Happiness: everyone wants it, yet it seems difficult to define.
One thing which comes out of all of the attempts to define it
of all of the people who declare themselves to be happy
and score high on the happiness scale
not one of them has ever defined it as partying until you drop
and getting so wasted that you cannot remember what happened the night before.
Some people have a head start on happy
because they were born with what has been called the resilient personality.
The good news is that for the rest of us
there are at least 7 ways we can affect how happy we can be.
Happy people but this one at the top of their list
1. MAKE GOOD FRIENDS
Good friends are not acquaintances, or professional contacts, or customers,
or employees or the 1,000 social media contacts you have liking you.
They are not even family.
They can be found in any of the mentioned sources
but they stand apart from all other connections by answering these 2 simple questions.
1-Can you can be yourself.
2-Have they seen you at your worst
and they still think you are the best thing since sliced bread.
“Friendship is not about whom you have known the longest
it is about who came and never left your side”
We can get so busy tending to the needs of our professional networks,
customers, employees, family not to forget time spent trolling social media connections,
we can be too tired for real friends.
Happy people cut back on the superficial contacts and make time for real friends
Increasing your number of friends correlates to higher subjective well being;
doubling your number of friends is like increasing your income by 50 percent
in terms of how happy you feel.
And if that's not enough, people who don't have strong social relationships
are 50 percent less likely to survive at any given time than those who do.
Make friends outside of work. Make friends at work. Make friends everywhere.
Make real friends. You'll live a longer, happier life.
2. ACTIVELY EXPRESS THANKFULNESS
Being grateful is the newest trend so it is not surprising
that happy people show appreciation to the people in their lives.
This time it does include everyone we meet.
From waitresses, to cashiers, from our inner circle to our most far reaching outer circle
the simple act of a smile and a thank you is like getting a booster shot for the whole day
for both the sender and the receiver.
One study showed people who wrote down 5 things they were thankful for once a week
were 25 percent happier after ten weeks;
in effect they dramatically increased their happiness set-point.
When we are expressing gratitude two things happen.
it puts us in the moment.
Being in the moment has been known for thousands of years
to be the sweet spot for happy.
it is a necessary and very strong reminder of what we have.
In the pursuit of more, we can never be happy until we appreciate what we have.
Happy people focus on what they have, not on what they don't have.
3. ACTIVELY PURSUE YOUR GOALS
A goal without a timeline is just a dream.
When we put time and dates to our goals it energises us.
The dates and times are not always under our control
and they may have to be changed as we move forward
but the act of making them is what makes the goals real.
Happy people mark their milestones on the way to their goal
by looking how far they have come instead of how far they have to go.
4. DO WHAT YOU EXCEL AT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN
Play to your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.
The best of all possible places to be which assures the maximum amount of happiness
is to do what you love and get paid for it.
If that is not feasible then in the meantime you can find what you are good at
and apply it to what you are already doing or volunteer where your strength is needed.
You are good at teaching
Offer to be a teachers assistant.
Offer to lead a seminar at work.
You have a lovely singing voice
Sing everywhere you go.
Sing to shut ins.
You are great with animals.
Train a therapy dog.
Spend weekends with animals helping out at shelters.
In The Happiness Advantage,
Shawn Anchor says that when volunteers picked, "...one of their signature strengths
and used it in a new way each day for a week,
they became significantly happier and less depressed."
Everyone has at least a few things they do incredibly well.
Find ways to do those things more often. You'll be a lot happier.
Giving is not about sacrifice.
It is an extension of item 4 in our list of 7 things happy people do.
“ Do what you excel at as often as you can” only now you share it.
For thousands of years scientists have searched for the elusive perpetual energy machine
when it has been under their noses all the time.
The act of giving is a perpetual source of happy energy
because the more you giving you do the more energy you have.
Happy people have lots of energy.
The source of happy giving is when it has no need for payback.
Equivalent to when we repair the wing of a wild bird and set it free
we are so happy at the doing that we do not even need a thank you from the bird.
6. CHOSE EXPERIENCES OVER THINGS
When people give an eulogy
they talk about the impact the departed person had on their lives.
The list the things the person did.
Never the things the person had.
Happy people know that the new always becomes the new normal
so they are not distracted by the greed gene which hijacks us
to pursue the accumulation of more things, the acquiring of more money,
more power, more, more, more, more.
Just as a pile of sand will eventually collapse
with the addition of one too many grains.
We are not more happy with more stuff.
A second, or a third or a fourth or a fifth piece of pie
or a second or a third or a fourth or a fifth home is not where happy hides.
Happy people know this.
The pursuit of happy through the acquisition of more goods
and satisfaction with life are negatively related.
The act of chasing more and more and more possessions makes you less happy.
Happy people chase experiences.
7. LIVE WITHOUT REGRETS
Say what needs to be said, if it is negative then be diplomatic.
Never let what needs to be done, crowd out what you need to do to be happy.
Chose what is right for you, as long as it does not harm someone else.
Live your life now, tomorrow is too late.
Live the life you want to live not the life others mapped out for you.
Care more about how you feel than how others think.
Express your feelings both negative and positive.
Stop and smell the air we breathe.
Happiness is a choice, there is no happiness gene.
So start doing more things which will make you happier.
The best things in life are unseen.
That's why we close our eyes when we kiss, laugh and dream.
Gibran Khalil Gibran
Be happy for no reason like a child,
if you are happy for a reason then you are in trouble
because that reason can be taken from you.
Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
Until next time
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