Everyone wants Happiness and Peace of Mind as basic life goals. Very few achieve it. Alas, there is no magic mantra or pill that helps achieve Happiness. However, the following certainly help us be happier.
- Be the healthiest you can be. Get healthy. Reach your ideal weight. Exercise well, long and hard. At the very least, get in three hours of moderate cardio vascular exercise weekly. Stretch for a few minutes every day. Eat well, with discipline. Drink lots of water. Eat more green vegetables, fruits, nuts. If you are non-vegetarian, enjoy lean meats like chicken and fish. Minimize your intake of obvious “bad” foods like sugar, red meats, deep fried, processed and fast food, and refined flour. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Avoid narcotics and other hallucinogenic drugs.
- Enjoy your work. Whatever the nature of your work, give 100% to it. Work is worship. Get organized. Manage your work time well. Don’t slacken. Put in an honest day’s work. Plan your work well, execute it better. Work hard, work smart, enjoy every moment. Manage your career, but enjoy the journey.
- Get financially stable. Organize your finances. Invest a quarter of what you earn in a variety of instruments ranging from near zero risk (cash earning a small rate of interest in a good and stable bank), low risk (debt mutual funds), medium risk (balanced mutual funds) and high risk (equity mutual funds and directly into equity). The younger you are, the more risk you should take. Spend your money well, thinking through every purchase. Keep track of your expenses, and evaluate them regularly. Live within your means. Don’t fall into a debt trap. Pay off your debts as soon as you possibly can.
- Develop emotional balance. Introspect on what exhilarates you and what upsets you. Decide to move to the emotional middle ground. When you receive a stimulus, pause and then choose your response … count to ten, literally. Work on your spirituality. If you believe in organized religion, embrace it and spend a little time every day in prayer. If you don’t, spend time in connecting with the inner you through meditation and relaxation exercises. Stop being a slave to your smartphone and other electronic addictions. Improve your ability to concentrate by giving one-pointed attention to whatever you are doing.
- Nurture your relationships. Identify the important folks in your life. Spouse or Partner, children, parents, siblings and their families, a few special cousins and aunts and uncles, a few friends each from school and college and work, your immediate manager and a few colleagues at work, some mentors, teachers and role models. Nurture these relationships. Give everything, expect nothing. Spend time with people who are positive and future focused. Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. Get rid of people and relationships that are toxic and which weaken you.
- Develop a positive attitude. Believe that your future will be better than your past. Smile a lot. Be positive. Look at the brighter side of every situation. Be the best dressed person you can be, basis your own individual style and preference. Lend a helping hand to those who need it. Be the nicest person you know. Stop complaining and whining. Avoid the temptation to blame other people. Read inspiring books. Take responsibility and ownership for your life and your actions. Be happy and content with what you have, but enjoy the process of working hard to get more and to grow.
- Set and achieve goals. Make smart goals and plans to achieve them. Execute your plans, do more of what works, and fix or junk what doesn’t work. Evaluate and evolve. Work towards making the future better in every aspect of your life. Happiness is growth – where we are today versus where we were in the past. If we have grown and are growing, we feel happy.
Also published on Medium.