After years of meeting happy people who’ve shared their secret of what gives them their smiles, it was about time I decanted them all into a series of life lessons that are easy to implement and in the most part, free apart from the time you need to invest in making them a habit. Some might suit you, or some you might be going already, whatever the case, give them a go and see if they help you feel better about your day and your take on life.
Here is Part One of The Adventureprenur’s Guide to a Happy Life…
- Embrace the dawn
Start your day early if you want to be productive in life. Find time for YOU – gift yourself the best hours of the day and wake before the rest of the house to do something that’s good for your mental wellbeing. I don’t mean waking up to mindlessly scroll through news websites forecasting the next step of global doom, or double-tapping so-called ‘influencers’ who love nothing more than you flagellating their over-valued egos.
This is about starting the day in the right way with a little mental meditation, yogic stretching or an hour of your favourite cardio – be it an F45 or X-Fit session, a 2km ocean swim or my personal favourite, a 10km run. Nothing beats that satisfying feeling of returning at the end of the session as the sun breaks the horizon with the rest of the world are only just escaping the duvet. You’re one step ahead already.
An early morning start gets the blood pumping, releases endorphins, and gets you engaged and thinking about projects that will make a difference to the outcome and productivity of your entire day.
- Reward your brain
I remember listening to a brain expert give a lecture to a group of CEOs in Japan a few years ago, with his opinion on the best way to wake up the brain and be productive in the first few hours of the day…and coffee didn’t come into it!
Re-hydrating your brain with H20 after-hours asleep is the single most important step you can take – so gulp down at least ten sips of cool water to kick-start everything inside your pip. It’s is a great way to clear your mind and prep yourself for what comes next.
- Be a modern-day explorer
The entrepreneurs of today are the explorers of yesteryear – people committed to looking at things from a different angle, challenging the norm, never excepting an answer as being the only answer and pushing themselves to do, be or achieve more. If it wasn’t for this kind of mindset, we’d all be Flat-Earthers living in sewerage swamped communes scared of what lies over the horizon.
When it comes to visualising then realising your life dreams, you can either be a Flat-Earther or Explorer. Are you prepared to put in the hard work, take risks and experience an element of discomfort to break new ground and be the best version of yourself?
- Grow icicles on your ‘nice-icles’
If you haven’t heard about the benefits of jumping in a cold shower first thing in the morning or who Wim Hof is, you’re missing out! I’ve been a full subscriber to leaving the hot tap turned off for nearly a decade and love the feeling and benefits derived from it. Try it once and when you’ve got used to it (it takes about a week) you should start to feel reduced stress levels, a higher level of alertness (it definitely wakes you up!), have a more robust immune system, increased will power and a higher metabolic rate which helps you lose weight….oh and a smaller hot water bill too.
- Set your goal
Visualise your dream adventure, set a date, and tell your dearest friends about it. If you want to be happy in life you need to keep kicking personal goals and being brave enough to think big, book the ticket that gets you there and have a date to work towards. It’s one of the best ways to build focus and provide a daily challenge. Make it happen.
- Smile and be happy
It’s our responsibility in life to make someone’s day, each and every day. So, smile often and genuinely. It’ll make you feel good and someone else’s day too.
- Find your passion and push your comfort zones
It’s far too easy in life to get stuck in a rut which leaves your listless and unmotivated. No one feels happy when the world is passing them by, so jump on and enjoy a crazy ride. Try everything and anything when it comes to new experiences, activities or projects, especially the things you’ve never done before that might even slightly scare you. It’s only when you push yourself just past the limits of your imaginary comfort zone you realise what’s possible and really grow as a human.
- Keep on moving
Nothing gets the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing like some good exercise. Whether you need to smash out a kilometre in the pool, pump iron in the gym or run 10kms, just find your passion and embrace it. Some of us are dawn dwellers, others are night-time owls – make sure you find time each and every day to move for at least 30 minutes.
For me, exercise is the perfect thought-generator too. I take my phone with me and find myself asking Siri to set reminders for when I get home. Two wins in one – stay fit and healthy and be productive. Remember there’s no such thing as a bad run.
- Embrace the great outdoors
Citification could be the downfall of mankind as we slowly lose touch with our natural instincts and cycles, become disconnected from wilderness areas and fester in vast concrete jungles. Keeping that primaeval connection to nature alive through adventure, challenges and personal exploration builds our capacity to deal with everyday situations when we’re back in the city. But exploration doesn’t have to be crossing the Arctic tundra, it’s about pushing the limits of what you know about the world, and it could be in your local park, in an area of the map you’ve never visited before or by choosing a holiday destination that no-one you know has been to before. Being in nature gives you the perfect place to relax, reduces stress levels, keeps anxiety at bay, and heightens your senses.
- Limit the socials, pick up the phone
In the age of social media, it’s become too easy to communicate through messaging platforms where conversations have no soul and are lost in the digital ether. Social really isn’t that social after all. Yes, it’s easy, but I find it so impersonal. With all the craziness in the world right now, we’ve been given the greatest gift of all….time. Time to refresh friendships, reconnect with family and get back to meaningful conversations ear-to-ear over the phone, or face-to-face in person or through video calling. It’s so much more rewarding for everyone.