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