10 steps to happiness.

1. Surround yourself with positive people. 

The best thing I could have ever done for myself was to surround myself with people who were more talented, more grounded, more happy than me. Sometimes when you feel like all hope is lost, these are the people who will stand by your side, and lend you a hand to help you pull yourself together again. If someone is poisonous to your growth, get rid of them immediately. You will be surprised with the lightness you find inside of yourself, each time you cut off an obnoxious soul-sucking vampire of a weed from your life.

2. Laugh more. 

There will be days at a stretch when you can barely get dressed and face life. Try to smile anyway.

At first this will be hard. I used to look like I was either in pain or feeling constipated every time I tried to make my mouth form a smile. But eventually, it became easier to smile and there were times I would have a full out throttle. Laughter lights up your soul. It lifts your spirits and releases happy hormones into your body. Its win-win situation, really.

3. Appreciate life. 

Look up at the clouds and figure what shapes they form. Look at the tiles on the floor of your toilet/room/hall and do you see the images in them? When was the last time you played out in the rain? Feel the air blow out of your lungs as you went on a sprint? Told someone how much you loved them? Hugged someone? You are alive. Revel in that fact. You are here and the world is passing you by, nothing will ever be the same again. Look around you and remember. Be thankful.

4. Make wishes on the first star you see. 

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish, I wish tonight.

I never stopped making wishes on the first star I spotted at night. For a few seconds, your entire being is focused on thinking about what it is that matters the most to you at that moment. Ask the universe for what you need, and you will get it in some form because now you have set the wheels in motion towards getting whatever it is that you wished for. Because you are now aware that this is something you really want, you subconsciously start doing things that puts you in the path towards achieving this dream.

5. Learn to let go of your anger.

Anger and hate used to burn me up from the inside. It was anger that propelled me to do many things; it fueled my competitive streak. But it also left me feeling empty after I was done feeling angry. Words were poison on my tongue.

Learning to control my temper was perhaps one of the best things I could have done for myself. I still get angry but I no longer use it as an excuse to hurt someone else. I am still competitive but it is now fueled by my desire to simply give my best at whatever I do. Everytime I feel myself getting angry, I assess the situation; if I can walk away from the situation to allow myself to calm down before I address the issue that triggered my anger, I walk away. If I can’t walk away, I just focus on my breathing and keep reminding myself to remain neutral.

6. Be your own savior.

Many times we try to find our strength in an external source, be it a friend or religion. Save yourself. Know that you have the strength within you to deal with whatever is being thrown your way. This means that you have acknowledge your own worth. It is so easy to believe that we are useless, not good for anything. Because acknowledging you are good for something, means having to accept responsibility for yourself and whatever you set out to do. Do not be limited by the colour of your skin, or by your social status.

We all count. We are made of stardust, you and I. Our every breath contains fragments of the universe. Learn to believe. Wear your confidence like an armour. Everytime you fall down, take a breath and rise again. Stronger. Iron gets stronger as it gets forged in the flames.

7. Be your own Cheerleader.

Love yourself. Perhaps one of the hardest lesson life will try to teach you. Your imperfections and flaws. The worst critic you will ever come across in your life is the one you find in the mirror. What you imagine others to think about you, are merely projections of your own fear. Listen to them. Find out why you feel that way.

If you constantly think you are not going to be good enough for something, instead of just giving up on it, fix it. Go pick up the skills you need to become better. Be the active agent in your life. Be your own cheerleader.

“You can do it,S!!!” is something I tell myself every morning as I get ready for the day. It perks me up and makes me believe that I can deal with whatever shit is thrown my way!

8. Listen more. 

Actively listening is very different from hearing what someone is telling you. When you are actively listening to someone, your entire being is focused on what the other person is saying. You are not distracted by anything else. When you listen actively, your entire body becomes engaged in the process, your body leans forward, you look directly into the other person’s eyes.

Listen and you get friends for life.

9. Be eternally curious.

Being curious nourishes your soul. There is so much that happens around us all the time, a hundred lifetimes will not be enough to learn everything about the world that we live in, yet alone about the universe that we inhibit.

Stay curious. Don’t be afraid to ask Why? This singular word is enough to expand your knowledge of the world around you.

Why do we believe in god? Why can’t we sneeze and breathe at the same time? Why did man want to fly? Why do we fall in love? Why aren’t shows like fashion police banned? Why can’t humans just get along instead of being dickheads? Why isn’t hogwarts real?

10. Don’t forget to play. 

We are constantly trying to grow up, be an adult. But don’t lose the essence of playfulness. Tinker around on little projects. Jump in puddles you come across after a rain. Make snow angels, chase your friends around a park. Prank your partner. Why so serious?

Bonus:
I was a nobody, the girl who was bullied by her peers and was only asked to join projects if they thought I could help them win by answering the questions. Books were my best friends. Heck, a teacher even coined the moniker “dirty princess” just for me when I was 11. Growing up was not a happy period in my life. By the time I was 14, I was surly and a walking dynamite ready to blow up at the slightly provocation.

It took me 9 years, but here I am, happy. Something I never thought I could be when I was growing up. I am surrounded by people who love me and whom I love in return. I am constantly being asked to join various parties or gatherings because I can be the life of the party. Who knew this could happen? Certainly not me when I was 14.Its been a long road of self-acceptance, perseverance, and learning to be appreciative of all that I have in my life.

This post is for anyone who is feeling down and the future seems dark, paved with loneliness. There is hope. Just believe in yourself. Know that you have the courage within yourself to face your worst fears, and move on from that experience. Work towards to being a better person, and before you know it, people will be telling you how awesome you are. Recently some friends even set up a FaceBook fanpage for me.

Who’s the dirty princess now?

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