How To Live A Happy Life? – 16 Things You Wish Someone Told You, When You Were 16….!
Last week I was at a school in the capital city of God’s Own Country, Kerala, addressing nearly 750 students. I was asked to give solutions for the question – How to live a happy life?.
Can you imagine the energy, enthusiasm and curiosity that was filled in that auditorium?
Looking at them I asked myself, what is it that I am going to say, which will bring a smile to their hearts and faces by the end of the 1 hour interaction. And that too on one of the most challenging questions that I have ever faced in my life – How to live a happy life?
I asked them what they wanted from their lives and there came the typical answer, I want to become a Doctor or Engineer. This is the thought our parents have instilled in our young hearts at a very early stage..
The most common word a 16 year old student would hear is STUDY, STUDY AND STUDY and how do you expect the boy or girl to live a happy life.
Its very rare that parents ask their children to go out and play for a while. All these children whom I met were looking out for someone who can think from their shoes and help them with answers on how to live a happy life?. Having faced several challenging situations in life, I felt that I would be able to share my experiences and help these beautiful young people to live a happy life.
I was able to see the curiosity and anxiety in their eyes when they asked me these questions.
- What is your job?
- How do you manage to keep a smiling face?
- How to live a happy life?
- What made you do this? What made you leave that?
- Given an opportunity what things you would have done differently?
- And many more thought provoking one’s…!
Those boys and girls reminded me of my school days which made me walk 13 years back.
I started to see the things that I missed and I wished someone had told me these 16 things, when I was 16, which would have helped me live a happy life, starting from my teens .
1. Good marks and grades is not everything in life
I know, some of you might be raising your eyebrows when you read this. Yes, I mean it my dear friends.
I guess, no school teaches you how to live a happy life? Exceptions are always there and schools are slowly starting to realize the importance of giving proven wisdom to lead a happy life.
If you ask a student who scored 99% in his 10th standard to name 10 chapters in Physics, I am sure that he would find it really difficult to reproduce the result I wanted. Its because he would have studied most of the subjects out of forcefulness, rather than sheer interest. Do you agree with me on this?
Issac Newton was a school drop out, but he made more than 1000 inventions. So even if you score a little less during your school days, be rest assured that you have a bright future ahead and you can still lead a happy life. What is more important is to feel confident about the unique skills that you possess and pursue it with true passion, which is what I am doing today.
2. Learn Buffetology
I am not talking about relishing or exploring the dishes in a buffet counter. You may want to learn about this amazing human being, Warren Buffet.
Being a spendthrift was one of my major problems as a teenager. Since the time I read the book on Warren Buffet, I started the habit of investing because of which I am living a debt free life, which is one of the main per-requisite to live a happy life. Some of you may disagree with me on this point. I am not against loans, but I am against the principle of taking loans without the ability to pay back.
Warren Buffet has asked all the children to start investing from a very young age, 7 or may be 8. If you have gone way past this age, please start to save and invest from this day onwards..! Living in the present is a good concept. However saving for the future is also a great concept…! Warren Buffet said that and it has to be one of the main reasons behind his happy life.
3. Build an Amazing Network
Take the initiative to connect with human beings. This will be one of your greatest assets when you start your professional life. Teachers, classmates, neighbors, bureaucrats, corporates, business men, social activists and even politicians. Nobody is untouchable, try connecting with maximum number of people. They will teach you how to live a happy life.
Just connecting is not enough. It is vital to maintain the rapport and nurture the relationship. When you apply for a job, you will have to definitely give a minimum of 2 referrals. Imagine the situation if you have 10 key decision making people in their respective companies, as your friends. Getting a deal would be a cake walk for you, be it a business opportunity or a job offer.
4. Silence is Golden
Recently I went to attend a training program on Neuro Linguistic Program and one of the feedback I got from the trainer was to have some quiet time for myself on a daily basis. This was a real eye opener, because till date no one has told me the importance of silence in our life.
Silence will help you reach your true self, show you the path for future, cleanse the mind from impurities and eventually it will tell you, how to live a happy life.
5. Be radical
“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative”. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bill Gates was radical, Einstein was radical and Muhammad Ali was quite different from the other boxers. Their thoughts and actions are different from the ordinary ones. They strive for excellence by taking a road less traveled. As a 16 year old I was groomed to think in the same way as that of my ancestors.
If you want to achieve something new, change your current thoughts as well as actions, because these two are the major causes for all the results. Act now, be radical and dare to be different! Explore new ideas and opportunities, always. As you read further, you will gain more insights on how to live a happy life.
6. The power of action combined with visualization
We are made to believe that hard work pays rich dividends. A head load worker is probably one man who does hard physical work than you and me, but he still gets only peanuts, which proves the theory wrong.
This is where the power of creative visualization comes into play. You visualize what you want to achieve in life and then take actions towards achieving those. A couple of books that helped me change my perspective were, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. You may also want to dwell deep into the subject of fate.
