I remember it well.
Stressed and frustrated about life, I was unhappy and it was draining me.
I questioned every decision of my past, and I feared the outcome of things yet to pass.
Put it all together and it riddled me with self-doubt.
And all the while I was living in Hawaii — beautiful blue ocean mere steps away.
All of my friends thought I was living the dream.
Little did they know — I wasn’t even enjoying the ride.
Have you ever felt this way? Maybe you even feel this way now?
In my search for answers, I realized that this is common for so many of us.
You may travel the world, live in paradise, or have the beautiful family that you’ve always wanted.
But something is always nagging at you. Stress is always dragging you down.
Frustrated and miserable, but nobody knows because you don’t want to let people think for a moment you aren’t happy.
And being happy is really the problem, isn’t it? Why can’t you just be happy?
I call it the happiness problem.
But it’s more like an epidemic. Because you are far from alone.
And I want to help.
Below I have listed 9 ways to start living an awesome life in 2021. And they are easy. The trick is to do them every day and watch yourself transform.
The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done to Increase My Happiness — And It’s Easy
One of the easiest things I’ve ever done is also one of the best. It takes about 10 minutes daily. 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes just before you go to bed.
In the morning, I write:
- 3–5 things I’m grateful for
- 3–5 ways today will be awesome
Just before bed, I write:
- 3–5 amazing things that happened today
And that’s it. Do it every day to wake up ready for the day, and every night to go drift off to dreamland with a smile.
You can start out how I did, using The Five-Minute Journal, or just grab a notebook and be creative. Make it your own.
Oh, and for extra credit you can write down a request to your subconscious. You’d be surprised what your mind can do when left alone…
Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.
Sharing is Caring
And not after a few too many shots of whiskey. That doesn’t count.
It can be hard. But even if you have to over the phone or text. Just let someone know that you care about them today.
And why not every day?
I can tell you from experience, even if they know — it’ll make their day.
And it may just make yours too.
There’s just something that feels awesome about making others feel good, isn’t there?
Which brings me to my next point…
The Compliment Sandwich — Hold The Fillings
Compliments mean a lot to people.
I’ve seen the simplest, “Hey, I love your new shirt!” light someone up like a Christmas tree.
So…why don’t we do it more often?
Tell someone they did a great job on a project at work or that their kindness is infectious.
It’ll mean a lot to them, and it’ll mean a lot to you too.
Walk it Off, Champ
I think we all need a little time to ourselves every day. Not to think…more like to ‘not think’.
To let our minds wander and de-clutter all the stuff stored up there. You’d be surprised how much you can figure out when you let your mind wander.
Have you ever been working on something for hours, and while you are in the shower, the answer comes to you?
Take a 10-minute walk at some point. Alone — and keep the distractions in the office. Yes, that includes your cell phone…
Be present with everything around you. Notice all the things we take for granted most of the time.
Feel the pavement on your feet as you walk. Notice the people in the park as you pass by.
Listen to the birds chirping and the breeze flowing through the branches and smell the freshly cut lawn.
Just be with yourself for a few minutes each day. Let your brain relax and enjoy living in the moment.
Speaking of giving your brain a break…
An Oldie But Goodie…
I’m sure you’ve heard all the health benefits associated with meditation.
Then why aren’t you doing it yet?
Just ten minutes a day can improve your life so much.
You can make it easy with a cool app like headspace.
Focus on The Good Vibes
I can sit here and tell you to focus on the positive in any situation as you’ve heard so much before, so I’ll just leave you with this quote from Louis CK that I think of every time I complain.
“Everything is amazing right now and nobody’s happy. Like, in my lifetime the changes in the world have been incredible…Flying is the worst because people come back from flights and they tell you…a horror story…They’re like: “It was the worst day of my life. First of all, we didn’t board for twenty minutes, and then we get on the plane and they made us sit there on the runway…”
Oh really, what happened next? Did you fly through the air incredibly, like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight you non-contributing zero?! You’re flying! It’s amazing! Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going: “Oh my God! Wow!” You’re flying! You’re sitting in a chair, in the sky!”
But I know what you’re thinking — what about when something bad happens?
Because bad stuff happens, and it’s sometimes hard to find the positive in that.
Maxwell Maltz says, in his incredible book Psycho-Cybernetics:
“Just focus on the facts.”
For example: “I can’t believe she broke up with me! It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m such a loser!”
The fact is this: she broke up with you. That’s it.
And I’m not saying that it doesn’t suck.
But the rest, you’re just putting onto yourself. There’s no truth there unless you believe it to be true. And that’s the key. Because if you keep saying it to yourself, it will be true. You are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and willing it to be true.
Just think about it for a second, if you look at your face
Every day when you get up and think you’ll never be great
You’ll never be great — not because you’re not, but the hate
Will always find a way to cut you up and murder your faith
~NF The Search
Don’t Get Scared by Your Future Boogeyman
Once you decide to do something, focus on the positive outcome of your decision, then let it go and enjoy the ride.
The negative outcome nonsense will creep back in, and it will try to stress you out by making you think of what could happen if you fail.
If you’re anything like me, it happens often. And then we walk around, nervous and stressed out all day.
But that’s what your future boogeyman wants, and he wants you to fail.
And here’s the thing, it’s not real. Just like the negative thoughts in your head are not real. Your own negative thought patterns are forcing you to see a future in which you fail.
We are hard-wired to succeed, not to fail. But our negative thoughts cause us to fail way more than we actually should.
And worse, they cause us to give up out of fear of failing.
But what if we focused on the positive outcomes instead? What if all we had was positive thoughts of the future once we had a successful outcome?
What do you think it would be like then? Logically, it should cause the opposite, right?
I can tell you one thing for sure. We wouldn’t be wasting our days stressed and scared about what could, maybe, happen one day.
So anytime you think negative thoughts about the future, push it out of your mind. And take some time to think about how amazing it will be when you succeed. Think about how that will feel for a while.
Then put it out of your mind.
Don’t Let Ghosts of Your Past Haunt You
The ghosts of our past will always haunt us, it’s part of being human.
They love to remind us of those times we tried and failed. In a relationship, a new career path, or any risky venture.
But don’t let them rule over you and your goals and dreams.
Whenever you think of past situations that bring you down, shift to a past situation that lights you up. Maybe a peaceful day at the beach with great friends or a childhood memory of fishing with your father.
Picture the details, they are important. What did you see and smell? How did you feel? Take some time to take it in.
Then get back to your day.
Screw Multi-tasking — Do This Instead
Multi-tasking is a myth. You cannot possibly do more than one thing of importance at once.
I think most think of task switching — switching back and forth between tasks — as multi-tasking. Either way, this is a frustrating waste of time.
Then you have multi-tasking residue — getting bogged down by thinking of other tasks you have to do while you should focus on the task at hand.
My point in all of this? Multi-tasking is a waste of time and mental energy. It fills your day with stress and frustrates you at night because you “should have gotten more done”.
So I want you to try mono-tasking — focusing on one thing at a time. You’ll get more done and that worry and anxiety will melt away.
And when I want to hyper-focus, I put on headphones and use the pomodoro technique. It helps you get shit done. All while giving you the breaks you need throughout the day.
Time to Put It All To Use and Start Living an Awesome Life in 2021!
Day-to-day life can be hard.
Anxiety, fear, and unhappiness can conquer your day.
And it can all lead to so much self-doubt.
But it doesn’t have to.
You can start living an awesome life right now.
Just add some of these simple routines into your daily life.
After you do these regularly for a few weeks, you will notice a calmer, happier, and more positive you.
And then you can really conquer 2021.
So what do you say? Do you want to make 2021 YOUR year?
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