20 essential life lessons for happiness and success

20 essential life lessons for happiness and success

Success, broadly defined, will definitely include happiness. 

Happiness, broadlly defined, can stem from AND contribute to success. 

Definitions are obviously important but putting that aside for a moment, both happiness and success are important if we're to live our best lives. 

Which is why we thought we'd share this interesting article with you today … 

by Laura Shin from Forbes magazine 

A recent birthday got me reflecting on my journey to this age, and I’m happy to say that, compared with the younger me, I’m much more at peace with myself, content with my life, confident of what I want and sure of how to get there.

I often write about how to attain career and money success, and while many practical tips can get you ahead, your personal approach to professional and financial matters, as well as your way of dealing with your own demons, will take you to even higher heights than any amount of knowledge can.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully they’ll prove as useful to you as they have been to me.

1. Know that  what you focus your mind on grows bigger.

This tip, which I learned in an incredible course called Something Different for Women (currently on hiatus), helped get me out of a funk and turn my life around — simply by changing my mindset. If you constantly think about bad things in your life, like your annoying coworker or a recent mistake, then she/he/it will take up a disproportionate amount of your mental space. On the other hand, if you focus instead on your recent successes, your new goals and your fun coworkers, not only will your days be more pleasant and the irritating coworker or temporary defeat fade to the background, but the positive things in your life will grow and flourish.

As the unattributed quote goes, “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” Having a mind filled with negative thoughts will lead to a negative life, and a mind filled with positivity will breed a positive one.

2. Don’t take things personally.

Many freelance writers pitch story ideas to editors and then, if the editor doesn’t respond, immediately assume that s/he hated the pitch and hates the writer — and 99.9% of the time, the editor is just busy. Even when people aren’t busy but mean, it’s not about you – it’s about them. They had a bad day, a bad childhood or haven’t eaten lunch yet. I once worked with someone who was mean, but I knew she would have been mean whether I was there to be the victim or not.  Your life will be much happier if you don’t mentally wound yourself by making other people’s actions about you.

3. Express gratitude — daily.

The first two guidelines are not easy to follow. But one habit that will smooth their adoption is taking a moment daily to acknowledge the good in your life. (Swallow any temptation to resist because you think it’s cheesy. It takes courage to not give a damn about what others think of you and instead be sincere.) Write a gratitude list of at least five things that you email to yourself, or before dinner, have each family member say what he or she is each grateful for. Pick a method that works for you — writing it down or sharing it with others. (Just don’t do it mentally to yourself, as the ritual won’t stick.) Expressing gratitude exercises your positivity muscle and makes it easier to remain even-keeled during bad times. When you get laid off, a practice of gratitude will remind you you still have your health, or if you have a bike accident, you’ll be especially grateful for your friends and family.

4.  Stand up for yourself but don’t act entitled.

There’s a fine line dividing the people who think they are owed everything and the people who are scared to ask for everything. Don’t be on either side of this line. If you’re not sure if you’re being exploited or treated poorly, ask your friends and family or others in your line of work what’s appropriate. If you think the other party is taking advantage of you, speak up for yourself. On the other hand, be aware when you haven’t earned something. Others will be less inclined to help you if you act as if you are owed the world on a platter.

5.  Ask for 100% of what you want from 100% of people 100% of the time.

I got this amazing advice during an incredible writing workshop held by my fellow Forbes contributor David Hochman, who learned it in David Richo’s book How to Be an Adult. As long as you know you are not on the entitled side of the line mentioned above, being upfront about your needs and wants eliminates a lot of angst and inconvenience and discomfort in your life — and makes room for ease. Just ask for what you want instead of wringing your hands over whether to, how to or what’s reasonable to. Unless your request is outrageous, which you should know in your gut (or from asking friends and colleagues), the worst that can happen is that the answer is no. Reasonable requests shouldn’t damage the relationship, and if someone thinks less of you because of you dared state what you need, find better people to work with in the future…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE