Day 12 of the 12 Days of Joy
Be the Key to Your Happy and Successful Lifestyle
It’s a cheery time of year. However, sometimes people struggle to find their happy place. Job and family stress creeps in. Expectations seem overwhelming at times. You may even feel guilty that you don’t feel happy when you are “supposed” to be happy. I have pulled together keys to help you get happier and more successful right now. How about a big dose of genuine happiness and success?
Surprisingly, happiness has a lot to do with choice and perspective. Often, people think happiness is cause and effect, that the circumstances create happiness or take happiness away. In reality, happiness is the beginning. Happiness can be right now, not someday. You don’t have to wait for happiness. You can choose to be happy right now.
You were made to not just survive, but to thrive!
Do these sound familiar “I don’t have time for happiness, I have bills to pay. Or I just want to be debt-free. Or I just need to make it through the workday so I can…” etc. The thought process here is that happiness is a frivolous thing and not important. In reality, when you are happy, everything else in your life flows better.
Loving, supportive, caring, happy, joyful, confident energy attracts.
This is how happiness and joy are linked to your success in life. The best is attracted to the best. When you are feeling great emotionally (happy, joyful), you magnetize greatness to you.
I see examples of this all of the time. When people consciously focus on being happy, their businesses grow or their careers thrive. When people get caught up in frustration, growth stagnates.
Think about the last time everything seemed to be working smoothly? You may have felt like you had a golden touch. Every business deal worked out. Money seemed to come from everywhere. Your personal life felt like it was working well.
What was going on for you at that time? You were probably relaxed and happy. Maybe you associate being relaxed and happy because the deals were working, but the truth is more likely that you were happy and relaxed and then the deals and everything else started working out.
A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.
According to research from University College London and London School of Economics professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and University of Warwick economics professor Andrew Oswald, happier people tend to make more money.
What can you do if it feels like happiness is far away?
Some people seem happier than others. Some people seem to magnetize you with their smile, their energy and others seem to be perpetually “in a mood” and something is “always going wrong”. In the U.S. only about one-third of people report being very happy.
One of the biggest factors that impact daily happiness is that happy people try to be happy. It’s a choice.
Happiness is a practice, it’s not a condition.
Happiness practices. Choose at least one and get started on creating more daily happiness.
Be kind to yourself and others. Practice excellent self-care. Sleep well. Move your body. Go to the doctor. Eat well. Practice deep breathing and relaxation. Give yourself a break. Stop being hard on yourself. Extend kindness to other people as well. Accept faults. Forgive quickly. Be generous with your time and attention. Give genuine compliments. Show that you care. Seek to understand.
Engage in hobbies that give you joy. If you have always wanted to learn how to ride horses, dance, paint, draw, write, play golf, play tennis, cook gourmet food, etc… Go for it. Sign up. Start now. If you already have well-developed hobbies, be sure to make time in your life for them. And consider whether you can involve the people closest to you and/or consider whether you could teach your hobby to someone else. If you can combine your hobby with your purpose in life or your legacy in life you will increase your happiness even more.
Get involved with an important cause. If you feel passionate about a cause, do something about it. Raise money. Raise awareness. Participate on boards. Donate your time and money. Ask how you can get your business or work involved with this cause. Can you donate a part of your profits? Can you host a fundraiser?
Do something that stretches you out of your comfort zone. If you are completely comfortable, you are not growing. Do something every day that stretches you. This could be a phone call, an increase in intensity while exercising, learning something new, speaking up, asking for what you really want…
Pursue what you really want, don’t settle. Go for what you really want. It is far more satisfying to go for the best than to settle for what is merely okay or acceptable. Apply this to jobs, clients, trips, houses, cars, relationships… everything.
Acknowledge that overall, everything you need for happiness is within you already.
“On a deeper level, you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.”Eckhart TolleClick to tweet
Remember your why. When you don’t feel like doing what is important, remember why you are doing it. Remember why you started your business, why you went back to school, why you joined the gym, why you had kids, why you got married, why you developed the friendships that you have, why you got that puppy, why you took the job you have, and so on. Keep a list of your reasons why. Keep this list handy. Put it in the front of your folder file. Keep it next to your computer. Or keep this list in your wallet.
Keep practicing your daily happiness ritual. Continue or start a daily happiness ritual (perhaps a gratitude journal, a daily run, daily meditation/prayer, etc). If you haven’t created a happiness ritual for yourself, do it now. If you have one, keep going. The consistency will yield a big pay-off for you. You will begin to feel an exponential increase in happiness after you have implemented your happiness ritual for several days in a row or months in a row. For me, it has been years and years of daily happiness rituals.
Take care of incompletes in your life/do what you can today/don’t procrastinate. Incompletes are those things left undone. Incompletes weigh on your heart and drag down energy. Make a list of incompletes. Write down everything you have started and not finished on this list. Begin making your way through the list. If you started something and you truly don’t want to do it anymore, take that project completely off the table.
