We all want to learn how to live a happy life. I know I’ve been in pursuit of a happy life for as long as I can remember.
I’ve always wondered what it takes to be happy. As I pursued money, relationships, and success, I realized that happiness doesn’t come from the outside; it comes from within each of us.
It is something that is present all the time within you and me. Imagine the layers of an onion being your negative beliefs, thoughts, and fears.
As you peel away the layers (what you are not), you reach the core (who you really are). We are all here to find meaning and purpose.
This is something I’ve discovered and it is something many of the personal development teachers out there talk about over and over again.
However, learning how to live a happy life is not about locking yourself in a closet and meditating for the rest of your life.
We as human beings are designed to set and achieve goals, and to enjoy the paths those goals lead us on.
These are all a piece of the pie of living a happy life, but we have to keep in mind that it is not the external things that make us happy but what is going on inside of us.
With all that said, let’s look at nine simple steps on how to live a happy life.
1. Making the Choice
It all begins with the choice to be happier, to start studying the commonalities of happy people. What are they doing? How do they think? How do they face challenges?
Most people want something for nothing. If your life isn’t as good as you want it to be right now, you are the only one that can change it for the better.
You have to become clear about what you want in life, and who you want to be. You do not have to settle for mediocrity.
Almost every limit in our lives is set by ourselves. Most of the negative beliefs you have, you have learned from your parents, society, and friends.
They can all be eliminated. You can reclaim control.
Now, I realize that we can’t control everything in life, but you certainly can create a happy life if you choose to. Just look at the people all around you that are already living the life of their dreams.
It didn’t happen because they were lucky. And they did not inherit their happiness from their parents. They created it.
Here’s a short video where I share what I’ve found:
2. Taking Responsibility
You alone are responsible for your life. You may think you have valid excuses of why you’re not as successful or happy as you should be.
Your excuses don’t matter, because they won’t change anything.
Do you want to give your excuses the power of controlling your life? Or do you want to reclaim the power that you’ve always had and create the life of your dreams?
You can whine, blame, and make excuses all you want, but it will only keep you stuck.
If you look at some of the happiest and most successful people on the planet, you will see that most of them did not come from privileged backgrounds.
In fact, many of them had to face challenges in order to get to where they are. But the funny thing is that it wasn’t their problems or challenges that were the problem.
You see, all the drama and problems we face in life help us grow as human beings if we have the courage to face them and get through them.
3. Personal Development
Learning how to live a happy life is about learning how you work. It is up to you to take control of your own being.
By that I mean your thoughts, your health, and the path you are on.
You’re reading this article for a reason. You are here because your heart resonates with what I’m writing.
You know that what I’m saying is true. You can go after your dreams and you can make a living doing what you want, if you would just make the decision to do so.
If you truly want to supercharge your progress, focus on becoming better. The way I do this is by listening to personal development audio programs, attending seminars, and reading as many books as I can get my hands on.
The more information you have on what it takes to live a happy life, and the more you apply those principles, the happier you will be.
It really doesn’t get any harder than that. Learning how to live a happy life almost happens by itself when you make the decision that you are going to be happy.
4. Clear Goals
When you make the decision, the next step is to set clear goals of what you want to achieve in each of the main areas of your life.
The main areas in my life are:
- Personal Development
The way to set the most effective goals is to use the SMART criteria, which stands for:
But here’s the thing: Trust your own intuition as to how you want to use your goals. Do you want to review them on a weekly basis? Do you want to rewrite them monthly?
Don’t force yourself into any set formula. This is about you and your life. If you don’t want any goals, that’s fine, too.
The mere act of thinking about what you want will help you dive deeper into yourself.
Life is about going with the flow, but also about discovering that how you perceive the world determines your happiness.
5. One Step at a Time
Never underestimate how much you can get done by taking one single step each day toward your goals.
You can always focus on low value tasks, such as hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, and checking your e-mail, but that’s not going to change your life, is it?
Learning how to live a happy life is about taking control and focusing your mind on the tasks that have the biggest impact on your life.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you have to focus on changing your habits and beliefs, specifically around food and exercise.
You can play around with all the different exercise programs out there and plan your day, but if the above two factors aren’t in place, you will never make any progress.
When you set your goals, you know the direction you need to go in. You don’t have to know exactly how you will get there, but you do have to take one step every single day, or as often as possible to make it happen.
6. Consistent Action
Nothing happens without action.
If you can take consistent action in the right direction and by working on the most valuable tasks, you can accomplish anything you want.
Most people underestimate the power of focus, determination, and action. When you’ve found a goal that sets your soul on fire and makes joy dance through your veins, it will be impossible for you not to take action.
For example, my passion is to help people improve their lives and inspire them to go after their dreams.
This makes fireworks go off inside of me, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. When you adopt that kind of mindset, you can accomplish anything in the world. You can have success in life.
No excuses, fears, or obstacles can stand in your way.
It might take you years to accomplish what you want, but it won’t matter, because you will be doing what you love. It is the journey that matters.
The goal is just there so you have something to aim at.
When you have this kind of relentless determination, you will blast through your fears like a hot knife through butter.
It wasn’t until I got this fire inside me that I began making progress. Something funny happens when you make the choice to live a happy life.
It’s almost as if the universe conspires to help you. Learning how to live a happy life keeps coming back to the decision to actually do it.
Many expect a fire to start without first putting wood in the stove. Your life will never be perfect, and the stars will never align.
The circumstances you need will not occur until you are ready to move. It is you who will have to take the first step, not someone else.
Here’s a short video on how I went from misery to doing what I love:
8. Following Your Passion
Most of us know what our heart yearns for, but we are afraid to go after it. It is often the thing you’re afraid of doing but desperately want to do that is your passion and purpose in life.
