As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think BIG.
I’ve picked-up these habits gradually over the years while working beside some impressively successful people – seven figure internet entrepreneurs, best selling authors, talented CEOs, etc. Even though these aren’t the typical success habits you’d read about in a self-improvement book like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, they’ve been extremely effective in my life by helping me align my daily efforts with a winning mindset. I’m confident they can do the same for you.
Here’s what I would do if I were you:
1. Help at least one person a day.
The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to make the world a better place.
Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’s happiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone at once. Focus on assisting one person at a time, and always start with the person closest to you.
If you can lie down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone’s day just a little brighter, you had a successful day. Read 365 Thank Yous.
2. When you feel like giving up, ask yourself, “Can I give more?”
The honest answer is almost always, “Yes.” And once your mind realizes it can, it usually does.
One of the unique things about the human mind is that it can do only what it thinks it can do. The minute you say, “I don’t have the energy” or “I’m not capable of that,” you are actually training your brain to live up to your diminished expectations.
Low expectations mean low results. So watch how you speak to yourself. And when you reach that point of struggle in your mind where most people would give in and give up, do the opposite and give it another shot.
3. Respect everyone.
When you respect people it gives you a special kind of access to them. No, you don’t automatically get the key to their hearts. What you do get is an increased understanding and rapport, and that can be priceless.
If you’re a business owner, respecting your prospective customers will bring you more of their business. If you’re a teacher, respecting your students will add increased effectiveness to your teaching. If you’re an athlete, respecting the other team will help you build an effective strategy to win the game.
In all walks of life, respect opens the doors of opportunity.
4. Accept exactly where you are, wherever you are.
One of the great secrets to being happy and successful is accepting where you are in life and making the most of it. You won’t always know where you are going, but as long as you keep moving forward the journey will be rewarding.
One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, time has a way of gradually showing you the way to what truly matters. Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself. Read The Untethered Soul.
5. Seek lots of new life experiences.
The people with the greatest wisdom are the ones who have been through the most. So start strong, stay strong, and finish strong by always remembering why you’re doing it in the first place. It’s all about learning and growing along the way.
The most valuable lessons in life cannot be taught, they must be experienced. When you reflect on your life, you will likely see some pain, mistakes, and heartache. But when you look in the mirror, you will see the strength, growth, and wisdom that made it all worthwhile.
6. Maintain a diehard belief in yourself.
A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. Your individual thoughts and beliefs are similar to chapters in a book. When you put them together, you have the belief system that becomes your life story.
If you are going to be successful in creating the life you dream of, you have to believe that you are capable of doing so. You have to believe that you have the resources, talents, and skills necessary to create your desired results.
7. Walk your own path.
A good life is not living the life everyone else intended for you. Be true to yourself. Stand firmly by your core values. Your life is your spiritual path. It’s what’s right in front of you.
You can’t live anyone else’s life. The task is to live yours and stop trying to copy the ones you think are more acceptable. Because if you water yourself down to please everyone else, to fit in, or to not step on anyone’s toes, you will lose the passion, freedom, and joy of being who you really are.
8. Find an opportunity in every outcome, positive or negative.
Sometimes things happen exactly as you had expected, and then there are other times when nothing goes as planned. In either situation, there is a way to respond triumphantly.
Your victories bring happiness and feelings of self-achievement. Your defeats bring wisdom, strength, and determination. Both outcomes bring new opportunities. In this way, life moves continually forward.
In each moment, you can build upon whatever has come before. Right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Because right now, you are in the only time and place where you can actually make a difference. Read The Happiness Project.
9. Need less.
Instead of focusing so intently on what you want to get, consider the things you can let go of. Eliminate some excess baggage, lighten your load, and feel a weight lifted. So many of the things you think you need, you do not need at all, you simply want them. And as your wants diminish, your freedom and abundance grow.
Because long-term fulfillment in life is not about getting all that you need; fulfillment is knowing the freedom to be all that you are without the excess. It’s about wanting what you have at any given moment, and making the best of it.
