07 Apr Keep Smiling: How to Improve Your Life in 3 Simple Steps
There’s no right answer to the question: “How do I improve my life?” The tomes of self-help books on this subject are a testament to this, but what most people forget is that when it comes to your life, you are your own best resource. Below are three basic steps that, when properly implemented, can help you improve your life, keep smiling, and get things going that even you never thought you could do.
1 – Break Your Habits
Take a second to rate how happy you are on a scale of one to 10. If you said “10” then move on to step two. Otherwise, keep reading. Bad habits are one of the most insidious smile suckers that exist. Sure, you get a very immediate pleasure from eating those cheese and crackers at midnight, but is it healthy? Probably not.
“Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health – both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy.” -James Clear
Even if you’re aware of each of your bad habits, fixing them is another story entirely. However, entrepreneur James Clear has shed some insight into how to actually break your bad habits and keep smiling. Breaking bad habits requires effort, determination, and above all, self-love. If you want to exit the masochistic cycle that is living with bad habits, you first have to admit you love yourself. And when you do break your bad habits, you can focus on loving yourself even more! This brings us to step two.
2 – Explore New Paths to Keep Smiling
After you’ve broken your bad habits, you’re sure to have a surplus of energy. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to use this energy.
Don’t use your energy to form new routines. Instead, one of the best habits you can form is to try something new every day.
There’s no denying that there’s comfort in routines. In a world where very little can be controlled, routines are the warm bed you come home to after a long day at work. However, the reality is that maintaining needless routines is the equivalent of walking into a job interview with your spit-covered baby blanket. It’s just not cute. While not all routines should be thrown out the window – psychologically, routines can be incredibly beneficial – they need to be routinely (pun not intended) pruned. Replace the time you spend getting your afternoon espresso with walking down a street you’ve never explored. Instead of going to the same salad place every day, try something new once a week! It doesn’t have to be drastic, but it does have to be something. This brings us to our next point:
3 – Trust Strangers
You probably grew up listening to your mom sound like a broken record: “Don’t ever trust a stranger.” Well, what if we told you your mom was wrong? While trusting the advice you receive from every stranger would be ludicrous, ignoring every stranger’s advice would be equally ridiculous. Next time you hear a stranger begin a sentence with “Maybe you should try…,” actually do it! Having both an open and an analytic mind is completely doable; all it takes is a little practice.
The takeaway from all of this isn’t a simple fix – it’s up to your interpretation. However, if you think you could be happier, maybe this blog can be the first “stranger” you choose to trust. The best decision you can make is to take it slow. Next week, choose to break one bad habit, do something new, or trust a stranger. They just might make you smile. To learn more about how to keep smiling, make sure to check out Darryl Davis‘ latest book, How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog!