To quote the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” The way that you choose to interact with others, resolve conflict, balance work and play… these are all factors that only YOU can control. It is these factors that will bring happiness to your life, or possibly sadness. If you find that you are not content in your life, only YOU can make the proper changes in order to begin the journey towards a more positive and fulfilling way of living.

If you are ready to discover what makes you truly happy in your life, read on. The following tips may help guide you in your journey…

Eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive.

Make time to sit down and jot down all the things that make you happy, whether that is a person or even your immense interest in marine biology. Do you enjoy the ocean? Do you enjoy painting? Maybe you enjoy an adrenaline rush – whatever it is that you enjoy doing the most, do it more often. Spend more time with the people who make you happy versus the ones who gossip and get your blood boiling. Now, what makes you unhappy? Write down the negative and find a way to eliminate these things. For example, if your job is making you unhappy, why stay? It may be time for a career change.

Risk and reward.

Do not fear change, whether change means moving to another state or even going back to school. Let’s refer back to the example in the paragraph above: you realize that your job is making you unhappy. Of course, you may be afraid to take the risk of missing out on company benefits and possibly receiving a pay cut, but staying is only going to prolong your unhappiness. Start looking for something new. Take the pay cut if your budget allows for it. We often stay put where we feel “comfortable”, but comfortable is not always a good thing. Sure, it may be quite an adjustment at first, but this sort of change will pay off in the long run. To quote Jim McCormick: “The greatest rewards in life go to the risk takers.” He’s right.

Money is a necessity, not a priority.

This next point can go hand-in-hand with the previous paragraph. While money is necessary to stay alive and live comfortably in our day, it should never be a priority. There are people who make millions a year but are still unhappy. It is much better to find and make a career out of something you are passionate about and love for an average paycheck rather than spend your days unhappy with a large paycheck. Live simply, not excessively.

Let go of the uncontrollable.

Unfortunate events happen, as minor as a friend backing out of plans or as major as a death in the family. While these things are sure to rock our worlds to some degree, it is important to not lose sight of the positive. Some things cannot be controlled and it is time to come to terms with that. I always say, if you find yourself moping about something, just stop to laugh or smile. Both are instant mood boosters, producing natural pain killers, endorphins and serotonin in our bodies. Smiling is a natural remedy, so take advantage of it!

Remember: happiness is not a destination. It is a continual journey; a journey that must be enjoyed and embraced. Once you have come to terms with the constant changes and shifts that life will bring, you will feel less likely to sulk when something doesn’t go right the first time – because guess what? If you continue to carry on and remain positive, something good is going to come from the bad. Promise!