January 21, 2015

Five steps to creating a happy and truly fulfilling life

It's Sunday night. All you can think about is the dread of Monday morning; the alarm clock ringing, the commute to work, and that unending pile of papers still sitting on your desk where you left them Friday night. Your stomach is in knots, your back aches and your head is pounding. You are physically and mentally drained and exhausted from the job. You think "what am I doing with my life?" and you don't even know how you let it get this far.

Your life does NOT have to be like this. There is good news! You CAN choose a different path! Is it easy? Not always. Will it be worth it? I think you know the answer to that one.

I'm going to share with you 5 ways to create your own happiness. 5 steps you can take today to get you on the path to the live you deserve. The life you are meant for. These things can and will work, but if, and ONLY if, you put them into practice every day. Creating the life you want will take work. It will be difficult at times. But you will reap the benefits very quickly. I promise.

1. Smile at everyone you meet. Did you know that when we give to others, we feel better ourselves? Smiling at someone can be a great gift. Treat people with kindness, no matter what. The guy who cuts you off in traffic. The cranky post office worker. The angry customer who calls you on the phone. We've all heard the phrase "hurt people, hurt people" right? These negative people in your life, they ALL have a story! And you don't have the script to it! We don't know what others have been through in their lives. I think often times we think we do. We think we know people. We assume that, even if they're having a bad day, or a bad week, or year, they shouldn't treat us poorly. And you're right. BUT, treating them poorly in return helps no one. Not you, not them. So smile. Treat them with kindness. You could very well need them to do the same for you someday.

2. Read personal development books. If you had told me 2 years ago that I should read personal development books to better myself and my life, I would have laughed in your face. I would have judged you and thought, there is no way that those self-help books are going to help ME. I have always been turned off by the phrase "personal development" and I'm not sure why. But I don't really know what else to call them so we will just go with it. TRUST me when I say, these books will change you. It's hard to imagine now, I know. But give yourself this gift. Don't tell me you don't have time. All you need is 10 minutes a day. There are some phenomenal authors out there. Chalene Johnson, Brendon Burchard, Brian Tracy, Napolean Hill, and Andrew Carnegie, just to name a few. If you need a suggestion for where to start, I suggest The Charge by Brendon Burchard, or Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.

3. Be grateful. I've touched on this before. Gratitude can turn your life from nothing, to everything. Be grateful everyday for the people, things and experiences you have in your life. But don't just say it. BE it. Feel it. Own it. And write it down.

4. Turn off the television. Did you know that the average american spends 4 hours per day watching tv!? Let's think about this. Even if you are not average, let's say you're below average at 1 hour per day. That would be equal to 365 hours per year. That is equivalent to MORE than 15 DAYS per year! Can you imagine? What would you do if someone handed you an extra 15 days each year. 15 days FOR FREE?! Would you spend it watching tv? Likely not. Time is time, no matter how we spend it, right? So think about turning off the tv and doing something each day that will push you closer to the life you want for yourself. Because no one is going to do it for you! Which brings us to the last and most important step:

5. Figure out your life's purpose. You need to make it a goal and WRITE IT DOWN to figure out what you believe your life's purpose is. Maybe you've never thought about it? Maybe no one has ever asked you to think about it! Whatever your case may be, you need to find this out to be truly happy. If you're not sure how to do this, ask yourself some of these questions: What am I passionate about? What gets me fired up? What is it that puts a fire in my belly?! For me, I learned that it was helping others find happiness in their own lives. I knew that I had a lot to share after having been through so much pain, depression and turmoil in my own life. The fire lit inside of me when I started sharing with others and they opened themselves to me. So what is it for you? What, in your life, puts that fire in your soul and passion in your heart?