1. What you love.
When it comes to lifelong labors and dreams, lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only way to work and live.
Invest your thoughts and time in the things you love. Don’t wait around for too long to get involved in something that moves you. Realize how important it is to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, explore it. Get up and go after it. Embrace it, hug it, love it, and above all, let your passion flow freely.
The most important decision you will ever make is what you do with the limited time that has been given to you. Before you know it you’ll be asking, “How did it get so late so soon?” So put your thoughts and time to good use, and let yourself be drawn to the strange pull of what you love – doing so will not lead you astray. Live your life so that when you’re old, you never have to let the person you became fantasize about the person you were capable of being.
2. Your own inner truth.
Why worry about what others think of you? Should you have more confidence in their opinions than you do your own?
Truth be told, how others see you is not nearly as important as how you see yourself. To be happy means to live confidently in your own skin – to be faithful to that which exists within you. What you’re doing by being yourself is you’re keeping it real, and you’re being really brave.
When you choose to stay true to YOU, some people might refuse to accept you for who you are. Forget them. Rather than being fake and incurring the pain and confusion of trying to be someone you’re not, choose to stand strong, even at the risk of incurring ridicule. When you are comfortable in your skin, not everyone in this world will like you, and that’s perfectly OK. You could be the ripest, juiciest apple in the world, and there’s going to be at least a few people out there who hate apples.
3. What you are willing to sacrifice for your goals.
When it comes to goal setting, you must be specific. If you find yourself talking to yourself about wanting everything, it means you are treacherously close to achieving nothing. It means you are avoiding the effort required to get anywhere at all.
Usually, it’s not too difficult to decide what you want your life to look like in a year from now. What is difficult is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things that must be done to get to where you want to go.
This takes serious commitment, and it requires transient discomfort. When you decide to aim for something higher, you must be willing to suffer a bit of vertigo – the fear of falling. And you must be willing to fight against that voice of emptiness below you which tempts and lures you to believe that you don’t have enough strength to ascend any higher.
4. The little victories of each day.
Sometimes the human mind operates in mysterious ways when it comes to achievements and happiness. We dream of something and we wait and wait and feel like it’s taking forever to arrive. Then it does and it’s over, and all we really want is to curl back up in that moment before things change again.
Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a fulfilled dream, you must realize that it’s just one small moment of your life. Like every other moment, this one instance of victory is fleeting. Lifelong happiness is not found in any one particular moment, it’s found in all the moments and memories leading up to our inevitable sunset – all the small victories of each day that fall between the big events.
Ultimately you will realize that your highest aspirations should just be a target – a point on the horizon to step towards. You may not ever reach it, but you can always look up after every small step and see beauty of where that step has taken you.
5. How to help others.
Talk yourself into helping someone today.
No exercise is better for your heart and mind than reaching down and helping others up. Happiness and success in life doesn’t come through selfishness, but through selflessness. Everything you do comes back around to you.
The best way to feel alive is to get up and do something positive for someone else. Don’t wait around for good things to happen in this world. If you go out and make good things happen, you will fill the world with happiness and you will make yourself smile in the process.
Greet people with positivity. Encourage them. Compliment them. Lend them a helping hand. Notice their progress, cheer them on and make them smile. Love and kindness is contagious. The more happiness and success you help others find, the more happiness and success you will find every single day of your life.
6. The immediate reality of your own happiness.
Right now, you have more than enough to be happy.
Right now, you have the full capacity to find something small to celebrate.
Right now, you have a choice to make.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy. True happiness comes from within, when you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions, and when you choose to focus on what you have, not what you haven’t.
One of the great secrets to happiness is to pay more attention to the beginnings than the endings. So many people say they want a new life, but then they take the new one they get every morning for granted. Don’t do this. Don’t wait until your life is almost over to realize how great it has been. A great life begins right now, when you stop wanting a better one.
Scream it out loud: “Life is good!”