In 2014, I chose the word “Happy.”
I even tried to do a blog post about that theme and what it meant to me once a week (although I didn’t make it happen every week).
Today, I thought I’d share what I learned from my efforts at infusing more happy into my life.
The more I worked at focusing my thoughts on the happy and good things, the more I noticed the happy and good things in my life. It didn’t happen overnight, but ever so slowly the lens shifted to highlight the happy more and more.
Happy Lesson #2 – You have to choose to be happy.
If you want to be happy, make the choice to be happy. It doesn’t just randomly show up on your doorstep one day and ask to be invited in. Every single day you get up and decide to be happy. That’s not to say there won’t be problems, challenges, and days when nothing seems to go right – but even then, when you choose happiness, you’ll find yourself handling adversity in a whole new way.
Happy Lesson #3 – If you seek happiness as a destination, you’ll never find it.
Don’t spend your whole life trying to reach the elusive destination of happiness. You won’t ever find it that way. Happiness is in the day-to-day journey through life. It’s infusing each step with a joy and gratitude. That’s where you’ll find real happiness. Don’t be so wrapped up in reaching the grand city of “Happiness” that you forget to enjoy the happiness of each day’s adventure.
Happy Lesson #4 – Don’t put limits on your happiness.
We’ve all been guilty of putting limits on ourselves and our happiness is no exception. Don’t do it! Let your happiness flow as wide and deep and full as it should be. Embrace your joy fully in the moment and don’t worry about what it might look like tomorrow or what it looks like compared to someone else. Squeeze every drop of happiness out of today that you can!
Happy Lesson #5 – Don’t waste your time with Negative Nellies.
Life truly is too short to spend time with the people who suck happiness out of you. Avoid the Debbie Downers and Polly Poisons as much as possible. It’s okay to make protecting your happiness a priority. And if that means limiting your time with the people who take pleasure in squashing dreams, spreading sadness, and destroying joy – do what you have to do to keep your happiness alive.
Happy Lesson #6 – Don’t wait for someone else to make you happy
If you really want to be happy, you’ve got to realize no one is responsible for your happiness except you. When you keep the key to your happiness in your own pocket, you’ll find that more and more happiness surrounds you.
Happy Lesson #7 – Be grateful.
The close ties between happiness and gratitude are amazing. This was the biggest lesson I learned this year. The more gratitude I felt, the more happiness I discovered. I like to picture gratitude and happiness walking on either side of me as I journey forward into a new year. If you really and truly want to discover happiness, practice gratitude every day – because there is always, always, always something to be grateful for.
I’m grateful to each one of you and appreciate you coming along on the adventure of 2014. I’m excited for a new adventure to begin in 2015 and hope you’ll join in the fun!