So you have decided to make your happiness a top priority in your life. Good for you! It’s about time really.
If you are beginning this journey like many have before you then I applaud your bravery. Don’t worry I don’t think you’re selfish, ignorant or living with your head in the clouds. I see you as my equal. A fellow happiness searcher. An adventurer of the soul.
This is not a quick fix.
If you are looking for your life to be filled with nothing but happiness and joy then perhaps you should read something else, because that is not what I promise. That is not what I wish to share. Happiness is a state of mind, a perspective, a way of life. Happiness is not an end. And although I am searching for it… I don’t expect to find happiness chilling underneath a rock somewhere.
Throughout this journey, I have learned so many things regarding my own personal happiness. Everything from self-confidence to friendships, to my lifestyle has been affected. I have read books upon books, I have traveled, I have even changed my spiritual beliefs and practices. What a ride!
Searching for Happiness has not been a steady climb up one great mountain. I have not reached the summit with the wind in my hair, sweat on my brow, feeling utterly fulfilled and complete. I did not begin the descent back down with goals reached and a job well done. Sorry, it just didn’t seem to work that way for me, and it probably won’t for you either.
Searching for happiness has been a climb up several mountains. In fact, that is life really. Up the mountain, down the mountain, laying in the valley, swimming in the river, up the mountain again. sunny days, stormy days the journey must keep moving forward.
The trip is long, the going is painful and beautiful but if it’s happiness you’re searching for then take some advice from me. the first steps are the hardest.
Everyone needs a place to start, and although you may not reach an ultimate destination and find happiness on the top of that one mountain, these steps can prepare you for the road ahead, the journey through life, a massive climb, a journey to “find” your happiness.
Let’s do this!
Step 1: Determine What Makes you Feel Good
Step one seems pretty simple am I right? You would be surprised, sometimes people are so caught up doing things for other people or doing things because they have to that they actually don’t know what makes them feel good.
I know because I was one of those people once upon a time. Lost in the confusion of the everyday unsure about everything.
So get ready for some inner research. Sit down with a pen and paper, open a blog post, open the notes app on your phone, whatever you have to do and make a list. Simple right? Exactly! It’s simple so freaking do it!
Try to make your list as big as possible. Interests, hobbies, you name it. You can get there, start small if you must and take your time, maybe it will take you a little longer to finish your list and that’s ok.
The whole point is looking at this list and acknowledging who you are in the things that make you happy. The positive influences that make your soul smile.
This is an example of my list, for some inspiration.
Step 2. Determine What Makes you Miserable
Alright, let’s get real here. What makes you unhappy? What makes you feel negative, zaps your energy and unmotivates you? Are there people in your life who make you unhappy? Who are those people? What the frig is going on?
The reason I suggest considering the miseries of your life is because this is a step I myself had to make, Sometimes change needs to happen, sometimes we need to be brutally honest with ourselves about our habits and the company we keep.
I would suggest writing a list of this as well, or even keeping a journal and write out some of your feelings about these unhappy things.
If your job makes you that unhappy then perhaps it’s time to leave, if a friend is being unsupportive and unloving maybe you should stop avoiding it and assert your self-worth. If smoking and eating shit food is causing you health issues then stop doing it!
I make the stopping part sound so easy, don’t I? Well, I know it’s not.
That’s why there is Step 3. One thing at a time people.
Check out this little post I did on some things that make me miserable, maybe it will help get your negative juices flowing.
Step 3. Make Room for Happiness
It’s go time! Step 3 is all about turning that frown upside down, step 3 is about turning your happiness dreams into reality one step at a time. Each step up the mountain is a step in the right direction. So you made your two lists and figured out some key changes that you need to make. So where to go from here?
I was stuck at this step for a long time. Knowing I had to change things and not knowing how to move forward. Paralyzed and feeling overwhelmed.
So where did I begin? How did I get moving?
One step at a time was a good place to start.
Look at your lists, list one happiness, list two unhappiness.
Choose something every week or month that you wish to remove from list two. Maybe you want to stop spending so much money, maybe you want to switch jobs or move from your crappy apartment. No matter how big or small these items are, pick one and begin to remove it from your life.
Focus all of your energy into one item at a time. This may take longer than a month it may take less time. Who knows. The point is making this a priority.
To bring happiness into your life you must first give it room by removing the negative.
So every time you eliminate an item from your misery list, you need to add more from your happiness list! How fun!
Replace that time you would normally spend with that toxic friend and replace it with more reading, or going back to the gym. Whatever you want.
This is the kind of journey that is never finished. But taking some active steps in making it a habit and a priority to keep the happiness growing and the unhappiness shrinking is the BEST place to start.
So there you have it, three simple steps to help you begin your journey. It will be a long road ahead, and remember it’s not one mountain but many.
So clear some time in your schedule and get writing. Start this new adventure towards happiness today! Stop waiting around and smile already!