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If You Want to be Happy, Take Hold of Your Life

Happiness requires action.

What is happiness? An anonymous individual was once quoted saying, “People are usually as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Happiness isn’t a magical serum that you can take in the morning and then find yourself smiling through every bad thing that happens. Happiness is an entire change to your mindset. It’s about finally learning to love yourself and to treat yourself right. In order to be truly happy, you need to take hold of your life.

Don’t Let Life Push You Down

Time and time again, we’re pushed down on our knees by the rolling waves of life. When we try to stand back up, we’re pushed down again. At that point, it’s easy to wonder if we’ll ever be happy or if it’s something that only the elite can obtain. It’s not something for just a select group of people. Happiness is attainable by everyone who wants it. Next time you find yourself getting pushed down by a wave, surf it to the shore. It’s all about changing your mindset to see the challenges in life as blessings that will make things better. Benjamin Franklin is famous for saying in his autobiography that his errors in his life have only moved to make him better. We all need to change our mindset to reflect that same idea. It’s not the end of the world when we make a mistake. Instead, it’s the beginning of a new one.

Live Your Dream

Everyone has a dream that they have always wanted to live since they were a little child. Some people dream about being astronauts, some people want to be authors, and some people want to play a professional sport. Whatever that dream was, don’t let go of it. Live it to some extent. If you wanted to be an astronaut then take an astronomy course, tour NASA, and get as close to it as you can. If you’re still young enough that your dream is still a possibility, then run with it and don’t look back. It’s often when we start looking back that we lose track of our dreams. I was told once by a restaurant owner that he had a dream to be the best. I asked him what was holding him back and he said that his ice wasn’t good enough. I laughed, of course, but he went out to buy a professional commercial ice machine to fix his problem. Next thing I knew was that his restaurant was more popular than ever. It wasn’t necessarily just because of the ice, it was because when the restaurant owner thought his dream was accomplished, he became happier and the entire atmosphere of the restaurant changed.

Make a New Friend Every Week

When our lives get too busy, we often overlook the benefits of having a social life. We ignore our friends and family and get sucked into the business world. That’s not all there is to life, however. If you want to be happy, then you need to reach out to meet new people. New people have a way of enriching our lives and showing us things that we didn’t even know that we were missing. You might make a friend who invites you to go rock climbing with them and then find out for yourself that you love it. You might start to rock climb on your own and show your other friends how. Making new friends and meeting new people turns our lives into an active adventure rather than something passive.

Learn to Get Rid of Baggage

I mean this both literally and figuratively. It’s so hard to be truly happy if you are hanging on to a bad experience that happened 10 years ago. It poisons your life and your relationships. To let it go, turn around and forgive. After you have forgiven that experience, never look back again. If our lives are too filled with clutter, we feel cramped and uncomfortable. To fix that, get rid of all the extra junk and baggage you have in your home. Clean out the closets and the basements and look into what it means to be a minimalist. Sometimes, we are happier when we have less.

Always remember that you are what makes you happy. Don’t wait around for the magic pill or the perfect person. Make yourself happy now by doing the things that you love and by treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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