Wednesday, September 9, 2015

100 Things to Make You a Little Happier, Part 9

Who knows how many people have actually read all of my previous 8 posts on the matter, but here is the penultimate piece on happiness. Things have certainly twisted in ways I did not anticipate, and procuring item after item of useful counsel or suggestion has proved more difficult than I thought. But here we are. Bare with me for one more post, and I promise the subject matter will change.

81. Work harder than you think you should- No one is unfamiliar with the principle of hard work and its proven efficacy. However we are often lulled into thinking that our efforts are satisfactory and that we needn't work too hard. We erroneously think their is some ceiling or cap to success. That's hogwash. We can be famous. We can be rich. We can do whatever we want. But we have to work harder than we have ever imagined ourselves doing.

82. Remember people's names- Most people I know that don't have eidetic memories have claimed at one time or another, "I'm bad with names." I myself have said this exact line many times. Yet, when I meet an especially attractive girl I will certainly remember her name until I run into her again or can procure her profile on some social media outlet. The point is we forget people's names when we don't especially care all that much. Take a greater interest in remembering people's names. You never know when or in what circumstance you will see them again. A few year's ago I ate at a Chinese restaurant and inquired concerning our waitresses name. She said some Americanized name like Suzy in broken English. I called BS and asked what her real given name was. She told me it was Chenping. I wrote it in the notes section of my phone and years later I returned to the restaurant. When our waitress approached us I said, "Chenping, how you doing?" Her toothy grin and nervous giggle made it all worth it. "You have good memory" she said.

83. Surround yourself with doers- You don't have to run out and get new friends tomorrow, but if you want to be a happy, highly accomplished individual, you must rub shoulders with movers and shakers, with people that make you think outside the box and that motivate you to no end. Seek out creative types, people whose brains seem to operate on a different frequency than most.

84. Hold hands with someone- Maybe it is a lover, maybe it is a loving grandparent, or simply a small child. Hold hands. Holding hands is one of the most intimate things two human beings can do, it opens up a beautiful conduit of vulnerability between both persons. Don't be nervous. Grab that hand.

85. Write down your goals- I have touched on goals already, but writing them down is the most important part. If you never write them down they will crumble into forgotten and neglected bits that you can't easily put back together. Make small demotic goals, and make huge outrageous goals. But put them on paper where you can see them.

86. Familiarize yourself with other cultures- This quote by Mark Twain should suffice here, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"

87. Identify your sadness triggers- A whole host of things can make us sad, and knowing the things that hit us hardest won't eradicate the sadness, but it will help hold them at bay. Look at your life and try to determine what your usual sources of sadness are, be it guilt, jealousy, loneliness, stress, self-esteem, or maybe some sort of combination.

88. Don't be so easily offended- This doesn't mean you shouldn't stand up for what you believe in and find important. But anytime you are offended it is your own decision. People already have their opinions, hearing some putatively offensive remark is simply understanding that something has been verbalized in front of you. It will not change your disposition and attitude unless you allow it to.

89. Laugh at yourself- Don't take your own existence so seriously that you can't laugh at yourself when you send a stupid text or when you put diesel fuel into your compact car. Getting angry at yourself will improve very little in your life. Look in the mirror, realize you aren't a machine, and giggle a bit.

90. Don't be too good for self-help- Some people see it as a sign of weakness to read self-help books or attend seminars or enlist life coaches. But we all do it in one way or another. Reading the Bible is self-help. Studying is self-help, watching inspiring YouTube videos is self-help. So don't think you are so highly developed as a human that you could not benefit from reading a self-help book, exploring new avenues of spirituality, or learning how to meditate.

Thanks for reading. Please share with someone who needs a smile or likes to read. If you have read to this point, you couldn't have hated it. So spread the joy. One more post left in the series. Stay tuned.