7. Experience the rich practice called Yoga and enjoy its benefits
Yoga helps in unifying the mind, body and spirit. The benefits of Yoga range from physiological to psychological to biochemical.
Some of the major benefits of Yoga are:
- Increases your immunity
- Your strength and resilience improves.
- It helps in weight reduction and normalization.
- Teaches you how to live a happy life.
- Leads to improved sleep.
- Power of concentration grows immensely.
- Unlimited possibilities of growth in self evolution.
- And many more..!
Old saying – ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
New version – “Yoga everyday, keeps the doctor away”.! I guess, these days its very hard to find apples those are cultivated without using pesticides. Miracle apples is an exception.
8. Develop your heart to receive feedback
Many of our work contacts are miles away and yet we can interact with each of them in seconds.
The systems we use are designed increasingly to give us instant feedback on how we are doing. As I type this page, any spelling mistake is immediately underlined and any grammatical error highlighted. In our vehicles we have systems that gives us feedback about the speed, fuel level and much more.
It is by learning to accept, change, love and thrive on feedback that we change and simultaneously the world around us changes.
The modern day feedback systems which we have access are highly sophisticated and grow in number, each day. You and me are bombarded with instantaneous feedback in every walk of our lives.
We can exist in today’s competitive climate only if we are willing to take feedback and apply it. Trust me, if you are able to do that that you have learned how to live a happy life.
If I were to chose one skill that would put you ahead and shoulders above most people (not just in business but in life as well), it is the ability to receive feedback with an open mind, like an empty vessel.
9. Make people feel good
“Give genuine compliments to people from your heart, you will have thousands of friends. Belittle a person and you have a life long enemy.” Mohammed Rafi
Helping, motivating and being on the side of people at times of emergency will help you grow leaps and bounds. I have realized it quite recently, which is one main reason I am sharing the wisdom I have gained over the years for you without any strings attached to it. Its totally free and I would strive my best to keep it that way, with the faith that my readers would also help me earn my bread and butter. Ultimately you and me would be living a happy life.
10. Map is not the territory
You and me have a natural tendency to stand for our point, at any cost. We rarely try to understand the person at the other end. Lately I have started putting myself in the shoes of other people, to understand why he or she is behaving in a particular way, which has helped me look at situations from different angles.
The other person’s world is equally beautiful as yours. Have the patience and willingness to accept others as they are.
11. Reading brings profound change
People have moved on to blogs from books, in the 21st century. Be it blogs or books, the important thing is to read. I have read nearly 150 books in the past 8 years compared to hardly 20 books, till I was 21.
Cultivate the habit of reading, every day, for 30 minutes. See the change it brings to your life and please be kind enough to share it with me. I would luv to hear from my readers how my blog has helped them to live a happy life.
12. Accept problems and embrace them
We are scared of problems. Aren’t we? To be honest, I was. Now I have understood that no problem is constant; it has to change, eventually it will.
I got the courage to write this blog and address a huge audience because I had embraced problems and learned huge lessons from all those tough situations. You may have to starve, face the pain or even feel like putting an end to life. If you want to be happy at the end of your life, you have to face them, embrace them and show the world that you are a fighter. This will help you live a happy life.
13. Actions speak louder than words, and start immediately
If I had started writing this blog when I was 16, by now I would have been rated as the No 1 blogger in the world of self help. You thoughts might remain in paper, while your competitor might put it in actions and reap rewards.
So why wait? This is the time to act..! I believe, the youngest CEO of the world, Sreelakshmi Suresh, at the age of 8, would be an inspiration for you. She has learned how to live a happy life at a very young age, because of her passion, dedication and truly world class parents.
14. Start building a passive income stream
I am sure you will have enough free time in your day to day life. People who claim otherwise are advised to improve their skills in time management.
Write a blog, buy some niche domain names, start a library, do something that will act as a supporting income stream when you actually set feet in your life. I started it when I was 28..
Please start investing now, in different passive income streams. This will definitely help you live a happy life and come in handy when an emergency strikes you, red hot.
15. Don’t try to be someone you are not
In this challenging world, the biggest challenge is to be yourself. Most people are searching outside for answers, on how to live a happy life. You might get hooked with the beauty, knowledge, skills, wealth or education of others; but please understand that you are unique, because there is not one else in this world who is exactly like, even identical twins will have different characters and skills.
However you can learn the good things from the life of others and inbuilt it to your life, so that you become a better human being.
Happiness lies within you and its not materialistic. The moment you realize this, you have started to live a happy life.
16. Develop and follow an action plan
And finally it is hard to live a happy life if you don’t have a detailed action plan. More importantly you should have the determination to put that into action.
Identify another person whom who you believe can give effective feedback on your journey towards leading a happy and well balanced life. Constantly revisit your plans and make changes if necessary.
Above all it is highly important to live a happy life, as life is too short to be pondered over too much.
If you liked this article and looking forward for more help in improving your life please give your valuable comments on how it has helped you live a happy life..
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