My level of happiness – or yours – should not be a “catch as catch can” situation. As human beings with free will and the ability to learn from life experiences, we should be able to move ourselves in the direction of what makes us happy!
Now happiness isn’t guaranteed – that’s not what I mean – and we’ve all heard various theories about how you can achieve happiness if you’re NOT looking for it. That makes no sense to me – how can you find something you’re not looking for?
Sure, we can stumble over events, people and things that create a greater sense of happiness, but why wait for that? You probably realize that from my blog posts and the products I offer on my website that I’m more about working toward what you want – happiness included! I would rather put in focused, consistent effort to change my circumstances and my outlook on life, thereby stacking the deck in my favor that I’ll achieve that state of happiness that I desire.
If there’s one thing that many wise people throughout history have realized, it’s that life has a unique sense of humor. There’s an old saying that people make plans, and the universe laughs. Trying to achieve happiness can feel like that – we make plans to be happy, and the world laughs at our efforts.
Why have we accepted that happiness is something that almost everyone wants and covets, yet only the ‘favored few’ ever realize in their lifetimes?
Another similar joke that life has seemed to play on all of us is that happiness is often achieved by those who stop seeking it out. The people who have let go of some of the “trappings” of the very material world that we live in, seem to live the happiest lives.
This may seem counterintuitive at first, and I’ll admit that I didn’t understand it the first time I heard it or heard the stories, however, as I share further information about some of the common beliefs happy people share, it will become readily apparent how those who don’t seek happiness are the most likely to find it!
Consider using these strategies that are integral to the lives of happy folk to help bring more happiness into your life:
- Foster an attitude of appreciation. It’s possible that you take certain elements of your life for granted. This could include anything from having a car, shelter, food to eat, and even a “regular job” – aspects of your lifestyle that a majority of the people on this planet could only dream of.
For one reason or another, people who are happy, seem to be content and appreciative of whatever they have – no matter how “little” that is compared to what others in their society or circle have.
The mindset in which you take nothing for granted will usually require no more than a shift in attitude. You won’t have to change anything about your external circumstances.
To remind yourself to be appreciative, make it a point to take the time to intentionally reflect on everything that you’re thankful for at least once a day. Doing this as you fall asleep each night helps to brush your cares away as you fall into restful slumber, preparing the way for a great day tomorrow.
- Be SMART about achieving goals. Expecting success overnight, unless you have just won the lottery, is a sure recipe for disappointment. Happy people are realistic and pragmatic when it comes to setting and achieving their goals. They understand the principle of SMART goals – those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based.
They understand and plan ahead for exactly how much time and effort may be required to achieve their goals, and if they ever fall short, they’ll put in the necessary additional work required to reach their goals.
People who are always happy are also aware of the fact that, just because they are putting in all of the necessary work to achieve their goal, there is no guarantee that their goal will ever be reached.
This may sound pessimistic, however, this is merely to state that they are aware of the possibility that external factors outside of their control could easily change outcomes. Being aware of this can help lessen the blow when unforeseen circumstances arise. It’s how we react to the challenges that slow us down in our achievements that determines how well we can adjust, bounce back, and ultimately reach our goals.
- Put others first. Achieving happiness can sometimes be the opposite of what you might think. You may be wondering how you can bring yourself closer towards achieving happiness if you put others first.
Putting other people first automatically requires you to have a more humble and appreciative outlook on life. In addition to this, making others happy will invariably bring more happiness into your own life.
If you’re always selfishly focused – only working on activities or plans that benefit you and few others – even when you achieve your goals, there may not be the optimal level of happiness in the results. Sometimes the littlest thing that we do can bring the most benefit to another, and the level of happiness imparted by the knowledge that you’ve truly helped someone can generate great “warm fuzzies” and give you exactly what you’ve been seeking!
If you take some time to begin integrating the above approaches into your daily living, you’ll find that happiness has always been just around the corner – waiting for you to discover it.