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Be Happy AND Get Happier

The following post is from Jeff of My Super-Charged Life:


I have a new mantra.  It is, “Be happy and get happier”. It encapsulates the way I want to live my life.  I repeat it often to help keep me on track.  So far, it is really working and today I thought I’d share my thoughts about it, hoping it will help you too.

Let me unpack what it means so you’ll have the full picture.

You Start with Being Happy

The “be happy” part of my mantra is there to remind you (and me) to enjoy the present.  It is easy to get so focused on the future and what you are working towards, that you forget to fully appreciate where you are right now.

A great life begins with a healthy portion of gratitude.  Be thankful for what you’ve already accomplished and all your strengths.  Take time to acknowledge all the good things in your life.  Counting your blessings will make you happier.

Even in the hard times, there are things to be grateful for. You can appreciate that the sun is shining, that you have a clear mind, that you have people that love you and so on.  Whatever the situation, there are still some things in your life you can appreciate and be thankful for.

It is important that you are intentional about being happy.  Happiness isn’t something that you either are or aren’t.  It is a state of mind that you cultivate.

You create your happiness by embracing the right thoughts and attitudes and I believe it all begins with being deeply aware of what you already have.

Starting from this place of contentment will help foster a positive attitude and keep you joyful.  These create a foundation that will benefit you as you move forward.

How I Apply this to Be Happy

When I’m feeling down or discontent, I simply repeat my mantra to myself, “Be happy and get happier.”  I start by emphasizing the “Be happy” portion.

I then either list out loud or on paper all the things I have to be thankful for in the present situation.  This is a crucial part of the process.

For example, if I’m feeling discontent with my job, I start recounting all that’s good about it like the health insurance, the people I work with, my 401k and pension, and the enjoyable projects I get to do.  I also remind myself of how it fits into my long-term plan.

I add as many things as I can to this list and then go over it several times.  In other words, I deliberately flood my mind with all the reasons I have to be happy about my job and it helps to pull me out of the funk.  You can use the same technique with a wide-range of situations.

Once You Are Happy then You Can Get Happier

As we’ve covered, it is imperative that you start by cultivating a strong sense of happiness in the present.  You can’t skip over the first step.  It gives you the basis and frame of mind you need to successfully create more happiness.

Remember, the mantra is “Be happy AND get happier.”  There is a conjunction in there.  I have capitalized it today to emphasize that the best life comes from doing both of these things simultaneously.  Start right and you won’t burn out and get disappointed.

Okay, we’ve talked about how to be happy so, now let’s look at how to get happier.

There are two ways that you can get happier:

1. Incrementally improve your current situation.

2. Do things that make you happy with more frequency.

    Incrementally improving your situation means you consistently look for small ways to get more from life.  This could be by adopting new behaviors, eliminating bad habits, negotiating better terms, seeking new relationships, etc.

    You don’t have to make huge changes all at once.

    You just consistently and constantly look for small ways to tweak your life so you’ll be a little happier with the way things are.

    In other words, you apply the principles of continuous improvement to your life.  Over time, these little adjustments add up and significantly contribute to your overall sense of well-being.

    You can also increase the frequency at which you do the things you enjoy the most. If you really get a lot of happiness from going to the beach, then start looking for ways to get to the beach more often.  Instead of only going once a month, strive to make it twice next month.

    Of course, in order to do more of what makes you happy, you have to know what makes you happy.  I’d suggest you start by making a list and/or creating a journal of what makes you happy.  This will help you to plainly identify what you want more of in your life.

    Use the Mantra to Enjoy Your Life More Fully

    You’ll only be successful at this if you plan in advance and are very intentional about it.  This is where the mantra comes in.  It reminds you frequently that you want to “Be happy and get happier.”  It keeps you focused on the right mindset.

    I’d encourage you to start small.  You can make a big difference in your overall happiness by making small adjustments.  You usually don’t need to quit your job, sell all you own and move to a foreign country to get happier.  This kind of thinking just creates a stalemate in your life that traps you.  Instead, concentrate on the smallest things you think will contribute to your happiness and do those first.

    What do you think of my new mantra?  Do you think it could help you to enjoy your life more fully?

    Jeff Nickles writes My Super-Charged Life to help people find success and meaning in their life. He has spent many hours researching these topics and loves making it easy for others to use the wisdom he discovers. Jeff is a corporate IT Director, but also has experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, training instructor, and military officer.