Every 365 days on this special occasion, we would wish one another “Happy New Year!” – But, how many of us can say that we are truly happy?
There’s no doubt that New Year’s resolutions serve an important purpose in our own motivation to welcome in a new era. But without a clear reflection of the previous year and all the years before, most people inevitably create resolutions so specific, general or unachievable that they eventually abandon them altogether.
My take on the new year is to take everything I have learned and experienced over the past 12 months into perspective to explicitly declare what I want and how I will live my life moving forward.
Instead of making the same general New Year resolutions year after year that never last more than a week or two anyway (you know – lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, save more, earn more, travel more, drink less, making this the best year ever, blah, blah, blah) why not commit yourself to attaining one life goal this time around that’s actually meaningful and sustainable, and will actually make a difference in your life and those you care about?
Mine is simple: To enjoy life and be happy.
I am a believer that general happiness is a state of mind. Despite the many challenges and tests life throws at us from time-to-time which are completely out of our control, we do have the power to choose and change our emotions if we really want to.
However, in order for us to become truly happy, what I’ve learned throughout a very eye-opening 2014 is that there are certain habits and traits we must adapt or avoid in order to achieve the true happiness we deserve in 2015 and onwards.
Per my previous blog post, 2014 was a “new” year for me. New life (in ways more than one), new country, new relationships, new commitments, new businesses, new revelations. What I didn’t include was this: new life lessons.
On the surface, what the universe gave me in 2014 was nothing to sneeze at. I couldn’t have asked for a more reasonable and smooth year even if I tried. My new projects allowed me to generate more income, while working with new partners and teams who helped me within the businesses, which also gave me more time to live my personal life and work on other things.
Behind closed doors, though, the life lessons slowly rolled in throughout a period of several months, which taught me a number of relentless and disappointing truths about humanity and the evils of the world.
Understandably so, my reserved and private nature prevents me from going into specific details of my experiences. However, the mentor inside of me encourages the sharing of my discoveries with you, because without true happiness, all your goals, objectives and achievements mean absolutely nothing.
So, what is true happiness, and how can it be achieved?
I won’t claim to be an expert. God knows that I’ve had my own share of emotional challenges within recent years. Having gone through and overcoming that, though, it may mean that I have learned a thing or two about turning an unhappy life around. Ultimately, finding the source of the unhappiness is the key to unlocking the joy of life you deserve to have.
And no, I’m not going to go into things like “what drives you” or “what motivates you” to get out of bed every morning. I’m not going to ask you to decide what’s important to you, like family, success or money. Although these are fundamental subject matters that I oftentimes share on stage and to close associates, they might be a bit cliché for this post, and definitely no real “revelation” you would need to hear from me today (maybe next time).
What I will list here are several “happiness-draining” characteristics you must avoid, both for yourself, as well as others who happens to possess them. They have sucked the energy out of me for much of 2014, and I will be staying clear away from this type of negative energy at all costs to make the best out of life moving forward.
I can fill you up with all the motivation in the world, but no success will ever come to you if you do not govern the right mindset to begin with.
Many people who have expressed interest to learn from me or work together later complain what they need to do is “not working” or “too hard.” You know what? Life is hard, man. No one is going to hand you the life you want on a silver platter; you are going to have to work for it. And if something doesn’t work, you keep at it until it does.
And what happens when the going gets tough? Throw in the towel and conclude that you can’t do it? I can go on all day saying things like “you can do it” or “don’t give up,” but the truth is that the will to succeed must come within yourself, and whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you would be right.
Unfortunately, society has been brainwashing us ever since the beginning of time that things are supposed to be a certain way. We’re supposed to study hard, find a job and work our tails off for the rest of our lives, making other people rich in the process. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way, that there is a better way, and I honestly believe that anyone who wants it deserves it.
Even after having come so far, and already making the initial investments of time, money and effort, it baffles me how easily some people give up whenever life throws them a curve ball. Most will never know just how close they were to achieving their dreams because they gave in with mere steps to go. This is the biggest travesty of all.
If you want it, you’ll find a way, If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. Don’t even start if you intend to quit. You’ll just be wasting your time, and mine.
Nobody ever said success will come easy, but if you are willing to stick it through, I can promise you that it will be worth it.
There are plenty of things wrong with the world today. We get that, and we know that nobody and nothing is perfect.
Now, is it necessary to always talk about negative things? Is it a must to bring up the negativity in every conversation you ever have with anyone who would listen?
I’m personally sick and tired of having conversations with negative people because it is nothing but consistent whining all the time, and any response to positivity or reasoning of any kind would begin with “Yeah, but…,” “That’s not the point…,” or sometimes, no response at all.
Let’s get something straight. Haters are always gonna hate. There’s nothing we can do about that. The cold hard truth is that in most cases, the people who hold us back also happens to be closest friends, oldest associates or family members. You know, people we’re supposed to “trust.”
At some point, you simply need to stand up and say “enough is enough.” Relationships are important, but sometimes, it is even more important to finally realize when to tune certain people out. This means making efforts not to engage, breaking old patterns and not confiding in any and all people who don’t see eye to eye with you.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that we ignore potential issues by any means. If there are issues and you need to get things off your chest, it’s always a good idea to have friends you can talk to. Although, this is best done in a civil environment where your listeners share your sentiments whereby all parties are productively discussing possible solutions, rather than shoving down negativity down people’s throats.
Where there’s a wrong, there’s also a right, just like how there’s a dark side and a bright side. Instead of closing one eye and only looking at the negative side of things, keep both eyes open and evaluate the bigger overall picture and story before jumping to your own perceived conclusion.
Everyone has goals, and everyone “wants” certain things and objectives to be met.
