7 Habits that Will Make You Happier, Healthier & Way More Likeable

7 Habits that Will Make You Happier, Healthier & Way More Likeable

Happiness — I want it, you want it, we all want it. Just the fact that you’re reading The Change Blog means that you and I are on a similar path—seeking for those nuggets of wisdom that will bring us more peace, joy, and personal fulfillment.

After having owned a businesses for about 10 years in the swimming pool industry, a little over a year ago I commenced a new quest in life to satiate my need to teach and help as many possible to achieve their full potential. This is also why I asked Peter if I could contribute a guest post to The Change Blog. So if you’re looking for ‘change’, if you want more joy and fulfillment out of life, here are 7 qualities that, for me, have made all the difference:

1. See the World in the Form of a Question

Whether you are looking to make new friends, achieve success with a client, or even raise your general awareness—the skill of asking questions has in many ways been lost in our society. We’re so busy to tell, tell, tell that we forget to ask, ask, ask. And as we all know, the only way to become a great ‘learner’ is to ask questions. Questions resolve concerns. Questions elevate personal relationships. They also at times force us to take a different perspective and possibly stretch ourselves to unchartered waters. So learn to have an ‘ask first tell second’ personality and I can promise you the results will be profound.

2. Give Specific Feedback/Compliments

We’ve all heard that learning to give compliments to others has a powerful impact on personal relationships. But for those that truly want to take compliments to another level the key is to learn specificity. For example, which statement would you rather hear from someone else?

I really enjoyed your blog article today.

Or

I was blown away with the story you shared in your blog article about the time you……That story very much resonated with me and I’ve decided to take action because of it!

See the difference? Both statements expressed approval of a blog article, yet the first statement likely made the author smile a little while the second brought about a huge grin. This is the power of specificity and is a critical key to happiness, especially in dealing with friends and loved ones.

3. Don’t Just Let Go of Your Physical Health

I see it all the time. Guys and gals (including many bloggers) attain great monetary success in work but all of the sudden they’re out of shape, overweight, and struggling with self-image. Knowing my busy schedule as a business owner and father of 4, a year ago I bought an elliptical and put it in my basement so that I wouldn’t have to include ‘going to the gym’ into my extremely busy schedule. The results? I’ve worked out 1 hour a day since buying the machine, never missing a workout, and I weigh less now than I did in high school. (and feel great too!)

4. Give Value to Others at Every Turn

Wow has the internet been a blessing in this area. Now, more than ever, you and I can meet and help people on a large-scale basis because of the beauty of technology. Some of the greatest success I’ve been able to achieve in these last year has come because of stories, articles, and mentions I’ve made praising other people and companies. As Chris Brogan says, we should mention (talk about) other people 12 times to every 1 mention of ourselves if we really want to give value and build relationships.

5. Smile Unrelenting

I know, I know, we’ve heard it before: We should smile often. But as the old saying goes, ‘common sense is often quite uncommon.’ Seriously though, are you the person in your group of friends or workplace that is known as ‘Mr. or Ms. Positive’ or are you the person that everyone sees as having a cloud over your head 24/7? I used to have a problem of not smiling enough. For me, it wasn’t that I was unhappy, it was just that I have the tendency to look serious when I’m focused on a task. Since identifying this problem (people kept telling me to lighten up) I try to carry a smile with me in all situations, and wow has this made an incredible difference. So smile often. Lighten up every room you enter. Not only will you be happier, but many will file in line with you as well.

6. Stop Trying to Find Your Passion

Let me be the first to say that I’m all about ‘finding your passion’. But the problem with most people is that they get so wrapped up in ‘finding themselves’ or ‘finding their passion’ that they forget how this discovery is actually made: By Living Passionately. In other words, if you want to find out where your true passions lie, stop looking and simply start living everything you do throughout the day with passion and zeal. By so doing, self-discovery will come naturally and easily.

