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How To Be Happy!

I was over at a friends birthday party, and I saw that she had
HAPPINESS NOW! Timless Wisdom for Feeling Good FAST
sitting out next to her bed. Itís apparently even been featured on the Oprah show!

Forget buying that book. Iím here to tell YOU the real deal: Iíll tell you how to be happy. And you will save the $40 bucks for the book too:)

1. Stop Being a Dick

Seriously. Just stop. Even when other people are being dicks. Just stop.

When you get a reaction from strangers, theyíre not actually reacting to you. Theyíre reacting to some stereotype and set of assumptions about who you are based on how you look, how you carry yourself, and the kind of person they are expecting to bump into in their current situation. So whatever it is they just did, whatever it is that you think was some great offense to your person, just let it go. Itís not worth escalating the situation, because you arenít going to get anything positive out of the situation, and youíre just ruining everyoneís time. So leave strangers alone.

As for everyone else, youíve got even more reason to stop being a dick. If someone says something that you donít like, yelling isnít going to accomplish anything except grating on everyone else around you. Oh, sure, you may get them to shut up. You may even intimidate them to admitting youíre right or taking back what they said. But they didnít mean it, and if they cared or had the guts, theyíd still be standing up to you. And as soon as you leave the room or they think you wonít notice, theyíll go back to being exactly they way they were before you yelled at them. Congratulations, youíve done nothing by being a dick except make everyone regret that you were invited to the party. So how about you stop being a dick?

2. Stop Whining

Look, everything you might want to whine about falls into one of two camps: either you can do something about it, or you canít. If you can do something about it, then put the energy you were going to put into whining into actually fixing it. If you canít do anything about it, then your whining isnít going to do anything except continue your cycle of self-loathing and make you a general downer. Reality isnít going to change because you whined at it, so deal with the life you have, not the one you want. Whining is counter-productive to everything you want to accomplish. Save your energy and use it to find a hobby instead.

3. Get Out, Get Some Exercise, Unplug, and Deal with Real People

If youíre in your house all the time, surrounded by your own hand-picked decorations and designs, and you go out only when insulated by your iPodís earphones and something to be burying your eyes in, the itís no surprise youíre unhappy. Human beings are social creatures. That means you will be a lot happier if you socialize. And, yíknow whatís really weird? Most people wonít think youíre anything other than friendly if you strike up a conversation.

Weíre also creatures of nature and built for movement. Being surrounded by neon and advertisements has been scientifically proven to make you unhappy, so get into nature and go for a walk. Discover a local park. Itís a bigger deal than most people give it credit for.

4. If People Are Treating You Like Crap, Then Let Them Go

There are lots of people out there who arenít listening to #1 (ĒDonít be a DickĒ). They, for some reason or another, are out to bully you, to passive-aggressively control you, to tell you that you are wrong, to use you as a punching bag (verbally or otherwise) and to generally be a problem. So let them go. Stop hanging out with them, and put plenty of distance between you and them. No matter what that person might say, you know that you donít deserve what theyíre dishing out, so pick up your dignity and hit the road.

There are 7 billion people on the world. You can afford to not hang out with that one again.

5. Your Critics Are Always Right

If someone seriously says that you are some way ó if they tell you youíre embarrassing to be around, or if they compare you to someone you hate, or if they say youíre not a very nice person, or whatever ó then you are that way. You may not be that way in the core of your being, and you may not want to be that way, and it may be a surprise that you have come off that way, but their perception of you is valid, and you need to accept and deal with that. What did you do that made them think that was true? Where are they coming from with their experience of you that made it seem accurate? Ask yourself (and them) these questions, and see if you can take it as an opportunity for self-improvement.

Donít do what most people do, which is to take it as an attack that needs to be responded to with anger and yelling. Then youíre just taking an opportunity to make yourself better and replacing it with an opportunity to hurt a your relationship with them.

Now, of course, you need to be sure theyíre serious: something said in the middle of a fight or said flippantly doesnít really qualify. So you need to be sure theyíre serious. But if your critic is serious, then your critic is right.

6. Do Hard Stuff for a Change

For some reason, our society tries to ask as little as possible from you. Donít let it.

Itís hard to make a new friend. Itís hard to vest yourself in a job, or in a project, and to really start to care about it. Itís hard to fight for your career, and to do what needs to be done to advance it. Itís hard to get out of your comfort zone and experience things or listen to people that are totally foreign. Itís hard to demand your dignity, itís hard to submit to humility, and itís hard to focus on self-improvement instead of self-destruction.

But, if you do those things, youíll be happier for it. Take the hard road: thatís where the good stuff is.

7. Let Stuff Go/Suck It Up

Most things arenít worth the effort we put into them. We get angrier about them than theyíre worth, we worry more about them than theyíre worth, and we generally ruin ourselves over pittances. Let it go. Not a huge fan of where people are going to lunch? Suck it up and go with them anyway. Try something different. Still angry about something someone said to you years ago? Let it go: the reality is that they probably donít even remember it. Whatever it is that youíre all hung up on thatís been ruining your decade, just let it go. Itís seriously not worth the effort youíre putting into it.

Along this same vein: you canít control everything, so donít try. Let it go. Have some confidence in yourself: youíll find a way to deal with it ó whatever ďitĒ is ó when you get to it. Human beings are wonderfully adaptable creatures, and there have been others who have found ways to deal with worse than you will ever see.

So there you are. Hope youíre happy.

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