Why taking a job doing anything is a bad idea.

By David Joel Miller.

You need a job and are willing to do almost anything, should you?

No Job

No Job
Photo courtesy of Flickr ( Hopefoote, Ambassador of the Wow)

People in early recovery frequently are looking for a job.  When we ask them what kind of job that would like they often say “anything.”

When you’re short on money most people are willing to do just about any job in the short run.  But over the long haul many jobs doing anything burn people out and lead to unhappiness.

In your search for a job, before you take that job doing anything, here are some things you need to consider.  If you take a job that is a bad idea, you are unlikely to be successful and may not be on the job very long.

Here are some things to consider before you take that job doing “anything.”

Is it a job or a career?

Is this job you’re looking for going to lead to something else?  Something you would be willing to do the rest of your life?  When possible consider pursuing a career.  Ask yourself if there are possibilities for advancement?  Can you see yourself doing this week after week year after year?  People who have careers can see how what you’re doing today can lead to a better future.  People who only work a job, hope that they will make enough money so that they can enjoy what they do when they’re not working.

Will you like it?

Is that job you’re looking at something you will enjoy doing?  Or is this something that will be unpleasant and you’ll have to put up with in order to get that paycheck.  Will this job doing anything support or hinder your recovery. People who have happy lives derive a lot of pleasure out of what they do during the workday

Can you do it?

It’s a really serious mistake to take a job knowing you won’t be able to do the job when you get it.  Some jobs require are a high level of physical strength and you can hurt yourself trying to do something beyond your abilities.  To be successful on some jobs you will need skills or academic degrees.  It’s really embarrassing and bad for your resume when you end up getting fired from a job because you exaggerated your qualifications.

Will the hours kill the rest of your life?

Some people can do shift work, stay up all night and still have a life.  Other people find that the rest of their life, their family their friends, suffer as a result of the hours their job requires.  If this job involves working weekends, evenings or an odd work schedule, consider the impact it will have on your family and the rest of your life.

Will it make you sick?

Some jobs can be outright health hazards.  Think about the working conditions you will be exposed to.  Can you take the heat or humidity?  Will you be exposed to dangerous chemicals?  Do you have any medical conditions that would be aggravated by being out in the sun?  Think about whether this is a fast paced or stressful job and how that might affect your emotional health.

Can you stand the people you will have to work with?

Who you are going to be working with is almost as important as the work you’re going to be doing. Being with a group of people you like can help make a routine, boring job go better.  Many jobs involve teamwork and to do that you will need to fit in with a group.  It can be really stressful to work with a group of people you would not want to associate with outside of work

Is this job a stepping stone or end of the road?

It’s not unusual to start out at an entry-level job.  Ask yourself if this job you’re considering could lead to something else or will you be stuck doing a routine boring job the rest of your time with this company.  For some people if the pay is high enough they can be content to spend their entire careers on a routine job.  But if what you are doing and are being paid to begin with is not acceptable, and there’s no chance for advancement, you are likely to burn out quickly.

Would you want their reputation?

Companies consider your reputation when they are decided if they should hire you.  You should do the same.  Working for a company with a bad reputation can be a really trying experience.  You don’t want to work for a company that you would be embarrassed to tell your family and friends about.

Is there more than money?

Some jobs are strictly for the money.  Low paid jobs often come with little or no benefits.  When considering a job ask yourself does it include paid holidays, sick leave, or other benefits?  If you miss some work because you’re sick that paycheck may be less than the amount you need to live on.

The next time you have to do a job search spend some time thinking about exactly the kind of job you want and avoid the trap of taking the first job you find doing anything.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Happiness don’ts.

By David Joel Miller.

Don’t do these things if you want to be happy.

Falling down

When you fall get backup.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Some things add to your happiness, and others detract from it. While it may take some time to build up positive things in your life make sure you are not of reducing that happiness by any of these negative behaviors.

Learn from your mistakes, if you fall down, get back up. Try these tips for more happiness.

Don’t spend time thinking about the pain of the past.

The more time you spend thinking about the pain of the past, turning it over and over in your mind, the more impediments you create to be happy.  Make a strong effort to stop thinking about the past pain and focus instead on the opportunity’s in the present.  Learn the lessons from your life’s past events, but don’t continue to relive those events.

Don’t focus on what is missing.

Happiness comes from enjoying the things you have not focusing on the things that are missing.  Learn to be grateful for what you do have rather than focusing on the things that are absent.

Don’t avoid spending time alone.

Frantically seeking company rather than being willing to spend time alone will not increase your happiness.  Develop the skills of enjoying the time you have with yourself.  Happiness comes from achieving a balance between time spent with others and time spent alone.

Don’t stop growing.

Make your life a work in progress rather than a finished product.  Continuing to grow in life continues to enlarge your happiness.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Being hard on yourself or others is not a way to motivate someone to do better.  Learn to lighten up and accept that humans are fallible creatures.  People who can accept their mistakes have a much happier life.

Don’t forget why you’re doing things.

Some things we do because they’re important part because we choose to do them.  If you find you are just doing things out of habit, they are unlikely to be making you happy.

Don’t abuse your body.

Take good care of your body.  Pushing your body too hard results in an unhappy life. You only get one body in this life. Sometimes if your body gets damaged a good doctor can repair it, but a repaired vehicle is never as good as when it was new.

Don’t believe that things can make you happy.

Things come and go in your life.  Having nice things means you can enjoy them for a while.  But over the long-term things wear out and need to be fixed.  It’s not the things that will make you happy it is what you can do with them that leads to a happy life.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is a sure way to reduce your happiness.  There’ll always be people who have more than you.  It is also likely there will be people who have a lot less.  Constantly comparing ourselves to others interferes with your ability to enjoy who you are.

Don’t ruminate about what is wrong.

Dwelling on what’s wrong doesn’t result in fixing it.  Focus on what needs doing and what you can do.  No one hits a hundred per cent.  Recognize that to accomplish anything you must do a lot of things.  Not everything you try it will be perfect.  If you stay focused on the mistakes, you don’t leave room for doing the new things that could make you happy.

Don’t fear change.

Change is an inevitable part of life. Fearing and trying to avoid change keeps you stuck in the past. To maximize your happiness embrace change. Look at the process of change is your opportunity to experience new things. Fearing change keeps you stuck where you are.

Don’t blame others.

The matter what others may or may not have done, you are responsible for your happiness. If you are unhappy, begin by working on yourself. The easiest thing to change is your attitude, the way you view life. The second thing you can change is your actions. Don’t like where your life is? Begin by taking small steps and these was will add up to large changes.

Don’t lose your curiosity.

Curiosity keeps life fun and exciting. Little children can become happy over the littlest things. When you see each day, and everything in it has new life takes on more meaning. Practice using your childlike mind and seek each day to learn something new.

Don’t put things off until tomorrow.

Don’t delay; life is lived in today. Make today the happiest day possible. While you may plan for tomorrow everything you will do will be done today. Make sure you don’t wait to do anything until the opportunity has passed.

Don’t worry about things that are out of your control.

It’s easy to worry about things in other people’s houses and other places. Lots of people today are caught up in worrying about what’s going on in Washington DC or, in their states capital. What you are likely to discover is the things that happen in your house are for far more likely to affect your happiness than things in far-off places. Look for things over which you have control and put your focus there.

Don’t forget your family and friends.

Happy people develop positive support systems. Try to improve relationships with your family where possible. Invest time in your friendships. If your friendships don’t bring you positive results, consider investing some of today into creating new and better friendships. Having positive friends will make you happy

Don’t think that being alone means being lonely.

Lonely people find that they are lonely whether they are by themselves or in a crowd. Learn to be your best friend, enjoy your times of solitude. Being happy when you’re by yourself makes you even happier when you are with other positive people. People who were frantically looking for someone else to make them happy often end up disappointed. If you like you there will always be good company in your life.

