Wednesday, June 15, 2011

People Always ask me..."What makes you so happy?"

Searching for a new job can be tough, I understand!  It’s even worse if you’re out of work and have been out of work for a while, I’m sure!  No matter what though, my advice to you is to do things to help keep you in your “happy place”.   As a generally upbeat person, I’ve realized that it naturally does two things.  One, it draws other positive and upbeat people to you.  Two, it annoys the heck out of negative people (which I find amusing on a personal level).
Here are a few things you can do to increase your happiness (and improve your job search as well):
1.       Find out what it is that makes you happy.  We’re all unique and have different “happiness sources”.  Revel in your uniqueness, and be the master of this mission.  Figure out what it takes for you to be happy NOW…not down the road, or when you make more money or get that promotion or find a job, NOW!
2.       Make a DECISION TO BE HAPPY.  If you’ve figured out some things that make you happy, incorporate them into your daily life EVERY chance you get.  HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. 
3.       Surround yourself with happy people.  This is a REQUIREMENT for my happiness.  Life’s too short to hang out with people who are downers.  Don’t hang around them, and don’t be one!  Find people with similar interests and make connections.  Happy people are also more likely to help you in your job search if you haven’t realized that yet. 
4.       Do something nice for yourself every day. Take a walk after work, take a long bath, spend a few extra minutes working on your appearance, take a group fitness class, read a book…. the options here are endless.  As you do these, you will subconsciously be putting yourself in a better mood.
5.       Find humor in situations that cause you stress.  People are strange, situations are awkward, and we have to deal with both on a pretty regular basis.  When something causes you stress, like traffic or meetings or children or spouses, FIND THE FUNNY and realize we’re all in this together. It’s tough to laugh and frown at the same time…
6.       Get connected!  Science has proven that people who interact with others more are happier, live longer and tend to be healthier.  Join a club, find a church, check out your local sports league, etc… Meet people, get to know them and appreciate them.  In addition to making someone else’s day brighter, you’re also automatically increasing your happiness (sneaky, right? But it works!)
7.       Maintain your health.  Eat the green vegetables instead of that drive thru food, exercise a little (or a lot if that’s one of your “happy sources”) every day, get outside and enjoy yourself some of this beautiful, crazy world!  Your health is invaluable…  Hold on to it!
8.       Lastly, understand you deserve to be happy.  No matter what, you deserve to be happy.  No one else can do this for you.  Your happiness is 100% in your control, and you can choose to be happy right now as you are reading this….and again in 10 minutes if you forget….and again if you forget after that.  You deserve this!

People ask me all the time “What makes you so happy and upbeat?”.  Honestly, it kind of comes as a shocker still.  The truth is I had some serious personal setbacks in my twenties, and I have had my share of bad times.  Some of these tough times really hit me hard and I had a tough time seeing reasons to be happy.  But one thing I will always remember my Dad telling me….”Even if you don’t feel happy, act like you think a happy person would act.” I tried it out, and over time I became a different person.  Now it’s become second nature.  If I wake up in a bad mood, I realize (from previous experience) that I can wallow in it or change it. 
My friend Nina sometimes says, “Bless it or Block it”.  I think it’s a reference to external situations and people, but the truth is it can be used for our own warped sense of reality sometimes.  I can bless or block my own negative feelings, and instead choose to be positive as I go through my day.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR WORK, make the choice to be happy, and incorporate it into your job search.  My bet is if you increase your happiness and positive energy by even a small percentage, your return on investment will be amazing!
Let me know how it works for you, and make today a great day!

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