“How about these, to tone down a sparkly cocktail dress?”

I was trying on some orthopedic style flats with my friend Rachel as we were perusing the shoe sale in Bloomingdales. It got the laugh I hoped for. And then a question followed, one I get quite a lot:

“Susie, how are you always so happy?”

It’s always a compliment when I am asked this.

I’m human. I’m not always happy.

But I have a few tricks (after being a self-help junkie for so many years!) that I keep up my sleeve that keep me going. These tricks are what Tony Robbins refers to as being “emotionally fit” — things I do to remain buoyant, resilient, focused on the good in my life. I remind myself everyday that my time on planet earth is limited and I want to spend it being vibrant, present and fully alive. I hope one of my tips might help you feel even a smidge the same way this week!

1. I make sure my spare time is occupied with projects I love.
The underutilized mind is not a happy mind. I write almost every day and ensure that I’m always working on multiple projects that inspire and stretch me. Aside from my valued downtime and meditation, I’m a very busy person, which leaves little opportunity for rumination and overthinking.

2. I give as much as I can.
It gives me a lot of joy to compliment others, make other people feel special and dial up the kindness wherever I go. Try this! It never fails to give me a boost, as we always keep what we give away.

3. I focus on and visualize what I want.
My mind can easily veer into “worst-case scenario” mode unless I consciously disinvite those thoughts. I consistently remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and what it is I want to achieve.

Visualize what you want clearly and you’ll notice an immediate shift in how you feel. Visualization also makes you incredibly creative in terms of taking action and making your dreams a reality. That is one of the reasons I love vision boards and host vision board events.

4. I ask for what I want (and don’t feel guilty about getting it).
Whether it’s a better table at a restaurant or the rates I command for different projects, asking for what I want ensures that I feel assertive, authentic and true to myself. Silencing your desires is like taking a weakening drug. The only cure is to identify what matters to you, give yourself permission to know you deserve it and honor yourself by asking for it. I regularly ask myself, “What do I really want?” and allow my heart to lead the way.

5. I think of how happy my past self would have been to have my current life.
Five or 10 years ago if someone told me that I would have the life that I enjoy now, I would have been extremely happy. I’m sure A LOT of you would feel the same way about where you are in your life. I remind myself regularly that while I’ll always be working toward something new, I’m still doing OK in the present moment.

6. I consume inspirational material EVERY single day.
If I miss a day, I notice it. I listen to podcasts, I read loads of books, and I make it a point to go to read inspirational articles and videos. External inspiration massively feeds internal inspiration. I can’t live without it.

It’s a simple list, but it works for me.

What do you do to stay happy? I’d love to hear your tips — there might be no more important topic than this one!

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Happiness Tony Robbins Joy Money Love

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on February 16, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com