If You Want To Live A Kickass, Happy Life, You Have To Be Able Do These 15 Things

It’s easy to take the path of least resistance in life, but stepping out of your comfort zone may be all you need to do to drastically improve your life. Get started by doing these 15 things:

  1. Be honest when something’s wrong. I’m not sure who started the ridiculous rule that you have to say you’re great when someone asks you how you are, but it should end now. I’m not saying that you should unload on the cashier at Trader Joe’s or be a total Debbie Downer but you don’t have to pretend with friends and acquaintances.
  2. Learn to take feedback. Whether compliments or criticisms, learn to accept feedback with grace. Don’t deflect compliments; say thank you and smile. Don’t get defensive against criticism. Consider whether it may be something you can learn from.
  3. Spend 24 hours without your phone. Or at least start by going on a long walk without it. It will feel weird the first time but it’s key to your mental health to disconnect sometimes. It’s just not healthy to be so attached to technology.
  4. Cut off relationships that don’t enrich your life. Whether it’s a friend or a flame, if someone is causing you more pain than joy, it’s time to reconsider. Don’t keep someone in your life just because it’s easier. Have that uncomfortable talk and move on.
  5. Tell people when they hurt you. This is another unsettling conversation to have. Some may even come back saying that it’s your problem and you’re weak for taking offense. More often than not, though, it will lead to a productive dialogue and you’ll find that they’re unhappy about something, too.
  6. Disagree with someone. This may be perfectly comfortable for the outspoken, but it’s terrifying for those of us who are more timid people-pleasers. However, politely disagreeing gives you a voice and a chance to have a potentially important conversation.
  7. Admit your faults and mistakes. It’s hard to take the blame. Whether it’s a mistake you made at work or a personal flaw that’s affecting your relationship, it’s easier to get defensive and protect your ego. Yet, owning up and taking steps to rectify the situation will positively impact your relationships with others. Moreover, the strength that it takes is empowering and will make you feel much better in the long run than if you were to play the victim.
  8. Admit when you don’t understand something. It seems we’re all afraid to come off as clueless or ignorant, but the truth is that we can’t know everything and we’ll never learn if we pretend we do. Plus, people actually respect those who genuinely want to learn over pretentious know-it-alls. It’s a win-win.
  9. Reach out to strangers or former acquaintances. New in town and in need of friends? Look through your Facebook contacts to see if anyone lives in your current city. Looking to change career paths? Explore your network or even try reaching out to someone you admire in the field. Don’t miss out on opportunities because of the potential for awkwardness.
  10. Be silent. Moments of silence during conversation give you time to think about what was just said rather than jumping in with your own opinion. This improves relationships by allowing you to truly listen. Experiencing silence on your own is equally important as meditation and reflection can improve your overall well-being.
  11. Stop ghosting. Be upfront and have the courtesy to let the other person know that you’re not feeling it. Bonus points if you can tell them why without being critical. Afterwards, you’ll both feel better.
  12. Stop gossiping. This is tough. Gossip can be so powerful that it often leads to bonding. However, it’s also a toxic behavior that ultimately leads to everyone involved feeling more negative afterward. On the other hand, resisting the temptation to gossip can make you happier and reflects well on your character.
  13. Talk to your boss about something scary. This could be something that would drastically improve your career such as a promotion, change in role, or a raise. Or it could be something that would just improve your day-to-day. Issues with work-life balance, projects you’d like to take on, or even dilemmas with colleagues should all be addressed. Maybe the issue can be solved and maybe it can’t, but you shouldn’t be living in fear of taking the necessary steps to move forward. Worst case scenario? You walk away knowing you did everything you could to create a better work situation for yourself.
  14. Let go. Forgive both others and yourself for any past wrongdoings. You don’t have to forget the past but holding grudges will only keep the pain alive.
  15. Take steps to get to know yourself. This is a life-long process but many of us hide behind masks and are too afraid to explore within. Try meditation, therapy, sitting with your emotions, and reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. You can only work on self-improvement if you understand who you really are.
Danielle is a world-traveler based in San Diego, California. She loves hiking, yoga, classic movies, and sharing her adventures on her blog shepowersthrough.com