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In our constantly busy lives we rarely have the time to step back and truly appreciate, and be happy about, the things we’re grateful for.  If you want to be happier and increase happiness, the fist step is to take the time to think about what you want and what makes you feel happiness.

Having a happy life makes us feel more energised, inspired and motivated.  A natural byproduct of being happier, is a feeling of self-confidence, belief and excitement with what is truly available to us in the world.

We all want to be happy and feel happier.  This article looks at the keys to happiness and shares 10 ways on how to increase happiness in business and life.  

Happiness meaning 

Happiness is the feeling we have when things are going well and we appreciate and express gratitude for everything in our life than makes us feel happy and brings us happiness.  Happiness is an internal sense of joy, excitement, well-being, gratitude and appreciation for who we are, what we have and what we’ve achieved. 

We can be happy with our health, our relationships, our success, and our achievements, be they big or small.  When we are excited or joyful about the present and the future, we feel happier.

Why is happiness so important?

Happiness is so important because it makes us feel good about ourselves and others.  Happiness can improve our feelings of self-worth and self-confidence and make us more excited, energised and motivated about the present and future.  When we’re not feeling happy, it’s easier to feel stressed, trapped and overwhelmed.  When we’re happier it’s easier to set and achieve bigger and better goals, and stay motivated to make progress every day towards achieving them.

Gretchen Rubin talks more about the importance of happiness in her happiness project.  

How to be happy 

If you want to be happy and increase your happiness, here are 10 proven ways to do it  

1. Know that you’re good enough 

We are bombarded with stories of “success”, whether that’s through friends, your network or through social media.

It’s easy to feel that we don’t measure up somehow.  We develop a fear of missing out. 

We live in a super competitive world. It’s a great thing to have ambition and want to grow as a person.

The problem starts though when we constantly compare ourselves and beat ourselves up that we are in some way “not good enough”.

If you start getting into that kind of mindset, stop.  Challenge yourself about that way of thinking.

What is “good enough”? 

Who defines that anyone is actually better than you?

As long as you feel happy about yourself and stay true to your own values and purpose that is all that matters.

Celebrate your own wins, don’t look to other people’s success, then you will be happy with what you have and what you achieved. 

2. Don’t worry what others think (or seemingly think)

We’re all individuals with our own unique experiences and qualities.  We all have a different perception of what happiness is and what happiness means.

To be happy, stay true to yourself and do what you want rather than worry about other people’s expectations.

This will protect your self-confidence and self-esteem.

It’s your life, your decisions and choices. Others love to pass on their opinions and judge.  Don’t let that change how you feel about yourself, or impact your happiness.

Create your own day, month, year and life. 

When you care too much or are influenced by what others say, you take control of your happiness away and live your life for them rather than yourself. If you want to be happier, stay on your own path and appreciate what you have.

3. Always be learning

The experiences, events, mistakes and successes that happened in the past make up who we are in the present, and what we feel happy about.

We’ve all made mistakes.  Don’t let that define who you are right now.

Instead, look at what you can learn from those past experiences. 

We all get to decide what from the past we want to take into the present and use to create out ideal future.

Choose the best things and cut yourself some slack with the other things that didn’t go so well. 

Increase happiness by focusing on gratitude for the good things and learn to forgive yourself more often.    

4. Focus on your strengths

We often magnify the negative and place less value on the things that are positive, that we are happy about.

To be happier, create your day rather than react to other people and what they want 

Create a sense of abundance and focus on what you have rather than a focus on what’s missing in your business and life.

A chance to focus on our strengths, rather than worry about our weaknesses.

We think about and focus on what we don’t have rather than taking a step back and really immersing ourselves in everything that is good.  The things that bring us happiness.

I always tell my coaching clients that if they want to be happy, they need to focus on their strengths and increase their capabilities in those areas rather than focusing on the negative.

Don’t worry about the competition.  Instead focus on what bring you happiness and where you add the biggest value.

Take a piece of paper and write down all of your greatest strengths.  Then write down everything in life that you appreciate right now.

You’ll soon realise that you have a lot to be grateful for and to be happy about.  There will always be people who have more and people who have less.

