Want to be Happier? 4 Ways to Become Part of the Solution

We all know at least one person in our lives who is a chronic complainer. Maybe they complain about the same thing all the time, or maybe the subject of their ire changes with the wind. Either way, complainers generally have one thing in common: They do not do anything about it.

On the flip side, there are people who are unhappy or dissatisfied about something but who take action to find a solution. Think about this country’s founding fathers, who had a vision for a better country. Or successful tech startup founders, big and small, who see a new way to fix a common problem.

Complaining is easy to do, but it’s unproductive and does not make us happier. Want to start becoming part of the solution, and thus feel more satisfied and – yes – happier? Here’s how:

Accept what is out of your control

You can’t do anything about the traffic or weather – it is completely out of your control, and complaining about it will do absolutely nothing to fix the situation.

Instead, think about how to improve the situation to the best of your ability. Listen to books on tape that are either fun or motivational or on topics in your industry. Move an outdoor party inside on a rainy day and remind yourself that it’ll still be fun, possibly more intimate,  just not exactly what you planned.

Be proactive

Proactively look for a solution when possible. Suffering through bad service at a restaurant? Ask to speak to the manager and politely offer feedback and a solution or write a constructive letter about the situation and you will probably hear back with a solution from them.  Worried about running over budget on a project? Get the team together and work out a way to cut costs without sacrificing quality.

Focus on staying organized

Many, but certainly not all, problems arise out of disorganization. You are stuck in traffic because you couldn’t find your car keys this morning and you ended up leaving for work 30 minutes late. You are over budget on that project due to a lack of clear communication at project launch.

The more organized you are and the more details you pay attention to, the less likely a situation will spin out of control. After all, it is when things feel out of our control that unhappiness sets in.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how did you solve them? What is one thing you could do starting today to create more happiness for yourself?  Share your wisdom to help others in the same (or similar) situations!

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