How to be Happy Today-7 Steps to Living a Happier Life

How to be happy? That’s a question Nicole and I are sometimes asked by our clients. We try to simplify complex ideas so that our clients can put these ideas into action. That’s something we love to do, because when any idea becomes too complex, it becomes difficult to put those very good ideas into action. Below, we have listed 7 steps to help you move towards the experience of happiness in your life. Of course, there are many different ways to get to the same place, but these simple steps will help to allow the experience of happiness to permeate your daily life.
Step 1. Question yourself! To win the game of life you first have to know how you, personally, win. Is winning dying with the most money in the bank-will that ensure happiness? Is winning living comfortably and safely? Is it inviting adventure into your life? Is it a life filled with love? Is it a life filled with solitude? Is it some combination of the above or something totally different? Whatever it is, you get to decide-that’s the “win.” What questioning yourself allows is  the experience of happiness to enter your life as you begin to determine your life path. But, if you don’t consciously choose from your heart center, you will never know if you are on the right path towards your goals.

Step 2. Dare to be different! Develop a complete relationship with yourself and knowing of yourself. You can’t experience happiness without knowing what really works for you. What does this mean? It means that you discover the unconscious drives that really dictate your actions. If you don’t take this step your unconscious drives will completely dominate your life in ways that are often dysfunctional coping behaviors. By developing your consciousness and your awareness you equip yourself with the necessary tools to experience a full and complete life. Think about the opposites. Would you rather be going through life in an unconscious and unaware state? It wouldn’t seem so, yet, this is how a large majority of society exists today.

Step 3. Find your truth and live it! Be authentic and true to yourself. If you understand and embrace steps 1 & 2, then step 3 is the natural evolution. Once you know yourself you can take the actions that are in harmony and congruent with your true nature- even if others in this society, bureaucracy, sphere of influence, peers, friends and family disagree with your choice. I recognize that we all live within the rule of law and societal boundaries to ensure our personal safety and liberty. Within these boundaries is a wide scope of individual expression.

Step 4. Live in consciousness! Do not harm another physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Do your best each day to enjoy life, be kind, and do good within your truth. No one can tell you what enjoying life is for you. Is it reading on a hammock or skydiving? Is it writing or running? When you know yourself and you start to live authentically you will naturally be drawn to a life that fulfills you.

Step 5. Create and live a gratifying life! Look for and participate in activities that are innately gratifying and satisfying to you. Abandon this quest for material items to replace truly gratifying experience as this has been proven time and again to be a misguided action. The quest for material replacement of true satisfaction is a transitory attempt to satisfy the important internal spiritual, psychological, and emotional needs that we carry. Material items are fun and are often a benefit of following your truth. But if you are not a happy person prior to receiving material items research has shown again and again and again that they will not “make” you happy.

Step 6. Don’t personalize anything! Let people have their own experience of life without you trying to convince them that you are right and they are wrong. Those types of disagreements do nutlet you live happy.  Learn that the most powerful use of your personal judgment and evaluation is to decide simply if situations, experiences, or people are good for you are not and not whether they’re good or bad or right or wrong. It’s hard to be happy when we judge and evaluate others constantly. This is a separating experience. When we accept that others have different and yet equally valid beliefs from ours we allow them to coexist with us without us trying to change them. By doing so you free a tremendous amount of psychological energy to be focused on developing your life, your dreams, following your goals and being happy!

Step 7. Invite growth into your life! Accept that change is the one constant that we all experience. You can resist change and you can resist growth but by definition that is stagnation. If we live a life of retracting or stagnating we are not growing. Why do people do live in the states of stagnation or retraction, especially since the more empowering choice seems so obviou? Fear. We have become acclimated to the idea that change is something to fear. This is why we hold on to bad relationships, bad jobs, or stay in bad situations simply because this fear has become so strong. The only way through this fear is to turn into it, own it, face it, and then move through it. This is a vastly different approach than the suppression, repression, and depression dysfunctional coping mechanisms that most people use to cover up their fear. You can’t cover it up. Fear will show itself in weight gain, more dysfunctional coping behaviors, unhealthy life choices, anxiety, depression, and many other ways that are truly messages and your intuitions screaming at you to take care of yourself and honor yourself.

These seven steps are something you can practice every day. You notice that there is no financial requirement. Neither is there a relationship requirement. There is only the requirement that you open yourself to consciousness and awareness. Taking these steps is how you dynamically change your life without some short term motivational technique or trying to follow the latest guru. Honor yourself. Care for yourself. Love yourself. And your life will change

Don Nenninger