The pleasure and positive memories afforded by great experiences far outweigh material things. If you’re trying to decide between the new sofa or the family trip, take the trip every time.
Save and plan for new adventures and meaningful experiences. Don’t just dream about them — make them happen.
“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”
— James Allen
Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.
In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.
Positive reinforcement is powerful. When pets perform a desired behavior — sitting, coming when called, being nice to the cats — they are rewarded. Pets learns to connect the treat with the actions we wants, and becomes more likely to offer them…even when we don’t reward her. What’s true for dogs is true for people too. Does nagging your spouse actually work? Probably not. (In fact, it probably has the opposite effect you intend!) But if you reward the behavior your want, you’ll eventually see it offered without prompting. The same thing is true with children, co-workers, family members, and so on.
You’ll be happier if you focus on efforts and attention only on the things you can control. Each of us has a large number of things about which we’re concerned: our health, our family, our friends, our jobs; world affairs, the plight of the poor, the threat of terrorism, the current political climate. Within that Circle of Concern, there’s a smaller subset of things over which we have actual, direct control: how much we exercise, what time we go to bed, whether we leave for work on time; what we eat, where we live, with whom we socialize. You’ll be happier and more productive if you dedicate yourself to your Circle of Control and ignore your Circle of Concern.
Staying in a relationship out of a sense of obligation or pity is not a good reason. Sometimes you really do have to walk away — from a friendship, from a family member, even from a romantic partner. Yours isn’t the only story in this world; sometimes it’s better to be somebody else’s villain than to make yourself miserable.
When good things happen to people you know, help them celebrate. Their success does not diminish you. Be happy when your friends and family achieve something cool. If a co-worker gets a raise, be supportive and not jealous. Approach life as if it were a win-win game. Because it is.
Take care of yourself. If you’re not healthy, it’s tough to be happy. Before you can take care of your friends and your family, you need to take care of yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Nurture your mind, body, and spirit. Your body is a temple; treat it like one. If you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.