What does it take to be happy?
It’s a loaded question for sure, but we can probably all agree that happiness is one of the true things that really matters. As we all know, there are circumstances that take our happiness from us. We’ve been taught this model that says we need to work really hard to be happy, and once you’re happy, only then can you be successful.
The biggest problem here is that your happiness is still dictated by your circumstances.
Try thinking about it another way. First, be happy. Then, you’ll have the energy to work really hard, which will make you successful. So what does it take to be happy first? It’s a matter of being grateful because health is an attitude of gratitude. It’s simple, but the key is consistency. Just like eating healthy, you must do it on a consistent basis for it to be effective.
Keep your gratitude simple. It can even be as simple as having gratitude for how great your sheets feel when you wake up first thing in the morning, or that your kids are happy and healthy downstairs. You’re lucky enough to be alive, so be grateful for it!
Taking it a step further, we like to use the four S’s: social, structure, stimulation, and story.
‘Social’ is about friends, family, and the people you surround yourself with. You want to pick and choose to surround yourself with people who aren’t energy suckers. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who bring you happiness is key. Continue to invest and deepen those relationships.
“Use the four S’s: social, structure, stimulation, and story.”
‘Structure’ could mean our nighttime routines or daytime routines; it’s all about having a system. For one, you don’t have to think about what’s going on if you have good systems and structure. Secondly, if things go wrong, your structure will help you restore balance in your life.
‘Stimulation’ is important because many times, we lose our desire to grow. We need to find things to stimulate our minds, like learning to play a new instrument or a new sport. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing, you’re dying. One of our favorite examples of this is comic book writer Stan Lee, who is still razor sharp at age 94 because he’s constantly stimulating his mind.
Finally, ‘story’ refers to simply doing something or being part of something that’s bigger than yourself. At the end of the day, life is all about purpose. If you can find your purpose and live it, you’ll find true happiness.
So be happy, be grateful, and remember the four S’s and you can continue to hack your health.