 

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

 

Happiness Secrets.

By David Joel Miller.

Happy people know and practice these secrets.

Many happy faces

Happiness Secrets.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Happiness is not an accident. Being happy is not about luck. There are happy people in the humblest of situations and miserable people in mansions. Mostly this is about your attitude and developing the skills to keep your life in balance. Below is a list of happy life secrets gleaned from a variety of sources. You can have these as my gift to you. Pick through the list and see which happy life skills would benefit you and then adopt those principles today. Most of these are skills. To be effective you can’t just do it once. Being happy is a something you should be practicing every day.

Happy is a choice.

You can stay sad, angry or unhappy as long as you want. Being happy is less about what you have and what happens to you, and much more about how you decide you will react to the events of life.  Make a choice today that you plan to maximum your happiness.  When you look down you see the dirt.  When you look up you see the clouds and at night the stars.

You can be miserable if you chose.

Pain, that stuff comes and goes. Some people get way more than their share and others not so much, but the happy person learns that the pain is out of their control but the suffering is voluntary. You can make the worst of the situation or you can look for the gem stones that come mixed in the gravel of life.

Happy people study to become happiness experts.

An expert can see things other people miss. A finish carpenter will spot a flaw in construction as soon as they enter the room. Others will never notice that flaw. The happiness expert studies happiness, they can recognize it far off and they are practiced at scooping up and holding on to those little dose of happiness that run by each day.

Look for happiness every day and everywhere.

Happiness is a shy creature.  It is often hiding, mixed in with the activities of everyday life.  Make it your task to spot those fleeting glimpses of happiness.  Collect those happiness sightings the way a bird watcher collects records of having seen a rare bird.

This is a real life, some days are happier than others.

Some days are inherently happier than others.  When there are less happy days make sure to remind yourself that there will be more happy days to come.  Stay open to the possibility that tomorrow something good might happen to you.

Life isn’t always the way you want it. You chose your attitude.

Be careful to not get hung up on the things that you don’t have, or the things that don’t go the way you want them to.  There will be times in life when things don’t go your way.  You may not get to choose the events but you do get to choose the attitude you take towards them.

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

When you find that the things you are doing are making your life worse stop doing those things.  Most of us have a hard time letting go of things that are not adding to our happiness.  Bad habits, drugs and alcohol, gambling, don’t make you happy.  Don’t spend a lot of time on people who are negative and drag you down.  Dispose of the things in your life that are holding you back and treasurer the things that make you happy.

Divorce perfectionism.

Perfectionism it is the enemy of happiness.  Chasing being perfect is a great mirage.  Trying to be perfect leaves you unsatisfied with whenever and wherever you are.  Be kind and accept yourself just the way you are.  A focus on your flaws robs you of the joy of the things that you do well.

Go on a low stress diet. – Stress is about attitude.

Life can be stressful.  Both the good things and the bad things can make you feel stressed.  Learn to not stress yourself out over things.  Accept what is.  Resolve not to stress yourself out over things which are outside your control.

Keep your life in balance.

A happy life needs to stay in balance.  You need time for family, for friends, for work and most importantly for you.  Take care of your body, your mental health and your relationships.  You need some money for basic necessities but you also need to occasionally spend a little on yourself and enjoyment.

Laugh and learn every day.

To be happy you need to practice every day.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Learn to joke and have fun.  Learn something new every day.  Make life a great adventure not a drudgery.

Happy people take risks.

You need to take some chances, stick your neck out and see what might happen.  Sometimes to find happiness you have to run the risk of enduring some pain.  The turtle who keeps his head in the shell never gets anywhere.  You will never know the things you might be great at and that might bring you great joy until you have tried them at least once.

Tackle the hard stuff first.

As long as there’s something hard or unpleasant waiting for you it’s hard to enjoy your day.  Tackle that difficult project first thing the rest of the day gets easier.  Start your day by dealing with something difficult or unpleasant and you will enjoy everything after.

