Each person has their own unique definition of happiness. Regardless of what yours may be, below are some suggestions for making life more pleasant, if not happier. Every concept works when applied. If you have negative habits, changing them takes time and repetition.
1. Recognize things for what they are. There are circumstances you have control over and those you don’t. Take action to improve those things you have control over. Make contingency plans for those things you don’t. Attempting to change situations outside of your control is a frustrating waste of time.
2. Think before you act and never act when angry or upset. Careful thought goes a long way towards making your actions more effective. When you act in anger, emotions rather than logic, are in control, causing you to say or do things you will later regret.
3. Appreciate all of the miracles in life. A child like sense of wonder along with curiosity keep you from taking things for granted. The world is filled with wonder. It’s a shame not to notice.
4. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for all the good in your life helps keep you positive. Regardless of your current situation, you have more to be thankful for than you realize.
5. Enjoy life. Have fun. Maintain a sense of humor. Engage in activities that make you happy. You will feel good as a result.
6. Take care of yourself. This includes your mind and body. Focus on the positive. Don’t obsess about the negative. A good diet and some exercise impacts the way you feel physically.
7. Recognize people for who they are. You may or may not like someone but you can’t change them. Attempting to do so is as effective as trying to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.
8. Don’t harbor anger, resentment, and bitterness. These negative emotions poison your mind and body. Your judgment is diminished while your stress level is substantially elevated. When you feel this way for an extended period of time, you are the one who suffers.
9. Always learn, improve, and grow. Education is a lifetime pursuit. There is always more knowledge to be gained. Study how people succeed and what others do wrong that leads to failure. Look to those who are where you want to be for inspiration. Knowledge is a basis for success. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
10. Live your dreams. Clarify your goals. Formulate a plan. Take action to get where you want to be. Life is too short and time goes by too fast to wait to get started. You can accomplish whatever you are determined to achieve. You don’t want to look back and lament those things you never did.
11. Stop worrying. Worry is like being in a rocking chair; it’s a lot of activity that doesn’t get you anywhere. Worry never fixes problems. All it does is cause you emotional agony. Take action to deal with circumstances you have control over. Let go of that which is out of your hands.
These suggestions are not a complete list but rather a starting point to help get you on track. You probably have other effective techniques to add. Happy people are proactive. They make things happen rather than wait for desirable circumstances.
Start today applying these concepts. Just begin with any one of them. Use them consistently, turning them into your default habits. It’s not magic, just persistence.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden