|Happy people stand out in a crowd.|
What will it take for you to finally be happy? When you get that next promotion; that new car; your dream home? What about when you finally get to take that dream vacation to that far away beach? Will you be happy then? Maybe when the kids grow up, go to college, and get out of the house. Maybe that’s when happiness will happen. Do you have these kinds of thoughts?
So many people make happiness an unattainable object. “When x-y-z finally happens, then I’ll be happy.” The trouble with that thinking is that it’s a moving target. There is always the next challenge, the next promotion, a better car, a bigger house. Another beach. If you are always waiting for something to come along to make you happy, you will always be waiting.
Happiness is a state of mind; one you can choose to live. If you want to be happy, all you need to do is decide to be happy. If you choose to be unequivocally happy, from today on, you can be! Of course, we all have our little ups and downs. Sometimes life is stressful, sometimes other people get in our way, sometimes things are disappointing. But these are all emotions that can be dealt with in a timely fashion, and then moved on from, returning to our happiness homeostasis!
Scientists have studied happiness (check out this video of Shawn Achor, positive psychologist and author of the book, The Happiness Advantage) and they have found that happiness starts in the mind. It truly is all about attitude. In fact, a direct correlation between happiness and work performance has been discovered. Instead of waiting to be successful in order to get happy, get happy so you can be successful!
I’m here to tell you today that your happiness isn’t hinged on your success. In fact, if you continue to put happiness on the other side of achievement, you will never get there! I challenge you, reader, to choose happiness. Success will come close behind. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor talks about a few happiness habits you can start today that can help you become happier:
|You can make the choice and take the action to become happier today!|
1. Each day take a couple of minutes and write down three things you are grateful for. Research shows this will significantly improve your optimism even 6 months later, just by focusing on what is good in your life each day. Try to pick new things each day.
2. Double up on a great experience! Your mind doesn’t know the difference between something you do and something you think about. Take two minutes and write in great detail about a positive experience you’ve have in the past 24 hours. By imagining it again, you get to relive it and experience all those positive emotions all over again!
3. Exercise for 10-15 minutes a day. The endorphins released by your body when you exercise are the world’s greatest anti-depressant. So get moving and get happy!
4. Meditate for 2 minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out. This takes some practice to sit quietly with yourself and stop thinking, but keep trying - you can do it!
5. Send a quick email to a family member, teammate, or friend, thanking them for their help and support. Sending a letter of praise to someone not only makes their day - it increases your perception of social support, which is one of the greatest predictors of happiness!
Pick one of these tasks and try to implement it into a daily routine. They each take just a few minutes a day. It takes 21 days to make a habit. As you go through this process, watch your happiness increase; and with it your productivity and your performance.
I’m doing the daily gratitude, and I intend to start journaling my positive experiences soon. Which one will you try? I’d love to hear in the comments!