A year ago, I was stuck in the same rut as most other people are, and this is the habit/choice of being ungrateful. No matter what blessings I had in my life or no matter what I did, I was still not really happy, I still only focused on what was 'wrong' with me or focusing on what people didn't do for me instead of all the strengths I have and all the kind things that people did for me. It all changed once I started being grateful, and people were even commenting saying I seemed like a different person and all of a sudden, I started finding more and more things to be grateful about and even took it to the lengths of finding positives in people or things that I didn't like. When you do this on a regular basis, you condition yourself to find the positives in things that you previously saw as negative. Remember, nothing has a meaning apart from the meaning that you give it. So why not give everything a meaning that makes you smile instead of a meaning that pisses you off every time you think of the thing.
Theres no excuse
You're probably surrounded by people everyday that are constantly moaning about some 'injustice' in their life, or about how life is so hard, or about how they are angry about something. I know for a fact that when I go out into the world, I'll come into contact with people who are living with this poisonous mindset and it's easy to get caught up in the bitching, gossiping and complaining but next time, be the stronger person and either don't join in with the negativity and let it become part of you, or stop them in their tracks and point out that there being negative and challenge them to say something positive, to express their gratitude or even just to smile for a second, it will make a difference and you'll be surprised at how people react. The first time I talked about gratitude to my friends, I was petrified about what they would think of me or how weird I would sound but surprisingly, they seemed really happy about what I told them, and weren't even aware of the practice of gratitude (spread the word people!!!). Now, if I'm ever in a sour mood, or I happen to revert back to moaning and complaining, my friends or girlfriend will stop me and mention being grateful or mention having a positive outlook and usually, that small act is all I need to change state. Having that accountability there is priceless to catch you when you're running through life blindly so try it today with someone you know, talk to each other about what you're grateful for, have a positive conversation instead of moaning about how shit work was or how someone cut you up at a roundabout 2 months ago. You will feel great, trust me. Build a circle of friends who help you to grow, keep you accountable and who actually add value to your life instead of a group of mates who drag you down and only want to know you when they need something. FRIENDS SHOULD IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. NOT MAKE IT WORSE.
Be a 'good finder' not a 'bad finder'
I heard a Zig Ziglar speech recently and a great quote from it was 'People find faults like theres a reward for it'. This is so true, the average person loves to moan and find faults and this is why the average person is broke and unhappy. Once you start to look for the good instead of something to moan at, you start finding amazing things everywhere. For example, a 'friend' of mine cancelled on me last minute even though we'd had our plans for weeks, and the previous version of myself would have been angry about it for a few days, moaned to everyone that would listen and probably put a dent in my friendship with the person. But instead, I accepted his cancellation without any real emotion attached to it, I was no longer focused on the fact he'd 'flopped' on me, I was focusing on the 3 hours I now had free to do whatever I liked, so I went to the gym, got my haircut and went out for a bit with another friend so whereas before I would have been angry and let it ruin my day, I had turned a negative to a positive, had a great time, worked out, looked fresh with my new haircut and had a bag of laughs with my friend. This is a practical example so why not think of something in your own life you dislike and make a list of reasons why it's good, reasons why you like it, reasons why you LOVE it and say them out loud to yourself, read them over when you have a spare minute instead of going ion Facebook to see what Joe Bloggs had for dinner, it's the tiny micro-decisions/changes like these ones that have an incredible effect on your life over time. Train yourself to enjoy every situation in your life and make lists of reasons why you enjoy it – it is a powerful exercise that can be used for any area of your life. Make lists of why you love your girlfriend, make lists of why you love going to the gym, make lists of why you love getting out of your comfort zone and growing. By doing this, you associate pleasure to whatever the activity is, and you are likely to go into a situation much differently if you're happy and grateful for it. Rather than focusing on everything bad about it. Remember, everything is good or bad, depending on how you choose to view it...which takes us onto the next point of
Changing your focus whenever you feel anger, boredom or any other negative emotion.
I used to think you needed something specific to be happy, but its a lie, you can be happy right now, for no reason, for 1 reason or even for 1 million reasons. And you need to just do it, because if you're waiting for everything to be perfect before you're happy, then you're never going to be happy because THIS IS LIFE. Life isn't always fair, life isn't always easy. But life is filled with things to be grateful for so it's up to you what you choose to focus on. I'm human, just like you (no, seriously, I am human!) and it's so easy to get caught up in a situation, losing your temper and thinking that everyone is out to make you angry but this is a very poisonous mind state to be in, so next time you catch yourself losing your temper, stop for a second, and look at the situation and see if you're acting like a diva – Now you've accepted you're acting like a diva in the heat of the moment, ask yourself what you're trying to achieve and then ask yourself how you're going to do it. Then do it, simple. I hate to always come across so simplistic but the difference between a happy life and a life filled with anger is not a great deal – only your focus. So next time you get in an argument or your getting angry – stop and ask yourself what you're trying to achieve and take action towards doing so. When you're in an argument with your girlfriend for example – shots get fired from both sides and things start to escalate and before you know it, you're both saying hurtful things to each other that can't be forgiven as easily as they were said and I don't think you're desired outcome is to hurt a person you love. Just by being conscious of this – you're outcome mid-argument might go from trying to 'Be right by any means' to 'I want to make up and hug it out' and a lot less feelings will get hurt if this is you're outcome compared to being right by any means.
Dont get caught up chasing happiness that you forget to be happy
As mentioned already, if you wait for everything to be perfect then you'll never be happy. And a lot of people make themselves sad/angry/depressed in the pursuit of things that they think will give them eternal happiness such as bigger house, newest phone, expensive clothes...the list goes on and i'm sure you thought of examples from your own life. The sad thing is that these 'material goods' only give us happiness in the moment and this happiness is very short lived and usually leaves a big gap once the initial 'buzz' wheres off. For example – we dream of owning our own home – we get our own home and we're super happy – then we dream of owning a bigger home – we get the bigger home and we're super happy – then we dream of owning a mansion - then we get the mansion and we dream of the next upgrade. We are brainwashed daily to think we need more than we currently have to be happy, because if everyone was happy with their lives as they were, they would have nobody to keep buying never ending piles of garbage. So many people are tricked into thinking they NEED the brand new iPhone because of the way its been marketed by the geniuses at Apple so they sign themselves up to 2 year contracts, spend money they don't have and feel inadequate until they have THE NEW MODEL – THE BEST IPHONE EVER. Once they've forked out, the new model adverts soon start rolling in and it's never ending and i'm only picking on Apple because it's an everyday example – iPhone 1, 2, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4, 4a. 4APLUS, 4c, 5, 5c, 5c Plus – IT WILL NEVER END. iPhones are amazing pieces of technology and I have one myself but I don't lose sleep over the thought of not getting the newest model before all of the people at work.
I love new purchases as much as the next person but I don't let them run my life. Enjoy material goods – don't be obsessed by them.
So there you go, hopefully i've given you the reminder you need to start being grateful today and to start taking action towards being happier in your day to day life and eventually getting more success in every area of your life. Remember..YOU CAN READ AS MUCH AS YOU WANT BUT YOUR LIFE WON'T BEGIN TO CHANGE UNTIL YOU START TO TAKE ACTION SO AS WE BELIEVE IN TAKING ACTION TODAY...HERE IS AN ACTION PLAN FOR YOU.