I’m always looking for inspiration, something that keeps me growing and moving forward. Several years back, after my bipolar diagnosis in January 2000, it was tough because I didn’t know what to expect. Personally, I didn’t think I would ever be happy because there’s this stigma associated with someone living with bipolar. People think when someone has bipolar they are damaged goods and can’t excel at things that others are excelling at. Anyways, I’m here to tell you they are completely wrong. I’ve managed to accomplish some of my dreams and am working towards conquering others. But, for you to conquer and stay motivated, you need to find happiness in the smallest things. By doing this, you attract positive energy into your life and know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Every day, I’ll do these 15 small things that give me a reason to live and truly be grateful for what I have. This works to provide the positivity I need to be happy. I want you to utilize these same awesome ways to be happy too.
1) Acknowledge I’m Awake
Yes, that’s right!
Waking up is a very small thing because technically you’re opening your eyes. But, the fact you are waking up is huge, and something you should be happy about. You know how many people don’t live to see another day, but God has given you life and another chance to work towards your goals. It’s another chance to tell someone you love them, hug your family, call your best friend, or just live life to the fullest.
Sometimes, you just need to recognize the obvious to be happy. Since we sleep and wake every day, it’s something we’ve taken for granted. The next time you are feeling depressed, think about how lucky you are to wake up in the morning and have another chance to conquer your goals and live life.
2) Knowing I’m In Charge of My Growth
One thing I’m so happy about is that I’m in charge of my own growth. Many times, we are under the impression that our success depends on the actions of someone else. But all that’s stopping you from achieving what you want is your mindset. If you want to get something in life, it’s completely in your control; you just need to change your mindset to push in the right direction.
I’m happy to know that growth can happen right now and the decision to grow is in my control. When I first got diagnosed with bipolar, I felt like my growth and the ability to manage bipolar was in the hands of my doctor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Beating bipolar is in my hands because I’m in control of what I read, when I take my medication, who I socialize with, and how I choose to stay healthy.
3) Living in the “Now”
One of the biggest changes in my life that made me happier is my ability to live in the “NOW.” Doing this has forced me to stop thinking about the things I no longer have control over. The less I think about what I can’t control, the more I enjoy what I have right now. To sum this up, think about it this way –
The past is over and cannot be changed. The future hasn’t come and you can’t control destiny either. The only thing you truly have control over is what you’re doing right now.
When you start to live in the present, you declutter your mind from things you don’t control and those holding you back. Have you noticed how we tend to live in the past, and that our future actions are a result of past actions? Believe it or not, this is stopping you from living a fulfilling life because you’re always worried about what might happen. This worry comes from a past experience so you tend to be more careful, not giving a 100% in what you do.
I decided to stop living life like this a few years ago and have never been happier. Everything is new to me and I appreciate what I’m doing right now in this moment.
4) Knowing I’m Not Alone
I’m so happy that I have an awesome support system whenever I need help. For example, if I need advice I can turn to family and/or friends. It’s also amazing to know that others also live with bipolar and they can provide support for me too through forums, groups or blogs. After being diagnosed with bipolar, I’m a lot more empathetic, which has allowed me to empathize with others about bipolar. From this, I’ve formed many connections that I otherwise would never have had. 🙂
5) Knowing Criticism Is Good
I hated criticism. Every time I received it, I would be stressed, blah and full of anger. As a matter of fact, whenever someone criticized me, it would cause my mood to spiral out of control. In short, I just didn’t handle criticism well at all. After a few years, you begin to find ways to manage certain situations, making them work for you. Here’s what I mean…
First, it’s too hard to be perfect; you’re always going to get criticized for something. Secondly, it’s all in your mind and how you view criticism because you can view it as a tool to help you or a roadblock holding you back. In my case, I use it as a tool to help me grow and understand some faults I need to improve on.
I’m happy that people take the time to provide feedback and criticism whenever I’ve done something wrong. This gives me a reason to improve and work hard at getting better. Remember, you can only grow when you know what your faults are…right?
6) I Have Food on The Table
I’m very happy and lucky to know I have food to eat every day. This always puts a smile on my face because my parents have worked hard at providing for me (and continue to this today). Turn on the news and you’ll see reports on how many people in different countries are lacking nutrition and don’t have 3-4 full square meals.
I guarantee you right now, you can get up and walk to the kitchen and make something to eat. After you do, think about how many people don’t have the opportunity to do this.
I don’t have to talk about this a lot because the importance of exercise is well-documented. Every day, I run for 20 minutes, and have never felt better mentally, emotional, and physically. I remember when I didn’t work out, I would live in fear of death or falling seriously ill. However, it was like a chain reaction because once I started to exercise, my diet improved, and so did my mood.
I’m happier because of my daily exercise routine.
A Happy Quote
8) Accomplishing “1” Daily Goal
Before, I use to create huge to-do lists with goals I wanted to achieve. I would write them down with a completion date 30 to 60 days from now. That’s a long time to wait for motivation because, if you haven’t heard, each goal completed serves as some serious motivation and inspiration to keep pushing forward.
