Optimists see opportunities that are invisible to pessimists.
September 24, 2018 9 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We are all searching for that elusive elixir that will help increase our wealth, gain success and live a life of contentment and peace. Who doesn’t want to find a way to have it all?
Part of the reason these things are difficult for us to achieve is that we never really define what our purpose is in life. We don’t really know ourselves, so we don’t really understand what makes us happy. And we don’t really want to do the hard work to get there.
There’s no magic formula to making all these things happen, but if you’re willing to open your mind and put in the time and effort, you can achieve nearly anything. Here are 16 life changing ways you can attain success, wealth and happiness and live your best life.
1. Envision the life you want.
Ask yourself, are you building your life in a way that will make you happy? And if you aren’t, why not? What is holding you back? It’s time to take responsibility for your life. Everything that you achieve or don’t achieve is a result of your attitudes, behaviors and habits. Think of what your ideal life would look like in detail. Stop making excuses and start visualizing what you want.
2. Cut out what doesn’t matter.
Stop trying to do it all. Instead, start cutting out the things that don’t to you, the things that distract you and unnecessarily overwhelm you and suck your time. These are things are keeping you from achieving your goals.
Don’t allow your mind to become muddled with projects or to-dos that don’t really matter to you. Ask yourself, what are you worrying about? What makes you feel bad? What are you wasting time on? Cut the things that are damaging your body, brain or heart.
3. Focus on what’s important.
To be happy and successful in life, you first have to decide what you want and then go after it. Choose a handful of things that you value most and you want to be the focal point of your life.
What do you really care about? What commitments are most important to you? You need to develop a clear vision for what your big life goals are, what you’re hoping to achieve, and then focus on the things that will get you there.
4. Unleash your inner strength.
To truly realize your full potential, you must embrace all that you are — all your talents and skills, all our faults and shortcomings. You must unleash your inner strength. It’s time to take the blinders off and see what has been holding you back. You need to recognize your inner mettle.
You have more fortitude, courage and stamina that you realize. Realize you are capable of so much more. Stop letting fear into your decision making and be comfortable in your own skin.
5. Take action and build your confidence.
When it comes to achieving success and building wealth, confidence may be more closely related to your ability to prosper than anything else — even more so than competence. And one of the best ways to build your confidence is to take action.
Stop trying to be perfect, just keep moving forward. Even if you fail, you will eventually succeed if you just keep taking action. They key is to making adjustments and consistently take action. All that hard work creates self-confidence, which helps you maintain your momentum.
6. Unstick yourself from bad situations.
Too often we allow ourselves to become entrenched in bad situations or simply mired in negativity. We get stuck in life and we don’t know how to free ourselves and pursue our dreams.
To find happiness in life, you have to learn to face your fears and start making changes for the better. It can start with just one little step in the right direction. If you can muster the strength from within, you build momentum and overcome even the impossible.
7. Embrace delayed gratification.
We all instinctively want to avoid pain and seek pleasure. But, so much of our ability to find success, create wealth and be happy hinges on our ability to accept short-term discomfort to work toward long-term goals. We must train ourselves to embrace delayed gratification in order to achieve the things that we really want in life.
All the big, important goals in life, such as saving money, creating relationships, building a career, maintaining our health, requires delayed gratification. Learn to see the bigger picture before doing something you will ultimately regret.
8. Grow outside of yourself.
You’re never going to become successful, rich and happy living a boring, dull, uninspired life. If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to learn to put yourself in awkward and uncomfortable situations.
You must step outside your comfort zone and embrace the unknown. New experiences and putting yourself out there in unexpected ways will give you valuable insight. You’ll learn to trust yourself. Doing this will allow yourself to grow beyond your self-imposed limitations.
9. Be compassionate to others (and yourself).
Showing compassion to others means to show concern and kindness to other people who may be less fortunate than you. It means to show sensitivity, tolerance, kindness and caring towards those around you.
Studies show that those who gave to others reported higher levels of happiness and also tended to have better health. It can also help you create bonds and build relationships with others, and increase your self-esteem. When you practice showing compassion and generosity to others, you are also reminding yourself to be kind to yourself and setting an expectation that others will be kind to you.
10. Build social skills.
The ability to connect and influence others is critical to success, including finding well-paying jobs, and building meaningful relationships. Social skills, including being able to clearly communicate and relate to others, are extremely valuable in the workplace.
High-wage, competitive positions all put people skills at a premium — it’s one of those things that requires a human to be involved and can’t be automated. If you struggle with interpersonal skills, there are ways to you can sharpen those skills and develop your emotional intelligence.
11. Focus on the journey.
The journey to reach your goals may be just as important as attaining the actual goal. Yes, your goals are momentous. But don’t underestimate the importance of the journey itself, and all that you will learn along the way. It may be that your goals change, as you may change.
That’s all ok — it’s fact it’s to be expected. But life isn’t just about reaching the end, otherwise we’d miss all the good stuff in between. Happiness and satisfaction comes from living a life that have meaning to you, each step of the way. Remember to be in the moment and cherish the memories you are making as you make them.
12. Invest in yourself.
This doesn’t just mean to spend money improving yourself through education or increasing your professional skills — although by all means those are great things to do. Investing in yourself also means to take time for self-improvement and allowing yourself to grow as a person.
Take time to daydream, to build healthy habits and engage in self-care. Learn something new — something crazy or interesting that you’ve always wanted to learn but never made time for. Take time to be good to yourself.
13. Stop comparing yourself to others.
It’s human nature to want to evaluate ourselves, to see how we compare to others. But using others as our measuring stick will lead to feelings of low self-confidence, envy and devaluing your own worth.
You are never going to be better than others in every way. And constantly comparing yourself to others won’t help you accomplish your goals, but can actually decrease your motivation. Instead, set your own benchmarks for what you want to accomplish. Focus on becoming the best “you” you can be.
14. Work to learn.
Wealthy and happy people prioritize learning over working for money. If you are constantly working to sharpen your skills, to increase your knowledge and deepen your understanding, you will be 100 percent engaged in what you’re doing.
You’ll be more productive and more successful and your mind will stay stimulated and flexible. Make sure you are focused on learning for the sake of creating more value, so your knowledge is applicable, not just for focusing on what is entertaining or on fleeting interests.
15. Practice gratitude.
Spending just a few minutes a day practicing gratitude can increase your feelings of well-being, happiness and resilience under stress. It’s also been shown to help make you be more effective at work, increasing your decision making capabilities and your productivity.
Gratitude fosters mental strength during tough times and helps you appreciate and deepen your relationships. You can practice gratitude by simply taking a few minutes to notice and reflect on all the things you are thankful for in your life.
16. Make it fun.
Find little ways to make life fun every day. Mix it up! Wear a crazy shirt. Talk to people you don’t know. Eat lunch some place unusual. But more than that, find ways to surprise yourself and others. Say yes to things you’d normally say no to.
Stop worrying about things you can’t change and stop making everything so serious and solemn. Life will never be perfect, but it can be a lot of fun. Learn to live boldly and allow yourself to bloom.