How are you today? Wait, don’t answer that. I can see your reply written all over your face. It’s that wide grin of yours. The sparkle in your eyes. The click in your heels. The cadence of your laugh. You’re the one who makes being alive fun. You’re my happy-pill, my wonder-drug and my anti-frown. Yes happiness, you’ve been good to me thus far in life. And I just thought you deserved a hearty pat on the back for all of the great times we’ve had together.
I have always been amazed by the great lengths people go to find you. They spend their money of self-help books that are aimed at finding you. They work their fingers to the bone to be able to afford you. But while many people believe you to be ever-elusive, I believe the exact opposite. While they’re so busy searching for you they’re overlooking the fact that you’re in the brush strokes, as well as the larger picture. Yes Happiness, you’re everywhere – hidden right in plain sight. You’re in those first rays of light when a new day dawns. In those perfectly round tiny drops of dew on spring grass. You’re in the wonder of discovery. In the chorus to a favourite song. In the win of a hard fought game. Basically, once we open our eyes and our beings to you, you’re there – a silver lining behind every storm cloud on the horizon.
Since you and I get on so well, and since you’ve always been so kind in kicking any sadness, grief or stress in my life to the curb, I thought I’d let everyone else in on some of the secrets to finding you, Happiness.
First and foremost, I’lI start out by saying that I am completely aware that finding happiness is an individual pursuit. The journey towards being a glass-is-half-full person is a completely singular endeavour for each and every one of us. So sharing the things in life that make me happy might be a good place start.
How I find Happiness
a. I actively court it.
To me, being happy takes some wooing. You need to sweet-talk fun, cultivate inspiration and actively look forward to each new memory to keep your relationship with Happiness fresh and new. Kind of like marriage, and then some.
b. I embrace it.
Some people wouldn’t know what Happiness was if it walked up to them, looked them in the eye, smiled and then punched them in the moosh. Yep, it seems to me that some people are just bound and determined to be un-happy. It’s a choice either way. For me, I choose to embrace Happiness.
c. I surround myself with love.
Yeah, that sounds pretty darn corny, but hear me out. What I mean by this is that I spend my time and emotions on the people I love most. We’re only here for a very finite time, I want to spend my time with people who lift me up and make me feel like a million bucks. Drama, negativity, lies and all other anti-happy auras are not allowed in my life.
d. I enjoy people.
Yep, this is true. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I talk to anyone and everyone. More importantly, I listen to others. You’d be amazed at how fulfilling it is simply getting to know someone and learning a bit about their journey – sometimes all it takes is five minutes to make a friend for life. Knowing that makes me super happy.
e. I find wonder in everything.
It’s true. I find wonder in how the constellation Orion is upside-down here in New Zealand as compared to my native California – I sometimes spend hours just staring up at the night sky in wonderment of this. I also think that the blazingly brilliant colour of green of the Springtime moss on our outdoor steps is something that dreams are made of. Nature and the weather never cease to amaze me. And the depth of human nature and kindness also keep me smiling.
From here I think there’s merit is mentioning that, although the above examples are of how I personally find you, Happiness, I think I’ve come up with some good advice to share about different ways to simply be happy, as well as steps towards making your life a bit more laugh-until-you-snort-worthy. Most of these little bits of gold are things most people have probably heard before or have thought of, but I thought I’d put my own two-cents worth in on the subject since Happiness and I are bosom-buddies and have been for thirty years now.
Ways to find Happiness
a. Find it through others.
By this I don’t mean counting on other people for you happiness, rather surround yourself with happy people and it’s bound to rub off on you. Once you start getting happy, it’s like a snowball heading down a mountain, your Happiness will grow and grow and pick up speed as it goes.
b. Find it by laughing deep and often.
Make a concerted effort to go to funny movies, see comedy shows and hang out with your funny friends. The more of those laughs from the bottom of your soul that make their way out through every cell of your being that you have in life, the happier you’ll be in the long run.
c. Find it by taking stock of all of the good in your life.
You’re breathing and upright, that’s a better state of being than a lot of others are in. Not only that, you’re warm, fed, loved and have people in your corner. The flashy cars, the big McMansions the holidays overseas…they’re all icing on the cake. If you like your icing overly-sweet. But, first things first, be thankful for what you’ve got. Happiness follows thankfulness.
d. Find it by making a list.
Make a list of what you want out of life, physically and emotionally/spiritually. Once you’ve got your list, start ticking things off of it one by one. Getting happy is easier when you’ve got a goal in mind.
e. Find your passion – and chase it.
This is the most important thing in life when it comes to finding Happiness. If you don’t know what it is you love to do, sit down and think about what gets you out of bed in the morning. What drives you to be a better person and brings a smile to your face is what will bring you instant happiness. Whether it’s changing professions, taking a leap of faith or spending more time with your kids – once you find your passion, the scariest thing is actually throwing chance to the wind and chasing your dream. I guarantee you if you’re passionate about life, you’ll find your Happiness.
So there we have it. You and I have been working on this stuff for years, haven’t we? We’re old hat at putting a smile on someone’s dial. I think there’ s merit in the old adage that tells us not to sweat the small stuff – life’s too short. Even if you live to be 103, it goes by fast. When I start to get down in the dumps I think of all of the positives in my life, and I think about John Wooden and his inspirational words. Wooden once said that “things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” He couldn’t have been more right on the money, could he? When life handed him lemons, he made lemonade. I tend to do the same, or when more oomph is need, I chop the lemons up have them with a shot of tequila. There’s no better way to turn something sour into something sweet.
And that’s all it takes to find you, isn’t it? Having the right frame of mind and making a concerted effort to see the good in what we’ve got. So Happiness, I’ll close this letter with a simple “Thank You”. Without you in my life, I don’t know where I would be. But, because you and I are joined at the hip, I walk through this world smiling, thankful for what I’ve got. And dancing, badly, to the music I love.
Happiness, you rock my socks.