Every day, I write down one thing I would like to achieve. It can be anything: helping someone out, completing a writing project, running for 30 minutes instead of 25 minutes, reading for 30 minutes, answering questions in the bipolar support group, or posting an inspiration quote on this blog.
By the end of the day, I mark this goal as completed and this is awesome motivation. Align your daily goal to your overall larger objective in life because it’s even more gratifying when you’ve completed a goal which brings you closer to your end goal.
9) Help Someone Out
I feel happy knowing someone is having a better day because of me. Imagine the person you helped is sleeping better at night because your small act of kindness. For the last 2 years, I’ve made it a point to help one random person every day. This doesn’t have to be hard because you could buy someone coffee, pay for someone’s lunch, provide feedback, or answer a support question within an online group.
To ensure I stay on track, I created this blog so I can post something every day which will provide support, awareness, motivation, and inspiration to someone else. This blog is my connection to the world and a way for me to give back whatever I’ve learned throughout the years.
10) Knowing I Have a Job
This has been an on/off struggle for me because if you have read my previous post on how I lost my job, then you know what I’ve gone through. But, I’m happy that I have found work freelancing, and can support myself and my family. I will write about an awesome way to find freelance work next week.
From what I’ve read within the bipolar support group, I know many of you are having a tough time finding or maintaining a steady job. In your case, you should be happy that you have the ability to find work, and have so many options available to you. Freelancing online is a great way to work from the comfort of your own home, and not feel the pressure of a 9-5 workplace. (I’ll post something next week on how to find work freelancing so join my newsletter to get an update!)
11) Learn Something New Every Day
For the last 2-3 years, I’ve made it a habit to learn something new every day. This new knowledge comes from reading books, on Flipboard, watching documentaries or talking to someone. For example, yesterday I watched a documentary on Magnus Carlsen who became a chess grandmaster at the age of 13 – awesome, right! So…
What makes me happy when I learn something new?
First, it expands my knowledge and my ability to carry on an insightful conversation. I’m sure the people you love to talk to are knowledgeable, and interesting…right? They gain this insight from learning new things so I’ve decided to do the same. Secondly, depending on what you read, it can be a great asset in helping you manage bipolar. When I first started, I would read books on mindfulness, productivity, motivation, and success. These all helped me eliminate bad habits that were holding me back. Instead, I replaced them with positive ones, which helped me excel forward.
I’m so happy when I learn something new each day because in one year I’ll know 365 things I didn’t know the year before. Give it a try, you’ll be amazed at how it transforms your mind.
12) Take Alone Time (Re-evaluate)
Every day, I take out time to re-evaluate myself and re-establish my main purpose and objective. I try to do this alone and not talk to anyone for 1 hour a day. By doing this, I’m giving myself alone time to recognize how I’m very lucky for the things I have. You’re only able to look back and recognize the good when you give yourself time away from the everyday routine of work, family, etc. The 1 hour of alone time can be in the form of a walk outside, sitting in a silent place or even turning off your mobile phone, disconnecting communication from everyone.
Every time, I spent the hour alone I come back happier because I’ve had time to re-evaluate my life, my purpose, and the reasons why I’ve been very lucky in life. It gives me time to appreciate my beautiful family, the support I have, and life in general.
13) Make a Change for The Better (Big or Small)
A better tomorrow starts today!
It makes me happy to know that I’m wiser from the day before. But, the only way I accomplish this is by writing down my thoughts and feelings as I live through them. For example, if I do something I’m not happy about, I write it down and then find ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it does happen again, I write down why and make further tweaks. Remember, you’re writing down the things in your life you’re not happy with or areas you feel needs improvements. This way, the changes are for the better and they are helping you grow.
Knowing everyday I’ve grown and improved is very gratifying and makes me very happy.
A Happy Quote
14) Knowing My Self-Worth
Yup, that’s right! I’m sure there are people in your life who come to you for advice, laughter, and just to be around you. I know there are people who like being around me, which is why we spent so much time together. It’s very gratifying to know that people accept me for who I am and like being in my presence. This is something you should never take for granted, but be very grateful about, especially when you have built a true connection with someone. It’s hard to find good friends, especially ones who accept you for being you.
Whenever I receive a call from my friend and they invite me somewhere, share a story or simply call for some good laughs, I feel very blessed. Having this feeling makes me very happy. Take some time to appreciate your value and what you mean to the people around you.:)
15) I’m Following My Passion
It makes me happy to know that I can accomplish anything I want to in life. I realized the only thing stopping me from getting where I want to be is my own mindset. If I can change the way I think, I can change the direction my life is heading in. I’ll admit, the hardest thing is to find something you’re passionate about because this helps motivate you to achieve your dreams.
Every day, when I wake up in the morning, I’m happy knowing that I love what I do and get to connect with different types of people . Through blogging, I’m able to help others achieve their dreams too. Are you happy doing what you do? Have you found your passion?
Finding happiness doesn’t require big changes in your life because sometimes it’s the smallest things that make a huge difference. I can guarantee we all have something to be happy about every day, but we’re just not looking hard enough. Next time, instead of complaining or looking at what’s missing in your life, take some time to recognize what you do have right now. Hopefully my list of 15 things can help jumpstart your journey.