How can we make life better? No, I do not have a magic pill to offer you nor am I a snake oil salesman. Instead I will give you five suggestions that will help you start the journey to a more pleasant life. I am sure you can think of more, but each of these five areas can change the direction of your life and guide you toward a better path.
Help others out. I think it is important to take time to help others. Perhaps you can volunteer to help out your local homeless shelter, spend time visiting residents at a nursing home or volunteer at the local animal shelter. Fortunately, I work for a TRIO Program and we have our students participate in various community service projects each semester. This semester we are hosting a Nursing Paddle Party and will be volunteering at the local animal shelter. Knowing you are having a small impact on society definitely makes you feel happier and fulfilled.
Take care of your body and mind. If you cannot remember the last time you went to the gym, it is time to dust off the running shoes. Making daily exercise a priority can provide you with needed energy and give you a sense of accomplishment. I always feel better after I workout because I know I did something productive. I also strongly believe in some form of meditation. Life can certainly be stressful and each day I take 15 minutes to simply distress. For me, I like listen to music in a quiet place and just reflect on that day and how I want tomorrow to go. The power of visualization is amazing. Your definition of meditation might be a little different, but take time to distress. Mental health is probably the most important part of having a happier life.
Keep learning something new. If you are not expanding your knowledge, the brain will die. I love learning new things and starting this blog last year has helped me learn so much more. Find something new to learn and don’t be intimidated to get out of your comfort zone. You might just discover a new passion.
Complete what I call a financial exorcism. Yes, it does not sound happy. In order to have long-term happiness, a person has to get their finances under control. A lot individuals do not even know how much debt they have accumulated nor how much money they are truly spending. If you want to cast out all those demons you have to face reality. Simply start by adding up all of your debt and current expenses. After that, you can start designing a plan to pay off those bills. Always start with paying off bills with higher interest.
Just do it. Yes, I own a lot of Nike stock, but the slogan works for life in general. Get off the complaining train and make your dreams come true. You are the CEO of your life, so act like it! If you want to get a better job you have to be willing to get the necessary education or be willing to apply for jobs. I remember I struggled to find a full-time position at a university when I graduated. I had to work as an Adjunct Government Instructor for several years. I loved teaching, but the pay was a true disgrace. It took me 150 job application to land my current job. I wanted to quit multiple times, but I did not give up. You have to fight for what you want.
This is my five steps to help you have a happier life. Yes, it will require you to work a little, but nothing is free in this world. What are some things that help you become happier? Have you tried any of the things I mentioned?