How to Be Happy

2018 – Whew!

It’s crazy how we’re a few days away from closing out the year.

We’ve just wrapped up our Christmas Party that we called “VAP Grand Masquerade Ball 2018” last 14th December.

I’ve had so much fun partying with the entire company! I’ve got great pictures to show here!


I’m writing something different from the posts that I usually do, and take this chance to write something I’ve been thinking about: Happiness.

I want to share the things that helped me find happiness this year.

I hope that this inspires you.

Gratefulness = Happiness

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

— Melody Beattie

Good words, and true to the point.

The whole of 2018 has been a great turning point for me, my family, my company, the staff and many clients.

I have a lot of things to be happy for, and if you ask me to write them all down, I’ll probably need a new website.

Kidding aside, I have all the right reasons to be smiling, even if the year also gave me a few down times.

When you’re running a business that has been seeing fast growth, you’ll find yourself dealing with overwhelming stress –

Doing 30 phone calls a day,

Computers crashing down,

Back to back pop up meetings,

Flooding emails,

Jobs popping up that you didn’t plan; AND

And the list goes on…

It’s easy to succumb to difficult times and let happiness slip away.

If you don’t stay grateful for everything you have or grateful for the reason why you’re doing things, your happiness will take a nose dive.

I believe that gratefulness is a huge part of being happy.

What keeps my head and heart at peace is knowing that all the opportunities, the sacrifices, the great effort we put into growing the company helped our clients and staff live a more comfortable life.

I’m humbled and honoured to be part of their everyday successes.

I’m grateful for all the challenges – all the phone calls, the client meetings, the performance coaching, – I’m grateful for successfully going through the hard times because it led us to this amazing stage of helping more and more staff and clients.

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.”

— Neale Donald Walsch

Having an Amazing Time with Myself

Another reason that makes me happy is the fact that even when every day is busy, I still make time to exercise and meditate.

If you don’t know much about me, I’ll tell you that I’m definitely an introvert.

Having quality “Me Time” is important for my mental, physical and spiritual health.

I feel that I can deal with the world effectively after spending an hour or more all to myself, doing things that I love – like going to the gym or simply reading a good book in a quiet place.

Being able to find time for oneself is one of the founding beliefs to which our company is built.

I believe that before you even “pitch freedom” to other advisers, you must live with that freedom in your life.

Pursuing Family Goals

The last reason why my year is successful is that I was able to pursue family goals alongside growing VA Platinum.

I travelled more this year than in any other years. That simply meant that I was away from Caroline and Kynan for one week at least every month.

I made sure that we do family activities before I leave such as going on camping, having dinners out or enjoying movies, and simply taking our Labrador for a walk together as a family.

I put an effort into finishing work early so that I can play Lego or play games with my son.

I set aside alone time with Caroline every day to spend “us time” together.

I believe that in order for you to feel grateful for your success, you have to understand the value of taking time away from work and enjoying it with the people you love.

You should always keep work and life balanced.

Happiness Scale

This is something I recently shared with Ed, my co-founder and a great buddy.

We try to rate our happiness every day before each daily call.

We choose a number, from 0 – being “I’m so sad and so tired” to 10 – being “I feel like a Rock Star” and see how each of us fared.

It’s a creative way of sharing each other’s mood!

How about you? What makes you happy?

Let me know in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. Hi Brian – really loved this piece. It is such a vexed question when someone asks “are you happy?” What does real happiness mean? So I think you have really nailed the issue and the key is being grateful. It is an awesome place to come from because even when things are really bad – you can be grateful for the badness!!!
    Wishing you a great Christmas and awesome New Year – I look forward to working with you and the team in 2019
    Cheers Aaron

  2. […] On a previous blog, I talked about what makes me happy. […]

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