7 simple habits that will help you become a happier entrepreneur: start today!
Of all of you reading probably many have decided at some point of your life to abandon your “comfort zone” where you found an “uncomfortable comfort”.
Deep down, despite being “fine” you knew you weren’t happy. This is what makes so many people decide to become entrepreneurs, even knowing the road isn’t at all easy, you are convinced it’s the best way to feel more fulfilled with your life, doing what you like, what you are passionate about.
Although happiness has a thousand faces and is a very subjective state, there are things (actions-truths) that when set in motion in our head and habits can provide us with happiness.
Learn what has been scientifically proven to make you happier!
1- CHANGE THE PARADIGM: success doesn’t bring happiness.
Many people believe success brings happiness but on the contrary: happiness brings success. Whoever does things in order to be at peace, to have a sense of fulfillment and live moments of happiness every day can overcome life’s challenges: in relationships, at work, family, etc. According to a research carried out by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. of the University of California, when people feel happy they tend to be optimistic, energetic and self-confident, which leads other people to find them more pleasant, sociable and reliable. These aspects broaden opportunities to: do business, achieve objectives successfully, create or develop new things, or why not, meet a partner.
2- CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY, DON’T SEEK HAPPINESS
Happiness then isn’t about being successful and having lots of money, on the contrary: it’sthe starting point. You might tell me: “Sure, that’s why I’m reading this, I want to know how”. Well, I’ve decided to start the post with this aspect because before anything else, before getting to the HOW it’s necessary to have the INTENTION, the willingness to make those changes that will help us be happier. We have to stop seeking happiness and start living it. In fact, a research carried out by June Gruber (a psychologist from Yale) suggests that constantly seeking happiness can bring about anguish. This happens when those seeking happiness do so believing that everything that’s recommended in order to make us happy MUST actually make them happy and they cannot deal with the frustration and with the process. Happiness isn’t the result of doing one thing but of a change in lifestyle and we don’t always achieve it as if by magic. You can start right now making small changes such as: forgiving those who hurt you, putting peace of mind first and not always reason, redefining values, being faithful to them, etc. (etc = the rest of the 6 points of the article)
3-SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE HAPPY PEOPLE
This aspect is paramount for social life and specially for our entrepreneurial lifestyle. Happiness is like a beautiful sickness or virus that spreads itself all around us. Being around positive, grateful, enthusiastic people provides us with well-being which is perfect so that the day-to-day becomes more pleasant and productive. A research carried out by BMJ Group concludes someone’s happiness depends on the happiness of those around him/her; it can be said that happiness can be a collective phenomena.
That’s why it’s necessary to choose the people we have around us, specially if they will be working side by side with us. Two heads are always better than one since it’seasier to solve problems, identify points that the other may overlook and help in the decision making process in order to assess pros and cons.
We leave you with a quote from Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Dan Gilbert , where he stresses the importance of relating to people that have a positive impact on us:
“We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”
4- KEEP FOCUSED
One of the most relevant factors for happiness is to keep focused. This allows us tolive in the present, in this very moment, without the burdens of the past or the future.
A research published in Sciencemag indicates that people spend 47% of their time wandering which means they’re constantly absent from the present, the decisions they make, memorable moments and then we wonder how is it that it’s already Christmas, we ask ourselves How can it be that all of this happened this year?
(A bit of humor)
Focus your energy on one thing at a time, whatever’s necessary at the moment you are in right now, this allows you to channel all your potential be it analyzing a report, writing a blog, in the creative process of developing an application or solving a problem, etc. Being focused allows you to be the protagonist of your life and take care of each thing in the best and fastest way.
Being focused in living in the present means leaving aside the guilt, worries or regrets about the past and the fears or uncertainties of the future, aspects which constantly remove us from the life we have today which may be the life that can make us happy but with so many distractions we fail to realize that.
5- GET EXERCISE.
Getting some type of exercise during the day changes your day. If you were tired you’ll have more energy, if you were worried you’ll be less tense, if you couldn’t focus you’ll be more focused; if you didn’t like your body you’ll like it more, I could go on and on about the benefits of exercising.
Regarding the last point a research was done through which it was proven that even without losing weight, people who were given an exercise routine of 6×40 minutes had a better perception of their body after doing it in comparison with the group that had readings assigned to them. Either way, the benefits of exercise go beyond its effect on the body. Aresearch has shown that people with depressive disorders, that were taken off drugs and instead started getting different exercise routines showed high rates of recovery and, most importantly, low relapse rates.