Increase your happiness by focusing on who you are, what you have and the value you bring.  

5. Celebrate your courage 

There is actual failure and the fear of failure.  The thing is, everyone has failed in something.

It’s how you react to failure that counts.

The fear of failure often makes people shy away from working on new concepts or achieving goals.

Rather than having the courage to tackle something new or scary they stay safe and stick with what they know.

If you’ve experienced failure in your business or life, you know it’s your attitude to failure that matters.  Do you get back up or stay down?

Do you learn from it or blame someone else? There is always something to be learnt from a failure.

Maybe you don’t think about it as a failure but an experiment or learning experience.

When you are on the learning team, you have the courage to move forward.

6. Believe in your purpose

Is someone else’s expectations of you more important than your own?

When you’re comfortable and confident about yourself, you really don’t need to be someone else or prove yourself to anyone else.

Don’t buy into those constant success stories or perfect lives or perfect businesses.

You don’t know what’s really happening behind the scenes to create those perfect stories or images.

Don’t lose sight of what’s really important to you and what you believe in. 

Focus on staying true to your vision and purpose.

Accept yourself and everything that makes up who you are. 

7. Create your ideal future today

We spend so much time in our futures that we often forget about what we could create right now.

We lose sight of the opportunities that exist in the present and worry about all the things that may happen in the future.

This distracts us from the here and now.  It stops us from taking action in the present moment.

Stop.  Use the next hour to put plans in place to create your ideal future rather than imagining what it could be.

Don’t worry about what could be.  Commit to the present.  Decide what you want that will help you increase happiness.

8. Get clarity on your goals 

 It’s always ideal to have a direction of travel.  To set goals that are important to you. 

To know where you’re heading and how you’re going to get there makes you feel more motivated, and in turn happier.

The thing about knowing where you’re going is that you take control of your journey. 

You decide the steps you will take to get there and what the achievements will be along the way.

You decide when you’ll be happy and how you’ll find happiness.

If we believe we’ll only be happy once something has happened (that may not be in our control), we often put our life on hold until the event happens.

This takes away the joy from living in the present moment and creating our direction of travel. 

9. Forget about perfection 

It doesn’t always have to be perfect before you start.  Sometimes we are so concerned that everything is just so that we forget to move forward.

Procrastination sets in.  We go through things over and over again to make sure everything is perfect.  We begin to doubt ourselves.

Sometimes we start and never finish.  We move onto another project because the first one is not quite right.

Often this is because of fear.  Fear of what others may think.  Fear that it’s not as perfect as we want.

Ask yourself who can help you so you don’t have to do everything yourself.  Remember that progress is much better than perfection.

10. Take advantage of opportunities 

In some way most of us are so afraid of rejection or being different that we stay in our comfort zones.

It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there.  To stand on a stage or present new ideas or risk feedback or risk being vulnerable.

But, the more you hide out of fear, the greater the fear will grow.

Sometimes the opportunities, increased capabilities and outcomes you get to experience are far greater than you expected.

It’s often never as bad as you think it will be.  The confidence you may feel will often outweigh any negativity.

We often create a negative reality in our own mind that isn’t there in the outside world.


Use some of these 10 strategies to increase happiness and create greater freedom in your business and life. 

When we feel happy we’re more motivated, energised and excited.  Happiness builds confidence and that confidence helps us overcome challenges and allows us to make measurable progress towards our goals.

Take some time out to reflect on who and what makes you happy and then focus your time and energy on expanding that happiness. 

10 Days of Happiness

Action for Happiness have recently launched their 10 Days of Happiness program which involves setting a daily happiness action each day for 10 days.  Hit the link above to find our more and sign up.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What one thing makes you happy?

How do you increase happiness in your life? 

Let me know in the comments

Further Reading

How to be happy: 9 ways to be happier 

4 Important ways to learn how to be present 

How to be more confident: 10 self-confidence tips 

How to be a good listener: 8 powerful tips 

3 simple ways to increase confidence every day

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results. 

Get more articles, tips and tools to help you simplify your time to multiply your results on the blog.

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