7. Surround Yourself with Greatness

I simply can’t stress this one enough. Everyone needs a mentor. And we certainly all need great friends. I would be a completely different person and be on a completely different path than I’m on today had I not had people and friends in my life that helped correct my course when I got off track. I’ve learned over the years that it’s important that we not only find these friends but we learn to depend and lean on them when necessary. As others lift us up, and as we reciprocate this action, the friendships we’ll form will truly be amazing.

So there are 7 keys to health and happiness that have completely changed my life over the past year. But what about you? What are your thoughts and what would you add to the list? C’mon, let’s talk about it……

Photo by Mr. Theklan

Marcus Sheridan

Liked this article? Take a little trip over to Marcus Sheridan’s blog, The Sales Lion, where he has been known to write some rocking articles on sales, marketing, small business, and how to be pretty freaking awesome.

Latest posts by Marcus Sheridan (see all)

101 Comments

  1. Marcus, great article. I like what you said about giving value to others. It’s an essential habit that helps us to be more sharing towards others instead of doing everything for ourselves. I enjoyed your article! Keep it up!

    -Gabe

    Reply
    • You got it Gabe, the more value we give, the more we build others. the more The Law of Reciprocity has a chance to come back to us 10-fold. Once I really started to understand this principle was I really able to reach my goals in life. And with the internet, there’s simply no reason not to lift and elevate others.

      Glad you liked the article! :-)

      Reply
  2. Great post! Being happy is a choice. It is what we ‘choose’ to ‘do’. Our happiness does not depend on situations or circumstances; it depends on us, it comes from within us, from our choice or decision. This is also the kind of idea I presented in the article I posted here recently on ‘9 Ways to Be Happy Within Yourself’. It’s a great post. Well done!

    Reply
    • Agreed Olusegun….I always think of the quote by Shakepeare:

      There’s no such thing as good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

      Once a person really ‘gets’ this simple truism their whole life can literally transform….very, very powerful stuff.

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
      • That is a beautiful quote.

        Somewhere along the lines, I learned that I am the only person who I can rely on for my happiness. So my sorrow is my own problem.

        It seems to be a common thing for onlookers to say that I’m being ignorant when I take a less fortunate situation and turn it into understanding and care. Ignorant of depression, maybe, but it’s a choice that keeps a smile on my face.

        And there’s nothing greater than the feeling I get when I see that I’ve inspired someone to do the same.

        Peace, love, and happiness to you all. :)

        Reply
  3. Excellent article! So true! Thank you, I will reread it over and over again and share it with my friends.
    Helena

    Reply
  4. Marcus, great post!! You make such good points, and I love what you say about finding your passion by living passionately. I’m a life coach, and I always tell my clients to get out there and “try stuff”. They talk about maybe wanting to be a writer – I say write!! Just play with it, write badly, have fun, and, if you find that it’s compelling for you then you can start learning how to do it well. But you have to really dive in before you’ll know if it’s for you.

    Your energy and joy are contagious, I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Melinda

    Reply
    • How very kind of you Melinda. Thank you. I love your advice here: Just dive in!

      In fact, I think that in itself would be an excellent article :-)

      Keep changing lives….

      Reply
    • Love that one…dive in…reminds me of “be foolish”..from the great Jobs.

      Reply
  5. Marcus: Wonderfully insightful post!

    The last point especially resonated with me, because I’ve long believed that you rise to the level of your superiors, and fall to the level of your inferiors. You can do all the right things and make all the right moves, but if you have the wrong association, you are doomed to failure. We become like the people we hang around – how else do you explain takin’ a northern kid and sending him south for a summer – after 2-3 months he comes home with a southern accent?

    Good stuff – thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks for those words Contrarian, very kind man…..to add even further to your point, a buddy used to always tell me this quote:

      If you hang out at the barber shop long enough, eventually you’ll get your hair cut…

      We are only as good as those around us…may we choose wisely.

