“Happiness is an inside job.”
~William Arthur Ward~
~William Arthur Ward~
The most common questions I hear from readers revolve around finding happiness. As many of you know, I believe happiness is self-generated. Whenever we are experiencing unhappiness, it is usually due to situations we have either created, invited, or failed to act upon.
Regardless of the specific causes of unhappiness, many people eventually reach the realization that if they want their situations to change, then THEY are the ones who must work to change it.
In my article, The First Step Toward Personal Change (featured on The Change Blog), I discussed the importance of envisioning a blank slate. A mental blank slate represents the “letting-go” of old patterns. It allows us to intentionally redesign our lives, unencumbered by mental clutter from the past.
So, if step one is to start with a blank slate, then the next logical question is . . . then what?
I believe the next task is start cultivating happiness. We can accomplish this by adding the carefully reinvented layers of our lives to the slate. Though we may all have areas that we need to focus on more, I have provided a list of 50 ways to begin the process.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but once you start the process, I am sure you will naturally add the items that are most relevant for you. There really isn’t a specific order to follow, but I think the most logical place to start is with a rediscovery of self.
7. Cultivate positive, supportive, and reciprocating relationships.
8. Create healthy boundaries.
9. Teach others how to treat you by loving and respecting yourself.
10. Know the difference between dependence, independence, and interdependence.
11. Seek relationships that cause your world to expand (your world should not feel smaller).
12. Spend more time with inspiring people (and less time with negative people).
13. Be inspiring to others.
14. Don’t internalize or spread contagious negativity.
15. Learn to ask for help, when needed.
16. Simplify/organize your surroundings (get rid of excess).
17. Design/create a personal sanctuary.
18. Furnish your environment with inspiring materials (books, art, music, etc.)
19. Enjoy a pet.
20. Be willing to learn and experience new things.
21. Develop your creative skills and talents.
22. Prioritize and schedule self-nurturing activities (pampering, self-care).
23. Volunteer for a social cause.
24. Seek peak experiences.
25. Don’t wait for someday (start enjoying life today).
26. Resist pessimistic thinking.
27. Keep things in perspective.
28. Accept that you can only control yourself and your own reactions.
29. Don’t sweat the small stuff and choose your battles.
30. Focus on the present (let go of the past, don’t worry about the future).
31. Smile more.
32. Increase your opportunities to share humor.
33. Don’t allow negative moments to snowball (learn to bounce back quicker)
34. Seek improvement over perfection.
35. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs (you can achieve more than you think)
36. Pursue meaningful goals.
37. Find what you love to do and make it your life’s work.
38. Redefine your beliefs about success (don’t confuse material acquisitions with success).
39. Appreciate/celebrate your accomplishments and personal milestones.
40. Give yourself permission to change your mind or direction when something isn’t working.
41. Remember to enjoy the journey as much as the ultimate destination.
42. Know that peace, love, and happiness are all generated from within.
43. Learn to channel your awareness and attention (where your attention goes, energy flows).
44. Learn to re-center and replenish using relaxation or meditation techniques.
45. Recognize discomfort and boredom as a cues for change (versus distress)
46. Seek fluidity over rigidity (become less resistant to change).
47. Seek moments of solitude.
48. When things change, embrace the new normal.
49. Be thankful for what you have now, and live within your means.
50. Practice gratitude.
*Image: Nabil Medawar
If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider sharing it.