Here’s a hardball of a question: are you happy? Really, truly happy? What do you think about when you think of happiness? While no one thing can make everyone happy, everyone pursues happiness. Entrepreneur reports how University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman enumerated three ways to pursue happiness:
- The Pleasant Life: seeking happiness through pleasure
- The Engaged Life: seeking happiness by pursuing their passions
- The Meaningful Life: seeking happiness by contributing to what they believe is the greater good
Seligman found that people who pursued the Pleasant Life experienced less happiness than those who pursued the Engaged LIfe and the Meaningful Life. This says a lot about how rewarding it is when we live passionately instead of focusing on our selves. With that in mind, here are habits from Entrepreneur, Hungry for Change, and 99u that you should incorporate if you want to live an engaged and meaningful life.
1. Don’t tie your self-worth to externalities
If you tie your self-esteem to external success, you’ll be bound for heartache. This will also foster a fear of failure that may cause you to avoid opportunities for growth.
2. Don’t wait for happiness; create it
Don’t waste your life waiting around for happiness to come to you. Instead, make the most of your situation and make your happiness a priority.
3. Surround yourself with good and positive people
If you surround yourself with negative people, they will only bring you down. Being with passionate and positive people will spur you on to be the same.
4. Take care of your body
We only get one body, so we should respect it. Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep. Taking care of your health will not only make you feel better physically but emotionally as well.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, so you shouldn’t make a habit of comparing yourself with other people to see how much you’re worth. Even thinking that you’re better than others is damaging, as you’re entertaining judgmental thoughts and a sense of superiority that can damage your relationships. Instead, measure your success with how much you’re growing.
6. Live in the ‘now’
We’ve all made mistakes, and worrying won’t make the future better. Embrace the present and enjoy what you have right here, right now.
7. Focus on the things you can control
Instead of dwelling on things out of your control, devote your energy to things that you have power over, like your exercise routine, or what you do with your free time. Accept that not everything in your life is perfect, but see what you can do to make what you have better.
8. Be kind
Kindness not only makes your relationships better; treating others well also releases feel-good hormones so that it actually makes you happier. Thinking well of others, instead of dwelling on their shortcomings, will encourage more positive thinking that will permeate other areas of your life.
READ: 10 Secrets of being a truly happy parent