Okay, this is it, I promise. This is the final portion of a ten part series on happiness. I did this as a sort of bloggy/literary experiment. I was also curious as to what I thought felicity was really all about. I thought I would finish this series a lot quicker, but it turns out it was more difficult to come up with 100 things that make you a little happier than one thinks. But I am glad I did it, and am certain that I learned a lot. Who knows if these past 10 posts have helped anyone, but if one suggestion helped one person for one moment somewhere, then it was all worth it. Here is the final piece. As with each passing post, I realized that some items are a bit redundant and others are annoyingly platitudinous, but that’s okay. If you like one, or maybe several, try them out for size, and share them.
91. Don’t look for shortcuts– Life allows us many ways to cheat the system, or cruise by with limited effort and calculated apathy. But the richness of life is not found in taking the easy way out or in climbing the least steep mountain. Search for ways to be efficient and economic with your time. But don’t take shortcuts.
92. 10X your life– I stole this phrase from the best-selling author Grant Cardone. His book changed my life in a few wonderful days. The 10X rule is a transformational way of thinking and living that emphasizes the opportunities we have to multiply our efforts by 10 in every category of our life. It’s not easy, but in increasing our efforts in our relationships, careers, finances, creative endeavors, et al, we will ultimately be happier human beings.
93. Don’t watch pornography– Yep, I said it. Fewer things in this world are more addictive and destructive to our minds and lives. Unfortunately pornography is now a ubiquitous part of our lives.It is around every corner and entices all sorts of people with its appeal to fantasy and escapism. No matter the level of rationalization or secrecy, pornography will eat away at your soul and destroy your ability to correctly and fully love.
94. Don’t be normal– There is no sense in being normal these days. Normal won’t get you to the top, normal won’t sustain happiness or success. You have to be better than the norm, you have to be more creative and weird than the norm.
95. Take massive action in your life– This nugget of wisdom is in direct conjunction with #92. And it’s about success. If you spend your whole life taking little actions here and there, or worse, dreaming of big actions, nothing massive and overwhelmingly great will ever happen. You have to take massive actions to see massive results.
96. Avoid addictions of all kinds– No matter the substance, the pastime, or the misdeed, any addiction can reach a fatal level of toxicity. People think they need their morning caffeine fix, or their videogames to lower stress levels, but all they are really doing is willingly submitting themselves to slavery. We are slaves to the things we are addicted to, whether they are naughty movies, incessant exercising or Zoloft pills. But unlike real slavery, you have the choice to walk away from your masters whenever you please.
97. Read and learn about successful people– Everyone does it different, but there is no better way to be great, than to learn from the greats. Be diverse in your learning. Read about Ghandi, Steve Jobs, Mickey Mantle, Galileo, Thomas Hobbes. A writer doesn’t just need to read about Hemingway and Shakespear. He can learn vital lessons from reading stories about Steffi Graf, Bill Gates, or Gianni Versace.
98. Leave places better than you found them– Maybe this just means picking up a piece of trash in a restaurant, or complimenting some stranger in the subway. But for me it also means leave people happier than when you found them. Go places with the purpose of bettering that place in some small way.
99. Decide to be happy– This doesn’t mean you will be immune to sadness, anger, or depression. But like so much in life, happiness is partially a decision. Or at least decide you will try to be happy today, or this moment. No one will be happy 100% of the time, but try harder to be happy more often than you are.
100. Make the happy life– In grand summation I will leave you with a quote that is fond to me. Given to us by a man who has lived nearly 9 decades of life, Thomas S. Monson speaks eternal truth with the sentence, “Of this be sure: You don’t find the happy life…You make it.”