Separated from his wife, $180,000 in debt, and 170 pounds overweight—it was the last place this man expected to find happiness.
In July of 2011, I hit the lowest point in my life. I was 170 pounds overweight, I was at a job I hated, and I lived in a place that had me worried about my family’s safety.
One day that July, I was sitting on the couch crying as everything came crashing down on me at the same time. The straw that broke the camel’s back was my wife and I separating. Every day we fought because everything was a problem.
I sat there. The TV was on, but I wasn’t thinking about what I was watching. A commercial came on showing this happy family playing on the beach. They were laughing and seemed full of joy. I wondered why that couldn’t be our family?
Today we are truly happy, and it happened in ways that I would have never expected. I searched and searched for the answers to happiness, and found they were right under my nose. If you’re struggling, or you just want to live a happier life, I have four tips that can help you get there. This is what helped me.
1. Sleep more
At the end of the day, a lot of the reason we feel the way we can be attributed to not getting enough sleep. When you don’t have enough energy for the day, it affects how you feel—and how you feel affects your attitude.
Sleep is something we know we need, yet don’t get enough of consistently. How much sleep should you get? That’s specific to each of us, but I can tell you that you can almost always use more.
If you look at some successful people in our history, you’ll see they average around seven hours of sleep a night. Doctors have a lot to say about not getting enough sleep and all the health problems it leads to. This article makes you think.
If you’re feeling drained or a little down, try getting an extra hour of sleep every night. Turn off the prime-time TV shows and go to bed a little earlier. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day.
We can all benefit from moving more. At my heaviest I was 370 pounds. I woke up, and looked at myself in the mirror, and hated life. My happiness could be linked to my weight.
I started slowly by walking for 30 minutes a day. After I begun to lose a few pounds and felt better, I started running. Over the course of a year—between exercise and eating right—I was able to lose 170 pounds.
Running may not be your thing but find some physical activity that you can do to get your heart pumping. Start slow and if at all possible, start your day with exercise. When you do, you’ll have the energy you need all day. It’s an amazing and mind refreshing way to start your day.
The stats are staggering as to what exercise can do for your body and state of mind. They’re also staggering to the crisis we face with our health. This report is eye-opening from the President’s Council on Fitness. If exercise isn’t a part of your life, you should add it. You’ll see amazing results and it will lead to a happier life.
3. Do work you love
Finding or creating a job you love is hard. It’s also not one of those things you can change overnight. However, if you start working on it today, you can get closer.
As you’re reading this realize that today 2.5 billion people will also be online with you. If you’ve ever wanted to start a business, or help a current business, there’s never been a better place than the Internet. Every day people are experiencing real freedom by having online businesses.
In 2011, I started on the journey to create an online business. Now in 2014 I’m writing this post from my home in Maui, Hawaii, completely supported by my online business. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
The point here is that you spend 40 to 60 hours of your week working. One way or another, it will affect your life. If you’re not happy with your job, start the process today. Take the first step even if it’s a baby step.
4. Stop comparing
It’s natural to compare where you are, or what’s happening in your life, to what someone else is going through. If someone is experiencing success, we tend to want to compare where we’re at to where they are. Don’t do it!
Your journey is YOUR journey and shouldn’t be compared. Make changes at your pace. As long as you’re moving forward you’ll get there. If someone gets there before you—congratulate him, and then focus on your journey.
Getting caught up in the comparison game won’t help you. If you want to live a happy life, live your life. The article does an excellent job laying out how comparing yourself to other people takes away from your happiness. You can live a happier life if you decide you want to and take action to back up that decision.
I lost 170 pounds, left a job I hated to write and speak. I moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Maui, Hawaii. I wake up every day happy and excited for what the future holds. It took three years of hard struggle, but I can tell you after the storm there’s always a rainbow.
You have the power. Life is too short to live, and then die with regret. Do something about it. Start today. Work on these four areas and I guarantee you’ll be living a happier life.
Which one of these are you working on? Which one do you need to work on?