Bottom line: Ambition, intention, and disciplined effort will bring you great things in this world, but there is more to success than acquiring the commonly celebrated milestones of success that society confers. In the long run, less is often more.
Photo by: Severin Sadjina
by Ash Roy
It’s important to understand that love is not just about finding the right person; it’s about working with them to create the right relationship.
Do you struggle in your relationship with your significant other from time to time? Do you wonder if there’s a way to live together more harmoniously?
I’ve been there.
Can I tell you a little secret?
Most “happy, healthy couples” don’t expect to be happy and harmonious all the time. They deal with their little quibbles and make conscious choices that lead to happiness as a couple in the long-term.
Being in a relationship with one person for more than a few years is one heck of a ride. It ain’t always easy. In fact, it’s hard a lot of the time.
See, it’s not about finding the right one, but rather about being the right one.
Before I got married, I embarked on a mini research project. I asked over 100 couples who’d been married for more than 20 years this one question: “What’s the secret to a happy marriage?”
What I learned from them really broadened my perspective on relationships. It set a realistic framework for my marriage. Ten years later, my wife and I still love each other dearly — despite the various ups and downs all marriages are subject to.
The lessons that research project taught me, combined with my own experiences, have revealed key daily habits necessary for a happy, healthy relationship.
Here are 10 things happy, healthy couples do every day:
1. They cherish their differences.
Have you noticed a happy couple together? They aren’t fiercely independent or pathologically dependent. They’ve struck a healthy medium.
I think of it as interdependence. They can agree to disagree on the little things.
Sure, they’re aligned on the big things like life goals. But they don’t feel that they have to like the same music and share a favorite color. They don’t expect their partner to approve of all their choices. Each partner stands in his or her own power and respects the other’s opinion.
Each partner is a happy and successful person in his or her own right.
2. They keep their assumptions in check.
We go into most situations with certain assumptions —based on our life experiences.
Let’s say one partner grew up in a touchy-feely family and the other didn’t. The one who did grow up in a touchy-feely family is likely to interpret the other’s behavior as distant or indifferent.
The incorrect assumption? To express affection, we must be touchy-feely. That assumption right there can wreak havoc in a relationship!
The solution? Be mindful of your underlying assumptions that sabotage your relationship.
So how do you actually do this? The next time you’re upset with your partner, check in with yourself first. Ask yourself: “What are the facts and what are my opinions (based on my assumptions) about this situation?”
Fact: He’s not very physically expressive.
Opinion (based on your assumptions): He doesn’t love me as much as I love him.
Now that you’ve separated the facts from your opinion, question your opinion. Does that opinion help or hurt your relationship? I find this kind of self-inquiry to be surprisingly powerful. Try it. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
3. They don’t confuse their spouse with a carnival psychic.
It’s quite common to think of our partner as an extension of ourselves. It just happens. We often assume they know what we’re thinking… almost as if he or she lives in our head.
Here’s an example: John loves his wife Alice. They’ve been married for 8 years. Alice comes back from an awful day at work and John greets her enthusiastically.
Alice somehow expects John to know she’s had a bad day. She wants space and finds his enthusiasm annoying. Meanwhile, John has no idea what’s going through Alice’s mind, and is trying to work out why she’s so cold and distant.
See the problem here?
We often assume our partners live in our heads and then expect them to respond to our un-communicated frustrations.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
Happy, healthy couples have worked this out. They make a conscious effort to communicate their needs to each other — even if it seems obvious.
Especially when it seems obvious.
4. They do their best to step into each other’s shoes.
In other words, they are mindful of each other’s unique perspective.
Imagine this: You know your partner had very little sleep last night. If you are mindful of this, you’ll interpret their abruptness through their lens (not yours): “I’m tired and I’m not myself right now.”
You won’t take things as personally as you otherwise would have. You’ll realize it has nothing to do with you and won’t feel hurt. You won’t react with anger.
Even better, you’re more likely to be considerate and offer to give them a back rub to take the edge off. A little empathy driven shift in perspective goes a really long way.
5. They recognize the value of personal growth.
You know how to tell if something is alive and well? You look for evidence of growth.
