How to Be Happier?

UPDATED: April 12, 2020
PUBLISHED: March 10, 2017

I’m always amazed by people who say they’re unhappy in their lives, and they act as if happiness is this big mysterious force that is difficult to figure out.

Happiness is one of the most studied areas of human endeavors in the history of the world. When you look at psychology and philosophy, this is all they’ve been talking about for literally centuries.

Related: TED Talks: ‘The Habits of Happiness’

So we figured out the basics of happiness, but sometimes common sense isn’t common practice, so people struggle for no reason.

1. We know happiness comes from an orientation toward the world in which we look at the past, the present and the future in specific ways.

We often tend to look at the past with gratitude and fond recollection, even if there were struggles, challenges, suffering and turmoil.

We find our places in the past, and we feel a sense of acceptance about the past. It happened. It’s good.

All things were as they were and today they are as they shall be. It’s being OK with whatever the past is—finding a peace, acceptance and gratitude there allows us to be a little freer in the present.

And being in the present makes us happy. Being engaged in whatever we are really doing. Really engaged in it, mentally engaged in what we’re doing each day. Where we’re challenging ourselves just a little bit. Where we’re finding something we’re passionate about and interested in. Challenging ourselves to bring our full conscious presence to the moment. To develop awareness.

Almost all spiritual texts, teachers and trainers are trying to help people become present in the moment, more accepting of the world as it is—the power of now. Get here. Be engaged and be present with the moment.

Then with the future, it’s all about anticipating with excitement what’s to come in the future, even if the future is scary, even if you know there’s still going to be a hardship (because there will be), even if you know there’s going to be struggle, there will be tomorrow.

You’ve forgotten that there is magic to life, that there is something tomorrow.

What are you excited about for tomorrow? If you can’t find anything, that has nothing to do with the reality of tomorrow. It has to do with your mindset. You’ve poisoned yourself in pools of pessimism for so long that you drowned yourself of hope. You’ve forgotten that there is magic to life, that there is something tomorrow.

You can find something.

Even if you just say, You know what, tomorrow I’m going to feel better, just because I’m going to decide to be. Be excited about that.

Tomorrow I’m going to go do something nice for somebody. Tomorrow I’m going to get focused on this one project I’ve been waiting to do. Tomorrow I’m going to make the damn bed. Whatever it is, find something to be excited about for tomorrow.

That’s the basis of everything we know about your emotional world and your mental world of happiness. It’s so simple: Be accepting and at peace with the past. Be present and engaged here in the present. Be excited and anticipate something for the future.

2. We’ve also learned what it takes to be happy and healthy physically.

What does it take to be happy and emotionally and physically healthy?

Physically, health is easy. It’s…

We all know this, but what’s so easy? Common sense isn’t common practice, if we’re hungry: pizza! Happiness and being physically happy is very simple and easy; you’re just not doing it consistently enough if you don’t feel physically enlivened and vibrant.

3. Another thing people often struggle with in their happiness is their relationships.

I’m not saying relationships aren’t hard, but are you applying the common sense that we know from years and years and years of relationship advice?

Are you present with your loved one? Are you appreciative and adoring of them? Are you giving them the benefit of the doubt? Are you realizing that it’s you in the relationship with them, fully interdependent?

They aren’t causing the problem separate of you; the two of you are in a dance together in which you have to honor and respect each other. You have to make life fun for each other.

If your marriage is stale, it’s not because the marriage is stale; it’s because you and the other person allowed each other to go stale. You have to fire each other up again.

4. What about spirituality? 

Everything we know in spirituality comes down to the basics: having faith, having a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves, to allow ourselves to be amazed and awed by the mystery of the world, of this universe, of our God and our Creator, to be honoring of those very things in which we have faith toward.

None of this is magic. It’s about looking at your life sometimes and just doing a full-scale evaluation on a Sunday once in a while. Look at your life and say:

Am I emotionally happy? If not, how am I looking at the past, the present and the future? Am I physically healthy? If not, how am I eating? How am I sleeping? How am I working out? Am I doing the basics here?

If your relationships aren’t happy, then the answer is:

What is not happening in the relationship? What am I not bringing into this relationship anymore? How am I not sensing and contributing to this relationship anymore? What have I not asked for consistently enough? What is it that they specifically need that might turn it around?

Spiritually, just feel gratitude.

Aren’t we so blessed to have these moments? That we get to be here, listening to ideas and concepts about improving our lives?

How blessed are we that we have people who are around us?

How blessed are we that we could give more love to the world just because we choose to?

How blessed are we that we can get up tomorrow, decide who we are going to be and start becoming them?

How blessed are we that we can wake up tomorrow and start designing the life we always wanted to live?

Related: 13 Quotes About Finding Your Bliss

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Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and one of the most watched, followed and quoted personal development trainers in history. He is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, a Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and star of The Charged Life, a top 10 self-help podcast and the #1 self-help show on YouTube. 5 million people follow him on Facebook and over 75,000,000 have watched his videos. SUCCESS named him “one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement.” His most recent book is The Motivation Manifesto. Meet him at