What a silly title I’ve chosen today with what is the key to happiness. It makes it sound like there’s a treasure box that all you need to do is insert the key in the padlock, turn it, open it up, and all these happy thoughts will come bouncing out at you. Well truthfully your mind is like a treasure chest filled with happy thoughts that you just don’t give yourself time to think about. Alas most of the time you’re allowing your mind to be a junkyard of unhappy thoughts.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Wikipedia
I am somebody that has always enjoyed pursuing my goal’s and my dreams, but never at the cost of my happiness. In fact I do it to add on more happiness in my life, not to the detriment of it. So I never understand those that work so hard who say that when they achieve their goal then they will have time to think about their happiness. To me this is a crazy way of living.
You can’t wait on happiness because tomorrow everything can change. We must be careful not to wait too long because circumstances may leave us in situation where we are not in a position to enjoy the happiness we were seeking.
My health over the last year or so has taught me this important lesson: Life is precious and time is short. Why spend time worrying about what’s happened in the past, what could happen in the future and what’s happening right now.
Whatever dream you may be chasing, why not decide to enjoy every stage , right from the beginning, including the journey instead of waiting till you get to the destination. At whatever point you ma y have reached you have many things to be happy about right now, right here today if you only shift your mindset to one of gratitude instead of one of want.
You can always find something or someone to be grateful for in every day of your life and believe me that will impact your happiness levels immensely.
Take time to see the beautiful gifts that life has to offer and appreciate them. Despite the fact I’m really struggling with a cold right now, Rachel and I took Buster, my 6 month old Border Collie for a 5 minute walk to meet Liam from school. To see Buster walking through the snow, reacting to every big slide of snow of the roof top was exhilarating, he loved it, and I could help but feel happiness in the moment.
Be aware; appreciate every opportunity, no matter how small, how meaningless, because they all add up.
The truth is the key to happiness is appreciating what you have in life, and many of the things that happen in a fleeting moment, as well as those provided by the beauty of nature, family and friends.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and definitely when it comes to appreciating what we have been blessed with in life, such as our relationships with friends and family or with our pets. Too many of us choose only to focus on what we want and therefore feel the desire to go after, rather than what we already have in our life.
Indeed I am passionate about my work and am fortunate that I love every single second I spend at my computer doing the things I do. But I also appreciate the things I already have. I make the most of every opportunity no matter how small.
I believe that if you focus on the positives in your life, the things you can be grateful for, then you will tend to be a happier person than someone who is always complaining about what they lack in their lives whether it be money, romance, a big house, a new fancy car or whatever they desire.
Any grandparent would tell you, like I can, that even though fifty years has past me by, I still feel the spring of youth within me because my career is one driven by my passions, and the love I have for my 2 children knows no bounds, but the magic feels of unbelievable joy when I take my granddaughter in my arms well nothing could surpass that.
As a coach and mentor I feel elation at that ah ha moment when the penny drops and my clients suddenly realises he has the answer, he now knows the way forward.
Yet I am generally a happy person, and the reason is what takes place in my head 24/7. The thoughts I am having most of the time. Happiness depends very much on our mental attitude. I choose to be happy, to enjoy life, to love what I’m doing, to remain positive no matter what. I’m happy right now, despite the fact I’ve just got back from the dentist, but at least my teeth are shinning white.
Real happiness can stand the challenge of all outer experiences, they after all shouldn’t be allowed to affect your inner peace. The reality is your happiness depends entirely on you, no one else can give it you, it is something inside you that you have to find and bring forth. We are the protector of our feelings. Yes we may have to deal with problems at times, but we have enough good things in life, surely we do, to keep our happiness levels at a descent point.
Maybe that’s my strength. Even when my world came crashing down around me, I still had enough things to say ‘well nothing can take them from me’ and I still had my unlimited opportunities and possibilities which I knew I could achieve anything I put my focus to. So my happiness may have been dented, but I hung on to it through what I had, and what I would have, and just let go of what I lost.
In order to understand what happiness means to you, the first step you should take is looking at your emotions, ask yourself questions such as “if I could be enjoying something in my life, what would it be?”
You are all to special to be unhappy to much of the time, and you don’t need to be. Turn your mind to find the answer to the above question, and also find what in your life already that makes you happy and what more can you be doing to make it even better. Only you have the answers.
I will always remember this text I once read:
“When you came into this world, you cried and everyone else smiled. You should so live your life that when you leave, everyone else will cry, but you will be smiling”.
And in between I want you to laugh as much as you can. But I’m sure at worst you must have a lot of reason to have a smile on your face, and things to be thankful for, even if up till now you’ve taken them for granted.
So back to how I started. Here’s a suggestion for you, and it involves building yourself a treasure chest.. It involves recognizing moments of happiness in your life. I invite you, for the rest of the month, to be a little more aware of when you’re experiencing happiness, and think back to things that make you happy. I’ll give you an example. Many years ago, probably 16, my youngest daughter Carly built a snowman from cotton wall and cardboard. She asked me to protect it and not let it melt away. For the next 13 years I showed it to her in my briefcase much to her embarrassment. It is still there. Every time I look at it I radiate with happiness and memories. There are many other ‘special’ items with it which i just have to look at to give me a real injection of happiness. So build yourself a happiness resource, and use it often.
What have you found in life that is your key to happiness?