Happiness: It’s a simple word that we all desire. And it's something I was flush with just last week, despite a total travel nightmare.
Related: 3 Strategies for Hacking Happiness
I'm thinking of my experience on one of the worst travel days of my life. A trip that should have consumed four hours and two quick flights turned into 24 hours and four flights. The reason was major storms, which caused delays, flight cancellations and rerouting. It was a complete nightmare, all right. But I was . . . happy.
In fact, I was so visibly happy that a complete stranger asked me, “Why the f**k are you so happy right now?” as we both waited in line for overpriced and unhealthy food at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
He nailed it. My inner happiness was beaming out of me, and not even 24 hours of straight airport madness could stop it. I was returning home from visiting someone who is currently responsible for making me ridiculously happy. And one thing was clear after I looked around: There were a lot of miserable and pissed-off people in that airport.
Suddenly, I was inspired. I grabbed my delicious (not!) airport food, made a mad dash for the only available table I could see, busted out my laptop and started to write. That's how I came to lay out the following eight keys to finding your inner happiness -- something I think everyone, entrepreneurs or not, can pull value from. After all, isn’t being happy the ultimate goal for everyone?
1. Envision the very best.
If you want something in life, the first step is to envision it. You will never achieve a goal that you can’t see yourself reaching. It doesn’t matter what you are going after in life: a career change, personal relationship, business goal or materialistic object. You have to first have the courage to see those goals happening and believe in yourself. A lot of people don’t do this because they don’t want to set themselves up for disappointment.
2. Understand that there is no such thing as perfection.
None of us live in a perfect world. If you think that striving for perfection, in your personal or professional life, will lead to happiness, you will be running in circles and eventually become disappointed. Individuals have flaws (which are sometimes the quirks we fall in love with), and business is filled with ups and downs. So, seek out greatness, not perfection -- there is a big difference.
3. Learn to listen to your gut and heart.
We have to make difficult decisions on a daily basis, both in our personal lives and in business. You have to learn to listen to your gut and heart. While opinions and suggestions from friends and family may be made with good intentions, you, not them, know deep down what’s going to make you happy. In the end, it’s your decisions, not anyone else’s, that will lead you to happiness.
4. Find your purpose.
It’s much easier to discover your inner happiness when you get to do something every day that you love. It doesn’t always have to be for monetary reasons -- many people are happy because they are part of a bigger picture or because they get to impact the lives of other people in a positive manner.
5. Surround yourself with other happy people.
Relationships in our personal and professional lives fail when there is a toxic individual in the equation. So, put yourself together with someone that makes you smile in your personal life, and build your business with people that are also happy individuals. Joy and happiness is contagious, but so is toxicity, so be wise when choosing whom you surround yourself with.
6. Don’t point the blame at anyone else.
It’s easy to blame someone else if you aren’t happy, but you control 100 percent of your journey. If you aren’t happy, it’s entirely on your shoulders to make the necessary changes. You will find inner happiness much sooner, once you realize this and take control.
7. Make time for the things and people you love.
Time is our most valuable asset, and none of us can buy more of it. What we can do, though, is make sure that we make time for the things and people we love. Set aside time for your hobbies and personal escapes that bring you joy, and make time for those people in your life that you hold close to your heart. You will find your inner happiness after realizing that your time is more valuable than any materialistic possession or amount of wealth.
8. Realize that you are indefinable.
There is only one person with the ability to determine what you can do and who you can become -- and that person is you. The only way other people can define you is if you let them. If something out there is going to make you happy, go for it. There is nothing stopping you. We all get to define our own existence. So, take charge and become the person you want to be. If you do this, I promise that your inner happiness will be "beaming," just like mine.