An Ugly, Straightforward Way To Live Happier

Matt KramerMotivation, Uncategorized2 Comments

I finally found the secret to a happy life, and even a happy world. Get your pad and pen ‘cause you’re going to want to write this down.

Oh…my…god (in my best valley girl voice)! It’s so incredible!

Here goes.

The secret to a happy life is…

Get ready…

...being productive.

Can you say anticlimactic? Sorry. I told you it was ugly. I’ll cue up the sad trombone so we can dance together: Wah wah wah wahahahahaha

Okay, I’ll be a little more specific. Perhaps it will make it MORE appealing. The secret to a happy life is being productive and completing small daily tasks that inch you closer to your goals. That’s it. No other BS.

Whenever I’m dragging my ass like a dog with a bacterial infection, I feel it. By not making daily progress toward our goals, we leave ourselves open to that disgusting feeling called guilt.

It’s that feeling of guilt that attracts all the other bad thoughts, which make up what I’d like to call, a horrible day (which can quickly turn into a horrible week if you’re not careful). Get enough of those under your belt and you’ve earned the right to say, “life sucks.”

But, what I’ve noticed is that when I push myself out of my comfort zone or make progress towards my goals (even just a tiny step forward), I feel amazing. I’m not much of a Smiley McGee who pops around teeth ablaze, yet, in these cases of accomplishment, I want to do just that—smile.

There’s another special benefit that comes with this feeling of happiness. But first, a question. In my example above, doesn’t it seem like it’s entirely focused on my individual happiness?

If you answered “yes,” you’re right. It is. And that’s the point. As selfish as it may seem, remember, this is intended for our own individual happiness rather than the collective utopia. However, the added benefit is that when I’m in this state of bliss, I have an intense desire to go out of my way to help others.

Stop world hunger? In my dreams. I’m referring to small things that are all around us.

The other day I was in a mom-and-pop hamburger joint and as I was waiting for my food, I heard a little boy ask his father if he could have a quarter for the candy machine (put in a quarter, twist the metal can-opener knob, and out come the cavities).

The boy’s father apparently didn’t have any change, so he asked his other son if they had any in the car. When I heard this I reached in my pocket and handed the kid a quarter. Kid was happy. His dad? Who knows. Maybe he was trying not to let his son have candy. Sorry daddy.

Big whoop, right? Well, it felt good. And on that day, I happened to be feeling wonderful because just moments before I had arrived at this burger joint, I accomplished one of my goals for the week.

Think of what that can mean for us all. When we’re happy, it’s easier to make others happy. When we make others happy, it makes us even happier. Holy crap!

But whatever...that’s just an insignificant (sarcasm) byproduct of what’s truly important—our own individual happiness.

So when we grow, when we progress, when we take action, we feel remarkable. I don’t care why life works this way, I just know that it does.

Sexy? No.

Complicated? Not quite.

Effective? Damn straight.

This is the secret to a happy life. Get to work.

P.S. In order to make progress, you need to have some goals to work toward, right? So, if public speaking makes pressing your face against a hot furnace sound like an attractive alternative, why not set a goal to overcome your fear of public speaking? Here are some free tools to get you started!   

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About this guy...

Matt Kramer - Tactical Talks - Public Speaking

Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life and it can change yours, too. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.

  • Bill Burns says:

    Love it! It does seem a bit counter-productive to say that the key making others happy is to start with ourselves. But according to my favorite quote, by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” As you said, when we’re alive, we take real action to stop world hunger — or look around to see that we can make a kid’s day. Thanks for sharing!