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The 5 Daily Rituals That Will Make You Happy

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You know what percentage of people are really happy? Not “oh, life is pretty good”, I mean people who are flourishing. They feel their lives are fulfilling, meaningful and brimming with potential.


1) Take Recess

Most of what we do all day is “instrumental.” What’s that mean? It gets something done. It’s practical. It achieves a goal.

But these days we seem to be doing more and more that’s instrumental and a lot less that’s just fun. We forget to play. Is that so bad?

Actually, you have no idea how bad it is. Noted psychologistMihaly Csikszentmihalyi tried an experiment: he told people to just do instrumental activities all day long. No fun allowed, literally.

The old saying is “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s more accurate to say, “All work and no play gives Jack a clinical anxiety disorder in under 48 hours.” Seriously.

3) Unshackle Yourself

Do less.

Really, you can. Christine puts it pretty simply:

Decide on your five top priorities and say “no” to everything else.

We spend so much time reacting rather than following through with our goals.

Whenever I tell people they need to do less the reaction is pretty much like I told them to grow wings and fly: “That’s impossible!”

But then I ask them 4 questions about a task and very, very rarely can they honestly answer “yes” to each one:

  1. Does this thing really need to be done at all?
  2. Do you absolutely have to be the one to do it?
  3. Does it need to be done perfectly or will “pretty good” actually be enough?
  4. Does it need to be done right now?

Like I said, very few tasks get a “yes” for all four. And that means you can either ignore it, delegate it, do it quickly or make it one oftomorrow’s top five.

You can do less. And less means less stress and more time for fun.

(For more on achieving work-life balance without driving yourself crazy, click here.)

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