You generate your best ideas when you’re content, so pick up these get-happy habits and get ready to change the world.
Nix the Naysayers
It’s hard for your dreams to take flight when you’re surrounded by doubters and downers. Research from the Framingham Heart Study confirms that moods—both good and bad—are contagious, so spend as much time as possible with your pep squad, those passionate, positive free-thinkers who will give even your wildest ideas the support they merit.
Nothing excites you quite like a eureka moment, when you suddenly see familiar things in a new light. To spark these game-changing ideas, look to other industries. Apple founder Steve Jobs got inspired by a phone book, Zen meditation, a trip to India, a Mercedes-Benz, a simple food processor and The Four Seasons hotel chain. Make connections in other fields, watch TED talks, see plays and travel. Feel those neurons firing afresh!
Make a Shrine
Your prized possessions remind you of the people, places and things that inspire you. So why keep them hidden in a drawer? Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier At Home, recommends putting your passions on display. If Greek mythology is your thing, place all your books on one bookshelf and accent it with mementos—the Pegasus talisman that was a gift from a friend and the bust of Athena that belonged to your dad. Every time you walk by, you’ll bask in the glow.
Mind Your Mood
What makes you truly happy? A Harvard University team created a free iPhone-based Web app, Track Your Happiness, to help you find out. By systematically tracking your levels of cheerfulness while going about your daily life, you’ll see, over time, which factors most reliably brighten your day. Some users have found their bliss while dining out, listening to Copeland or binging on episodes of Battlestar Galactica.