We are somehow misled into thinking that a big house with a white picket fence and a big account will make us happy. In the end, some of us achieve all these things, plus a new shiny car. And then you may ask yourself ‘how did I get here?’, to quote one of the greatest songs out there (Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads). You gradually begin to realize that our schools did not teach us exactly about how to live a happy life.
We learn about mathematical equations or how to spell correctly, and that’s great. But there is no course on how to be happy. It’s as if there’s a big secret about it that some of us aren’t supposed to know. But there isn’t one really.
The general rule is this: life is simple; don’t make it complicated.
Once you realize that, you have liberated yourself from many constraints and pressure.
There is a human bias towards making things more complex and problematic than they are. Our mental constructs are derived from simple things that we just take and tarnish somehow. It’s perfectly alright to want to solve the most complex matters that are still puzzling humanity. But when it comes to everyday life, to learning how to be happy, we need to tone our analytical minds down. Here are some things to begin with:
The 10 Keys To Leading A Simple Yet Happy Life
1. Do What You Love
This should be on everyone’s top list. Doing what you love will give your life meaning, purpose, a sense of direction, and the will to go on. This is about what drives us at the most profound level. And I don’t mean what you do for a living or what you do to get by. It’s that first thought you have in the morning and the last before you go to bed.
And if you haven’t found it yet, don’t despair. Just think about what you enjoy doing and keep doing it.
2. Have The Right Attitude
Having the right attitude on this trajectory, we call life is essential. Our attitude towards other people as well as towards ourselves derives from our thoughts about oneself and the world. And it is then dispersed across all areas of life. The outcome in a situation often depends on our attitude towards it. So adopting a healthy and positive outlook can influence greatly how things will turn out for us.
3. Help Others
The other number one rule on how to live a happy life is to do good for others. Think of it as a golden ticket to genuine fulfillment. Each of us is struggling with something, and we all need human connection to ease our suffering, share our joys, and remind ourselves to stay kind. Stay kind no matter what and offer a helping hand to someone in need. Not only will this take your mind off your own worries, but you will get to comfort another human being.
4. Be Grateful
Gratitude can show in the tiniest of corners and still make a difference. When you’re thankful for something, you allow it to fill up an empty space. You appreciate it, and therefore you can’t take it for granted. Living with gratitude is a habit we must develop, all of us.
There is also a negative cognitive bias towards finding fault in things and focusing on the bad stuff, and we’re all guilty. So it takes a bit of training to show gratitude with every opportunity we get.
5. Appreciate The Small Things
Never undermine the power that resides in the smallest simplest of things. In our culture, the emphasis lies on big and grandiose things: from buildings to cars, to monuments and human bodies. But a big idea starts small. An ambitious project takes baby steps to achieve. All the little blocks that we mentally set aside or discard are the foundation of the larger things we push forward.
A simple gesture can move mountains, and a small step in the right direction is sometimes just what you need.
6. Love As Much As You Can
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” Rumi
As cliché as that sounds, love can open up worlds and give shape and meaning to your life above all else. Love, when coupled with compassion and care, will transform every aspect and help you live with more presence and grace. Spend as much time as possible with your loved ones; only by connecting with them deeply, will you find the balance and the support we all need to thrive.
7. Learn To Live In The Present
Mindful living is all about giving yourself wholly to the moment. When we are so immersed in what we do, we have freed ourselves of any anxiety related to our past and any worries about the future. So how to be happy? Learn to master the art of being, of surrendering to existence in its simplicity and listen.
8. Happiness Is A State Of Mind
We are the ones who attribute happiness to a particular object, memory, project, or person. But we can choose to live happily without conditioning our happiness. Great suffering often comes from our attachment to things and thoughts. When we’ve given that up, we come to a greater understanding of how we can be in charge of our happiness.
Because it is a mental state, and not something extrinsic, we can mold our thoughts and attitude to fit how we want to be in the world. Happy, I would assume.
9. Find Your Purpose
Doing what you love is probably what you were set out to do. Our passion and skills are often in sync; all we have to do is pay attention. When our thoughts and actions are aligned with our values, everything else will fall into place. Nothing can give us more satisfaction than leading a meaningful life. Attaining that state of perfect balance sometimes escapes us, but that’s because we may be trying too hard when we should do less. Letting go is probably more effective.
10. Remember To Smile More
This may not seem important, but smiling alone and laughing can relieve much of our anxiety and tension. When you smile, even while facing challenges, you accept things as they are and proceed light-heartedly.
Think about the life you want to lead and implement the changes as you go along. And if things still don’t add up, remember simplicity is key.
Are you happy in life? Share more secrets of being happy in the comments below.
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