With the current spotlight on #happiness, as part of International Day of Happiness, I thought it would be apt to focus this week’s blog on why happiness is not a destination…it’s a way of life. But before I do, let me share with you some background to the International Day of Happiness.
Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness would be observed every year on 20th March.
When the subject of ‘happiness’ comes up, I’m sure you’ve met people who will say;
‘I’ll be happy when…
…I have more money / win the lottery’
…I don’t have to work / I’m retired’
…I have more free time / am not so busy’
The challenge with this kind of thinking is that it becomes the norm, habitual and your default mode. You find yourself constantly chasing happiness because it is always associated with achieving ‘something’ on ‘someday’…whatever or whenever that is.
And so the journey of ‘someday’ and ‘something’ goes on and on and on!
Meanwhile life keeps moving forward.
And sadly, many of us continually postpone our happiness, sometimes indefinitely! It’s not that we consciously set out to do so, but that we keep convincing ourselves that “someday I’ll be happy, when ‘something’ happens.
But the truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now!
Happiness is not a destination…it’s a way of life!
Let’s appreciate what we have TODAY, and take pleasure in the small things. The things that actually mean so much, but sometimes in the fast paced frantic world we live in, we take for granted.
Here’s a couple of techniques you can implement immediately to help you find your true source of happiness:
Reframe the question
Next time you find yourself in a downward spiral focused on the things you’re not happy about (we’ve all been there at some point!), try flipping it over and asking yourself a more positive question…
‘I might not be happy about X, but what do I have in my life to be happy about right now?’
Thinking about the things which make you happy instantly changes how you feel, and subsequently how you act.
You’ll find it will give you more perspective on the situation you’re not happy with, which will reduce the emotion, and actually in the context of the bigger picture, the thing you’re not happy about may well pale into insignificance.
Capture those Perfect Moments
Perfect moments are a moment in time, and it could be just minutes, when you feel at peace, content and happy in the moment you are currently in.
The belly laugh from your child as you tickle them on the carpet.
The great feedback you’ve received from your boss / colleague.
A conversation where you feel you added great value.
Whatever the scenario, it’s where you are in the moment and all is good. You’re not reflecting on what happened yesterday, or thinking about what’s coming later.
In that moment you were right there and it was perfect.
There is no way to happiness…happiness is the way.
Life will always be filled with challenges. Curve balls will always be heading in your direction, both in your personal and professional life. So isn’t it best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway, now.
Learn from the past, shape the future BUT live in the present.
There is no way to happiness, happiness is a way of thinking and a way of being.
So why wait?
Enjoy the experience right now!