Want to live happy? Practice being grateful all the time. And simplify. Simplify your space, simplify what you have to get done in a day, and simplify your finances.
When I started regularly practicing gratitude for real and began to simplify my life. I found room in my heart and my mind to experience my life.
This is an ongoing process, and I realized that although I was not perfect, every bit counts and results in true opportunities for happiness.
Since I have started to do away with my Inner Jones I noticed that if I focus on what I have already in my life and practice gratitude with respect to those haves rather than what I am going to get, or what I am striving for, my ability to be happy improves.
When I am grateful I simply experience the feeling of being happy way more often.
The more I simplify my life, bit by bit, I have been able to experience significantly less stress which has, in turn, allowed me to experience my life in a more present and enjoyable way.
In order for me to live happy, I had to clear out some of the stress and clutter of my thoughts, my daily to dos, and my monthly payments.
Rule number one about simplification of your life relates to your financial success and financial security. It is is DO NOT USE CONSUMER CREDIT EVER.
If you DO NOT USE CONSUMER CREDIT EVER you will be well on your way living happy. What you can also do, however, which will have huge impact is simplify your life bit by bit and keep it simple.
An example? Well, for almost 3 years, after I purchased and built my law office, I woke up virtually everyday with my stomach turning somersaults. I was stressed to the max. Every morning I would be totally stressed about what my bank account was going to say because many days it was overdrawn. It was overdrawn because I had, in my quest, for success over-financed my law office. In essence, I was living on a continuous hamster wheel of financial terror. I am not kidding. It has really sucked.
Ultimately, I took tiny steps every day or two to make changes in my law practice. We cut expenses so much that if an expense was not required to run the business (ie. Generate income directly) we did not incur it. The only expense we continued with other than staff was our advertising. We knew advertising was necessary because this made sure that business kept coming through the door.
Although these cuts to our expenses only shaved off what seemed like miniscule amounts of funds, it amounted to a lot.
I also stopped writing cheques of any significant amount almost in their entirety and switched to doing bank drafts and money orders. This way I would ensure that all payments would go through my bank account and that I would not wake up each and every day terrified to look at my bank balance. If I did not have the money in my account, the money order could not get written.
Did this mean that people had to wait for payment? Yes! Did this mean they were sometimes angry about that? Yes! Did I continue to be over-leveraged? Yes! Did I continue to worry about money? Yes! Was it a hassle to go to the bank to certify cheques? Yes!
Was it worth it? Yes!
I have been able to reduce the amount of anxiety I felt by changing the way I ran my business as to payables. I also totally analyzed each and every expense prior to incurring it. If it was not necessary, it did not happen.
What I noticed was that not only did I stop waking up in fits of anxiety, I also had more room in my heart and my mind for experiencing my life. I could start to live happy again. Although, as I write this, I am not out of the woods yet in terms of the financial nightmare I created for myself, my experience of it is totally different.
The stress I experienced in my mind and body has reduced significantly.
This is what I now see and notice: Last evening I felt significant pleasure as I read to my daughter. As I was walking to work this morning, I saw the sunshine as it was peaking through the clouds and flashing brilliant rays of light. The other evening I heard the beautiful sounds of rain drops as they hit the leaves of the bamboo outside our window. This afternoon I was totally distracted for a few moments by the beautiful view from my office window.
I am remembering the beauty that my experience of my life has to offer and to know that it is possible to live happy.
In my pursuit of success I created a major financial burden. In my pursuit to live happy, I have taken large and small steps to reduce this financial burden. The result is that as I have reduced pieces of this burden, I have had bursts of beauty and being steal back into my life.
Written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional