When it comes down to it, happiness can only be achieved if you are willing to change your mindset. The thrill of winning the jackpot lottery and using it to buy yourself a mansion and a fleet of Rolls Royces might make you happy in the short-run, but you will eventually realize that unless you find meaning to your existence, it doesn’t matter how much money you have.
Becoming a happier person takes patience, discipline, and a strong support system. But if you are tired of feeling depressed and are willing to make the effort to change your life, you can start by following these 8 rules to happiness.
1. Rediscover Yourself
When we were young, it was easy to turn on the “happiness” switch because we were willing to appreciate the little surprises and joys in life. Although through life experience we recognize that everything isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, it doesn’t mean we need to allow cynicism to consume us. Do like we did when we were kids and find reasons to appreciate being alive — whether it is watching sports, eating ice cream, or taking a walk at the nearby park on a nice spring day — and take time to really soak in those moments when they come.
2. Make “Life is a Gift” Your Motto
Throughout the course of human history, tens of billions of humans have been born. But think about the infinite number that will never be; great inventors, world leaders, and other world-changers who only exist in an alternate reality. Appreciate the fact that if your parents had never met, or your grandparents, or your great-grandparents…you would never get to experience all the wonderful things that we as humans take for granted.
3. Disappointments Happen; Just Deal With It
Accept the fact that there are times in your life when things will happen and you can’t do anything about it. In other words, you can only control what you can control. Letting go of this need to be in control all the time and raising your tolerance towards setbacks means you will feel less frustrated and savor the winning moments.
4. Look No Further Than In The Now
Don’t wish for things to be better tomorrow; think about what you can do to make today count. After all, the events in the future are a natural progression of the choices you make right now. If you’re going to have a bad attitude today, there is no reason to think anything will change tomorrow. So focus on your dreams and see where your journey through life takes you.
5. Find Your Purpose In Life
People who feel a deep sense of purpose are more likely to feel happy and content. This could be achieved by doing something good for others, finding a job that is satisfying, or taking up a hobby that brings you joy. Determine what your values are and act upon them!
6. Set Reasonable Goals
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Hopefully a set of goals that you want to achieve. People live happier lives when they break things down into short, mid-term and long term goals. Just make sure to be realistic and certainly don’t pursue them at the expense of your mental or physical well-being.
7. Don’t Sacrifice Your Relationships
Picture this…you’ve got the house of your dreams, a Lamborghini in your garage and with just a phone call you can arrange for a private jet to whisk you to St. Barts. You’ve really made it to the top of the mountain, right? Well, it depends on what you sacrificed to get there. Did success come at the cost of missing out on seeing your children grow up? What about your failed marriage? And all those birthdays you were too busy to attend. When it comes down to it, none of that wealth matters if everybody you’d want to share it with resents you for never being there when they needed you.
8. Let Go of Past Disappointments
You can’t dwell on the past. What happened happened and short of inventing a time machine you can’t go back and change anything. Happy people understand this, and they instead focus their energy on improving themselves and accomplishing great things right now.