Let it go. Don’t hold onto the bad stuff, grudges and arguments.

Your negative emotions will poison you.  Anger, fear, or resentments can sicken your life.  Let go of all the things that you may be holding against someone else and you will lighten your load and reduce your baggage.

Share your happiness, there is plenty to go around. Encourage others.

The more you share happiness the more there is.  Smiling at others will make you feel happy.  No matter how much happiness you give away you will always have some left.  People who are stingy with their happiness find they run out quickly.  Be careful not to equate sharing happiness was spending money or doing work for other people.  You can use money to create things which make people happy but more money does not mean that you are able to buy more happiness.

Get honest with yourself.

You may be able to fool other people, but if you want to be happy stop fooling yourself.  Tell yourself lies and you will be in the most unhappy relationship possible.

Happy people can accept help.

Doing for others can make you feel happy.  Don’t cheat others out of the opportunities to feel happy by helping you.  Happiness is one of those things that the more you give it away the more you have.  There’s nothing wrong with allowing other people to help you.  Learn to accept help graciously with a thank you.

Love life.

To enlarge your happiness, develop a love of life and a joy of living.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

How to become more positive.

By David Joel Miller.

Want a more positive life, try these happiness tips.

Happy man

Happiness tip – be positive.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Positive people are a lot happier and more productive than people who see everything in a negative light.  Pessimistic people like to say they’re just being realistic. It is possible to be very positive and still see life in a realistic manner.  Being positive also has the side benefit of making you more fun to be around.  Take a look at some of these positivity tips and see if applying them to your life would be beneficial.

1. Be kind to yourself to become more positive.

Cruelty makes the world an awful place.  Being cruel to yourself is a very unhelpful practice.  Begin your efforts to be more positive by being kind to yourself.  As you began to treat yourself better it will become easier and easier to treat others well.  Kindness is a close cousin to positivity.

2. Use positive affirmations to multiply your positivity.

The things you say to yourself, about you, have a habit of coming true.  Adopt the practice of using positive affirmations.  Each day tell yourself something positive about you.  Find positive sayings that will motivate you to do your best.  Make sure these positive affirmations are things you really believe are possible.  Positive affirmations can do a lot to motivate you.

3. Giving yourself credit for things well done builds a more positive outlook.

Make sure that you recognize the things that you do well.  Believing in yourself and accepting credit where credit is due are parts of becoming more positive.  Are you one of those people who find it hard to accept a compliment?  There’s nothing wrong with accepting praise and compliments when they are deserved.  Becoming willing to recognize when you’ve done something well is one of the steps along the path to a more positive life.

4. Develop a positive support system.

The more you hang out with people, the more you begin to adopt their habits and attitudes.  To be one of the positive people make sure that you hang out with other positive people.  Work on enlarging your support system.  Surround yourself with people who will support you in being more positive.

5. Take responsiblity for your life.

There may be many things in your life over which you have no control.  Two things you do have control of are your attitude and your actions.  No one but you can truly make you happy.  While they may set situations in motion, situations better to your liking, you will choose whether to be happy or to be disappointed with what they have done for you.  The happy positive life is a matter of personal responsibility.

6.  Please yourself first for a more positive life.

No matter how hard you try there are some people you will never be able to please.  Work on doing the things that will please you.  If you don’t please yourself no amount of doing and pleasing others will make you happy.  Being positive enlarges your happiness.

7. Get clear on your yes’s and no’s.

Do the thing you want to do. Say no to the things you don’t wish to do.  Get clear on which is which.  Positive people stay positive by eliminating that negative and those no’s from their life.  Spend your time on the things you really want to accomplish for a more positive life.

8. Focus on the lesson you learned not what you did wrong.

Don’t make the mistake of focusing all your attention on your errors.  Part of the process of learning is making mistakes.  It is OK to be less than perfect.  What you do need to do is make sure that you learn from the mistakes as you make them.  Positive people believe that mistakes are them learning another way that won’t work.

