Most of us, especially entrepreneurs, don’t celebrate enough, or enjoy the moment, as we are always too busy looking ahead and delaying your happiness. Many people stop celebrating birthdays as they get older, too, which is said. So on my 39th birthday, one year from an apparently scary age, I thought I’d celebrate with you with 14 ways to be more happy, celebrate more and appreciate what you have.
Here they are; they are easy to do and must come from you, rather than waiting for them to happen:
1. Happiness is Gratitude
Gratitude is a practice. You do it, and get better and it, and in turn receive more. So count your blessings daily. Note down five things you are grateful for, ideally when you wake and before you go to bed. You can’t feel gratitude and any negative emotion simultaneously. Gratitude will over-write your pain, sadness and struggles. It is easy to do when you are feeling good, but most important to do when you are not. Practice gratitude for small things as well as big things, make it a daily habit, and you will experience more of it in your life.
2. Celebrate more
Celebrating big victories is easy, but they can be a long time coming. So celebrate the small things too. Reward yourself according to the size of the result, and reward yourself often. Share your progress and victories with people you care about, too, without feeling guilty or trying to show off. If you don’t teach yourself to celebrate and reward yourself often, you will never allow yourself to be satisfied and you will forever delay those great feelings.
3. Make things FUN. Take your art seriously but not yourself
By all means take your work and your art seriously, but go easy on yourself. Sometimes you are your harshest critic. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, others will do that for you. Enjoy the moment. Have fun. Laugh. Enjoy your time choosing to see the best in it. Make fun of yourself from time to time, people will be attracted to your lightness and spirit.
4. Be around great, fun, smart, interesting NICE people
Sometimes it is hardest to lift ourselves up, because we are in our own way. A great and easier way to lift yourself up is be around smart, inspiring and fun people. Choose your friends and your network wisely. It is magical when around great people and like helps you ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’. They can care for you and help you when you are down, and can put you back into line when you get ahead of yourself.
5. Be NICE. Care. Do & give RAOK
It costs nothing to be nice, and it is just as easy to be nice as it is to be a git. You don’t know what people are going through, so assume they are doing their best and seek to understand them. Care about others. give gratefully, and perform ROAKs (random acts of kindness). This is selfish as well as selfless, because it feels amazing!
6. Challenge yourself to confront your fears. Immediately
The more you challenge yourself, the more victories, rewards and feelings of satisfaction you will experience. The problem with being comfortable is that you don’t get rewards, wins and the feeling of progress towards something meaningful. Sure, life will throw you some curveballs, so challenge yourself to accept them, roll up your sleeves and master them. It will be messy in the middle but boy will you feel great at the end.
7. Be creative. Give yourself space for ideas
Give yourself some time and space, both physically and mentally. Ideas and creativity will come into your mind once you empty your mind of clutter and noise. Take some time away. Have time alone each day. Be bored every now and again. Try new things. Slow down.
8. Listen & watch more, and talk less
Listen to and watch people. you learn more than when you are talking all the time. You will see the beautiful moments in your kids, staff and friends if you stop to listen and watch. Most people are just waiting to talk. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Watch educational documentaries. Learning is a gift.
9. Be PRESENT NOW
Most people are stuck living in the past holding on to all their baggage from years ago and bringing it into the present, or always looking into the future and therefore either miss the present moment or wish it away. The past and the future are traps that stop you from enjoying the moment right now. Pause. Slow down. Take it all in now. Appreciate where you are, not just where you want to go.
10. DREAM about the future, then formulate your master plan
Whilst trying to enjoy the present moment more, it is also exciting to dream about your amazing future. Allow yourself these moments, and don’t get stuck into being too realistic or worse pessimistic. Balance allowing yourself to dream big, with formulating a specific plan to take steps towards your dream, so that you can turn your dream into a reality.
11. Fix/sove problems
Most people wish problems away. They only go away when you solve them. See a problem as a gift that enables you to create a solution that helps others, builds your self worth (and your net worth). Your value goes up the bigger problem you solve, so enjoy the opportunity. You’re not necessarily going to love every minute of it, but the rewards are greater at the end than not having had the problem in the first place. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.
12. Love Yourself. Be Yourself. Trust Yourself
You can’t expect people to love you if you don’t love yourself. You won’t attract the right people into your life, if you aren’t yourself, because showing the world a false version of you, whether over or underplaying yourself, will attract people who are attracted to the false version of you. You know who you are, when others and yourself are not judging. Trust yourself that this version of you is the version the world wants and needs to see. Sure, it takes courage, but courage is in built in you, and a false version of you is as likely to be rejected as a real version of you. Some people will reject you anyway, so you might as well be yourself.
13. Let GO
By all means dream, set a goal and make a plan, but then let go of the need for perfection and over control. Some things and people you can’t control. The need for control sets expectations too high and you will always feel frustrated or let down. Let your kids and your staff and your friends be themselves, and where you need to, help them, guide them and love them, but let them be them, and be happy however things play out. You won or you learn. You earn or you learn. Resist the need too control by defending, blaming, complaining or justifying, just smile, and move on.
14. Watch comedy. Smile. Laugh. See the good in things.
I hope these help you, and you take time to care for yourself, celebrate more, and practice gratitude, happiness and presence, rather than wait for or delay it.