Happy People Don't Do

Unhappy People ALWAYS do this one thing

One of the biggest differences I see in people who are undergoing a conscious period of personal growth is that the overwhelm and frenzy that characterises everyday life starts to recede very quickly. They start feeling like they have more time, not less because they get super conscious about what they choose to fill their day with, and what they will no longer tolerate.

Unhappy people generally suck at prioritising.

Their time gets dragged and pulled in a dozen different directions, and they reach the end of each day feeling frazzled, that they have constantly been rushing from one thing to the next, but that they have achieved little of consequence.

This is because unhappier people spend time on what’s in immediately in front of them not what they have consciously decided is most important to their life. Their time will get sucked in different directions depending on what or who in their life is shouting the loudest at that moment. By losing sight of their true priorities in the tsunami of life stuff to get done, overwhelm is guaranteed.

Happy people know that the choices you make consistently reveal your true priorities. Your priorities are not what they say they are, they are what you consistently do and choose in favour of. Your priorities are not something you say: they are something you live.

Identifying our true priorities is really, and I mean really, important. Only when we step back and consciously do that can we then make better choices in the moment that will lead us towards them. Getting clear on your true priorities cuts through the clutter and noise like a knife through butter. When we know what we really want to be choosing in favour of, we can make the most purposeful choice in the moment and avoid being sucked into other people’s stuff (and it usually is other people’s stuff).

You need 6 priorities for the next year. Six tops. Three personal. Three professional.

Have a go at listing yours here.

Personal Priority 1:
Personal Priority 2:
Personal Priority 3:
Professional Priority 1:
Professional Priority 2:
Professional Priority 3:

It’s a valuable use of your time to get clear on your 6 big priorities. Whether it’s living in a healthy fit, body. Spending quality time with the family. Getting promoted. Gaining a new qualification. Renovating the house. Conceiving. Winning an award. Learning a new sport. Playing a musical instrument. Deepening your marriage. Travelling to South America. Running a marathon. Whatever it might be, figure it out.

Then choose in favour of those priorities. Consistently. Rationally.

In the noise and confusion of life – with every choice that comes up – does it move you in the direction of one of those 6 things? If so, it’s a no brainer “yes” choice. If it doesn’t – well it’s automatically 7th or less important to you. That’s a lot easier to say no to. Say no and fill your life with purposeful choices that move you in the direction of what you want.

Happy people know overwhelm is a choice. And a poor choice at that. So they choose not to make it with rigorous, consistent and guilt-free prioritisation that frees their mind and their time.

Action Step – There’s so much more to say on this than I can fit into this column – so I have a FREE e-book called “The 10 Principles Of Happiness” for you to download. You can work through it in more detail by hopping over to


Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Uncategorized

Perfect 10

Hands up if you are a bit of a perfectionist?

Thought so.

Hands up if you also feel overwhelmed quite a lot.


Stressed out?


Here’s the thing about perfectionism.

We wear it like a badge of honour. Like it’s a thing that’s bad about us… but is actually – secretly – good. It’s the stock answer to the classic interview question “What are your greatest weaknesses?” question. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist!”, pretty much every candidate will trill triumphantly. It’s the traditional negative turned into a positive response, so common in fact that I wonder how many people who say it are indeed perfectionists? Maybe it’s just the perfect answer to that question? Perfectionism – the perfect double-edged sword.

It can be a useful quality, no doubt about that. If I am having surgery, I want that surgeon to exercising her perfectionist qualities at that moment, yessiree. High risk. High stakes. Excellent time to pull out the perfectionist tendency. Do it.

Making a regular weeknight dinner? Not so necessary. Low stakes, medium to low reward. Good enough here is…well…perfectly good enough.

This is the key when dealing with your own perfectionism: exercising The Lost Art Of Discernment. Treating perfectionism like a special sauce and being discerning about when you apply it. It doesn’t have to be like the kid going through the phase where they put tomato ketchup on everything. The fush and chups. The mac and cheese. The roast dinner. There are some things you just don’t need to put ketchup on, and they have not yet figured out how to be discerning. Perfectionism – think of it like mental ketchup. The perfect compliment to some life situations, and ultimately a completely unnecessary addition to others.

Look at the risk and reward – then discern how much of your perfectionist special sauce needs applying. Don’t assume you need to apply it liberally to everything by default.

Sometimes good enough really is good enough.

Applying perfectionism, as your Modus Operandi blanket strategy across all situations presented to you in life, is one of the fastest routes to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, irritable and burned-out there is. It’s like a one-way ticket to “Overwhelmsville”. And it’s not fun to live there. Sure, it’s perfectly neat and organised, but it’s not very fun, and the To Do list is never-ending.

Most of the time Done really is better than Perfect.

As a general rule, the world doesn’t reward perfectionists. It rewards people who get stuff done.

Most of the time Done will trump Perfect.

That way you fast track out of overwhelming, get more done, and you still get to maximise that quality when it really counts.

Save your Perfect ketchup for the times it really counts.

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