What is the key to happiness?
I’ve struggled and wrestled with this question for a lot of my life.
When I was younger, my days tended to be filled with ups and downs. Some days I would feel extremely happy. But other days, I would feel very low.
The problem was that there was no consistency.
What Is The Key To Happiness?
The key to happiness is to take control of your own happiness in life, and to adopt habits that create happiness for you instead of relying on the chaos of the universe to bring you happiness.
One of the greatest misconceptions about life and happiness is that the universe owes it to you.
Well, it certainly doesn’t. And honestly, it doesn’t care whether you are happy or not.
So the only person who can truly solve the problem of finding happiness in your life is you.
But how do you do that? How do you create happiness in your own life?
Here are 9 keys to help you succeed.
Travel More Often
I recently talked about how traveling has been a proven, tested method for helping me to be a happier person.
Check out this YouTube video, where I briefly discuss a trip I took to Colorado.
Traveling helps to increase happiness in many different ways.
- It expands the mind
- It teaches you about yourself
- It teaches you about life
- It exposes you to new, beautiful things and experiences
- It turns the dull mediocrity of your life into something new and exciting
Humans Have A Need To Discover Things
At the core, travel engages our human desire to discover. Humans have an undeniable need, deep within them, to discover new things and have new experiences. It’s an instinct!
And when we travel to new places, we absolutely tap into that instinct. And that makes us much happier!
Meet New People
If you only talk to the same 3 or 4 people all the time, you’re eventually going to fall into a stale, dull mood with all of it.
This also taps into our need to discover things.
Every week, I try to engage in a new activity where I meet new people.
I Accomplish This By Trying To Go Places Where Meeting People Is Easy
Just last weekend, I went out to a local club with some friends. We chatted up all kinds of other club-goers, and I even got two numbers!
Whether or not these meetups pan out is irrelevant. The point is, I went out, met new people, and discovered some new things – and when I got home, I felt really happy and satisfied that I had taken the chance to go out and have those experiences!
It was an adventure, and it truly brought me some happiness. And best of all, it was something that I did for myself.
And it is something that you can do as well!
Set Goals And Work To Achieve Them
I’ve learned that a huge part of my stress and unhappiness in life used to come from not having any hope for the future.
So to remedy this, I started goal-setting, making plans for my future, and then working toward those goals.
Now, I know exactly where I am headed in the future. And when I cross a goal off of my to-do list, it gives me a huge sense of hope and accomplishment.
Because not only do I feel good about myself for accomplishing a goal, but I can also rest assured in knowing that doing so has brought me closer to where I want to be in life.
And that is a massive, massive win!
Cut Out Negative People
In my old life, I was constantly spending time around people who were negative.
As I was starting my own business, friends and family members judged me, belittled me, and looked down on me for taking a pay cut.
I was determined to succeed, but I quickly figured out that all of these negative people were bringing me down.
So, I cut them out. I just stopped associating with negative people.
I stopped calling them. I stopped answering their calls. I stopped responding to their texts. I unfriended them on social media. I literally decided to cut them out.
And my life has never been happier.
Invest In Positive People
As you cut negative people out of your life, you will make more room for positive people.
When you meet positive people who make your life better, invest in them!
Offer to buy them lunch. Invite them over for dinner. Invite them to activities.
Offer to help them with their projects and goals.
Investing in someone and being a positive presence in their life will make them realize that you are a person worth investing-in as well – and that is how productive, positive friendships are formed!
Leave Or Fix Your Unhappy Relationship
This is a tough one. But if you are stuck in a relationship that causes more negativity or frustration than happiness, it may be time to either change your perspective, or walk away from it.
Start by having an honest conversation about what is wrong. Tell your partner exactly what you don’t like, and be open to listening to what they don’t like as well.
If the two of you can make agreements that solve the problems that don’t require either of you to do things that you don’t want to do, that is a good sign that you can work things out!
But if you can’t agree on a solution, or if one or both of you seems unable to hold up your respective end of the agreement – it is likely time to walk away and start over.
A lot of people are afraid to leave relationships. But in allowing fear to rule over them, they are actually keeping themselves in an unhappy environment, and directly hurting their own happiness.
I’m going to say something you may not want to hear.
If you choose to stay with someone who makes you unhappy, it is not THEIR fault. It is YOURS!
Take Control Of Your Home Environment
I’ve discovered that the state of my home is vitally important to my happiness.
So, after I moved out and got a new start after my divorce, I started to really take control of my environment, and create a certain standard for my life.
When my girlfriend moved in with me, we had to set some ground rules.
- I don’t like people making messes and leaving them for someone else to clean up
- I don’t like people waking me up before I’m supposed to get up
- I don’t want anyone acting passive aggressive or negative to me while I’m in my own home, especially first thing in the morning
- I need to be left alone when I am working, and need a quiet environment
These are basically all rules that anyone who lives with me needs to follow.
The important thing, though, is that I took action, made the rules, and communicated with my girlfriend about them.
This was an important lesson that I needed to learn – because in the past, living with different people, when I didn’t set rules like this, I was constantly struggling with dealing with people doing things that messed with my happiness. So I was always behind the curve.
I have learned that it is much better to live alone than to live with someone who compromises your happiness.
Taking control of the environment in my home has made my life so much happier and simpler.
Do What You Actually Want To Do In Life – Not What Other People Want You To Do
When I was younger and married, I used to need my wife’s approval to feel happy about anything.
Because I was a beta who didn’t validate myself. So I needed her to validate me, or I didn’t feel like I was worth anything.
As a result, if I wanted to do something that she disapproved of, I would angrily and resentfully decide not to do it.
Because needing her approval was more important to me than doing what I needed to do.
But this is a sure-fire way to bring ruin and destruction to your life and happiness.
Now, I don’t need anyone’s validation to be happy. So I do what I want. If people accept me, awesome. If they don’t, there is a big door they can walk through – and they are welcome to leave and never speak to me again.
My life is too important to be ruled by what other people think.
Learn To Validate Yourself
This is such an important factor. It is probably 50% of the entire game of finding the key to happiness.
If you need other people’s approval to be happy, you will not find consistent happiness.
Because you cannot control other people!
Instead, learn to validate yourself, so that you don’t need anyone else to approve of you.
This will set you free, and give you incredible power over your own life and happiness.
Here are some tips to learn how to validate yourself.
- Talk to yourself in the mirror – give yourself pep talks and tell yourself that you appreciate yourself
- Start doing things on your own instead of asking for help. Self-reliance is a massive validation boost
- Stop making excuses when things go wrong. Instead, own the problem and find a solution
- Learn to be comfortable and happy alone with yourself – and in turn, this will attract positive people to you
Learning to validate yourself takes time and effort. You need to work on it every day!
But it is so incredibly worth it.
Everytime you find yourself desiring someone’s approval, stop yourself and say this.
I don’t need them to like me to feel good about myself. I can walk away anytime I want.
In Conclusion – The Key To Happiness Is To Take Action And Create It In Your life
It isn’t rocket science.
You don’t need to be a guru to find happiness.
Also, understand that life is not 100% happiness.
There is a lot of pain and suffering in life. That just comes with the territory.
We are mortal humans, and that is how it is.
But we can take control of our lives and habits to start intentionally creating more happiness for ourselves.
Happiness is not something that will happen to us organically. If we want happiness in our lives, we must create it for ourselves.
These 9 tips are a great place to start.
Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus