In order to start my mornings right and get in the proper mindset, I take advantage of my long drive to work and fill my mind with positivity. Most days I listen to some type of motivational or business-related podcast/audiobook, and then during the last 5 minutes I listen to a couple of upbeat songs that get me going for the day. I like to call them my “walk-out songs” 😉
As I was driving into work today, I heard the songs “Came Here for Love” by Sigala / Ella Eyre, and “Future Looks Good” by OneRepublic. I walked out of the car feeling incredible and inspired to write this post and how important it is to:
• Do my best and work hard…
• Continue pursuing my goals…
• And, it just put me in a freaking great mood!
The way you feel and your overall outlook on your world will drastically impact what happens to you on a day-to-day basis. Whenever I am about to embark onto something new, especially a new goal, I make sure that I am in the right mindset. Whatever the goal is, whether it’s to lose weight, save more money, be kinder … looking at it with a positive mindset and a belief that you will achieve it is vital. The only way you can truly succeed at the highest level is to get into that classic “can-do-attitude”, as cheesy or cliché as that sounds. Here are some simple steps to help you stop being a miserable bloke and GET HAPPY!
1. Cut out the negative
Anyone, no matter what background, city/state/country, can find a million and one reasons to be unhappy, be stressed, or to get down on themselves and others. Negativity is all around us constantly and will inevitably pop up in your day-to-day. It can come in any different forms: the news, social media, movies, songs, people, etc.
What you have to do is simple, but easier said than done… Ultimately you must become fully aware of the source(s) of negativity in your life and start tuning them out or turning them off completely.
Some of these outlets you can consciously minimize your usage of, while others need to be cut out completely. This is not easy, especially if it means divorcing yourself from old friendships or long-standing habits, but if you want to escape the trap of negativity, you must make a conscious effort to get away from it.
2. Surround yourself with positive and happy people/things.
As I said before, there are many ways that you can be bombarded with negativity. But, you can use those same outlets for good.
- Listen to happy/energizing/relaxing music over dark, depressing tunes
- Watch funny movies and shows and lay off the drama (on TV and real life life!).
- Stop reading the books about the people with depressing lives and difficult situations in the world, and replace them with funny or uplifting situations. I personally suggest self-help, inspirational, and educational material.
- Choose your friends wisely. They say that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”… If you hang with negative, crotchety, mean people, you will likely become that too.
3. Start and end your day with three things you are grateful for
When I was younger, whenever I was having a fit or throwing myself a “pity party”, my mom would tell me to say or write down 10 things I was grateful for. I obviously hated doing it and would complain about how stupid it was, and yet, I always felt better after I did it.
Then, when I was a junior in high school, my mother made me watch “The Secret”. I was amazed by the whole concept of the law of attraction presented in it. The film encourages you to write down what you are grateful for before you go to bed each night. I started that habit young and over time it has become a staple in my routine and has helped me a lot. I still do it to this day!
Everyone has at least three things to be grateful for each day. Your bed, having food, a roof over your head, your health, the ability to walk and breathe fresh air, or ever the opportunity to live another day… Some of the most basic things that we are blessed with, we take for granted.
So try it: the minute you wake up and right before you head to sleep, think of 3 things you’re grateful for. It will change the way you see and interact with the world. Trust me.
Meditation, in general, is f*cking awesome. I started practicing it within the last 6 months, and have already received HUGE benefits from it. Gabby (Bernstein) says that you call it a “meditation practice”, because you have to constantly practice it every day to get the benefits
Aside from my personal experience, there are science-based benefits of meditating: reduced stress, controlled anxiety, increased emotional health, more self-awareness, increased attention span, kinder spirit (or reducing bitchiness in my case), decreased blood pressure, and on and on … Motivational guru Gabby Bernstein says that you call it a “meditation practice”, because you have to constantly practice it every day to get the benefits
I will say it was weird and uncomfortable for me at first. I recommend finding a guided meditation app/video to start (Gabby Bernstein has some killer ones)… So give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
5. Think before you speak / Be mindful of your thoughts
“Energy flows where attention goes” – Michael Beckwith
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” Dale Carnegie
Being more mindful about what comes out of your mouth can be an incredibly difficult task, especially when you’re pissed about something or at someone. If you speak ill of someone, you will feel sh*tty and look bad for doing so. You are focusing on negativity and it is filling up your whole being. Who wants to be miserable and angry like that? Let it go, focus on the beauty and positives in life.
Another reason to stop complaining, sorry to say it folks, is because no one really cares about your problems, as they’re too wrapped up in their own! My Aunt Rose told me this a couple years back, in the sweetest grandma-type-of-way: “Well, why would I complain about my problems? No one wants to be around someone who’s always complaining like that.”
Simply put, yet SO TRUE.
Which leads me perfectly into my next step to happiness….
6. Let things go
“Nothing really matters, and so what if it did?” – Gail Audibert
Let that sh*t gooooooooo. So many times we hold onto grudges and unwanted unhappy feelings, and we let them fester.
“How could they have done that to me?”
“Who the f*** does he think he is?”
“Why can’t I do this right?”
We hold onto these thoughts and stresses and let them consume us- ultimately robbing us of our happiness.
I am a super “Type A” person (shocker, I know)…I was, and sometimes still am, constantly trying to control everything. The way I talked, what I ate, my relationships, whatever was happened in my life. As a result, I would become so stressed out. My chest would get tight, I would get irritable and snap on people..
Then one day, while talking with my mom about one of my breakdowns and how my world was ending (a.k.a. not hitting my quota at work), she said, “Emily, nothing really matters, and so what if it did?” I combated her with: “MOMMMM you don’t get it! How could you just say that?”
Yet again, she pushed me off my high horse and said, “If you don’t hit that goal, what is really going to happen to you that will alter your life?” I responded with “Well, I won’t hit my quota for the month, AGAIN, and then probably not for the year.” She responded, “Okay, so what? Work harder to hit it next quarter, and if you don’t, and lose your job. Get a new job. You’ll be fine.”
She was right. There really wasn’t anything terrible that could or would happen if things didn’t go perfectly. Essentially, she told me to get over myself (she loves me, I swear!), and to let it go because it wasn’t worth the energy. Tough love in a sense I guess, but I needed to hear it.
I truly hope that you have gotten something out of this New Year’s blog series. Maybe you’ve become a bit less stressed about the year ahead and your goals. Maybe you have adopted healthier habits, or are even considering getting back out there on the dating scene…
I will leave you with a parting thought: always remember that you are so much more capable of getting what you want in life, more than you will ever realize. Just try, and if you fail, try again! We were put in this world to live it up to its fullest potential, and we will never do so unless we put ourselves out there and give it all we got.
So go after your goals with an unwavering conviction, and I can promise that you will have a life changing 2018!