Meaning that getting exercise is one of the biggest sources of productivity, health and happiness we ALL have at our disposal.
6- BE GRATEFUL
This is where I feel most comfortable because I have never failed to be grateful. Not only to other people but to life, to whichever God it is you believe in. The more grateful you are the more life rewards you with more of what makes you grateful. Expressing gratitude is also a way of being focused, it is an act of the present, of living life today, because your conscience is there in each of the things happening to you and in what you have. It may seem silly but to me it’s essential to be grateful for having all my limbs: two legs, two arms, two ears, this isn’t a limb but you catch my drift, and when I do it I automatically feel relieved and happy, everything falls into place and if I want to I can go for a run and be free for an hour. I can see, I can smell, I can hear, I can taste the world’s flavours, I can feel the texture of things. And that is truly priceless; hasn’t it happened to you to bump a leg or burn a finger and that whole day becomes “hell”?
Leaving aside my humble experience, there are researches that confirm the great impact gratitude has in our emotional well-being. The Journal of Happiness Studies examined the effects of writing letters of gratitude, 219 people were part of the research which consisted in having the participants write a letter of gratitude a week for three weeks. The results suggest that consciously focusing on what we have to be grateful for has a favourable impact at an emotional and interpersonal level therefore increasing satisfaction levels and decreasing depressive symptoms.
Which is why, never stop being grateful. Stop for a moment and write down on a piece of paper at least 4 nice things that happened that day, what went well inspite of everything: work, health, your son got an A, you lost 2 kg, a business deal was successfully closed even though it was very hard, etc. etc… And let’s not forget: our limbs.
All of this will lead you to be more conscious of how lucky you are and it will help you start the next day with more energy and a better willingness to face daily obligations of life.
7- GIVE YOUR TIME AND HELP TO OTHER PEOPLE
In this point I discovered something which I hadn’t really thought about: many times we’re so focused on our tasks, companies, businesses it seems we haven’t got time for anything, but apparently when we devote a couple of hours to other people our perception of time seems greater. Cassie Mogilner, who studies happiness, focusing on time management, at Wharton School, came to the conclusion through a research she carried out that: “ giving your time to others can make you feel more “time affluent” and less time-constrained than wasting your time, spending it on yourself or even getting a windfall of free time” Be it doing volunteering work, being someone’s mentor, helping a colleague or being the confidant of a friend, any of this, increases your sense of time and results in great satisfaction.
The same thing happens with money, another piece of research carried out by Harvard Business School, indicates that after analyzing the response of several participants that had spent their money buying things for themselves and others that spent their money helping or buying something for another person the last group felt more satisfied and happier, “Pro social spending” makes you happier and it encourages other people to want to do it as well.
Below we leave you a very interesting (and motivational) video, about the new Y Generation, it reviews the Millennials’ (our) characteristics that impose this trend that work should be what makes us happy and fulfilled. Don’t miss it:
SO YOU’LL REMEMBER:
Start changing the paradigm that’s been installed in society: success brings about happiness. Start by doing things that make you feel fulfilled and happy, your success will be a consequence of this attitude.
It’s of no use being on the eternal quest for happiness, choose to be happy now. Make it a daily decision and intention. Not everything will work out and you won’t be happy all the time but if you are willing to change your lifestyle, things around you will also change.
Surround yourself with positive happy people. Well-being is contagious and if you work with people that share this state you can be more productive and successful.
Keep focused on what you do, what you have, at this very moment. Enjoy and put all your energy on what’s important for you. Don’t let time pass by thinking of what was or what will be. Living the moment is perhaps the great key to happiness.
Get exercise, even if for 20 minutes a day. You will be more productive, have more energy, think more clearly. Emotionally you’ll be healthier and more positive.
Be grateful. In order to do so you’ll need to be focused on today, on what you have, what you’ve accomplished throughout the day. Write down what has gone well during the day and the reasons why you can be happy. Life will return what you are grateful for, what you appreciate and more.
Give your time to other people and you’ll have the feeling your day was more productive. Try out “Pro Social Spending” and help other people with your money. You will feel better than if you spend it all on yourself.
The list of things “to be happy” is never-ending but these small tips can be applied right now and make the difference between a frustrating day and a productive one, full of progress and things worth being thankful for.
What do you do in order to be happy? Tell us all about it, we want to learn from our entrepreneur friends!