Our ultimate goal is to be happy. This is what motivates each and everyone of us to get up and put the necessary effort into our daily existence. However, for most of us, routine can set in quickly in our lives, especially if the work we do makes the days similar to one another, which leads to monotony, boredom and stagnation. In a vicious cycle, this make us become oblivious of the sense of happiness and appreciation for our lives, health, family, friends and work. And so those fortunate enough to have all these blessings may end up taking them for granted and forget to reflect and feel grateful for them.
I am a true believer of lifestyle (re)design. After all, we are the masters of our destiny. So, to keep things interesting for those of us whose ordinary lives are not always externally influenced by 'happy happenings', I propose to find (create) our own ‘spikes’ in the day.
Let’s start by setting daily goals and then celebrating their achievement. The sense of pride in the way we lead our lives can be so powerful that it alleviates monotony and replace it with a self-fulfilling personal satisfaction. This ultimately derives from a sense of empowerment - power to take the lead over the course of our day and control our emotions, thoughts, social interactions and any form of innate cravings.
These daily personal goals must be healthy & manageable ones, such as: going for a morning run before work, choosing a healthy snack over a sugary temptation, drinking 2 litres of water a day (this one is a killer!), interacting well with the people in your social network, speaking up in meetings, keeping focused and working in priority order in the face of disruptions, breaking away from bad (but comforting, I know) habits or simply a coming out of your shell by initiating a conversation with someone you wouldn’t dare to speak to. They might seem minor, but achieving any of these self-imposed ambitions is a grand-slam performance. After all, our primordial selves have a natural tendency to indulge in self-defeating comfort and shy away from any demanding effort.
It is always useful to write down your self-imposed goals on a piece of paper at the beginning of each day in order to focus your mind upon accomplishing them. Think about what motivates you, what makes a good day for you and what makes you happy. And then think about how you will achieve what you have set your heart and mind on, how you will unleash your brilliant self to shine through. For me a gloriously good day is a day when I eat healthily, work productively, use my time wisely, interact well with those in my social circle, exercise and sleep well. It may sounds simple, but it takes effort, commitment and planning to accomplish and synchronise them all.
Coming up with personal objectives at the beginning of each day and working to achieve them throughout the day will do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. However, to reach this state of happiness you need to take time to reflect upon your achievements, that is, upon the times when your higher self ruled over your more primitive self – when you proved yourself to be mentally strong, focused, determined, motivated, in order words, a winner. So, keep a gratitude journal and end your day with the acknowledgement of your daily victories. This will lead you to proclaim yourself your own Champion! Everyday.
Always remember to show appreciation to yourself – gratitude to your mind and body, for having worked together to help you reach your potential. The word “appreciation” derives from the Latin word ap+preti(price)+ātus which means to increase in value. So in a self-amplification process, when you show appreciation to yourself, you increase your sense of self-respect and self-love. This will fuel your mind and body with positive energy that will transpose you in a zen-like aura. Just like a sparkle can generate positive energy, good breeds goodness, and this will help you reach that sense of happiness. Positive psychology is so powerful, if activated well.
However, if you fall off the bandwagon, don’t sink in, as you will end up drowning in the negative energy pool. Just as happiness derives from positive energy, sadness can quickly stem from negative energy. So, have no regrets, because, after all, falling off your self-imposed bandwagon was what your unacknowledged, instinctual self wanted at some point. After all, we’re only humans and cannot always be perfect. Otherwise, it wouldn’t feel like perfection anymore, in those rare moments when we do come close to it.
Even the best performing champions fail. But their true superiority stands in being able to learn from it. So, refuel! Set your heart onto the next goal – something that brings happy thoughts to your mind. After all, happiness is a state of mind, so the way you perceive a situation and how you make the most of it impacts your sense of mental well-being. Even a negative situation can be perceived as a positive, if seen as a learning opportunity, and, above all, a chance to rise above your sinking self. And when you do this, you will bounce back really high if you compare what you have in the course of winning vs. what your sinking-self thought was on the path of losing. This in itself is another victory, that will feed into what makes a glorious day for you.
However, be careful not to create a vicious cycle out of this mental lose-to-win game – i.e. the pursuit of falling low for the chance of rising up in your perception. As if you do this regularly, you may end up in an emotional turmoil that can be mentally exhausting. Instead, seek to sustain the current of positive energy long-term, by dwelling on it, whilst only slightly acknowledging the short-circuits. And remember, time passes too quickly for it to be worth any feelings of remorse, so just enjoy every precious present moment (that’s why we call it present, heh?), and look forward to the next. Conquer each ordinary day and turn it into a gloriously good day.