What Brings You Happiness

What Brings You Happiness

I hate to go right for the main point right out of the gate here but I’m going to go for it anyway.  To heck with people who won’t like me for spilling the beans right away, I just can’t help it.  And guess what, I don’t care if you don’t like me for getting it right on our there so here it is:


Really it all boils down to you.  You are the one thing that’s going to bring you happiness.  Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at a few things that YOU can do to bring you happiness.

The Golden Rule

Remember what your mom used to say, do unto others as you would have others do unto you?  That’s right, the golden rule.  Also often heard as treat others as you would like to be treated.  And honestly this really goes a long way to not only making you happy but also adding to others happiness as well.  In the general scheme of things this is just good advice anyway.  If you treat others as you want to be treated it simply feels good.  It’s the right thing to do and we all know it, we just don’t all do it all the time.  So if you practice the rule of doing this all the time it becomes a way of living and it comes from a good place inside yourself, and that’s where we always want to be.

Focus On The Important Stuff

Pay attention to what brings you happiness and concentrate on that as much as possible.  You know what’s enlightening sometimes?  Taking the 80/20 rule and applying it to your life across the board.  Take a cross section of your life, work, spouse, kids, health, hobbies, friends, parents, etc., and apply the 80/20 rule.  In almost all situations you will be able to quickly identify (especially if you are being honest with yourself) what is the 20% that brings you 80% of your happiness.  Once you identify these things make sure you pay attention to them and give of your time to them.  Try to minimize (or quit altogether whenever possible) the 80% that doesn’t do much for you.  This is a sobering exercise many times but it’s also very enlightening.  Once you do it you really get a full grasp of the massive amount of time that is used on trivial crap that doesn’t mean much in the long run.  Time is limited, use it wisely.

Take Care Of Yourself

This really falls into two categories, physical and mental.  Love yourself enough to want to take care of YOU, both mentally and physically.  I am a firm believe that everything is better in life when you are in good health and conversely, everything is shittier in life when you are in crappy health.  All I have to do is say the word “depression” and that will speak volumes.  Its true physically too.  When you’re body is in reasonable working order it makes so many other things in your life a lot better.  I firmly believe that when you have your health, you have got the most important thing you need.  Don’t skimp on taking care of yourself physically and mentally.  I’m not talking about getting weekly massages (unless you can afford the time and money because then you should totally do it) and having your car detailed monthly and having a shoe shiner come over to your house and…….you get my point.  I am talking about ensuring you create the time needed to keep yourself in a physical and mental good place on a consistent basis.  Work out, eat fairly well, create social time to be with your spouse, friends, and family, and keep a good frame of mind.  There’s too much help out there these days to suffer in silence.  Make taking care of YOU a priority in your life.

Forgive Yourself

We are all our own biggest critics.  We beat ourselves up over and over again for the mistakes we make.  I personally forgave myself last year for something I’d been carrying around for 5 + years.  The funny thing was it wasn’t like I woke up one day and said “Okay, I’m gonna let myself off the hook for what I’ve beating myself up over for years” and it was done.  I’d spent much time ruminating over it off and on for a long time.  I anguished over it.  I blamed others for it.  I had to work through it and somewhere along the line last year something clicked in my head I finally realized I did the best that I could AT THAT TIME and in that situation that led me to get angry at myself.  And I had gotten tired of letting the anger at myself bubble up at various times at both myself and at times it would come out on others.  It felt like I was carrying around a big load of crap that I wanted to get rid of.  I even had a visual image of lugging around a huge Santa gift sack full of lumps of black coal.  And I thought to myself why don’t you freaking lose the big bag of resentment and anger?  That only person you are hurting with it is yourself.  So I finally did.  And I have to tell you that it was amazing.  I let all that shit go.  So my advice to you is this:  If you have things that you still beat yourself up for, let it go.  Forgive yourself and move on.  It’s time.

Keep Good Company

The more negatively we are around the more it zaps our happiness.  Have you ever heard the term energy vampire?  In case you haven’t it’s basically someone who seems to suck the good vibes out of a situation or relationship.  They are not fun to be around.  Actually, they are the opposite of fun.  Everything is an issue or challenge or it’s too hard or it’s someone’s fault or whatever.  They play the blame game like no one else and are really good at robbing others of good feelings.  Stay away from them.

Conversely the more positive, upbeat and supportive people you can be around the better.  This includes everyone from your spouse to your boss to your friends to your family.  Supportive and encouraging people can help add to your happiness.  They inspire, promote, and encourage you.  They are there when you need them and are supportive of your happiness and endeavors.  They want good things for you.  Make sure you keep plenty of them around.

Take a Look Around

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

One of my favorite lines from a fantastic movie.  Ferris grabbed life by the horns and just lived it and he was only 18.  We get caught up in the fast and furious pace of life and sometime it feels like every minute is dedicated to something mission critical.  In reality it’s not but it sure can feel that way sometimes.  It does your soul some good when you slow down and take a look around.  Simply observe sometimes.  I am lucky in that I sit in an office at work with windows and a great view.  Every once in a while when I need a break I will get up from my chair, quit staring at my computer screen and go stand and look out the window and simply watch for 10 minutes.  It slows me down and let’s me appreciate things like how green the trees are, people watch the folks power walking on their lunches, watch a squirrel chase another squirrel, things like that.  It’s nice to stop and breath and take a look around.  Especially at something that isn’t a screen.

Happiness Is You

Bottom line is you control the amount of happiness in your life.  It’s up to you.  So remember that you are worth it, take care of yourself, give yourself a break, surround yourself with positive people who want the best for you, and go out there and get it.

Thanks for stopping by, share away!

All my best,

Mat A.

Mat A.


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  1. Yes! I’m not a man, but I know them. Besides, I’m pretty sure you were talking to me too! So much of our time is spent thinking about others that we forget that it’s ok to think about ourselves sometimes. Something I thought about as I was reading the Golden Rule section, isn’t it true we should also treat ourselves the way we want others to treat us? Thanks for the food for thought!

    1. Hi Angie,

      Thank you for the comments, great to hear from you.  I totally agree with treating ourselves the way we want to be treated!!  So many of us simply don’t take the time to take care of ourselves, aren’t we worth it??  Cheers!!

  2. i think this question isn’t really asked enough which is weird considering it is really that only thing that ultimately matters. this article gave me loads of useful tips and advice for becoming happier today rather than having to wait for something else that could take years to obtain.

    thanks for posting

    1. Hi Chris,

      Glad you enjoyed the article, I appreciate you taking the time to read it and share your thoughts.  I think that sometimes we have to break things down to the simplest components and when we do, it’s not really that hard.  We just are good at making things harder.  CheerS!!

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