For many years I believed that in order to be happy you had to be ''successful''. In other words, get a good job, work really hard, earn a lot of money, buy nice things and buy a nice house and car and basically live the good life, then I'd be happy.
So, this is what I started to do. Of course, I was wrong. I started to tick some of the things off but I still felt completely lost and empty on the inside.
I chased this happiness dream for many years until I had a quarter life crisis and realised that happiness was not being stuck in a 9-9 job that I didn't enjoy.
So, I decided to try and understand happiness, why it was so hard to find and where to find it. I read 100s of books, attended seminars, watched videos, and got a life-coach.
What I found was eye-opening.
I found that happiness doesn't magically arrive at one moment, nor is it something given to us or a destination, it's not something to find at the end of a rainbow or a reward after hard work.
I found happiness was something to manufacture and CHOOSE in everyday life through daily habits that make up our lives.
These habits aren't grandiose in scale. Instead, these habits to happiness are simple actions we overlook during our busy days.
Below are ten happiness habits that I've found all happy people to have.
1. Happy people are Self-Experts
We are all unique. Biologically, culturally and through our experiences. Happy people know this and they know how and why they are unique and celebrate it. Happy people invest time in discovering who they are. They know their talents, strengths, weaknesses and values. This is something we are not taught to discover as school, to discover who we are. I only discovered my unique talents, strengths and gifts when I was 27 and no wonder I wasn't happy because I wasn't using any of them.
2. Happy people love and accept themselves
I learned to love myself when someone stopped loving me. Instead of blaming and looking for someone else to fill the gap I decided that if I had to be alone for the rest of my life that would be okay because my love was enough. When you stop outsourcing your love/happiness you become whole. You are one of the best mothers, fathers, sisters, brother, friend lovers, you will ever have.
Happy people accept themselves for who they are by monitoring the language of their internal world. They trust themselves and move forward despite the accompanying self-doubt that is often with us when we're chasing our dreams.
3. Happy people are healthy people
How you treat yourself serves as a barometer for the level of treatment you expect the world to treat you with. The first step to loving yourself is to place a premium on your health.
Happy people recognise that great health encompasses more than just their physical appearance. They understand their mental and emotional well-being plays an integral factor in their happiness.
Happy people look after themselves inside and out.
4. Happy people are selective about the company they keep.
You become whatever your environment is.
Jim Rohn's quote, 'You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with' is a principle that all happy people take seriously.
The company you keep is infectious and influences your attitude, mind set and behaviours toward life. If your environment is positive, ambitious and views life in abundance, that's what you're going to be. If it's the opposite, then expect yourself to be unhappy and not as successful.
Happy people give their time to people who inspire them, and leave them better and happier than before.
But happy people realise they're unlikely to avoid all the negative people in their life. However, they can minimise their interactions with them.
So, ask yourself, who are you surrounding yourself with
5. Happy people live in the present
Happy people realise living in the past only leads to regret and guilt for situations they can't change. They also let go of the past and forgive and heal what has happened in the past. They also recognise that living for the future leads to them placing their present life on pause.
Happy people recognise the only way to achieve the life, happiness and goals they desire is to focus on the present moment-the only moment in their control.
Each moment you spend time traveling to the past or future is eating away at the potential memories that could be created in this current moment. Don't cheat your happiness by having your thoughts and emotions elsewhere.
6. Happy people are grateful people
Being grateful is the greatest contributing factor to overall happiness. Gratitude has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health. How amazing is that. When I started this as a habit - my thinking changed. I started to look for and focus on all the good, the positive things and the opportunities around me because I had to write things in my journal. Creating gratitude as a habit actually rewires your brain. So why don't we do it. It's simply not a habit. One way to make it a habit is to keep a gratitude journal and write 3 things each day that you are grateful for.
7. Happy people value experiences over things.
Living in today's world, it's tempting to fall into the trap of wanting more and more. Everywhere we turn, there are messages telling us we need more or that the things we have aren't enough.
But happiness isn't something that is going to come from materialistic items, such as cars, gadgets or the size of your house.
Happiness forms through the experiences of our lives. The various experiences that we do have in life help us form an identity and create lasting memories that aren't replicable or easily bought.
Happiness is doing something that we love and not placing our worth on the outcome nor on the opinions of others.
8. Happy people can see the big picture.
Happy people don't let the small and trivial matters of life drain their happiness. They understand that they can't control everything, and thus won't allow those situations to occupy precious mental space for more important issues.
They understand that setbacks are a normal part of the cycle of life and perspective is the key to maintaining happiness during those times.
A powerful question that happy people will ask themselves is, does this matter in the grand scheme of things If not, then they acknowledge the situation for what it is but don't let it drain them of their happiness.
When you're trying to become happier, it's tempting to seek validation from other people or to consume things. But consistent happiness in your life isn't formed in the external world. Consistent happiness forms from your internal world.
9. Happy people consistently feed their minds
Happy people have a habit of feeding their mind and I don't mean food. What do you feed your mind on a daily basis
Are you feeding it uplifting, positive, and interesting, heart-warming, happy information, or affirmations, are you teaching it something new like a language or learning a new skill or reading a book This is the kind of stuff that grows your brain muscle. Or are you watching the news, watching mind-numbing TV.
Happy people feed and work out their minds.
10. Happy people have purpose
Happy people live on purpose. There is something in this world you were put here to do that only you can do. Whether that is be the best mum to your kids, build a school for underprivileged kids, invent the next iPad, be the next Oprah or be a teacher who makes a difference.
As Steve Jobs says, ''We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here ''
Have you ever met a happy person going through the motions of life
Happy people have a habit of living on purpose, not only do they have a greater purpose for their life but also with the people they meet, with the activities they do, the places they go, it's not mindless or going through the motions its purposeful. How can you start to live more purposefully today
Purpose is something you are great at, you love it, the world needs it and you are paid for it.
So, there you have it 10 Habits to help you live a happier life.
Remember action is key so choose some habits that resonate with you or create your own to implement and be consistent with them for 1 month each time.
Good luck and let me know how you get on
Have a Happy Week,
Love & Happiness,
The Happiness Coach
P.S I am coming to Zimbabwe on the 19th of October for 10 days. My time is limited so if you would like to book in a call or session be sure to get in touch and book in a coaching slot asap, by simply replying here.