It's what everyone strives for. It's the simplest thing. It's what we all spend our lives trying to achieve... happiness.
Many believe you can only be happy once you are rich and successful, but some of the most successful people in the world are utterly miserable. Why? Surely they have everything they could need to be happy.
But what if the reason they are successful is because they thought success would eventually bring the happiness that was missing in their lives. Now they've reached the success they craved, they're wondering why happiness hasn't followed.
What came first?
Let's throw a curve ball. What if happiness came first, then success? Or are we looking at it wrong again?
Maybe we should ask, what is your idea of happiness and, also, what is your idea of success?
People often describe their success/happiness in terms of what they've bought. For example - a sports car, a house that could be mistaken for a hotel or a yacht. But surely we don't need these things to truly make us happy.
In my 40(ish) years on this planet I've met a lot of people who say they can't find happiness, people who've claimed to be happy but I wasn't convinced and I've met some that do seem genuinely happy. These are usually the ones who don't feel the need to convince everyone that indeed they are.
For me, your happiness is inside you waiting for someone to just open the door and let it out. That someone is you. I don't think you'll find it in a Rolex watch, however nice it may look. Yes, if you can afford it, that's fine. Once the buzz of buying it dies away don't expect it to bring any real contentment. Being happy is a much more simplified thing.
Here are some tips I've picked up over the years that can really help towards gaining a clearer insight into finding the happiness that is within you already.
1. Appreciate the world around you
You know what. We live in a beautiful world. Take time each day to appreciate it.
The blue sky, the formation of clouds, the sound of a bird singing, the breeze on your face or even the smell of coffee as you pass your local cafe.
It's all around us every day. The simplest things can lift your day. You just need to take notice.
Try to take 5 to 10 minutes where you just stop, breathe and enjoy.
2. Take care of your body
The body and mind are connected after all. Being active and eating healthier improves our mood dramatically.
Try to drink more water and eat nutritious food. Do an activity you enjoy. Just walking for 10 or 20 minutes a day will benefit you.
Maybe you could get off the bus a stop or two earlier. For those looking for a bit more activity, go for a run or swim. Join a local sporting club and make it sociable.
3. Show gratitude
Be grateful for everything you have. You're alive after all!
We all fall into the trap of being ungrateful and having a good moan, but we can all do a bit more in showing our gratitude.
Be grateful for your life, your family and friends. Make sure you show them.
Perhaps life isn't going as well as you'd hoped right now, but you have the opportunity to change that.
4. Always have goals
Knowing you have goals and looking forward to reaching those goals in the future gives us all a sense of purpose.
We need to be challenged in life.
Don't strive for the impossible, be realistic and build from there. Having realistic goals gives us direction.
Once you achieve those goals you'll have a real sense of accomplishment.
Write down a list of goals you've always wanted to achieve. Now imagine you've achieved them. How did you do it? What does it feel like? Bloody amazing most likely. Now, go get it.
5. Be generous
This doesn't have to be about money. Generosity with your time, ideas and energy are just as important.
Helping other people, whether it's friends, family or strangers can make you feel happier and healthier.
Through this you'll create stronger connections, encouraging others to be more giving and this then builds a happier society for everyone. Make a difference.
6. Eliminate jealousy
Why be jealous of anyone? Yes, we can admire and respect, but jealousy is the most exhausting and time wasting activity there is.
If someone has a lifestyle they love, be happy for them. Never wish them ill, as this negativity will just find a way of bouncing back to you.
Use them as an inspiration instead. Learn from them.
Focus on your life goals and make them work.
7. Focus on "real" friends
Good friends are hard to find. Spend more time with the ones that are always there for you. The real friends.
We've all had friends that drain us by constantly being negative, either towards ourselves or others.
Your real friends are the ones who love and appreciate you and only want the best for you.
Make sure you show them how much they mean to you. This includes your family members too.
Don't be afraid to give someone a hug. They may really need it more than you.
8. Yoga & Meditation
Okay, maybe you're no Buddha. But combining Yoga and meditation in your daily routine can change your lifestyle considerably.
The beauty of Yoga is that it can be done anywhere. The benefits of strength, flexibility and agility are quite well known, but Yoga will also boost your energy, alert your mind and is said to also boost your immune system when performed regularly.
Meditation will relax you. Anxiety and stress wreck havoc with the immune system, so developing a regular meditation routine will reduce the amount of stress related chemicals in the body.
You'll also find that meditation will give you more focus and allow you to deal with everyday life in a more calm way.
One of the best introductions to Yoga & Meditation I've found is AM & PM Yoga - Rodney Yee
9. Love yourself
There are many reasons you are amazing. You won't always see them. Your family and friends love you because they can clearly see all your positives (and negatives).
Don't ever wish to be someone else. If you do, you'll only be sentencing yourself to a lifetime of misery.
Embrace and accept everything about you. Just promise me that you'll stop short of kissing the mirror.
10. Have meaning & purpose in your life
People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier and enjoy life more. They feel more in control and this helps reduce stress and anxiety.
However you find it, whether it's through your work life, family or faith, one thing will always remain.
Meaning and purpose involves being connected to something bigger than ourselves.
Come visit me on my website or facebook page where you can follow my £1 million challenge, seek a future of building an income from home and much more.