Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Gratefulness Creates a Fountain of Joy For me, the single most important difference between being happy and unhappy depends on the extent to which I think about and feel grateful for what I already have. Once the base state of mind is positive it is much easier to deal with worries and disappointments.
Result Versus Effort When the result of something matters to me too much, I get overly stressed. The quality of my time goes down exponentially when the stakes are high in my mind.
The trick is to focus solely on the effort and not to think about the outcome at all. By doing so, one can improve the effort and increase the possibility of success. Worrying about the outcome is self-sabotage. It lowers your ability to perform and increases your chances of failure.
Living in the Moment is something I have discovered comparatively recently. Analyzing my thoughts made it clear to me that I was mostly worried about the possibility of some bad outcomes in the future and kept thinking about "what-if" scenarios. I spent the remaining time regretting the mistakes of the past. Living in the moment was something I never learned in my childhood. We were always supposed to work towards a better "future".
I feel that this method of intentional thinking has liberated me from almost all shackles. The premise that I only owe allegiance to this minute and do not need to constantly carry baggage on my back from the past or constantly push a cart to the future has brought a whole new meaning to living life to its fullest.
Agreeing to Disagree is something my better half has taught me. We can either choose to accept our differences or try to have none. I used to make a continuous effort to show the other person what I thought was my logical viewpoint. Many times I would invest so much time and effort into convincing others to see my viewpoint that the wasted effort would lead to endless frustration. I would win arguments and lose relationships.
It took me way too long to understand that so long as our basic value systems align that details do not matter. Be okay with people exercising immense freedom to do what they want and how they want and you will have people who love you for who you are. Accept differences as a default.