Articles by Lauren Tharp
  • Lifestyle

3 Reasons Why Planning Ahead is Holding You Back

March 12, 2018

Is your entire life already planned out…? If so, you could be in BIG trouble.

I used to be like you. I had every single day planned out perfectly. I knew what I was going to be doing with every hour of my time. I knew, deep down in my bones, that I was going to be married by age 24, and have my first million by age 30.

My planning ahead literally drove me crazy. Not joking.

I’m an extreme case, of course, but my adamant planning ahead made me so inflexible when life threw me a series of curveballs that I was absolutely unable to cope or realign myself. When I found myself unmarried at 29 and nowhere near making my first million dollars, I snapped. I attempted suicide and ended up in a mental hospital for a month.

Don’t be me.

Or, at least, don’t be the me I was. Feel free to be the me I am now. I’m pretty darn great these days.

Why?

Because I stopped planning ahead.

I plan from day to day, week to week, and sometimes month to month — but years ahead? No way, Jose! A five-year career plan? Uh-uh. Nope.

Planning years in advance can actually hold you back. Here’s why:

1. Life Has Other Plans

Let’s say you want to get married. You have a fiance, and everything seems to be going well. But then — BAM! — you catch him in bed with another man. What’s that going to do to your plans?

Or, let’s say, you have a five-year career plan to climb the corporate ladder. You love the company you’re working for, everything seems to be going smoothly, but then — BAM! — your boss tells you he just filed for bankruptcy and you’ll have no job in two weeks…

Life will throw you curveballs you absolutely cannot plan for. 

You might suddenly get pregnant, or sick, or fall in love with someone in another country. Or you may end up hating the career you went to school for and need to make a change.

God, the universe, fate, whatever will step in from time to time and ruin your plans. It can’t be helped.

Planning your life detail-for-detail years in advance will only end up frustrating you and, potentially, drive you crazy. Which brings me to point number two:

2. It Makes You Inflexible

Planning ahead can hinder your abilities to cope and adapt to necessary changes.

If you cling to your plans like they’re the ONLY plans, you’re going to get your butt kicked by life. You’re going to get left in the dust of everyone else’s successes as they move forward without you.

Being “flexible” doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams or compromising your values — it means having the ability to change your plans as your life and career start to evolve.

There’s a possibility that the career you have now won’t even exist in the future. Or that finding true love will mean moving to another city. To adapt to those changes, you’ll have to change your path and be flexible.

Keep an open mind and let life take you where it needs to go. Which brings me to number three:

3. Planning Ahead Keeps You from Enjoying NOW

I have a friend who only talked about college when he was in high school. Then he only talked about his career when he was in college. And now that he’s all grown up and has his career… he wishes he’d taken the time to enjoy high school and college more.

He wasn’t present for those moments as a young man. He was always focused on the future, rather than the “now.”

The grass may seem greener on the future’s side of the fence, but what are you doing to take care of the “lawn” you have today?

Take care of your body, nurture your mind, and be present for the present.

Have goals. Have dreams. But don’t let them get a strangle-hold on your happiness by making you enjoy the “now” less.

Go with the flow, instead of fighting against it, and you’ll get further down the river of life. That goes for your career as well!

What about you? Have you stopped planning for your life and career years in advance? Are you happier now? Share this post and let us know!

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.

  • Career
  • Lifestyle

Career Manifestation: Attract the Job of Your Dreams!

March 5, 2018

“Smile, and the world smiles with you.”

It’s a simple concept, isn’t it? If you put positive energy out into the world, you’ll receive positive things in return. Smile at someone, and they smile back – a simple exchange of positive energy, easily applicable to the real world.

As a Christian “witch,” I’m all about positive vibes – in my life and my career. I fully believe that the “energy” I put into my life and my work returns to me, whether it be positive or negative.

My energy manifestations are directly tied to my Faith in the good Lord. However, you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy the benefits of positive energy.

And, no, you don’t need any special tools. (Though I do love my crystals and trinkets as a way to help me stay focused).

