The most popular article on our site has always been “14 Ways to Improve Your Life”. Some years have passed since that article has written and I’ve learned new things in the time. Here is part 2 with some new thoughts to help you on your journey.
Diversify Your Happiness
People find happiness in a multitude of ways. Some though their career, their family, their hobbies, or something else entirely. The danger becomes when the keys to our happiness are directly tied to a single aspect of our life. This sets us up for failure when an unfortunate event occurs to that aspect of our life.
Stop and think about what aspects of your life give you purpose and are directly tied to you being happy? Is it your career? Your spouse or significant other? Your children? Your hobby? Your friends? Now how would you survive if tragedy struck the primary area of your happiness? What if you lost a loved one unexpectedly or technology made your career obsolete and you had to change career paths suddenly. Is your happiness spread out over enough other areas in your life to help keep you afloat? If not, start today on changing that. Develop a hobby to keep you grounded. Strengthen some of those friendships you let fall to the side. Fix your relationship with your significant other or family. The more of these areas you have working in your life the less the impact of a single life event will hammer you down and break you.
Do What Makes YOU Happy
We live in a social media focused world where we are driven more and more to fit in with the social norms of society. The day you stop caring what others think about YOUR life choices is the day you unlock true freedom in your life. Make a list of 10 new activities you’ve always wanted to try. Next, look online for events to actually do some of those activities. Lastly, do the activity regardless of if you are good at it or not. A hobby that could redirect your entire life could be out there and you never found it because you let fear talk you out of even giving it a try. My whole business came out of me trying a hobby that interested me and it redirected my entire life. A world of possibilities awaits you if you are willing to try something new.
Make Time for Your Family and Friends
We always hear the saying about enjoy the time with our loved ones because they might not be here one day. However, it really doesn’t set in until it’s too late and you experience the loss of a loved one first hand. Cherish the time you get with the people that bring you joy in your life while you have the chance to. Life pulls us all in every direction but sometimes you just need to block off that time to have dinner with your parents or grab a drink with a close friend. If something or someone is a high enough priority in our lives we will make the time available.
Also, check in on people from time to time and let them know that you care about them. A simple text of “Are you doing okay?” can go a long way, especially if someone is going through a rough time. If they need to talk be there to listen to their problems, and not to try and solve them. Some people just need to solve things on their own and aren’t reaching out because they need help but because they just need someone to listen. Focus on understanding, not on responding.
Stop Keeping Score
A major sticking point for relationships is when both parties want something done and wait for the other party to step up and do their part. Nobody wins in this situation and you both end up in a stalemate waiting for the other to act first. Be the bigger person and do what’s right even if it isn’t fair or you don’t get anything in return for doing it. Stop keeping score. Not all relationships are meant to be carried 50/50 all the time. Maybe the other party is going through a rough time and you need to carry them for a period to help them get through it. Maybe they just can’t contribute as much as you can. Perceiving every interaction with others as they should contribute exactly as much as you do is a recipe for disappointment. We all are made differently, can carry different loads, and can contribute in different capacities. You wouldn’t expect your 5-year-old son to carry in 50% of the groceries so don’t expect your significant other to always even out the load with you.
Be Selfish at Times
There’s an old saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. We all need to take time to take care of ourselves so that we can operate at our peak capacity. We often obligate ourselves to so many aspects that we get overwhelmed and exhausted. We think we’re being a good person by helping out everyone around us. However, we aren’t taking the time to realize we’re doing a less than optimal job because we are so exhausted and drained. Take a break to sharpen the sword so you can swing it more efficiently. Block off time to ground yourself and refocus your priorities. There are reasons for the seasons. Accept the fact that sometimes spending some time to plan and rest is more efficient than just going full warrior mode all the time. Spending an hour a day on a hobby that grounds you isn’t selfish if it balances you out and allows you to be a better resource to the people around you.