How to Become Happier & Better Every Day
Have you ever wondered how those high achievers became so brilliant – even while being super fulfilled?
How can they stay on top and strengthen their lead, leaving behind everyone else?
How can they even become better altough they're on top already?
There is one powerful tool for doing so:
Daily review is the practice of looking back at each day and figuring out how it went. You look for wins and fails, for things that went well and things that could have gone better by writing it all down.
There are endless ways to review your day. One of the most effective ways is asking questions: „What am I grateful for today?“. And: „What did I learn today?“. Both are powerful questions which raise your awareness, boost your happiness and make you better every day. Here's how:
The practice of gratitude
At the end of each day you ask yourself: „What three to five things am I most grateful for today?“. This could be the nice weather or it could be having made a million dollars – it doesn't matter what it is.
You limit your list on three to five aspects to stay away from being overwhelmed and to keep focus on the things that most matter.
In the beginning it may be hard to even find three things you are grateful for. It may be hard to even be grateful at all.
But there's one thing to do: just try! The more often you try, the better you will become.
If it seems impossible for you to be grateful, just write down things that brought you joy. This feeling will soon emerge into gratitude and you will have to figure out every day what made you most grateful this day.
What gratitude does
Gratitude has remarkable effects on your brain. One of them is: it raises dopamine levels.
Dopamine is called „the reward hormone“. It feels great and once you had it, your brain wants it again. This is the reason that the more often you practice gratitude, the easier it will be for you.
Another effect is that your brains attention shifts to positive things. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so you rather let it focus on positivity instead of the bad stuff.
It's like a crying baby – once you start to sway it gently in your arms, it maybe forgets that it has some reason to cry.
According to different studies, gratitude also:
- Increases determination
- Increases attention
- Increases enthusiasm
- Increases energy
- Increases optimism
- Reduces physical aches
- Reduces anxiety
- Increases hypothalamus activity which helps you get a better metabolism, sleep and lower stress levels
So gratitude not only has psychological benefits, it is also great for your body and overall health. Pretty cool, isn't it?
A second aspect you should rely on is to review the things which could have gone better or things you failed to do.
Beware! Don't mess up how you ask yourself that question. Asking stuff like „What did I do wrong today?“ is a negative formulation. It shifts your focus again on negativity which is counterproductive to the gratitude exercise and finally to your happiness.
Therefore ask: „What did I learn today?“ There you concentrate on the good things you get out of the experience, no matter how bad it was.
You overran your neighbors cat with your car while driving backwards? I assure you, you learned to look in the car mirror more carefully next time.
So, what benefit do you have by writing down what you learned?
Speed of implementation
Speed of implementation is the pace in which you take action after learning something. It is a skill that differs achievers from mediocrity.
Imagine two sales people –which make the same revenue - at the same time learn a new sales strategy. Sales person A implements the strategy right away, while sales person B keeps it in mind but waits to act on it.
After a few days person B forgets about it and after two weeks - being reminded again – finally acts on it.
Sales person A spent those two weeks using and improving the new technique. If person A each day only made 10$ more than the previous day, after two weeks this would be 1050$ - and 1050$ more than person B made.
Remember the 72h rule: Implement within the first 72 hours and you will succeed – if you do not you will forget.
Writing down what you learned helps you to remember every little point to improve that day. Most of those you probably would have forgotten within a few hours or days.
You not only review those things – you conclude an action with a better outcome for next time. Therefore you are more likely to implement it right away. This makes you sales person A (even if you're actually not a sales person of course).
So now you may think: „Great, but why can't I just think about those things, why should I write it down?“. Great question. But just thinking is not enough.
Why you should write it down
Your thougths are often pretty abstract. You only realize this when you try speaking them out or writing them down. Writing down your thoughts makes them more clear and makes you more aware of them.
As a result it is also easier for you to remember them and you give form to all the gratitude, all the ideas and all the lessons you figured out.
By phrasing your emotions you raise your emotional intelligence which finally leads you to better interactions and conversations with people. This can be a great help for strengthening your relationships with people and connect with them at a deeper level.
Writing also improves your mood, your well-being and reduces stress levels. You get an overall better mind to body connection.
Finally, when your ideas and thoughts are written down your tendency increases to continue thinking about and working on them. This leads you to steady improvement of yourself. You again become sales person A, making 10$ more each day.
Other potential of reviews
You're not only able to review your day in a bigger picture. You can review everything.
Want to improve especially your relationship? Review how your date nights with your partner went, or – if it's on a daily basis – incorporate it as an extra point in your daily review. Or rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.
There are endless ways to review everything and thus to be happier with every little thing and master every little thing. No limits.
So you want to be an achiever, being more highly productive, highly successful and highly fulfilled? Then there's one thing for you to do: Use your speed of implementation now!
Create your own daily journal to review every day. Write down the answers to the two crucial questions: „What am I grateful for today?“ and „What did I learn today?“. It will make you happier, healthier and more successful. You will gain enormous momentum and powerful enthusiasm. Be sales person A.
About the Author
Maurice Leibinn is the creator of Productive Energy Management – a method that helps people get a maximum amount of results in a minimum of time while sustaining their energy and avoiding any kind of overwhelm.
He is a productivity Coach serving serving overworked entrepreneurs and professionals. Read more...