What can I do to feel happier?
Figuring out how to become a better person is no easy task. Do you find yourself wondering what you’re missing? Thinking that there must be something that you should be doing? Unsure how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the constant challenges.
First off, you’re not alone. Take Tony. He came up with the concepts behind 5 To Thrive after he’d been kicked out of his house by his angry mother on Christmas Eve. Still in high school, he had no money and needed to figure out what to do next; going home was no longer an option. And thus an action plan was born, one that works to make you a better, happier you.
Here we’ll cover the five principles to make you thrive, not just survive. You’ll learn how to feel happy with yourself, become more focused and energized. In fact, you’ll likely find that the results quickly spill over into all aspects of your life, making you happier and healthier:
- Feed & condition your mind
- Strengthen your body daily
- Get a role model
- Proximity is power
- Give more than you expect to receive
1. Feed & condition your mind
The rationale: To take control of your focus, you have to feed your mind. What you feed your mind is what you become. So to become the best possible, you need to give your mind the most nutritious content possible. To put it another way, Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because things — ideas, thoughts, feelings — feed in there and you start to accept them unconsciously. And then you start to develop meanings that take over your life, likely in ways that won’t serve you. Sounds like the opposite of how to feel happy, doesn’t it?
If you don’t feed your mind, you’ll just be living off the weeds that grow in the empty spaces. By weeds, we’re talking about information that’s constantly coming at us in today’s world with no rhyme or reason. It’s up to you what you decide to let in.
The plan: Read 30 minutes a day of something substantive. Scrolling through social media doesn’t count.
Read biographies of great people who have achieved amazing things and endured massive challenges. It will help you put your own life into perspective and gain insight. Read great books; they’ll make you think about great ideas. Read about concepts you’re curious about or areas you where want to improve. You should be challenged and excited by what you’re consuming. Not much of a reader? Try audio books or even podcasts to provide the same level of brain nutrition.
2. Strengthen your body daily
The rationale: No matter how much you put into your brain, if your body stays the same, it’s hard to actually make change in your life. Your mind and body cannot be separated. Fear is physical. So is courage. When you feel uncertain or fantastic, it changes your physiology. How to feel happy? Changing how your body works can change your mind and your general worldview.
- Exercise. Aim for 5 days a week minimum. Push yourself so your heart is racing for at least 10 minutes, you’re doing something more than you thought was possible. You’ll build both physical and mental strength that way. The activity is up to you, just get moving!
- Create a daily ritual to make you strong. Tony uses a cold plunge. The shock of jumping into cold water gets blood and oxygen flooding throughout the body, improving circulation and activating the body’s natural healing powers.
3. Get a role model
The rationale: Models give us templates for how to be better people. As Jim Rohn often said, “success breeds clues.” If someone is repeatedly successful, that’s not luck. See how they do it and then replicate to achieve the same result.
The plan: Find someone who’s achieved what you want who shouldn’t have been able to do it. One of Tony’s major role models for how to master money is Sir John Templeton. He started with nothing and decided to save 50% of every dollar he earned. Since he started this practice young, it quickly became a streamlined habit. His life also showed Tony that the best time to make money — whether through investments, real estate or in business — are during times of maximum pessimism.
4. Proximity is power
The rationale: Many of us stay around people who are our level or below because it makes us feel good about ourselves. But stay around people who are comfortable, and there’s no impetus to grow.
However, put yourself consistently in environments that are larger than you’re used to playing in and something will rub off. Think of sports: If you play a game with someone who’s better than you, you’ll improve quickly. But if you play someone at your level or below, you never stretch yourself. No stretch, no improvement.
The plan: You need to be around people who do what you want to be doing. If you keep putting yourself there, something will happen. And how better to feel happy than being with others who share your passions? We all think about the people we see regularly, so make sure you’re on the minds of those that will lift you up, not hold you down. Having multiple models means you’ll make decades of process in weeks, not days. Yes, staying in an environment where you feel like you’re not good enough can be tough, but hold on – it’ll pay off in the long run.
5. Give more than you expect to receive
The rationale: Giving will change your level of joy and state of mind in ways that you can only imagine. In fact, Tony says that giving without expectation of getting anything in return, of trying to be a blessing in the lives of everyone you meet, will give you the energy to do the previous four things.
The plan: No matter how bad things may seem, find someone who’s worse off and help them. Do this for at least 10 minutes a month. Maybe you’ll provide them food, have a conversation, or help them solve a problem. No matter if it’s large or small, offer something to others. Remember: the secret to living is giving. It’s truly the secret for how to feel happy.
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