Manifesting Your Career Dreams

While lighting a green candle never hurt anyone, it’s absolutely not necessary. It sets the mood, but it’s just a candle. All you really need is YOU.

The first step is the hardest: you need to let go of your self-doubts and believe in yourself.

If you’re desiring the job of your dreams, you have to believe that you are worthy of it.

Let go of your nagging doubts that tell you it’s “too competitive” or that you’re “not qualified enough.” Banish those thoughts from your brain! BEGONE, VILE DEVILS!!

Step two: clarify your career goals.

Be specific.

The only way to “manifest” what you want is to really, truly, know what it is you want.

Think hard about this. Journal it out, or make a list, if you need to. Do whatever it takes to get a crystal clear image in your mind of exactly the type of career you desire.

Imagine the career path you want to take. The atmosphere of the work environment. The hours you want to work. How working will make you feel once you get the job.

Step three: turn your visions into actions.

Once you have a clear idea of what you want, it’s time to actually go after it!

Yep. YOU actually have to go after your dreams. Prayers help, but God (or “the universe”) helps those who help themselves.

Now it’s time to take your positive energy about yourself, and your dream job, and start turning in applications – fully believing that they’ll get accepted.

Step four: have a little faith.

I’m not saying that you have to have Faith in the Lord (though I certainly recommend it!). But you definitely need to have faith in yourself and the actions you’re taking to succeed.

Believe that the universe is on your side. That you smile and your potential employers smile with you.

Step five: chill.

As a Christian, I believe that everything is on “God’s time,” not my own. Or, if you prefer, you’re working with the universe’s schedule, not your own.

This, of course, can be a source of great anxiety…

But you have to kick that anxiety in the butt! Anxiety is not going to help you in any way. If you put anxious feelings out into the universe, you’ll get negative results in return. Anxiety is the killer of dreams.

You need to chill.

133T can help you with this. Thanks to our automated job platform, you can submit your resume, specify the job of your dreams, and then sit back and wait while we do the work – applying to jobs for you.

Relax and trust that your efforts are not in vain and that something will come up. Trust that your career dreams will manifest when the time is right.

Wait… That’s It?

Well, yes and no.

Those five simple steps are the steps I take each time I look for work. And I’m always working. It might sound a little “woo-woo” to depend on simple Faith and positivity, but, for me, they work!

But positivity doesn’t come easy. As someone with Major Depression, I’m constantly battling my own mind. And, to be honest, so are most people (whether they’re clinically depressed or not!).

I wrote down ten tips to stay positive earlier this year, and I use them in my personal life on a daily basis. If you’re struggling, I highly recommend you read that article.

I wear a necklace nearly every day that has a simple message engraved on the back: “Stay Positive. Work Hard and MAKE IT HAPPEN.”

Think it’s possible, then make it possible.

I believe in you. Now it’s time to believe in yourself. Go out there and “manifest” the career of your dreams!

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.

  • Career
  • Lifestyle

Ladies: Your Quarter Life Crisis is REAL! (And How to Fix it)

February 26, 2018

I tried to kill myself when I was 29. My story is not uncommon.

I had gone through a quarter, or more, of my life and what did I have to show for it? I was unmarried, I had no children, and my career wasn’t going how I wanted it to. I could feel the dreaded 30 coming at me like an oncoming train.

My actions to stop the feelings of failure and desperation were drastic. But the feelings themselves are all-too-common with women in my age group.

In a recent study, it was revealed that a whopping 75 percent of people ages 25-33 have already experienced a quarter life crisis – with women citing the feelings 51 percent more than men.

44 percent stated that they feel “stuck in a rut,” while 59 percent were simply unsure what the heck to do with their lives or their careers.

So What Causes a Quarter Life Crisis?

In the study above, it was revealed that the main reasons for a quarter life crisis, and the anxiety surrounding one, stem from two sources:

  1. Career choices. Namely, finding a job you’re passionate about.
  2. Comparing yourself to your peers.

These concerns affect both genders, but women reported feeling more of the anxiety factors surrounding them (over 50 percent of women, compared to 40 percent of men).

