Five Facets of a Happy Life (and the Thing that Makes it all Work)

1.  Joy: The ability to be at least a little amazed at every moment.  My dog taught me about joy.  For him, every instant is bursting with possibility, adventure, beauty and wonder.  You might find joy in the way objects are arranged, in the color of your surroundings or the sounds, or in the way your mind takes it all in.  No matter what happened to your last sale, this specific moment is always full of life.

2.  Peace: Which is the absence of strife, both external and internal.  Where Joy is mostly an attitude, a choice, a habit, Peace is a goal.  It’s something we work on every day.  We have to because strife and struggle are a very necessary part of life.  For most of us, Peace has a lot to do with flexibility, adaptability, the willingness to change direction and happily take plan B.  Peace and Trust go hand in glove because Trust is knowing you’re going to be ok no matter what happens.

3.  Productivity: The ability to get stuff done.  We are, by nature, do-ers, planners, builders.  We make things and organize things, we progress step by step through a series of tasks to achieve a goal.  We take pleasure in looking back and seeing what we’ve accomplished.  Productivity gets at doing good work, at being creative, at learning and growing.  And building.  What are you building today?

4.  Connectedness: To feel a kinship with other people.  My guess is the hermit lifestyle would make most of us pretty crazy.  We need each other, casually, constructively, and intimately.  Whether you are a person who is energized by contact and the more people, the better – or one who is a little overwhelmed by crowds, interaction with others like ourselves is one of the things that keeps us grounded and focused.

5.  Passion: The ability to be excited by something for a sustained period.  Passion can fuel all of the other Four Facets.  Passion drives us and makes us resiliant.  Our greatest rewards come when we bring our genuine passion to play.  That’s why it’s so important to know where our passions lie and to allow ourselves to explore and exercise them.

There is one thing that is a pre-requisite for all of this. It’s the one thing that has to be in place before we can push our potential anywhere.  It’s Health.  Joy, Peace, Productivity, Connectedness and Passion all take energy, and if you haven’t noticed, energy is a finite thing.  You and I only have so much of it.  We can increase the amount of energy we have for living by getting healthy. That means eating well, and exercising the body and the mind.

Often it’s small adjustments that pay off big in terms of Health.  I dropped my cholesterol 35 points in 90 days by simply  changing my breakfast routine.  (My doctor was delerious:  he wants to make me some kind of poster-boy.)  I have a friend who’s lost 10 pounds this year by changing very little in the quantity of what he eats.  He just quit eating mammals.  One of the women in my spinning class is off blood pressure medicine for the first time in decades because she spends an hour, three times a week, pedaling herself into a good, heart pounding sweat.

Whether you work to increase your store of energy or are content to work with what you’ve got, ultimately you’ll choose how you’ll spend this rare and valuable resource.  It is a choice not to be taken lightly.  Here’s hoping you choose to spend it on the big five:  Joy, Peace, Productivity, Connectedness and Passion.

Money Loves Happy

Indulge me for a moment.  After all, I’m probably a lot older than you — which means I might be wiser or maybe just senile.  In either case the proper thing to do is to cut me some slack, give me the benefit of the doubt, go easy on me.  I say all this because I’m about to become  less business-like and more personal and it makes me a little nervous.

I’ve spent a lot of time wandering this world and I have come to believe that abundance is pretty much all around us.  I picture it as a great river of money flowing just above our heads.  The trick is to find ways to reach up and pull some of it down.  That’s what we’re all trying to DO:  pull some of that money down and put in our pockets.  So we set goals and work long and hard, we practice, drill and rehearse, and constantly work to improve our performance . . . and so on.   

What I’ve noticed is that working to create abundance (jumping and grabbing at that river), while necessary and important, isn’t nearly as effective as attracting it.  And nothing attracts abundance better than Happiness.  Money loves Happy.  It longs to be with Happy and is constantly looking for a time and place where they can be together.  It’s a love story. 

Happy people have abundant lives; and it starts with getting Happy. 

In other words:   Abundance doesn’t create Happiness.   Happiness attracts Abundance. 

I call Help-U-Sell brokers every day and, as I’ve said, I’m always blown away by the Heroes I find out there.  This Happiness theme runs through those conversations and it comes out as optimism, determination, faith and confidence. 

But let’s also acknowledge reality:  it’s been a very difficult couple of years in this real estate business and the chaos of the recent past has left some wounded and bleeding.   I’ve talked with a few who are so down, so depressed, so defeated that getting anything started is . . . well, it’s probably not going to happen. 

If this is you, if you are one of the crawling wounded who has lost your faith and your hope, then I have something to tell you:

You don’t have a business problem.  You don’t have a sales problem or a market problem.  You don’t have a recruiting problem or a support problem or a cash flow problem.  What you have is a Happiness problem.  And if you can’t find a way to get Happy now, you’re probably not going to turn things around.

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How do you get Happy when you’ve forgotten what that feels like?  Well, once again, being positively ancient, I have some ideas.

1.  Move!  Really:  get moving!  If you want to change your emotion, change your motion.  Run.  Dance, Work out.  Walk. Bike. Climb.  I do yoga.  It keeps me from becoming a question mark shaped fossil and makes me sane.

2.  Revive Grattitude.  You want to nurture a spirit of continual gratitude for all of the wonderful blessings you have in your life.  What?  You can’t find any?!?  Then do volunteer work somewhere every week helping those who really have nothing:  orphans, victims of abuse, homeless, mentally ill, infirm, elderly and alone.  Opportunities to reconnect with just how lucky you are, are all around you. 

3.  Picture a positive outcome.  Spend a little time each morning quietly sitting and thinking about what you’re working on.  Picture things working out.  Picture successful results.  Picture these things in detail.  Taste it, feel it, smell it.  It’s unfortunate, but most of us spend much of our quiet time doing  exactly the opposite.  It’s called worry.

4.  Put your subconscious to work.  As you close out your day, take a few minutes to plan the next day.  What are you going to do, when will you do it and what are you trying to accomplish.  Do this within an hour of going to bed and do it in writing.  You may find a good Day Planner will help or you might do better with a yellow legal pad.  If you do this exercise, your brain is going to work on all of that stuff while you sleep through the night.  You’ll find it easier to get started the next day, easier to stay organized, easier to get to yes. 

5.  Get Connected.  Everywhere.  Plug in.  Connect with your family, your friends, your colleagues.  The natural tendency when times are tough is to withdraw and it’s probably the worst thing you can do.  This is especially true with Help-U-Sell family members who are scattered across the country.  You have to seek out ways to connect.  Join the teleconferences on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11am Pacific Time.  Get a Facebook account and join the 100+ brokers who have become a friend of Help-U-Sell Real Estate.  Every day you’ll get an update of who’s doing what and what everyone is thinking . . . and  you’ll feel part of something bigger than yourself.  Above all:  next time you hear of a Help-U-Sell rally near your home, make reservations and get to it.  Really:  a day spent in a Help-U-Sell rally is better than a whole bottle of Valium! 

Your job is to find a way to get Happy, then stay Happy, then turn Happy into a habit.  It’s step one to an abundant life.