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Tips for Living a Happier Life

Updated on October 9, 2016

Being Happy is a Choice, and You Get to Make that Choice

Conventional Thinking vs. Thinking from Your Heart

Conventional thinking is very different from wisdom that comes from the heart. Throughout this hub, I will touch on popular misconceptions perpetuated by conventional thinking that can be affecting your self-esteem, your peace of mind, and your happiness. We are all capable of our own thoughts, our own beliefs, and our own opinions.

Don't let popular misconceptions bring you down - think from your heart and you can't lose.

The Elusiveness of Self-Esteem

Have you ever noticed how elusive the concept of self-esteem is? One minute you have it, the next moment you don't. Self-esteem comes and goes and tends to depend on what you are doing, who you are with and/or where you are at the moment. When you do something well, you feel good about yourself - when you fail at something, you feel negative and beat yourself up.

Many of us allow other peoples' thoughts, beliefs and opinions to define us. We base our self-worth on the approval of others. We let other people make us feel insecure. Self-esteem shouldn't be based off what others think about you, but rather what you think about yourself. This is true self-esteem.

Self-esteem from the thought system is a moment to moment state of mind. Permanent self esteem comes from the heart, not the mind.

Hey! You're Awesome, So Smile!


There Are No Mistakes in Life - Only Opportunities

One popular misconception that can be interfering with your happiness is the notion that mistakes are bad. Mistakes are not bad, nor do they make you a failure. Mistakes are simply learning opportunities that help us grow.

Anyone who is telling you that you are a failure because you have mad a mistake is not someone you need in your life. Where would we all be if no one ever made any mistakes? Some of the most important inventions ever created came from mistakes.

People on the road to happiness view their assets with gratitude and see their liabilities as learning opportunities.

Stop Being a Victim. Own Your Inner Power!

Don't become comfortable in the role of the victim. Allowing other people to take advantage of you will leave you angry, powerless and frustrated- dangerous emotions that can lead to unhealthy behaviors.

You need to learn to own your power. Sometimes, owning our power means recognizing the people in our lives who are not healthy for us; other times it means we recognize that we are the ones being abusive to ourselves.

Owning our own power can mean realizing that our boundaries are being crossed, or it can mean stopping negative self-talk. To gain back your power, you need to block out any feelings of being a victim in your mind, body and spirit.

Change your attitude, you are not a victim. Figure out what you are doing that is causing you to feel victimized and make the necessary changes in your life to stop feeling this way. If the source is external, try to remove yourself from the situation. If you are making yourself a victim, change your actions.

Today, I will be responsible for myself. I will own my power and not allow myself to become a a victim. I cannot control outcomes, but I can control my attitude toward being victimized. I am not a victim, so I do not deserve to be treated like one.

The Science of Happiness

Inner Strength vs. Physical Strength

You don't always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes your strength comes through when you admit your weaknesses, allow yourself to feel vulnerable, cry. Part of taking care of yourself, part of empowering yourself comes with allowing yourself to fall apart when you need to, it means that you are okay with the fact that you are an imperfect human being. The more you accept yourself the way you are, the stronger you will feel.

Today I will allow myself to be human. Today I will accept myself for who I am. I will not judge my emotions, my actions or beliefs. Today I will be strong.

Following the Law vs. Following Your Moral Compass

Many rules and laws are based off of fear. Many people fear that without rules, anarchy will ensue.

This is not the case.

People enjoying their inner wisdom do positive things naturally, without rules.

As you grow a deeper understanding and acceptance of the fact that you have a purpose you will find your own path. When you find your path, don't be afraid to pave the way.

We all have a moral compass that will lead us in the right direction when we follow our heart. Only by embracing our own unique destiny can we find our own unique path to happiness.

The thought system invites all kinds of mischief. Some use rules to judge others, others use rules to judge themselves. Self judgments cause a vicious cycle of depression, insecurity and self ridicule.

Self acceptance causes optimism, happiness and a better, stronger sense of self.

When following your heart you will act in a loving and respectful way.

You will become happier with not only your life, but yourself as a person.

What We See Isn't Always Reality


Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well

The old adage "anything worth doing is worth doing well" is a popular misconception. If you enjoy something, but you aren't great at it, it doesn't make it any less worth doing. Passions are crucial on our road to happiness. Judgments tear us down and send us off on detours.

How many people don't sing for the joy of it because they think that they are not good singers? Stop avoiding joy in your life - remove the judgment and engage in activities that you love.

Selfishness vs. Self-Care

A popular misconception believed by most people is that selfishness is always wrong. Sometimes selfishness is important.

Self-centeredness is a negative thought that comes from the thought system; selfishness from the thought system is based on the ego.

Selfishness from the heart however comes from acceptance of the fact that you deserve self-care.

Self interest from the heart is based on feelings of love and joy. These feelings will lead you to do what you enjoy in your life.

When you enjoy a life living from your heart, you will attract serenity and inner peace into your life.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Knowing that people have good intentions can inspire compassion instead of judgment.

When good intentions fail, it is usually because thought-produced insecurities created detours on your path to happiness.

We all have good intentions to be happy and do the best we can based on our present level of understanding.

Forgiveness is easy when we understand the intentions of the other person - it is difficult when we pay attention to behaviors created by our thought system.

People locked into their thought system and negative behaviors create a kind of hell for themselves.

It is our judgments of them that lead to our own hell. Understanding when someone has good intentions, as well as when you have good intentions, can set you free.

Are you as happy as you would like to be?

See results

Embracing Who We Are vs. Conforming to Others Expectations

Sometimes we feel pressure from others to act a certain way. Peer pressure can come from friends, coworkers, family, and even strangers. Saying no can be difficult at times, especially when we are unfamiliar with a situation or trying to adapt to a new school, a new workplace, or a new environment.

The greatest gift you can give the world is to be who you are. You are completely unique and there is no one else in the world like you. You are who you were always meant to be. If others don't accept you the way you are, maybe they're just not meant to be in your life. Don't let others tell you who you are supposed to be.

Today,I will allow myself to be who I am. If others don't accept me, I will realize that they aren't meant to be in my life. I will realize who truly accepts me for me. I will let go of any fears I have of being who I really am.

We All Experience Sadness, But We Cannot Allow it to Control or Paralyze Us



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    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Yes, it's a personal decision. How I see it, it is better to take the absolute path to happiness instead of taking a risk.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Aw thank you! I don't know if its the best article ever but i am very glad that this came your way at a time you most needed it! I think your question about removing yourself or trying to change people is personal, but I have never had success changing others, only myself. When I was at my lowest point in life, I had to shut out everyone in my life because I finally realized that they were ill intentioned and sucking all the good out of me. And it sounds like you might be in a similar place that I was in a few years ago. I literally cut my mobile phone line, well not literally, but I stopped having a cell phone, worked hard to find a new place to live, and just started over. All in my mid twenties, and I wouldn't change that for anything, because it saved my life. And that really is literal.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Best article ever. I am deeply emotionally moved. This came at a very tough point in my life right now. Is it best to remove all negative people from our lives which is an absolute solution or is it worth the risk of trying to change the people in our lives?

      Especially if that person has been a pain for years and leads me to behave dangerously.

    • UpixxIndustries profile image

      Jason Conway 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I wish that more people would read this. It is a shame how the majority of society is starting to become on the thinking that they are owed something without actually going out and earning it. Family morals are dissolving more and more with each passing generation.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks so much Bill! Glad you found the path of self-love!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I battled with self-esteem for years. It took almost dying seven years ago for me to work through it all and start a path of self-love. This is a very important article. Nicely done my friend.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you both for your kind comments Eddy and MsDora!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read Kathleen and once again your obvious hard work has certainly paid off. Voted up ,shared and wishing you a great day.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great challenges worth taking. Removing the judgement is not easy because it has been part of us for so long, but your insights re helpful. Voted Up!