The career anxiety makes a lot of sense. As women, we’re pressured to “have it all.” The significant other, the progeny, and a fulfilling career that earns us money AND makes us happy. We’re expected to have lives that make others envious when we post pics of ourselves on Instagram.

Not to mention we’re expected to have all of those things QUICKLY. Not only do we have ticking biological clocks, but, from the moment we leave school (age 18-22, generally), we’re expected to easily transition into a job that may become our lifelong career. Whew! It’s no wonder women in our age group feel overwhelmed, panicked, and STUCK.

This is undoubtedly why one-third of the study participants reported switching industries once they hit their quarter life crisis. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so long as you do some soul-searching first. In fact, I wrote an article about painlessly changing career paths here on the 133T blog.

As for the second issue? I get it. I struggled with comparing myself to others as well. But, you know what? People’s lives aren’t as “perfect” as they make them out to be on social media.

Think about it this way: Have you ever posted a picture of yourself when you were having a bad hair day and your face was riddled with acne? No? Then why would your peers?

People don’t boast about their failures. They trump up their accomplishments. But, in the long run, that can end up hurting us. In a recent study, it was revealed that scrolling through Facebook and seeing everyone else’s “My life is SOOOO great!” posts can lead to feelings of serious depression.

That’s one of the reasons why I try to goof off on my Instagram once in a while. Like posting a picture of myself before and after putting on makeup (the “real” me has bad skin, messy hair, and plenty of eyebags!), or posting THIS oh-so-flattering image of me before and after photo filters.

Your friend who took a trip to Hawaii may have come home to a cheating boyfriend. Or your gal pal who always seems to have her life together may have crushing self-doubt. You have no way of knowing.

People are people wherever you go. If YOU feel confused and anxious, there’s a good chance those around you are too. Never make assumptions about another person’s life – no matter how “perfect” it seems online.

How to Fix Your Quarter Life Crisis

The first step is getting your head on straight.

If you’re feeling severely depressed, like I was, then it may be time to seek a doctor. If your depression has been lingering around and will NOT go away no matter how hard you pray or how positively you try to think, then it might be time for medication. You could have a chemical imbalance. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And don’t be afraid to call an emergency number if you’re feeling suicidal!

Even if you don’t have clinical depression, I would advise that you seek out professional help. If your body were injured, you would go to a doctor – why not do the same for your aching mind?

Talking to a therapist, even for a short timeframe, can be immensely helpful when you’re in the midst of a quarter life crisis. He or she can help you sort out your career fears, tackle your self-doubt, and even make you realize why you always cry in the shower while humming “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. (What? Just me? Okay, then…).

The second step is to take care of your physical body. Or, if you prefer, this can be step number one. Point is: your mind won’t work right if your body isn’t working right.

Eat right, exercise when possible, and get enough sleep. Shower. Take care of what I call “the basics.”

Pro tip: right after you shower, get dressed in something you feel good in. Put on some makeup, if you’re a makeup-wearing kinda gal. When you look good, you feel good. And I’m not the only one who says so! This was actually an assignment from one of my therapists. I had to get up early and make myself up EVERY DAY for a month and see how it improved my moods. Did it work? You betcha!

As for your career…? Well, that can be a bit trickier.

Take care of yourself first and then worry about your work. Once you’re in a better mental and physical state, you’ll be more equipped to make a decision about whether or not you want to make a career shift. Or, if you’re now feeling well enough to stay where you are.

If you do decide you need a change of jobs, you can always count on us here at 133T. By signing up for the BETA version of our job application platform, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream career!

Hang in there, girl. It’s only going to get better from here!

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.

  • Culture

Why You Should Be a “Nice” Boss

January 15, 2018

Are your employees just cogs in your business’ machine?

Comparing your employees to cogs in a machine might seem like an apt comparison – after all, a machine can’t run properly if its parts aren’t working – however, it also dehumanizes your workers.

In order to acknowledge your employees’ importance in the process, but still compare them to living beings, you should consider comparing them to petals on a flower. Not only do the petals make a flower beautiful, but they also play an important part in photosynthesis and other roles that help keep the flower alive. Yes, alive. It’s been proven that plants are alive and can even feel pain – just like human beings.

