Being happy is either a lucky experience or a conscious one. Which is it for you?
Which could it be for you?
If you think you can consciously be happier, you are right. But it can seem like an overwhelmingly large amount of work. For instance, if you need money to be happy, you'll have to work hard to get it. If you need people to be nice before you feel happy, you'll have to work hard not to step on toes so as to never arouse conflict. If you need health to be happy, you'll have to be pain free and fit. All of which takes a lot of work. I'm not saying you shouldn't need those things, or go for those things, but maybe there is an easier way to be happy. Maybe happy doesn't come from getting things or having things.
Organically, happiness seems to show up when we feel at peace, or when we feel excited. In fact there are five types of organic happiness. If you'd like to read more about it, comment below and I'll send you a link. But... just to be clear, those are all lucky experiences, leaving you subject to circumstance once again rather than taking time to make a conscious experience of happiness.
In order to be happy using your conscious brain, I could list a dozen difficult tasks. Tasks like twenty minutes of meditation. Daily affirmations and so on. All good stuff. But what if it was even more simple than that? Because sometimes it's not about what you do, but what you don't do, that matters.
Here are five things, that if you simply just stop doing them, you will feel happier.
If you stopped complaining, you would be happier. It's the easiest thing in the world. All it requires is being lazy about complaining. Just don't do it. When you feel like complaining, put it off for another time. Don't speak until you can say something nice.
If you stopped watching the news you would free yourself from the electric fence effect. What that means is today's media is designed, not to inform you, but to shock you. There are other media sources that give you news, data, updates, without all the drama. Seek those instead. Stay clear of the drama slinging, sensational media sources just like a horse should stay away from the electric fence. Once you do, you'll notice how your cortisol levels drop and a clear head prevails.
It's not rocket science. If you hang around wealthy people all the time, you get rich. If you hang around negative people all the time, you get cynical. If you hang around toxic people all the time, you get poisoned. If you love these people and think you can't stop hanging around them, you're wrong, you can! Just stop hanging around them. You could tell them their toxic, but that might not go over so well. You could instead, just be less toxic yourself and when they choose your company, you could lead by example. As a result, you feel happy by being less poisoned.
This one is rocket science. The article titles suggests that happy people don't do these five things. I know lots of happy people that do eat sugar. But if you're looking for a useful tool in finding conscious happiness, try this one out. If you eat sugar, you get a sugar high that feels good. Then, just as everyone knows, you lose that high as your body begins to digest the acidic fuel. Choosing to eat one less cookie, one less ice-cream bar, one less five dollar coffee, can all leave you feeling happier. In part, because you showed resolve. And in part because your body doesn't have to work so hard to untie the knots you swallowed. Don't tell yourself you're never going to have it. Just have it later. Use the power of procrastination. Learn to put it off for another time. This becomes an easy habit and before you know it, you're just not tempted anymore.
Unhappy people are always trying to compare their position in life to someone further up the ladder. Stop doing that. Instead, forget your position on the ladder. It's not about the ladder. It never was. It's about other peoples needs. Don't get me wrong. I love climbing the ladder and I get great joy seeing my own accomplishments. But when I highlight my position for too long, I begin to see how far I am from the people that inspire me, and I begin to resent my position and beat myself up. If happiness is a goal, it's faster and easier to forget your position related to where others are and instead, focus on what others need. This instantly puts you in a position as a generous thinker. Which person is happier? A generous person, or a resentful person? I know you I don't have to answer that one.
There are, of course, thousands of resources waiting for you to discover related to happiness. But consider the above tools as easy suggestions. All you have to do... is do nothing. Doesn't that sound easier than everything else you've ever heard? Don't do the things that unhappy people do, and find happiness. I'd love to hear your comments, and you're suggestions. Not for one minute do I pretend to know everything on the subject. Perhaps you've discovered tools to your happiness too. Please share below.
PS. I usually write about leadership and training. I hope you can draw the parallels between happiness and leadership. God bless!