      Reply
  6. great article Marcus. I love the part about finding your passion. I spent a lot of years searching for mine and it was always right there in front of me…i was either too busy looking for it or too miserable for not having found it yet to even notice…

    Stop searching and start living! that’s what i tell my students today :)

    best wishes,
    Maria

    Reply
    • Yes, yes, yes Maria. I really feel like we spend way, way too much time discussing this imperative need to find our passion. It’s crazy, because like you said, when that’s our only focus we’ll almost always miss the mark. But the moment we start seeing the world, and everything we do within it, with passion…….everything will change.

      Reply
  7. Love it. Couldn’t agree more, especially about searching for passion. I spent years trying to figure out what that might be.
    You summed it up so eloquently and I really like how you turned the whole concept around. It’s true. Pick a task/project/whatever and bring focus and energy to it. Voila! You’ve discovered your passion.
    Suddenly all of life is a passion :)

    Reply
    • Another great example Colleen. As I’m sure you’ve found, as humans it’s possible to be passionate about a whole bunch of stuff. Look at some of the greats of history, like Ben Franklin for example. That guy exuded passion for:

      -entrepreneurship
      -travel
      -politics
      -the arts
      -the sciences
      -lovely women
      -kite flying
      -etc, etc, etc

      :-) …..Nothing like loving everything you do.

      Reply
  8. Splendid article…especially about finding your passion, and I’ve been desperately trying to look for it, rather than living passionately And its always nice to smile unrelenting and lighten up everyone else as well.

    Reply
    • Well then I sincerely wish you the best Santosh in your efforts in ‘finding’ it by allowing such a discovery to happen naturally.

      Best to you :-)

      Reply
  9. I wish this could be easy Marcus, but everyday life situations could easily derail us from attaining happiness. If we really want to experience the goodness in life, we must first make a choice. Without such choice, there can be no discipline, and without discipline it is easy to give in. :-)

    Reply
    • No question Walter, you are right about that– we must make the choice of happiness– it’s our call. And from that choice, a trickle-down effect will result in incredible progress, prosperity, and inner peace.

      Thanks for stopping by Walter.

      Reply
  10. Those choices also have to be aligned with natural principles. Many of us focus on our freedom to choose, not thinking about the consequences of those choices. We must free ourselves to enjoy the consequences that we really want and to avoid those which we don’t want, and that takes subordinating our freedom of choice to natural principles.

    Reply
  11. Great points Marcus – 5 really hit me – I tend to look so serious all the time and I have ‘forgotten’ to smile often – even that little Mona Lisa smile that I should have when I am sitting in front of my computer. I need to remember do it all the time! Time to put some little reminders every where I think!

    Reply
    • You got it Juanita, and the key is that you recognize it….We could all afford to smile a little more…and then watch the magical results happen…

      Keep smiling :-)

      Reply
  12. Number 6 really hit home. I and my friends have stated over and over again that we’re ready to pursue something if only we could figure out what it was…and we haven’t figured it out over the years. I’ll try putting more passion into the things I do rather than sleep walk an autopilot!

    Thanks for the article!

    Reply
    • Hmmm, sleep walking on autopilot…very good phrase there Ed…and very true as well. Good luck with living passionately, I’m sure the rest will fall into place. :-)

      Reply
  13. Fabulous post Marcus, I’m new to this blog but I must say, what a great find! I’d like to point out that so many of these habits that you mentioned are all about getting outside of yourself. We find our true purpose and happiness when we focus on others instead of ourselves. Great work!

    Reply
  14. “Live passion” would be it. I’ve since stopped pushing myself to find it, develop it or whathaveyou. It’s more enjoyable to learn a new language; it’s meaningful to have shared to less fortunate kids every Christmas as committed; it’s enlightening to actually be alone in the park for hours and watch people; it’s fulfilling to finish writing a book. or reading one.

    In the end we breathe passion, instead of catching our breath running after it. We just have to love what we do, care more about it all, too. That’s passion. It’s life as well.

