I read an article in Oprah’s magazine about rules happy people make and follow. It was a fun read. And I was curious to see if was following any of those. Who doesn’t want to be happy?
I decided to make my own list of 10 rules that happy people make and follow. Here we go, then.
10 Rules Happy People Make. And Follow
When you only have two options, find a third
Usually, when there are two choices and both are not entirely suitable, happy women pick a third. Yep. I had that time in my life back in 2004 when I thought I had no option but to quit my job. My Mom’s health got worse and I wanted to be with her. We also needed the money, what with mounting medical expenses. So staying at home with zero income was also not an option. What did I do? Yes, I quit. But a third option popped up. Would I work from home for the same salary. Oh yes, I would. I did. The rest is history. Best decision I ever took! And I’ll eternally be thankful to my Mom for suggesting it. She encouraged me to dare to dream.
Yes, there are always more than two options. Sometimes, you just need two brains to remember that.
Find little things that make you happy
I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Possibly because I am a vegetarian. But it works in principle. I got the gist of it. Have I learned something amazingly simple – simple yet amazing that has improved my daily life? Yes. And that – is this: to get the smell of onion or garlic off my hands, all I do is rub them against a steel vessel or plate. And voila! Gone. Like magic. It is the little things sometimes that bring on the Eureka moment!
Never skip your wake-up sun
There is scientific proof that some exposure to early-morning sun can make you feel better all day. “Natural light calibrates your body’s clock for the rest of the day,” says Michael A. Grandner, PhD, a research associate at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Oh yes, to that. Makes complete sense. Especially because the early morning sun is the only sun we can actually tolerate at this point in summer. Heh! So yes, I am up early to stand in my balcony with a hot mug of coffee warming my hands and my insides, the pigeons watching me dolefully and probably smirking thinking of how they can mess the place later. We enjoy a peaceful ten minutes with our own thoughts in the glow of the morning rays of the sun, getting our dose of vitamin D. I don’t have to fake it till I make it because I have my own private balcony to enjoy it in.
Honor thy “someday” list
I am a self-confessed list freak. I have a growing daily too-much-to-do and my to-don’t list and always have stuff spilling over to the next day…make that next year sometimes. There are the daily priorities. And there are the wishlist-ish type of things. The daily priorities are all about grocery shopping, clearing that clutter, cleaning the closet, making stuff in the kitchen sort of thing – which definitely get done.
The priority list has broader things like my stack of books to read, books to review, visiting that friend, the list of places I want to go to and so on. This also, to some extend, gets done.
The wishlist has things like write a memoir, write books, start a new project, tackle my book of ideas for DIY crafts and other items, plan a trip to Europe – things that can be postponed indefinitely if I don’t grab them by the…er… grab them and get going. Okay, so clearing out my garage has somehow slipped to this list but that’s not the point. There’s just no time frame to this list. Experts say that when something has been on the list for longer than six weeks they probably won’t happen at all.
I shudder to think of that. The point is to make that someday list the “now list”. So, as that article suggested, I decided to pick something from that wishlist and get started on it. I am happy to say I have. And it feels really good. More than that, it makes me hopeful that I’ll get to the other things on that list, too!
Be like a Girl Scout. Always prepared
This one’s a winner for me. I carry the things that make me comfortable, the things that I’d miss if I didn’t have them. It all started with my Mom’s advice decades ago – about never going out without my own wallet no matter who I was going out with. Solid gold advice. Today, that must-carry list includes my book, my pens, my phone, my charger, my water bottle, my snack box, my prayer beads. And yes, since I love kids and happen to meet some almost every day, I also carry a bunch of the freebies we get with several products so I can gift them off. And so, yes again, I am a duffel bag kind of person. None of those teeny weeny handbags for me.
One step at a time. Enjoy the process
Sometimes there’s no need to plan everything before we move forward. You might end up never moving forward at all! This reminds me of our house cleaning process. Now I, well, I used to take stock of what has to be done and systematically get going. And I’d insist on finishing everything on the list. Sometimes it would take an entire day and spill over to the next day. If something unexpected came up, don’t ask. The house would be a worse mess than before.
Sury would gently suggest that we tackle one area at a time. Not only do-able, but less tiring. Plus the satisfaction of completing what we started. For years I didn’t listen to him, even though he proved that his method made sense over and over. Finally I saw sense four years ago and now, plan things based on the time available. I am definitely a happier woman even if it means playing with my dust bunnies.
Sometimes we get so caught up with getting everything just right, we tire ourselves out and lose out on the pleasure of enjoying the small victories.
Don’t put up with sh*t
Translate this to if there’s something you don’t like, that makes you unhappy, don’t put up with it. Walk away. This includes toxic people, toxic situations and toxic food. This took me some time to learn. I have suffered from the inability to say NO. But sometimes you just hurt yourself when you put up with crap, you know? Nobody else cares. One life is all we have. Let’s make every moment count.
Sleep over it
When you are well rested, everything looks easier to deal with. Truth. I believe in sleeping over anything that is bothering me. Everything looks better in the morning! When I feel low, I take a nap. Or I just chill doing nothing. Sometimes I switch on the TV, put my feet up and relax back against the cushions and snooze off. It helps. Mommy was right, you know.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
Which, simply translates to “stop complaining“. When something doesn’t go as I expect it to, I try to change it. If I can’t change it, I change me. Simple.
This one is obvious. Gratitude makes everything look more wonderful and transforms the way we see life and live it. I am grateful for all I have. I am happier for it.
Can you add to my list of rules for happy people?
And because I am linking up with Unknown Mami for Sundays in my City, here are some pictures from my visit to a Crafts fair earlier this week. Click on any pic to have them pop out in their full size with captions. Navigate using the arrows and then, click anywhere on your screen to come back here.
Have a happy week ahead!