“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Recently a friend of mine asked me what, in my opinion, are essential rules for a happy life. Being completely honest I needed some time to look inside myself, investigate my thoughts and choose those that actually made sense. Just kidding but not really.
Not that I figured out the only right and proper recipe for a happy life but I do have my personal core values and principles I follow that help me to live with more integrity.
But before we get to the point, here’s my disclaimer:
There is no recipe for living a happy lifestyle that suits all but there are some key ingredients, or I should probably say “rules” for living a happier, healthier and more satisfying lifestyle.
Here are my favorite nutrient-rich ingredients I incorporate in my life’s salad to make it more nurturing, delicious and fulfilling.
Live In The Present Moment
All we have is now. So open your eyes really wide and let yourself experience the authenticity of the present moment.
Be true to yourself. Never compromise your personal core values, ideas, and beliefs to fit in. Fit out and embrace your true self.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Everyone is different, unique and gifted in some way. Inspire and be inspired but don’t copy other people’s life choices and goals because you will become a stranger to yourself.
Stop Worrying About The Future
The only reality is NOW. Don’t ruin the authenticity of the present moment worrying about the things that haven’t happened yet. Accept the beauty of not knowing what happens next.
Love Fiercely And Fearlessly
“To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude, and grace.” ― Brené Brown
Nourish, Nurture & Protect Your Relationships
Love is not an accident but a conscious decision we make anew each day. So make this decision a conscious one.
Never Leave The House Mad
It’s completely normal to have arguments, disagreements or even small fights with your partner but it’s important to never leave the house mad. Because life is uncertain and unpredictable and we never know what the future brings. What if one of you died and that was your last memory? Sorry for this example but it’s actually a really good one.
Nourish Your Purpose
Find your life purpose, your mission, your inner calling that will guide you on the bumpy road of life. Find yourself you will never be lost again.
Listen, Trust And Honor Your Intuition
Intuition is your inner wisdom, your instinctive awareness, your “gut feeling” that when it’s heard and accepted becomes your internal guidance system. The answers to your questions are within you but to be able to find them you have to calm your anxious mind and listen to your inner voice first. And most importantly if it feels like a “no” it’s a “no” and when it feels like a “yes” go for it!
Screw All The „Should’s”
Screw all the should’s, follow your intuition and do what you believe in. You know what’s best for you, right?
Respect Other People’s Opinion
Everyone has a right to their own opinion no matter how wrong you think they are. You may not agree with other people’s point of view but you should respect it at least until it’s not dangerous to others.
2 + 2 is not always 4 – there is no objective reality
Reality is subjective. Because everyone has their own unique perception of it. We look at the same thing but we see something completely different because our senses are imperfect and they keep deceiving us. There is no such thing as an absolute truth or objective opinion. You can try to be as much objective as you want but still, you will have your truth, subjective opinion and your own perception of reality.
Surround Yourself With Positive Energy
“Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.”
Choose your friends wisely and surround yourself with positive energy. Find your tribe, your people with whom you connect, share your joys and sorrow, celebrate your achievements and grow. Listen to your intuition and invite in your life only those people who give you a feeling of belonging, offer emotional support, bring great joy and positively impact your life.
Let Go Of Attachment To Material Things
“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ― Socrates
Learn The Art Of Radical Acceptance
Acceptance means freedom. Acceptance means understanding that you can not control every aspect of your life. Some things are just beyond your reach no matter how much you try to change or control them. So accept what you cannot change or control. And then accept the darkness inside you and the truth of yourself will set you free.
Change Is The Only Constant
Life is like a kaleidoscope, everything changes, nothing stands still. Sometimes when something incredibly beautiful happens we try to write everything down or create a mental picture to keep track of time. But still the moment we’re living now will be gone in a flash. Don’t resist changes because it will only create pain and sorrow. Instead accept that everything flows, embrace change and take advantage of the current situation.
Don’t Be A Control Freak
We cannot control everything, some things happen beyond our control and we have to accept this for the sake of our sanity. Besides, imagine how uninspiring, unmotivating, predictable and just boring life would be if you could control everything. Control and predictability and can only destroy the feeling of excitement and intense passion. Who would ever want that to happen?
Practice Being Curious
Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind. Practice being curious, be open to new experience, ask questions, observe, take notes and fuel your desire for new information. Every day you have an incredible opportunity to learn something new and use it to fuel your personal growth. Curiosity is the basis of true learning and self-improvement.
Never Stop Challenging Yourself
“You learn something valuable from all of the significant events and people, but you never touch your true potential until you challenge yourself to go beyond imposed limitations.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Always Say The Truth Or At Least Don’t Lie
Telling the truth brings you peace of mind and keeps you away from repeating the same mistakes. Telling the truth you earn trust and respect when you lie you lose it all in on second.
Don’t Let Your Ego To Control Your Life
We all fall in the ego trap sometimes especially when we feel the need to be noticed, heard as perceived as special and better than the others. It’s important to notice this moment and regain control over your life again. Be grateful for what you have, pay attention to your self-improvement, stop being jealous of others and find your true self. You don’t have to win an argument to prove you’re right. Don’t let your ego to control your life and sabotage your happiness. Don’t wait for people to praise you. Be humble and do your thing.
“If you’re smart, you’ll always be humble. You can learn all you want, but there’ll always be somebody who’s never read a book who’ll know twice what you know.” ― David Duchovny
Forget About Perfection – it does not exist
Perfection is an illusion, deeply flawed concept impossible in a real perfectly imperfect life. It’s a deception we keep telling ourselves because we are too afraid to accept the uncertainty of life and let go of the need to control anything and everything. So stop pursuing perfection and embrace the authenticity of the present moment.
Fuel Your Passion
Having a passion is incredibly important not only because it is directly related to happiness but also because it’s a great way to de-stress, relax, unwind and recharge your batteries after a long, hard day. Furthermore, having and feeding your passion is a great way to meet new people and build your tribe!
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Life is too short to take everything so seriously. We are only human and as human, we are completely imperfect. We all make mistakes, have awkward moments and embarrass ourselves sometimes. And that’s ok. So instead of beating yourself up for not being perfect, make a list of the most embarrassing moments in your life, read it out loud and just laugh.
Learn To Forgive… YOURSELF
Forgiveness is a process, not a one-time event and as such has different stages and requires certain conditions to occur. Don’t force yourself to forgive someone who hurt you only because it’s the only “right” thing to do. Don’t rush this healing and therapeutic process. Give yourself time and focus on your personal growth and self-improvement. And remember that forgiveness is absolutely necessary to be able to move on with my life.
Nurture Your Inner Child
Your inner child is an infinite source of creative potential, spontaneity, honesty, and joy in your life. For this reason alone, connecting with your inner child gives us this incredible opportunity to connect with our intuition, higher self and live a fulfilling and purposeful life. So, take your inner child by a hand, take a deep breathe and prepare yourself for a brand new chapter of your life. Something magical is about to happen…
Never Stop Educating Yourself – lifelong lesson
Life is the best teacher. Some lessons are more difficult than others but every single one of them is crucial and much needed. Besides, harder lessons are designed to challenge you and build upon your knowledge. Choose to grow and learn from your life experience.
Celebrate Your Achievements
Celebrating achievements is critical to your happiness and personal success. Acknowledging even the smallest achievements boosts your self-esteem, increases your motivation and most importantly it activates the happy chemicals in your brain. And what’s better than a boost of dopamine and serotonin in a natural way?
Get Quality Rest
Quality rest plays an essential role in your overall health and wellbeing. Sacrificing your sleep is extremely counterproductive because it affects negatively your ability to critical and logical thinking, makes your extremely anxious, stressed, unmotivated, apathetic and uncreative. By contrast, getting quality rest improves memory, boost creativity, increases productivity, facilitates the decision-making process and protects your mental health. So get quality rest.
The Glass Is Always Half Full
The glass can be half empty or half full. It depends only on you how you chose to look at things and live your life experience. Seeing the glass half empty will make your life even harder, more complex and definitely less satisfying. So train your brain to be more positive, start looking at problems as opportunities and turn your negative energy into a more positive one.
Be Your Best Friend
Well, let’s face it, there is only one person you spend your whole life with… and that is YOURSELF. For this reason alone, it’s better to be your best friend than your worst enemy, right? So start working on self-esteem and self-confidence. Challenge your inner critic and navigate your life with self-love and kindness. In other words, make friends with yourself.
Look At Problems As Opportunities
Problems are opportunities to learn, grow, shape your perspective and discover your true self. But to be able to turn your problems into incredible life opportunities you need to adopt a growth mindset first.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ― Wayne W. Dyer
Be Assertive & Protect Your Boundaries
Assertiveness and personal boundaries serve the same purpose: protecting your inner integrity. While assertiveness is an art of advocating for yourself, personal boundaries allow you to navigate your life in a positive direction. Protect your integrity.
Positive Self-Talk Is Everything
If positive self-talk doesn’t come to you naturally don’t worry. It will change with time and persistence. All you have to do is to work on your self-esteem and self-confidence. So instead of constantly degrading yourself challenge your negative self-talk. Master your inner dialog and shape your life.
Be Your Own Hero – be brave
“If you can find no one to become your ideal to aspire to, no one to be your ultimate example, your idol, your motivation— don’t fret! You can and you must become your own ultimate aspiration, your own example, your own idol, ideal, motivation! You go and be what you haven’t found yet!” ― C. JoyBell C.
Clean Your Room
Cleaning out clutter does not only clean your external personal space but also reorganize the thoughts in your head. It happens because your external personal space is the reflection of your internal world and vice versa. So go and clean your external personal space.
Take No Revenge Upon Those Who Hurt You – you’re better than that, let go of resentment
“Weak people get revenge, strong people forgive, and intelligent people ignore” ― Albert Einstein
Don’t take revenge instead investigate the situation, exercise your wisdom, learn your lesson and focus your energy on your goals and life purpose.
Own Your Mistakes
It’s not a secret that making mistakes is a fundamental part of the learning process. That’s because learning involves inquiring knowledge through study, experience, and failure. So own your mistakes and use them to personal growth.
Have you ever thought that the things you take for granted are the things others are praying for? We don’t appreciate things that deserve our gratitude the most. We just assume that if we have something, know somebody or experience a certain feeling it will last forever. But things change because the universe has always its plan, and this plan is always in motion. So be thankful for every second of life and start practicing gratitude on a daily basis.
Never Say Never – because you will regret
Never say never because if you do it life finds its way to prove you wrong and you will make a fool of yourself. Be humble. You never know what happens next.
Don’t Complain About Things You Are Not Willing to Change
Fix what you can fix, change what you can change, accept what you cannot control, get rid of what you don’t need anymore but stop complaining.
Obsessive thinking and overanalyzing everything in details not only does not resolve your problems but also makes your anxiety even worse. Not to mention that it’s incredibly counterproductive, exhausting and a bit demoralizing, don’t you think? So stop wasting your time and energy overanalyzing the things that you cannot change. Focus on the present moment and do your best to live it to the fullest.
Leave the past where it belongs
Stop dwelling in the past, you don’t live there anymore. Focus on the present moment and start building foundations for your future self.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. – Carl Jung
Get Inspired And Create Your Own Rules For A Happy Life