10 Tips for a Happier You (AKA: Get your ass off that pity train & stop whining on Facebook!)

It seems never-ending – we are constantly bombarded by posts like these:
“I’ve had such a hard life, that’s why I’m a bitch”
“Men/Women Suck because they keep hurting me”
“Oh poor, poor me, my life is so horrible.”
“My life sucks.”
Ultimately, I keep thinking to myself how sad it must be to live a life where all you have is something to whine about.

And then I smack my forehead against my hand and sigh really loud – because HolyShitMonkey! Did I just completely miss the train here? Am I stuck in some pitiful form of the Twilight Zone where NO ONE is happy with their lives? Great Gatsby, what the hell is wrong with people?

I get it, really, we ALL have a bad day here and there. Hell, I’ve been known to have a bad week or a bad month. But dammit, I manage to recover … so let me tell you what I think is wrong, and my tips to fixing it. Are you ready???

1. Choose Happiness. We cannot rely on others to “make us happy.” That’s right. I’ve said it before (a million times) and I’ll say it again: YOU are the ONLY person that can MAKE YOU HAPPY. For shits sake, stop making it everyone else’s responsibility to keep you smiling and start taking some responsibility. Yes, bad shit happens to us all (if you want to compare lists, I’d be happy to do so, but please read #10 first) but the only person responsible for how you react to it … well, duh, it’s YOU. Time to look in the mirror, folks, and start figuring out what you have to do to make YOU happy. And then, DO IT. Wake up and smell reality.

2. Choice —> Consequence. Choose your paths more wisely. Choose your partners with more care. Think before you act. Do what is right, not just want is “right, right now.” We are caught up in a society that is focused on instant gratification. We see relationships fail because love is equated with sex and nobody gives a damn about honesty and commitment anymore. We see drug addictions. We see people standing in line for handouts, unwilling to put any work in. And we see rejection of consequences for choices. People don’t think about the big picture any more. They don’t have goals that reach past what today will give them tomorrow. Everyone wants the easy and fun road. But sometimes you have to put in the work now, to get to the fun later. This concept seems to be lacking these days. A garden does not grow unless you nurture and take care of it. Lacking sunlight and water, you will have nothing but soil. Life is much the same. And no matter how much people want to reject this, the fact is, when you DO better, you FEEL better. True story. Make yourself proud. Be the person you were meant to be. Live the life you were meant to live and knock off all the bullshit.

3. Accept your Flaws: Stop trying to make everyone think you’re some kind of saint – come to grips with the fact that, just like the rest of us, you’re HUMAN – and you might actually like yourself a little better. After all, if you set your expectations for yourself too high, you’re setting yourself to fail. And of course, we all KNOW you’re no saint – so all you’re doing is making yourself look like an ignorant asshat. We all have flaws. We all screw up. Not a one of us is perfect. Accept it. Embrace it. And then work to make yourself a better person! LEARN from your mistakes and choices. Life is full of lessons. You’ll be much happier if you live life honestly. (Besides, perfection is BORING. Having “quirks” or “flaws,” whatever you want to call them, is what makes you, YOU! Embrace your uniqueness!) **As a side note, there is a difference between excusing your bad behavior and embracing your flaws. Don’t use this to excuse your assholeyness – it’s not going to work like that.

4. Put your Family First. Your kids, for instance, should really be 100% more important than partying. Don’t get me wrong, parents have to have lives too – but if your kids are suffering so you can relive your childhood (essentially ruining theirs), there’s a major problem. Set some limits. Be responsible. And for the love of all things, GROW UP. If you put half as much effort into parenting as you do partying, I’m sure you’d be amazed at the change in course your life would take.
Your significant other, spouse, partner – they come FIRST. You’d be amazed at the changes one’s life can have by simply putting their relationship first. (They say that to be a great parent, you first have to be a great partner – remember, our children learn from what they see.) You get what you give.