9. Plan, not ruminate, to be more productive.

Don’t spend a lot of time going and over and over things that happened in the past.  Avoid a lot of time worrying about things that might happen in the future.  Keep your focus on the present moment and on planning for what you are going to do.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

9 Ways to make new friends.

By David Joel Miller.

Getting good at making new friends.

group of friends.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Many people find that it’s very hard for them to make friends.  Very few people tell me that they have too many friends.  Making friends is a skill and like any other skill you can learn or improve your ability to do this.  If you have ever thought that you would like to have more friends take a look at the list below of ways to improve your friend making skills.

1.  Friends are made around shared activities.

Want friends, you need to get out there. Most friends in life are the result of things that you do with others.  People make friends and schools from kindergarten all the way through graduate school.  Sometimes we make friends at work.  The who join a club or have a hobby often make friends as a result.  If you decide that you would like to have more friends than the first step is to get out there and be in places where you will meet people who might become friends.

2.  Introduce yourself if you want to make friends.

If you want to make friends don’t hold back waiting for others to approach you.  The fastest way to break the ice and create friendship opportunity’s is to be the one that puts your hand out and introduces yourself.  Remember there may be other people there who would like to find new friends also.  They’re waiting for you to be the one to make the first move.

3.  Asking people about themselves starts friendly conversations.

Most people’s favorite topic is themselves.  One really quick way to get a conversation started is to ask someone about themselves.  Try to avoid overly personal questions.  Ask simple and easy questions that might get the conversation rolling.  Good conversations develop and strengthen friendships.

4.  Give others sincere compliments.

Make it a point to give sincere compliments when you see someone or something that you like.  Avoid overly sugary and insincere sounding compliments.  Letting someone know that you like are appreciate what they have done is a great way to open up a conversation.  Don’t be stingy with sincere compliments.  Develop a reputation as someone who appreciates what others do for them.

5.  Hear them out to create friendships.

Make it a point to listen to what the other person is saying.  Make sure they’ve finished their statement before you interrupt and begin to comment.  People who are good communicators develop friendships.  The key to the art of communication is to understand what the other person is saying, not to force them to understand what you mean.

6.  Get clarification.  Don’t assume you know what they are talking about.

In any kind of conversation, it’s very important to be sure you accurately understanding what the other person is saying.  Ask for clarification.  Sometimes it helps to summarize what they are saying.  Pay special attention to the feelings behind the facts.  Knowing why someone feels what they feel will help you to understand them as a person.

7.  Ask potential friends about their opinion.

In the beginning of a relationship it is more important to ask other people about their opinion that it is to express yours.  Find out what this other person thinks about things.  This will help you decide if this is someone you want in your life or someone who you should avoid.

8.  Stay in contact to strengthen friendships.

When you meet someone you think is a potential friend don’t let it end with that first meeting.  Make an extra effort to get their phone number or other contact information.  Find a reason to make a second contact.  Look for other opportunities to do something together again.  It takes repeated contact to turn an acquaintance into a friend.

9.  Give as much as you take to maintain a friendship.

In the beginning of new friendships, it is important that they be reciprocal.  Make sure to avoid relationships with people who may be out to use you.  Be careful about pursuing friendships when you’re only desire is to get something from that other person.  The best friendships are ones were you would feel comfortable doing for them and expect that they would do the same for you.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Free happiness hacks.

By David Joel Miller.

Add to your happiness a little at a time.

Happy Life

Happy Life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Being happy doesn’t require a lot of money. It requires developing a few happiness skills. Happiness doesn’t come from accomplishing one grand goal.  You build happiness a little at a time each day.  Try adding a few of these happiness hacks to your life each day, and watch your total happiness grow. Which of these happiness skills should you be practicing.

Get adequate sleep.

People who fail to get enough sleep become irritable and grouchy.  Lack of sleep is a prime cause of mistakes.  People who get enough sleep are better able to handle life’s problems as they come along.  People who are chronically sleep deprived are at increased risk for depression and other mental health issues.  You will spend more time sleeping than you will expend on any other activity in your lifetime make sure you do a good job of sleeping.