    Cool one, Marcus. I’m crossing my fingers your passion grows each day so we could all get more of these down-to-earth ideas about life. You know what I mean.

    Reply
    • I certainly do Arina…and love how you stated this.

      I’m crossing me fingers too ;-)

      Thanks for such a lovely comment.

      Reply
  15. I learned my lesson about finding passion versus living with passion this year after switching schools to pursue a different major. Long story short I noticed my attitude had everything to do with how I did in classes, now I am pursing a more challenging major that will prepare me better for the future but still the while engaging in my favorite activities.

    Reply
    • That’s wonderful Dave, good for you man. :-) It’s wonderful that you’ve discovered this early on in life, such will give you major advantages down the road as everyone else is still blaming outside factors.
      Good luck to you!!

      Reply
  16. I really enjoyed your blog article today.

    Reply
    • Hahaha. Someone didn’t change his life for the better.

      But as response to the article, I totally agree with the ‘see the world as a question’. I think its a wonderful way to say you’ve got to listen more. I myself have the feeling sometimes, you have to know everything, and that asking can be a form of weakness (remember the kid that always asked everything twice in elementary school, then it seemed it so enoying). But now I see that it was a form of strength, just keep on asking till you know.

      I know that you probably ment it in a more social way, but this just popped up.

      Reply
  17. Thanks for the great read! This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and was comforted to see that some of these points are perspectives that I have had great impact on life so far. Nice to feel like I’m on the right track :)

    Reply
  18. This was a wonderful article, and it literally was a joy to read. It’s obvious that you’ve attained much happiness and it shows through this article. Thanks so much for posting.

    Reply
  19. You have a great blog. I start following you. I especially love the 7 habits which we can take to our hearts at any age. Zoomers are mature enough to do just that.

    Reply
  20. Without going into much detail;

    Thank you.

    This will help so many people, and have restored a little bit of my faith in humanity :)

    Reply
  21. Just what I needed for thank you a lot for this so interesting article. I really give compliments every day to people which I meet every day and I become happy seeing their pleasant face. ;)

    Reply
    • Thanks everyone for your kind words. May we all practice these and the many other habit that will make us happier and more fulfilled!

      :-)

      Reply
  22. Thanks so much for this blog! I just found it and loved this piece. In reading this, I find that I get so caught up in whatever task or drama is at hand that I don’t smile! A real eye opener for me as I hadn’t given it much thought before now. And something so simple, even if we’re not really ‘feeling’ it has such a profound effect on those around us it is hard not to affect us as well! Thank you again and I look forward to more ‘change!’

    Reply
  23. Excellent article ! Thanks !

    Reply
  24. Very inspirational and very true. A smile goes a long way.

    Reply
  25. Wow, just wat I needed ay! Thanks for that mate!

    I recon their all good. But i also recomend getting into the bush, getting down with nature.

    Arts also pretty important, suport that shit, coz its only putting positivity into the universe.

    Say Um lots. Monks say um to tap in with the universe. Its a great way to gain inspiration.

    Reply
  26. Let go of fear and jump!
    Dont like the situation you’re in? Change it!
    Make the word “can’t” foreign to you (unless using in it in a positive form such as, “I cant let that stop me!”) Be honest with yourself.
    Dont lie, you’ll never have to forget your story.
    Regret is a waste of time.
    So are grudges-let them go!
    Positive affirmations DO work! Say something you want, every day, several times a day, but say in present tense (I have a fulfilling job, life, relationship, etc).
    Surround yourself with positive people you love, and who love you for you.
    Rest when you need to.
    Don’t mope. Get off your ass and be the change you want!!

    Reply
  27. The 7 habits Marcus raises are easy to apply and that are 7 days a week and if you allocate 1 every weekday, to practice it carefully until it generates a habit in our subconscious and make it automatically happiness will be constant for a healthier and more enjoyable life.

    Thanks and a big hug!

    Reply
  28. I was blown away with the story you shared in your blog article about the time you……That story very much resonated with me and I’ve decided to take action because of it!

