A common thought throughout many of my articles and keynote presentations is that you need to define your own idea of success instead of living your life to other people's standards. For me, the best way to define success is with one word: happiness.
Happiness comes from waking up every day with a sense of purpose and living your life intentionally. Whether you live in a shack or a 100-room mansion, drive a Mercedes-Benz or ride a bicycle, if you are truly happy you will be ahead of 99 percent of the people in this country.
Luckily, being happy is a skill that you can develop just like any other. It takes time and consistent effort, but anyone can learn to be happier in their life.
In connection to your spiritual base, here are seven key habits you need to focus on developing that will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life:
Wake up every day and find something to be grateful for. Don't start your day with negative thoughts about "I have to do this" or "I wish I didn't have to do that." Greet each new day with a thankful heart.
Studies have found that smiling, whether you're happy or not, actually alters the chemistry in your body which sends signals to the brain making you feel better. So even in tough times, smile!
We are all influenced by the people around us. Having a network of positive people that we can share our challenges and triumphs with is a key part of staying positive ourselves.
Set both obtainable and stretch goals. You can build automatic triumphs into your life by setting reasonable goals and then working to achieve them. Those positive experiences will build your confidence to approach your harder stretch goals. Who doesn't love saying "Yes, I did it"?
When things don't happen as you desire, don't dwell on them. Take the opportunity to look for the lessons each situation has to teach and rejoice in the learning.
Many people make themselves unhappy by always putting others first. You have got to focus on making yourself happy first, then you can spread the joy instead of breeding resentment in yourself.
This may be the biggest key to a happy life. Once you are happy, work to bring that happiness to others. You may find this is the greatest joy of all.
My challenge for you this week:
Review the 7 habits in relationship to your approach to life and take the following steps:
Take a sheet of paper and make two columns.
In the first column, place only the habits that you intentionally consistently practice.
In the second column, list the habits you need to commit to purposely growing to become second nature.
Every night, review your list to see if you made a conscious effort to advance these 7 habits.
When you follow these steps, you'll have a sense of purpose, a happier life, and fulfill YOUR definition of true success!