4 Happiness Skills Anyone Can Learn
There are a set of specific, actionable skills & tools that will cause a person to be happy regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in. The following is the short list that I suggest to all new clients.
1. Give up being right.
2. Accept the situation as it is and then take action.
3. Quit pretending you are a psychic who can tell the future.
4. Stop protecting yourself from people who aren’t attacking you.
This system is great for making sure kids don’t touch the hot stove more then once but it’s terrible for everyday life. A couple incidents that occurred a year ago that made him feel angry and unappreciated. Since then, he’s been protecting himself against a whole bunch of people who aren’t attacking him and frankly, don’t even remember what happened.
I asked him to consider that he had changed, they had changed, times had changed, and the world had changed since then. I asked him if he would be willing to run an experiment to put The Drunk Monkey into place so he could return to happy, fulfilled and satisfied with work. He agreed. Here’s what I told him to do.
Instead of trying to keep his ideas safe, instead of wondering how he could move his objectives forward; for the next week, find out what other people were committed to. See what the other people in the company were working on and discover ways to contribute to each of the people in the company. Make it a game. See if you can contribute something to someone everyday for the next seven days. An idea, a contact, a resource or even just an encouraging word.
Through this process, he shifted from protecting himself from all the people who weren’t attacking him, to being supportive and giving. Within the year he became one of the most celebrated people in his company. Everyone wanted to get him involved in their projects. He was suddenly important. The next year he was recruited away by a superstar in his industry and made a partner in the firm. This was a five year dream that came true in one. The trick was simple, he needed to be the change he wanted to see in the world, just like Gandhi said.
When you are happy, you are creative, approachable, flexible and easy to be with. Add those characteristics to your skill set and you will see an immediate positive benefit.
Most people believe that happiness is something that occurs when the conditions of life are favorable. But the truth is, happiness is the skill navigating challenging situations without getting reactive. If you wait for happiness to find you, you’ll be waiting a long time. Happiness is an inside job.