As we welcome in January, Winter Wonderland lyrics may be back on the shelf, but the beautiful message that it paints still inspires, especially on this initial day of 2016.
While goal achievement can add to a sense of accomplishment and well being for that "High D" sales personality that is common among successful real estate agents, it can also be an addictive element that steals focus from other areas of our lives, leading to the deprecation of happiness or a deteriorating perspective about those around us.
Amidst setting business goals and committing to the long list of resolutions for fitness and health, many people risk missing the bigger picture… living an excellent life and loving our day to day -- no matter what life brings our way. Our mental and emotional happiness often colors our circumstances, creating the "reality" we live in, where even the poorest of paupers can be happy, and the wealthiest of kings can be miserable.
The New Bird of Happiness
Wishing for more joy in your life? Here are 10 tips professional salespeople can incorporate to embrace life and love each day to the fullest.
- Assume the Best -- We can never really know someone else's intentions. Choosing to see and feel good does more than ease a sense of doubt; it also expands your awareness. While negative emotions literally narrow our thinking and contribute to feeling bitter and critical, positive emotions help to form closer bonds with others, increase resilience, and satisfaction with life. We can simply choose to feel good more often, starting with the way we interpret the things people do.
- Let Go -- Drawers and cabinets are not the only areas that need tidying... Just like the physical clutter in our living spaces, holding on to emotional things that aren't serving a present or positive purpose can weigh us down and reduce our ability to enjoy life in the given moment. Fear, envy, worry, grudges, anger, guilt, prejudice, disgust and criticism are every bit as unproductive, unhealthy and exhausting as trash building up in the hallways of a home. By decluttering our emotional baggage, we change our thoughts to focus on the positive, leading to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
- Turn Off The News -- Life Coach, Kathy Hadley writes, "Every day millions of things happen, 85% good, 10% neutral, 4.9% unwanted but not terrible & .1% really bad. Out of all those things, the NEWS selects what they show from the .1% that is really bad. Turn off TV News, radio, don’t read the newspaper, and hide all negative posts on your facebook and twitter streams. Why? To be in control of your own thoughts, where you put your attention and how you feel and vibrate so that you can finally really start to attract the life you want."
- Own Accountability -- Grant Cardone teaches us what separates successful salespeople from those that fail to achieve long-lasting success. One key difference is that successful people never make excuses. A victim mentality is a prison only you can hold yourself in… and one that guarantees chronic unhappiness no matter what your circumstances are, because somebody somewhere will always be "mistreating" you, and everything that "goes wrong" will always "someone else's fault". The victim mentality is the equivalent of giving away your personal power to create the life you want. By embracing full accountability for everything that happens in our lives, we become unstuck and start seeing challenges as opportunities instead of insurmountable hurdles. As a direct result, the respect in our personal and business relationships increases, and that "bad luck" and "mistreatment" that always seems to happen to those in the victim role disappears.
- Select Your Associates Wisely -- Jim Rohn offers an excellent two-part article that challenges readers to evaluate the major influences they choose to allow into their lives. From our business colleagues to our best friends & family members, we become like those with whom we associate. By purposefully associating with people who are positive, energizing influences, it naturally limits those relationships that hold us back.
Fire Frenemies -- You don't need to make any apologies for protecting yourself from predatory relationships. Forcing yourself to engage in pretenses or to participate in deceptive relationships is NOT the same as giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Dealing with negative emotions like jealousy, inferiority, selfishness and resentment on a regular basis is not only draining, it also exposes you to behavioral undermining. Recognize the symptoms of relationships that are poised to bring you harm under the guise of business or friendship, and purposefully distance those individuals as far away from your inner circle as possible.
Date Learning -- Phillip Moeller writes, " Education has been widely documented by researchers as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity. And when people are intensely engaged in doing and learning new things, their well-being and happiness can blossom." Whether studying to enhance your professional skill set, or pursuing a new hobby interest, the mind and body reap the same benefits, and those benefits increase as we age.
Exude Gratitude -- Miya Goodrich wrote, "Happiness doesn't make us grateful; gratitude makes us happy." Taking life for granted is an easy trap to fall in to. We have a tendency to end each day under the assumption that tomorrow will bring a repeat performance in health & routine... until it doesn't. Life can change in the blink of an eye, but it musn't take misfortune or loss to help us realize what a blessing each day really is. It just takes awareness! And with that awareness, comes a commitment to live in the present, focusing on the good things in life instead of the bad and taking time to acknowledge and appreciate them for what they are -- gifts.
- Practice Kindness -- As the Greek proverb cites, kindness begets kindness. It seems like a simple thing, but even the kindest of hearts can be met with unkindness, indifference or demands to give more in return. While it is true that practicing kindness can be challenging at times, the rewards are exponential because of the generally contagious nature of good will. Need help getting started? Click the link at the beginning of this paragraph for 40 simple ways to practice kindness every day, and enjoy the boomerang benefits of giving. The trick is to give freely without any expectation of favor being returned.
- Do What You Love -- There's a million ways of wording this -- your one thing, follow your passion, find your purpose… At the end of the day, if you are just trading time for money, or punching a clock in the hopes that someday you will have a moment to "live your life", that decision is leading to a life of regret. The enemy of happiness is the election to serve mediocrity. Do more. Be more. Outsource the bookkeeping, and use the saved time to close one additional transaction per month. Or, take that yoga class / trip to Paris / camping trip that made the bucket list 5 years ago. Get the designation to launch into the specialized niche of business you are fascinated by. By focusing on your strengths and what naturally makes you happy, your sense of fulfillment and purpose will increase and bring more joy to your life.
Wishing you success in 2016!