Today we look at 3 simple keys to foster Happiness in your life. Happiness is something we all research and we are confused along the way. They are ways to impact your level of happiness importantly and they are accessible to anyone!
I will make a bold claim, happiness is a state of mind. It is a choice, you can choose to be happy like you can choose to sad or mad. Happiness is a result of actions you take and how you look at the world! It is within your reach, it is something you influence highly and even better, you can learn it.
Something very important to understand immediately is that happiness needs to be unlocked without conditions. Forgot the “I will be happy when I have 1 million euros”; “I will be happy when a have the perfect job” and so on. You won’t. These are the stories you tell yourself to feel better and when you reach these milestones, you still won’t be happy. We all heard the stories of millionaires, billionaires, people with their dream jobs, people with the best lifestyle you could possibly imagine and they are miserable, depressed or they want to kill themselves. Happiness isn’t in the future nor in the past, happiness is here and now but only if you dare to seize it.
First Key: Gratitude
Gratitude is literally everywhere and for good reasons! It is simple yet powerful. It is life changing on the long term but can also impact the next day tremendously.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
My main practice of gratitude is before bed (the famous “before sleepy time” moment). My wife and I look at the day or last few days and share what we are grateful for. Often it is something one of us did for the other, but it can also be for the last interaction we had with a colleague. It can be for the weather to be warm and the sky being blue. Or for the inspiring people we are learning from, all these people inspire us to try our best to change other people lives too.
Gratitude is looking at what you have, to focus on that so you can be at peace. You can be happy. If you focus on what you miss, all the time, over and over, you can’t reach happiness. There is always someone with more than you, always someone better at something. But also always someone with a harsher life, with less luck, with more tragedies. Life isn’t about what we could have or don’t have, it is about what we have. If you read me, you are alive, which means you are very lucky. Most of the others people are dead or will never be born. You are a winner and a lucky one.
Some people push gratitude further, these people usually practiced it for many years and can fill their heart with gratitude for the wind on their face, for the smile of a child or for the summer to always be there again. It is remarkable and powerful to be filled with peace and joy for such little details of life.
Also, other people call it perspective. The principle is pretty simple, imagine for a minute that today is your last day. What would you do before you go? Or imagine that today, the last time you kiss your partner and say goodbye before going to work, was the last chance to exchange a word before they are hit by a truck. How would these situations change your life? What would you do differently? Ask yourself these questions and do it. Do the things you would do differently!
The day after writing this paragraph I was listening to the last podcast on OnBeing.org and one of the guests lost her husband in a tragedy. She explains what she had to go through, how hard it was for her and her children. It is a very touching interview and a beautiful one too. If I want to mention it is exactly for the points made above, this woman explains that since she lost her husband, she lives in gratitude of her children being alive, which she took for granted before. She is grateful to age and would be blessed to turn 50 like one of her relatives did recently as her husband will never be able to do so. If she could just go in the past and change one thing, is to be able to live with that level of gratitude without losing her husband.
Second Key: Be like a kid, be amazed by little things
I wanted to talk about that key because I find it powerful and for most of it, something I myself forgot. For a long time, I have been “blasé”. After all, the little things shouldn’t be wonderful, I have seen so many right? What if these little things could be amazing again? A beautiful flower, the smell of the trees in spring when blossoming or simply enjoy the sun on my face when going on the home before going to work.
Curiosity and being amazed is bringing lightness to life, it is making our days more exciting and joyful. How great would that be to live is this state of wonder? To be surprised by nature and life regularly, even often.
One of the decisions you can make today to achieve that is to slow down and take time. Breath. Look around. Smell. And try to enjoy and connect with what is close to you. How does that sound?
Third Key: Benevolence
I believe this key is bringing some wonder to our lives too. Being kind to some else or touching another soul with compassion is wonderful, isn’t it? Before we continue, please join me in a small exercise!
Put your hands on your heart and make yourself comfortable. Take a deep breath.
Remember a time when you met someone, maybe a person familiar to you or maybe a complete stranger. Shortly after you met that someone you found yourself being struck by him/her. That person was genuine, full of kindness. The way you communicated was smooth and free flowing, like a mountain river. The purity and intensity of that conversation were piercing through your defenses. Exchanged words and the sound of his/her voice touched you right in your heart. How did that feel? How did you react to that person? Did you want to see him/her again? What kind of impact did he/she had in your life that day?
Before we move on, how do you feel right now? Take a moment to observe yourself. What do you feel in your chest? In your heart? In your throat? Anywhere really. Just witness the sensation and hold to it as much as you can.
Being connected to a kind warm-hearted person feels good, doesn’t it?
This third key reminds of a book: How to influence friends and win people and I want to share with you a story from that book. The author would try to make someone’s day. He would pay attention, when paying his groceries, to how the cashier looks. if it was a woman who had her hair done nicely, he would compliment her on that. He could see how powerful a good compliment and just being kind to another human being can be powerful.
We can learn to pay attention and be benevolent to others. We can decide to have good intentions towards other living beings.
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Mahatma Gandhi
It is as simple as saying thank you to the people around you, even for little things.
It could also be asking nicely when we need someone’s else help, with kind words and consideration.
It is as simple a pure and genuine smile, to show appreciate to someone you care about.
Be Kind. Be Love. Be human. Be Yourself.
Today we’ve learned that happiness can come from simple actions we can all take: live is a state of gratitude, re-connect with the curiosity of our childhood and be kind to one another.
Thank you for reading this new article, I hope you appreciate this way to look at happiness! I’m happy to know what you’ve learned and what you would like to implement in your life to create happiness and particularly if I didn’t talk about it today!
Make it a great day.