Last week I wrote about the importance of intrinsic motivation when it comes to our personal happiness. Many readers wrote to me and asked for examples of steps to take to put this practice into our every day lives. So I’m pleased to share with you five simple things you can do — starting today—to put this idea into practice and your every day life.
Please share your comments and experiences so other readers may enjoy your tips and results.
Focus on intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic. Engage in physical activity or a sport because you like it, not because of the reward, recognition or promise of physical change. Feel the joy in just doing something because you like doing it. Your attitude will change and people will see the change in you.
I won’t bore you with the scientific evidence that shows people who are compassionate and who do things for others are measurably happier and more fun than those who don’t. I will tell you that as I traveled the world, I was amazed that the people who seemingly had less were always willing to give more and were happier than most others. If you’ve got a special skill consider mentoring someone who would like to develop that skill. Are you passionate about a particular social issue? Then volunteer and help further that cause. Consider helping the elderly, disadvantaged or other people in your community with personal visits, transportation, food or by being open and someone to talk to. You will feel better about yourself and this will make you happy and people will see this in you.
People who do things for others are measurably happier and have more fun than those who don’t
I’ve written about this in the past, but it’s always worth repeating—smiling is the easiest and least expensive way to improve your appearance. When you smile you feel better inside. When you smile at others, you will make them smile and help them — be happier.
Scientists long ago learned that happy and joyful feelings in people increases the output and levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brain. Yet as we get older, our dopamine levels and activity is reduced. One of the best way to stimulate the release and increase dopamine levels, is to experience something new. This can be as simple as taking a new route to work, participating in a new sport or hobby, or trying something different to eat—getting outside your comfort zone. When we make change a constant in our life, we increase our sense of wonder, provide more stimulation for our brain and therefore increase the levels of dopamine in our brain.
With the madness and speed of modern society and our driven lives, we can all use a regular dose of digital-detoxification — digital detox. More than ever, it’s nearly impossible to get away from our digital devices. We hold these so close that they become something like a digital lifeline—we are addicted to these devices. We must regularly work to rid ourselves of this digital dependency and take ourselves off the grid—for a short time. So let the battery die on your phone or leave it in the car when you have lunch, attend a meeting or go to the grocery store. Plus, every 3 months, plan a weekend where your connected devices stay at home. This will give you time to focus on what makes you happy and doing what you want—not what you think you are supposed to do.
By taking these simple five steps, I guarantee in just a few months you will happier and this fact will be recognized by those people who surround you. You will be more attractive and more opportunities will reveal themselves. I guarantee this.
What makes you happy? What will you do to focus more on doing those things that make you happy? Please share your thoughts here.