This time last year I was in deepest darkest France attending a pool party at a Chateaux for my son’s wedding celebrations. We were 800 feet above the beautiful village of Beynac which sits on the banks of the Dordogne, sipping champagne with friends and family in 28 degrees of sun! Get the picture?
Moving on two weeks I’m 800 feet up on the top of the North Downs mowing my lawns and I got to reflecting on a conversation that I had had with one of the guests at the wedding and he asked me what I would attribute to the secret of a happy life? I of course said that there are no secrets to happiness, just some universal truths that I believe we all should practice.
Six universal truths,
- Happiness is a daily choice; Everybody experiences difficulties and disappointment in their life! It’s how we choose to deal with it that makes the difference between being happy or not… Us psychologists believe that you can choose to be happy despite what’s going on around you. Try this little experiment…. Close your eyes and think of a song that makes you feel sad. Get into the song and experience the emotion. Now keeping your eyes closed think of a happy song, and again get into that song and experience the emotion. So did your mood lift with the happy song? Pick five things that you are truly grateful for in your life and focus on those for the first five minutes of the day while you are carrying out your ablutions in the morning!
- You don’t NEED anything; Believing you need something that you don’t currently have is a definition of insanity! We have all that we need in life because if we didn’t then we wouldn’t be alive! Think about that for a minute!! I’m not saying that you don’t WANT something, however you don’t actually need that new handbag, pair of shoes, gaming chair, Ferrari! There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things, however, fooling yourself that you need them is just MAD!
- Stop trying to please everyone; the path to true happiness is being independent of the good opinion of other people. We worry too much about what other people think of us. People will always judge us regardless of what we do or say. On my mindset courses I regularly say to people about public speaking and trying to please the whole audience is pointless, with the best will in the world only 80% will like you and if the other 20% liked you then another 20% probably wouldn’t like you just because the other 20% did! If you wake up every day with a good heart, the intention of helping other people and doing no bad, then that’s the way to go. People can only judge you by their standards, and who says their standards are right?
- Living in the past; What is done is done, you cannot change the past dwelling on things that have gone wrong can lead to depression and all sorts of other mental illness. Let it go, wasting today think about things that you have no control over truly is MAD. Put an elastic band around your wrist, and every time you have a negative thought about the past, ping the band and replace the negative event with three positive events from your memory banks. I’m sure you have loads of happy memories if you choose to find them.
- Future pacing; Most things that people worry about happening NEVER do! Putting a negative outcome on an imagined future event is not going to serve you well at all. This again is a question of programming your brain to pick out the positive that might happen rather than the negative. Use the elastic band trick. You will be surprised how quickly things change and how much better you will feel, and you’ll live longer! Putting a negative outcome on a future event will raise your stress levels immensely, so ask yourself how is thinking like this serving you?
- Now is a Present; Appreciate where you are and what you are doing! People keep telling me that time is going quicker; no its not! They are just so wrapped up in the future or the past and just not paying attention to NOW! Start being aware of where you are and what you’re doing rather than racing through time to get to the next thing that is happening in your life. Love and appreciate every minute of your life, if you’re struggling with this concept then read this book!
- Blame; Removing blame form your life and taking complete responsibility for you and your actions will be a major step towards happiness. Blaming others, circumstance or yourself serves absolutely no purpose other than to absolve yourself from responsibility for YOUR LIFE! Life is very simple if you choose it to be…. Cause and effect, sow and reap! Use the elastic band again and flick it every time you finding blame entering your thoughts or coming out of your mouth!
Now whether the young man in question will actually try and apply any of these universal truths or not is another matter or will he turn out to be another person that just moans and complains about how hard life is?
How about you, will you try all of these things for a month? If you do, please let me know how you feel?