Free Your Happiness: the only thing you need to live a happy life

What I learned from the happiest person I ever knew.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been dealt a pretty damn good hand—loving parents, an inspiring sister and brother-in-law, an incredible girlfriend, delightful childhood memories, lifelong friends, decent athletic abilities, solid genes (at least I like to think so), and unmatched life experiences. On top of already having more than enough to be happy, I was also given one of the most special gifts of all—a best friend—a mentor—a cheerleader—an evangelist—and an eternal soul mate—my Grandma.

Yet—with a life I couldn’t have drawn up any better, there are days I’m still not happy.

But thanks to her, those days don’t happen often.

She showed me the only thing I’ll ever need to be one of the happiest—if not—the happiest person on earth.

It’s not about what you want, it’s about what you got.

And it’s not all about what you got either.

It’s much more than that.

It’s about what you’ve built. It’s about standing when you don’t have to sit. It’s about giving your time and energy back to the planet and the people on it. It’s about being selfless and a seasoned listener. It’s about taking deep breaths. It’s about working hard to give your loved ones a greater life. It’s about being captivated by the lives of others. It’s about clearing your mind of all negative judgment. It’s about jumping out of your chair with uncontrollable joy when a loved one just shows up to say hi. It’s about positively energizing everything you touch. It’s about dancing the night away. It’s about being a better friend—a better mother—and a better Grandma. And it’s about seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, and hearing what life has to offer while you still have it.

You’d think I was describing the Dalai Lama, but I’m talking about my Grandma and how she lived her life.

I wish I could truly describe the type of women she was, but no words other than perfection come even remotely close.

She was just… beyond remarkable.

In order to truly appreciate the highs, you need some lows.

She wasn’t dealt the best hand. She grew up a poor farmer in Wisconsin, didn’t have many toys to play with, had to go to the bathroom in a pot in the winter because the pipes to her house would freeze, and her husband died in her 40s leaving her with 3 children—no driver’s license—and no good means to make a great life for her family.

Yet—with a life many would trade away, she found a way to live a legendary one.

Even though she didn’t have much to many, to her she had the world.

She had love, food, a roof over her head, 3 beautiful children, her health, and her faith.

What more could one need to be happy?

There was one thing.

Appreciation.

And she had every letter of it.

My Grandma was able to achieve such an abundantly rich, happy, and long life (95 years) because of her mentality. She showed me that the root of all our happiness stems from one very thing—appreciating the things we have. Because at the end of the day, a lot of us have already won the lottery.

Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Well, World Wide Web, Marcella Geneva Swiggum found life—and then she gave it all away.

Because of her, I have the only card I need to live a happy life.

Keep flying and thanks for reading!

~Swiggum

What do you got?

Clothes on your back?

Shoes on your feet?

A book? A bike? A phone? A car? A vacation? A job? A friend? A family?

The ability to…

Walk?

Talk?

Smile?

Choose?

Think?

Remember?

Taste?

Touch?

See?

Smell?

Hear?

The ability to…

Breathe?

For just a moment, slow down your busy day and really think about everything you have—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Think. about. every. little. thing…

Got them?

Good.

Now think about how those little things came to be…

Got it?

Even better.

Now figure out how you can appreciate every tiny molecule of every little thing you have—more.

Because if you can do that…

I’d bet…

You’re already smiling.

Help others fly higher.

If this post brought a little more positivity or perspective to your life, please pass it on to someone you know who’d benefit from it as well:

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    Please note that I’m a believer in quality—not quantity. Plan on only hearing from me every once in a while. But when you do, expect something that’ll help you lead a happier, wiser, or more entrepreneurial life. 

Add to the conversation.

Have a short story about someone who’s positively changed your life? Please feel free to share it in the comments because I’m sure someone out there will be able to benefit from it too.

The Soul Factor: the secret that’ll help you fly in life and in business

Have purpose or sell your soul.

Ever wonder why some people are able to flourish while others flounder? Why some businesses are able to positively engrave their name into society while others vanish?

I can’t tell you every reason some are able to thrive given the many hidden variables, but I can tell you a few common characteristics I’ve observed that’ll significantly sway the odds in your favor.

I do warn you though that the four following ingredients mixed together can ignite a magical potion—a competitive advantage if you will—that can accelerate success in this world on any level. So, if implemented, please prepare yourself for the flight of your life.

Any entity that embodies these ingredients, as I like to say, has—the Soul Factor—which gives them the ability to fly wherever their heart desires.

The Soul Factor Ingredients.

1. They’re idealistic.

They experience the world as they want to see it.

