Happiness – Day Nine – The Challenge

This post is part of a multi-day series on fostering happiness in your life. Day Eight is here.
I’ve neglected this series with all the traveling I’ve been doing lately. This is the final day in the Happiness Posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed this longish book review.
Happiness as a Gift
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
– Helen Keller

Happiness, it seems, is a living thing. The particular way in which we think and act can determine a lot about how happy we are. What we focus on, in the past, present and future, makes a big difference to our happiness.

Happy people focus on the good things in their past rather than the bad things. They tend to be grateful and forgiving and they don’t believe that the past determines the future. In the present, happy people take pleasure in life, in their relationships, in their surroundings, in their day-to-day activities and in their work. Looking at the future, happy people are basically optimistic. If things don’t turn out, they readjust and keep going. They recover from bad things quickly and expect good things. They move forward.

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”
— Winston Churchill

Happy people are generally positive, cheerful, pleasant, optimistic, upbeat. They see possibilities. They neutralize or sidestep strong negative energy forces. They are healthier not only mentally but also physically. And, you can have this too! You need to be systematic about building your happiness framework by:

Day 1- Decide to be happy. Happiness is a choice.
Day 2- Foster close relationships.
Day 3- Focus on a larger purpose.
Day 4- Move purposefully towards your goals.
Day 5- Find quiet, targeted time to reflect. Make “slow” time.
Day 6- Challenge and excite your mind.
Day 7- Work out five days per week & eat a clean diet.
Day 8- Feel grateful & focus on the positive.

When we are happy, our happiness is contagious. Our families and friends and community benefit from our good spirits, our optimism, our humor, our laughter, our ability to look on the sunny side of life. Don’t you want this for yourself? Add any two of the ideas above to your routine for 30 days. In 30 days of mindful practice (for whatever your choices are), take an honest look and see where you are on your happiness scale. Did you move up? If you did, consider adding another framework and another happiness “best practice” until you work your way completely up the list. Won’t it feel good to look back at the end of 2009 and realize how many positive changes you made in your life?

Mark Twain: “Whoever is happy will make others happy.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach: “Now be reassured. Optimism…can be learned. Start today with a little experiment. Smile at everyone you meet.”


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  1. Anne-Marie says

    Teresa, I’m glad you’re back to reading the blog regularly. Yippeee! =)

    Body Natural, I am so thrilled that you decided to read the posts and hopefully work your way out of your slump =)

    New molds should be here early next week. I love the blue swirly one as well. It’s definitely my favorite.

  2. katw0man says

    another great post!
    your dedication amazes me!

    when do you think the
    new molds will be in?

    i love the blue swirled one!

  3. Body Natural Soap says

    I have got to say I tried to ignore your posts on happiness but I just couldn’t.

    I have to say I am grateful to you. You really are an inspiration to me. I didn’t realize how negative I had been lately and maybe that is why I didn’t want to read the posts on happiness. OK I have some work to do. Time to get a little more out of the slump.

  4. Teresa R says

    How lovely to come back from vacation to see your great post on happiness!

    I see you’ve been very busy with posting even while traveling. I had to give up blog reading for 2 weeks as we had only 1 laptop with us and 4 people fighting to use it. 😉

    Sure missed reading your blog while I was gone.

  5. Carol says

    I have a friend who is always so happy. Her life doesn’t seem much different than mine but now I know some of the things she must be doing to be so happy. Thanks for sharing the tips–I hope to join her and spread happiness too!