Ben's 7 Steps Toward Total Happiness

People would say I’m v happy, and that’s because I am. A friend of mine ask me how I do it, and that’s how I decide on all of my blog posts. So here are my 7 steps for total happiness in this world. Let’s go! Step 1. Adopt The “Fuck The Haters” Lifestyle

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I have always been fascinated by the whole concept of “fuck the haters” for celebs. Honestly, people really love me and I haven’t met someone who “hated” me. But there is something about this statement that drives me. The idea that I’m doing something to prove something to my haters ignites like 7 fires inside of me. After years of doing things for this reason, I realized that I really wasn’t doing something to prove myself to haters. I was doing things to prove myself to me. My insecurities are my haters. My inhibitions are my haters. I don’t allow my haters to run my life. You have to do something because it’s your dream. You have to act on dreams. I have learned to treat anything that stops me like a hater, and prove it all wrong. I know that I can be whatever I want to be, so "fuck the haters."

Step 2. No Secrets

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When I was in the closet, I got nervous someone would discover I was gay like twelve times a day. I would freak out inside, and I was never truly happy until I knew that nobody had the power to out me. Wondering if someone will tell your secret isn’t gonna make you happy. You have to say your truth, and own it. If you lie or hide who you are, you’re gonna be so stressed out! Secrets are a huge source of stress.

Step 3. Stop Caring About Your Own Daily Problems

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Growing up, I felt that I had a lot of problems and issues, and I always wanted to share these with my friends and family. I went to therapy, I had blogs about my issues, and I really thought people wanted to hear about it. When I got to college, friends would ask me how I am and I would tell them how tired I was, how busy I was, or how stressed out I happened to be at the time. After a few months of complaining, I realized that I was always met with the same response. I would say how tired I was, and I would get a load of “Oh you think you’re tired? I only got 2 hours of sleep!” I’d tell them I was busy and they would one-up me over and over again. I decided I didn’t like the competition, and I started to sarcastically tell people that I was “fantastic” and that I was “living the dream.” I did this to kind of parody the classic answers to the “how are you” question. Soon after I implemented this fab strategy, I realized it was HILARIOUS because I found out that nobody gives a rat’s ass if I’m having issues. I struggled with this at first, but after a while, I found great comfort in the fact that nobody else cared about my problems. I realized that I had zero reason to complain. It got me nothing. I now walk through the world with the knowledge that nobody cares about my problems, and if nobody else cares about my problems, why the hell would I care about my problems? So now, after 20 years of complaining about my life, I learned that instead of allowing my problems to affect my happiness, I simply just push them aside and forget about them. Just like everyone else does!

Step 4. 3-12 Hours Of Alone Time Every Single Day

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You can’t be happy if you don’t truly know yourself. Self-awareness can only come from alone time. I try to be sure to spend a lot of my time alone. People are great, don’t get me wrong. But the second you think that your happiness is going to depend on the number of friends you have, you have already failed. Are you able to go to a restaurant or a movie on your own? Are you able to sit with yourself for 5 hours on a Sunday morning and just watch Netflix. Would you make a nice dinner just for you? Why not? Happiness is only an internal force. It must come from you.

Step 5. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket (Love)

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I hope that you don’t hope to find “the one” and all of the sudden be happy. I hope you don’t look forward and think of happiness as something that will be given to you by someone else. It just literally will not happen that way. As previously stated, happiness is something that only comes from within you. It will not find you, it’s something you have to grow yourself.

Step 6. Forget Other People’s Burdens

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This is tough to swallow, but I’m talking about how to be happy, not how to be a hero. I find that the more I think about myself, the more I put my own needs at the top of my list, the happier I get. Now, you might get this confused with being selfish and cold. Let’s get this clear. I am quite the warm, friendly, and loving person. But when I love someone, their burdens become my burdens. When I care about a cause, it feels like my own. Give your time, give your money. Dedicate yourself to something that you are passionate about, but don’t spread yourself too thin. If you take on burdens just to take them on, you are wasting your time, and others’ time. Put your energy into burdens that you care about, burdens that you are passionate about.

Step 7. Accept Your Own Potential

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We as a society put so much pressure on ourselves to “accept” who we currently are. As a dreamer, I find this to be a totally depressing notion. I do believe in accepting myself, but I would never want to just stop there. Let’s be clear - I'm allowed to have goals. It’s totally fine to dream of a better future for myself. By accepting our current state of self for what it is, we sometimes close off the idea of growth. The idea that we can accept who we are, but to use that as a springboard to help us form our own aspirations is much more attractive to me. If I simply accepted who I was at 21, there’s no way I’d be where I am today. We should be thinking of “who we are” as a growing fluid state. We are under no obligation to continue to be the same person we are today. In a way, I am constantly rejecting little parts of who I am so that I can continue to grow. I have always felt that rather than accepting “who I am,” I have accepted the potential that I have the power to “become whoever I want to be.” My own happiness comes from my accomplishments and from my growth. I have accomplished and grown only because I always wanted to be something more.

And that’s how to be happy! I’m sure y’all have thoughts. Let’s hear ‘em!!! Follow me @therealbenhawes