10 Tips on how to be happy with what you’ve got
Being happy with what you’ve got instead of asking for more and aiming higher all the time is, to be honest, against human nature. Yet, it’s impossible to chase the dream all the time; sometimes it’s better to take a step back and take a break, enjoying what you have already achieved. The problem is that we tend to get caught up in the daily race for more money, more success and more happiness, and forget what we already have. Here are ten reminders that your life is actually good and you might as well enjoy it:
1. Think where you were five years ago
Were you happier five years ago? Think carefully before answering. Maybe you were more carefree then, or maybe you were hit by hard times that you were grateful to be over and now you feel like a new person. Enjoy that, appreciate the fact that you managed to overcome the difficulties you had. And what if it’s the other way round and the hard times are here now? Well…
2. …appreciate the basics
Even if you’re temporarily down on your luck, this won’t last forever. Nothing does. But even in the worst of times, we all have something to appreciate, something that makes us feel good, even for a second. You’re not homeless, for starters. If you’re reading this, chances are your basic needs are being satisfied, and let’s remember that weekly shopping tours are not among these needs. Enjoy that because…
3. …there are so many who don’t have what you have
It may sound like a lesson for children but the truth is that we rarely think about those who really don’t have anything, including, for example, permanent water supply or a flushing toilet. We can’t fathom it even when we get reminded about it with one of those chain Facebook statuses that give you some statistics about illiteracy and average daily wages. It’s true, you know, some people do not have enough to eat, and you’re not among them. Be happy about it!
4. Make a list of what you have
You would probably argue that there’s nothing you can do about the world’s hungry, especially, if you’ve been passed for that promotion you were so looking forward to. That’s not the end of life, you know. You do have friends and/or family who love you, just give that some thought and put it in writing, if you like. You might be surprised by how much you actually do have to be happy about.
5. Enjoy your health
You have a pimple on your nose? Some people have psoriasis, how about that? The idea of “there’s always someone worse off than me” doesn’t work every time and with everyone but, truth be told, it could be a powerful motivator to stop whining about some petty problem that’s preventing you from seeing all the great things and people around you.
6. Enjoy the company of your friends
Friends are the people we run to when we have problems. They are the ones on whose shoulder we cry after a breakup, if mum’s too far or you’re not that close. Can you see why this is a reason to be happy? You have at least one close friend on whom you can rely in times of hardship, it’s as simple as that.
7. Think of how your grandparents lived
Just three generations ago things were so different, it was a whole other world. Think about being a single mother or divorcing or being gay in the 60’s. Today we have so much that our ancestors could not even imagine but we’re so used to it that we’re no longer capable of appreciating it. Take a moment to be happy about the freedom and choices you have.
8. Remember your childhood dreams
Some dreamed of finding a cure for AIDS when they were 10, then went on to become advertising experts. How did your childhood dreams turn out? Maybe recalling them would make you feel sad but remember how happy you, were when you were young and the whole world looked as if it was just sitting there waiting for you to conquer it?! Be happy with your memories, with the simple fact that you dared to dream so big. And if you’re still able to dream big, then that calls for a celebration! People who dream are happy people.
9. Be happy with yourself
Few of us believe they are perfect and even the ones that do, are not happy all the time because, you know, perfection needs heavy maintenance. But each of us has good sides and it’s pointless to underestimate them. Believe in yourself, believe that you can change the world even if it’s in a very small and specific way, such as making another person happy with just your presence in their life or with your smile.
10. If you’re happy and you know it…
That’s right, clap your hands. Silly children’s song? That it may be but it tells a truth: when you’re happy, spread it around, don’t hide it inside, afraid that if you let that happiness out, it will fly away from you. And don’t think it’s something that doesn’t matter. Anything that makes you happy matters, however small it may be!