The Mindset Shifts You Must Make If You Want To Be Happy
There’s a massive difference between people who are happy and people who aren’t.
It’s not money, fame, or other things that many people assume they need to live a happy life. It’s none of that. Instead, it’s the ability to adopt a positive mindset and let go of everything you cannot change.
Why? Because when you spend less time worrying about everything outside of your control, you can focus all of your energy solely on the things that are. Like the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius once said:
“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Without even knowing you, I can tell that you want to live a genuinely happy life. Deep down, you know there’s room for improvement. But for one reason or another, you don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to your current state of unhappiness. Because if negative mindsets prevent you from being happy, eliminating them from your mind will enable your life to change for the better.
Learn How To Deal With Criticism.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” — Dale Carnegie
If you’re anything like my past self, you frequently let other people’s opinions control your emotions. A few seconds of speech from another person has the potential to ruin an entire day.
Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that you cannot control what other people think, do or say. However, you can always control your mindset and how you respond to criticism or judgment from other people.
I’ll give you an example. I used to spend a lot of time caring about what people thought of me. Naturally, I was willing to do whatever it took to make people happy, so they wouldn’t judge me in a negative light.
But I’ve recently learned that strategy is pointless and will get you nowhere in life. Because when you try to please everyone by having neutral opinions, your personality will be so dull that it won’t appeal to anyone you find interesting.
So instead of worrying about other people’s opinions, I accept that some people inevitably won’t like me, so I can focus all of my time and energy on the people who do. As a result of making this mindset shift, I’ve become much happier over the past few months.
You can do the same. Recognize that some people will dislike you. You can’t change that, so you might as well embrace it. Then, spend most of your time with people that inspire you to become a better person, so you can live the life you deserve. Epictetus said it best:
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
Regardless Of The Outcome, Embrace It.
There are some things in life that you cannot control. But when you let go of everything that you can’t change, it’s much easier to focus solely on what you can.
This way of thinking changed my life forever. The Stoics called it Amor Fati (a love of fate). After all, it’s important to remember that you cannot choose your circumstances, only your response to them. Like the Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl once said:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
When my flight was delayed by 12 hours during a layover in Singapore, I didn’t complain. Instead, I used the extra time at the airport to get some work done, so I would have a lot more time to spend with my family once I arrived home.
Here are several ways that you can embrace the concept of Amor Fati:
- If you’re stuck in traffic during your commute, use the extra time to listen to an audiobook and learn something new.
- If you lost your job, retrain in another field, move to a new city, or anything else that you may have previously been hesitant to do.
- If you have to quarantine for several weeks, try and learn new skills, languages, or anything else that can help you become a better person.
You get the idea. Whenever something doesn’t go your way, don’t complain or wish for your circumstances to be different. Instead, accept the situation, and do your best to make the most of it. Marcus Aurelius said it best:
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
I love that quote. Although you cannot control external circumstances, you can always choose your mindset and how you respond to any situation.
So each day, focus on what you can do to improve your mindset and create the life you desire. Because when you take steps to improve your mindset each day, the power of compound interest will produce incredible results over time.