“Are you happy?” is an open ended and in a lot of ways non-specific question. Happiness means different things to everyone and is often seen as fleeting with life acting as an ebb and flow between our upper and lower moods.
Ironically, when I appeared to have it all: high flying career, all the material possessions I could want, money and a very active social life, I was deeply unhappy. My unhappiness began to show through my lack of discipline with my fitness (I had always been super fit and conscious of working out regularly) and my sudden penchant for over-eating which led to me putting on a solid 10-15kg. Being 6ft 2in though it didn’t necessarily show significantly but I knew I was on a slippery slope.
The point was though, I didn’t care. I had lost touch with the basic elements of life that had made it magical, that had given me drive. It was never about money to me, it was about building something and creating something I could be proud of. Perhaps that came from my days as an engineer, I always wanted to build things, figuratively and literally but at that point in my life I was only extracting value without giving much back.
Doing things on other people’s terms is what ultimately crushes our own spirits: working a job we hate, being in a relationship which is crushing us or being taken advantage of by our friends and family.
For a long time, I searched for a way out of the maze. “Why didn’t you just quit?” Hard to quit a high paying corporate job when you have been indoctrinated to believe that is the holy grail of our existence. Particularly when there is nothing else to go to and you live a lifestyle dependent upon your income.
There are three specific techniques I found that allowed me to get free of those invisible constraints and re-start my life on my terms. They allowed me to start this brand, La Kult, as well as two other brands which are under development. These three techniques have also helped remove any fear I once felt, boosting my confidence levels to start new entrepreneurial ventures in China and Europe. I no longer live in a scarce mentality, I live in an abundant one.
Try these three simple techniques and after a month let me know at email@example.com how you are feeling.
There are numerous studies that suggest that practicing gratitude does make people happier and improve their overall well-being. Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami have all researched and published extensively on the benefits of practicing gratitude. It kind of makes sense that by acknowledging those things we feel grateful for we should feel happier but take some time and read for yourself some of the fascinating study that has been conducted in to this area.
Every day find three things you are grateful for in your life. They may be physical things or more conceptual, for example learn to be grateful for difficult clients in your job as it teaches you patience and improves your problem-solving skills. You can be equally grateful for your family or your dog. Whatever makes your life better learn to feel grateful for it. Write down three things every day. Personally, I write them in my diary as I will then refer to them naturally throughout the day. I also write them first thing in the morning after my meditation so I can think through them for the rest of the day.
An Act of Kindness
Being generous with our time, our thoughts or our skills really does can change the world around us. I try to practice at least three acts of kindness per week where I have to go out of my way to do something for someone else.
Volunteering, offering to help someone with a task or doing a favour for someone, if we look up occasionally we will see many people in our world that are looking for help. I find that by actively seeking ways to give back makes you more intuitive to people’s needs and has made me a better person all round: from a better husband to a better business person.
What ties all these things together is meditation. I practice for at least 10 minutes every morning and 10 minutes every evening. This period of reflection allows me to sort out any problems I’m having, de-stress, and just try to relax away from any stimulus. When I initially started meditation I was obsessed with clearing my mind which led to frustration because that is basically impossible. I have learnt to accept the thoughts which come in to my head and try to solve any issues I am having which mean my meditation sessions have become constructive and something I readily look forward to.
If you found these tips helpful why not visit our site at www.la-kult.com.au where you can download our FREE e-book, just click on the orange bar at the top of our home page and fill out your details and you’ll receive the e-book to your nominated email address.
Co-founder & Director of The Freeway Collective / The Freeway Group / La Kult