However, there is a huge difference between striving to achieve one’s goals and attempting to control things or, worse yet, people, in an effort to make certain things happen.
I’ve never been a fan of being told what to do or having decisions made for me. As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to make my own decisions and do what I want. I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done or what you think you’re entitled, if I get disrespected in any way, shape or form, I walk.
Even though I am a nice guy with high tolerance for many things, if anyone even tries to micromanage me or those around me, whether personally or professionally, with the intention to control an outcome of their choice, that is where I draw the line, and nice is not how they will remember me.
You are your own person. Unless you are in dire dependence on a certain person crucial to your survival and livelihood, do not put yourself in a position to be controlled by anybody.
Do you know that other people’s good fortune does not necessarily steal from your own? Do you believe that there’s enough good fortune to go around?
I do, but not everybody does. In fact, some may even tend to believe that there just isn’t enough goodness in the world to go around, which is why they are always comparing others’ fortunes with theirs.
The result? Jealousy and resentment. And maybe even loss of friends.
Look, you don’t have to be better simply because someone else is good. Both can be good (surprise!), and so can the projects that they’re working on. It’s not one or the other.
If your friends are happy doing their own things, let them be. Their happiness and success will not limit your own good fortune or possible outcome in life.
Life and business shouldn’t be about comparing yourself with anybody. Just be happy with the life that you choose and the results that you get without interfering with anyone else’s.
Yes, I know. Who doesn’t gossip, right?
But – There’s a difference between the innocent kind of gossip that we’re probably all guilty of, and downright talking smack about people and whatever they’re associated with, especially if these people are supposed to be your friends.
In fact, this type of gossip isn’t really gossip – it’s more like venting and disrespecting people behind their backs any chance that they get. Nobody likes to be talked about, and if you’re talking about others, you’re putting a target on your own back as this opens the doors for others to talk about you.
Well, some people may not care. I certainly don’t. It doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t want to be around when the gossip is taking place, though. Last time I checked, high school was a very long time ago.
You can spot a gossiper a mile away, as their conversations of choice are typically about other people, their lives, and whatever or whomever they are associated with. They expect to be respected and defended if people talk about them, but more often than not, they are the one who fire the first shot, and will continue to shoot with no end in sight.
Should you have a problem with someone, deal with it directly with that person. Don’t rely on “ranting” to other people who may or may not even want to listen to it with whatever method you can think of, whether online or offline, just to make yourself feel better. That’s simply immature, and in reality, it makes you look a million times worse than the people you are talking about.
And if they’re talking about other people in front of you, you can rest assured that they are also talking about you in front of other people. Avoid this type of negativity like a plague.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Actually, I’ve been fooled quite a few times. “Unreliable” is an extremely conservative description because I don’t want to personally attack any of my associates, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been duped by them on multiple occasions.
Probably one of the best ways, if not the best way, to lose all credibility with your network is to not do or deliver what you say. Especially when you don’t make good on your promises, accounting is not correct on agreed profit shares or compensation, or if plans are unexpectedly changed without prior discussion and agreement with little to no chance of negotiation, this puts a huge dent in the trust factor of both personal and working relationships.
Both of the aforementioned types of relationships would be impossible to withstand because the trust factor would be completely gone. Yes, it is important to make money, be successful and climb up the mountain of life to live as you wish, but please, not at the expense of your friends and partners.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but if you can make the conscious decision to strip out as much negativity as you can in 2015, just like what I have done towards the conclusion of 2014, and start focusing only on people with positive attitudes and things with positive outcomes, I guarantee you will have a very happy 2015 and beyond.
There’s a reason why now, day after day, night after night, regardless of whether I’m talking to a thousand people, ten people or only one, I can do so with my head held high and a winning smile on my face. That’s because after over ten years in my industry and decades on this planet, I have proven to this entire world that I only have two things – determination and my word – And I won’t break either of them for nobody.
In 2014, too many public and private tragic events have happened which reminds us that life is just way too short to bury ourselves in things that upset us. We must make every moment count, and that means productively working on things that will ultimately make you a happier and more positive person.
It won’t be hard for me. As a certified introvert, I’ve been known with the ability to isolate myself from the world by staying indoors for days at a time, screening my calls and choosing my interactions. If someone or something is standing in the way of my objective to maintain a happy emotion, don’t be surprised if I end up cutting it out of my life this year.
My advice for the new year: Make the positive choice to surround yourself only with people and situations that bring out the best in you. Make your very best efforts to do the right things and never apologize for doing what you feel in your heart is honestly the right thing to do or say. If you must talk, keep your words soft and sweet, because sooner or later, you may have to eat them. Never bite off more than you can chew.
And, of course, at the end of the night, family, success and finding your motivation to wake up every day and doing what you love is also extremely important in achieving a happy life :)
With all that said… HAPPY NEW YEAR! May your 2015 be blessed with positivity, love, health, success and, of course, complete and true happiness!
As you may have noticed from the image, 2015 will also be the Year of the Goat (aka Ram and Sheep). For those of you interested in learning more about the horoscope and traits of this unique 8th position in the Chinese Zodiac, including strengths, weaknesses, personality, health, wealth, relationships, fortune-telling and more, please feel free to visit the below resources:
ChineseZodiac.com – Chinese Zodiac (Goat)
TravelChinaGuide.com – Chinese Zodiac – Sheep / Goat / Ram
Wikipedia.org – Goat (Zodiac)
P.P.S. If you are interested in a potential collaboration in 2015, applications are still open for my Internet Partnership Opportunity to anyone with a positive mindset and attitude who do not possess any of the above characteristics. Simply fill out the following JV contact form to be considered: http://simonleung.com/partner