Written by David B. Bohl of Slow Down Fast.
It seems that everything comes in a list format nowadays. “Wash, Rinse, and Repeat” or “Open box, Remove Contents, Try and Assemble”. Maybe it is because when we see things in a list format our brain interprets them as a set of instructions - rules that must be followed.
The proliferation of articles about happiness as of late has been astonishing. Everybody is coming up with the magic formula for finding happiness. I don't know about you, but I need to keep things simple and in perspective at all times.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a simple set of instructions for living a happy and fulfilled life? How about an instruction manual for life? Something along the lines of “Enjoy childhood, Explore young adulthood, Engage in a rewarding career, and Enjoy life.”
Unfortunately, things are not that easy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t techniques and tips you can use in your everyday life that can help you find happiness and fulfillment as you go through the journey of life. Here's how:
Keep life simple. Far too many of us are always over analyzing and looking for the most complicated way of doing things in life. Sometimes life was meant to be simple – a walk through the park, a simple yes or no answer, or a quiet evening with the family. Don’t try and clutter your life with unnecessary decisions by making everything complicated and complex. Keep it simple!
Practice being satisfied. How many times have you heard someone say, “If only I had a few more dollars I’d…” or “If I just had another day off I could….”? Many people don’t know how to be satisfied with what life gives them. They are so busy wanting more that they squander what life has already given them.
Beware of indecision. Nobody said life is easy, and sometimes you have to make the tough choices. Never put off a decision that you can make today. You may miss some of the best and most exciting opportunities in the world because you were indecisive. Successful people didn’t get where they were at by prolonging or going back and forth on decisions!
Practice cheerfulness. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it here again – it only takes a few muscles to smile! You would be surprised at how well being cheerful to others can spread like wildfire. We live in a society where it seems that glumness is the rule of order. A simple smile or kind word can spread through our culture like wildfire – not only will you feel better, but those who interact with you will feel better!
Learn to like people. You don’t have to love everyone you encounter, so learn to like people – especially those who are different than yourself. Often you won’t agree with everything they do, or maybe all of their beliefs, but by learning to get along with them you will open your mind up to change – a critical trait that is absolutely necessary in today’s world.
Live and let live. Is it really your concern what the guy across the street wants to do with his life or who he wants to share his life with? Learn to live your life to the fullest and let others live their life to the fullest. None of us is above anyone else, and none of us should think we should be allowed to dictate how another person should live their life.
Adversity teaches. Adversity can be one of the most powerful teachers we will ever have in our lives. You will learn so much about life by overcoming adversity and learning how to face it head on. Adversity often comes dressed in many different outfits, but you will change your life by learning how to deal with it and prosper from it.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Here is a secret: it’s ok to be a little goofy now and then! You only get one shot at this life, so make the most of it. Have some fun and show your children and those around you that you know how to have fun. You aren’t the greatest gift to mankind this world has ever had – so don’t act like it! You may find you add years to your life, not to mention a ton of laughter!
Have a sense of humor. Laugh, joke, and now and then pick up a cream pie and throw it! Laughter has been shown to help people live longer, reduce their blood pressure, and help them relate to people from around the world.
Practice objectivity. Be objective in your decision-making and risk-taking. Know the facts and avoid letting racial, social, or any other type of bias influence your decisions. Great leaders perform their best when they act based on facts, not on emotion or prejudices. Become a great leader in your life.
Tolerate your own mistakes. You will make mistakes – in fact, you will make so many mistakes you will never be able to list them all. Learn that mistakes happen and the best thing you can do is to learn from them. Don’t spend your entire life dwelling on a mistake you made years ago – learn from it and move on. The world isn’t going to wait while you live in the past.
Forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself up over things that happened in the past - things you did or didn’t do, and mistakes you may have made with others.
Forgiving yourself is a skill so few of us have the ability to accomplish. It's such a shame that we spent a lifetime living in the past and never make it to our full potential in the future. Forgive yourself – and just as importantly, forgive others.
It may seem like a rather long list, but I encourage you to read it and then refer back to it every now and then. You’ll see each one ties into the others in some fashion and that these simple steps really do help you live a more meaningful, happy and fulfilled life.
Life happens. Be a part of it.
Written by David B. Bohl of Slow Down Fast.