Happiness – 6 Basic Rules

Happiness – 6 Basic Rules

So many people have so many opinions about how to find or create happiness it’s hard to know, sometimes, what to do or where to turn. As the Chief Happiness Officer here at The Happiness Institute, and as a coach and consultant, lecturer and writer who’s constantly asked to speak about and refer to happiness it’s my job to make sure I’m up to date with all the latest and greatest happiness and positive psychology coaching tools and strategies.

Luckily, I love reading about this topic and so I spend many hours every day and every week reading about, talking to people about, and practicing happiness enhancing strategies. And despite the plethora of new writings and new research and new opinions I keep coming back to the same 6 basic rules that I believe are guaranteed to bring more happiness to people’s lives.

I’m pleased, therefore, to bring them to you today and I hope you find them as useful as I, and the thousands of clients I’ve worked with, have found them…

  1. Plan for happiness – be crystal clear about happiness means for you; what your priorities and values are; what you need to do to be a better you and to live a better life; and finally, look for the meaning and purpose in everything you do (what I call the “why” behind the “what” and the “how”)
  2. Build Energy for happiness – it’s hard to be happy if you’re sick and tired so make sure you look after your health so you have the energy you’ll need to do what you need; in simple terms eat well, keep active and ensure you get adequate rest and sleep
  3. Develop real optimism – which is not the same as “positive thinking”. Real optimism does involve actively looking for positives but it also involves facing up to the cold hard realities and dealing with them in a constructive way
  4. Remember that happiness is not a solo sport – happiness isn’t just feeling good it’s also doing good; so connect and engage with others; do good to and for others. Build positive relationships because in giving we often receive
  5. Build happiness on your strengths rather than assuming it will come from fixing weaknesses. Don’t spend all your time asking what’s wrong and how it can be fixed; focus, rather, on asking what’s right and how you can use more of it. Happy people are far more aware of their innate attributes and qualities and they use them more consciously and more often
  6. Find happiness by focusing more on what you have and less on what you don’t have. Practice gratitude and appreciation. Put your problems into perspective and celebrate your successes…

…which brings me to one final point which is to make sure you HAVE FUN along the way!