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Secrets on How to Live a Happy Life

Updated on November 16, 2015

How to be Content with What You Have.

Our present vantage point lets us see how our ideas of frugality, simplicity and sustainability are not separate entities but are all a part of the same idea.

Cutting back, or frugal living, cannot be done properly without simplifying and being mindful of the environment.

While the idea of simplicity or frugality may seem, to young people, like a quaint ideal of the anorak brigade, the economic recession will see folks on a global level spurn over consumption and wastage.

Living within your means and saving for goals and retirement is so singularly valuable and unfortunately, not always fully grasped on the right side of forty. On the wrong side of forty, you must have a handle on financial fundamentals, and the magic of compound interest should now be working in your favor.

The path out of money problems or to a secure financial future is not just in a higher paying job. Although career advancement in itself is impressive, as long as you have the right mindset, however usually more money equals more spending and bigger debt.

To do this, you need to do more than change how you act, you need to change how you think.

Let’s look at what is going to undermine your efforts to make this change.

Stress: Roadblock number one as we over commit, overwork and then when we are overwrought, we take the expensive path of least resistance. When stressed, we make poor decisions about our health, diet and money.

Pride: Keeping up with Joneses is playing financial chicken. Don’t buy new toys you can’t afford, to massage your own ego. Don’t be undone by stuff.

Exhaustion: Complexities of long weeks and long hours at work may lead you to think that the 10 day exotic break is deserved. Frugality walked out the back door as the exotic extravagance walked in the front.

Expediency: Sometimes it is easier to pay someone to mow your lawn or clean your house, as after a long day you are rewarded with the extra hours needed for cleaning and cooking. This where menu setting, bulk cooking comes in to its own.

Immediacy: The inevitable curved ball such as, when the family car dies, or your daughter needs a new outfit for the class outing. Immediacy means more cash and there is no time to bargain hunt.

Misgivings: When family and friends do not understand simplicity and we need to re-dedicate our commitment in the face of “the culture of more”.

Advertising: Don’t be manipulated by suggestion, or let the advertiser create fear of what you don’t have. Advertising is at epidemic levels, and I wonder if the exchange of our time, energy and money is fair or are we the hamster on a never ending treadmill?

How to Find Happiness - Help Someone Else!

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you,

as by the attitude you bring to life;

not so much by what happens to you,

as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

Circumstances and situations do color life

but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.

John Homer Miller

Life is change, but if you have a solid foundation, you can handle any situation or at least know you will be alright in the end.

Happiness takes effort, discipline and courage, but a decent routine will soon have everything flowing smoothly.

Learning how to be happy with life is learning to appreciate what you have. Being content means knowing that possessions will never make you happy nor fulfill you, only then will you stop looking to the next purchase in the vain hope it will make you life complete.

As you cannot have it all, choose the life you have, along with its problems and its joys, over the life that exists only in your head.

Content means making peace with a past and choosing to live in the present. A choice you may have to make over and over again when you feel discontent rising.

Accept the difficult things in your life, particularly if you cannot do anything about it. When you have achieved this, you won’t need consumerism cycles as you don’t need to spend to be happy. You will also be on path of mindful frugal living.

Start small by noticing your frustrations and things which you wish were different. Without trying to change things, examine them by just holding them, look at them and notice how you react to them, Your ability will grow to allow you to let these things go and let them be.


The Science of Happiness - Expressing Gratitude

Tips to Help You Find Happiness in Life

  • Optimism: When you are confronted by what you don’t have, remind yourself of what you do have. End each day by remembering what you liked best and the moments that meant the most to you.
  • Quality of Life: Ask yourself the question - are you buying this for short-term pleasure, or will it make you happier in the long term?
  • Family: Spend more time with the people you love and who love you in return.
  • Friends: Learn to form more meaningful relationships with people that go beyond the ordinary “how are you”, to give substance to your life.
  • Attitude: Discontent gives you a tight neck and back muscles, stomach ache and general malaise - know the symptoms and let the discontent go. Tell yourself “I have enough.”
  • Social Interest: When you give, you feel great so make time for giving. if you haven’t time to volunteer, or do Granny’s shopping, smile at strangers in the street and say thank you to the checkout person while looking in their eyes.
  • Self Esteem: Be kind to yourself: Even though you may be doing what you love, remember to set aside a little me time.
  • Take Responsibility. Stop thinking about why not and think about how you going to get there.
  • Health You are what you eat. Serotonin is a naturally occurring anti-depressant the levels of which omega-3 fatty acids will raise. A complete multivitamin rich in 'B' vitamins and minerals will feed the jangled nerves. Avoid the delicious and malicious processed or fast food, and eat whole fresh food as much as possible.
  • Sense of Purpose. If you don’t know what you are doing and why you are doing it, life is not going to be fulfilling is it? Find your passion, keep trying and do your best eventually you will find something that fits.
  • Financial Stability. Reward success like paying off credit cards, bringing down the mortgage, watch your bank account grow. The rush of seeing your efforts pay off will replace the high you used to get from spending money mindlessly. Financial milestones should be celebrated for the truly momentous occasions they are.

Embrace the success of simplicity, embrace the failures and most of all embrace the road that gets you where you want to go.

© 2012 Shelley Watson


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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This really rings true. Happines lies in our own power. I like what you have to say about not buying to massage the ego or because of the influence of advertising. We need to learn to be content with what we have and not look to money for happiness, since it can only come from within. Powerful reminders! Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Dan 5 years ago

      Very inspiring article, but I believe the key for happiness is to understand that it has to come from within, so that your happiness does not depend on exterior events.


    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Tari, thank you for commenting and for the visit!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      bizwin, thank you so much for stopping. I love your comments, which are so true.

      DDE, Glad you found it useful, thank you for commenting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A useful Hub be happy and free you have mentioned excellent points thanks

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      Very useful hub. Success is within and cannot be measured by what we have. What we are able to see and be content with inside us is exactly what we can receive outside and not the other way round. Voted across.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Rajan, thank you so much for the vote and share. Very much appreciated!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Shelley, wonderful message. Material things are not the source of happiness. It can only come from within and only comes when one is content.

      Very beautifully written. Voted up, useful and awesome. Shared this message too here and on G+1

    • Tari profile image

      Tari 5 years ago from New Zealand

      love the concept of simplicity, what a great Hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      If you happy with what you have and good in health your life can be great

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Hello Alan, Glad you came back so strongly.

      I see so many people close to the edge, the state of the economy's pressure is one thing, but as you so correctly say, one has to step back and start living., otherwise there is nothing left to give! Thank you for the vote, much appreciated!

    • AlanRimmer profile image

      AlanRimmer 5 years ago from Southwest UK

      For me it took a breakdown to realize it was time to stop the constant battle I had engaged in with life and to step back and start living it. Your words of advice are truly inspirational and I hope many others read it and take notice. Voted up and awesome!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Thank you so much Lindacee, for stopping by and your great comments!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Words to live by. You offer very important advice as we navigate these trying economic times. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees -- we live in such a consumer driven society it is all too easy to be sucked in. You show us how we can be happy saving money and not spending it! Voted up, useful and awesome!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This is such an inspirational article, and I'm also a firm believer in being happy and looking at yourself first - and not expecting the world to change for you. Voted up, beautiful and interesting! :)

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      ripplemaker thank you for visiting.

      Ruth Pieterse - thank you for your vote!

    • profile image

      Ruth Pieterse 5 years ago

      Lovely hub. Voted up.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I am remembering to embrace the road that will take me where I want to go..thanks for this reminder :)

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Hi Hazel, thank you for the comment - and you are so right about the resentment.

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 5 years ago from Central PA

      I totally agree, especially about how you can't just be frugal, you have to change your point of view about having "stuff." If you are only concerned with cutting costs, you will be resentful and frustrated, but if you change how you view your life it will be easier. Thanks for the reminder :)

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Case1Worker, That was a powerful message and your Vicar is right, we do need to stop and take in what's happening around us. Thank you for your comments.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      This is really interesting; in church today our vicar said if you have not got time to help someone in need, then you need to do something about the way you live your life as you are too busy! (Hope he wasn't looking at me when he said it) You are right though, when you are running from one goal to another it is easy to take the expensive options so that you can collapse and rest-

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Billybuc, thank you for the support and encouragement. The more I learn, the more excited I become.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Hi Lou, Grazie mille! That picture in my head of "a delicious cup of coffee sitting on the porch on Sunday morning", relaxes me!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I embrace this life daily and I have never been happier. I love your message; keep shouting it from the rooftops; people need to understand what is truly important in life.

    • LouTucci profile image

      LouTucci 5 years ago

      How come every time I read your Hubs, I feel like I just had a delicious cup of coffee sitting on the porch on a Sunday morning? It's a good feeling. Thanks again for sharing!