Love what you do.

Second behind sleeping will be the amount of time that you will spend working.  All other activities will receive smaller amounts of your time.  If you enjoy what you do for a living it will go a long way toward making your life happy. Don’t expect those few other hours of your life to generate enough happiness to make up for working at a job that makes you miserable.  People who work a job they enjoy are doubly blessed.  They get to enjoy what they do while at work and they get to enjoy the things that the money they earn at work will provide for.

Become a happiness expert.

Happiness is one of those emotions that may be hard to spot if you haven’t made a habit out of recognizing it.  There’s a thing called the expert effect which says that it’s hard to recognize something if you don’t know what it is.  To have more happiness in your life, make it a project to study happiness so you will recognize it when it crosses your path.

Make lists of what you have, not what you are missing.

Many people have long lists of the things that they don’t have.  If you stay focused on the things that are missing in your life you create a life full of scarcity.  The happiest people are the people who spend the time to notice all the wonderful things they do have.  Make it a point to develop a gratitude list.  Give thanks for the wonderful things that you do have in your life no matter how small those things are.  People who are grateful for what they do have, find that they can be happy even in tough times.  Those who are focused on what they don’t have will find that they will never have enough things to make them happy.

For more happiness be yourself.

Happy people are fully themselves.  Learn to accept yourself the way you are.  Do not try to be someone else.  People who are genuine and authentic find it easy to be happy.  Those who are constantly trying to be someone are something other than themselves find the task impossibly discouraging.

Let others be who they are.

Happy people are able to accept others as they are.  If you’re constantly insisting that other people need to change for you to be happy you are creating your own unhappiness.  Accept other people as they are.  That does not mean that you need to let everybody into your life or associate with them.  Just accept people for who and what they are and stop upsetting yourself when they don’t meet your expectations.

Plan on having a good day.

If you tell yourself that you will have a bad day you will create that bad day.  Tell yourself that you plan to have a good day and no matter what happens you are likely to recognize those small pleasant events.

Stop comparing up.

Stop comparing yourself to other people.  There will always be someone richer, more powerful, or smarter.  Be OK with who and what you are.  Let other people be who they are.  You should not compare yourself in your gardening outfit was someone dressed to attend a fancy event.

Embrace your flaws, stop trying to be perfect.

You are a human being.  You are required to do things, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.  Nowhere in the rule book on being human does it say that anyone is expected to be perfect.

Stay in the present.

Avoid focusing on the past, it is gone.  People who stay stuck in the past are unable to live in the present.  The more you ruminate about the past, what shouldn’t have happened, the more depressed you become.  People who are constantly thinking about the future, what might happen, become highly anxious and unable to be happy in present.  People who are successful and living in the present are the happiest people.

Do more of what’s working.

Unhappiness comes from not learning from your mistakes.  Happiness is a result of discovering those things in your life that are working and doing more of them.  Constantly be on the lookout for those things that you are doing that are creating positive results.

Find your passion.

In your work, your relationships, their hobbies and all other activities pursue your passions.  People who devote themselves to the things that they feel passionate about derive great pleasure from doing.  Whenever it is that turns you on, as long as it does not harm others, do more of it.

Allow others to be wrong.

Happy people are content to allow other people to be wrong on occasion.  Keep open the possibility that there are times you will believe something which later turns out to be incorrect.  Let other people be wrong also.  Don’t feel the need to correct others.

Pick wise goals.

Before you give a lot of time and effort to pursuing a goal make sure that goal is worthwhile.  Turns out that happiness is more about achieving good goals than about accomplishing everything.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.  When your goals are good and wise, any progress you make towards them will make you happy.

Keep your life in balance.

A happy life is a life that is in balance in all areas.  No one part of your life should take over.  Keep your work, your family, your self-care, and all other parts of your life in their proper balance and you make it easier to have a happy life.  In other posts we will talk more about the various parts of your life and how to keep those all in balance.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books