Do you want to be happy now?
Why would you not want to be happy?
Why do we stop ourselves from being happy?
Happiness is such a seemingly elusive concept.
There are those who are always happy and seem like they've cracked the secret to life.
Then there are others, maybe you and me, who seem like wherever we go, whatever turn we take, we just get further and further away from it.
It seems like the harder we push, the faster we run, it never gets closer.
Over the past 2 years (almost) and the close to a dozen businesses I have dipped my toe in, I struggled to come to terms with happiness.
Why is that?
What is the difference between me, you and those who seem to always be happy?
Is it a passion for what we do?
In my experience, it hasn't been.
Is it having success?
Too many stories of successful depressed people on the internet for that to hold any bearing.
Let's explore this concept together.
Let's discuss the endless pursuit of happiness and truly uncover whether it's endless, or right within our grasp all along.
I'm going to outline the 5 ways to be happy now that I've picked up over the past two years
Entrepreneurs have one main thing in common - the ability to think big and think without limit.
To a normal person, an entrepreneur's thoughts and even visions can be daunting.
Whilst you, an entrepreneur, might think that building a £10 million per year business is not a far-fetched goal at all, someone without the same ability might see this as absurd.
"You're crazy! £10 million /year? Who do you think you are, Jeff Bezos?"
No matter how hard you try, you can't explain your thoughts and vision to others.
You can't make them see what you see.
This feeling often leads to loneliness and isolation.
Being left with your own thoughts is not a great place to be when you're an entrepreneur.
It's when your thoughts and visions start to spread throughout your mind, they start to become bigger, more vivid, more real.
It's when the line between your wildest thoughts & imaginations and your reality becomes blurred.
All of a sudden you can't think of anything other than what it is you're setting out to achieve.
When you're at ground zero, you've just landed, you're boots on the ground, the finish line or the journey itself can seem lightyears away.
From where you're standing, at the start line, reaching the realm of £10 million, £100 million per year businesses can seem ludicrous.
We start to compare the two polar opposites - we compare where we are and where we want to be, and it only gets worse.
This feeling is daunting, the gap seems scary - like a dark, ominous void of uncertainty and pain.
The comparison only makes it worse and worse. Compared to where we want to be, we're merely ants alone on an entire planet.
What we have right now is nothing compared to what we want.
This is where gratitude starts to slip and you start to focus all your attention on what you don't have, rather than everything you do have.
You may have the best family, the best friends, a great house, a great life, freedom to do most things you want.
However, once this initial comparison is made, everything you've ever had, everything you should be grateful for becomes obsolete.
I urge you to read my article on why gratitude is important as it outlines steps to take to be more grateful.
Compare your happiness today and your happiness a year ago, two years ago.
In many cases, you would have been much happier in the past.
A few years ago, I was just finishing school. I thought that all I wanted was to finish school and go out on my own.
Today, all I really want is that last day of school again.
By the time we realise what we have, or what we had, it's too late.
All that's left now is to embrace the change and strive for gratitude.
Gratitude is your best friend in times of unhappiness.
Get off social media
If you want to be happy now, you need to understand this one step.
Did you know that social media is one of the main sources of unhappiness?
Not long ago, the only way to communicate was to send letters.
It could take days to send a single message, then a few more to receive a reply.
It was no one near as instantaneous as it is nowadays.
This gave people a reason to cherish relationships, it gave people reason to be together, spend time together.
They knew that if they split, it'll be another few weeks before they're reunited.
Families and neighbours spent time together.
Children played outside, got hurt, laughed, cried, it all seemed so natural.
Fast forward today, we've got technology that those 40, 50 years before us could not comprehend.
We have ways to travel 5, 10, 20 times faster than that of the 1900s.
We can send and receive messages within seconds.
We have video calls so we never feel disconnected, ever.
All of this, yet we're more disconnected, socially, than we've ever been in history.
Today, families, spend time alone locked away in their separate rooms.
Neighbours barely know each other.
People don't know how to network and communicate.
Children find themselves immersed in social media, platforms like TikTok.
Rather than going outside, they stay inside and spend their day playing video games.
When we look at entrepreneurs, the main source of our unhappiness comes from social media.
There has not been a single time where I've gone on Instagram and came back happier than I was.
People can be anyone they want to be today.
You could be a nerd in your mum's basement, telling people that you're a multi-millionaire on social media.
You could be a rapper who's 100s of thousands in debt but still flexing your jewellery to brainless children and teenagers.
It's not our fault.
It's what we see, it's what we're told.
Everything we see triggers comparisons that can harm us and the way we think.
We begin to compare our place in the world, our lack of success to others who have it, to others who are 5 or 10 years ahead of us.
A simple fix for this is to simply stop using social media.
Like any habit, you can't just stop using social media.
