“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present” - Jim Rohn.
Most individuals desire to lead a fulfilled and happy life. However, the majority of people tell themselves "I'd be happier if," "I guess I'm happy," or some variation of the two. Sound familiar? Almost no one takes the time to consider their actual feelings and make the necessary changes to improve their circumstances. The question is, Why not? Why are we so hesitant in the areas that matter the most in our lives? Why do we delay doing the things we love to do until it's practically too late? Why are we sacrificing our mental wellness for a paycheck just to make ends meet? We need to recognize exactly what we want out of life and pursue it.
How do we go about finding our inner happiness? I'll admit finding happiness was a vague idea to me at first. I wasn't pursuing happiness as an actual way of living. I'd look at my life and say, "Well, I'm not unhappy. I guess I'm good." Frankly, I was unconcerned and became content with living an "okay" lifestyle. I had a decent paying job that paid the bills. I did struggle financially here and there, but I felt that was normal. I also stressed about going to work and being at work but thought that was typical. I was too tired to spend quality time with family and friends and thought everyone was in the same boat. I felt things were "okay" because I had an excuse for everything!
Every 3 to 4 years I'd leave that decent paying job for one reason or another and would find another decent paying job that would pay a little bit more. I'd still be struggling financially and would feel unhappy on the inside, but every week I'd tell myself, "I want to start my own business", "I'd like to go there with the kids," "I wish I had enough money to do this." I've learned that the questions you routinely ask yourself and things you regularly say to yourself are very reflective of how you feel inside. An individual needs to pay close attention to their mindset, and that self awareness can help propel them in finding their happiness. The truth is, I wasn't satisfied with where I was in life. The jobs I held were exhausting and stressful because they didn't align with my passion and what I wanted to do in life. My kids were growing up fast, and I was absent the majority of the day and too tired to spend time with them the majority of the evening.
I finally came to a point where I needed to reflect on my life and where it was taking me. I knew if I continued to do the same things, I'd continue to get the same results. I didn't want that to happen, so I began to read several self-help books. I also read several articles and watched videos on people that were following their dreams. I knew something had to change in my life and was determined to make any changes necessary. As I continued to research about happiness and living a happy life, I became inspired, motivated, and empowered. Each resource began to fuel my curiosity. I wanted to know what was in store for me down the road if I decided to change it all. My stagnant, content, and unconcerned lifestyle was no longer acceptable. I could not tolerate an "okay" lifestyle another day and knew that this change would have to be a permanent one.
Finding happiness is not easy to do by yourself. I'd recommend you pursue happiness with a like minded person that you can trust. Here is a re-occurring pattern that I've noticed each mentor used to find their authentic happiness.
1. Listen To Yourself
Do not live a life other people want you to live. You must find a way to quiet all of the noise in your life. Focus on what you want.
2. Love What You Do
Follow your passion and make time for it. You should enjoy the majority of your day and be able to feel good about yourself in the process.
3. Be The Example
Make a meaningful impact in someone's life. Stop waiting for someone to make the change and be the change. Helping others will go a long way into increasing your happiness.
4. Love Yours
Be thankful for what you have already. We tend to take for granted the blessings we have before us. Appreciate the smaller things in life and think positive about your future.
5. Share Your Story
Everyone has a story worth telling. Share thoughts, ideas, and life lessons. Connect with people on a deeper level and be honest about your circumstances, successes, and failures.
Work out at least 30 minutes every day. Staying fit will improve your mental and physical state at the same time. Your body releases endorphin's when you exercise which in turn releases stress.
7. Find A Mentor
Get a life coach, psychiatrist or mentor. Limiting beliefs can hold a person back from obtaining authentic happiness. If you're having problems uncovering why you're unhappy, a professional should be sought out.
8. Manage Stress
Silence the external noise and focus on what you want. Meditation is a helpful practice that allows you to manage stress better.
9. Eat Healthy
Eat the right foods to feel your best. Your body is your temple, and when you fill it up with junk, you throw your mind and body out of wack. Eating healthy foods help enlighten your mood throughout the day.
10. Quality Time
Spend quality time with loved ones. Bond with family and friends and make a difference in everyone's life. We get one shot at life, so don't wait until its too late.
11. Positive Thinking
Have a can do attitude. No more excuses, its time to take control of your life and your happiness. Your circumstance does not define you; you define you.
It's time that we drop the excuses and self-proclaimed doubt. Knowledge is power; I encourage you to do research and develop an understanding of what your happiness truly is. In my opinion, there is nothing more important than finding your happiness. When you're in a good mood, the people around you take notice and will be affected in a positive way. Therefore, when you're in a bad mood, naturally bad things tend to happen. I decided to take control of my life and pursue happiness on September 3rd, 2016. I decided I would never look back and have faith that everything will work out while pursuing my passion. I co-founded September3Sixteen.com to make a meaningful impact in the lives of people around the world and to encourage them to create the life they wanted to live. You should have everything you want in life and more. Happiness is just the beginning.