Live the life you were meant to live.
By Henry Adeleye on September 1, 2014
Happiness is something we all strive for in life. We strive to be happy in our personal, professional, and social lives. Sometimes things don't go exactly as planned and we feel like the world is coming to an end. That's no way to live. Rest assured, we're here to help. Take these 10 steps to achieve incredible happiness and be the person you were truly meant to be.
1. Take a Risk
In life, you have risk-reward relationships. The biggest rewards usually come from taking the biggest risks. Safe, comfortable decisions don't typically lead to above-average payoffs. Think of the biggest goal you have in life and write it down. Now, here's the hard part. Stop what you're doing right now and take a small step toward achieving that goal. No seriously. Go do it right now. I promise I won't be that offended. If you've wanted to start a website, go buy a domain name. If you've wanted to apply for your dream job, go start gathering info about the company. If you've always wanted to start the next big company, go right now and start on your business plan. Every marathon starts with a step. Once you start, keep taking steps towards your goal until you reach it. My friend Bob (not his real name) has been talking about looking for a new job for four years now. Don't be Bob.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Money may not buy happiness, but living beyond your means will eventually buy you sadness. If you want to be able to do the things that really matter, you're going to need some dough saved up. Having your finances in order enables your money to work for you, rather than the other way around. Getting rid of credit card debt is a great first step. If you're unsure of where to start, try saving $1,000 for emergencies as a start. Next, use the debt snowball method of paying off your smallest debts first, no matter the interest rate, and moving on to the next smallest amount to gain momentum. Remember, every marathon starts with a step. Move up to saving six months of expenses. Then start investing to make your money grow exponentially. Your bank account will thank you for it.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." Had he been like most of us, Mandela would have spent his free time dedicated to bitterness instead of building a lasting legacy. Sure, you've been done wrong. More than likely, you may have had a part in the whole ordeal. But being able to forgive others will make you immensely happier, lifting a weight off your shoulders. Think about three people you've been holding a grudge against. Call them right now and make peace of the situation. Focus on making a better future, instead of dwelling on the past. Right now is always the best time to make new beginnings.
4. Get Healthy
You're happiest when you're looking and feeling your best. We all know the benefits of eating right and exercising regularly, yet we still fail to do what we know we should do. Take a small step towards leading a more fit and healthy life. Form a regular workout regimen of three days a week, mixing some cardio with light weight lifting. Also, start cooking more and eating out less. After you accomplish these steps, work on stepping up your workout regimen and focus your cooking on making healthier meals. It's ok to cheat every once in a while, but don't make cheating a habit. You'll be amazed by how much happier and full of energy you feel, even before the results start to show. As a consolation prize, you'll add more years and less pain to your life. Not a bad tradeoff.
5. Fall in Love
Love is patient. Love is kind. And true love will really make you feel good inside. Prepare yourself to find unconditional love. It doesn’t have to be significant-other love. It can be the love of a friend, the love of a dog (or cat for you weird cat people), or even learning to love yourself. No relationship will ever be perfect, but if you are able to accept the good times with the bad, you'll find yourself a much happier person.
6. Fall Out of 'Like'
Just as much as finding love can make you happy, being with someone you know you shouldn't be with can have the opposite effect. You know when you should leave a situation but you stay anyway. Why? How long are you going to put yourself through that? It can't be good for your health. Let go of certain relationships and friendships that are holding you back. Set yourself free.
7. Believe in Yourself
Belief in yourself and your abilities will do wonders for helping you achieve all your goals. Question: What do Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett all have in common? Answer: None of them are smarter than you. You don't have to belong to some special club or have a fancy degree to get what you dream of. In order to attain the things you want out of life, you have to truly believe that you have the smarts and knowhow to attain them. You'll never be able to reach the stars if you don't believe they exist. Eliminate the plan B out of your life. Live as if there is no option but the one you're trying to reach. You'll look back and laugh at yourself for ever doubting your skills.
8. Focus on What You're For, Rather Than What You're Against
Focus on the things you believe in and eliminate negative energy from your surroundings. The more you think about negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Rather than getting sucked in to the negative ways of your detractors, focus on building the life you want. Let them waste their energy doing what won't matter in two weeks while you enjoy your happy little life.
9. Read More
The keys to happiness won't be found in numbered list articles on the internet (well, except this number list article). Step out of your own world and enter the world of someone else through books. Think of your biggest role model and read a book about them to see how they got where they are. Figure out some of the secrets that aren't readily available to those who don't want to sit down and crack open a good book. Learn how to win at life, or even how to get rich. Teach yourself a new skill, or just sit back and be entertained. Whatever your cup of tea, reading more can take you there.
10. Find Your Purpose
We've all been put on this Earth to achieve really big things. Some recognize their purpose early. Some later on. Some are never able to realize their potential. It's ok to be the first or second person. It's not ok to be the third. Figure out what truly pleases you and will enable you to contribute greatly to this world. Think about what you would do every day even if you didn’t get paid. Once you're doing what you love, you'll never work again in your life. Stop at nothing to get to where you know you need to be. Everyone will think they know you better than you know you, but only you can truly figure out what you love. Take time out to discover your passion. Now go get it!
11. Start a Business
Yes, this post was supposed to have 10 steps. But whatever, rules were made to be broken. Starting a business is another step that will make you incredibly happy. It may seem like a big task, but it's not as hard as you may think. I'm not asking that you quit your job and go all out on a whim (In fact, don't do that. Just don't.), but start something small on the side while keeping your day job. Think of something you would like to see in the world that doesn't yet exist, or even something that exists that you could do a much better job of providing. It can be a product or service you'd like to see, a non-profit, or even a blog. Being able to envision something and see it materialized is an incredible thing. You never know, you just might strike it big.
Follow these steps and you can reach the pinnacle of happiness. Go ahead, step out of your comfort zone and do something that can change your life. You'll be much happier for it. Anything you'd like to add? Leave a comment below. And as always, hit us up if you have any questions or ideas for future posts.