Actually… scratch all that. Let’s forget about cogs and petals. It’s time to start treating employees like human beings.

That’s right: your employees are human beings, just like you are.

They come from all different backgrounds and have each had different life experiences. They’re unique individuals who each have something special to offer you.

But do you truly deserve what they’re offering you?

If you’re treating your workers like robots (or “cogs”), then probably not.

If you’ve been distancing yourself from your employees in an attempt to be more “professional,” you’re doing them – and you – a massive disservice. As human beings, your employees want that personal interaction from you and, when they don’t get it, it’s very likely going to make them unhappy.

Unhappy employees are unproductive employees.

You don’t have to be a touchy-feely boss who gives everyone hugs in order to be a “nice” boss. You just need to project warmth and attempt to actually care about your employees as fellow humans.

According to researchers at Harvard, taking the nice approach as a boss or manager will:

  • Decrease workplace stress
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase trust
  • Increase loyalty

In other words, your employees will work harder and stay with you longer if you treat them well!

But how do you become a “nice” boss…?

1. Smile

“When you smile, the world smiles with you,” as the old saying goes.

Remembering to come into work with a smile each day, even if you’ve got a case of the grumpies internally, can go a long way.

By outwardly presenting a positive attitude toward your workers, no matter what’s going on in your personal life, you’ll put them more at ease. It will also make you more approachable should an employee want to come to you with a fresh idea!

2. Listen

Listening is one of the best leadership skills a boss or manager can have.

Be open to hearing your employees’ ideas – and ACT ON THEM if they make business sense. (Be sure to offer up praise for good ideas as well!).

Also listen to your employees’ complaints, and take them seriously.

3. Actually Get to KNOW Your Employees

If you only know your employees’ names and little else, you’re doing it wrong.

You don’t have to pry for super personal details; however, you should know the basics:

  • Do they have a family?
  • What do they like to do on their time off?
  • What do they enjoy most about the field of work they’ve chosen?

By asking them those simple questions, you’ll establish that you recognize them as a fellow human being – and make them feel valued.

And, chances are, you might have some things in common with them! For example, my boss here at 133T and I are both avid video game players. Knowing that has helped us bond and gives us something to talk about other than facts and figures.

4. Empathize

Relating to an employee on a human level is not a sign of weakness, or a sign that you’re a “soft” boss. It’s a sign of mutual respect.

If an employee needs a sick day, remember how you last felt when trying to work while sick. Or, if your employee has experienced a tremendous loss, remember how you felt when you last grieved for a family member or pet’s passing.

Very few working individuals will use personal struggles to try to take advantage of you. So set those worries aside. Chances are, they’re just having a (temporary) bad time and need your understanding until it passes.

For example, I’ve been very ill for the past few months. To the point that I need surgery to remove one of my organs. It’s been hellish, and I have to spend a lot of my time in bed, away from my writing desk. My boss here at 133T has been a gem. He’s arranged my work schedule around my doctor appointments, has made plans for when I’m recovering from surgery, and goes easy on me when he knows I’m in pain.

Does that make me want to kick back and take it easy work-wise? Not at all! It’s made me fall in love with 133T more than ever. And as soon as I’ve recovered, I’m going to stop giving 100% and start giving 120%!

A little empathy goes a long way toward building employee loyalty. If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you. By showing them kindness in their hour of need, they’ll pay you back by working harder than ever. Trust me.

5. Lead by Example

If you want those around you to work hard, you have to work hard yourself.

Hold yourself accountable and recognize that you’re one of the petals on the flower – one of the humans making your business great.

Treat others the way you’d like to be treated, and work the way you’d like them to work.

It’s time to give being “nice” a chance. Your business profits will thank you for it.

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.

  • Career
  • Inside 133T

The Job Searching Process in Six Steps

January 12, 2018

The job search process takes a long time. Too long, if you ask me.

