“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”Jim Rohn
We all view success differently. For some it means having lots of money. For others it means we have the ideal partner and a group of friends that support us. Or, maybe, it means you have a business that you can invest your time into.
Here’s a thought: success wears many different masks, but what we are all seeking is happiness and fulfillment.
On January 3rd of 2019 something miraculous happened to me: I woke up truly happy for the first time in my life. I had no girlfriend. I had little to no money (if I am remembering correctly, about $100 to my name.) I had very few friends. How was this possible?
The easy answer is a hard truth: a lot of fucking hard inner personal work over a long period of time. My hope is in sharing this with you, that you too many begin the journey on finding your happiness.
So, if you are unhappy, and you want to be happy. If you feel lost, and you are ready to feel less lost. If you hate yourself, and you are tired of hating yourself. If you are ready to push into your happiness, keep reading.
Know this: I can’t promise you happiness. I can only share with you the steps I did to reach my happiness. This is and will always remain your journey.
Turn Your Phone on Airplane Mode the Night Before and wait till 11AM the Next Day to Turn it Back On.
For me, I was so preoccupied with taking care of others needs. Why? Because I was hiding from my own. We live in a time that it is so easy to be tethered to our devices. Heck, I bet you are reading this on your phone right now.
The phone is not the problem. Social Media is not the problem. Both of these are tools. How we use these tools determines whether or not they bring happiness or stress into your life.
To get closer to my happiness I needed to get quiet. It’s hard to hear your own needs when you are so preoccupied with distractions and the needs of others. The main thing I hear is this, “But, what if someone needs me? It could be an emergency!”
That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. Unless your friend or family member is on life support and you are their doctor or nurse, then I want you to remember that THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. As a matter of fact, the best people in the world, the people I choose to surround myself with, solve their own problems.
They don’t need me to be there, and I don’t need them to be there. We both choose to enjoy each others company, thoughts, and experiences and grow together (just not in a codependent way.)
After a while you will realize that you have a lot more time to think and take care of yourself at night and in the morning. Both of these are sandwich the times when your subconscious is most active. And, your subconscious holds the keys to your freedom.
Say Goodbye to the Losers, the Toxic Motha’Fuckers, and the People that Take more than they Give.
This is a simple but hard truth. If you want to be happy, surround yourself with people who also want to be happy. Have you heard the phrase, “Misery loves company.”?
It’s true. And miserable people will love you when you are miserable. As soon as you start pushing, growing, and being happy, they will think you are crazy. They will dislike. They will push back on your growth.
The thing that sucks the most is they will do it out of “love.” Gross. I remember hearing the quote:
“The road to success is often a lonely one.”Unknown
I didn’t understand this until I understood this. As you remove the toxic people you will have very little friends. It’s a sad fact. I went from 100’s of friends, to a small handful. And, it was really hard. I would wander around wondering what I was doing wrong. Truth was, I should have been wondering what I was doing right.
And that meant more time alone. If you are at this point, this is a good thing. It means you are pushing into your happiness more than your need of approval from others. You are further along than you think.
Get in front of the right people, the people that inspire you, and the people that love you and support you in your growth.
One of my biggest motto’s in life is: be kind, not nice. A lot of toxic people are nice. They are nice because being nice makes people around them feel comfortable. Kind people tell you how it is. Sometimes that hurts, but the kind people truly love you. They are willing to be 100% honest with you.
I remember having a hard time figuring out who was toxic and who was kind at first. Here’s a pro tip: they support you when you push into something new.
Sometimes it is very hard to get in front of the people we want to because we are known to be a “toxic person” ourselves. I personally ran into this issue myself.
So, what did I do?
I watched motivational videos every day in the morning: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motivational+video
Also, here’s a Spotify Playlist I listen to at the gym:
I still listen to these. A few times a week.
These are beautiful and inspirational people who are trying to help people such as yourself reach your next level. They can be the voices you listen to as you push into happiness. Their words helped me, and continue to help me. Maybe they can help you too!
10 Things you are Grateful for Every Morning
Every morning, without fail, I began the process of saying 10 Things I was grateful for in my life out loud. I’m not going to lie, I felt like this was stupid. And, sadly, this was incredibly hard at first. I had little to be grateful for…or at least I thought.
I decided to dedicate to this for 2 months, and I am so glad I did. After a few weeks, it got easier. After the first month, I started to retrain my brain. After two months, I started to see a lot more of the positives in life.