You use it for 5 minutes less every day.
You slowly go from 3 hours per day to 2 hours, to 1.
You use it for 10 minutes less, 10 minutes less, and all of a sudden you're at 5 minutes per day.
The last time I checked, my Instagram usage was averaging 2 minutes per day.
I still believe there is a long way to go, but 2 minutes compared to 2, 3 hours a few months ago is a win in my eyes.
To be happy now, you simply stop using social media as much.
Set goals properly
A lot of us don't know how to set goals properly.
During our childhood and years in school, we're asked a seemingly simple question.
"What do you want to be when you're older?"
We were let off the hook too easily when we replied with things like:
Naturally, as we grew older, we started to set goals in a similar manner to how we answered a question like this.
We set goals that far exceed our mental capacities.
Setting a goal of reaching £100 million per year when you're just starting out will lead to sadness and unhappiness.
It's impossible to go from 0 to £100 million a year.
What's possible, however, is going from 0 to £100.
£100 to £1000.
£1000 to £5000, and so on.
A goal is a challenge, it's something you're trying to reach.
The right way to set a goal/challenge is to simply set a goal that is roughly 4% out of your comfort zone.
If the goal is easier to achieve, it won't be fun.
If the goal is harder, it won't be fun and will make you unhappy.
That's why you need to learn to set goals the right way.
It's okay to have an overall goal, a destination to reach £100 million per year - hundreds or thousands of businesses have done that.
What's not okay is believing that setting this single goal will get you there.
£100 million is part of your vision.
We now need the stepping stones to get there.
You can read my article on setting smart goals to get started on the right foot.
Trust me - when you set small, achievable goals, you'll start flying through life.
It's like a domino effect.
You set a goal that's roughly 4% harder than you're capable of.
You overcome that goal and it feels good.
You've done something you've never done before, you're 4% smarter now.
You set the next goal and crush it too - a little challenging but not too challenging that it makes you give up.
You feel the dopamine rushing through you, you feel excited, happy, it's all working!
The habit of setting and breaking goals starts to ingrain within you.
This is the start of becoming someone new, becoming someone unstoppable.
Try it out and thank me later.
Our meanings of success are blurred.
To be happy now, you don't need any of these things.
The reason we associate our happiness with these things is that it's what society has shown us.
We've been let down by society, but we haven't let ourselves down just yet.
To be happy now, you simply need to redefine your meaning of success.
When I first started my online business, the e-commerce business, I associated my happiness and success with making money.
If the business was going to be successful, I was going to be happy.
So when the business inevitably failed due to weak and fragile foundations, I quickly became unhappy.
The truth is, no one wants money.
Why would we want a bunch of numbers, lots of them can be confusing to look at!
What we really want is what money buys us.
It's the stress-free holidays, the random, spontaneous outings, the smiles on our loved one's faces when you get them something new.
It's the fulfilment you get when you hand your parents the keys to their newfound paradise.
We don't want the money, we want what it buys us.
Compare your life to someone else's life in Uzbekistan, for example.
Countries in Central Asia have much less benefits than us in the UK, USA, or other countries around the world.
This goes to show that it's not money that we truly seek, but a better, more fulfilling life.
This exercise is simple.
Sit down and really think about what you want.
Write your ideas down using a notepad and pen.
What do you see for yourself, what makes you happy?
Redefine what success looks like for you and you'll be happier now.
What you'll most likely realise is that you don't truly need a £100 million per year business to be happy.
Even a £30,000 annual salary can make many people happy.
I don't want to be the guy who says 'money doesn't buy happiness,' because it does, in my opinion.
It's the vehicle you need to unlock your true passions, the ones we discussed above.
Each person is different, you just need to know what success and happiness mean for you.
Here is something that I struggle with a lot.
Many entrepreneurs believe that to be happy now, you need to first be successful.
Who told us this? Why do we believe that?
There is nothing that tells us we can't be happy right now.
There are no shackles holding us back, telling us that we can't enjoy our lives the way they are right now.
When I started to take entrepreneurship seriously, I detached myself from everything I saw as negative.
I detached myself from:
- Having fun with friends
- Going out
- Frequent outings
- Long breaks
With all of this, I also left myself behind.
I became automated, unhappy.
To be successful, you don't need to put everything on the line.
Being happy is part of being healthy.
That's why I try to stick to my mantra as much as possible.
If it does'nt make me healthier or wealthier, stop it.
We are not machines - we're humans, we need happiness, we need laughter, we need fun in our lives.
When you figure out what success really means to you in the previous step, you'll realise that you can start to be happy, you can start feeling successful right now.
The pursuit of happiness is only as difficult as we make it out to be.
We don't need success to be happy now.
We can be happy now.
Those were the 5 ways to be happy now.
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Till next time,