The Secret of Happiness(tm)

November 29, 2011

In general, I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky guy - it comes naturally to me. It has come to my attention recently that this is not as common an attribute in people as I might expect - my mind is projecting fallacies.

Last night I did some introspection, and came up with some of my personal strategies for staying sane in this crazy world. Maybe they’ll help someone, and if they do, it’ll make my day.

  • Trust yourself - I mean, really trust yourself. Every challenge you come across you should expect to handily trounce. This might not come naturally, but it’s easy to hack. Set easily accomplishable goals and congratulate yourself every time one of them is completed. This will quickly lead to a sense of being very capable, which in turn encourages capability. Confidence has to be bootstrapped.
  • Stick to your ideals - Don’t be wishy-washy. If you believe in something, espouse it. Live by it, no matter the cost. People will respect you for having principles. You will too.
  • Don’t panic - If you have no direct control over a situation, don’t lose sleep over it. You can’t do anything anyway, so why get worked up? Instead, charge up your energy so when you can confront the problem, you’re ready to kick it’s ass.
  • Keep seriousness to a minimum - Find the humor in everyday life. A good test is this: count every time a situation makes you laugh. If you still know the count by the end of the day, you’re not looking hard enough. If you text your way into colliding with a door, imagine how funny it would be if the stooges did exactly the same thing. People can’t laugh at you if you’re laughing with them.
  • Be a hero - Take matters into your own hands. If you aren’t happy with some aspect of your life, actively work towards changing it. If you wait for someone to do it for you, you’ll be waiting a long time. Somebody has to do it, might as well be you.
  • Listen to yourself - Learn when you work best, and then work during that time. Don’t put off studying until midnight when you’re already tired - you’d be twice as efficient doing it earlier in the day. By doing this, you’re getting the most out of your day, which means more time to do things that make you happy. Also, get more sleep than you feel is necessary; it’s amazing how little you notice problems until they’re gone.
  • Don’t take it personally - Life consistently throws hardballs at us, and sometimes they can be hard to roll with. It’s important to realize that the universe hasn’t singled you out as a target for fuckery, it’s actually just dicking with everyone for giggles. It can be helpful (though a bit sadistic) to notice that in the last five minutes, thousands of people have had worse luck than you’ll ever experience. Be happy it wasn’t worse; it can always get worse. Imagine having lemon juice in your eye while it happened.

Now go and be happier! Life is wonderful if you choose to enjoy it.