Great relationships usually have partners committed to lifelong learning and growth. They’re curious about things. They are keen to learn from the world and from each other.
Because of their love for learning they afford each other the freedom to develop as individuals within the relationship.
I’ve seen quite a lot of unhappiness in relationships caused by one or both partners being clingy. They don’t want their significant other to change so they don’t have to change themselves.
But here’s the simple truth: Change is a part of the universe and humans are no exception.
If you want to have a successful relationship you’ve got to embrace learning and personal growth with open arms.
6. They assume the best of intentions.
Life throws a lot of challenges in every couple’s way. Happy, healthy couples have figured out the solution lies in consciously adopting an optimistic attitude towards each other and the world in general.
In practice, this means they choose to look for good intentions behind each other’s actions rather than assuming the worst. They build their relationship on this platform of faith in each other.
The result? Their approach engenders trust and respect — two key cornerstones of a successful relationship.
Cultivating learned optimism gives you an opportunity to ‘set the tone’ in the relationship. You feed off each other’s energy and can create a bond where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. (Marc and Angel discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
7. They seek rapport even in moments of conflict.
Smart couples know the importance of mirroring their partner’s feelings by repeating their partner’s words.
“What I heard you say was that you’re very angry and hurt about my having forgotten your birthday. I’m sorry that I forgot your birthday and I understand that you’re angry and hurt. I’d feel the same way if I were you.”
By repeating their partner’s exact words and phrases it forces them to empathize deeply.
Honoring each other’s feelings reinforces mutual trust and respect and builds deep understanding.
8. They figure out a way to reconnect.
One of the best books on relationships that I’ve read is called Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. Hendrix believes the main reason couples fight is because they feel disconnected. And happy, healthy couples have figured out ways to reconnect. They both take individual responsibility to reconnect after a little argument or any sort of friction that inevitably creeps into their day-to-day lives.
They don’t let their daily resentments eat away at the relationship.
Sure, they give each other space when necessary, but then they figure out a way to reconnect with each other — usually via acts of good will and kindness.
A bunch of flowers picked from the garden. A bit of humor to lighten the mood. A hug. Heck, even a smile. It doesn’t really matter what. They do something to reconnect and they do it as soon as possible.
9. They make time to nurture their relationship. (Especially if they have kids!)
Ever seen a couple with kids at the grocery store. See that look on their faces? Like they’re about to explode. That’s cause they are!
Kids can obliterate essential ‘couple time’ — critical to any happy relationship.
Happy, healthy couples know this and they make time to spend exclusively with each other. Whether this means getting a babysitter and having a date night every week or just having a glass of wine together after the kids have gone to bed. They make sure it happens.
It’s essential to make time! I can’t stress it enough. Don’t do this and it could be years before you really connect with each again — if at all! And if you eventually do you won’t recognize each other.
So, when was the last time you went out for a planned date with your partner?
10. They are committed to weathering the peaks and valleys.
I’ve saved the best for last, because this is the most crucial point of them all.
Show me any great couple and I’ll show you two people who are committed to making their relationship work. No. Matter. What. They put in the effort day in and day out. They’re willing to have the difficult conversations. They fight, but they admit to their mistakes and apologize. They argue, but make the effort to understand the other’s perspective.
Because every healthy relationship needs an argument every now and then… just to prove that it is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.
Happy, healthy couples know this, and they persevere. They don’t give up on each other. They stick it out.
A happy, healthy long-term relationship as I’ve described in this post may be one decision away from you.
And that’s the decision to be that ideal partner you’re looking for in your partner. In most cases, what you bring into the relationship has a direct impact on what you get out of it.
I believe every one of us is capable of making this decision.
I did. And so can you.
It won’t be easy. But it’s well worth it in the end.
In your experience, what helps create a happy, healthy relationship? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.
Photo by: ShutterStock.com
Author Bio: Ash Roy teaches busy people to work smart and live better by eliminating stress and increasing productivity. Download a free copy of 10 Time Saving Tools That’ll Make You A Productivity Ninja.