    Reply
  29. Very nice blog with a really good point of view…
    Enjoyable to read, uplifting, and not trite!
    kudos…

    Reply
  30. Greetings from India.

    What a interesting and in depth article out of some one’s heart! The tips are well deserving and I will try to implement most of the same, this being one effort to Give Specific Feedback/Compliments.

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  31. One thing. Maybe my brain is just wired weird, but I personally would be uncomfortable if someone told me “I was blown away with the story you shared in your blog article about the time you……That story very much resonated with me and I’ve decided to take action because of it!”

    Reply
  32. that was really good… Just kidding. I’m going to be specific with my answer because i’m starting now. You said stop trying to find your passion. When I read this, I floated for a second. It was the obvious answer I didn’t see. Thank you for the help.

    Reply
  33. Forgiveness. Perhaps this was noted in the aforementioned articles (I have the tendency to need immediate gratification; potentially yet another habit that deserves recognition and correction) but I’ve learned so much about forgiveness over the last 15 years. And, it has dramatically changed my perspective of others, outlook on life, and has proven to be a huge stress reliever for we stereotypical, high stress, A-type personality, career focused individuals.
    Although forgiveness is a burden difficult to bury during significant times of betrayal, hate, grief, remorse, pain etc…once time has healed those non-desirable wounds, it’s time to forgive the individual(s) who caused such grief. Forgiveness and acceptance is proven to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the the risks of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, increase the libido and promote feelings of euphoria. Knowing the risks of carrying the stress associated with hatred and pain, it’s logical and healing to simply say “I forgive you.” Why let another individual have THAT much control over your life and well-being anyhow, right?

    Reply
    • Love your note on forgiveness. So true Tabitha. Because at the end of the day you cannot control how others act (even though people seem to waste a lot of energy trying to do that but really unless you a dictator of some sort you can’t control others). You can only control yourself and how you act and that is where your power is, in the way you chose to RE-act.

      You can get upset, angry, revengeful but that will only hurm yourself. Or you can forgive and move on :) still so many people have a problem with this though. But as you said why give others the power to upset you? Not worth it.

      Reply
  34. I really enjoyed your article!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  35. I really enjoyed your blog article today.

    Reply
  36. If we soar with eagles we will start acting like them and the same with turkeys! Choose your friends wisely!

    Reply
  37. The part of this blog that resonates with me is that I believe that I have become one of those people that is a bit of a Mr Positive. I like the lighten the day with positive attitude. I do this because I know that in the past it has been all too easy for me to do the opposite.
    Keeping positive and happy is really useful, cracking jokes that make people groan or laugh (I often explain that a bad joke is a paradox because it is funny that it is not funny! I’m of course referring to all those witty puns that we do find funny really).
    I’ve discovered that being positive needs some balance. There are times when just marching in full of good cheer can be irritating to people who don’t feel the same way. It can make us a target for trouble. To that end, I’ll withdraw from folk in those moods, gently letting them know I’m around if they want to talk.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Reply
  38. I would add reading the Bible daily to the list. Meditating on God’s word daily really effects how you live and interact with others. My days go so much better when I read and pray in the morning.

    Reply
  39. Very easily incorporated suggestions that are great for people who aren’t already on track – or for those who are. I appreciate your optimism and passion to move the world forward towards a healthier outlook on themselves and life in general.

    Would you like to exchange links? Take a look at my blog!

    Reply
  40. I wish more people knew how to be happy- I started a blog on a similar subject. So many people are just stuck in a routine thats been ingrained in them from birth, and these people don’t realize that they don’t HAVE to do the things that are preventing them from being happy, like working 9-5, spending a lot of money, etc. There are so many ways out of the rut but for some reason nobody ever thinks of them.

    Reply
  41. Totally what I needed to read.. I’m going to try to apply this in my life.. Thanks

    Reply
  42. Great inspiration! Thank you Marcus!