On average, from the moment you start searching and turning in applications, to the time you actually gain employment, the job search process takes around six weeks. That’s if you search and apply to jobs every day – longer if you take breaks in the process.

According to another group of researchers, it can take around one month per every $10,000 per year you hope to earn. In other words, if you hope to be pulling in $70,000 per year, expect your job search and application submission process to last for a good seven months. Ugh.

At that rate, even a modest salary of $25,000 per year would take you a good two and a half months out of your life to obtain. That’s absolutely ludicrous!

And, oh, the whole job searching process

Let’s face it: those months you spend searching are NOT going to be fun.

Part One: Needing a Job

First, there’s the stress that comes with suddenly needing a job. Maybe you were laid off. Maybe you quit. Maybe this is your first job hunt ever. No matter what your circumstances, the fact of the matter remains the same: you need to earn a living and you need to earn it fast.

Being without a job is one of the most stressful things in a modern human’s existence.

They say “money can’t buy happiness,” but I beg to disagree.

Back in 1943, Abraham Maslow created the “Hierarchy of Needs.” Basically, it was a small pyramid illustrating what every human being needs in order to achieve self-actualization – ultimate happiness. At the bottom of the pyramid, as the foundation to build upon everything else, was what I call “the basics”: Food, water, shelter, etc.

That first building block of the pyramid? It takes money in order to create it. You’re not going to get a free meal or free lodgings in this day and age. You need a job in order to take care of your basic needs – the needs everything else, including your ultimate happiness, builds upon. Therefore, in a very literal sense, money can buy happiness.

So not only do your basic survival needs depend on you gaining employment, but your mental and emotional well-being depend on it as well. Talk about a lot of pressure right out of the gate!

Part Two: The Job Search

Where do you even begin with this one?

Well, first, you need to decide which career path you’d like to take. There’s no use in applying for jobs if you don’t have a goal in mind for what you’re applying for.

After you’ve got that in mind, it’s time to start signing up for job boards; contacting friends, family, and former co-workers; hitting up LinkedIn connections you forgot you had; and basically scrambling to connect with everyone and anyone who might help you.

And the job search results on those job boards and from those connections? Woo boy.

Before I got my job here at 133T as the Head Writer and Head Editor, I would type “editor” into the job search bars and I’d come back with just a few prospects, and a whole lotta nonsense. I honestly got “health communications officer” back a few times when I searched for “editor.” That has NOTHING to do with the job I was looking to apply for!

This is not uncommon. Many job search engines don’t have enough relevant jobs to kick back to you, so they just start throwing in random offers to make it look like they’ve got a wide selection. But you know what that really is? A waste of your time.

Not only do you have to wade through the actual prospective employment opportunities, but you’ll also have to wade through a bunch of garbage as well. Meanwhile, the clock continues to tick ever onward…

Part Three: The Application Process

Let’s say you finally find some jobs worth applying to.

Great!

But now you have to fill out a lengthy application form with a bunch of fill-in-the-blank slots that go on seemingly forever. And, of course, you’ll have to attach your resume. (Did I mention that you’ll have to prepare a fresh resume…?).

Oh, and then comes my favorite part (*sarcasm*): a second page of the application where you fill in all the information from the resume you already attached in part one. Arrrrgh!!

Why do companies do this? I honestly would like to know! Even as someone who writes about the job application process, that strange bit of extra busy work is still a mystery to me – and an endless source of aggravation.

And, of course, you feel the need to apply to said job IMMEDIATELY because, if you don’t, it will be snapped up by some other applicant! There’s nothing quite like extra steps to trip you up when you’re already in a hurry, you know what I mean? It’s just awful.

But then comes the worst part…

Part Four: The Waiting

Now that you’ve actually applied for a job, you have to wait around, hoping and praying that you’ll get a call back.

Generally, calls back take about two weeks, if they ever come at all. So what do you do in the meantime?

Steps one through three, of course! Over and over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, your friends and family wonder if you’ve fallen off the face of the earth, and your dog has given up hope of ever being walked again.

Job hunting takes a MASSIVE toll on your social life. It consumes every aspect of what you do. There isn’t a moment that goes by that you’re not actively searching or thinking about searching for employment. It’s draining – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

When Tom Petty (rest in peace) sang that “the waiting is the hardest part,” he wasn’t kidding.

Part Five: Potential Progress

Let’s say you finally do get a call back and nab an interview… Now you have a whole new set of stressors to worry about.

You have to psyche yourself up for speaking to the person who could potentially be your new boss. And, of course, you have to choose what to wear.

Next, you have to actually get to the interview on time and not mess it up. (Feel free to check out our tips on how to ace your next interview!).

Then, it’s back to waiting. Maybe you’ll get a second interview. Maybe you’ll get the job. Maybe you’ll never hear from them again. It’s hard to say – and even harder to live through.

Part Six: The Eternal Return

There’s a concept that the universe and everyone living in it are doomed to repeat the same cycle of events indefinitely until the end of time.

That’s how the job searching process often feels.

If you got the job after that call back: good on you! If you didn’t…well…then you’re doomed to repeat the steps in this process again and again until you do.

The job hunting process as we currently know it is a time-sucking MONSTER that keeps us from the things we value most. Friends, family, and pets get thrown to the wayside, all in the name of finding a job.

The endless search is a huge drain. It’s downright depressing.

There HAS to Be a Better Way!

Guess what.

There is.

It’s called 133T.

133T takes away the headaches and endless suffering associated with the average job search and throws it out the window.

With 133T, you give us your resume, tell us what type of jobs you’d like to apply for, and then move on to live your life. WE do the work while YOU get to focus on the things that matter to you most.

If you’re tired of the usual job searching process, then it’s time to give 133T a chance. Sign up for the BETA version today!

Put your job hunt on auto-pilot. You deserve a break.

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.

  • Lifestyle

How to Have a Positive 2018

January 1, 2018

Let’s face it. Sometimes the things we view as what it takes to be a “success” aren’t really the things that make us happy…

The thing is, to really be a success in life: You need to fulfill your life’s purpose. And, yes, that means doing what makes you happy — even if it’s just in your “off hours.”

But how on earth are you supposed to know what would make you happy? Or what the heck your life’s purpose is? These are HUGE questions! And they likely have equally huge answers. Well, the first step is to…

Foster Self-Awareness

How well do you really know yourself?

Sure, you spend 24-hours a day with yourself, but do you really know yourself?

If things are not going well for you or you are finding it difficult to take your life or business to the next level the answer may lie within you.

Before you waste thousands of hours — or spend thousands of dollars! — making external changes to your life and career, it may be worth it to take time out and look inward. I know. Pretty scary. But you may be surprised at what you discover!

Kick Low Self-Esteem in the Butt

If you’re suffering from impostor syndrome, a lack of confidence, or low self-esteem — it’s time to kick it in the butt.

A lot of “successful” people (especially women) have suffered from one or all of these things, but they managed to “make it” anyway. Because they found a way to work through it.

You write the script for your life. Do you want it to say “but they were never truly happy because they held themselves back”? Or do you want your story to read “after a long struggle with self-doubt, he/she finally did what it took to be truly happy.” The choice is truly yours to make.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

I love my comfort zone. I’m often happiest when I’m sitting in front of my PC, vaping, and playing a video game. If I could, I’d probably do that all day every day. But would I truly be happy? Maybe for a little while, but, ultimately, no.

I step out of my comfort zone every time I sit down to write one of these blog posts. But I do it because it needs to be done. It’s my way of contributing something to the world (that hopefully at least some of you enjoy) and validating my existence as a human being. It’s what makes my life worthwhile. And, in the end, it’s what makes me happiest.

You have to step out of your comfort zone from time to time in order to be happy.

If you’re on the lookout for a potential partner, you’re going to have to leave the comfort of your own home to meet them. If you’re looking for a new job, you’re going to have to do the uncomfortable thing and apply for said job.

The nice thing is: Your comfort zone will always be there for you to return to after you’re done being awesome. (Yeah, I’m totally going to go back to gaming as soon as I’m done writing this).

