Two years isn’t a whole lot of time when you look at the big picture of your life.
However, it is a good chunk of time to have transformation take place when life kicks you in the junk.
A lot of us have taken the time to reflect back on the past year now that the new year has started. It’s good to look back on how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved.
We don’t always have to achieve success in the form of material things. Sometimes the best success comes from inside of you in the form of awareness.
In this post, I’m going to share why I’m happier now than I was two years ago. Maybe you may realize that you are happier too or you’ll learn how to be happier right now.
Why Two Years?
I chose two years ago because it was a pivotal moment in my life. Up until that point, I felt as though I was living on autopilot.
I had a good job, I went to work every morning, five days a week, weekends off, paying bills, paying consumer debt, over and over and over for years.
Two years ago I was laid off from a good job and it was devastating. I did what I had to do. I applied for another web developer job although I knew deep down, it wasn’t something I wanted to do any longer.
I got the job and it was awful. I literally felt disgusted having to do the work. Thankfully, the office management was a hot mess and it was what pushed me to resign after barely a month.
It was time for me to do something else. I knew I wanted to work for myself and it was time for me to figure out how to go about doing that.
Forced to Simplify My Life
A huge part of my happiness stems from having to simplify my life. I quickly learned that I didn’t need a lot of the stuff that I used to have.
A big part of simplifying was eliminating my consumer debt. If you have it or have had it, then you know how it can hold you prisoner.
I also cut out expenses that were not absolutely necessary. Now what comes out of my pay are absolute necessities.
Here are some expenses we cut out and it has only made our lives richer:
- Spotify, Pandora (both are free with ads)
- Cable (so expensive! we stream Netflix, Hulu)
- Excessive dining out (now when we dine out, we really enjoy it)
- Kindle Unlimited (get a library card, download free ebooks)
- Buying junk (shopping for “stuff”)
How many shoes do you really need? How many electronics? Can you look around your home and find items you haven’t touched in 6 months? Those things can go.
That is what I’ve learned and it has made my life less cluttered. Downsizing our life has shifted my focus. I am so grateful for the things I do have and that makes me happy.
I Figured Out What I Truly Wanted
I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle any longer.
It was a rough time after I left the last web job I had. I hustled with freelance work. I sold stuff on eBay. Then I put my foot down and asked myself what I really wanted.
The answer was FREEDOM. I’m talking about lifestyle freedom. Freedom to control my time, do the things that I want, and still make a living.
How was I going to attain this goal? I knew the one thing I’ve always enjoyed doing was affiliate marketing (making money online.)
I’ve been making money online for years but not enough to give me the freedom that I wanted. It was time for me to educate myself.
When you want to shift careers, you become educated in what you want to do. That means going back to school.
Affiliate marketing courses are everywhere. Some are better than others and some are plain junk. There are even universities offering classes on affiliate marketing charging tens of thousands of dollars to take them.
There is no need to pay that much. You can learn affiliate marketing for free by scouring the internet.
However, I had been there and done that so I invested in an affiliate marketing training center called Wealthy Affiliate.
I still have to make ends meet so I had to decide on what type of job I wanted. I didn’t want a cubicle job – ugh.
So I applied for a job at a place completely opposite from what I used to do. It pays less, it is simple, and 90% stress-free.
It is what I call my transition job. It is what I want to do until my online business grows to the point of allowing both my spouse and myself to say goodbye to the 9 to 5 job world for good.
Summing It All Up – How I Became Happier and How You Can Too
If I had to sum it all up in one word, I would choose gratefulness. When I decided to stop focusing on negativity and focus on what I’m grateful for, I became happier.
The other choices I’ve made are a result of asking myself what I truly wanted. That is why I chose a simpler job so that I could focus on my online business.
It is why I downsized particular areas of my life so there is less “stuff”, thus less stress.
Shift Your Perspective
You may think you need material possessions to make you happy but those things only bring temporary happiness. Look at what you have now that many people don’t: running water, food, shelter, your health.
Ask Yourself What You Truly Want
Most people are quick to say: “money!” While I used to think that way, I realized what I wanted was what money could help me achieve which is lifestyle freedom.
Whether it is going back to school, changing career fields, or taking a break to figure it all out, you can find what you truly want. Once you do, focus on it and take action.