5 Quickies

 Here's an article I wrote


5 Quick Ways to A Better Life

Yes, you can improve your life, have a better life. Today. Now. Right now. Here are 5 quick ways to a better life.

1.  Get Rid Of The Negs

Negativity can prevent you from having a better life, from being happy. Negative thoughts and emotions are not good for you, are not healthy, unless you turn them into positive actions. Yes, you may feel that a negative reaction is appropriate, yes, you can have negative feelings from being hurt or harmed by someone or something. It happens. It’s normal. It’s human nature. I allow a maximum of 3 days of negativity. 3 days of unhappiness. Then I move on.

Feelings are emotions. Negative feelings are emotions. What you may not realize is that you can choose how you feel. Let me say that again. You can choose how you feel. Do you really want to feel bad or mad? No, you don’t. If you do want to feel sad or mad, or can’t help feeling sad or mad, see a shrink. Otherwise, you can choose how you want to feel. If that’s true how do you get rid of negative feelings? You can choose not to feel that way. You can rise above the negative feelings. You can even treat the negativity like trash and throw it out. Or learn from it and become a better person. It takes a little training, and/or a little practice, to do it.  Yes, some things make you feel bad. But, ultimately, it’s your choice about how you want to feel. No, it may not be appropriate to feel happy and act happy at a funeral (but some cultures do celebrate the deceased).

In the end, you have the power to choose how you feel. Do you want to choose to be negative and feel unhappy or do you want to choose to feel positive and happy? Try this:

Say, “I choose to be happy”.

Say it again. “I choose to be happy”. Concentrate.

Say it again. “I choose to be happy”.

Say it until you ARE happy.

Seriously. Take a deep breath. Concentrate. Keep saying “I choose to be happy” until you ARE happy. Try it now. Before you go on to the next quick way to a better life.


2.   Passion

Have passion. Be passionate about something. Something that has meaning for you. Real meaning. Something you really care about.


It’s good to have a passion in your life. It can give your life richness, happiness, a sense of purpose, fulfillment. Having a passion gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It can motivate you. It can improve your life.


What do you really really like?  What are you passionate about? Pursue it. As a career or as a hobby. Start NOW. Your passion should be something legal and moral. And not an addiction.



3.   Sleep

You need sleep. Enough sleep. Sleep helps your mind, body and spirit to function. And restore itself. Many things can prevent you from sleeping. Problems. Worry. Fear. Here’s how I learned how to go to sleep at night.  When I was in my 20’s, and a money market trader on Wall Street, I had a sleep problem. I had a job that required me to function at an extremely high level, continually, all day long. From 7AM to 7PM. I could not go to sleep at night because my mind was still racing, reviewing the day’s work (and problems) and planning the next day’s work (and problems). The lack of sleep began to interfere with my ability to function on the job at the required high level. If this continued, I would not be able to do my job effectively and I would soon be tired, and fired. I had to get more sleep. When I realized that it was my mind that was keeping me awake until 1AM - 2AM, I decided I had to do something about it. What did I do? How did I solve the problem? What I did was make a deal with my brain. The deal was that when it was time to go to sleep I would take all my problems, worries and fears out of my brain and virtually set them down on the nightstand next to my bed. I promised my brain that all my problems, worries and fears would still be there on the nightstand in the morning when I woke up and I would pick all my problems up off the nightstand, put them back in my brain, and my brain could start spinning and racing and worrying all over again. After a few nights of trying this it began to work. I made a deal with my brain. I trained my brain. Then, when it was time to go to sleep, I was able to lay down, put my problems and worries and fears aside, and go to sleep. And in the morning, I was refreshed and ready to face the day. That was many decades ago and since then, when I get into bed, I lay down my troubles. And have no trouble going to sleep at night.

In addition, I learned something else; a lot of the things I worried about at night disappeared or lessened when I went to pick them up off the nightstand the next morning.

When it’s time to go to sleep, the day is finished. Put your worries down. When day is done and it’s time for sleep, there is nothing more you can actually do right now about your existing problems, worries and fears. Put them down, virtually, on the nightstand, dresser, etc or, if you prefer, place a small empty box near your bed to put your problems in at night (if you put it on the floor don't trip over it when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night). And, don’t worry, all your problems, worries and fears will still be there in the morning. Or not. Meanwhile, you can go to sleep.

4. Do A Good Deed

Help someone. A family member, a friend, or a stranger. Doing a good deed uplifts your spirit. No, doing a good deed doesn’t have to cost you money. Any good deed counts. Here’s an example. I live in Los Angeles. It’s usually warm and sunny. In advance of a rare upcoming 3 full days of constant rain, I thought it wise to check that my rarely used small umbrella was in good shape. I've had it for over 10 years. I checked it. It still opened and had no holes or rips in it but it was somewhat bent, the fabric was getting thin, and it did not open as strongly as it once did. I decided to buy a new umbrella. In advance of the coming 3 days of rain.

I bought a new small umbrella at my local 24-hour pharmacy. It cost about $11. Now, I had 2 umbrellas. At the pharmacy, after the purchase, I thought about throwing the old umbrella away but decided instead to give it to someone who did not have an umbrella. But it was night and there was no one around. I drove home, the proud owner of two umbrellas.

I parked my car. I saw another car pulling in and parking in a nearby spot. I got out and locked my car, carrying my two umbrellas. The occupants of the other car exited and walked my way. It was a woman and her son. I greeted them and asked them if they were ready for the rain. They said yes, they had heard that it was coming. I asked if they had an umbrella. The women said no. Perfect. I had found someone to gift my old umbrella to. I told her that it was her lucky day! I said, "I have 2 umbrellas. I just bought a new one. And the old one still works. I only need 1 umbrella. I will give you the old one and now you will have an umbrella for the 3 days of rain! A free umbrella." I handed her the umbrella. She was thrilled. And grateful. I added, "AND, in giving you this free umbrella, I am doing a good deed, I am doing my good deed for the week." She agreed. And she promised to "pay it forward", to do a good deed for someone else. I felt good. The woman felt good. Doing a good deed felt good. For both parties.

Do a good deed. Do a good deed every week.  Or every day. It’s uplifting. It's a blessing. A blessing YOU can originate. Go do a good deed. At least once a week.


5.   Put Down Your Cell Phone

Everyone is always on their cell phone. Everywhere. Always. Everyone is living through their cell phone. It's an addiction. When you are socially on your cell phone you are not in the real world, you are not being fully aware of your surroundings. Your eyes are not open to the miracles and beauty around you. Stop constantly checking your phone re social stuff. Maybe check it every half-hour or every hour or so (unless it’s business). Put down your cell phone. Turn it off. At least for 10 minutes. Open your eyes. See the world. Be amazed!

There you have it. 5 quick and potentially free ways to improve your life immediately. Any one of the 5 can improve your life, starting today. All 5 can help you have a better life on an ongoing basis. If you want to have a better life, starting NOW, you can do it. It’s up to you, it is within your power. The only thing that’s stopping you is you. If you want to, you can change your life, for the better. Start now.


Author bio

Andrew Lawrence is a life improver, and the author of more than 20 life improvement books, including, “The Happiness Transformation: how to be happy - NOW - and for the rest of your life”. His author website is Andrew-Lawrence

Besides helping others improve their life he also has a passion for artistically creating fine art photographs. His photography website is: CoolColorPhotos.com