Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happiness in 3 Easy Steps - Third of Three Happiness Articles

Happiness is a warm puppy, states Charlie Brown of Schultz's Peanuts. According to The Beatles, it's a warm gun. This is taking creative or poetic license. We know that none of these things is happiness. So then - really - what is happiness?

Some feel that happiness is as difficult to achieve as it is to see a particle of dust. What's up with these people that seem happy all of the time, regardless of what's going on in the world, their job, finances or love-life? Is there some sort of correlation between craziness and happiness? Are they normal? There's turmoil everywhere! Why Are They Happy?

There are hundreds of thousands of people who guarantee that they can lead you to happiness  through their books, CDs, life coaching seminars, healing workshops, etc.

True, some of these tools are instrumental in putting one on the right path, yet, many stray a short time after. How does one find happiness and have it become a constant in their life?

The Secret to Happiness (yes, I truly believe this is the secret to happiness)

Here's the thing ... the secret to happiness is not necessarily found sitting atop the highest mountain with the most venerable guru, nor is it discovered while meditating and chanting words. All of these things may be a part of the journey and discovery process, but they are not what happiness is about.

Genuine, deep-rooted happiness comes about in a very different manner - usually during the most mundane of routines. And there are three things that many overlook when trying to find and hold onto happiness.
  1. Identifying Happiness. (I see it!) Have you ever driven past a street as you're looking for it? When looking carefully chances are you won't pass it. You are being careful and going slowly enough to see when it's coming up. If you're moving along at a good pace, it's easy to miss. The same thing goes for happiness. If you are being mindful of your life and expectations, you will discover that happiness is constantly within your reach, numerous times a day - you're just going too fast to identify it. By slowing down and keeping your eyes and mind wide open, you will see it in its many guises. It's there, in both the large and miniscule moments of your day.
  2. Attaining Happiness. (I'm experiencing it!) Once you have identified happiness and recognize the impact it has on your mind, body, soul and spirit; you have only to continue watching out for it and embracing the metamorphosis that you experience each time it happens. As a point of reference, think about one of your favorite foods and how it tastes when you are leisurely eating it, as opposed to eating the very same thing when you're rushed and on the run. See? It tastes differently based on your state of mind. When eaten leisurely it satisfies more than hunger, it's pleasurable; when eaten quickly it just fills a void, relieving pangs of hunger.
  3. Retaining Happiness. (I'm holding onto it!) We all know that quick and easy fixes are momentary. Holding onto a valuable relationship or maintaining a healthy bank account are indicative of recognizing their importance and how they factor into your life. Divorce and financial ruin do not make for easy times. Retaining happiness is exactly the same thing. Going back to point 1, it takes identifying how it feels to be with it and without it. You can grab every opportunity for happiness, or miss the never-ending parade of opportunities in front of you.

It's All in Your Mind

For some, the excitement of tearing open a beautifully wrapped gift is enough in itself. Regardless of what is hidden inside, the fact that someone was thoughtful and giving is enough for them, and fills them with a complete sense of satisfaction. For others, the joy is in the gift. What's inside. They do not identify that the giver of this gift values them and took time thinking about what they would like, how to wrap it and then present it to them. Do the math - that was four opportunities to be happy instead of one (the gift inside). And the gift could have easily resulted in disappointment rather than in satisfaction.

Happiness is a state of mind that results from forming a habit. Identifying, attaining and retaining the abundance of daily opportunities can become a way of life and your own personal "happiness habit." When you start to appreciate and find happiness in the details of everyday events, it's like wiping your smudged eyeglasses and putting them back on for a second look. Spectacular.