Here are ten simple strategies for doing just that:
Nurture your inner child. – You need to put your own fulfillment and needs at the top of your priority list. There’s an inner child within you who needs your love and patience. If you’re always telling her to quiet down, to sit still and stop that bouncing… if you’re always reminding her that her thoughts aren’t real, just pretend, and that good girls do what they’re told… how will she ever be able to imagine a fulfilling life for herself as she grows, or be able to jump for joy when she finds it?
Let loose and be a little silly. – Sometimes a little silliness is all you need to get a better perspective of life’s challenges. Silliness is the carefree, sometimes crazy, and often misunderstood stepsister of happiness. May you be a friend to both, and smile your way through life’s twists and turns.
Mind your own business. – Those who accept you are your friends. Those who don’t are your teachers. If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not a problem because it’s true. If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not a problem because it’s not true. So either way, whatever they call you is not a problem. What they call you is their business. What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your business.
Stop the comparisons. – The more you judge and compare yourself to your fantasies of how you should be, could be, or would be, the worse and worse you will get at everything. Such negative comparisons gradually de-motivate you, keeping your growth potential completely caged by the enormous resistance from your own thinking. On the flip-side, the more you love and accept yourself exactly the way you are, the better and better you will get at everything. Such self acceptance creates emotional freedom which inspires you to grow to your fullest potential.
Focus on making the best of the present. – You can’t be happy if you’re carrying the burden of the yesterday on your shoulders. Did you make a mistake? Did you have a terrible experience? Whatever it may be, the past is history and there’s nothing you can do to change it. So breathe in the future and breathe out the past. Focus on making the best of the present, and the past will take care of itself.
Count your blessings one by one. – To be happy doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what’s yet to come. Sometimes we get so caught up in seeing what we don’t have, that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic. The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance; the wise person grows it under her feet. Your life is filled with blessings and achievements, take the time to accept and appreciate these gifts.
Help others find happiness. – Happiness doesn’t come through selfishness, but through selflessness. Everything you do comes back around. Greet people with a smile. Encourage them. Compliment them. Notice their progress, cheer them on, and make them smile. Smiles are contagious. The more happiness you help them find, the more happiness you will find.
Think about how far you’ve come. – The precursor of every positive outcome is a positive thought. So in the heat of the moment when you feel like quitting, think about how far you have come and why you started in the first place. Notice how fortunate you are, how supported you are, and how you are gradually being guided towards your aims. It is already happening, the more you notice, the more of it you will realize and see. Trust this light of gratitude to lead you through all the long, winding and misty roads of life. Do so and you will eventually arrive at your destination with a smile.
Visualize your ideal path. – Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what your life looks like five years from now, and ten years from now, if you continue to live the way you’re presently living? Look at your trajectory. Where does your current path lead? Notice how you feel. Does it give you a sense of happiness, excitement and peace? If yes, that’s wonderful; feel the gratitude. If not, what small, yet significant changes can you begin making right away that will put you on a more fulfilling path? Visualize yourself joyfully and harmoniously making these changes. And begin.
Invest your time in the things you love. – The most important decision you will ever make is what you do with the time that is given to you. Trust me, before you know it you’ll be asking, “How did it get so late so soon?” So put your time to good use, and let yourself be drawn to the strange pull of what you love; it will not lead you astray. Above all, live your life so that when you’re old, you never have to let the person you became fanaticize about the person you were capable of being.