10 tips for increasing happiness.


This here is my happy face.

Finding happiness is what will keep us young at heart.  An individual’s details of happiness will be subjective, but I think we can all agree on a few ideas of what it means to be happy.  Everyone just wants to have that feeling of peace of mind at the end of the day.  Everyone just wants to close their eyes and not be troubled by anything.  Those moments of happiness are like clarity that we need to hold on to.  Happiness is something that can be learned, practiced, and cultivated.

Here are 10 tips to being happy!

1. Love your job

Lets face it, most people need to earn a living.  Money is a nice tool to have, and there are bountiful ways to go out and collect it.  Make sure what you’re doing to pay the bills is something you enjoy and is worth waking up to everyday.  Jen told me in San Francisco that the trick is learning what you love, finding a way to make money doing it, and never working a day in your life.  If your job isn’t fun, challenging, and rewarding, consider finding a new one.  If you’re going to spend so much of your life doing it, you’ll be happier if it’s something you’re passionate about.

2.  Do things you enjoy.

Find something that you enjoy doing at anytime.  Something simple, personal, and fulfilling.  I really enjoy learning about photography, spending time in the kitchen, and writing as often as I can.  This is what I do in my downtime, and the more downtime I have, the better I get at these skills.  I also really enjoy traveling, so I make sure I can do that as often as I please.  Explore the things that you enjoy doing.  If you don’t know what they are, try a lot of new things until you figure it out.  It will be worth it.  Doing any of them in any combination with anything else in life makes everything more enjoyable.

Photo by Todd Geasland

Photo by Todd Geasland. Click on the photo to see more of his work.

3. Be present whenever possible.

Being present means being aware of the now. Try to forget about what you can’t change from yesterday or what your future self may face tomorrow. If we spend our time focusing on what has already happened and what hasn’t happened yet, we will never see what is currently happening now. What is happening right now will impact the rest of your life.  Because of that it is important to focus on the moment with care and delicacy.

4.  Surround yourself with good people.

If you hang out with drug addicted thieves, you may end up like one.  If you surround yourself in drama, you will probably find some. Your parents were right; if you hang out with the wrong crowd, you might end up a bad person.  This can be applied to surrounding yourself with good people.  If you find yourself surrounded with successful, generous, and gratious people, you may end up in great situations.  If you surround yourself with people that have traits you admire, then you are likely to pick up on them.  If you surround yourself with people that inspire you, you will likely be inspired.

Milan and Fabrice are two good people to surround yourself with.

5.  Take care of your well being.

Your well being is your physical, emotional, philosophical, and spiritual selves.  These four all work in unison to make up “you.”  Physically we need to sleep, eat right, stay in shape, and limit the toxins that go into our bodies.  Emotionally we need to reduce stressors in our lives.  Philosophically we need to find a sense of purpose to keep on doing it.  Spiritually we need to submit to something larger than ourselves and feel safe to just let go.  Having these in place will give you everything you need in life to be happy.

6. Be grateful as much as you can.

You are a miracle and should never let that idea escape your head. You are star dust experiencing star dust in a never ending ride through vast amounts of nothingness. On a piece of stardust slightly bigger than you, you have found a planet where food grows from trees, water falls from the sky, and information is at your fingertips. It has taken you 14.6 billion years to get here and now it’s your time to shine.  Be grateful for that and all that is around you; the people, the shared experience, and what you can contribute.  Doing this will fill you with a sense of shared joy.

Stardust experiencing stardust.

This is a collection of stardust collectively experiencing a speck of stardust named Kevin Saunderson.

7.  Leave a trace.

I’ve always followed the mantra of “leave no trace,” but I’ve more recently decided to turn the whole idea upside down.  What if instead of walking lightly and leaving little impact while on this planet, we try to make as big of an impact as possible.  We can make a positive impact by making mindful decisions about our actions and providing an outlet for them.  Knowing how powerful our actions are gives us the super hero like ability to change the world for the better.

8. Create something.

Creating is a great way to work out the imagination muscle which is important for overall well being.  Creativity is something that we were all born with, but may have lost as we got older.  We can build up the imagination muscle bigger than it was when we were children by practicing creativity.  Set aside some time in your day for creative time and just brainstorm.  Write down words, draw pictures, and think of new ideas.  These small steps will keep the juices flowing in your imagination muscle and help it grow.  This creativity will grow and thrive and help you.

Painting a piano in the park.

Paint a piano!

9.  Have compassion.

Compassion is understanding that suffering is universal, and wanting to alleviate it for others.  It is vital for mankind to individually and collectively cultivate compassion.  Compassion lets us come together and recognizing our similarities.  A good exercise for this is when meeting someone for the first time say to yourself, “this person has suffered, is trying to overcome it, and is learning about life just as I am.”  See yourself in everyone because we are one of the same.  Doing this will make you happier, those around you happier, and reach out further than you know making others happier.

10. Share with others.

John Lennon said it best when he sang, ” the love you take is equal to the love you make.”  The more you give, the more you will receive.  It’s like there’s some cosmic force that rewards people for being kind to each other.  But don’t take my word for it, cultivate generosity and see for yourself.  Sharing with others doesn’t have to be a physical gift either.  It can often mean sharing time, conversations, or collective experiences.

Sunrise in Guatemala

Sharing a moment at Lago de Atitlan in Guatemala.

Remember that happiness is a lifestyle choice that we have to make everyday.  Everyday that you wake up, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “today I am going to be happy.”  Tell yourself that you will be happy and start practicing how to be happy.  If you have any other tips for how find happiness, share them in the comments section.  If you think this article can help someone else be happy, please share it with your social circles.

  • Doc

    Time to implement some mind and attitude changing concepts! Thank you Chuck!!

    • http://chuckmanley.com Chuck Manley

      At first just focus on one. Don’t take on too many changes at once if you’re not prepared for it.

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      How’s the implementation going?

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  • Liz Rilley

    This post is quote-worthy good.
    It HAS taken me 14.6 billion years to get here- time to shine with compassion, gratitude, and awareness.

    • http://chuckmanley.com/ Chuck Manley

      Why not?