By Marcus Merida

Happiness — I want it, you want it,
we all want it. Just the fact that
you’re reading seeking for those
nuggets of wisdom that will bring
us more peace, joy, and personal
After having owned a businesses
for about 10 years in the swimming
pool industry, a little over a year
ago I commenced a new quest in
life to satiate my need to teach and
help as many possible to achieve
their full potential. This is also why
I asked Peter if I could contribute a
guest post to The Change Blog. So
if you’re looking for ‘change’, if
you want more joy and fulfillment
out of life, here are 7 qualities
that, for me, have made all the
1. See the World in the Form of a
Whether you are looking to make
new friends, achieve success with a
client, or even raise your general
awareness—the skill of asking
questions has in many ways been
lost in our society. We’re so busy
to tell, tell, tell that we forget to
ask, ask, ask. And as we all know,
the only way to become a great
‘learner’ is to ask questions.
Questions resolve concerns.
Questions elevate personal
relationships. They also at times
force us to take a different
perspective and possibly stretch
ourselves to unchartered waters. So
learn to have an ‘ask first tell
second’ personality and I can
promise you the results will be
2. Give Specific Feedback/
We’ve all heard that learning to
give compliments to others has a
powerful impact on personal
relationships. But for those that
truly want to take compliments to
another level the key is to learn
specificity. For example, which
statement would you rather hear
from someone else?
I really enjoyed your blog article
I was blown away with the story
you shared in your blog article
about the time you……That story
very much resonated with me
and I’ve decided to take action
because of it!
See the difference? Both
statements expressed approval of a
blog article, yet the first statement
likely made the author smile a little
while the second brought about a
huge grin. This is the power of
specificity and is a critical key to
happiness, especially in dealing
with friends and loved ones.
3. Don’t Just Let Go of Your
Physical Health
I see it all the time. Guys and gals
(including many bloggers) attain
great monetary success in work but
all of the sudden they’re out of
shape, overweight, and struggling
with self-image. Knowing my busy
schedule as a business owner and
father of 4, a year ago I bought an
elliptical and put it in my basement
so that I wouldn’t have to include
‘going to the gym’ into my
extremely busy schedule. The
results? I’ve worked out 1 hour a
day since buying the machine,
never missing a workout, and I
weigh less now than I did in high
school. (and feel great too!)
4. Give Value to Others at Every
Wow has the internet been a
blessing in this area. Now, more
than ever, you and I can meet and
help people on a large-scale basis
because of the beauty of
technology. Some of the greatest
success I’ve been able to achieve in
these last year has come because of
stories, articles, and mentions I’ve
made praising other people and
companies. As Chris Brogan says,
we should mention (talk about)
other people 12 times to every 1
mention of ourselves if we really
want to give value and build
5. Smile Unrelenting
I know, I know, we’ve heard it
before: We should smile often .
But as the old saying goes,
‘common sense is often quite
uncommon.’ Seriously though, are
you the person in your group of
friends or workplace that is known
as ‘Mr. or Ms. Positive’ or are you
the person that everyone sees as
having a cloud over your head
24/7? I used to have a problem of
not smiling enough. For me, it
wasn’t that I was unhappy, it was
just that I have the tendency to
look serious when I’m focused on a
task. Since identifying this problem
(people kept telling me to lighten
up) I try to carry a smile with me
in all situations, and wow has this
made an incredible difference. So
smile often. Lighten up every room
you enter. Not only will you be
happier, but many will file in line
with you as well.
6. Stop Trying to Find Your
Let me be the first to say that I’m
all about ‘finding your passion’. But
the problem with most people is
that they get so wrapped up in
‘finding themselves’ or ‘finding
their passion’ that they forget how
this discovery is actually made: By
Living Passionately . In other
words, if you want to find out
where your true passions lie, stop
looking and simply start living
everything you do throughout the
day with passion and zeal. By so
doing, self-discovery will come
naturally and easily.
7. Surround Yourself with
I simply can’t stress this one
enough. Everyone needs a mentor.
And we certainly all need great
friends. I would be a completely
different person and be on a
completely different path than I’m
on today had I not had people and
friends in my life that helped
correct my course when I got off
track. I’ve learned over the years
that it’s important that we not only
find these friends but we learn to
depend and lean on them when
necessary. As others lift us up, and
as we reciprocate this action, the
friendships we’ll form will truly be
So there are 7 keys to health and
happiness that have completely
changed my life over the past year.
But what about you? What are your
thoughts and what would you add
to the list? C’mon, let’s talk about