People say happiness is for free. But think about that statement deeply. Is happiness (a sense of personal well-being, joy and contentment) really free (without any cost, price or payment)? I doubt! From years of coaching, mentoring and teaching; I know this for sure – though we desire happiness, we often make choices that steal our joy or dull our wonder.

The truth is creating the life that offers the right atmosphere for your purpose to thrive will cost you something. You’d have to choose between good and great; and sometimes, you’d have to choose between what others think is good for you, and what you believe is the best for you.

So I have put together seven unpopular ways you can intentionally create your own happiness:

1. Recognise your happy – There is an authentic wiring within your soul that responds uniquely to the world around you. Based on your divine DNA, there are things that release true joy in your heart, places that make you feel free and experiences that lift your spirit. Find them. These experiences could be nature, travel, heartfelt conversations, spending time with children, helping the needy etc. Recognise your joy-prints, and respond to what your soul teaches you about yourself.

2. Refuse the painfully popular – That’s my coinage for stuff everyone thinks you should do but doesn’t work for you. Refuse to subject yourself to what strains you and disrupts your inner balance, just because it is the fad. This is the converse twin to number 1 above, and if you heed it, it will save you a lot of heartache and stress.

If “aso-ebis” don’t work for you, don’t use them during your wedding. If you prefer not to be on IG, that’s fine! If you can’t stand pretentious friends, don’t keep them. If you feel uncomfortable with social media over-sharing, don’t bow to the pressure. Simple. Really that simple!

3. Invest in Treats –  I say invest, because yes, you’d reap a return on that investment. For those things you can’t have as a part of your everyday life but beat in your heart like a fairytale, plan for them. Stop putting them away till you feel deprived. There’s a way to experience what you define as the beautiful things of life.

4. Care for your Body – A healthy body is directly linked to an elevated sense of well-being! If you feel good in your body, you could feel good in your mind. Eat right, sleep well, exercise that body, and make a practice of laughter. Also, always power your brain with the right (food) fuel!

5. Choose Good Thoughts – Yes to this one. You’re 100% impacted by what you think about. One of my most brutal defence systems is in favor of my mind. I don’t like to joke here, because my mind is my superpower literally, so I operate a think no evil policy. Don’t make a practice of sadness. Always remember that when you set up a festival of negativity, worries and woes would be in attendance. Own a gratitude jar and record what you’re grateful for!

6. Accomplish Hard Things – You are capable of hard things. In fact, we’ve hardly explored and stretched out the potential of our human endowments. I want to challenge you to experience the fulfilment that comes from getting results, accomplishing your big goals, conquering your fears and trying out what you thought was near impossible.

7. Stay in Touch with your Inner Core – Many times, your heart is alerting you! That discomfort, that burden, that sudden sense of distress could be a sign to pay attention to deeper issues. This might be a call to prayer, seeking counsel, observing patterns or pausing on a decision till you’re clear. It matters to start operating as a spiritual person. Scratch that. Better put – be a spiritual person!! Staying sensitive means staying safe.

May your life be filled with goodness. God will be kind to you. Amen!

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