Do you know anyone who is completely unhappy? I mean really unhappy? You know, the real Debbie Downer type who always looks at the glass empty? Perhaps you know someone who is really happy? You know, the type where the world around them seems to be crumbling yet they always have a smile?
Well I have been known as the latter. I have had the fortunate and unfortunate gift of attracting challenges that I need to overcome. My friends say that I attract it. Even when I go mountain biking or hiking, I will always take the harder route to keep things interesting. The same as in my own personal life. I have had numerous obstacles but for some amazing reason, things always work out in the end. I have a feeling it comes down to my attitude.
It all comes down to attitude. If you ask five different people what the definition of Attitude is you’ll most likely get five different answers. Attitude is a combination of your thoughts, feelings and actions. If you want to change your attitude you have to first start by changing your thoughts. I am going to share with you six ways that will help improve your attitude and help you become a happier person overall. But first, I want to share with you one of the hardest situations of my life and how I stayed happy throughout.
A number of years ago I built a commercial building for my martial arts school where everything that could go wrong went wrong and then some. Just to give a very quick recap of what transpired…
• Exhausted all available savings and had to raise $75,000 in one weekend. (We did it)
• Three weeks later had to raise another $75,000. (Did it again)
• Year was 2008, fuel prices rose causing building materials to increase 30%, couldn’t pay for a builder so built the building myself (literally hands on)
• Had a Union strike against me during construction
• Adopted two additional children on top of my other three children
• Was the toughest financial situation of my life
I worked very closely with the banker at my bank and he said to me,” I cannot believe how you could still be smiling with all you are going through.” The caretaker of my house in Vermont used to say, “When I’m having a bad day, I think of you and all of a sudden I feel all better.” Meaning that I have had so many challenges that his challenges didn’t seem so bad. We had a good laugh over that one. I felt that I was continuously getting kicked in the head but no one could knock me down. And that was the truth!
So let me ask you, how do you handle challenges? Do you let it get you down or do you power through it? Are you able to stay happy no matter what the circumstance or do you let the circumstance get the best of you?
Well, I was giving it some thought on how I was able to keep my composure and maintain a positive attitude in the midst of the adversity I faced. I came up of a list of six habits you could develop so you could always be HAPPY no matter what challenges you face. Everyone goes through challenges so you might as well be happy with it.
1. Stay away from the news: I remember coaching some clients in the financial services during the 2008-2009 harsh economic times. The clients would watch the news every morning and hear about the horrible state of the economy and then go out and provide financial services for their clients. It was not a good way to start the day. They were defeated even before they left the house. I personally make a point to stay away from the news. Negativity sells and that is why there is so much of it. When people hear of others hardships it makes them feel better so they keep on watching. It’s a viscous cycle. Being aware is good, inundating yourself is not going to get you happy. I would rather watch Spongebob than the news!
2. Exercise: This is a must for your happiness and sanity. When you exercise, your endorphins get flowing releasing the brains “feel good” chemicals. No matter what you do, you’ll always feel better after a good sweat. I make time everyday to make sure I train in the martial arts, mountain bike, hike, run, walk, anything to be active. Even when I felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders, I would still lock out time to train.
3. Random good deeds: This is a really good one and easy too. All you have to do is some random acts of kindness to others. It could be opening a door for someone, giving a compliment, helping someone in need or even acknowledging the teller by name when you check out for lunch. Why? Because altruistic tendencies release the same endorphins as exercising does. It is known as the “Helpers high”. Think about how you feel when you do good for others; great right? Happy right? So go out of your way to make other people’s worlds just a little brighter.
4. Eat healthfully: Have you ever stuffed your face and feel downright miserable after? I know I have. On the other side, have you eaten a good healthy meal and had energy to spare? I have done that more. I always like to say, “garbage in, garbage out”. If you put garbage in your body than you will most likely feel pretty miserable and that definitely won’t make you happy. When you eat a good healthy meal, you feel good internally full of vibrancy and that will always make you happy!
5. Be a good finder: This is easy but so hard at the same time. When I was going through the hard times when building my building, I constantly had to be a good finder. The mind is an amazing tool when you understand how to use it. You could only have one thought at any given time. A positive one or a negative one. You can’t have both. What I would do when facing a challenge is find the positive. No matter how dismal a situation may seem, searching for the positive will make any situation just a little bit better. It works so just do it! Constantly ask, “What’s the positive” and I know you will be so much happier!
6. Practice meditation: Have you ever known someone who practices some form of meditation? Don’t they seem calm and happy? Of course they do. Meditation gives you a higher level of awareness and allows you to see things at a deeper level. During meditation, you should focus on deep breathing and calming your mind. This will slow down your brain waves and allow thoughts from your subconscious mind to come to the surface. Solutions to challenges you are facing and or new ideas will come to the fore front of your mind. Meditation allows thought energy to flow to and through you easily and effortlessly while quieting the business of life known as mind noise. It is essential for someone to find true happiness at a subconscious level. More on this in the near future.
OK, there you have it. Now you have to go and put these six steps into action and you will be a happier person. As far as business is concerned, everyone wants to do business with someone who is happy. No one wants to do business with someone who is always negative no matter how good the product or service may be. Therefore, being happy is one of the best investments you could have for your business.
Many clients that we work with has used the life balance scorecard to see how they stand on the “happiness’ scale. It is a simple five minute survey to fill out to see if you have balance in your life. Once completed, we will also provide some specific suggestions on how you could become a happier person. The test is free so might as well do it, you’ll be happy that you did. Click Here to get started.
As always, if anyone has any questions or would like to leave a comment, please do so and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Also, I would love to hear your feedback on our blog or any topics you would like us to write about. You could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best and look forward to connecting in the near future. In the meantime, stay HAPPY!!!!