by Todd Perkins
I want you to do me a favor. Look to the upcoming year
and ask yourself—realistically—what lies in store in
2012? If you’re like most people, a huge portion of
your life will be spent anxiously plugging away at a job you
may or may not enjoy with coworkers you may or may not
like. Okay, yes, you work hard to build a better life for your
family. But here’s the question: Will you have time to enjoy
them? Will you be too exhausted to throw the ball with your
son? And how many nights will you get home too late to
tuck him in this year?
When I was thirty-six years old, I was successfully leading my family’s
auto parts business, I was well respected in my community, I had a wonderful wife and
son…and I also suffered a nervous breakdown. Yes, at that
point in my life, I enjoyed what I did and was truly proud of
my successes, but I was also pushing myself too hard and
prioritizing the wrong things, and eventually, it all caught
up with me.
For the past decade, I have taken a closer look at what
really makes people happy and unhappy, and I have seen
most of my goals and priorities shift. In the same way, it’s
in your best interests to shift your habits and focus in 2012.
Call it a New Year’s resolution to simply be happy.
1.) You have to choose and prioritize happiness—it
doesn’t just happen.
2.) Striving for work/life balance is worth its weight in gold.
3.) We are our own worst critics.
4.) It’s never too late to start living in the present.
5.) Focusing on what you’re good at is best for everyone.
6.) Exercise is worth its weight in therapy.
7.) You need to feed your mind healthy “food.”
8.) Surround yourself with positive people.
9.) Invest in your relationships—especially your marriage.
10.) Take control of what you can.
11.) Being friendly is a good investment.
12.) Helping others is the soul food of life.
13.) It’s important to connect with something bigger than
14.) A grateful heart is a happy heart.
15.) Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
Ultimately, I’ve learned that the quality of your life is
largely up to you. If you’re anything like me—and if you’re
honest with yourself—you’ll have to confess that a striving,
stressful lifestyle is not making you happy. I’ll admit that
many of the changes I’m asking you to make in order to
avoid more unhappiness (and perhaps even a breakdown)
go against what society says you should do if you want
to be successful. But I have found out the hard way that a
“successful” yet stressed out and unhappy life is certainly
not, in reality, a truly successful life at all.