7 Steps to Black Happiness

Why do I put Black in the title? Is happiness different for Black people? I do not know for all Black people. I know that for me, it feels different.

The difference is that I need to balance my ambitions with my happiness. Isn’t it the same for most people? You tell me in the comment section. Do you feel the need for Black excellence? Do you think how well or bad you are doing in front of white people will reflect on all Black people? Do you want to inspire other people who look like you? If you answered yes to these questions, you probably suffer the “I must achieve for the ancestors who gave so much for me”. While I want all of us to respect our ancestors – you never know who is watching. External pressures rather than intrinsic motivation can negatively affect your mental health.

On the flip side, I am so satisfied with my life. I am so grateful for all I have. Here I do not mean only wealth but my happy healthy life. I appreciate it. But sometimes, there is the little voice in my head whispering “get that Porsche” or “Why are you flying economy, you deserve business class” and so on and on… 

Thanks to my loyal AI, here are 7 steps to balance your ambitions and your happiness without limiting your potential.

  1. Setting realistic goals: Prioritize and set achievable goals, rather than stretching yourself too thin or setting unrealistic expectations. You may ask, what is realistic? The best answer I heard was “people underestimate how much they can do in 1 years and over-estimate what they can achieve in 1 week. Keep that in mind when yiou set your goals.
  2. Celebrating small victories: Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress and accomplishments, no matter how small they may be. I am a strong advocate of getting 1% better everyday! People under-estimate the power of consistent and ongoing improvements.
  3. Practicing gratitude: Focus on what you have, rather than what you lack, and be grateful for your blessings. Let’s be clear. You can aspire to more. You just can expect it. When you have expectations, you are disappointed when it does not happen. When you aspire you give the best of yourself and appreciate the results.
  4. Cultivating contentment: Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, and learn to be satisfied with the present moment. To me it is baking and going to the gym. Nothing special, just a space where I feel comfortable and at ease!
  5. Finding a healthy work-life balance: Make sure you have time for what matters to you outside of work, and prioritize self-care and rest. This is easier said than done. Or is it? Next time you do something that you enjoy and need to stop because of work, ask yourself this “what will i remember in 1 year?”. I was in the middle of an intense tennis game recently. It was the end of the 2nd set. I was leading, but I had a meeting soon. Well, I know i would remember the game and pushing myself past my limits. So you know what I prioritized :). 
  6. Staying grounded: Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own journey and progress. That is extra hard. For many, this is a source of motivation. Think Sasuke and Naruto (if you know you know), they both want to become the best Ninja. Sasuke does it by comparing himself to others, and Naruto to himself. Naruto is keeping it 100% real and is the best.
  7. Seeking support: Seek support from loved ones, friends, or a therapist if needed, and be open to receiving help and guidance. Stop believing in Hollywood movies. Nobody out there is making it by themselves. We all have problems. All at a different level, but they are real problem to each of us. Find someone you can engage with. Someone that will be in your corner. There are 8 billion people in the world. Why do you listen to the handful that do not believe in you?