Make happiness a priority. If happiness is not at the
top of your list then other things will take precedence.
If other things take precedence, they may well interfere
with your efforts to feel good.
Make plans to be happy. Those who fail to plan, plan
to fail. Just like in any other life domain, the successful
pursuit of happiness requires planning.
Set happy goals. Following on from Tip 2, planning
requires effective goal setting. And don’t forget to
make sure your goals are SMART (specific,
measurable, achievable, relevant and timed).
Do things that make you happy. Although this
sounds obvious, many people simple forget to do
things from which they gain pleasure. And do them as
often as possible.
Set yourself tasks from which you’ll gain
satisfaction. As well as pleasure and enjoyment,
satisfaction is also an important part of happiness. So
make sure that when you’re planning your tasks and
activities you include things that might not be fun, but
from which you’ll gain a sense of achievement.
Play and have fun. Don’t take life too seriously.
Although we all have responsibilities there’s no reason
why we can’t approach much of our lives in a playful
manner. In fact, those who do so will undoubtedly be
Identify where your strengths lie. Know where your
faults and weaknesses are to avoid problems. Know
where your strengths lie to be really happy and to
succeed in life.
Utilise your strengths. Although we all can and
should endeavour to improve in areas in which we’re
weak there’s just as much, if not more, to be gained
from focusing on the maximal utilisation of your
strengths (including all your positive qualities and
Be curious. Constantly search for new ways to be
happy. Keep a look out for new ways to approach life
and to have fun.
Be grateful and appreciate what you have. We all
have many choices in life one of which is whether to
focus on all the things we don’t have (of which there
might be many), or to focus on all the things we do
have. There’s no doubt, that gratitude and
appreciation will significantly increase your chances of
Learn to like and ideally to love yourself. We must
love before we can be loved. To love others and to be
loved by others is a key component of happiness.
Invest time and energy in to your key
relationships. Happy people spend more time
working on and in their relationships. Happy people
tend to be more supportive of other people in their life.
Happy people are more generous and altruistic.
Socialise and interact with others as much as
possible. Happy people have both more and better
quality relationships. So as well as working to improve
the quality of your relationships (as noted in Tip 12) it’s
also worthwhile working to improve the number of your
Weed out unhelpful thoughts. The Dalai Lama has
been quoted saying that “The central method for
achieving a happier life is to train your mind in a daily
practice that weakens negative attitudes and
strengthens positive ones.” Learn first to identify your
thoughts and then begin to challenge those that are
negative and unhelpful.
Plant happier, optimistic thoughts. As noted in Tip
14, there are two parts to developing helpful, optimistic
thinking. The first is to weed out unhelpful negative
thoughts and the second is to plant more positive,
optimistic ones. This is essentially a skill, and like any
other skill becomes easier and more effective with
Live a healthy life. Eat well and keep active.
Exercise regularly. Although not impossible, it’s
difficult to be happy if you’re constantly sick and not
Ensure you gain adequate sleep and rest.
Consistent with Tip 16, it’s difficult to be happy if you’re
constantly tired and struggling to find enough energy to
get through the day. To assist with this, regularly
practice relaxation and/or meditation strategies.
Manage your time and priorities. Happy people tend
to believe they’re more in control of their lives. In
doing so, they’re more likely to take an active
approach to solving problems. If something’s not quite
right in your life, do something. And further, make sure
that what you’re doing is important. Put first things
Control what you can control. Accept what you
can’t control. And learn to be wise enough to know the
Live in the present moment. The author, Henry
Miller once said “Every moment is a golden one for
him who has the vision to recognise it as such.” The
only moment in which we can truly be happy is the
present moment. The only moment over which we
have control is the present moment. So be happy
now! Because if not now, then when?
Tip 21 – an EXTRA tip to make you happy!
Make happiness an integral part of your life.
Develop happiness routines and make them a part of
your every day living. Remind yourself however you
can to do what you need to do and reward yourself as
often as possible for doing what you’ve done.
By Dr. Timothy Sharp