Finding “happiness” is a theme which I’ve seen again and again with the people I’ve met in my life as well as throughout my entrepreneurial journey. But each persons’ idea of happiness is different and unique and there is no one-fits-all solution to happiness.
We spend all our efforts searching for happiness within people, our careers, our relationships, and chasing material things – with the anticipation that once we attain what we are pursuing, we can then be truly happy.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why celebrities with all their fame and fortune are still unhappy with their lives? They seem to have everything at their disposal to be truly happy. They appear to have so many popular friends, fans seem to adore them, they have the looks, the status and all the money you could want.
And yet, the media reports a different story and how so many are seemingly failing to achieve the so-called “happiness” they desire. If they can’t achieve it, what hope do we have right?
If you ever questioned happiness in your life, here are five practical ways you can improve your happiness today – which I’ve learnt throughout my personal life and in my entrepreneurial endeavours.
1) Stop comparing yourself to others
From a young age, our culture has taught us to compete. Whether at sports, school grades, university or even in the workforce. We continually want to achieve better than our peers.
But this culture of competition has only become worse with the mass adoption of social media – it has only compounded the issue.
Now your peers’ accomplishments are being streamed to your phone continuously. Jealousy and the fear of missing out (FOMO) have become very real issues among the digital age.
Whether this is what you eat, or who you are dating, what car you drive or what clothes you wear, there will always be someone with a better job than you, who lives in a more beautiful house with more money.
The grass will always look greener, and people are constantly looking at someone else’s meticulous portrayed life through a peephole.
What people fail to understand is their journey in life is different and unique from anyone else. People tend to want only to take the best parts of everyone else’s life while leaving the bad – but life, unfortunately, does not work this way.
Comparing yourself to others will not yield any positive results. It would only result in you being depressed and leaving you sad with your own life. It is far better to have a solid perspective and focus on your own journey.
Look for positive things in your life and be grateful for what you do have. Because if you truly look hard enough – you may be surprised to find others are envious of you too.
2) Know that you are already immensely wealthy
The pure fact you can read this article today – means that you have access to a computer and the internet. And this in itself is a testimony that you are already wealthy beyond what you can imagine.
Numerous articles on the internet support the sheer disparity of wealth between the more affluent and poorer countries. An example is an article written by Pew Research Center (1), and although slightly outdated still brings home these statistics. The report states that 71% percent of the world lives on less than $10 per day, with the top 7% living on more than $50 per day.
So just based on statistics alone, this means when you were born – you were already in the top 30% of the worlds wealthiest individuals. Let that one sink in for a second.
But you are probably living on more than $10 a day, maybe your living on more than $50? So it would not be a stretch to say you very well fall into the top 10% of the 7 billion people that exist in the world today. This means your wealth exceeds that of over 6 billion other people!
Having a perspective of how fortunate you are compared to others will give you the perspective you need to adjust your mindset and be grateful for what you have been given.
Too often you idolise those who have much more wealth than you and become discontent with your own life, without realising that others would swap with you in a heartbeat.
3) Realise you have already won the game of life
If you are alive right now – you are already a miracle!
Do you know the odds of you being born? Given factors like your parents’ meeting, dating, getting married, and that they would conceive you at that very moment in time? According to science
1 in 400,000,000,000,000 (1 in 400 Trillion)
Although some even say the number can be as high as 400 Quadrillion, which would be
1 in 400,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 400 Quadrillion)
However you look at it, the chance of you being born is infinitesimally small! So small that if you’re alive today means your a statistical miracle.
By comparison, the overall odds of winning the lotto can be anywhere from 1 in 10 million to 1 in 30 million. So as far as statistics dictates, you have a better chance of winning the lotto jackpot multiple times in your life than actually being born!
I always find it quite sad to see people throwing away their life and not truly understanding what it means. People often take life for granted when it should be treated as a gift that should not be wasted.
So when you feel like things are not going your way – always remember you were already born a winner in the game of life!
4) Be grateful and focus on the positives in your life
There is a saying that whatever you look for you will find. If you continue to look for all the negatives in your life, you will no doubt find them. Instead, you should focus on positives and be grateful for what you do have.
Start at a basic level and be grateful for things such as :
- if you have a job or have a roof over your head – many are not that fortunate
- if you can eat without worrying where the next meal will come from
- if you are not living in a war-torn country, and your family is not subjected to war
- if you are healthy. Money can buy a lot of things, but it is not always able to buy health
- if you have a supportive brother or sister. Or that you have a brother or sister at all
- if you have parents who tried to provide everything for you
- if you have friends who will go that extra mile
- that you already possibly fall into the top 10% of the worlds wealthiest
- that you were chosen (by God; if you believe He exists) to be born. That one in 1-400 quadrillion chance and that you are still alive today!
5) Understand that happiness is always a choice
In my travels to the poorer countries in the world, I’ve found something continually intrigues me. The local people in those countries are often found to be happy and content with their lives – despite not having the same material wealth of those living in more affluent countries. They usually have basic living arrangements, with barely any food to eat and they lack any toys and other possessions. But yet, they have such big hearts with no ulterior motives.
What does this show us? It shows that happiness comes from within; it is a choice we make every day.
One thing my late mother taught me during the toughest parts of my life – was that “happiness is a state of mind”. I did not grasp this deep concept at the time, but as I grew older, I started to fully understand the impact this statement would have on my life.
You are entirely in control of what you perceive and have full control of your situation. You can choose to see a glass half full instead of a glass half empty. It is a mindset shift that you need to accomplish from within, which will have profound effects in all areas of your life.
“Happiness is a state of mind. You are entirely in control of what you perceive and have full control of your situation”
Instead of looking at happiness as a goal – something we achieve, we must look at it as a state of mind. We can then choose to be happy each and every day.
Life may not always be easy, but it is your outlook that is most important. You can choose to be happy every day – so why not make that active choice today?
In this article, I’ve discussed my perspectives on happiness, which I’ve learnt throughout my personal and entrepreneurial journeys. It is my hope it will cause you to re-evaluate your own lives and encourage you to make active choices to be happy each and every day. I am always open to conversation, so feel free to reach out to me to chat about anything and everything.
See you on the other side!
– Jeff Chin
Please note that whilst this article will try to address common factors that influence happiness. There are other factors such as those related to tragedy and health issues which are not able to be covered within the scope of this article.