The Secret to Happiness – There Is No Secret

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~Abraham Lincoln
This post starts with a famous quote for a very good reason. This Lincoln witticism about sums up the whole subject on happiness.
How happy are you? How much of the time are you happy? What influences your happiness? The bottom line here, like Lincoln suggests, is that happiness is nothing more than a conversation, the stuff you tell yourself about how happy or unhappy you are. Simpler yet, happiness is a choice.
We all know people who seem to be happy all the time; nothing gets them down. Ever wonder how they do that?
As it is different for different people, happiness is hard to define. What is true joyful happiness for one is mild amusement for another. Is it easier to say what makes you unhappy and then choose to avoid that? Maybe. If you know a certain person sucks the joy right out of life, then choose to not be around them or find a different way to perceive them. If you find yourself unhappy at work then your happiness is a matter of changing something… either your attitude or your job. Perhaps both!
How about we look at the really big question about happiness – Can money buy happiness? As most would agree it cannot and does not, but most would agree they’d like to try it with money rather than without. Actually, according to a TED Talk by Michael Norton money can bring you happiness when it is spent on another. See for yourself – http://on.ted.com/MNorton
Most of what we do day in and day out is humdrum, the same old same old, monotonous stuff. How and where then can one find their happiness in that? It is within you even in the daily routine. If you’re not prone to being happy all the time, being happy all the time takes practice.
Here are a couple of things you can begin to do right now to affect happiness in your life:

v Check the most nagging item off your “to do” list. (Don’t just check it off, actually do it.)
v Practice smiling for no reason. (Did you know babies smile in the womb?)
v Find something beautiful and admire it.
v Be grateful for something. (Start small and work your way up.)
v Reach out to another just to say hello. (Reach out but don’t touch.)
v Smile at a stranger. (Play the “I’ll bet I can make you smile game.)
v Laugh out loud (People will wonder what you’re up to.)
v Become an organ donor. (It’s a good idea though to wait on fulfilling this one.)
v Become a big brother or big sister. (Make someone else happy.)
v Give yourself a high five or a victory pump.
v Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror. (It’s OK to smile at yourself, too.)
v Give someone some money for no reason. (That’s to someone you don’t know.)
v Send a funny greeting card unexpectedly.
v Watch a TED Talk. (Careful, these are guaranteed to become addictive. Let me get you started. Click Here for 9 Happiness talks from TED.)
v Listen to your favorite piece of music. (Dancing is recommended.)
v Forgive yourself for something. (This could be the start of something beautiful.)
v Count your blessings. (Don’t stop till you get to 100.)
v Tell yourself a dirty joke. (See, you’re smiling already!)
v Declare yourself to be a happy person. (Do it for just 60 seconds to start out. We don’t want you to blow a fuse.)
v Do something you know makes you happy.
v Oh, of course you can practice your smile.
v Stop reading this. Get off your butt and do something. NOW!
You can see that the list could be endless. Happiness is in everything, everywhere so long as you’re looking for it. Remember, happiness is contagious. Practice, practice, practice!
This is worth repeating…
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~Abraham Lincoln Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Tell a friend Tags: Abraham Lincoln, choice, happiness, happy, joyful, unhappy

Rick Lelchuk

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