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    © 2018 by Heather Nicholson. Proudly created with Wix.com

    The 9 Secrets to Happiness

    In the book, The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha, he discusses 9 crucial secrets to obtaining happiness long-term. Yes, happiness can be achieved in these 9 secrets if you practice these tips daily. After reading this book, I thought I’d share his tips to help others improve their overall satisfaction in their daily activities. Try them out for yourself!

    9 Secrets to Happiness

    1. Choose to be Happy First

    Positive Psychology scientists declare that happiness is a choice. This means, that no matter what your circumstances are, it is your choice to ‘be happy’ or not. The level of happiness we experience can be determined by 50% by our genetics, 10% of the environment, and 40% by you how you respond to your circumstances. If you do not know how to make choices to improve your happiness, you can start by taking walks 3x per week, practicing random acts of kindness, and writing down 3 things you are grateful for each night.

    2. Do Everything for YOU

    Stop doing things to please others! Do not continue to participate in activities for the benefit of others, such as trying to find the perfect picture so you can obtain more likes on Instagram, going to University because your parents told you that you should or not being with the one you love because others will disapprove. Find what makes you happy and pursue it with everything you’ve got! Make a list of the activities that make you happy and start doing them today!

    3. Remember You Won the Lottery

    We spend way too much comparing ourselves to our friends, family members or strangers we follow on social media. We do not realize that we have already won the lottery! Just because someone has been to more countries than you or is succeeding in their career, does not mean that their life is more valuable than yours. Quantity rarely outweighs quality (just remember that!). Some people are less fortunate than you are and it is important to take the time to count all of your blessings.

    4. Never Retire From Your Day Job

    Neil explains the term ‘ikigai’ in his book, which is a Japanese term that translates to “the reason you wake up in the morning”. What is your reason to get out of bed each morning? In the book, he gives an example of a diagram where you can fill in 1. The things you are good at 2. What you love 3. What you can get paid for and 4. What the world needs. Once you have completed each of the sections, you can then determine your vocation. Determining your ‘ikigai’ will help you not dread waking up every day to work and counting down the days to retirement. Here is the diagram if you are interested in exploring this idea further.

    5. Overvalue Yourself

    How are you spending your time each day? Do you have time to do the things you really want? Make sure that you are overvaluing yourself in every aspect of your life. If you work a job that requires you to put in extra hours, then you should be paid accordingly. If you are giving a lot of your time towards your partner's needs and they are not reciprocating, then you should either speak up or take a step back. What areas of your life are you not feeling valued? Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to change that as it is crucial for maintaining your happiness.

    6. Create Space in Your Day

    In addition to overvaluing yourself, you must also create space in your day to allow you to do the things you love. If your time is mostly filled with taking care of others' needs, then it will leave you too exhausted to do something for yourself. Take a look at your agenda and cross out anything that can be put aside for a later date or even crossed out completely. Decide to make time for the things that bring true joy in your everyday life. You deserve it!

    7. Just Do It

    It’s ridiculous how much time we spend thinking about something that we want to do or not taking action to accomplish our goals. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment to do something, just do it already! If you are interested in someone romantically and want to ask them on a date, do it! If you have a great idea for a project at work, then speak up and share it! Stop making excuses and just do it already! Make sure you don’t have a long list of regrets when you are older.

    8. Be Yourself

    You are special and there is no good reason to spend your life trying to make yourself a carbon copy of someone else. There is no one on this planet that is exactly like you. You have your own unique perspective, ideas, talents that you can offer this world that is like no other. Be brave and start living your life with as much authenticity as you can! This one can be scary and I understand that it is not easy, as no one likes to feel rejected. Start practicing this tip day by day with these steps and one day, you will be comfortable with showing up as the real you in every situation.

    9. Don’t Take Advice

    In Neil's book, he explains that there are popular quotes from people that contradict one another such as “The best things in life are free” and “You get what you pay for” or “Birds of a feather flock together” and “Opposites attract”. Therefore, don’t ever take anyone's advice. Yes, you can consult with people you trust, but ultimately, you need to make the decision for yourself.

    Thanks for reading!