I remember a few years ago before I started this blog. I was afraid that I had nothing to contribute to the world with my writing.
I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. As the years passed, I became sick of my excuses and negative thoughts, like a kid who stands up to his bully, I decided to stand up to myself and take action anyway.
I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way of doing what I love. If people didn’t like it, that was their problem, I was going to do it anyway.
And as I started writing, dozens of people read and responded to my writing. And right now, tens of thousands of people read my content every single month.
The fears and doubts you have about going after your passion are unfounded. They are there to challenge you to see if you’re truly serious about living a happy and fulfilling life.
When you are ready to take that step into the unknown even though you are scared, your life will transform. There is a way for you to live a passionate life. I know, because I am living proof.
(Sidebar: If you don’t know what your passion is, you may want to check out my book Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself).
9. The Truth
Have you ever seen millionaires and billionaires that are incredibly successful but amazingly depressed and unhappy with their life?
They have all the cars, houses, and material possessions anyone could ever want, but they are still not happy.
All the money in the world will only amplify what is already going on within you. If you’re unhappy now, money won’t make much of a difference.
When you realize that external possessions cannot give you lasting happiness, you have the opportunity to decide if you want to be happy or not.
Everything you’ve read in this article is but a piece of the whole. When you add the everything together, you get lasting inner peace, happiness, and purpose.
You are on a journey of self-discovery, like we all are. We are all where we need to be, learning what we need to learn, and going where we need to go at this point in time.
In summary, you can live the life you want, if you will only decide to do so.
I know that it is scary, but I’d say that living a life full of excuses and fear is worse than going after your dreams.
So what if you fail?
The most successful and happy people in the world have failed over and over again until they discovered what they truly wanted to do in life.
If you will only make the decision today, your life will change. I guarantee it.
Photo by Stuart
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"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."
Aristotle said this more than 2,000 years ago. And it still holds true today. What is the true purpose of life, if not to live a happy life until we die?
Happiness is one of the most sought-after goals in life, yet for many it seems to be elusive. It's easy to delude ourselves into thinking, "When I just have that nice house and new car, then I can be happy." But in reality, happiness is available to all of us, right now. A big house or a new car won't actually make you happier; it's the simple joys in life that bring true happiness. Read on to learn 15 simple ways that you can start living a happier life today.
1. Do What You Love
If your passion is playing soccer, writing poems, or teaching children how to swim, make time to do it. You'll find that when you're doing what you love, you're filled with joy. How much better does that sound than forcing yourself do something you don't like?
2. Help Others
Sometimes after we've achieved our own personal goals, we still feel empty inside because we haven't made a meaningful contribution to someone else's life. When we volunteer or help others, it feels good to just be of service to someone else. The impact we make feels fulfilling and is a big potential source for our own happiness.
3. Be Thankful
When you think of all the things that you have to be grateful for, you realize how blessed you already are. Without even realizing it, we take our basic necessities for granted -- a roof over your head and plenty of food to eat. By appreciating the things that you already have, you'll begin to feel happier in your life.
4. Share With Others
When we share our thoughts, our time, and our abilities with others we feel better for it. A life lived without sharing can become lonely. When you share with others, they'll feel great towards you and help you to feel more joy in your own life.
5. Smile More
Practice smiling more and see how it affects you internally, as well as those around you. You can always afford to give a smile. Smiling can make you happier -- even if you have to force it, you'll still feel better.
When was the last time you went to the gym or worked out? Exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins, also known as a "runner's high." Playing sports is a fun way to exercise as well, whether it's kicking around a soccer ball or shooting hoops.
7. Seek Out a Life Coach
A life coach will help you to evaluate your life and why you're not feeling happy in it. Maybe you're holding limiting beliefs or you have an emotional block without realizing it. By speaking to a life coach, you can uncover why you're actually unhappy and what you can do to feel better.
8. Find Ways to Manage Stress
Don't let stress rob you of your birthright to be happy. You deserve to be happy, and it wouldn't be right to let stress get in the way. Practices such as meditation can help you to manage stress better and feel great.
9. Eat Healthy
It's much more challenging to feel truly happy when you're sick. But when you eat right, you feel better both physically and mentally. And you'll avoid that guilty feeling that you just pigged out on junk food.
10. Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
There's no replacement for spending quality time with your loved ones. We're social beings, even if you're an introvert or a loner. People love spending time with their friends and family for good conversation, bonding, and some laughs. Life's too short to live it completely alone.
11. Dump Negative Thinking
You already know that negative thinking will bring you down. So how do you stop it? Become more aware of it and try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones. Spend less time with negative people and more time with positive people.
12. Give More Gifts
You don't have to give expensive gifts; sometimes a poem, a quick note, or a thoughtful email will brighten someone else's day, and yours. Share what you can give to all the wonderful people in your life.
13. Forgive and Forget
Holding a grudge will harm you more than the person you're holding it against. Ask yourself, "What would it take for me to let go of the past?" and notice how you feel when you let go of your anger for a few seconds. Focus instead on a bright future and you'll feel better for it.
14. Take a Walk in Nature
Spending time out in nature can be very refreshing and renewing, especially when you're living in an artificial, manmade world. Taking a walk in your local woods or park and getting some fresh air can allow you to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
15. Be Yourself
As Steve Jobs said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." Accept who you are, just be yourself, and you'll feel a world of difference.
Want to be happier? Click here to learn how you can live a happy life with life coaching. A life coach is a professional who helps you to be happier, reach your goals, and find your true purpose in life. See how a simple shift in your thinking and attitude towards life can make you feel a whole lot happier.
Follow Tom Casano on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TomCasano