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Happiness: Everyone loves it, but few people achieve it, especially those in their forties. (Then most of us think, “Is that it?”). This may be because about 50 percent of your “happiness level” is determined by inherited personality traits.
In short, half of your satisfaction is beyond your control. But that also means that the other 50 percent depends on you: relationships, health, career, among other things. So if you are always sad, there are still some things you can do to make you much happier. Here are some options:
1. Make good friends. It’s easy to focus on having a good professional relationship with partners, customers, employees, or connections because it will ultimately work for your business. But there is much greater gain in real friendship. Increasing the number of your friends is related to wellbeing. When you feel happy, doubling the number of friends you have means increasing your income by 50 percent.
If that’s not enough, people who don’t have strong social relationships are 50 percent less likely to survive than those who do. Make friends outside of work, at work, and anywhere. Most of all, being true friends will make you live longer and happier lives.
2. Express your appreciation. According to one study, couples who express gratitude have a better connection with each other, both for the gratitude and for the person who receives it. This also applies to work. Tell a partner that you did a good job and that you will both feel great.
Another simple method is to write down a few things that you are grateful for every night. One study found that those who did this once a week were 25 percent happier after 10 weeks. Happy people focus on what they have, not what they don’t. It is motivating to want more in your career, relationships, or bank account, but when you think about what you already have and say thank you for it, the happier you will be.
3. Track your goals. The goals you are not pursuing are not goals but dreams that only make you happy when you sleep. According to David Niven, author of “100 Simple Secrets To The Best Half Of Your Life,” people who identify their goal are 19 percent more satisfied with their life and 26 percent more positive.
So be thankful for what you have and try to achieve more. Don’t compare where you are now to what you will see one day. Compare today with what you were a few days ago. This is where you will realize your progress and be more grateful.
4. Dedicate yourself to something that you are good at. You know the old cliché that an artist is hungry but happy? It turns out to be true; Artists are much happier with their work, even though the pay is significantly lower. Why? I’m not sure, but I think the more fun you have about your job and the fuller you feel, the happier you will be.
Sure, quitting a job and doing exactly what you love isn’t easy, but you can always do more things that you’re good at. Delegate, use outsourcing. Change your activities in areas where you can use your strengths. If you are a good trainer, step into this world and find a way to train more people.
5. Give something back. Giving something can be more beneficial to the giver than to the recipient. We all know that helping someone in need always feels good. It reminds us how lucky we are and is a good reminder of how grateful we should be. Receiving is also something that you cannot control. If you need help or want to help, there is no way you can get others to do it. However, you can always control when you assist other people.
6. Don’t hunt things for a purpose. Money does many things, one of the most important is that it gives us options. But after a certain point, money doesn’t make people happy. Chasing property makes you less happy. Think of it as a bigger house syndrome. You want a bigger house, you need it (not really, but you feel that way). If you buy it, life will be very good until two months later you no longer see it as a big house, but just a house.
Very soon new things become normal and no longer excite us. Things give us moments of happiness, but to be happier, you don’t chase things, you chase experiences.
7. Above all else, live the life you want. Bonnie Ware worked with patients who had only a few months to live. The most common regret was, “I wish I had the courage to live up to my ideals, not what others want me to do.” What other people think, especially those you don’t know, doesn’t matter. They are your hopes, dreams and goals. Surround yourself with supportive people who take care of your real self.
Make decisions that are good for you and say things that you really want to say to people. Express your feelings, stop and smell a few roses. Make friends and keep in touch with them. Most of all, realize that happiness is an option. 50 percent of your happiness is in your hands, so do things that make you happy.