Surround Yourself with Support

No friends are better than bad friends. But you know what’s even better than having no friends? Having great friends.

Surround yourself with friends and family members who support you and your quest for happiness — they’ll help you find your way there more quickly.

Stay Positive

Having trouble staying positive? Here are 10 things you can start doing TODAY that can help:

1. Find the One Good Thing

For every bad situation, there’s (at least) one good thing. Even if it’s the classic, “At least it’s not raining.”

Each time you start to feel negative, stop and ask yourself, “What’s the one good thing that’s happened today?” Even if it’s something small – like you drank clean, fresh water! – latch onto it and don’t let go.

2. Express Gratitude

Speaking of drinking clean, fresh water… Isn’t it about time you said “thanks” for that privilege?

Expressing gratitude throughout the day, even for the small things, is a great way to refocus your mind on the positive.

3. Ditch Negative Self-Talk

Instead of saying things like “I’m so fat” or “I’m so stupid,” tell yourself “I’m a little chubby, but I’m working on it” or “I’d love to learn more – what can I learn today?”

Or, even better, say something genuinely nice about yourself! You do have good qualities. What are they?

4. Cull the Negative People from Your Life

We all have difficult people in our lives – and they can usually be dealt with. However, there are some people that are determined to be miserable no matter what and you don’t need to join in on their self-pity party. Misery loves company, but that company doesn’t need to be you.

5. Learn from Disappointment

Instead of wallowing in disappointment: Learn from it. And then move onto the next project/lover/whatever.

Every disappointment comes with a valuable lesson, but it’s up to you to figure out what it is.

6. Go Slowly

I’m admittedly not a fan of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off; however, I do love this quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The faster you go, the harder it is to take a moment to think positively. When you start to multi-task at a million miles a minute and you feel your stress levels starting to rise: Stop. Take a moment to breathe to calm your body and your mind.

7. Cut Catastrophizing

This is the area I struggle with the most. When something does go wrong, my mind likes to make it seem much worse than it actually is.

Take a moment to stop and ask, “Is this really that bad?” and try to find the one good thing (see #1!) about your situation.

Chances are things aren’t as bad as they seem and you’re just overthinking things. Pro tip: If any of your thoughts start with “What if…?” then it isn’t a real problem – it’s just something your mind made up because your brain is being a butthead. Don’t make mountains out of molehills.

8. Help Others

It’s hard to stay negative when you’re helping someone else in a positive way.

Not to mention, helping others puts the focus outside of yourself (where your brain can sometimes be an ugly mess) and onto something greater than yourself. Whether you’re volunteering at a shelter or simply listening to a friend talk about their day, helping someone else will help keep a smile on your face.

9. Take Care of the Basics

You can’t have a healthy, positive mind if you don’t have a healthy body.

Remember to take care of the basics! Eat, drink, sleep, shower, exercise… Do all the things you need to do to keep your physical body in tip-top shape and your mind will follow suit.

10. Keep Practicing

Make positivity a routine and keep practicing.

It might take a while for your brain to readjust – especially if you’re coming from a place of extreme negativity – but you’ll get there if you keep practicing.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Staying positive is a great way to find your path to happiness. Because if you aren’t optimistic about something as elusive as true happiness, then you probably won’t find it. A lot of finding that path has to do with your attitude and willingness to look for it — even in the most unexpected of places.

Stop Apologizing

Some of us (me!) feel selfish when they do things for themselves, especially things they know will make them truly happy. Well, it’s time to stop apologizing and do what you gotta do.You do deserve to be happy, I promise.

Take a moment to reflect on everything that you’ve brought into your life thus far and celebrate your successes. You’re a wonderful, talented, beautiful person and working to find your happiness will ultimately make those around you happier too — not selfish at all, really!

GET TO WORK

Going after your happiness isn’t an easy task. And it won’t just fall out of the sky onto your lap as you sit around daydreaming. You have to actively seek out what would make you happiest in life. And once you figure out what that is: GO AFTER IT!

Let’s all make 2018 our best year ever!

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.