Ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up and you’ll get a lot of specific answers, like fireman, teacher, and astronaut or rock star. Ask an adult what he wants to be, and you’ll probably get a different kind of answer. Depending on the age, a career or life work may have already been determined. It’s not a matter of choosing a job or a career. Ask an adult, and you’ll probably get one of these two answers—happy or successful.
Happiness and success are very relative terms. What do they really mean? Is it a matter of achieving something or a level of both? And, how do you get there? In an Inc.com article, “6 Unique Ways To Be Successful and Happy,” Steve Tobak shares six ways you can improve your health and well-being by finding unique ways to achieve happiness and success.
The classic way of finding happiness and success doesn’t seem to work anymore. Get an education, get a job, get married and have a family, and buy a house. Work for a company for 30 years and then retire to somewhere warm to live out your life with a pension and a hefty retirement account. That’s the way it used to be done. But the world has changed, and the old path doesn’t seem to work. Finding happiness and success won’t happen by doing things the way everyone else has done them. You need to find a new path.
It seems like everyone is online—using social networking to meet people, find “friends” and build a following. You can spend a lot of time occupied with people you hardly know, reading about what they’re doing at the moment. Instead of these virtual relationships, the author suggests getting out and meeting real people. Sit across a table and talk face-to-face. Not everyone you meet is going to be a real friend, but you’ll find more real friends this way than building a huge friend list on Facebook.
Groom yourself. Don’t wait for a mentor or boss to suggest you make a career move, take a class or finish your degree. If you haven’t found your niche or passion, get out and try something new. Go out on a limb. Take a risk. Do something you didn’t think you’d ever do. In the journey of self-discovery you may find something sparks your passion or curiosity enough to lead you down a completely different path than you—or someone else—would have imagined.
Do nothing. Stop listening to everyone. Turn off the news. Give yourself a vacation from social media—reading and posting. Stop what you’re doing now, except for the essentials, like working, eating and sleeping. Once the noise stops, listen to yourself, your thoughts and your reactions to what’s around you.
Working for a great company may seem like a typical path, but the point here is to surround yourself with successful people and processes. Soak up what successful people do. Learn from a mentor.
Do one thing at a time. When you’re unhappy, you can spend a lot of time chasing a lot of dead ends. We’re bombarded with ideas from social media, news feeds and the evening news. The “experts” say to be happy and successful you have to eat organic, or vegan, or gluten free. You have to get to the gym at least three days a week, do cardio and weight training, yoga, Zumba…whatever the latest craze. You need to take fish oil capsules, Chia seeds, or whatever is the latest health supplement. Cut out caffeine, sugar, salt and fat. All these “should” build stress and can actually work against each other. Try one thing and focus.
Lastly, give yourself a break. You don’t have to be like everyone else. In fact, that’s the last thing you want to do. Be unique. Pick and choose what you feel is best for you, regardless of what the latest magazine or Tweet says is the path to happiness. Trust yourself to make the best choices, and you’ll find success and happiness are closer than you think.
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