It could be million little things that nudge your mind each passing moment and keep you away from joy.
For instance you could be unhappy that your boss didn’t appreciate your hard work, or you could be unhappy that your kid doesn’t like you the way you discipline him, or you could be unhappy that you failed to get the deserved compliment from your spouse, or you could be unhappy that you messed up your body by your eating habits.
Each minute, we are occupied by a countless number of thoughts like this. That’s what we struggle to attain happiness every day.
What if I say that there exist a simple habit that will only take less than 5 minutes to wipe out all these worries. What if there is a simple technique that can prevent you from losing your day because someone doesn’t take the time to appreciate you.
What is the secret behind staying happy every day?
Have you read about Pareto 80/20 principle?
It states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the causes.
80% of what we face each day is because of 20% activities we do each day. This Pareto principle can be applied to any area of life.
For instance, 80% of your success comes from 20% of your effort. 80% of business is from 20% of customers..etc.
It tells the importance of prioritization. I am firm believer of Pareto principle. Instead of investing our time and effort in all areas, we can simply focus our energy on the 20% which can instantly double our outcomes.
So if you want to keep yourself happy each day, you need to focus on the 20% of events that’s triggering you to be unhappy. If you focus on that and manage to resolve it, then you are done.
The 5-Minutes Daily Habit
When I decided to focus on the area which destroyed my whole day, I got a clear picture of where I went wrong. All of my bad days have something common in them.
Even though I ruined a day because of my bad habit, or needless worries, or tendency to procrastinate, or it was because of other person and not to do with me at all, they all had something in common.
It all began with my single thought. It all began with the first thought I held in my mind for that situation/event/ or about that person.
That one thought was the game changer. It either made my day or broke my day. In most of the cases later happened.
That’s when I started to practice the 5-Minute habit. It dramatically changed my way of handling daily events and helped me to stay happy. This Simple, 5-min habit is applicable to every aspect of life. You can apply it to every decision-making process. Thereby, you can prevent yourselves from being the victim of daily events that can ruin your day in a matter of minutes.
What is this 5-Min Habit?
When our mind begins to react to any situation, the first few minutes are the most crucial moments. We make decisions based on what we feed to our mind on those initial few minutes. What follows after that is just a manifestation of those first five minutes.
Scenario 1: The Daily Morning Mishap
For instance, imagine you vowed for the 100th time that you are going to get up early in the morning. You read some tips on how to get up early in the morning. You decide on what are all the tasks you want to perform as soon as you get up. You set up the alarm. You go to bed with the excitement that tomorrow is your winning day. You are going to rock it.
The alarm beeps at 5.00 A.M. You wake up. There begin the first crucial moments. What thoughts you feed your mind will change your life events here after. If you say, oh my god, I can’t wake up now, I am too tired. Then your mind will simply throw the baseless excuses to support your argument. You will simply agree that you are too tired as you were constantly on the run the day before. So you are entitled to sleep for long hours. Your hands switch off the alarm and you doze off.
Scenario 2: Busting the Beautiful Body
Imagine a yummy piece of cake starting at you from a plate. Your inner voice nudges to eat it. Your mind justifies it. After all, it is just a piece of cake. Nothing will happen to your diet by eating a piece. After all, this is your friend birthday party and you should eat a cake, otherwise, it will be considered as offending your friend.
The next minute, with guilt smothered inside, you set down to eat that jumbo piece of cake. While you relish the offending cake, you also end up eating cheese dripping pizza and a can of coke next to the cake. Basically, you have eaten the cake. So you can as well eat the pizza and coke, and any other thing that caught your eye.
You do all these knowing well that it is going to make your bulge out. And all the exercise you did for the week gone on the drain. Why? All these are due to the single thought you had in the first minute after seeing the cake.
Scenario 3: The Happy Stalker
Imagine, some stalker is provoking you. He seeks happiness in plainly irritating you by his actions. Your first thought offers you an exciting way to react to that stalker. It says let’s get down to the business and show the real you. So you end up reacting to a useless person in the entire planet.
When you see the stalker happy about the undeserved attention from you, it makes you angry. It makes you to think about revenging next. You do something to provoke the stalker again. He comes back with the more innovative idea to piss you off. That disturbs you even more. You worry about it. You lose your sleep over the issue.
Can you see where this is all leading? All because of your lack of control over your first thought.
Think. Think. Think Again.
Recap these three incidents. Take time to think. What could you have done correctly in all the above three scenarios? How could you have possibly saved your day?
- When the alarm beeps off, you could have simply said, ‘Yay, a new day has begun to realize my dream. Let’s get up and do what needs to be done.’
- When the cake, pizza, and other evil things started at you, you could have begun your thoughts by ‘What would my body do with all these junks’?.
- When someone irritates and spoils your day, you can simply begin your thoughts by ‘He is simply jobless and no use in having any business with him.’
The above three decision would have dramatically changed your day after the event was over. That’s why I say, the first 5 minutes is very important for anything we decide.
This 5-min rule is applicable for all sorts of events we face each day. It could be as trivial as choosing a dress or something crucial like choosing a life partner. Everything begins with one decision. What follows rest are just supporting arguments to convince your mind.
How to make the best out of those 5-minutes? – The 5 Minutes Habit
Below are the three-step habit process steps you need to ingrain in your mind to favor those life changing minutes.
Delay: [The first 2-minutes]
As soon as your mind engages in a decision-making process, don’t jump on the first thought. That’s where you go wrong. Take a couple of minutes at least to decide upon your course of action.
How can you delay?
By asking the simple question, what if my thoughts are wrong?
In most of the cases, when you make a wrong thinking, you know you are wrong. But you still validate it by backing your arguments. By validating whether your thoughts are right or wrong, you give time for your mind. You will not fell on the first trap created by your thoughts.
For instance, when the alarm beeps off and when you mumble how tiring you are to wake up, you could ask what if I am wrong. You will then understand that every day will be like this and this is not going to change. You will always be tiring. You will always be deserved to sleep more. You can see that your thoughts will take a different path. This is the first step towards thinking straight.
Visualization: [The next 2 minutes]
Once you delay your thoughts, now time to think about the consequences. For example, if you chose to eat the cake, you can visualize a bulging body of yours staring back from the mirror. Instead, if you chose to avoid the cake, you can visualize a healthier and fitter you wearing your dream dress.
Visualization has tremendous power over the way we think. Once we visually and see the damage we are going to create out of our bad decisions, we refrain from doing it.
React: [The last minute]
Once you clearly understand the consequences of your decision, then decide.
Like anything, it is difficult to change your decisions in the beginning. Even after knowing the consequences sometimes we fell for the trap. Nevertheless, I urge you to try this technique.
Because doing an action at the rim of our choices is a lot different from doing something knowing fully well what the consequences are. Even though we make the mistake out of weakness, we deep down know that we are accountable for it.
You might wonder will these work.
Obviously, it won’t work if you don’t even try it in the first place. If you are worrying right now, stop it. Go to the first five minutes and analyze what has caused your present worry. You might be triggered out by something. Practice the 5-minute daily habit and see if it helps you to be happy every day. It has worked for me. So it should most definitely work for you too.