How to Harness Happiness
Please enjoy a guest post from Per Wickstrom.
Happiness is one of those elusive and mysterious things that all of us seek out but none of us really know how to achieve. In fact, we often find it without really knowing how we got there. It always just seems to happen by chance or it doesn’t happen at all. Isn’t there some kind of doctrine on how to achieve happiness? Certainly tools for attaining happiness have been put into writing by ancient religions and creeds for centuries, but there’s never been a universal method that’s been agreed upon by everyone.
I’m not here to try to convince anyone that any doctrine works above all else when it comes to attaining happiness. I’m not writing this to try and push any one theory on happiness or say that only one way works.
I do want to share some food for thought with you. I’ve found that happiness among all other things was the single most key to my success as an individual, as a husband, as a father, and as a businessman. Happiness is everything, and without it I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today.
Life hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t been smooth sailing all the way up to the top for me. I had days working in the manufacturing factories and days working on the sales floors of car dealerships where I was certainly not happy. But the principle of happiness is a trend. Achieving happiness and applying that to your career isn’t about being happy all of the time. It’s about being happy most of the time. It’s about being happy as often as possible, and applying that happiness to your career and using it to bolster you up to bigger and better heights.
No one is going to be happy all of the time twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. But there is a marked difference between the businessman who is down in the dumps and pretty grumpy a lot of the time, and the businessman who is more often than not cheerful and peppy. The latter will be more successful in the long run.
What I’ve Done to Create My Own Happiness
I’ve put together a few tricks of the trade of achieving happiness that I’ve followed over the decades and I’d like to share them with you.
1. Let go of this idea of “status.” That’s right, just let go of it. Get rid of it. I would say that the single most hindering aspect to peoples’ success in climbing the corporate ladder or in starting their own business is that they consider others in higher positions to be above them as individuals in general. Without a doubt, this is an instant killer of happiness. No matter who you are meeting with or talking to or working with, look at them as an equal. I don’t care if they are the president of the United States. They were born equal just as you were, and they are human beings just like you are. Get rid of this idea of, “status” right now so you can be truly happy as yourself with anyone around you regardless of their position or authority. Your happiness will soar, your self-confidence will skyrocket, and you will be more successful because of it.
2. Always ask for what you think you deserve in life. Never sell yourself short. Did you know that the only one who can pose a truly legitimate and lasting threat to your own happiness is you? If you sell yourself short or devalue your own personal self-worth, it is a poison to yourself. The person who can do the most damage to you is you, so never sell yourself short or devalue yourself for any reason. Pitch yourself to people as you see yourself, and ask the prices of them that you feel you deserve. Confidence and self-worth are two vital keys to happiness.
3. Build trust with colleagues, superiors, friends, family members, and loved ones. When others put their trust in you, it raises your self-confidence and makes you happy. If people can’t trust you, you can’t trust you, and this will reduce your happiness in life. Get people to trust you and don’t let them down. Nothing raises happiness like a good challenge to be worthy of another’s trust. I remember when I was the number one car salesman for the Chevrolet Motor Division in 1986 and 1987. I had literally hundreds of people trusting me to do a good job and keep my targets up. Those were two of the happiest years of my life. Since then, I’ve made it my goal to excel and deliver nothing but goodness and happiness into the lives of those around me, and with that trust in me I have further increased my own happiness.
4. Make the daily grind and the weekly struggle a positive battle. Nothing kills happiness like getting into a routine that you don’t like. Even if you have to do the same thing every day five days a week forty hours a week for years you have to make a game of it. Humans naturally resist the grinding routine so much, but what they don’t understand is that they are killing their own happiness and their own futures by doing this. The key to escaping that grind and advancing to higher positions is to be really happy about it! Make the grind an adventure. Make that struggle a fun one. Find a way to make each day of doing that same old thing a new and pleasurable experience. You will stand out in a crowd and your superiors will notice.
5. Pay the happiness forward. Whenever I’ve held a position in a company where I had people under me, and certainly now that I own several businesses of my own, I’ve made it a point to instill happiness in my employees in every way I could see how. This is the gift that keeps on giving, as happiness spreads from one to the next. Plus, as an added bonus seeing my employees happy increases my happiness and causes me to be more successful too. Don’t hog all of the happiness for yourself, spread it around!
There are lots of different ways to be happy, and hundreds of people have written thousands of books on the matter. Take part in whatever techniques suit you best, just keep in mind that however you go about achieving it, please do achieve it.
Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. Connect with Per via Twitter or Facebook.