I usually blather on about New Year’s resolutions. That’s okay and we should set some goals for the new year. Why not? But how about something new? A happier state of mind in 2024? Here are five things each of us can do right now for a happier new year.
First- stop worrying about what other people think about you. Most are engrossed in their world and are not paying much attention. Over-worrying about others’ perception of us is called the ‘Spotlight Effect’ where we imagine people are noticing us more than they really are.
Do you want to be satisfied and avoid unnecessary angst? Then wish for things to be as they turn out to be. Epictetus said, “Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.”
Focus on what you control. Weigh every situation and circumstance and ask yourself, “is this something I can control?”. If not, then discard it and with it the anxiety that comes with attempting to control the uncontrollable.
Find happiness outside of other’s approval. If we depend on others to feel good about ourselves then we’ve handed them over the reigns to our happiness. Instead, resolve to do your best work, focus on what you can do in a given moment, and remember that more often than not happiness is a state of mind- not a set of circumstances.
Use adversity to practice building the character traits you want to strengthen. For it’s outside our comfort zone that we find growth. Adversity is unavoidable and often reveals our present character strengths and weaknesses so we might as well use adversity as an opportunity to improve, grow stronger, and prepare ourselves for an uncertain future.
Being our last episode of 2023 I want to wish every one of you a happy, prosperous, and productive 2024. Happy New Year!