What DOES create happiness and an overall sense of satisfaction with life? Hard work? Doing things, and doing them the right way? Luck? Or is it something else?
Having traveled the world, having spoken and communicated with thousands of people from various cultures and walks of life, one thing is clear: happiness is a choice. You either choose it or you don’t. If you do choose it, your life becomes a satisfying adventure. If you do not choose it, well…welcome to misery.
If you desire happiness, and if you would like to have the satisfaction that is available to you, I would suggest these three tips that will open up the possibilities of happiness in your life.
1. Start A Gratitude Journal
What we acknowledge grows bigger. When you start to focus on the things that you are grateful for, more of those things show up. A great way to be more aware of all of the amazing gifts in your life is to start a gratitude journal and actually write them down.
Each day, write down 3- 5 things that you are grateful for. Include what you are grateful for about you. The first few days it will be easy. You will write down the things you are obviously grateful for. After a few days, you will have to look beyond what you are currently aware of. As you do, you will begin to see that your life is filled with gifts all around: e.g. the air you breathe, the beauty of the nature around you, and so much more.
If you focus on gratitude – gratitude grows.
A great place to start is to practice being happy! This might sound too simplified; but it’s true what they say… practice makes perfect – or in this case, practice brings on the possibilities.
For 10 seconds at a time, choose to be happy. Choose it again as many times over as you like. Let’s say you have 10 seconds to live the rest of your life and, in that final 10 seconds, you’d like to be truly happy. Choose it! You have another 10 seconds to live the rest of your life. What do you choose? Happy? You certainly can. Every 10 seconds, if you’d like, you can choose to be happy. If you stop being happy and you notice, choose again. “Wait! Somewhere my happy got lost. This is a new 10 seconds. In this 10 seconds… I choose happy!” It really is that simple.
3. Don’t Take on Other People’s Stuff
So much of what gets in the way of our happiness is other people’s stuff. Our co-workers are unhappy. Our friends are unhappy. Our family members are unhappy. The other drivers on the road are unhappy. In each of these scenarios, we are faced with a choice. And then we think, ‘Oh! I should be unhappy too!” Are we going to carry their unhappiness and let it steal ours in the process? Are you willing to be happy even if no one around you is?
Here’s a great tool you can use. It’s called, ‘Who does this belong to?’ The thing is, you are like a gigantic radio picking up on everyone and everything around you and guess what? That includes a lot of unhappiness. So, the next time you feel unhappy, ask, ‘Who does this belong to?’ If you feel lighter when you ask, you’re not the unhappy one. You are just picking up on others. Let that unhappiness go! Choose the happiness that is available.
Being happy is not like winning the lottery. It doesn’t happen to only a few while the rest of us dream about it. It is available to everyone. Practice gratitude, practice choosing happiness, don’t take on other people’s misery, and you will find satisfaction in you and your life.
P.S. And for the full article in Aspiring Gentleman, please check it out here.