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“Be all you can be” doesn’t just apply to the Army. We learn our lessons when we experience pain. We finally see the warning signs and signals when things get rough and tough. We all have problems, stresses and emotions. Honestly, it shouldn’t even bother or even hinder us to becoming all we ought to be.  

I often see myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, still I aspire for something deeper and more meaningful. The aspirations we have as kids should continue to live within us, hold on to the dream. They say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks“, or can you?

The only time most of us ever look to improve is when the whole world is crashing and falling apart. We think and feel this way because it’s not easy to change. But change becomes more painful when we ignore it. Change will happen, like it or not. At one point or another, we are all going to experience different turning points in our life and look at ourselves for improvement. Not because the world says so, not because our friends are nagging us, but because we realize its for our own good.

Happy people don't just accept change, they embrace it. Now, you don't have to feel a tremendous burden before realizing the need for change.  It is imperative that you release yourself from the cage of thought "It’s just the way I am" or “I don’t deserve to be happy“. It’s such a poor excuse and most of us program our minds like computers.  

So, how does one become genuinely happy?  

Step 1 is to Love Yourself.  

Someone once said that "Loving means Accepting."  To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections lies courage to discover ways to improve.  

Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are content with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question "How to be genuinely happy?."

I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, winning and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure, in a person's life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

How to be genuinely happy in spite all these? Every time you exert effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, fail on board exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.  

Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in sports. Every time you take a step forward, you are scoring points in life. Wouldn't it be nice to look at that board at the end of each day and think to yourself "Wow! I got a point today. I'm glad I gave it a shot". Instead of thinking "Geez, I wish I had the guts to try out. We may have won!" and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn't about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest pay, or beating the sales quota. Every one has his own definition of happiness. Happiness for a writer may mean launching as many best selling books as possible. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean a lot of money. Happiness for a business man may mean success.  

So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don't have to have the best things in this world. Its about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistake and telling yourself "Oh, I'll do better next time", you carry with you a flame of strong will power to persevere that may spread out like a brush fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.  

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults, you pass step 1 in the process "how to become genuinely happy". For as long as you accept yourself, you then can accept others, and you will also be accepted in return. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love ten folds back.

Again, throw me that same question "how to become genuinely happy?". I'll refer you to a to a quote "Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life's aches and pain. But what most of us don't know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over self. Because then you don't just become happy, you become free."

Dr. Joe Vitale, motivational speaker and author, often says: “the fastest way to get where you want is to be happy with where you are.” Believe it or not, this mindset works! It may take some changes and soul searching on your part, but in the end, it’ll be more than worth it to adopt this positive mentality.  

While you should strive to make your dreams come true, concentrate, also, on yourself and your journey. When you spend less time wishing things were different and more time accepting what you’ve got, you’ve already found a sense of peace and happiness right there.  

Here are some tips that can help you become who you want to be right now:  

Feel gratitude. When you concentrate on the big picture, it’s easier to exhibit feelings of gratitude. When you‘re grateful, you remain positive and appreciative of every joyful moment in life. Sometimes people get too caught up in a sense of entitlement, which leads to negative feelings. Concentrating on gratitude, instead, will get you where you desire.  

Be optimistic. Some say that life is all about optimism. And it’s true! An optimistic attitude is one of the few things you need to succeed. If you‘re trying to achieve a concrete goal, optimism will help you accomplish it. If you‘re trying to change your mindset, optimism will make the task easier. Optimism can be the driving force that keeps you going.

Exhibit the traits you desire. It was Gandhi who said that you should be the change you want to see in the world. With these wise words in mind, you can replace wanting with some bold action. With some persistence and perseverance, you can make it happen.  

Adopt a prosperous mindset. Take a moment to determine what prosperity means to you. Are you hoping for money, a fulfilling career, or a relationship that lasts a lifetime? Know what you want, then adopt the right mindset. Once you do, you’ve then set yourself in the right direction toward your goals.  

Find the silver lining. As you go through life, you will no doubt realize that things are not always going to go your way. But even in tough times you need to keep your chin up. Instead of allowing negativity to consume your life, seek out the silver lining. This fresh attitude can be the difference between being held hostage and achieving your goals.  

Take small steps. When the place you‘re going seems far away and unachievable, it’s important to break it down into small steps. Give yourself an achievable goal with a realistic time frame. Break that one down into smaller goals. When you avoid getting overwhelmed, you’ll gain the confidence to persevere.

It’s a good idea to practice one of these tips at a time until you’ve incorporated them into your life. Perhaps you can spend a week perfecting one strategy and, then the next week, add another one to your repertoire while continuing with the first one. Soon enough, you’ll be a natural at all of them!

Once you choose a powerful and positive mindset, you’ll find that you’ve already achieved much of what you want. Just remember: You already have the traits, mindset, and lifestyle you desire, and you know that success is inevitable, but only when you have the will to break through the obstacles in your mind!

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