A Guide for Worriers on How to Live a Happy Life

A Guide for Worriers on How to Live a Happy Life

The world will never run out of fears and worries.

When we get older, we are afraid of getting hurt emotionally and physically;

we worry about losing the respect of others;

we fear that we can no longer continue a great relationship with another person;

we are afraid that people may not be who we expect them to be.

And the list could go on and on...

I used to fear and worry a lot. So what did I do? I grabbed onto pieces of advice from others like a life jacket. 

Play it safe, my parents said.

Do not be too direct, my ex-friends suggested.

I never thought listening to others could lead to a life of depression and anxiety.



One day, a good friend asked:

Anna. Life is full of many things to be afraid of, but what if there is no tomorrow? What if we die in our sleep tonight?

This hit me hard. The realization that I could never live to see the morning sun gave me a whole new perspective on what I wanted to do for myself. For once, not for others!

So, I started asking myself these questions repeatedly, wondering what I could do at this moment if I did not have another day to live.

If there is no tomorrow, would you bravely tell someone what you admire about them?

Would you loudly say “I love you” to someone before knowing if that person feels the same way?

Would you sincerely praise a stranger?

Of course, we are not just talking about love-bombing people with praises here.

There will be times when letting others know of their short-coming could lead to good results. However, there are things that you do not have to point out to people because they know.

For example:

You do not have to tell someone how they are different from others.

You do not have to tell someone where they come from and where they should be at.

You do not have to tell someone what they should be and should not be doing.

You do not HAVE to. You can if you want.

What we could do more is tell people our appreciation at the moment.



There is a saying used often in the Japanese tea ceremony culture, “Ichigo ichie (一期一會).” “Ichigo” means one life, and “ichie” means one encounter. When you put the two words together, the new phrase points out that we only have one (first) encounter during a lifetime. It also reminds everyone in the tea ceremony to treat each other with their best intention.



I have had a few heart-touching Ichie Ichigo encounters in my life, where strangers weren’t afraid to tell me how much they liked what I was wearing or how much they liked my smile. They passed on their appreciation to me with such sincerity, and I was (and still am) very touched. At that moment, I was happy and would remain as so even if they were lying.

And so I start practicing my version of Ichie Ichigo.

At first, I was shy about receiving praise from strangers because I did not know how to respond to them.

It was not common in my culture to receive praise from strangers or people you barely know. Even if I did, they could be praises made by a salesperson in an attempt to get a sale.

Eventually, with more practice in giving praises sincerely to others, I can see that people are happily surprised by these praises! And I also feel happier delivering them. 

There are people whom you may never meet again.

There are things that, if you don’t say them now, may remain forever unspoken.

What kind of impression do you want to leave on this world?

Wishing you all do happy and kind things at the moment because those actions will lead you to a happier life.

Anna Y.C. Chen is a business strategist and coach who helps people turn dreams into businesses. She supports introverted professionals and entrepreneurs to get financially recognized for their products and services and build a well-lived life.

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