Do you think Richard Branson, Yvon Chouinard, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, the Dalai Lama, Aaron Rogers (I’m from Wisconsin), Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferriss, Jim Carrey, and Jessica Goldman (she’s my sister) think about life the same way as most people? Nope and it’s why they’re able to thrive. They stand for something significant and they’re not going to let other peoples selfish judgements stop them from letting the world know what it is. They see life through their own lens and they’re going to do everything in their control to live the life they envision.

Having your own ideals about life on this planet gives you the X-ray vision needed to see through walls others can’t. As long as you keep an open mind about improving them, and are brave enough to act on them, you’re way more likely to go through life living the one you want vs. someone else’s.

They’re this way because they’re leaving it up to choice and not chance—and you can do the same.

2. They’re virtuous.

Their values depict their true focus, exploration, and actions.

Your values come from many places—your childhood, your support group, your family, your experiences, your peers, your DNA, and even your environment—just to name a few. Those who possess significantly impactful and authentic values, such as compassion, altruism, humor, candor, intelligence, fortitude, ambition, and positivity, are able to attract the right people to join their mission because all of these values have one thing in common—they’re contagious. They’re values people want to be around and they’ll eventually help lead anyone to the creation of meaningful things—whether it be their own business or their contributions within one.

3. They’re positively energized.

Their positive energy gives them the ability to soar.

Entities that are realistically optimistic energize everything they touch. This is likely the most contagious ingredient of them all and is a vital piece in creating anything worthwhile on this planet.

This energy gives them the ability to fly through the tough times. It gives them the perseverance needed to keep going when times are telling them to give up. And it ultimately reinforces the notion that they’ll come out of any life experience—stronger—faster—and smarter.

People and organizations that authentically embody the utmost positivite energy will help lift the happiness of the world, and are likely to find fulfillment wherever they decide to explore.

4. They’re craftsmen.

They constantly work on improving their craft and it eventually ignites an opportunity to share it with the world. 

Whatever it is that they do, they put in endless amounts of deliberate practice that contributes to the mastery of their craft. As that craft continues to get bended, twisted, and shaped—skills are improved, knowledge is consumed—and it can lead to the inception of something so unique that it can’t be replicated.

Craftsmen are artists constantly pursuing perfection knowing that they’ll never get there. But, yet, they push on. It’s this kind of competitor that figures out how to create something of value out of nothing.

Entities that embody the Soul Factor live on forever.

When a person possesses the ingredients listed above, you’ll know it when you meet them. You’ll know it when the room is leaning a little differently that day.

They’re the ones you can’t get enough of. They’re the ones that energize a room simply by being in it. They’re the ones who inspire others because they’re enthusiastically passionate about their life and the life of others. They’re the ones who often put others before themselves. They’re the ones out to make the most of the life they were given. They’re the ones who are making the world around them a better place. They’re the ones built with purpose and passion; and because of these reasons, they’ll be remembered long after they’re gone.

 

***

Want more soul in your life?

Here are few questions and exercises that can help! Upon completing them you’ll get closer to having a personal mission, vision, and key pillars that’ll help you navigate the open oceans—in life and business.

Why are you on this planet?

What really matters to you in life?

What do you believe in? Why do you believe in these things?

What personal values do you possess? How are you working to improve the ones that matter? Why do they matter?

How do you tend to view the outcomes of things? If you’re leaning towards the negative end of the spectrum, it doesn’t have to be that way. Positivity is learned and practiced.

How are you helping others?

After your time is up on this earth, what do you want to be remembered for?

How are you acting on the things that matter to you most?

Fill in the blanks to these statements (thanks for inspiring these Ty!):

[Your name] believes the world would be better if [fill in the blank] (keep it to one central thought).

[Your name] is on a mission to [fill in the blank(use answer from above) because I believe [fill in the blank]. I’m going to make this happen by [fill in the blank], [fill in the blank], and [fill in the blank].

If my time on earth was up tomorrow, I’d want to be remembered for [fill in the blank].

In 20 years (if I’m still here) I want to be [fill in the blank] (think destination—where do you or your business want to go).

Give these some thought and you’re already on your way to a more thoughtful, soulful life. Want this exercise in document format? Download it by clicking here.

Help others fly higher.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with someone you know who would benefit from it as well:

  • Share this post using the social buttons below
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  • Get my blog posts delivered to your inbox by following FLYGHT (see here)
    Please note that I’m a believer in quality—not quantity. Plan on only hearing from me every once in a while. But when you do, expect something that’ll help you lead a happier, wiser, or more entrepreneurial life. 

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