5 principles you could work on to entrench the habit of being happy
by Kevin D. Crone
Well of course, but you and I have to work at it.
I was reminded of that principle this Monday when I was thinking and concerning over a few important people in my life.
A couple of them are addicted to too much smoking, drinking, bad money habits and/or bad eating. You wonder why they don’t listen to their Doctor or take advice from experts. Today there is so much information and help available – anyone could change.
Their stories (or excuses) can keep them stupid and from making the commitments and actions necessary. Well, before we all get a little high and mighty about others, it’s important to say, “We’re all a little foolish about some things. We all have some bad habits. Some of our thinking, behaviours and habits can rob us from our health and happiness”. In our worlds there are always problems. We can habitually choose to dwell and wallow in our problems, complain a lot, or as Dale Carnegie taught me many years ago, we can make happiness a habit by consciously fighting for our happiness every day. We do have control and choices even though our bad habits can be addictive.
It begins by reminding ourselves what Science tells us and that our thoughts make us. We can choose to change our thoughts which will change and improve our attitude and we can choose to work on our behaviours daily.
Having things are a good thing but their impact can wear off quickly. I know it is little consolation realizing that, if you can’t seem to get the things you want. But few are extremely wealthy or are movie stars or professional Athletes. Even those few who aren’t necessarily happy, they have to work at it as well.
So what principles could we work at to entrench the habit of being happy?
1) Count your blessings daily. Try this with your first sip of coffee saying out loud or in your head something like, “Good morning God (or whatever makes sense to you). Thank you for ____________”. Describe a couple blessings and the reasons you feel blessed. If you make a habit of it, you will become more accepting, real, less stressed and happy. You will become more self-directed.
Make a post coffee declaration as to what kind of things you want to achieve today and what kind of person you will be that will enable you to achieve them. On your drive home or just before bed do a quick review of the good things that happened during the day. Again, remind yourself of your blessings. These are simple, proactive and quick habits that will keep yourself together and will help you create the attitude that breeds hope, belief and motivation for success and happiness daily.
2) How do you feel after being with negative complainers for any length of time? More positive about life? Well don’t hang with a negative YOU as well. Interrupt your thinking with questions as:
- Is this situation that bad?
- Is it really going to happen?
- What is another way of seeing this situation?
- What is an opportunity here?
- What is a learning here?
In other words, practice optimistic thinking. You’ll be less down and worried.
3) Work on things that provide meaning in your life. I loved helping individuals and businesses grow. I loved Dale Carnegie principles and their methods of helping clients achieve and it was a fuel and passion that kept me going. The relentless chase of money and recognition alone can eventually make you feel shallow or at the very least bored, tired or unenthusiastic. Any job can be boring and seem meaningless over time. Creating or finding a feeling of mission in it can propel you to a sense of happiness. And always set goals or you will be focused on trivial nonsense and appear to be boring. Happiness and boring don’t go together.
4) Focus on relationships – especially with your family and friends. Work on your relationships and communication skills. Build people up – don’t tear them down. Give appreciation, encouragement and praise. If you look for it, you will find it. In the final analysis, your relationships will keep you supported and that can make you happy.
5) “Just for Today” was the name of a great poem I read over and over. It reminded me to live for today. It caused me to:
- study how to appreciate and see what is actually going on
- quit blaming circumstances
- leave out so many preconceived opinions in my listening and speaking
- not be dragged into regret or the problems from the past and the worries of the future
- realize that you and I have control of our thoughts and behaviours every day
- be present and to live for today
- look for the small pleasures of the day
- focus our energy on the positives and what needs to be done… to live for today.
People that do this seem to be happier; less stressed and more focused on creating the life and happiness they want.
Influence and fight for your happiness and make these five strategies an addictive good habit.
Have a great week!
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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