Remember, you only have one family. Not a single family is perfect. We are dysfunctional in some way, shape, or form. No matter what, though, family IS important. Make sure you tell your parents you love them – tell your siblings you love them – and stop getting mad and cutting off those who love you because you don’t always agree. (*Note, there are circumstances where distance is necessary due to toxicity of a relationship, and that is understood and agreed upon, but I’m not talking about those situations – I’m talking about the petty arguments that turn into years-long feuds because we are unforgiving and out to prove a point. Ego-driven distance is different than necessary distance.)

5. Self-Respect. Put your clothes on, stop parading your hoeisms on social media, and stop making yourself look like an idiot just to get attention. Be the person you ‘post‘ to be! And honestly, I don’t want to see your tits, ass, or winkie – COVER UP and have some sense of self-respect. When you show respect for yourself, others will respect you too.

6. Stand firm in your beliefs without being a jackass. That’s right. You and I can disagree until we’re both blue in the face. But there’s no need to be a jerk about it. So what, I don’t believe what you believe. Cool. It doesn’t affect your life in any way. And just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid (you don’t have to be stupid to be wrong, lol). So stop playing the “oh poor me, you made me feel stupid” card. Voice your opinion. State it loud and clear if you want to. But don’t be a dick when someone disagrees with you – especially if YOU posted your opinion for the world to see to begin with!

7. Stop taking everything personally. It’s not always about YOU. Really. It’s not. Hell, half the time, even when someone says it IS, it’s NOT. Everyone has their own issues. And it’s easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility for ourselves. (I’m just as guilty as anyone else at times, but I am learning to live my life taking ONLY responsibility for those things that are MINE to claim.)

8. Don’t shut out good people. That’s right – don’t cut off the good ones just because THEY KNOW you’re MESSING UP! We all do it – accountability sucks. But it’s a necessity. When we no longer have anyone to be accountable to, we lose some motivation to “do good and be good.” Keep the good ones close to you, the ones who want to cheer you on when you’ve done good and the ones who aren’t afraid to point out when you’re screwing up. This is the first step in holding yourself accountable, which is of utmost importance.

9. SMILE more. Yes, SMILE! It actually releases hormones into your body that can make you Happier! Smile and laugh and CHOOSE to be happy.

10. Skip the Pity Party – alright, I’m going to get real for a minute (please excuse me while I change modes). It’s so easy to fall prey to the mentality that life sucks – that nothing is going your way – that everything is just a big pile of shit covered in flies. I GET IT. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt hanging in my closet. But I figured something out that has SERIOUSLY changed my perspective of life. WE have ALL had it rough. In some way, shape or form, everyone has had something WRONG in their lives. Maybe my “wrong” wasn’t as “big” as your wrong, but it’s still MY wrong. And I’d never want anyone to tell me that my feelings are invalid. So I’m not going to tell you that you don’t have any right to be sad or mad or whatever it is you’re feeling.

BUT – it’s way past time that people start “counting their blessings” rather than the myriad of things that are wrong. When you start looking for the bad things, guess what? YOU FIND THEM. But the same goes the other way – and if you choose to find the good things in your life, I promise you, you’re going to find that there’s a LOT to be happy about. And really, this is true in every aspect of life – even relationships.

And really, I do understand when nothing is going your way. And I know how frustrating it can be. And I know how easy it is to be angry. So I challenge you to do the following when you’re thinking this way: NEVER use the words: never or always. You know, sayings like “I never get what I want,” “I always get shit on,” “Life always sucks.” Because the truth is, “always” and “never” are just words we use to gratify our feelings one way or another.

Personally, I try my darnedest to be happy. Shit happens to all of us. But how we deal with it is more than half the battle. So stop feeling sorry for yourselves. Get off the pity-train and join the rest of us in real life. Understand that life is going to give you lemons, but what you choose to do with the juice is up to you. Have a sense of humor. Get up off your asses and DO something. Find a new hobby. Smile. Read smartass blogs. Spend time with the people who raise you up, not bring you down. Choose your relationships and your paths more wisely. Whatever you’ve gotta do to get on the right page – just do it and stop posting your “oh poor me” posts all over Facebook.

We’re all going to love you a little more for it!



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