For instance, if you decided that you want to knit and you bought a whole bunch of knitting materials and every time you walk by them, you feel guilty for not doing it, you have some choices. You could finish your knitting project, you could schedule your knitting project and then do it at that time, you could donate your knitting materials to someone who loves knitting and actually does it or you could put your knitting materials in storage. If you have a list of phone calls you need to make, sit down and do it.
If you have a book half done, sit down and write a chapter. If you have a course you are writing, sit down and write a lesson. One of the things I like to do is to take an afternoon and try to knock out as many incompletes as I can. I make it fun. It feels really good. Over time, you will have fewer incompletes.
Hold deeper conversations. Go beyond the surface with people. Don’t just talk about movies, the weather, traffic, sports, what you did, where you ate, etc. Take your conversations to a deeper level. At a recent party with friends, I asked the question, “What was most important to you this year? What were the big things?
At first, people talked about trips, events, and then the conversation went to people and family and love. It was a great moment of connection for everyone. Be willing to notice what isn’t said. Be willing to ask if everything is okay. Be willing to listen to difficult challenges.
When I got sick, one of my friends would talk to me about everything else besides my illness. If I mentioned a fear that I had, she would dismiss it and say, “Well, I know you are going to get better.” I didn’t have the opportunity to explore how I felt. I had other friends who listened and encouraged me to go deeper and process what I was feeling. I was really thankful for that. My friend who wouldn’t listen didn’t act like that because she was unfeeling, it was just too hard for her to go there with me. It was too painful.
But going deeper is a key to connection and a key to more happiness. Even if there is temporary sadness, there will be a deeper level of happiness because of the deeper connection. Be willing to open your heart to go deep with people.
Happiness is a lifestyle choice. Implement a few of these steps to happiness and then notice how your life changes.
“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.”Brian TracyClick to tweet
What makes a person successful?
Can one trait determine success above all others? I have been studying success, happiness, and leadership for almost three decades and I would love it if it were as simple as one trait. Success in life has many contributing factors, but there is one trait that does seem to stand out over the others. You might think – parenting or education or money, but it turns out that this one trait is grit.
What is grit? The dictionary defines it as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit.”
Psychologist Angela Duckworth calls grit a blend of passion and persistence. Grit is the trait that makes you keep on going no matter what. It’s the trait that helps you move forward when you might feel like giving up. Grit is the foundation of emotional intelligence. When you exemplify grit, you exude self-discipline, and the willingness to persevere.
With grit, motivation becomes less important. A gritty person will do it anyway regardless of motivation. With grit, you make a decision to do something and then you do it. It’s the difference between the ‘wanna be“ and “gonna be”.
How does this idea of grit line up with inspired action? How does it line up with other research that I have conducted that shows that the more you relax, the more successful you are? Can you be gritty and relaxed? Yes, you can. Grit does not mean stress. In fact, stress is often related to breaking promises to yourself. Perhaps, the more grit you have, the more you can relax. You know you have done your due diligence and taken the necessary action steps.
Where is the role of grit in the law of attraction? It seems like grit might oppose the law of attraction because grit seems synonymous with hard work. We also know plenty of hard-working people who do not achieve the success they are looking for. Hard work just for the sake of hard work is not what girt is about.
However, grit is more of a mindset and way of thinking. It’s a thought process that says, “I am not giving up.” This aligns with the law of attraction. Though instant manifestation is possible, most manifestation has a time delay. Grit gives you the resolve to allow things to unfold. You have probably heard people say, “I have tried the law of attraction, then I gave up because it doesn’t work.” You probably see the irony here.
“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.” —Earl NightingaleClick to tweet
When I look at the coaching cycle and the work that it takes to change habits and create more life-enhancing habits, the role of grit and willpower is particularly important in the beginning when you are not accustomed to the change. This could involve a change in thinking patterns, eating, when you get up in the morning, work activities, communication habits, etc. This grit at the beginning, allow you to build momentum which takes on a life of its own.
Grit is also extremely important in the last 10% of a goal or project completion. It is this phase where many people give up. They give up right when they are about to achieve what they wanted. Grit helps you see things through. It helps you complete what you set out to do.
What if you are a person who gives up too easily or too early? Can you develop grit? Of course, you can. Why do you want to develop your grit mindset? Because it is a huge predictor of success. The key to developing grit is to practice it.
Start keeping those promises you make to yourself. Your confidence increases as you keep your promises to yourself.
Extend yourself. If you set a goal to write for 15 minutes a day, add one minute. If you decide to take a 20-minute walk, take a 21-minute walk. Add a little more weight to those bicep curls. Do one more push up.
Do something you fear. Courage builds your grit mindset.
Be willing to be around people who have accomplished more than you have. Don’t be intimidated. See it as a learning and growing opportunity. Avoid talking negatively about other people’s achievements.
Stay optimistic and positive.
Be goal achievement oriented with a purpose in mind and passion in your heart.
Go for excellence rather than perfection. Perfectionism is paralyzing and often leads to procrastination.
Remember, you were made to thrive.
If you liked this, you will love this article on happiness
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The 12 Days of Joy Blog Series
Sheri Kaye Hoff
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is a Business Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to do the work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community. Learn More About Sheri