DEFINING WHAT HAPPINESS IS TO YOU: When you don’t understand what happiness is to you, when it finally comes, you either don’t know it has come or you make it short-lived. In defining what it means, be as specific as knowing if it means getting new pairs of shoes, new cars, the perfect relationship, reuniting with an old friend, etc. True happiness lies in taking genuine interest in all the details of your daily life. Don’t forget, happiness is not the absence of problems but those tiny milestones that keeps you going even when the going gets tough.
Exercise: Make monthly lists of 5 – 10 things that if achieved, will give you a desired level of happiness, no matter how minute. Paste it somewhere for self-reminders, make an attempt every day towards achieving them, and tick them off, as you achieve them.
LEARNING THE ACT OF FORGIVENESS: Unforgiveness is one of the greatest hindrances to genuine happiness, as most people go around carrying baggage from the past and struggle to be happy. Hate is a lot of emotional energy and shouldn’t be invested in. Forgive yourselves for the mistakes you made in time past, for allowing yourself go through things you shouldn’t ordinarily have gone through, if you knew better. Forgive those who took you for granted, let go of the hurt. Forgiveness takes a deliberate and conscious decision to release the hurt, it doesn’t mean forgetting but it means taking back your power.
Exercise: Write the hurt down with the names of those who hurt you. This piece belongs to you, so be as specific as possible. Afterwards, read them to yourself, feel the feeling you felt when it happened, read it again, when you are genuinely ready to let it go, burn it to ashes and make sure never to feel that way again. PS, don’t read that write up for too long – 3 days is long enough.
HELPING SOMEONE WHO CAN’T HELP YOU IN RETURN: A sense of self-satisfaction comes from cheerfully helping someone who cannot help you back, and in finding happiness, do this more often. Additionally, by all means possible, resist the urge to make an announcement about giving, with an exception of the fact that your giving is simply to motivate someone out there to follow your footstep. If it ever feels like you are doing it for self-praise, desist from showing it off.
Exercise: Make a monthly or quarterly list of people who you’d show love through giving. It is not about what you give, the intent is most important. It could be cash, a gift or a pro bono service. Give as often as possible, if you can’t handle it monthly, do it quarterly. Don’t wait to build a house for someone, a N5000 periodic giveaway to widows or orphans or someone on your street, even a pro bono training can suffice.
GETTING YOUR FINANCES RIGHT: If 100 people were asked what will make them happy, 95 will say having enough money. The irony is when finally handed this money, 90 of the 95 will make the worse use of them. It is critical to control and track your money, as much as possible. Spend wisely with a budget; cultivate the habit of saving and investing. Owe less and when you do owe, design a repayment plan.
Exercise: Create a list of your income and benchmark with expenses you make. Divide your income into percentages, for instance in percentages (%) 50:25:15:10 – 50% to be spent on self, friends and family, 25% to be saved for investment, 15% to be saved for emergencies and vacations, 10% for repayment of loans, etc. Be strict about this!
TRYING NEW THINGS: There is happiness in spontaneity and trying out new things. Go beyond the limited opinion of people who say trying new things will involve spending a lot of money. The word new simply means something you have never done before. It could be a book you’ve never read, a place you’ve never been to, and could even mean rearranging your apartment. Never stop doing something new always.
Exercise: Create a monthly or yearly bucket list of new things you want to try doing. Categorize them based on what it will cost to do, start from the least costly and scale up to the most costly, as you save for it. Whatever may, never go beyond your capacity. For those beyond your capacity, plan them for a time in the future.
DISCOVERING AND APPLYING YOUR SUCCESS EQUATION: According to Grey and Sharon, writers of “Three Feet From Gold” – an absolutely worthy read, a success equation looks like this: P*T*A*A*F – Passion * Talent * Association * Acting as if * Faith. Discover what needs to be discovered and apply what needs to be applied.
Exercise: For P, list out 10 things you are so passionate about that you would never mind doing for free. For T, list out 10 things you are very good at. For A, figure out your tribe, get the right people who will believe you to the end, align their dreams with yours and correct you constructively, not harshly and not to patch up your mistakes – note, everyone cannot be in your circle and that’s fine too, don’t force anything. For A, discover who you want to be and start showing up as that person, not to deceive or live a fake life but to attract the right energy from the Universe. For F, have faith in the knowing that you can achieve everything you have set your mind too, look for things that feeds your faith.
BREAKING UNHEALTHY LIFE PATTERNS: Nothing happens in our lives that haven’t already happened in our minds. We consciously or unconsciously permit the positive and negative patterns. These unhealthy patterns are picked by our sense organs from our external environment, based on patterns we have grown with, seen so much of or become so used to.
Exercise: The first step is to become aware/recognize these patterns (write them down), next create a different perspective to these patterns (write an alternative perspective to them), finally, create actions that dismantle these patterns. Example: Awareness: Oh, I always say new things are hard; Perspective: But, come to think of it, every great inventor didn’t think their new endeavors were hard, else they wouldn’t have brought it to reality; Action: I think I’d just learn the ropes, maybe take some courses or read some books about this new thing.
IDENTIFYING YOUR TRIGGERS, MASTERING YOUR MOOD: A trigger in this sense is an event or situation that happens and brings out the worse or the best out of you. Allow yourself gain new concepts about your habits and cultivate emotional balancing
Exercise: Make mental or physical notes of the things that trigger those hate hormones, and those that make you lose your temper, and protect your mind from them. Also, take cognizance of what brings out the best in you and do them more. Lastly, keep track of all your positive experiences and less of the negatives.
DISCOVERING YOUR SAFE SPACE: A safe space is a place that provides emotional or physical safety to anyone. Note that a safe space in this context is not necessarily restricted to a physical safety, but also activities that can keep your emotions and mental health in check. While this might be a support group, it can also be a friend you can call whenever you’re down, a hobby you have to concentrate on when things aren’t going as planned or a kind of song that will keep you calm. Whatever it is, discover what keeps you sane.
Exercise: Join the Andromagik Care Club (Collection of Support Groups) for physical gatherings. Contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +234 811 947 6385. Alternatively, find that friend, that music or that hobby that can help.
LIVING PURPOSEFULLY: A life of purpose is lived by one who has finally understood, and come to terms with their core reason of creation and placement on planet earth. Not living your purpose, could mean another person suffering, because your purpose is that life that impacts on other people.
Exercise: Because purpose discovery is a deliberate process, that requires some digging deep and accountability partners to walk through with, it is best advised to get a life purpose coach. Contact us via email on email@example.com or call us on +234 811 947 6385.