Abe Lincoln said “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Your happiness is not determined by what other people do but by what you do. If you don’t make an effort to be happy, you have no right to whine about your lack of happiness. Happiness is strictly and inside job.
If you’ve ever called me and gotten my voice mail recording you will hear me say that, “I am having a fantastic day.” It says that EVERYDAY. It is my intention to make it a fantastic day everyday and I believe strongly, that it is mostly in my control. The question is, can we really be happy all the time?
Let’s go back to what Lincoln said about happiness being a choice. I won’t say that genetic make up isn’t a part of it. Some people certainly do seem have a naturally happy disposition but I believe that Abe hit it this one the head. Happiness is a choice we make in a dozen or so moments throughout the day.
Even more than a choice, i also believe that happiness is nothing more than an acquired skill set. That’s right; I believe that regardless of genetics and upbringing, you can learn to be happier.
Most of us are generally good at getting a quick dose of happiness like a quick vacation or a shopping spree and that’s fine but I also know we overestimate how happy the quick shots will make us and, worse, we recognize and lament the fading glow as we feel it wane even before the vacation or the shopping trip have ended!
Real happiness comes from contentment and satisfaction. It comes from gratitude and from giving. It comes form appreciating and being appreciated.
These are things we can work on. Try one of these exercises this week and let me know how you feel. Then write back to me with some results or add a few things to my list below.
- · Wake up and think of three things you are grateful for in life.
- · At the end of the day do the same thing.
- · Consciously smile more. (Make it the first item written in BOLD on your to do list so you see it all day)
- · Bring home a small gift for your significant other (a favorite candy bar, flowers, lottery scratch offs, whatever!)
- · Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you.
- · Call someone who is lonely. Especially someone you usually avoid because of how much time the call will take.
- · Consciously look for opportunities to compliment people and hand out 5 sincere compliments a day. Keep track!
I really do want your feedback on this one so please, don’t think someone else will do it, make believe I wrote this only to you.
2014 Motto: Mindful in every moment and Grateful for every day!