half full”, expecting good things, steering clear of pessimistic negative thoughts, is a better way to life.
- LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY: I have a problem with this one. I believe there are conditions that are necessary for you to open your heart unconditionally. Cordiality is fine, love deserves reciprocity. It is naïve to think otherwise. It is a good way to get hurt. One exception is when your children are young.
- PERSISTENCE: Do not give up. “Quitters never win and winners never quit”. If something is worth doing, do it well, and “finish the drill”. Closure has merit. One of my favorite sayings is, “just do the next right thing”.
- BE PROACTIVE: This, like optimism is very hard for many. Many people are “wired” to be reactive. Proactive people create, make happen, what they want.
- SELF CARE: Take care of your body, your mind, and find a “spirit” that is positive, loving and helps you transcend the mundane.
- SELF CONFIDENCE: Be all that you can be. Know your strengths and bring that self awareness confidence to every situation.
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Take responsibility for your life, your moods, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Another of my favorite sayings is “suit up and show up”.
Respected Reader, you CAN create happiness. Hopefully these reminders will help steer you in that direction. Certainly there are other factors to help you “be happy for the rest of your life”, but add these to your repertoire for now!
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates