Work is very important and productive but you need to take some time to chill out every day or you are going to burn out faster than a candle with no oxygen.
Additionally, you need to reward yourself for a job well done. What’s the use of doing all of that work if you can’t have a little fun from time to time anyways?
Smile more often.
Whenever you get a grin on your face, your brain is releasing serotonin, the happy hormone. Smiling is the natural way to force you to be happy. Many people even smile for five minutes straight in the morning to get themselves in a great mood for the day. It is a very powerful tool that is utilized less and less as we grow older and need happiness more than ever. Just remember that while happiness leads to smiles, smiles also lead to happiness. Learn to laugh at the little things and this whole “existence” thing will be a whole lot easier. Be amused by your mistakes and failures and be thankful that you learned your lesson and won’t mess up like that again. And most importantly do things that you enjoy! Life is not strictly business; it can be mixed with pleasure.
Do what you love.
There is a huge difference between making a life and making a living; which one are you making right now? So many spend their entire lives trying to make as much money as possible so that they can afford to do what they really want later. It makes no sense to settle in life until you’re 65 so that you can retire and do what you want when you’re already WAY past your prime. We only live life once so why wouldn’t you want to spend it pursuing your bliss? To do anything else would be a tragic waste of the freedom you are allowed if you are reading this right now. Follow your bliss and you will be a thousand times happier than your retirement date and 40+ years younger.
Figure out what your goals and dreams are.
So many people wander aimlessly through life simply go for whatever small thing they want moment by moment. Instead, decide what your perfect life consists of and begin to put the steps in motion to reach that place. The most satisfying thing in the world is overcoming a challenge and reaching a goal. We are the happiest when we are growing and working towards something better.
Anyone who has ever gone anywhere will tell you that traveling is one of the most exciting and life-changing activities that you can do. Observing a different culture will expand your mind while making you further appreciate the life you already live. This goes back to becoming an explorer: this world is your jungle so go explore! Who knows, maybe you’ll find a place you love so much that you decide to move. Imagine the positive repercussions a new environment could have on your life.
Develop an endless curiosity about this world.
Become an explorer and view the world as your jungle. Stop and observe all of the little things as completely unique events. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try to experience as many different environments and sensations as possible. This world has so much to offer, so why not take advantage of it?
Get good at something.
Call it a hobby or a passion, whatever it is, just get damn good at it. Your occupation does not count! Make it something that you can practice often enough to excel at. Examples: Magic tricks, surfing, ping-pong, creating short films, and unicycling. It can be anything but better choosing something that you are passionate about and you can bust out at any moment to display your skills for any discerning crowd.
Helping people has a ripple effect. If you help someone they will feel more obliged to help someone else, and so on. You grow by giving and helping others. It can change you in ways you never expected and your relationship with that person will become stronger. Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and sympathy.
Remember people’s names
Remember people’s names so that they feel appreciated and for your own future benefit when you want something from that person. To do this, say their name back to them when they introduce themselves. Then repeat the name in your head a number of times until you are sure you have it. Continue to use their name in conversation as much as possible to remove any chance of forgetting it. If you’re still having trouble, make up a rhyme about their name: “Dan the Man” or “Natalie flatters me.”
Choose your friends wisely.
You are affected far more than you think by the people you spend your time with. Do your friends share your values? Do they encourage you when you speak of your goals and dreams or do they scoff? Make sure the people around you are conducive to the lifestyle you want to lead or you will find yourself being dragged again and again into behavior that distances you from your desires. Friends with a habit of producing negative thoughts will especially hinder you. This can be a hard task to follow through with if you realize you good friend is one of these saboteurs, but you must be firm! Don’t let anyone get in the way of you being all that you can be.
Don’t burn bridges.
Maintain your relationships with people even if you think you are never going to see them again. For example, if you are quitting your job, don’t chew out your boss before leaving! You might run into him/her again later and life and wish you had never severed ties so harshly. You never know when you might need the help of someone you knew in the past. Plus there is already too much hatred in this world, why add more towards the people you interact with?
It’s ridiculous to think that we have one body, one sole means of functioning, and people are too lazy to take care of themselves. Fit bodies lead to better health, confidence and more success with romantic endeavors.
Hydration is tremendously important for overall health. Soda has absolutely ZERO nutritional content; it’s like pouring a punch of sugar and syrup into your cup. Instead, fill it with life-replenishing water. It may taste plain at first if you’re coming off of a heavy soda-drinking streak, but you’ll soon find yourself addicted to it. 10 glasses per day is optimal, how many have you been getting lately?
Think positive thoughts.
When you find yourself thinking a negative thought, stop it immediately by any means necessary. Slap yourself in the face, yell something positive at the top of your lungs or jump up and down. Do whatever it takes to get back to a positive mindset as such is essential for continual happiness and success.
No explanation needed. Take a class in speed reading. Books are full of information that can enhance your knowledge-base, vocabulary and yourself as a person. Speed reading is an easy way to get at this info faster so that you can have more time for other endeavors.
Be honest at all times.
Lies lead to nothing but trouble. Being known as trustworthy is an excellent trait to maintain and essential to having integrity.
Start your day off right.
Wake up and set aside an hour for personal development activities (meditation, self-introspection, observing nature, etc.) Do the things that make you feel blissful, optimistic and empowered so that you can set a positive tone for your day. Today is going to be the best day of your life.
The Rubber Band Method.
This is the third and final way to rid yourself of negative thoughts (hopefully by now you have figured out that this is very important!). Place a rubber band around your wrist and snap it against your skin anytime a negative thought finds its way into your head. This operant conditioning technique associates a slight pain with negative thoughts like Pavlov associated food/salivation with the sound of a bell. Sounds a bit cruel at first but it only stings for a second. Plus the outcome, having only positive thoughts, far outweighs a little slap on the wrist here and there.
Learn to be unaffected by the words of others.
Most people get very upset when they are called negative names by others, but there is a simple trick to overcoming this. Here it is: If someone went up to you and called you a fire hydrant, would you be upset? Of course not. Obviously you are not a fire hydrant, you are a human being. The same concept applies to when someone calls you something that you know you are not. They are foolish for saying such things, so why would you react with such anger? The only exception is when someone calls you something that is true! In this case, you should thank them for alerting you to a weakness, one that you can now work on changing.
Develop the ability to forgive.
Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even though it’s so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations with the target. YOU make mistakes all of the time so why not have mercy when other do? Remaining angry feels horrible while forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship.
Learn to control your mind.
What kind of skilled human are you if you cannot even control your own thoughts? While the human mind is described as being a stream of consciousness, that does not mean you can’t decide where your stream flows. Techniques like meditation and the 3 ways to flush out negative thoughts will aid you immensely in learning to control your mind. Meditate every day for at least 20 minutes. In this modern world where everyone is so connected to everything else via cell phones, TV and internet, most people rarely enjoy the beauty of silence. The ability to quiet your mind and relax your body is an art and skill that everyone should develop. Simply sit somewhere, preferably in nature, and focus on your breathing or try to think about nothing. This is going to be extremely hard at first! You might find it boring or just plain impossible to think of nothing, but you will get better and you will learn to love it. Post-meditation, you will feel extremely clear-headed and.. well, just plain wonderful. The only way to really understand this sensation is to try it.
Learn to control your emotions.
The only person that can make you unhappy is you! You are the one that decides to be affected by the words and actions of others. Realize this so that the next time you experience a negative emotion, you can find the strength within yourself to overcome it.
Work on making good first impressions.
Practice a strong, firm handshake and the small talk that generally goes along with meeting someone for the first time. People won’t know what to think of you if you have nothing more to say beyond “My name is _______, nice to meet you.” Also make sure you remember names, as mentioned previously. Who knows, you may be going into business with or marrying this person you’re meeting for the first time if you make a good impression. Be sure and make an excellent one. Learn to use your eyes to their full potential:
- Make constant eye contact when in conversation. Looking away (especially down) is a sign of inferiority and uncertainty. Instead, look at your conversation partner dead in the eyes and keep them locked on
- Master the piercing stare. You know when someone looks at you and it feels like they can see into your soul? Well that’s not a hereditary characteristic, it just takes practice. Work on sharpening your gaze in the mirror. You’ll know you have it when it’s intimidating to continue looking at yourself
- Master the one-eyebrow raise. This one isn’t necessary by any means, but hey, why not? Pick a brow to learn with and go look in a mirror. Raise both of your eyebrows but use your hand to hold down the brow that you want to stay down. This will probably feel very stupid at first but if you keep trying, you will eventually pin down the muscle you need to flex to get that one brow up
Keep your brain sharp.
The majority of people are stuck in ruts. They go to the same job everyday, hang out with the same friends and eat at the same places. While that may feel safe, it’s not the most stimulating lifestyle for your brain. Those synapses have been built up enough, so try something that you do NOT know how to do! Buy a model car kit, master the art of sudoku or crosswords, or go pick up another major at your nearest college. The point is you need to be learning new things to keep your brain honest. Form new synapses by forcing your mind to work in ways it has not worked before. Just like physical workouts, doing too much of the same exercise will eventually give no results. Switch it up!
Develop a charismatic personality.
You know, the kind of personality that is surrounded by people constantly and is the life of the party. Start visualizing yourself as THAT person. Maybe take a short course on dynamic speaking and learn some jokes. Take the time to learn some party tricks and sleight of hand. Most importantly, believe that you already are charismatic even if you fail at being the center point of the next party. Lie to yourself constantly and tell yourself that you are more warm and gregarious than Ronald Regan. Belief is the first step! Reality will come soon after.