Five Ways (within your control) To Increase Your Happiness

Happiness is a choice.

It’s true.

According to psychologist William James, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

You’ve heard it said, change your thoughts, change your life.

Similarly then, alter your attitude, increase your happiness.


Don’t get me wrong, I understand all too well that life isn’t always fair and peachy and can definitely throw us some pretty mean and nasty curve balls from time to time that makes it difficult for us to choose being happy over all else.

Losing my dad to lung cancer was a shitty curve ball. Going through a divorce wasn’t much fun either.

Unfortunately, there will always be certain circumstances we have no ability to control or predict. The only control we have in these instances is how we choose to respond and react.

As much as there are circumstances that you and I have absolutely no control over, there are many that we do have control over and if we choose to focus on them, they have the potential to exponentially increase our happiness.




1. Stop Worrying About What Others Say Or Think Of You

What others say or think about you is completely out of your control. To spend precious, valuable time worrying about something you have absolutely no control over is not just a waste of time, but it is wasted time and energy that could be directed towards something of value to you. Something meaningful that brings you happiness such as time and energy into a workout, creating a business plan for your new business, or planning your next trip.

Regardless of how much you worry about what others may be saying or thinking of you, it won’t change a damn thing and quite frankly, who the heck cares what others say or think about you anyways?


2. Stop Watching Television

Television has to be one of the most mindless, non-productive, mechanisms of wasting time ever. There’s limited opportunities for learning, personal growth, and no sense of accomplishment by watching television. It consumes your valuable time with little to no return on investment.

After watching one hour of television, how much better off are you afterwards then you were beforehand? Again, little to no return on investment. Take that same hour and now read a book, go to the gym, grab dinner with a friend or family member, volunteer, work on your business plan or resume, attend a social event. The return on investment in any one of these scenarios is much greater than that one hour spent watching television.


3. Stop Making Excuses

I don’t have time. I don’t know how to do it or where to start. It’s too late. I don’t have enough money. My body just can’t handle that. I could go on and on here. Excuses, we all make them from time to time, some more than others.

Before creating The Wellness Bucket, my excuse for the delay in creating it was that I didn’t understand coding and blogging, and that I just wasn’t tech-savvy enough. All bullshit excuses I kept feeding myself. Yes, it was true that I didn’t understand coding or blogging but instead of focusing on the fact I didn’t understand it, I began to ask myself what I could do to learn it and understand it. From books, to tutorials, to courses online, I learned.

No more excuses. Stop the excuses. Make the time. Learn how to do what you don’t know or understand. Stop saying “I can’t” and start asking “How can I?”.


4. Avoid Angry & Resentment

Anger and resentment are common feelings we’ve all experienced at one point or another in our lives. I’m not suggesting that you never feel either one of these feelings or that it’s even possible for that matter to go through life without ever feeling either one of these feelings. Instead, what I am suggesting is getting over them both as quickly and swiftly as possible. Give yourself permission to feel anger and resentment. Experience it, feel it, then relax, then let it go.

There is no good or happiness whatsoever that comes from remaining angry or resentful. Let it go.


5. Serve Others

Make the decision to help and serve others without expecting anything in return. Help and serve instead from the basic goodness of your heart because it’s right, it’s unity, it’s humanity. It could be the smallest of deeds, the point is to just help and serve others every chance you get. Hold the door for someone, volunteer at a soup kitchen, give a friend a ride to the airport, get involved with different charities.

There is no better feeling than that of helping and serving others in need. Make a difference, a positive difference in the lives of others. It’s both fulfilling and wonderful.


“Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”

~ Danny Thomas ~


Perspective is everything.

Think you can and you will. Think you can’t and you won’t.

Choose to be happy and you will. 


What are some of the things you’ve done to increase happiness in your life? Have you tried any of the five mentioned above and if so, what has been your experience? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.



  • Nice Mike!

    I couldn’t agee more. Just a thought about #1…people will judge you whether you like it or not, whether you build you dream or not, whether you succeed or not. When we give into the the “what will others think” syndrome, we aren’t even avoiding our fears.

    Just like you say pay no attention. For you will have some critics, some fans, and some neutrals. You might as well do it for your fans and yourself!

    • Thanks John! You’re absolutely right. Regardless of what you do, how you do it, and where you do it, you’ll always have your critics. Whether you go for it or not, there will be critics….you might as well get used to it and go for it anyways.

  • I agree with everything on this list, except number two. I many cases yes TV, can be a waist of time. However, for someone like me who almost has a Master’s in Film Theory and Criticism, I sometimes find TV to be a good use of my time. While watching I take notes of things I react to and later research them and write about them. The main problem with TV and movies, is that people use them to fill time, they don’t stop and think about them critically or thing about how the media they consume effects them. If they did TV and movies would, in my opinion no longer be a waist of time.

    • Thanks for your comment Lesley. Congrats on being so close to having your Master’s in Film Theory & Criticism, how awesome. You point is very well taken, especially given your current studies. You make a value point in that watching television in itself may actually not be what’s a waste of valuable time but instead, what’s being consumed and how it’s affecting us.

      • Mike, Lesley had a great point. It is more the material than the medium. When you say read, I assume you mean quality books, but you can waste your time reading Cosmo. And watching TV could be a valuable hour-long biography.

        • Thanks for your comment John. I couldn’t agree more that Lesley indeed made a great point. They way I go about making decisions on what I either read or potentially watch on television is by asking myself this: Is what I’m about to read or watch adding value to my life or getting me closer to my goals and the things that I want that will ultimately make me happy? If the answer is yes, I proceed. If the answer is no, I walk away.

  • “Change your thoughts, change your life” that’s the book I am reading right now. Strongly recommend to you. It’s by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He translates ancient wisdom of Taosim into Modern Languages according to his own understanding.

    The book touches upon a lot of what you have mentioned here (great minds think alike!) Look inside yourself for answers; and don’t get distracted by the outside world. Also connect with your highest self to look for opportnities to serve.

    I am so grateful for getting to know so many positive and motivated spirits;) keep it up Mike!

    • Thanks for your comments Tracy. That book is definitely on my “Books to Read” list. I’m definitely most happy when helping and serving others. It’s an incredible feeling to make a difference, a positive difference in the life of another. The power to have and to do whatever it is that brings us joy and happiness lies within all of us. It is within our control, so long as we choose to take control of our lives and our happiness. If and when we do that, happiness is inevitable.

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