Are you earning a living at the personal price of having a life? A lot of us chase money, success and “doing”, while we long for time, love and a sense of security. Does joy arrive Friday night, then vanish Monday morning? Or are weekends excruciatingly long? I’ve lived the full spectrum, only to learn some pivotal facts that I’m happy to share.
1 Be Authentic
What is your vision of your best self? This is the ideal place to launch your own happiness project. How are you unique? Do you fall into the trap of comparing yourself with others? Do you seek approval? Consider instead, your highest self, coming from your greatest good, and what that looks and feels like. Write it down. Own it. It’s precious stuff.
2 Let Go
Every form of clinging holds you back from moving to greater happiness. Forgive that resentment. “The whole truth” is a moving target. Make peace with what may remain forever unclear. Most important, let go of false beliefs about yourself.
3 Be Grateful
Learn to want what you have rather than think you need what you want. Practice “Thank You” when you wake up, “Thank You”to whatever arrives at the (metaphorical) door. As noted at UC Riverside, gratitude increases happiness and improves relationships.
4 Be Here Now
Often tech fat, tethered 24/7, we grow touch starved, disconnected with the present moment. Worried about tomorrow? Distracted by yesterday? A return to mindfulness, to right here right now where you’re safe, your needs are met, encourages gratitude and acceptance. What if nothing requires you to fix or control it? Acceptance instills calm and contentment.
5 Recognize Resilience
Happiness sometimes comes at the expense of upsets, downturns and transition. How do you process this reality? Are you resistant? Once we discover everything has value, we can appreciate our own tolerance of life’s ups and downs.
6 Respect Yourself
Practice the basics of sound nutrition, exercise, meditation and solid sleep, and experience enhanced joy.
7 Do What You Love
Even if you can’t make a major career or relationship change right away, you can still choose small shifts that lift your spirits. Take a dance class, try a new restaurant, turn off Netflix and go out to the movies. Consider your vision of your best self and choose whatever supports this truth.
8 Honor Self Empowerment
Your infinite power and capacity for happiness are within you. Challenges reveal your strengths and creativity. Celebrate your assets and your unique talents.
9 Practice Compassion
Self compassion naturally leads to a desire to serve others. Service is its own reward. Experience the joy inherent to acts of kindness as you lose the isolation of any grandiosity.
10 Challenge Yourself
Try something beyond your comfort zone. Accomplishments that require courage also give an instant joy fix. We are subject to “Hedonic Adaptation”, so that what once brought joy can eventually leave us flat. Maintain a steady happiness flow with a diet of new experiences.
Luckily, there are many paths to the waterfall. Try one or two suggestions, and choose the joy you so deserve.