Creating a happy life is possible if we can let go of control and feel connected to others and the world around us.
These 18 insights provide the foundation to live a happy life full of peace and contentment.
The Happy Life Manifesto
1. Love and respect self without ego
Ego can distort how we view ourselves.
It can make us think we are inferior and find fault in our looks, personality, intellect, behaviours, or abilities.
For example, we may disrespect our bodies with unhealthy diets and exercise fads because we think we are fat.
One the flip-side, ego can make us feel superior. We may draw self-worth from a talent we have (such as cooking or painting) and feel superior to others.
Both scenarios are un-healthy. True self love is total acceptance of who we are, without feeling inferior or superior. It is being mindful of our thoughts, respecting our bodies, and caring for ourselves without being selfish.
Read more about the ego here
2. Be confident but not cocky
Be aware of our talents and strengths and utilise them to help ourselves and others.
However, don’t invest happiness in being ‘great’ at something. If happiness is tied to success, we will take a beating if our performance drops.
A happy life is hard to maintain if we are cocky in what we do, and what we have.
3. Don’t seek approval from anyone
If we seek approval from others, our happiness is dependent on the thoughts of others. We can’t control other people and their thoughts, so effectively we are outsourcing our happiness.
To have a happy life, we need to connect with others on an emotional level, but not invest our happiness in what they think of us.
4. Be empathetic without carrying the weight of the world
It is important to understand the impact our behaviour has on others and to feel empathy for the plight of others.
Helping others contributes to a healthier world, no matter how small the act.
The trick is to not allow the injustices we see fuel our egos and create anger, hate or frustration. These strong emotions drive unhealthy behaviour and take happiness away.
Let’s improve the world through acts of love and create a happy life for everyone.
5. Be responsible but carefree
Take responsibility for our obligations and daily commitments but flexible enough to ‘seize the moment’ when an opportunity arises.
6. Shine awareness on the pain-body and take away its power
Understand the signs of the pain body and how it controls and manipulates.
When we are argumentative, negative, annoyed, judgemental, hard done by or explosive – remember it is the pain body taking over.
When we become aware of our pain body, it diminishes its power to create chaos and discontent.
7. Don’t obsess over the past
The past has happened and can’t be change. What we can change is the way we react to our past.
We need to forgive ourselves for mistakes and move on from times gone past.
The only way to create a happy life is to be fully aware in the present moment.
Discover how to complain less here
8. Plan for the future without investing in its outcome
Take action to create the ideal future.
But don’t create a belief that happiness will happen when this dream future arrives.
We may be waiting for a happy life but never experiencing it.
Find out how to set goals but live in the moment here
9. Be present in every moment and don’t wish life away
Take notice of the NOW. This is the only moment we have total control over. Take notice of the good, the bad and the ugly and fully experience the emotion and sensations.
Living a happy life isn’t about always being joyous, but rather accepting everything that is happening and has happened.
10. Accept thoughts are not the truth – just stories we tell ourselves
Our thoughts are NOT reality, they are NOT the truth. Yet we react to our thoughts as if they are.
Keep challenging our thinking mind and question what it is feeding us.
Our thoughts are just stories, and stories are not the truth, just the perception of the person telling them.
11. Be content without relying on material satisfaction
Don’t find happiness in material possessions. If happiness is linked to material possessions, it will be fleeting.
Possessions get old, they break or a newer model is released. The more we have, the more we will need. We will continue accumulating possessions and chasing happiness.
Any happiness we do find will be short lived.
We can appreciate our material possessions, but to live a happy life, be content and grateful without needing more.
Discover the power of gratitude here
12. Speak the truth with the absence of ego
Speak from our hearts. Be truthful and honest.
Resist the urge to talk with ego. If something is hurtful, judgemental, and unproductive, it does not need to be said.
Words are powerful. Be mindful of what we say.
Learn how to deal with difficult people and stay authentic here
13. See the truth in everyone without judgement
Look past appearances, words, and behaviours. We hide our true self behind these things.
Instead of judging someone with labels, keep an open heart. Deep down everyone is looking for love and connection.
14. No one is superior or inferior
Don’t ever feel inferior.
Don’t ever feel superior.
We are all equal. Don’t let anyone make us feel they are better.
More importantly, don’t ever think we are better than anyone else.
Both are judgements which distort the truth.
15. See the wonders in the world every single day
Happiness is noticing the small every-day things. Practice gratitude and be thankful for everything around us and the opportunities we have.
Read my guide on starting a gratitude journal here
16. Be connected to others without needing anyone
We are social beings and need caring interaction with others. Nurture healthy relationships with those around us.
Avoid ‘needing’ anyone. The moment we need someone, we become co-dependant. This is unhealthy and creates negative and destructive behaviours that inhibit the creation of a stable and happy life.
17. Be kind to others, especially if they don’t seem to deserve it
Kindness is treating others how we would like to be treated. If we were all kind to each other, the world we be a much happier place!
When our ego tells us that someone doesn’t ‘deserve’ our kindness, then it is even more important to give them kindness.
Our ego is passing judgement and failing to see the person behind the actions. One act of kindness leads to another. By being kind to this person, we may open their heart, and they may share kindness to another person.
It is much easier to live a happy life when we are kind. It is difficult to be kind and negative at the same time!
Discover the power of kindness here
18. Love without boundaries, judgements, or conditions
Love our husbands, wives, children, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles. grandparents, grandchildren, friends, and family without hesitation and without conditions.
Accept everyone for who they are. We can’t change others, we can only change how we react to them and how we perceive them.
If our love is dependent on conditions, we place our happiness in someone else’s hands.
Love and support those around us, but let them be themselves.
Want to be happier? I want you to have a happy mindset and live an authentic life. Through my writing, I explore happiness, gratitude, kindness and mindfulness.
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