Do you ever wake up and think, “I hope I feel sad today?” Of course not. We all want to have amazing, happy-go-lucky days.
But as the Rembrandts taught us in the Friends theme song, sometimes you feel like “it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year…”
Whether you have someone “there for you” or not, there is always a way to maximize your happiness, even on those not-so-good times. It takes a little time and a lot of self-reflection to really hone in on your true happiness. I think being happy is what life is all about. So why not put the time in to achieve it? Why not try to maximize it?
It’s silly not to. Downright stupid, actually. So I challenge you to follow these three basic steps. Don’t just skim them over and “kinda sorta” consider them maybe… for later… possibly. Really think about each one and how it would change your quality of life to be truly happy.
Here are 3 steps to being happy every single day:
Step #1: Surround yourself with positive people
What I’ve found is that most days I don’t even realize I’m not feeling happy until I see someone who is. This person is usually not just a little happy, they are genuinely, ridiculously, uncontrollably, obsessed-with-life happy. Try to find these people in your life and just be around them.
If you were stuck outside at a concert when a torrential downpour began, which person would be the one spinning in circles with their face to the sky still singing the lyrics to the songs? THAT is the person you need to hang around more. That friend who ran to the nearest bathroom screaming and stomping? Spend less time with them.
Learn to love positive people and to surround yourself with positive people and you’ll find yourself becoming much happier.
“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
Step #2: Identify, seek, and destroy the negative
For one reason or another, we are all attracted to the negative side of a situation. For a lot of people, “seeing the bright side” is easier said than done. Even though it may sound counterproductive, identifying the negative can help you discover the positive.
The key is to have that “aha” moment when you catch yourself being “Negative Nancy.” Identify that you’re being a downer for no reason, and push that negativity away. For instance, if I’m at the store and there’s a long line and only one register is open, more often than not I’m irritated. So I’ll try to:
- Stop and realize I’m just being negative (Identify)
- Think about how small this problem is (Seek)
- Do something positive (Destroy)
Sometimes you need to pause and realize that other people are having worse moments right now than you having to stand in line at register four. Perhaps I could take out my phone and check my email. Maybe even call my mom, because I’ve been putting it off for three days. Bottom line is, by doing something productive with the time spent, I’m creating a positive.
Step #3: Do good for others
To truly maximize your happiness, you have to bring happiness to others. This is probably the most important step. Have you ever had a really good day? Stop and think to yourself, “What was it that made it so special?” It’s likely that something happened that day to make you smile.
Maybe a co-worker brought you a donut. Or a stranger held the door open for you even though you were slightly farther away and you had to run a little because you felt bad. Or maybe you just simply received an unexpected compliment. These little things matter. Kindness matters.
Bringing happiness to someone else’s day also brings happiness to your day. That person who held the door for you, I’m sure they felt pretty darn good about it. When that co-worker picked up that box of donuts for the office, they were probably really pleased when they dropped them off. Putting a smile on another person’s face creates a smile on your own. This generates a whole beautiful mess of happiness.
“We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.” – W. H. Auden
So at the end of the day, just try to always remember there is good out there. There are genuinely happy people. So let’s all become them. Let’s inspire others to do the same. Let’s be really, ridiculously, uncontrollably, obsessed-with-life happy.