How to be happy

how to be happyI’m going to deviate a little from my usual financial theme here and tackles a different topic, something that has been on mind as of late. Happiness. It is something that we all seek, but few of us find. And if we do find it, it’s a fleeting feeling that’s hard to catch and even harder to keep.

Yes, there are drugs for that, but I’m talking about a natural high that will have you going to sleep with a smile and waking up with excitement.

To me, happiness is a temple made up of four building blocks. It starts with a strong foundation of health and a balance of three pillars: relationships, personal fulfillment, and financial freedom. With that in mind, let’s take a more detailed look into how to be happy.

1. Health: Health is the foundation of a happy life and without health there is no happiness. A lot of factors contribute to our health, some are in our control like diet, exercise, and stress, and some are not like genetics, accidents, war, etc. For most of us, healthy lifestyle is a choice and it takes some work. We need to make time to exercise & play, eat healthy and reduce our stress. Ultimately, we each need to find what works for us, but it does take some will power and some effort to lead a healthy lifestyle. All I’m going to say here is that we owe it to ourselves  and our loved ones to make the most of what we’ve got and that means controlling things that we can.

2. Relationships: We are social beings and our surroundings and relationships have a profound impact on us. Treating people around you with kindness and respect and getting the same in return is at the core of this pillar. As I mentioned in a earlier post, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so make sure to surround yourself with people who elevate your spirit rather than bringing you down. For a lot of ambitious people this pillar is easiest to overlook. Don’t take your family for granted. Make time for those closest to you. Put away your distractions and spend some quality time with them. Hug and kiss them often!

3. Personal Fulfillment: It doesn’t matter what form it takes, as long as it’s something you’re passionate about, and derive satisfaction or pride from. It might come in a form of a job, but it doesn’t have to be career or money related. It may be raising your kids, learning a skill, or pursuing athletic goals. Anything that you’re passionate about and as long as it results in personal growth, it fits the bill. I believe it’s important to keep money out of this equation, however, sometimes is aligns with financial rewards. Regardless, this is something you choose to do because it resonates with you on a deeper level.

4. Financial Freedom: And last but not least is financial freedom, which can’t replace the other building blocks, but can greatly amplify them. It will allow you more time to focus on your health, spend more quality time with your family and friends, and pursue personal fulfillment. The bulk of this blog is dedicated to financial freedom, so take the time and explore a bit. Think about what you’d want to do if you didn’t have to worry about money…

Each of these building blocks takes a lot of work, but the hardest part is finding the right balance. This is something I constantly struggle with myself. However, when you get it just right, it’s a great feeling. Achieving it even in glimpses is very rewarding and should keep you motivated to keep trying, until suddenly you realize that you’re in that zone and maintaining it becomes second nature. So, get after it!

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