How to be Happy in 2017 by Following Five Practical Steps

I usually don’t like writing mushy articles like these because I really believe that personal happiness is such a complex phenomenon that it’s best to rely on your personal judgement than listening to other people.

But as with anything, a bit of guidance can do no harm.

The five steps I’ll be mentioning have helped me so I thought I would share them with you.

While writing these steps, I’ve taken care of two important things.

Firstly, I’ve tried to avoid any steps that are too impractical to follow. For instance, a lot of people talk about the power of positive thinking. I just don’t think it’s very practical to always think positively. A few weeks back, I accidently spilled a HUGE mug of coffee on my laptop and had to hold it upside down just to drain the coffee out of the keyboard. I then said a little prayer, opened notepad and hesitantly pressed one of the keys to see if it was working. It did not. I pressed a couple of keys more and they did not work either. Then I tried the usual Ctrl + Alt + Delete approach because that always works. It didn’t. I then smashed the damn keyboard so hard it would have put Conor Mcgregors’ left jab to shame. It still didn’t work. Good luck being a positive thinker there.

Secondly, I’ve made sure the steps I mention only need yourself to execute. They are not dependent on other people. Because things like, spending time with your friends and family is all well and good, but you still have to depend on other people for those. I feel the first priority in being happy should be to start being happy using methods that are fully under your control.

So here we go:

  1. Start the process of following your passion

This undoubtedly has to be most important step in my opinion, but I’m not asking you to quit your job.

That can be stressful.

I’m asking you to start doing things on the side and then take it from there.

I see people who are doing what they like to do and they have a different aura about them.

They radiate a kind of glow and focus that others don’t.

It’s never been easier to start something that you have always dreamt of doing.

The Internet has made a lot of things easier and accessible to almost everyone.

That’s the reason I wrote the free guide Learn How to Start an Online Business in 5 days, where I show you examples from my own business and how I do things.

But you don’t have to start a business.

You can do what you like by finding the right job too.

The key is to really start taking small steps. Don’t wait.

Sometimes, the hardest part of my Monday mornings is getting through mundane tasks like shaving and showering. It’s because I’m so excited and raring to start my work for the day.

Don’t deny yourself that feeling.

Yes, it takes courage to start something new and it all may not work but I can guarantee that you’ll be happier and more at peace because you know you gave it a shot.

  1. Practice Gratitude

This may sound like one of those mushy steps, but it isn’t.

We’re all bound to face negative situations in our lives.

But taking some time out and reminding us of the good things we already have like good health and positive relationships puts things in perspective.

So next time you are worrying about something, just take a deep breath and quickly remind yourself of all that is good in your life, even if you feel it’s very less at the moment.

It won’t make your worries go away but it has the capacity to spark that little light of contentment in you.

In fact, science backs it.

Read this research study by Harvard on effects of gratitude on well-being.


  1. Exercise regularly but not necessarily with the six-pack obsession

I see people who regularly workout or play a sport.

And there’s no doubt they look much happier and fresher generally.

It’s nothing but science again.

Working out releases your brain’s natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins.

They give you a natural high.

They are the reason you feel so amazing after you’ve worked out and had a shower.

You don’t have to be obsessed with exercise.

Unless you are an athlete, there’s no reason to punish yourself to the extreme.

Find something you like to do. These days gyms have all sorts of options like Zumba, dancing, Yoga, etc.

Don’t want to join a gym? No problem. Play a sport, hike, ride a bike, go jogging or simply walk.

The important thing is to move your body and make it a regular part of your routine.

Exercising is probably the best natural stress buster out there. Use it.


  1. Cut out negative people from your life

This one is tough.

But it’s necessary.

Anyone who doesn’t make you feel good or positive (on an average basis) and adds stress in your life on a continual basis should be shown the door.

With some people, you can do this immediately and with others, you’ll have to do it gradually.

But it’s something you should do.

Who those people are is not for me to say.

You are mature enough to take the call. The key is to think on an average basis, so you’ll know the right people don’t get affected.

The first time you do this, it may feel uncomfortable and you may even feel guilty.

Ride that wave of discomfort and I promise you, you’ll be better off and more stress-free in the long run.

  1. Meditate and find a hobby you love to do.

Just like most people, I really struggle with this too.

And I normally leave things I struggle with.

But not this one.

Because I really believe meditation works.

I got a glimpse of it 5 years back when I was suffering from mild Jaundice.

That time I had practiced meditation seriously and gradually seen positive effects.

It was like I stopped bothering about problems and that they had just disappeared into thin air.

I think that’s the power of meditation.

It can solve problems not only by providing solutions, but my making them irrelevant in the first place.

I also believe mediation just doesn’t have to be done the usual way of sitting silently.

Finding a hobby you really like can be a sort of meditation too.

Some of the activities where I go into a meditative state include:

  • While doing wildlife/landscape photography.
  • Playing a game of soccer
  • Sometimes during a teaching/training session that I’m conducting
  • Many times when I’m working (that’s why it’s important to do what you love)

Basically, wherever I like what I’m doing so much that I forget about everything.

Try finding activities like that.

They relax you and make you more conscious and aware about who you are, which can have further positive effects like increased creativity and better self-awareness, which in turn are bound to make you take actions that are more in tune with you are.

That’s it. I hope you liked the steps above. I would love it if you could leave a comment below in case this article helped you.

I wish you a happy and amazing 2017.

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