When was the last time you did something scary on purpose? I’m talking about driving somewhere unfamiliar at night when you were sure you would get lost kind of scary. Or taking your virgin trip down a ski slope at thirty or getting up the nerve to talk to a total stranger in an elevator.
Most of us avoid doing anything that remotely scares us. That’s a shame because doing something scary every day is one of five surprising happiness habits that could change your life. Actually it’s one of 42 habits I’ve uncovered but in this short article I don’t have space to discuss them all; what I can do is share some of my favorite ones with you.
If you want to be happier, try looking for opportunities to do something scary. In doing so, you won’t just be taking my advice but the advice of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” You will know when you are scared. Recognize your fear, acknowledge it and then do whatever it is anyway. I once confronted my own fears by plummeting 500 feet in a bungee jump. Talk about scary and exhilarating! What scares you?
Four other happiness habits to try are:
Take the “im” out of Impossible at Least Once a Year
Make a list of things that are impossible for you. Put the list on your bulletin board. Choose one thing each year to knock off your list and watch as your realm of possibility grows. If you knew me, you’d understand why I placed running a marathon on my list of “impossible things.” Although I am more of a walker than a runner, I enjoy the physical sensations of running and was quite proud of myself for completing my first-ever marathon in ONLY six hours, nine minutes! That I completed the event at all was a triumph for me. What would you like to conquer?
Make a List of 100 Things You Want to Do Before You Die
Start doing them tomorrow. Check them off as you accomplish them. Try to do one thing on your list every year on your birthday. Review the list at least once a year and add to it as necessary. Record your adventures in a journal and take a picture of yourself doing each thing. Can you think of some activities to put on your list?
Celebrate One Success Every Single Day
Do not let yourself fall asleep without celebrating something you accomplished that day. Even if you could only produce freshly cleaned teeth, give it your best hoot-and-holler. It is important to be enthusiastic when celebrating your successes. You cannot overdo this enthusiasm — the more, the better. What did you do today that’s worth a cheer?
Carry a List of Everything You are Grateful for
Write down everything you can think of that makes you feel blessed. Update the list as often as you can, especially when you are feeling down. Read the list every time you need to boost your energy. Record the list in your voice and listen to it while you work out or drive. What do you have to be grateful for?
As for me, I am grateful to you for reading this article and for the opportunity to offer you more ways to get what you want out of life.
Gina Mollicone-Long has enjoyed success and failure in a number of diverse careers. In addition, she has faced her own personal challenges head-on and continues to meet and triumph over them. With this “anything is-possible” background, she shares her techniques in the new book “The Secret of Successful Failing.”