I often see people writing blogs about motivation and success and they usually help me refocus my efforts. One subject which I rarely see in business-related blogs is happiness, which is a major factor amongst those other topics. I believe it is very difficult to be motivated, driven and successful if you are not happy. I’m not talking only about happiness at work, but life in general. There is no doubt that a work-life balance is essential to success and I believe that what you do before and after business hours can directly affect how you perform at work and how you actually perceive it.
“The World Happiness Report ” was recently released for 2013. The report ranks countries based on the happiness level of their citizens and uses various factors that weigh economic and social well being. The USA ranked #17 in the world for happiness which is pretty good, but that certainly leaves room for improvement. Denmark ranked #1 overall for a number of reasons including free healthcare, free or low cost of childcare, gender equality, and a high rate of volunteer work, to name a few. In Denmark, most people prefer to bike rather than drive which reduces congestion, pollution and of course the stress of sitting in traffic like most of us do on a daily basis. Even though Denmark was ranked higher than us in the happiness report from a country standpoint, you still have the means to be happier on an individual level.
Here are some important things to remember about happiness:
- If you are unhappy, it is usually due to situations that you have created, invited or failed to act upon. For example, if a problem arises in your life and you fail to address it immediately it will most likely build and get worse.
- Things only affect us in the way that we let them. For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic I can choose to get angry, tailgate them and high beam them; or I can shrug it off, give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t do it intentionally and move on.
- We can all choose how we feel each day to a certain extent. I believe positivity, friendliness, good energy and having an open mind are the best ways to live and will lead to happiness.
- Remember, you can have a moment of happiness but that happiness does not only have to be a moment.
More tips for happiness:
- Smile, it automatically releases endorphins in your brain and will make you feel happy.
- Clean up, organize or de-clutter your home or workplace.
- Get 8 hours of sleep and eat as much real, unprocessed food as possible.
- Read a book instead of watching TV.
- Cook a meal instead of ordering take out.
- Exercise and be active.
- Volunteer and give back – it makes you feel great.
- Get out there and be social. Spend time with family and friends.
- Appreciate your life and what you have!
There will always be circumstances in life that we may not necessarily be able to control, but what we do have control over is how we react to the situations which in turn can affect how we feel and deal with the obstacles. So there may not be a master recipe to happiness, other than quite simply, choosing to be happy.