    Reply
  43. This was great advice. I really enjoyed top number 6 because I used to give my friend advice about having to figure out your passion (because I found mine in reporting), but you made me realize that just accepting life’s experiences will lead people to where they need to be! Everything happens for a reason – I like to believe!

    Reply
  44. Great advice. Especially liked the bit about living passionately. If you live your whole life trying to find the thing you are most passionate about, you miss everything around you.

    Reply
  45. I love the idea of giving value to others – even through the internet – I plan to start implementing!

    Reply
  46. Thank-you for an interesting article, I found it very useful. I decided to write full time when I reached 50 this year, a lifelong passion that I was only able to indulge in when I had a busy and external work life. I have found that I am piling on the weight, so it was good to be reminded to be active as well.

    Reply
  47. Loved your article Marcus. Two things stood out for me.

    1. Stop trying to figure out what your passion is and live.

    For most of my life I have sat around wishing I knew what my passion was so that I could be happy. Over the past 3 or 4 months I’ve decided to truly live my life by intentionally setting out to find and do things that I enjoy. It feels good to “live”! and,

    2. Smile. In Dialectical Behavior Therapy one of the skills is “half smile”. Even when your at your lowest, the act of “half smiling” will make you feel a little bit better.

    I found your article through Stumble Upon, and I’m glad I did!

    Reply
  48. These are some top notch tips that anyone could follow. Unfortunately most people are so stuck in their own little world, trying to do something different even if it will improve their life is out of the question. Keep up the awesome blogging.

    Reply
  49. I was really inspired by this article (and i’m not just saying that because of the ‘Give specific feedback/compliments’ section). It really made me believe that I have the power to live healthily and happily like I’ve always wanted to. Thank you so much, and keep it up!

    Reply
  50. Trully inspiring… It is so easy to get caught up in a vicious circle of complaining and letting small things get to us, when in fact there is nothing more important than learning to appreciate the little things in life – the good ones! – that can make us happy (rather than just keep noticing the bad ones!). Thanks for this post :-)

    Reply
  51. Thanks for doing this man, very helpful article! “Stop Trying to Find Your Passion” and “Surround Yourself with Greatness” wow, the title talks by itself. Hope you have a great weekend, i´ll keep checking your site.

    Thanks for trying to make other lifes better!

    Reply
  52. Wow!…just what I needed…today I am meeting at my mom’s for dinner and we love to discuss points such as the ones you raised, things to improve ourselves.
    I was particularly struck by “we should mention (talk about) other people 12 times to every 1 mention of ourselves if we really want to give value and build relationships.” I have to ponder that one but I will start practicing it to see the effect.
    I have found my passion: photography!!…and my whole world is different…this after getting student loans to get a Masters Degree in Accounting…and now photography!!…wish I had known sooner…but maybe I was not living with passion?..lol.

    Thank you very much for your article…I will be checking out the other links as well.

    Raj
    YRaj.com

    Reply
  53. Stop Trying to Find Your Passion – great tip! So many people are obsessed with this idea to find their passion. It doesn’t work like this. Try to do many different things, be passionate about everything and that’s how you’ll eventually find your true passion – not by looking for it every single day and obsessing about it.

    Reply
  54. These all great tips. At times we feel that we are alone. Only the one who is the sufferer with problems and pains. Here in this world one has fight with their problems of own. Life is struggle and we can win when we know how to face the challenges.

    Reply
  55. especially like the finding passion part………

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  56. This blog is exactly what I was looking for. I’m a 21 year old female who suffers from depression and it’s hard to find peace of mind in this crazy world. I am going to use all of the information on here to make my life (and other’s as well) more enjoyable and pure. When I find myself being crushed by something this is the website I need to go to. So glad I found this, thank you for sharing your techniques and advice!

    Reply
    • I am in the middle of a carrier change and because I am approaching my 50’s it is very stressing about the choices I make I keep telling myself that I can’t afford to get it wrong and i am trying and focusing to find my passion. That part of the article really talked to me. What about just leaving to the fullest, surrounding with greatness and everything you mention. just live, in a positive way and everything will come alone…Thank you for those inspiring words.

