This 2017, I want to choose to be happy, but I want to choose living a happy life not simply determined whenever good things are happening all around me, but a life lived happily regardless of the circumstances—of the good and bad. I want a happy life that I will achieve by committing myself to making a choice of following these 10 simple reminders to myself every day.
1. Be you. Everything you’ve done, you’ve done not in spite of who you are, but because of who you are.
Acceptance isn’t all there is in this world, and you definitely don’t have to do what everyone else is doing just to fit in. Whenever you feel insecure of yourself, just look back and think of how far you’ve come. Everything you were able to achieve in the past twenty years of your existence, you were able to achieve not in spite of who you are, but because of who you are—the sum of all your past choices that made you the beautiful person you are today.
2. Invest wisely. Not just on material things, but also time on the people who matter.
Time is one of the most precious gifts you can give to show how much someone means to you. It is something you can never get back. All you can do is to spend it as wisely you can as you move forward—living and making lifelong memories—with the people truly deserving of your company.
3. Complaining won’t get you anywhere.
Complaining will never make the problem disappear. It’s just a reflection of how you negatively deal with the challenges you face in your everyday life. Instead of complaining, just take a moment to breathe in and out, then set out to actually start doing something to make the problem go away.
4. People don’t notice you as much as you think.
Cut yourself some slack. You’re an amazing person. Stop stressing yourself worrying about past mistakes and social blunders. Chances are the people involved don’t even remember those incidents anymore. Or better yet, they don’t even notice you commit those. Everyone’s busy minding their own business anyway.
5. Listen with your heart, not just with your ears.
Listening is key to understanding and building a connection with the people around you. But don’t just listen to reply. There are times that people will just want you there—to know that you care enough to make time to just listen, acknowledge their thoughts and feelings, and empathize with whatever they’re going through.
6. Open yourself to growth by choosing to learn every day.
As what the favorite quote of Michelangelo that a good friend once shared goes, “ancora imparo” which means “still I am learning.” It is only when you are humble enough to acknowledge that you do not know everything, that you will be able to open yourself to learning and growing from all the wonderful things happening all around us. Scrolled through an interesting article? Read it. A question suddenly popped into your mind? Google it. Been wanting to try out a new place? Ask your friends to accompany you. Choose to always strive to be even just a little bit better and wiser every day.
7. What may be fun for you may not be fun for the other person and vice versa.
Respect other people’s views and opinions. Judge less. Most of the time, you judge what people say or do simply because you’re not in their shoes to be able to fully comprehend their words and actions. This doesn’t mean that you should always agree with them, but this also doesn’t give you the right to condemn them for everything they do that you don’t agree with.
8. Don’t overestimate what you do for others.
Refrain yourself from falling into the belief that you’re always the person who is doing more, caring more, and loving more. If deep down you know how special you mean to these people, chances are you might just blind to the everyday things these people do for you because you’re already fixated on certain expectations right from the start. Everyone has his/her own way of expressing his/her care for you. Let them surprise you. Always be mindful of their efforts to be able to appreciate them and the things they do for you.
9. Self-worth is something that can only come from you.
You always want others to acknowledge the things you do, to commend you for a job well done, to seek their valuation, and allow their perception of you to become the measure of your self-worth. But don’t you owe it to yourself for making it this far? To appreciate yourself even if there’s no one there to do so for you? To give yourself a pat in the back even just for being courageous enough to at least try? Because at the end of the day, it’s only you who can truly know if you’re a living a life you can be proud of.
10. Living a happy life doesn’t necessarily mean being happy 100% of the time.
There will be days when you won’t be okay, and this is perfectly okay. To be truly happy doesn’t mean not giving in to the sadness—not allowing yourself to feel. It’s about allowing yourself to just feel what you’re feeling. Just never forget that after a bad day comes a new tomorrow and getting a good night’s rest can always make you feel even just a little better the next day.