I am not a doctor or psychologist. I am like you—a person with hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities. I have struggled in life to find my place and to be happy. I am not an expert, nor do I ever want to be. I have become a person more concerned about my mental well-being than money, awards, and accolades. They are cool, don’t get me wrong, but not my motivation.
With all this being said, I have learned some ways to better my life, ways to be happier and be content. Here is my 11-step plan to figure it out:
1. Exploit your passions.
Find what you love to do and do it. If you can’t do it now for a living, start it as a side hustle. Doing things we love uplifts us and motivates us to be our best.
2. Figure out your purpose.
Ask yourself: What brings me the most feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction? Somewhere in your answer, you will discover your purpose. When I figured out my “why” or purpose, my life and perspective changed.
3. Write out your personal philosophy.
Identify what you value in yourself. Do you want to be healthy and fit? Determine the traits you want in yourself and become that person.
4. Play the daily Mental Game.
Practice gratitude and positive self-talk; read and grow. Exercise your body and mind. Tony Robbins says, “Repetition is the mother of skill.” Work on your mental strength each day.
5. Don’t take no for an answer.
“Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given.” Ask others for help. Search for solutions. People like to help others. Keep asking and you will find it.
In this case, love is a verb. It is an action, not a feeling. Love the good times. Love challenges. Learn to love the tough times. Seeing everything as useful and beneficial makes things good and helpful.
7. Keep running.
Not in the physical sense, but intellectually, mentally, and emotionally keep moving forward.
8. Be humble and vulnerable.
It is liberating not being perfect in front of others. Drop the façade and admit fault, worries, or concerns. People respond well to “realness.” Be a person who doesn’t have all the answers, that has fears, is scared, and can be lost at times.
9. Have integrity with yourself.
Run your own race, not the race of others. Integrity in yourself is sticking to what you want. Integrity, to me, is practicing what I preach regardless if people around me do not agree.
10. Seek pleasure in simple things.
This can be in nature, the sun, naps, exercise, quiet, reading, or whatever you deem a pleasure. Life is complex. Embrace the simple things that are around you each day.
11. Get comfortable being alone with yourself.
Years ago, before getting on the “right” path for me, I sought external attention and validation. I wasn’t comfortable being by myself with my own thinking. I have learned that sometimes being alone is all I need for clarity, joy, and happiness. When alone, it is only you and your world. Your hopes and dreams. You can be any way you want to be. Lazy, tired, active, quiet, or pissed off. When you get comfortable being by yourself, you gain a sense of freedom.