We all want to learn how to live a happy life. I know I’ve been in pursuit of a happy life for as long as I can remember.
I’ve always wondered what it takes to be happy. As I pursued money, relationships, and success, I realized that happiness doesn’t come from the outside; it comes from within each of us.
It is something that is present all the time within you and me. Imagine the layers of an onion being your negative beliefs, thoughts, and fears.
As you peel away the layers (what you are not), you eventually reach the core (who you really are). We are all here to find meaning and purpose.
This is something I’ve discovered myself and it is something many of the personal development teachers out there talk about over and over again.
However, learning how to live a happy life is not about locking yourself in a closet and meditating for the rest of your life.
We as human beings are designed to set and achieve goals, so we need goals to feel fulfilled.
These are all a piece of the pie of living a happy life, but we have to keep in mind that it is not the external things that make us happy but what is going on inside of us.
With all that said, let’s look at nine simple steps on how to live a happy life.
1. Making the Choice
It all begins with the choice to be happier, to start studying the commonalities of happy people. What are they doing? How do they think? How do they face challenges?
Most people want something for nothing. If your life isn’t as good as you want it to be right now, you are the only one that can change it for the better.
You have to become clear about what you want in life, and who you want to be. You do not have to settle for mediocrity.
Almost every limit in our lives is set by ourselves. Most of the negative beliefs you have, you have learned from your parents, society, and friends.
They can all be eliminated. You can take control of your destiny and be happy. You can shape your future as you want it.
Now, I realize that we can’t control everything in life, but you certainly can create a happy life if you choose to. Just look at the people all around you that are already living the life of their dreams.
It didn’t happen because they were lucky. And they did not inherit their happiness from their parents. They created it.
2. Taking Responsibility
You alone are responsible for your life. You may think you have valid excuses of why you’re not as successful or happy as you should be.
Your excuses don’t matter, because they won’t change anything.
Do you want to give your excuses the power of controlling your life? Or do you want to reclaim the power that you’ve always had and create the life of your dreams?
You can whine, blame, and make excuses all you want, but it will only keep you stuck.
If you look at some of the happiest and most successful people on the planet, you will see that most of them did not come from privileged backgrounds.
In fact, many of them had to face brutal challenges in order to get to where they are. But the funny thing is that it wasn’t their problems or challenges that were the problem.
You see, all the drama and problems we face in life help us grow as human beings if we have the courage to face them and get through them.
3. Personal Development
Learning how to live a happy life is about learning how you work. It is up to you to take control of your own being.
By that I mean your thoughts, your health, and the path you are on.
You’re reading this article for a reason. You are here because your heart resonates with what I’m writing.
You know that what I’m saying is true. You can go after your dreams and you can make a living doing what you want, if you would just make the decision to do so.
If you truly want to supercharge your progress, focus on becoming better. The way I do this is by listening to personal development audio programs, attending seminars, and reading as many books as I can get my hands on.
The more information you have on what it takes to live a happy life, and the more you apply those principles, the happier you will be.
It really doesn’t get any harder than that. Learning how to live a happy life almost happens by itself when you make the decision that you are going to be happy and not miserable.
4. Clear Goals
When you make the decision, the next step is to set clear goals of what you want to achieve in each of the main areas of your life.
The main areas in my life are:
- Personal Development
The way to set the most effective goals is to use the SMART criteria, which stands for:
And you must write down your goals on a piece of paper. Review your goals on a weekly basis, or better yet, rewrite them daily as if they were already a reality.
This will focus your subconscious mind on the goals that you want to achieve. The reason most people feel lost in their lives is because they have no goals whatsoever.
Most people sit in the passenger seat of the car that is their life. They let the car go where it goes, and then complain when it ends up in the ditch and they have to pay for repairs.
Successful and happy people take control of the wheel and steer the car where they want to go.
5. One Step at a Time
Never underestimate how much you can get done by taking one single step each day toward your goals.
You can always focus on low value tasks, such as hanging out on Twitter, Facebook, and checking your e-mail, but that’s not going to change your life, is it?
Learning how to live a happy life is about taking control and focusing your mind on the tasks that have the biggest impact on your life.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you have to focus on changing your habits and beliefs, specifically around food and exercise.
You can play around with all the different exercise programs out there and plan your day, but if the above two factors aren’t in place, you will never make any progress.
When you set your goals, you know the direction you need to go in. You don’t have to know exactly how you will get there, but you do have to take one step every single day, or as often as possible to make it happen.
6. Consistent Action
Nothing happens without action.
If you can take consistent action in the right direction and by working on the most valuable tasks, you can accomplish anything you want.
Most people underestimate the power of focus, determination, and action. When you’ve found a goal that sets your soul on fire and makes joy pump through your veins, it will be almost impossible for you not to take action.
For example, my passion is to help people improve their lives and inspire them to go after their dreams.
This makes fireworks go off inside of me, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. When you adopt that kind of mindset, you can accomplish anything in the world. You can have success in life.
No excuses, fears, or obstacles can stand in your way.
It might take you years to accomplish what you want, but it won’t matter, because you will be doing what you love. It is the journey that matters.
The goal is just there so you have something to aim at.
When you have this kind of relentless determination, you will blast through your fears like a hot knife slices through butter.
It wasn’t until I got this fire inside me that I started making progress. Something funny happens when you make the choice to live a happy life.
It’s almost as if the universe conspires to help you. Learning how to live a happy life keeps coming back to the decision to actually do it.
Most people expect a fire to start without first putting wood in the stove. Your life will never be perfect, and the stars will never align.
The circumstances you need will not occur until you take action. It is you who will have to take the first step, not someone else.
8. Following Your Passion
Most of us know what our heart yearns for, but we are afraid to go after it. It is often the thing you’re afraid of doing but desperately want to do that is your passion and purpose in life.
I remember a few years ago before I started this blog. I was afraid that I had nothing to contribute to the world with my writing.
I was afraid of the fact that I wasn’t good enough. As the years passed, I became sick of my excuses and negative thoughts, like a kid who stands up to his bully, I decided to stand up to myself and take action anyway.
I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way of doing what I love. If people didn’t like it, that was their problem, I was going to do it anyway.
And as I started writing, dozens of people read and responded to my writing. And right now, tens of thousands of people read my content every single month.
The feelings you have about going after your passion are unfounded. They are there to challenge you and to see if you’re truly serious about living a happy and fulfilling life.
When you are ready to take that step into the unknown even though you are scared, your life will transform. There is a way for you to live a passionate life. I know, because I am living proof.
(Sidebar: If you don’t know what your passion is, you may want to check out my book Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself).
9. The Truth
Have you ever seen millionaires and billionaires that are incredibly successful but amazingly depressed and unhappy with their life?
They have all the cars, houses, and material possessions anyone could ever want, but they are still not happy.
All the money in the world will only amplify what is already going on within you. If you’re unhappy now, money won’t make much of a difference.
When you realize that external possessions cannot give you lasting happiness, you have the opportunity to decide if you want to be happy or not.
Everything you’ve read in this article is but a piece of the whole. When you add the everything together, you get lasting inner peace, happiness, and purpose.
You are on a journey of self-discovery, like we all are. We are all where we need to be, learning what we need to learn, and going where we need to go at this point in time.
In summary, you can live the life you want, if you will only decide to do so.
I know that it is scary, but I’d say that living a life full of excuses and fear is worse than going after your dreams.
So what if you fail?
The most successful and happy people in the world have failed over and over again until they discovered what they truly wanted to do in life.
If you will only make the decision today, your life will change. I guarantee it.
Photo by Stuart