Secrets for Being Happy Even When You’re Stuck: Advice From Personal Development Gurus
“Never give up and don’t ask why because every situation does not need an answer. I’m a firm believer that I don’t worry about anything I can’t control.”
Let’s face it. Sometimes you’re stuck. It can feel like there are secrets for being happy, and you just don’t know what they are.
Whether its the job market, the job you already have that’s just about killing you, or some other difficult situation, it can be really hard to be happy and upbeat in the face of it.
You don’t want to walk around miserable, spewing bile on the poor soul who is brave stupid enough to ask you how your day is.
But you just can’t seem to get over what you’re dealing with right now. And what’s worse, you don’t feel you have any control at all over the situation. You’re stuck.
Or are you?
You know, we’ve all been there. But the truth is it can be really hard to see what you do actually have control over from inside a situation.
So in order to help you out, I was able to get 5 modern day philosophers – some of the top personal development bloggers, to give up their secrets for being happy, even when you’re stuck in something bad.
And I didn’t even have to hang them by their ankles and shake! They were all kind enough to share their secrets freely.
I asked all of them one simple question, but the answers they gave are strewn with pearls of hard-earned wisdom.
Here’s the question:
What one piece of advice would you give someone who feels stuck in a life or a situation (i.e. a job) that they don’t like, in order to make them happier?
Since the goal is to wake up everyday and go to work excited, the question is how can we inject some more excitement into our already existing job?
Where is the excitement that we might be overlooking?
What are 2-3 things that would excite you about your dream job?
Then, how can you find creative and fun ways to implement 1 or 2 of them into your current job.
However, that is not the long term solution. That is part of the transitional step from one career to the next.
The next step returns to the original question, where we ask ourselves what would we love to do everyday? No rush, think about it. What would excite you and make you proud? How could you make your contribution to the world in a fun and creative way? Think about it.
Smile. Enjoy this visualization.
Lastly, who would we need to call? What would we need to learn? What classes should we take? Books should we read? Place should we go?
How can we BECOME what we are trying to do? How can we gain the experience and knowledge needed for us to be taken seriously in our dream career?
What are 3 things I can do in the next three months that will make me an ideal candidate for my dream career?
Since our career is something that we will spend 50-70% of our waking hours either doing or thinking about; it is essential to our well-being that we take control and find something that we love, or, really really like!
Sybil Chavis created PossibilityofToday.com after changing her entire life through giving up complaining for 40 days. Incredible, right? She says:
I think the best thing to do when you’re unhappy with your current situation is to take 30 minutes every morning and for the first 5 minutes ask yourself questions:
What do you really want for your life? What are your best next steps? What feels right to you deep down?
Then take the remaining 25 minutes and turn off your thinking mind. Meditate, listen to music, be silent or do anything else you enjoy that relaxes you.
You will notice that over time the answers and your best next steps will rise to the surface.
And, while you’re waiting to find your truth and your answers …
Turn all your attention to the day in front of you. Focus on experiencing today (and every today that follows) in the best way. Pour all of your good energy into everything you do and anytime your mind wanders or you notice yourself unhappy about your current situation, gently remind yourself to bring your attention back to the moment in front of you.
One of the best lessons I have ever learned is that the tomorrow we’re hoping for is connected to how we live our moments today.
Understandably, external conditions affect our happiness to some degree.
But fundamentally, true happiness depends upon the mind and how we choose to see whatever occurs in our life.
For example, the Dalai Lama is not a stranger to tragedy, yet he says he is fundamentally a happy person. And, as the concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl pointed out, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
So it comes down to training the mind to choose wisely and have the broadest possible response to whatever occurs in our life.
Our situation may be difficult, but we can look for the lessons in it. We can still make a point of enjoying special moments like the feeling of a gentle wind on our face, the smile of a young child, or the satisfaction of a good meal. We can commit to smiling as often as possible because smiling changes our physiology for the better, draws people toward us, and uplifts our own mood.
It’s not necessarily easy to train the mind in happiness because we may have a long-held and deeply engrained habit of feeling stuck or discontent, which may have become quite etched into the brain.
So I appreciate this is not easy and really requires determination.
But, modern neuroscience shows us it’s possible to change even deeply held deceptive patterns. And, the funny thing is, once we start moving toward a positive outlook, circumstances tend to start opening up. So new opportunities may appear.
Never give up! Find happiness in small moments and let those moments add up.
Kevin Cole is a life coach and the creator of PerformDestiny.com. I would tell you that one of the reasons I like him so much is that he’s got a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase style. He would tell you he doesn’t do bullshit:
You don’t have to accept this.You can do something else.
Your well-being doesn’t have to be determined by your shitty circumstances. This isn’t “just a part of life.”
Ask yourself big questions like: “What the hell do I really want to do?”
Start to set your course for a better life. If you take action, then your job becomes temporary.
So go put one foot in front of the other, hustle on nights and weekends, and turn your tough situation into an opportunity.
Aaron Morton is a coach and big cheese at TheConfidenceLounge.com. Aaron is extremely thoughtful, and he makes no exception here.
When someone feels stuck it means something is holding them at a particular point in their life and it is not an enjoyable experience. Think of all the other things we associate with ‘stuck’; stuck in mud, stuck in a traffic jam, stuck on a problem. None of them are particularly enjoyable experiences!
Life is movement and when we are stuck, it feels like we are going against what we should be doing. My advice is in 2 stages:
1. Become clear on what you want to be doing instead. Identify your resources you’ll need to get there and then ask “What is the very first step I need to do in order to begin”
2. Ask yourself what you can do to make your current situation more bearable. Creating a different situation for yourself can take time depending on what it is, so making your current situation more bearable (be with friends more, watch comedy each day, have more interesting conversations etc) can go towards being a little happier.
Remember: Happiness is a conclusion based on what you’ve been doing within your current environment.
So doing what makes you happy (step 1) will go towards feeling happy even when the situation isn’t currently ideal (step 2).
Dani DiPirro is is the creator of PositivelyPresent.com (also of 15 little blogs fame). She helps us be present and positive in this moment, and her thoughts here are enlightening.
It’s an age-old saying, but it’s so true: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
That’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given and it works so well whenever I’ve found myself in a really unpleasant situation.
Even if it’s difficult, I always try to change the situation (i.e., leave a job, end a relationship, etc.) if it feels very negative.
If, for some reason it cannot be changed, I strive to look for the positive elements of the situation. No matter what, there is always something good (even if that something good is simply a tough time making you a stronger person) and when you focus on the positive aspects, you’ll be in a much better position to find happiness wherever you are.
Our experts seem to agree. There are three things we really need to do:
1.Focus on what you can change,
2. Decide what you really want and work hard on creating it,
3. Be present and find joy right now.
Use this wisdom to help change your situation or change how you look at it or feel about it. Because you being stuck or staying stuck is not only bad for you, but it’s bad for everyone around you who doesn’t get to benefit from all the amazing things you might have done.
(If you’re in need of help getting unstuck, I just announced that I’m starting breakthrough sessions, which will help you get out of wherever you’re stuck, fast. Like in the next 60 minutes, fast.)
So tell me, whose answer did you connect with or resonate with?
Who did you learn something from?
What are your thoughts on my one simple question?
And what questions do you still have about how to actually pull this off?
Leave your answer in the comments below – and don’t forget to punch your karma card by sharing this post!