What makes you happy?

A challenge to be more sanguine
Sanguine Element 6: Be Well

I challenge you to a [sanguine] duel


As I’ve said before, we each create our own reality.

Some of us choose to live by certain rules of society, some of us choose to live in other ways [me being one of them].  But rarely do we ever really consider or ask ourselves if we’re truly 100% in love with our life or what does that even look like for us, as individuals.

Many of us have fallen into such monotonous routines that we don’t even realize that we’re feeling more neutral about everything in life, doing the same thing day in and day out, rather than truly feeling and experiencing all that is happening.

The good and the not-so-ideal.

We are also often so focused on the big moments [let’s say you won the lottery or got married] that we forget to appreciate the small moments – like how a stranger opened a door for you or an old friend reached out to see how you’re doing.

The concept seems so simple, but I know some people who, when asked, couldn’t come up with an answer to:

What makes you happy?

While the answer will be different for all of us, hopefully, you’ve got a few right off the top of your head!

Now I do want to take a moment to explain here one important thing:

Seeking happiness can be a very negative and vicious cycle. Some people think they can never be happy, and searching for happiness just makes them even more unhappy.  That’s why I really want you to focus on being sanguine.

Because again, using the examples like winning the lottery or getting married – you may think doing those things will make you happy, and yet once that happens, you realize, you’re still not totally over the moon blissed out happy. And then you start to seek the next best thing – so you decided having a baby will make you happy or if you won the lottery, buying a huge mansion will make you happy. Both those things happen and you’re likely happy, but after a while, that happiness made fade, there’s still something that isn’t quite right. Life still isn’t picture perfect.

You’ve fallen into a cycle – a vicious cycle – of always having to seek out the next best thing. The bright shiny objects.

That is the problem with seeking happiness or wanting to be happy – and I why I recommend that you be sanguine instead. Being sanguine allows you to be present in this moment, acknowledging both the good and the not-so-ideal.

AND You’re not just “hoping” for things to get better, for something to change that will make you or your life better but you’re mindfully acknowledging all that is happening in this moment while also intentionally taking action on what it is you want to do, who you want to be. You’re acknowledging that life isn’t always picture perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. And really, it likely never will be. You might have the cutest baby or the most beautifully decorated home but those are still external influences. Being sanguine means you look inside yourself, you’re happy with who you are, flaws and all.

So today, I’m challenging you to a duel. Not with me. Or anyone else for that matter. With yourself. Today you are going to beat yesterday’s level of being sanguine. And you’ll do it again the next day. And the next day.

Here’s a few steps I’d love for you to take today:

  1. Gauge where your sanguine level is by taking my happiness quiz here. This will give you a starting point plus action steps to move forward to being more sanguine in your daily life.
  2. In your eco, tree-free journal, write down 2-3 things that not only make you happy but also bring meaning to your life – they can be big things that have happened recently or even just really small moments like the rising sun or the purr of your cat.
  3. Then I want you to continue writing. Don’t think too hard or long – just write, write, write. Whatever pops into your head about moments when you felt content, grateful, sanguine. Then return to that list as a reminder when you’re having an “off day”. (and keep adding to it!)
  4. Share with a friend one beautiful moment that has happened to you in the last week.
  5. Then ask your friend to share one beautiful moment that has happened to her/him in the last week [this is important!]
  6. Be happy for each other [don’t compare or get jealous]
  7. Smile. You took intentional action to make yourself more sanguine.

smiling sloth, what makes you happy

And then, because I believe in balance, and that we can’t move forward if we only focus on the positive… I want you to take 3 more steps.

  1. Write down 1-3 things that you are discouraged with in your life, in this moment.
  2. Next, write down 3 steps you can take to help you get out of those discouraging life situations.
  3. Take intentional action. Don’t just write it down [because I promise you, there is no secret – nothing will happen if you don’t actually take action]. Plan out a specific path of intentional steps that you will take to feel less discouraged, less challenged, less monotonous and shift yourself out of those situations.

How does all this impact your life and make you feel happier, more sanguine?

Being sanguine means you’re taking personal responsibility for your life and to ensure that you live it in a positive, healthy and harmonious way.

Second, by doing both Parts 1 and 2, on a regular basis – weekly, monthly or annually – you’re acknowledging what’s good and what’s not so ideal… and taking action on both.  This can lead to living a more fulfilling, balanced life when you implement these practices on a regular basis. This is something I teach in my 1×1 mindset coaching and online programs [learn more here].

Start today, then in a few days come back and report your progress in the comments below. Can you beat today’s set-point of being sanguine? And every day after – keep improving over the day before? You may slip back occasionally, that’s okay, it happens to all of us, but overall, day by day, you should be both seeing and experiencing an upward trend.

And your life will feel less repetitive and more sanguine, more alive, more content, more empowered to thrive even in our imperfect world.

Share the love…

Now over to you… How will you choose to be more sanguine in your everyday life, what intentional actions will you take today or this week? g


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chrissy gruningerChrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.

She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. 

Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.