We all are looking for the same thing. For some people it might be money. For others it may be being content. But it all boils down to this. We all want to be happy or feel happiness.
We all know miserable people. And we prey that we never become like them. But even they are like us – they are looking for the elusive thing called happiness. They just don’t know how to get it.
One of the reasons the western world, despite its massive wealth, has a mental health issue is because this thing called happiness is so elusive.
Happiness is a perception.
Driving cars, buying them, cleaning them and admiring them makes me happy. Watching 22 people on a soccer pitch kicking a ball around also makes me very happy. To my wife, who is infinitely more sensible than me, doing this is stupid.
To her? Make up, shoes, and handbags is what gets her juices flowing which to me is just plain stupid.
As I said, happiness is perception.
But the above activities are just temporary. We think they bring us happiness but, they don’t. We get bored after a while and look for the next thing.
So, the question we should all be asking is what brings long lasting happiness? I have spent about 20 years trying to work that out and I am glad I did because as many of you know in January 2022, I was told without medical intervention I had about 30 minutes to live. And whilst being wheeled away for emergency surgery I concluded that if these were to be my last 30 minutes that on balance, I was content and did not have any major regrets.
Several surveys have been done on happiness too and they all seem to boil down to a few things. We are not happy because we do not place enough importance or focus that does bring happiness. So here is a list that has worked for me and a list that so many surveys seem to suggest.
1. Be Grateful
I do not have a gratitude journal. But they say those that do are so much happier. When we have most things we would like, we take things for granted. When we have less, we are grateful for what we have.
I have a team in the Philippines. I have been there a few times too. As a nation many do not have luxuries, we take for granted. But I can tell you one thing. They are so grateful for what they have and are so much more content. Living in the western world we are lucky. We should be grateful for that alone.
2. Be around people who are positive
As I mentioned above, we hate being around miserable people. And the reason is obvious. Miserable people make us feel miserable.
I once read a book about experiences. It basically said don’t spend too much time hoarding money. Its experiences you should be chasing.
I agree. The experience of watching games around the world will never really leave me. But the biggest experience I had was 20 years ago was when I ran the London Marathon. They say there are only about 10 experiences you never forget in your life, and they usually happen in your younger years. I could never place a price on that Marathon Day. It and other experiences trump any money that I have made or even the joy I see from growing my business.
Yes, money will also be a factor for experiences, but go for your dreams because money will come and go. Your knees probably won’t cope if your aged 65 and want to run a marathon.
4. Giving back without expectation.
That marathon experience also gave me one of life’s greatest gifts. It was to understand the power of giving. And everything that I and WOW! Advisors Group does, revolves around this gift.
I did the run for charity. At the time I was also setting up my first business. Training allowed me a lot of time to think and by the time I had completed training an entire map of my business was planned. In the end I raised over $45,000 for charity but what I got back was worth more to me than anything I did for charity. That was the time I learnt that the universe must balance itself. If you do something good without expectation, somehow something good will come back.
5. Being with those you Love
Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse, wrote about the regrets of those dying and said this was the biggest regret in life. That we do not spend time with friends and family and the ones we love.
When I was being wheeled into surgery not once did I think about the money I made or the cars I had driven. My thoughts were about my last conversation with my wife, that I left home in the morning without speaking to my children, the last time I had spoken to my mum, my brother and my sister.
Do not disregard the power of being present when you are with friends and family.
As you can see, I have written about myself in this blog. It is not to show off or to impress you that I am somehow better or happier. No one is happy all the time. But I have done this because as I said above if I can give back and help you then the universe must balance itself and somehow it will come back to me.
And finally, if you do want to do all these things there is one thing you will need. And that is time. And that time can only come to you if you can sustain or have more income but work less. Working less is step 1, 2 and 3 of our 9 steps to more time, more income and creating wealth. If you would like more information of our 9 steps please email Hitesh at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ros at email@example.com or call 1800 440 316