It’s the journey to find your happiness that counts more than the destination. Happiness is ethereal and often elusive, but you need to create pools of happiness for your well-being and discover how to be at peace with who you are.
What Happiness Is
To find your happiness is to have a positive emotional state, embracing feelings of joy, peace, satisfaction and well-being. It is a subjective experience and what is happiness for one person, is not the same for another, for our happiness is as individual as our fingerprints.
For some people happiness is the simple things of life, while others follow more complex pursuits. However, it is ultimately unique and influenced by personal, social and cultural factors. The anthropologist Ashley Montagu said, “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
We all wear masks behind which we hide who we really are. We need to protect ourselves, but we also need to be vulnerable; just remember critics dance to their own tune.
In the hunt to find your happiness you are your own worst and most brutal critic. We all make mistakes, so learning to love yourself is essential to your happiness. If you learn from your mistakes or travel troubled seas, you will come out stronger. Accept the situation and move on.
It’s not about letting it all hang out either, but knowing and loving who you are. You can’t love others until you come to terms with who you are, so take time out to list your good qualities.
Have Goals but be Prepared to Let them Go
It’s important to develop a sense of meaning and purpose, as you have unique values that will enrich others. Goals give direction to everyday life, but we can become so wrapped up in the proposed outcome we lose sight of our real values. Not everything you try will be successful, but don’t give up when you hit a hiccup.
Our happiness is not dependent on arriving, but enjoying the journey. Sure, there will be detours. potholes and roadblocks but learning to deal with them is part of your well-being and ability to experience happiness.
Don’t become so involved in reaching your goal that you forget to celebrate all the little victories. A mental checklist at the end of the day creates a pool of happiness. Take a laze in it for a little while and drop all those negative thoughts into the sea-of-forgetfulness. Don’t retrieve them when the sun comes up again.
Other People’s Perception
Anyone who knows you, or thinks they know you, will have their own concept and perception of just who you are. The truth is that no one knows you, like you do. The end of each day is a good time to take stock and learn to lay your head on your pillow in peace. If you gave of your best, no one can ask any more of you. Life is not about lining up with other people’s expectations, but being who you are.
We need to live meaningfully in line with our core beliefs and values, taking care of ourselves, body, soul and spirit. To deny, or sacrifice any one of these, is to live unbalanced and out of kilter.
Allow Others to Give
We need to accept other people’s generosity, as that is part of their happiness walk. Everyone needs a helping hand at some point, but too often our pride stands in the way. There are times we need to support others and times when others will support us. For a fulfilled life we cannot live as if we are an island. We were born as social creatures and there needs to be give and take.
We all need people who love us for what we are, without having to meet some unattainable criteria. Unconditional love is hard to find, and involves acceptance, forgiveness when we make a mistake, and encouragement when we fall and when we succeed.
It is important to let people in, even if that means the danger of being hurt. When you rub shoulders with others, some of your hard edges will be rubbed off. Check who are positive or negative influences on you and have the courage to ditch the negative.
Don’t Live in Fear
The fear we need to avoid is the fear of fear itself. From the moment we are born life is made up of crises. We need to lick our wounds and get back on with the journey towards finding our pools of happiness. We don’t have to always agree with what others are doing, or saying, but so long is it doesn’t impinge on our core beliefs, we need to be tolerant of others.
Allow time to make sense of whatever curved balls life throws at you. There is a time to pause and grieve and a time to move purposely forward on your journey to find your happiness. The person who continually looks backwards, goes nowhere, but wanders in circles. Yesterday is just that – ‘before the present’, so move on.
Sitting looking out at the ocean, enjoying flowers in a garden, or staring up at the stars, is taking time to appreciate what is around us. We are not spectators of life but participants and taking time to appreciate nature is essential to our wellbeing.
Showing gratitude as often as possible should come naturally. There is no greater gift and spirit-lifter than saying ‘Thank you’. Too many people wander through life unappreciated, even if they are only doing their job. A quiet word of appreciation goes a long way.
Do What You Enjoy
Create pools of peace and happiness by doing what you enjoy. I personally find peace in the creativity of writing. I get totally involved in whatever I am writing about, and the worries of the world disappear. I leave the keyboard refreshed and often with a different outlook on life, praying my readers get enjoyment out of what I have researched.
That way I never stop learning which is another vital factor to finding our happiness. To stop learning is to declare you are a ‘know-it-all’. That is not possible when information doubles every 12 hours. Also remember there is a difference between confidence and arrogance.
Variety is another Key
Variety is another key to finding your happiness. There are times to enjoy the peace of still waters, and other times it is great to shoot the rapids. Variety is the spice of life, so don’t become fixated on a small group of people, or a particular activity, that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Let others enjoy who you are. You are a complex person, so enjoy the variety life offers you.
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