      Reply
  57. Hey!!…….I am first timer reading a article on this website and I am very much glad that i found this..I am very much impressed by reading this article and i’ll try my best to attain these habits in my life….
    But I have one question regarding ‘6. Stop Trying to Find Your Passion”
    My question is I don’t know what is my passion…..Every day I use to study because i am preparing for Entrance exams for Masters of Technology……I do study because i have nothing else to do……I do it to have good job in future…That’s it…..I do not enjoy studying…..If i will not study i Spend my whole day sleeping, watching movies…and stuff like that….So am I doing the right thing….???

    Reply
  58. Thank you again – This is my new BFF ! So easy and quick. I love the mentor aspect of these habits. I am just returning to the work world after 7 years away, recovering from the lessons I learned, and so eager to start this part of my life. I am so lucky to have Sheila, and Tory, and Tricia as my 3 favorite greatness mentors. I also like the “for every time I mention myself, I will mention 12 others to every use of my name” I am going to work on that one! I agree also about that clutter issue – simple abundance. Thank you.

    Reply
  59. I love your post Markus

    I think we need to learn to stop and think about what prevents us from making a change in our lives. This post has done this for me…

    Thanks

    Giving is receiving

    Reply
  60. I read you post twiice so i could get it really right. So simple but o so true.
    So thank you again and again. I’m going to make the changes I need to make. Thankfully smiling more i allready do. So as thanks I send you a smile

    Reply
  61. Yeah, instead of trying to find your passion, do everything that you do passionately so you can find what you are really looking for.

    Reply
  62. Great article, Marcus!

    I’ve had similar epiphanies myself, but the tough part is hanging on to them through the distractions of life. I used to tell people that good health is not something to pencil into your schedule between meetings, if you can find the time. (Though now, with day planners being electronic, I need to update my saying). Good health habits need to be put into place and then the rest of your week needs to fall together around them.

    I recently just realised that I was being foolish in how i chose to interact with those around me. I was expecting support from my family in making a major change in my life. However, they are extremely traditional people who fear change. I realised that in order to find support and mentoring in this area i needed to find people who had gone through the same changes and hang out with them. Well, duh, right? But it’s funny how we often will stick with what is close in times of crisis when what we really need is to venture out farther.

    Reply
  63. Great post. #5 is the easiest for me because I smile all the time. I think #1 is something a lot of people need to work on. At some point it seems people lose their curiosity or maybe they never had it in the first place, either way it is sad. Asking questions is the easiest way to get to know someone. You want someone to like you ask questions and actively listen. : D

    Reply
  64. Thank you very much! This article is really helpful, and I’m reviewing your tips every morning for a fresh start. These are certainly good habits to develop. :D

    Reply
  65. I like 4th habit – Give Value to Others at Every Turn. I think this is very important part of life. We are social. If we want to be happy and satisfied, we have to start giving value to others.

    Reply
  66. All your points are valid but I especially like #6 Stop Trying to find your Passion. For 2 reasons. First every other guru says to find what you are passionate about then blog or create a website based on that. Second because not everyone is passionate. Some of us have personalities that do not get very excited or passionate about anything. That is not to say we cannot be focused, determined and dedicated to our particular efforts – just that we are not passionate about. Nonetheless we can still learn and grow a business, give value back to others and be happy and satisfied in the process.

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  67. Wow what a powerful list. All of the things you have mentioned I have personally used in my walk through life at some point or another. The point I love is about asking questions.This is really something that should be common sense but we allow it to fall into the background. The more we think we know, the less we ask, which is really backwards. Successful people ask better questions, that is a fact. If you never ask questions, you never get answers. And good questions usually lead to more questions. Which leads to more Knowledge! Questions start the wheel of learning and keep it turning. So many people are scared to put their ego away that they miss a lot of learning opportunities in life. I have always believed that with humility comes opportunity. So we can’t be afraid to be wrong or ask questions. Beautiful article, all of us could learn a lot by applying these ideas in daily life. I write on similar topics in my blog, I look forward to using this blog for inspiration!

