Happiness is such a subjective concept that no two people are likely to share the exact same interpretation. However, we can all agree upon how it feels to be happier, as in “I’m happier when I get enough sleep, when I exercise, when I’m with my kids, when I’m following my passion, when I spend time in nature.”
We can also agree on the benefits of being happier, as there have been countless studies telling us that a happier state strengthens our autoimmune system, improves performance, aids in problem solving, enhances relationships, makes us more tolerant, and so on. Studies also show that the most profitable investment we can make in our company or organization isn’t in technology; it’s in creating happier, more empowered employees or team members, and most of us would agree with this as well.
The Ninety-Day Challenge
Although it is important to understand what makes us happier, this isn’t enough; we must consistently apply our understanding if we want consistent results. For instance, if you discover that “taking time to smell the roses” makes you happier, but you still never stop to smell them, you won’t be a smidgeon happier than before. However, if you not only stop to smell them but do so consistently and frequently, chances are, you will be consistently and frequently happier.
This is where habits come in. Habits help us to keep doing the things we know we should do consistently and frequently. As such, the simplest secret to happiness is: Find out which proven factors make you happier, then convert these into habits so you will consistently and frequently apply what you know works.
Sounds easy enough, so why don’t we just do it? After all, humankind has known for thousands of years which factors make us happier, and now science has confirmed our claims, so now we simply need to turn those factors into habits, right?
That is correct, but chances are, we won’t do this, because replacing habits isn’t easy. We’ve all heard, “It takes twenty-one days to break a habit.” I haven’t found any scientific proof to this claim. However, there is evidence that ninety days can permanently replace synaptic pathways with entirely new ones. But who has the commitment, willpower, methodology, and support system to focus on this day after day, for three whole months?
Creating New Habits
Creating new habits involves commitment, and ideally, the use of an effective support system. Yet forming new habits requires only a fraction of the resources and efforts we typically spend to generate greater happiness and productivity. As such, it might make sense to take advantage of this ultimately easier method of permanently improving our lives by forging happiness habits.
Studies have shown that we all have a predetermined set point for our level of happiness (determined by our individual DNA and childhood influences), so unless you change your habits, your level of happiness is almost guaranteed to go right back to where it was once the novelty of your new circumstances wears off. This includes events such as moving to a nicer climate, getting married, or even winning the lottery. According to these same studies, only 10 percent of our happiness is determined by outside conditions, leaving 50 percent to be determined by our set point and 40 percent by our habitual thoughts and behaviors.
Where do you find proven support systems for creating happier habits? The empowerment community, training, and mentorship that come with being part of a network marketing organization are a great starting point. You can form habits by taking any lesson or skill you wish to master and immediately applying it to your life; do so every day for ninety days. Never allow excuses to keep you from applying these lessons each day. Teach others that which you wish to master.
If you follow the steps above and below, I can guarantee a happier, more fulfilling life and future.
Happier Habit #1:
Create the habit of automatically asking yourself and others, “What is great about this?” whenever you are faced with a challenging situation or disappointment. If we automatically look for what is great, regardless of the circumstances, we are far more likely to find it. Imagine how much better you will be at problem solving (and making friends) if you master just this one habit.
Happier Habit #2:
Replace the habit of focusing on and complaining about what is wrong or missing from your life with the habit of focusing on and sharing what is wonderful about your life.
Happier Habit #3:
Replace the habit of comparing your life to those who you perceive as having more with the habit of comparing it to those who you perceive as having less. The grass is also browner on the other side, depending on where you look.
Happier Habit #4:
Replace the habit of focusing on the past or future with the habit of focusing on the moment. All fear is future-based; remorse is past-based; bliss is present-based.
Happier Habit #5:
Replace the habit of needing things to go your way, with the habit of letting go and trusting that everything always works out.
Happier Habit #6:
Create the habit of pursuing your passion every single day in some meaningful and measurable way.
Happier Habit #7:
Create the habit of selflessly contributing to those who need your help with no expectation of reward.
I’m sure you’ve heard a similar version of every single one of these happiness boosters I just listed. However, if you haven’t converted them into habits, it doesn’t really matter what they are or how well you know them. It’s far more important for your happiness to make the commitment and find the support system to help you ingrain these habits into your life.
MARK FOURNIER is an inspirational speaker, an empowering life and business coach, and the creator of books and online courses, including Mastering the 7 Habits of Happier People, that convert proven principles into results-generating habits,
using his PermaLearn Mastery System.