We have two sides to our way of thinking: the monster and the angel. Both are hungry, and both whisper into our minds and deep within our soul. My guess, you’ve been feeding the monster a bit more than the angel.
Here’s a truth drop: are thoughts are not always true.
It’s easy to hear things in our mind, and think, “Yup, that must be true because I thought it.” Once you learn and believe that your mind is simply thinking things, you’ll see that sometimes we think very stupid shit.
This practice of gratitude in the morning is a method for training your brain to think more positively. While you are at it, next time you have a negative thought, ask yourself, “What if that’s not true?”
Go to the gym, get on your yoga, and simply start crafting the body that you want.
I was skinny as fuck. I told people I was 155lbs, but that was a lie. I weighed about 145lbs, maybe… Being skinny is not a problem, if you love your body. If you don’t love your body, maybe it is time to show your body that you love it, and start working towards the body that you do want.
Fitness is not a sprint, but rather the longest marathon of your life. One of the biggest gifts I’ve ever given myself is the permission to fail at the gym.
At first, I thought it was stupid. I was so weak, and I thought everyone would laugh at me. No one did, but I was laughing at myself. And, that was the problem.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I got stronger. My body began to grow, and after a few months, I started to see results. Now whenever I go to the gym, I get excited. I am pushing myself just a little bit further, and I am making myself just a little bit stronger.
When you love your body, your body loves you back. It’s easier to be happy when you like what you see in the mirror, and, here’s the beautiful thing: YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THAT!
If it makes you happy, do it. If it doesn’t don’t.
This is simple. Do things that make you happy. Don’t do things that don’t make you happy. Rinse and repeat. Tell people no. It is seriously okay.
Set Boundaries and Speak you God Damn Mind for Once.
Okay, this one is a bit tricky, and maybe this is a more “Austin” trait. As my good friend Allen would say, and “Austinism.” 😉✌
If someone does something you do not like, you tell them.
If someone does something you like, you tell them.
If someone crosses a line, you tell them. And then you tell them to not do it again.
If someone makes you happy, you tell them.
If you want to punch someone, and you can get away with it without getting in trouble with the law, you god damn punch them!
(Okay, be careful with the last one. Violence might not be the solution.)
There is a difference between being negative and speaking your mind. If you never make your needs known, no one will ever be able to fulfill them.
This one is really hard because you will feel like you might lose a friend or a family member when you say something. I am not going to lie, you will lose some people along this path.
Something interesting will happen though. I used to be scared to lose people, but, as I started to lose friends who simply didn’t care for me very much, I started to have a lot less anxiety. I started to see who was on my team and who wanted something from me.
Now, I am not recommending you alienate all your friends, family, and coworkers. I am telling you to have a backbone and stand up for yourself. Here’s a trick, stand up for yourself like you would stand up for a friend who is being taken advantage of.
This one is hard guys, but it is worth it.
Take small steps each day towards the things you really want to do and laugh about it.
What if I told you that you were going to die in a 6 months. What would you do with your life? I beat you would really live. Sadly, some of us are walking dead.
We’ve given up on the things that make us happy because we haven’t reached some arbitrary level of perceived success in that endeavor.
Fuck that way of thinking! You enjoy the journey not the destination. If you only want the destination, then you are seeking approval from other people, and that is a problem.
I love to dance. I put time into dance every day. Sometimes it is 15 minutes, and sometimes it is hours. And, every time I go to the gym, I work on triples, or a stare in the mirror and try to get my body to make the right shape to the beat of a great song, I feel like my life means something to me.
Part of the reason we give up is we take things wayyyyyyy to fucking seriously. We are trying to be perfect. (I wrote an article called: I’m Not Perfect and That Sucks last week. Worth the read.)
Next time you mess up, laugh. And, as you laugh, you will realize that messing up can be funny. And, heck, you will be sure to be just a little bit happier.
There is not silver bullet. There is no one thing that will make you happy.
Before I leave you on this piece, I want to leave you with this one thought that changed the way I view the world: no one thing will ever bring you happiness.
There is no magic trick. There is only hard work and applying as many things as you can think of and read on to make you happy. You have to do a lot of things. All the things. Just don’t try to do them all at one time. You will not be able to sustain it long term.
So, pick one thing on this list, and start applying it today. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. DO NOT WAIT TILL NEXT MONTH. DO NOT WAIT FOR TOMORROW!
There is only one time to start your journey to becoming happy, and it is today.
Much love, as always,