Chiara Fucarina is a contributing writer at Life’d.com With over 13,000 Facebook “likes”, hundreds of Tweets, Pins, and shares among other social networks, “22 Things Happy People Do Differently” has grown to be a popular article. The author describes happiness as not something that is achieved through material possessions, fame, or fortune, rather, it is attained by maintaining a positive outlook on life and remaining at peace with yourself. I, personally, could use some more happiness in my life, so I gave it a shot and applied each one of the 22 things in my own life. Here are my responses:
1. Don’t hold grudges.
My Response: Ever since I can remember, I have been one to hold a grudge. I would never seek revenge on someone, but I was a little girl who kept that feeling of hurt if you made a promise to me that you didn’t keep. I would never forget, nor let go. As I’ve matured into an adult, I’ve learned that life is full of disappointments, but dwelling in the past, can only hinder your future. Learn from it and move forward.
2. Treat everyone with kindness.
My Response: Not something that I needed to add to my list of things to do because I was raised to always be kind to others. It’s something that has been instilled in me from birth. “Treat others as you wish to be treated”. Sounds logical to me.
3. See problems as challenges.
My Response: I am a fighter, mental fighter that is. I don’t like to accept that I cannot do something. If that instance ever occurs, I will make the changes, adjustments, preparations, what ever it takes so that I can turn it into something that I can do. If something is of importance to me, I will find a way.
4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
My Response: I’ve gone through my periods in life where I seem to forget the privileges I have that many others don’t. There’s nothing wrong with bettering yourself or your life, but one should never be ungrateful for what was given to them and what they have earned thus far.
5. Dream big.
My Response: This one encouraged me to pick up my bucket list that I set aside long ago. I dusted it off and I started making steps again to reach my big goals. It’s not an easy task, but I am closer than I was before.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
My Response: I’m guilty. Sometimes I may get carried away with little details because, well, I am a detailed person. To counteract my obsessive tendencies, I take the time to step back a moment and ask myself, what if the thing I’m trying to change stays that way? Will the outcome be that terrible or that drastic? If yes, then it’s not actually a small thing, if no, it’s a small thing, and I should either let it slide or approach the situation casually and noninvasive.
7. Speak well of others.
My Response: Mother says, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it all. I say we all need to vent from time to time, I know I do, but be mindful of how deep in you go and how often you do it. Sometimes I need to take a moment to concentrate on all of the good qualities a person has, to deter my attention away from their not so good ones.
8. Never make excuses.
My Response: I stand by this 100%! Every excuse is a choice to fail. Once you stop making excuses and start finding ways to overcome your obstacles, doors begin to open up.
9. Get absorbed into the present.
My Response: For me, this ties into not holding grudges. Once I stop dwelling on the past, and start concentrating on the things I can do now, I find myself more productive and in a much better state of mind.
10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
My Response: I will admit, some days I am so burnt out from the week that I go into a coma and sleep for an obscene amount of hours. I feel revived after, but doing this on a daily, or rather, nightly, basis will gear your body down into lazy mode. On any other day, I am all for getting my day started at roughly the same time as the day before. If I was pleased with the amount of work I accomplished from the previous day, why not get started at the same time today? (The exception being that I, personally, need to slip into a coma maybe every other week or so).
11. Avoid social comparison.
My Response: Never did it, never want to. I truly don’t see the point of comparing yourself to someone who doesn’t share the same life as you. You can look up to people, have role models, mentors, yes, but to sit there and allow yourself to either get depressed or envious of another person is not worth your time. Use the time, instead, to worry about yourself and what you want for you.
12. Choose friends wisely.
My Response: True friends are hard to find. Living in a city like Miami, you will run into people every day who will try to manipulate you, use you for their own personal gain, or try to sabotage you because they feel threatened by your accomplishments. I think good friends will find each other once the toxic ones are let go. If someone is not supporting you, challenging you, or adding to your life in some positive aspect, why continue to have them be apart of it?
13. Never seek approval from others.
My Response: Everyone has an opinion, and it’s not all of the time that their opinions will agree with one another. On occasion, I find myself with a headache from all the conflicting point of views on a single item. Once I start listening to one voice, my voice, the headache disappears.
14. Take the time to listen.
My Response: I’ve been told by many that I am a good listener. This may be because I can appreciate the confidence shared between two people and that I genuinely care about another’s well-being. You don’t have to play psychiatrist either; many times you can help someone just by lending an ear. You can also learn a lot just by listening.
15. Nurture social relationships.
My Response: Give time, love, and energy to the ones who are there for you and they will continue to be there for you!
My Response: It’s amazing how setting aside a moment for yourself to reflect on your life and your thoughts can settle your nerves and lift your mood. I try to do this towards the end of my day, plus anytime I feel overwhelmed.
17. Eat well.
My Response: I spent years not caring what I ate. As long as I wasn’t getting fat, I didn’t care what it was I put in my mouth. As I educated myself more on the subject matter, I learned that nutrition has a large impact on your overall well-being. I may have been consuming the right amount of calories to give me the energy that I needed without storing too much fat, but proper nutrition can help fight disease and balance mood. Nowadays, when I am eating a balanced diet, I seldom get sick and I find myself feeling better than in the past when I ate poorly.
My Response: Much like nutrition, exercise impacts one’s mood and physical health. Exercise helps you stay/get in shape which makes your body stronger to fight off sickness. Exercise also increases production of endorphins which stimulate a euphoric feeling. I’ve always loved exercising; maybe it was because it put me in a better mood without being consciously aware of it!
19. Live minimally.
My Response: I must confess that I am a bit weird. I am very tidy, neat, organized, however, I rarely like to throw away things. I am a bit of a hoarder. I like to hold on to my belongings for keepsake and sentimental reasons. When I run out of room, I have to push myself to let go of certain items. I’m presently trying to keep less figurines and decor on my dressers, fewer books, pen holders, and other nic-nacs on top of my desks, and less stacks of items against the walls, to have more clear, open surface area. Having more free space gives a better feel to my environment, I must say. I’m thinking about looking into feng shui next.
20. Tell the truth.
My Response: I ask myself, why do people lie? Afterall, people respect honest people, and lies will only haunt you. I came up with 3 reasons: they feel threatened, they feel embarrassed, or they feel like they are sparing your feelings. There are ways to tell the truth and avoid some of these feelings without being lewd in your approach. If I feel threatened, rather than telling a lie as a defense, I do what’s needed to take control of the situation and gain the upper-hand without lying. If I feel embarrassed, I will simply say, “Actually, this is not the best time to discuss that.” If I feel the truth will hurt you, I will still give you my honesty, AND I will bring out the positive of a seemingly bad situation. Just make sure you were asked before you lay your honesty on people, otherwise, you may come off as obtrusive and interfere rather than help.
21. Establish personal control.
My Response: Just as we should stop making excuses for ourselves, we shouldn’t rely on others to make things happen. My attitude is if you can help me, wonderful, if not, that’s okay because one way or another I will get it done. Once I stopped waiting around for people to do their part, I found myself in a better place.
22. Accept what cannot be changed.
My Response: This is a big one! Okay, so far I’ve mentioned my struggle to let go of grudges, that I am a mental fighter, and my OCD and hoarding tendencies. Is it any surprise that this last one on the list was a tough one for me? It’s hard to separate a challenge from something that I should just let be. I’m still working on it!
Fucarina has an excellent, well thought out list. I can’t say that I have achieved absolute happiness after reading her article, but I can say that by applying the advice given in her article to my life, my weak spots have gotten a little stronger and I’m feeling better about that.
You can read Chiara Fucarina’s article at http://www.lifed.com/22-things-happy-people-do-differently