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  68. This is really great!!! I am researching how people can make a change in the world and I found this blog!! it has great advice and information. I truly enjoyed this!!

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  69. This is a really great article – I thought when I saw the title it would be one of those typical empty “5 tips to..” ones but the content is top quality. I particularly like the specific feedback section, and viewing the world as a question.

    Well written

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  70. Great post. Happiness is something that one should know to cultivate from inside. People are so very busy in their work that forget to be happy now-a-days. These points list out here will surely remind anyone on how can one be happy.

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  71. Number 6 really resonates with me! We should all stop looking, and rather start living! Thank you for a motivating and inspirational post!

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  72. All great advice! I particularly like “ask first tell second”, and learning to give specific compliments to those close around me. I am sure all my relationships would benefit immensely, so I will definitely try to be more “giving” from now on.

    I have also learned over time that the best way to find your passion is to start DOING something rather than just sit down trying to figure it all out in my head. I haven’t truly found my passion yet but at least I am beginning to feel I am actually living and enjoy my days more and more.

    Thank you so much for all the advice on improving relationships, I have a strong feeling this will be decisive to my life from now on.

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  73. I loved your article. I believe this is touching a large section of society these days with the social and economic changes we are all going through.

    Two points that your list got me thinking about are:

    1- letting go of fear.
    2- blocking out negativity.

    Thank you for a great piece.

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  74. Hi Marcus,

    Fantastic article. Thank you. I loved the first two points. Looking at the world with a questioning mind is critical. It seems to activate a different part of the brain and brings back wonder and awe into life that doesn’t exist unless one approaches life with genuine curiosity.

    Giving feedback in a specific and genuine way is critical to happiness too. I have been practising this for the last 4 odd years since I read How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and I’m genuinely a lot happier for it. One thing that matters is to give a compliment only when it’s genuine. I find that being genuinely interested in others and giving them specific compliments really broadens my horizons and creates a much more spacious mindset.

    There is one more thing I’d add to the list and that’s living in the present moment with mindfulness. Living mindfully in each moment is a great antidote to our consumerist society that seems to make happiness conditional to achieving a goal in the future or acquisition of an object – both of which steal the present moment away from us.

    I’m all for planning … I’m not suggesting a hedonistic lifestyle. But I am suggesting that we make our happiness very conditional to achievement of goals … Which is self defeating.

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  75. Great post!

    I especially love point 6 – I’ve gotten really het up in the past about finding my passion! But now I try and live each day as it comes and as you say – live more passionately!

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  76. Wow!

    What amazing goodies there are in this article – definitely one of the best I have read in a while Marcus. Good, practical advice!

    I was particularly inspired by 1. Ask more questions…I’ve just recently started doing this and it is amazing how it makes people flourish in your company. It makes them feel special, worthy and that they matter.

    Also, 7. Stop trying to ‘find’ your passion. Yes! It’s about following your heart in every moment. If it feels good – you’re heading in the right direction.

    Thanks so much again!

    With love
    Jess

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  77. Interesting post so thanks for sharing.

    The one habit I would add would be meditation. I practice TM twice a day and it has made me a much happier and mellower person.

    I have also just made a note in my phone to smile every hour. I too, like you, am too serious a lot of the time and I think by creating a reminder to be a little silly every hour will help considerably.

    Lee Davy
    http://www.needyhelper.com

    Reply
  78. Nice post!

    I would say read books from people who inspire you. The books that are the most valuable to me are the ones written by people I would love to meet one day. Their words resonate with my soul, and I see them as mentors. Especially if you don’t have many people in your vicinity that you can look up to, just read books and get inspired that way. Soon enough things will fall into place.

    Reply

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