As I write this, I’m looking out of a window of a friend’s Pent House located in Manhattan. In front of me is the Empire, to the left of me are massive residential buildings, and below me are ordinary people, just like myself, going on about their life. It’s always fun people watching, not in a creepy way, but in a way where for 10-20 seconds I imagine myself as another person with different problems and motivations. A small escape from my current life to experience the joy and challenges of another life is quite a thrilling event for me.

Recently I’ve been traveling around a lot, so naturally people have been asking me how I’ve been as they haven’t seen me around in a while. In the past I usually have a generic response for this question which revolves around being busy at work or something. However that’s changed now. When people now ask me how I am, for the first time in my life I’m blessed that I can say that, “at this moment in life, I am very happy.”

You might read that and assume, “oh now doing whatever he wants, he’s exploring the world, work is going well, etc.” Well no, it has nothing to do with any of those materialistic things. Regardless of them, a lot of the reason I’m happy is because of the physical and mental changes I have made in the last year that have propelled me to move forward in life. You would think that the same level of happiness would occur if I took everything that’s happening in my life right now and make it happen a year earlier, but you’d be severely wrong. Last year I was chasing happiness without making any changes, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. This year I made big changes which resulted in happiness finding me, and now it’s getting me everywhere.

Here are some of the changes I made this year:

1. People

There were people in my life that weren’t a positive influence. They had a negative aura about them that affected me in ways I couldn’t pin point, so I kept them around thinking it was unjust to end the friendship. But finally I had enough, so on November 1st, 2012 I woke up and bid them farewell. I said emphatically to myself and the world:

FAREWELL to those who claim friendship with their masks off, yet wish ill with their masks on.

FAREWELL to those who have find it simple to judge others but difficult to judge themselves.

FAREWELL to those who gain a sense of happiness in my defeats, yet a sense of envy in my victories.

FAREWELL to those who have no compassion for others and only care about their selfish wants.

FAREWELL to those who made me feel that this is luck and not hard work.

FAREWELL to those who belittle my high ambitions because they fear to dream big for themselves.

Farewell to them and welcome to all those that I choose to speak to and associate myself with today. I thank you for the happiness and positivity you have brought into my life, I truly mean that.

2. Stress

I learned to stop stressing over things that don’t matter as much in the long run. Stress is the silent assassin that we don’t take seriously enough. I pause when I’m presented with any situation that might increase the amount of stress I have and ask myself a few questions:

Is this situation a matter of life or death for anyone?

Do I have the ability myself to control the outcome of this situation?

What is an effective and quick way to mitigate this situation?

Is the Earth still spinning, the Sun still shining, and are the children still playing?

99% of the time assessing the situation with these simple questions has helped my stress levels decrease tremendously. Why stress over something I cant control? I’ll figure out a plan to fix the issue and move on. Stressing about the issue will change the outcome of it, it’ll only change the amount of hair left on my head.

3. Social Media

I stopped following people on Twitter and “friending” people on Facebook that I’m not fond of. This goes the same for LinkedIN and any other social network that pops up tomorrow. This summer I literally removed 500 connections from LinkedIN that I do not personally know or want to associate myself with. Why should we be connected just for the sake of being connected?

I would do the same with Facebook, but that doesn’t affect my professional life as much and it’s easy to limit people or remove them from showing up on my news feed. I have no desire to know what goes on in their life or their mind. Usually these are the people I said farewell to, so what good does it do me to keep seeing their name across my social media feeds? It might sound harsh, but it’s working for me.

4. Gossip

Stop gossiping. Say peace to those who gossip about others. Those who gossip about others to you, usually gossip about you to others. And if you yourself have the time to gossip about others, then you need to reassess your priorities.

Worry about yourself.

5. Critics

This is my life. I will choose to live it the way I want. Your rules and standards of how my life should be lived mean nothing to me. I can sit here and tell you that these negative things you say about me make me stronger and make me work harder. But they don’t. What you say means nothing. It has zero affect on me. I don’t even hear you. I don’t even notice you. You are nothing to me. What I say about me makes me stronger and makes me work harder.

“…I rather be hated for what I am than [be loved] for what I’m not. I’m like a machine, a robot. YOU CANNOT OFFEND A ROBOT.” – Kanye West

The people I surround myself with have judged me for themselves, not off what others have said. I am very aware of the type of person I am and what I do. I’m not going to change myself to satisfy your needs. I’m doing me.

I stopped caring about what you thought about me a long time ago.


I’m not saying I’ve found eternal happiness, there will always be ups and downs. However I believe these are just a few steps I’ve taken to lead a happier life.

I’m happy :image