Many people have asked me over the years (and some recently over email) why I am always so happy. I have received questions like, “How do you stay so positive?” and “Is it really possible to be joyful/upbeat/smiling all the time?”
These are good questions. And the answer – in short – is no.
You are the lovely people who subscribe to an uplifting and informative Sunday note and I hope that is what I bring to you. I don’t focus on my current struggles, what riddles me with anxiety and how in recent months I hit a very low point (in fact I have quite a few low moments – ask my poor husband). I have a good appetite for risk and – as all risk-seekers know – fear is a non-negotiable side dish (not fries, sadly). I speak from the heart when I tell you that some days, when I feel overwhelmed, I just want to give up entirely.
But one of the reasons I am very happy overall is that I don’t allow my negative thoughts to control me for too long. Deep down I know that whatever suffering I am going through will eventually pass. I also have a few tricks (after so many years as a self-help junkie!) that ensure I stay on the right emotional track. It’s what Tony Robbins calls being “emotionally fit” – being resilient and trusting and knowing that things will somehow be OK. I try and foster a lot of perspective. I remind myself that my time here on earth is limited and that I want to spend it being fully alive.
With that said there are some things that I consistently do to maintain my overall sense of peace. These things keep me in-tune with the high-frequency vibration of joy and love that I want to be a part of in the world.
I keep busy
The under-utilised mind is not a happy mind. I write almost every day and ensure I am always working on multiple projects that inspire and stretch me. Aside from my valued down-time and meditation I am a very busy person which leaves little opportunity for rumination and over-thinking.
I give as much as I can
It gives me a lot of joy to genuinely compliment others, make other people feel special and dial-up the kindness wherever I go. Try this! It never fails to give me a boost as we always keep what we give away.
I focus on what I want
My mind frequently can easily veer into “worse case scenario” mode unless I consciously disinvite those thoughts. I consistently remind myself why I am doing what I am doing and what it is that I want to achieve. Visualise what you want clearly and you will notice an immediate shift in how you feel. Visualisation also makes you incredible creative in terms of taking action and making your dreams a reality.
I ask for what I want
From a better table at Central Park restaurant last week to the rates that I command for different projects, asking for what I want ensures that I feel assertive, authentic and free. Silencing your desires is like taking a weakening drug. The only cure is to identify what matters to you, give yourself permission to know you deserve it and honour yourself by asking for it. I regularly ask myself, “what do I really want?” and I allow my heart to lead the way. As Rumi said, “what you seek is seeking you.”
I remind myself how far I have come
5 or 10 years ago if someone told me that I would have the life that I enjoy now I would have been extremely happy. I am sure A LOT of you would feel the same way about where you are in your life. I remind myself regularly that while I will always be working towards something new I am still doing OK in the present moment.
I consume inspirational material EVERY single day
If I miss a day on this I notice it. I listen to Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodron and Marianne Williamson on YouTube, James Altucher and Tara Brach via podcast. I read a book almost every week, right now it’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I cannot recommend this final point more highly! External inspiration massively feeds internal inspiration. I can’t live without it.
It’s a simple list but it works for me.
What do you do to stay happy? I would love to hear your tips!
With love –