Be Happy! It sounds like such an easy thing to do, right? But we all know that it’s really not that simple. There are definitely people out there that seem to be happy all the time. What do you think they have in common? Were they born that way? Are they genetically disposed to positivity?
One of the main traits of positive people is that they live in the present moment. They have found a way to be happy with what they have and where they are.
Enjoying the present moment is a habit that takes practice. It’s so easy to think about where you want to be in 5 or 10 years and get hung up on the fact that you’re not there yet. It’s even easier to compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel and wonder why they seem to be happy and you haven’t gotten there yet.
Here’s a little secret: The successes that other people share (in person or on social media) are just their highlight reel. What you are not seeing is the struggles that they faced to get there — probably very similar struggles to what you are facing right now.
“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it” ~ Dale Carnegie
In order to be happy with where you are, it’s important to get rid of some destructive habits first. There are things that you are doing (either consciously or unconsciously) that are holding you back from that happiness we all desire.
8 DESTRUCTIVE HABITS TO KICK IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY:
1 >> LET GO OF JEALOUSY
Jealousy – that sneaky little pot-stirrer that serves as a reminder of all the successes you don’t have, the relationship you’d like to have, the dream job you don’t have. Jealousy is known as the green-eyed monster for a very good reason. It can cause perfectly rational people to turn into raging creatures of anger and hate.
Try to focus on your own journey. Let go of the jealousy and quit comparing yourself to others. Learning to stop comparing yourself to others is one of the best things that you can do in your quest to be happy.
2 >> STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
Regret for past mistakes can drive you insane. Dwelling on ‘what if’s’, re-living the past, and holding grudges is just a recipe for disappointment.
The power that the past can have over us (if we let it) is incredible. The key to releasing yourself from this power, is to let it go and forgive.
Letting go sounds a lot easier than it actually is, though. It’s hard to forgive and let go of resentment and hurt feelings. Forgiveness in this case can feel like we’re letting someone (or ourselves) off the hook without any recourse or “punishment”.
Forgiveness is a way to face what has happened, acknowledge mistakes, and move on. You aren’t saying that its ok. You aren’t discounting the gravity of what happened. You are simply acknowledging the fact and deciding that you aren’t going to let it bring you down anymore. You aren’t going to let it define you.
3 >> DON’T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Easier said than done, right?
First let’s make a differentiation between ‘caring’ and ‘worrying’ about what other people think. When you care about what others think, you value their opinion. When you worry about what others think, you let what they think determine your self worth. That is where we get into dangerous territory.
To be happy, it’s important to carve your own path. Sometimes that means doing things that people will not always understand. If you live your life trying to please everyone all of the time, you are setting yourself up for burn-out.
4 >> DON’T BE SCARED TO FAIL
Here’s a little tip for you: failure isn’t failure until you give up! Some of the most successful people have had a string of failures leading up to their eventual success.
I heard a quote the other day that “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success”. I wish I could site the source, but you get the point, right? There is no such thing as an overnight success, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is probably just trying to sell you something.
Failures are the way that we learn and improve our lives. Our failures are the building blocks of our greatest successes. If you let yourself be paralyzed by the fear of failure, how can you ever truly be happy?
5 >> QUIT PROCRASTINATING
Procrastination is a sneaky little bugger. The problem with procrastination is that this tiny little act piles up over time. When you put off things that are important and take the easy route instead, it may seem insignificant at the moment. The issue comes in when you start making procrastination a habit.
The more you procrastinate on even the smallest tasks, the more they pile up. They gradually become a major headache in your life and before you know it they will completely overwhelm you.
The key to beating procrastination is to first understand why you are procrastinating. What is stopping you from doing what you know needs to be done? After that, ask yourself what procrastination is costing you. Once you have a clear picture of how procrastination is affecting your life, you’ll be more likely to nip it in the bud and do something about it.
Just last week, I listened to a great podcast (How to Avoid Becoming a Procrastinator) by Hal Elrod all about overcoming procrastination. If you have a history of putting things off and letting procrastination hold you back, I highly recommend you give it a listen today!
6 >> STOP STRIVING FOR PERFECTION
Let me tell you one little thing about perfection. It doesn’t exist.
I like to think of perfection as an illusion. We are constantly chasing it, only to find that it disappears once it’s within our grasp. There is nothing wrong with striving to do better, but the problem occurs when we push ourselves too hard and chastise ourselves for not being ‘good enough’.
Striving for perfection is an endless pursuit because it is simply not achievable. Instead, strive for excellence. Be the best that YOU can be, and don’t worry about the rest.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” ~ Michael J. Fox
7 >> LEAVE EXCUSES BEHIND
We can always find a reason to not take action, to not go after our dreams. It’s so easy to make excuses for why we can’t do the things that we want to. I don’t have enough time. It’s too late. It’s too hard. I don’t have enough money. I’m too young. I’m too old.
The reasons that we come up with are endless. But are they really reasons or are they just excuses? Are they just excuses to not pursue what we want in life? If you truly want to be happy, it’s imperative to take control over your own fate. Quit making excuses and start living a life that you can be proud of!
8 >> THERE IS NO ROOM FOR NEGATIVITY
Earlier this week I talked to you about dealing with the toxic people in your life. In addition to dealing with theses negative influences though, it is just as important to deal with your own negativity.
What are some negative thoughts that you have about yourself? Maybe it’s a negative body image, a feeling of never being good enough, or even a negative outlook on life in general.
Becoming a more positive person is not something that happens overnight, but it is one of the best practices you can undertake to be happy. Having a positive attitude is a choice, and it is one that we should all make to improve our lives.
Attitude is absolutely contagious. When you switch your mindset from negativity to positivity, you will begin to attract more positive influences in your life.
To be happy with what you have an where you are definitely takes practice. As with any kind of training, practice makes perfect — and yes, you can and should practice reducing your destructive habits to improve your life.
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
What are some ways that you have found to be happy with what you have? Do any of these destructive habits need to be addressed in your own life?