This is going to be one of my longer articles so be sure to read it when you are not pressed for time. I was considering breaking it into two or three parts and posting them incrementally but I decided that it would be more beneficial to you to keep it as one article. Don’t let the length fool you…the exercise itself is quite simple to do and very effective. The secret is commitment and follow-through. Like everything else in life, if you want to reap the results you must be willing to do the work…apply the technique on a daily and continuous basis…not just for a week. My suggestion is stick to this for at least 30 days. At that time, evaluate the results and decide whether or not you want to continue. My guess is that you will.
The following is a simple exercise that will have a profound effect on your life…it will make you – Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
The “Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” Technique
Here is a simple exercise that if applied on a daily basis will yield huge dividends for you in a very short time. At the risk of being over simplistic if we focus and act on things that will make us happy, healthy, wealthy and wise on a consistent daily basis, we will by default be moving toward actualizing our full potential. This is one of my favorite exercises simply because it is so easy to do…and to remember to do. The exercise is simply this; do one thing every day that contributes to your overall happiness, good health, increased wealth and growing wisdom.
It doesn’t have to be something huge, as a matter of fact small bites are the way to go. The theory here is that small consistent changes over time will result in massive results. The secret is to maintain the small changes while adding additional small changes, giving you compounding benefit. Let’s discuss each category briefly.
As each of us is unique, we have different things that make us happy. The problem is that we see happiness as this huge concept that is reliant on so many external factors that we resign ourselves to the fact that happiness is for fairy tales or is dependent on achieving a specific outcome or outcomes. Nothing could be further from the truth. True happiness comes from the appreciation of what we have, the little things that we take for granted on a daily basis. Focus on those things and happiness will be a way of life. Do one thing every day that make you happy, makes you smile. If eating salami sandwiches makes you happy, then eat salami sandwiches. If dancing makes you happy then turn on the radio and dance. If playing with your kids makes you happy, then set time aside to play with you kids. If watching a sunset makes you happy, then put watch a sunset in your day-timer and make sure you are where you can see the sunset.
Spend five minutes every morning when you wake up and just before you go to bed and list 10 things that you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter what it is, the only thing that matters is that you are focused on what makes you happy and you are doing something everyday to fulfill that focus.
Much like happiness, being healthy is all about making the right choices and doing the right things. Health is not about living a life of deprivation and abstinence and doesn’t have to be a difficult challenge. You can do anything and eat anything as long as it’s in moderation. Even too much of a good thing isn’t good for you. Do one thing every day that contributes to your overall good health. That might be taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator. Cutting back by one cup of coffee a day and/or use half the sugar than you usually do in your cup of coffee. Eat fruit for breakfast. Eat a salad with your lunch and dinner. Go for a walk after dinner. Play tag with your kids. Skip a desert from time to time. Eat smaller portions. Drink more water. Take five minutes every morning when you wake up and just before you go to bed to breathe deeply, perhaps just before listing all the things that you are grateful for.
You will notice that a lot of the things that are good for you, that contribute to your overall good health are also some of the things that make you happy. You can kill two birds with one stone, sometimes three. For instance, playing tag with your kids can fulfill your daily activity for both happiness and health. If watching a sunset makes you happy then go for a half hour walk to the spot where you are going to watch the sunset and what the heck, take a salami sandwich with you. If dancing is something that makes you happy then you are by default getting healthier as you are getting happier. It doesn’t have to be difficult you don’t have to have an expensive membership to a fancy gym. It doesn’t have to be all encompassing and dominate your life. Simply do one thing everyday that will benefit your overall health and fitness. The by-product of this is that the healthier you get, the happier you are and the better you look and feel about yourself
Increasing your wealth or adding to your wealth is not as difficult as you may think. It can be achieved through daily choices and behaviours that support your wealth strategy. To put things as simply as possible, you must ensure that you have money at the end of the month, not month at the end of the money. Some daily activities that you can do to contribute to your wealth could be to buy generic products instead of brand name products, or buy at bulk stores like Costco or Price Club. Other activities that would benefit you financially would be to read about wealth management and learn about proper investment techniques and strategies. Remember, no one will take care of your money like you will. Rely on experts when needed but reduce your reliance on them as much as possible.
Remember that cup of coffee that you cut out of your daily routine why not use the money you saved by not buying that café latte (sorry Starbucks) to create wealth for yourself. I know it seems a bit far fetched, but if you put the three or five dollars a day that you save by buying one less cup of coffee a day in a interest bearing investment or mutual fund, you will be amazed at the long term financial benefit you will receive. Five dollars a day may not sound like much, but over the course of a year it means an extra $1825 of savings plus whatever interest you earn. Over the course of a life time, when you take compound interest into account it could be worth hundred of thousands of dollars when you retire.
That one small change that was meant to benefit your physical health had the added benefit of contributing to your wealth as well. Another way of adding to your wealth would be to attend workshops and seminars regarding your chosen field and career, continue to develop yourself professionally so as to create a greater demand for your services and as a result a greater salary.
The best thing that you can do to enhance your financial position in life is change your focus to one of abundance, not scarcity. If you have been following the advice in my recent posts you are already leaning toward a life of abundance. Spend some time each day in wonder and awe of the infinite possibilities out there for you, the magnificent life that you are living and the even better life waiting for you. Adopt a belief that says everything comes to you easily and effortlessly and soon it will.
This category goes hand and hand with each of the three earlier categories. Constantly be searching for better ways of gaining the results that you want in your life. Gain wisdom in matters of happiness, health and wealth. This can be achieved through taking some time each day to read a good book, attend a seminar, listen to tapes or CD’s, talk to a knowledgeable person, meditate, talk to your kids, research a role model or simply learn through doing. The important thing to remember here is that learning never stops. You must continue to learn through your entire life. What you learn is not as important as that you learn. Make a commitment to develop your intellect and knowledge base on a daily basis.
For most people, each one of these categories carries with it a feeling of overwhelm, a feeling that the attainment of happiness, healthiness, wealth and wisdom can only be achieved through hard work and life long dedication, that they are somehow just out of our reach unless through sheer will power and resolve we fight hand over fist to make them happen, even so there is no guarantee that they will ever happen. With that thought process and belief is there any wonder why most don’t even attempt to gain mastery over these areas. The thought that these things are meant only for the best of us, the lucky, the chosen few, or the most disciplined is complete and utter bunk. We have been conditioned to believe that these things are difficult to attain and elusive. THEY ARE NOT. If you have been paying attention so far, you will notice that there is a theme here. That theme is simplicity. It should not be difficult, in fact if it seems difficult, then you’re doing it wrong. Simple activities done daily will result in massive change in the long term. Another point to remember is that it should be fun. You weren’t put on this earth to suffer, what ever you do have fun at it. There is no reason why we can’t get happy, healthy, wealthy and wise and have fun while we are doing it.
Ray Bertani is a Corporate Consultant, Public Speaker and Trainer and Coach in the areas of Human Resources, Leadership, Personal development and Peak Performance. He is the Managing Director and Founder of “Cura Solutions”, a Professional and Personal Development firm located in the Metro Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada, dedicated to helping great people achieve their potential.