You Are Just One Great Ad Away From Success
Probably, if you ask anyone they would agree with you that happiness is a good thing. They will say that they want it, but, like luck and fortune – it comes to the lucky and fortunate. This is a myth, and they are wrong.
Happiness is trainable, obtainable and accessible by anyone who truly pursues it. As the following paragraphs will help confirm, happiness isn’t something reserved for the ultra-elite, rich or lucky – it’s ready and available to pick up by anyone – regardless of background, ethnicity, religion or upbringing – take a second to re-read that – now open your mind to it’s meaning, take on board that if you WANT to be happy, there is nothing stopping you, except you… Now take control and make happiness happen .. that is, if you want to – it’s up to you.
Think of happiness as a skill. It can be learnt, it isn’t something
that just happened – it should be practised and incorporated into your daily routine and life. It should be encouraged in the people around you – your family, friends, loved ones, peers and colleagues. It can be swiftly taken away but gifted in much the same way you might hand over a present. It is infectious, coveted and wanted by all, but it is also frequently mistaken – Happiness doesn’t come from buying things, or collecting ‘stuff’, it doesn’t come from consuming things (yep i’m talking to you drinkers and smokers) but it comes from perspective,
gratitude and a better, more advanced approach to life – believing in happiness, heck, even taking the time to read my opinions on happiness is taking a massive step – for if you master happiness, you will almost certainly reduce your stress, positively influence those around you and start experiencing life in a whole different light .. raise your glasses, lets make happiness our bitch.
Mastering happiness – it’s time to detox.
There are things which are the arch enemy, the kryptonite of happiness – things that distract you from what is important, things that drain happiness from your body in an extremely parasitic way – these things should be treated in the same way that you would treat a parasite – they are not to be tolerated, not to be allowed, they are to be stamped out and/or strictly controlled – because they are stealing your happiness and we don’t want that.
Social Media – “uh oh! is he about to suggest I go social-media- cold turkey?” .. well, yes and no. Let’s take a step back and explore…
Answer this honestly – Do you think that the social media statuses that we see everyday are a truthful and accurate reflection of that persons’ life, or do you think that they are snippets of their life, deliberately selected to portray them in a better light – perhaps indications of the life they would love to be living? Now take a minute to think about your own social media statuses.. Did you feel it necessary to capture your breakfast this morning, or walking the dog, taking the bins out, cleaning the house, paying the bills or any other monotonous tasks you’ve encountered? You may be the exception to the rule, but statistically the answer is probably not. Rather, you may have chosen to capture particularly good things you’ve experienced, you may even have exaggerated those events a smidge, just to appear more interesting or to be more ‘social media worthy’.
Well! If you do it, don’t you think it’s therefore reasonable that other people do the same? Now multiply that by the number of connections in your network, the number of statuses you see from your contacts on a daily basis ..all those very selective statuses could potentially leave you feeling a bit inadequate right? Tracey is off on holiday, Dave has just won a fortune on a football bet, Sarah has just bought a house, Liz has a beautiful new baby .. But i’d wager that Tracey doesn’t mention the months of work she will need to commit to to pay her holiday, Dave doesn’t tweet about his gambling loses, Sarah neglected to mention the stress of getting a mortgage and her worries about affording it, and Liz probably didn’t stick morning sickness photos up on Instagram .. when you understand that you’re only seeing selective parts of the story, you may begin to feel less inadequate, heck you might start seeing social media as a bit fake, something to be taken with a pinch of salt. Your feelings of envy might reduce, you might genuinely feel happy
for your friends – as you’ve imagined and empathised with the woes they experienced in order to post that tweet or pin that image.
But armed with this extra information about Social Media, with this new paradigm, you may feel compelled to reconsider how much time you spend on social media – is it worth feeling bad because you believe that the selfie Jess took was actually natural and didn’t have filters applied, hadn’t been touched up and was taken on the first go rather than the best photo out of a batch of 50 – well shucks, if even these beautiful people don’t really look like their pictures – maybe you're not so bad after all – maybe you’re normal, and with that problem solved you can move onto something more important in the bigger picture of life – like happiness!
You are average… the average of those you spend your time with.
Happiness is contagious, it can be absorbed into the body, its infectious and amazing. Unfortunately, the latter is also true.
Ever spent some time with some really moany people? How did that work out for you? Did you leave their company feeling great, or did you feel slightly depressed, sluggish – like you had absorbed some of their negativity? Well the chances are, probably you inadvertently absorbed some of their negativity whilst they stole some of your positivity and happiness – because thats how it works – we are the average of the people we choose to hang around with,
So what should you do? Well, i’m not so ruthless as to recommend cutting out the negative, unhappy influences in
your life (although some people would!) but the first step is to be aware of them. In much the same way that you would be conscious of that friend who has the flu and sneezes on you, you should be aware that you are absorbing their “anti- happiness germs” with every moan that leaves their mouth.
A proactive approach would be to try and encourage that friend or acquaintance that their moaning and/or negativity will not provide any kind of solution. In fact it will likely focus them even more purposefully on the problem at hand. Instead, discussing issues whilst simultaneously gathering potential solutions, would be a much more proactive approach, one that should be encouraged.
The fact is, if you spend time with energetic, motivated and happy people – you will absorb some of those positive attributes and feel better as a result, conversely, if you choose to hang out with negative people, those who have little good to say but can find fault or problem with most things – you will absorb that too – and feel less happy as a result.
Try to attract positive company, prioritise time spent with them and try to reduce or improve time spent with negative company. Try to help their problems, try to teach them to find solutions .. but if these fail, consider spending less time with them – if they were contagious with flu, they would understand your reasons for not being in their proximity – help them see that negativity is contagious too, it’s a mental flu, and it’s something that you could do without.
What makes YOU happy?
Happiness is ultimately very different from one person to the next .. whether you fast forward and imagine your funeral and
ask yourself “How would I most like to be remembered?” or delve deep into your inner child and pull out some of the activities that you loved – find what makes you happy!
I like dancing like a crazy person – but only do it when in front of close friends or family (or apparently a video camera) are nearby .. I also enjoy helping people – that makes me happy. Here’s some more things:
- I love moving fast (cars, boats, planes or rollercoasters)
- I love helping people
- I love team sports
- I love teasing people who I care a lot about (Yep, my father in law, Mick, gets all kinds of stick – because I love him!)
- I love delicious food .. particularly when it has a story behind it
- I love house music
- I love being near water
- I love getting results – whatever the metric is – I like it when that metric increases
- I love Mondays… its the start of a new week, full of wonderful opportunity. The above are some of the things that I like … and it’s harder than you might think to even make a list as short as the above! I meditate daily, and periodically turn my mind to this stuff – because it’s important to inject it into your life. Inject it as a reward… inject it as a milestone .. inject it because you work SO DARN HARD .. that you DESERVE it! Don’t grow old by accident .. Remember, you work to LIVE … you don’t live to work. Money is an amazing tool for unlockin
experiences … and thats about it. Money won’t make you happy, but it will make it easier to do the things that make you happy.
Prioritise the people who are important to you. Prioritise the things that make you happy… Make “giving back” a part of your daily routine… Pursue happiness.
I love YOU .. You are a wonderful person – You’re insecure at times, You’re scared at times, You’re confused at times .. and You’re human ALL the time – We have all of that in common.