8 Steps to Happiness

Hotei, god of happiness at J%u014Dchi-ji temple

 

 

1. Be positive. The world is full of people who want to bring you to their level, which is generally lower than you are. The truly wonderful, generous ones — the one who want to uplift you — are rare, precious gems. It’s up to you to remain positive, no matter what.

 

2. Own your happinessYou are the only person who can bring yourself lasting happiness. Other people can make you feel joy, material possessions can bring fleeting satisfaction, and circumstances can make you feel elated. True happiness —  the type that lasts — is only found within. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your joy.

 

3. Stop moving long enough to notice. It’s so easy to get caught up in the milieu of work, electronic communications, kids, etc. Remind yourself to stop and notice what’s around you: a gorgeous sunrise, a loved one’s smile, clean sheets and warm blankets on a cold night. No moment will ever be exactly like that one ever again, and it’s easy to pass through them too quickly.

 

4. Be childlike. Notice that I didn’t say childish — childlike. Try to shed the jaded lenses of your experience and see the world the way a child does. The world is full of beauty and surprises, but you have to be open to them to perceive them. Happiness is tied to perception, so your openness to perception is what makes it possible.

 

5. Give, but don’t give too much. It is wonderful to give people what they need, and it can be addictive. Addiction of this nature backfires, because it’s easy to give so much that you don’t have time to re-charge your batteries. You become tired, resentful, and unhappy when you give too much to others. Remember that you need to have enough in you to give with an open heart.

 

6. Disarm yourself. We are our own worst critics. I know that I can spot the errors and weaknesses in my work faster than anyone else. You arm yourself against your fear of other people’s criticism. By releasing the fear, you allow others to admire you. You allow joy and gratitude to enter your life.

 

7. Live as fully as you can in every moment. Each moment in this life is a gift from the One who made us. The saddest life is one not lived fully. There’s so much to see, so many people to meet, so many experiences to savor. Not every experience will be sweet, but it is part of the gift that we have been given. Once you can see life as a beautiful gift, you will have no choice but to be happy.

 

8. Accept others as they are. The simple truth is that we cannot change anyone else. The only person we can change, like it or not, is ourselves. We can choose to be happy, sad, snarky, inspirational, or a multitude of other things. Our attitudes and feelings are all in our control. If you don’t like something about someone else, look inside to see what fear that person evokes, because I guarantee it’s there. Change yourself and allow other people the dignity to do the same.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “8 Steps to Happiness

  1. Would you mind if I share on my Facebook Page? This is so beautiful that I feel to share a little bit everydat with my ‘friends’.

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