Are you the kind of man who sits and waits for happiness to find you? Many men are guilty of this; more than women who have been brought up knowing they are in charge of their lives. Fairy tales depict happiness appearing into our lives in the form of magic but truth be told, it doesn’t. Happiness is not something that happens to you. It’s something you cultivate by yourself.
Scientists say that contrary to popular beliefs, money and wealth only account for 10 percent of one’s happiness. The immensity of what determines happiness is one’s personality and more importantly, one’s attitude, thoughts and behaviour. Therefore, you can learn how to be happy or at least happier than you are.
Many people think that happiness comes from being born with a golden spoon in their mouth or being beautiful or living a stress-free life. The truth is that people who have wealth, beauty or less stress are not happier on average than those who don’t enjoy those blessings. Instead, people who are happy seem to instinctively know that their happiness is the sum total of their life choices, and their lives are built on devoting time to family and friends, appreciating what they have, maintaining an optimistic outlook, feeling a sense of purpose and living in the moment.
Your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. It’s not as easy as switching on the lights, but you can turn up your happiness level. So, if you want to become a happy man, here’s how to get started on the path to creating a happier you.
Surround yourself with happy people. Surrounding yourself with people who are content boosts your own mood. Remember by being happy yourself, you give something back to those around you. Friends and family help you celebrate life’s successes and support you during difficult times. Although it’s easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships need nurturing.
Be a person of kind words and actions and careful with criticism. Make it clear that you appreciate what other people do for you or even just that you’re glad they’re part of your life.
Appreciation is more than saying thank you. It’s a sense of wonder, gratitude and, yes, thankfulness for life. It’s easy to go through life without recognising your good fortune. More often than not, it takes a serious illness or other tragic events to jolt people into appreciating the good things in their lives. Don’t wait for something like that to happen to you. Start being appreciative for the small things in your life.
Make practicing gratitude part of your life. Identify at least one thing every day that enriches your life. When you find yourself thinking an ungrateful thought, try substituting it with a grateful one. For instance, replace “my brother forgot today was my birthday” with “my brother has always been there for me during tough times.” Before you retire to bed, let gratitude be the last thought that sends you to a peaceful sleep and let it be your first thought when you wake up in the morning.
Bad things happen and it would be far-fetched to think otherwise. However, you don’t have to let negative thoughts crowd your outlook of life. It will do you good therefore to develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things. If you’re not an optimistic person by nature, it may take time for you to change your pessimistic thinking. Start by recognising negative thoughts when you have them. Then take a step back and ask yourself: Is the situation really as bad as I think? Is there another way to look at the situation? And finally, what can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future?
FINDING PURPOSE IN LIFE…
Set goals. People who endeavor to meet a goal or fulfill a mission, be it putting up your house or finding your spirituality, are happier than those who don’t have such aspirations. Goals provide a sense of purpose, boost one’s self-esteem and bring people together. What matters most is whether the process of working towards your goal is meaningful to you and not so much what your goal is. Strive to align your daily activities with the long-term meaning and purpose of your life. Research studies suggest that relationships provide the strongest meaning and purpose to life. It is imperative therefore to cultivate meaningful relationships in your life.
If you’re not engaged in something you love, ask yourself these questions to discover how you can find your purpose:
What excites and energizes me?
What are my proudest achievements?
How do I want others to remember me?
If you wait for joy to come on the day when your life is less busy or less stressful, it may never happen. Instead, look for opportunities to savour the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.