How to be happy? It’s not as far away as  you may think.

Before I get going, I want to tell you a quick story. Some of you may have heard this story before.

When I was in my final season of baseball at Saint Francis, I took a few trips down to USC to learn from renowned pitching coach Tom House. It was a hot summer day – no one on the field – and I was throwing with him in the bullpen. Not a word was spoken for about 50 pitches when he finally said to me…

“Evan. 10% of the time you are going to be amazing. 10% of the time you are going to suck worse than imaginable. 80% of the time you are going to be just average. Champions are made in that 80%.”

This story has a lot to do with happiness believe it or not. In fact, it has everything to do with almost every single day you wake up.

80% of those days you are going to feel just average.

That’s right. Average. Nothing great about the day. Nothing crappy about the day. Just “meh.” For many that is a crappy realization about life. However, for those in the loop…it’s actually pretty exciting. You can almost find yourself saying, “Wait – I have the chance to turn my day in the direction I want to?!”

That’s right. The direction of your day is up to you. Waste it by going in the negative direction or create something great by thinking positive. It’s all up to you.

So I came up with these 7 tips on how to be happy. I think the photo above started us off right.

1. Decide every morning that you are in a good mood: Seriously though. Affirm yourself. Play music. Do things that you love. Focus on your goals and set the tone for the rest of the day. Every single morning I do something that makes me incredibly happy and revved up for the day – I go to the gym.

2. Write out your goals: The first 30 minutes of your day are known to be “The Golden 30.” Use that time wisely. Listen to positive messages. Inspire yourself. Write out those goals and visualize yourself achieving them. You are basically giving your body the “go ahead nod” by getting your mind in the right place.

3. Solve Your Complaints: Take a piece of paper and do the following. On the left side of the sheet write out everything that you have complaints about in life. Trust me, if you are really listening you will have a ton. Then, draw arrows from the left side of the paper to the right and then write your solutions to the complaints. If you don’t want to solve them then you have to let them go. Holding onto complaints is pretty much the kryptonite for a lesson on how to be happy.

4. Get In Action: You know all those things you have always wanted to do but haven’t because you were either too afraid or lazy? Get in action. Start doing them. Take the first step. That will give you some momentum and then you can  take that and tackle the bigger obstacles. There is no feeling like accomplishing goals. So go for it.

5. Appreciate The People In Your Life: Tell the people around you that you care or love them and then tell they why. Tell them why they are important to you and why you are lucky to have them in your life. When you appreciate the people around you and what you have you become much more grateful for walking the steps you do each and every day.

6. 2 Blessed 2 Be Stressed: Most of the stuff you worry about doesn’t ever happen anyways. Theres a famous old line that says worrying is like trying to solve a math equation by chewing bubble gum. That typically doesn’t work out so well. Decide that you are going to be happy and also make the decision that the obstacles in front of you are an opportunity for you to show just how badly you want something.

7. Make No Your Vitamin: This is one of my favorite lines from motivational speaker Les Brown. He says, “Make no your vitamin!” People will tell you all sorts of “no’s” when you have a big dream. But eat those up! Don’t make someone else’s no the reason why you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to. Continue pounding away at your dream and eventually you will accomplish it. Remember, it is resistance that strengthens the blacksmiths arm.

So those are my 7 tips on how to be happy.

I am sure that I can concoct plenty more but I will leave you with those. Just remember, champions are made in the 80%.

What is your best advice on how to be happy?

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project