She’s cursing again. “What could it be this time?”, I ponder. She begins her sermon. Hers is everything but like the beautitudes. “The boss is always mean to me, he never appreciates my effort”, “My mom is always picking holes in the things I do, she makes me so unhappy”, ” I can’t wait to leave home so everything would be over.” Would it? For her sake, I hope it would.
From a distance we could all prescribe the perfect remedy: She should just quit her job. And we’d probably ask, why hasn’t she left home already? We forget our inadequacies and try to offer the panacea for her unhappiness. How many times have allowed bus conductors or reckless drivers to dictate the mood for our day? Or the weather?
Being miserable is a habit, likewise being happy. Happiness is available to everyone: the rich or poor, black or white. It’s not attached to anything and it doesn’t depend on anyone. The choice to be happy lies within our control. Not in romantic relationships, money, or family members. I can’t wait for you to be happy. Here are 10 inspiring ways.
1. They are meliorists.
You’ve heard about the experiment where an audience is asked to state the quantity of water in a cup. It’s revealed that the pessimist sees the cup half-empty while the optimist sees it half-full. It’s unhealthy to go about life with a tainted pessimistic view. Oblivious to the opportunities around us. That’s sad. What’s the worst that could happen if we chose to see the silver lining in events.
However, the alternative approach is being optimistic. I believe it is being a meliorist. Perceiving life as a utopia can be daunting and unrealistic. A positive outlook on life is imperative for a happy life. However, why scrutinize the content of the cup when you’re probably thirsty.
The desire for happiness is an active and engaging pursuit. It is a mental state but it takes a conscious effort to attain. So you’ve been given a cup of water. Drink it down and go get yourself a refill. Don’t bother to measure the quantity in the cup. Savor what you’ve got happily. Choose to make things better. Your happiness lies in your hand.
2. Avoid exhaustive thinking.
There’s so much beyond your reason of choice that you’ve allowed to influence your happiness: your race, your family, your environment, your stature. That seems obvious? What about your apprehension about your flaws and shortcomings. These are things we cannot control. Focusing on them only detracts from your happiness.
Happy people are not immune to the effect of things beyond their circle of control. They just don’t spend time thinking about them. They have embraced their flaws and wholly accepted who they are. Don’t spend time thinking about the things you can’t change even if you were the president. Choose happiness. Avoid exhaustive thinking.
3. Forgive all the time
Revenge is meaningless and being unforgiving is analogous to imprisonment. We see people in chains and feel sad. But there are many more people imprisoned by their desire for vengeance.
Let go of grudges. Happy people know how to forgive. They understand that forgiving grievances is more important to them than their offender. You can’t smile often with an unforgiving attitude. It’s almost impossible. Smiling a lot is the manifestation of happiness. Fake smiles don’t last, no need to get defensive. So let go. You’ll be happier.
4. They are kind.
Happy people understand the value of helping others. You don’t have to offer employment or clear a debt for it to count as an act of kindness. Kindness need not be exhibited in huge acts of service. It’s the little things that count. Respecting and helping the elderly, choosing to be patient when you could be angry.
There are many opportunities to display kindness daily. Sympathize with others and choose to be kind. It would fill you with so much happiness
5. Pursue meaningful goals.
A good life is punctuated with a series of meaningful goals. It’s important to set goals and achieve them. It gives one’s life meaning and allows one to live a fulfilling life. However, attachment gets in the way of pursuing meaningful goals.
We attach happiness to the accomplishments of our goal. I’ll be happy when I finish school. I’ll be happy when I buy my first car. I’ll be happy when I get married. Really? What happens if fate intervenes?
It is quite impossible to unite happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have. Happiness has all that it wants, and resembling the well-fed, there shouldn’t be hunger or thirst.EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.24.17
Happy people know better than to attach happiness to the attainment of goals. Happiness shouldn’t be the reason we set goals. Goals are meant to help us set our priorities straight. It’s enough to have writing two articles every week as a goal. Taking action and enjoying the process of achieving a desired goal is enough. That is enough.
6. Invest in quality friendships.
Your happiness is dependent on your circle of influence. You can’t cultivate the habits to be happy in a circle of negative friends. Great, supportive, and understanding friends are the catalyst for cultivating your habits to happiness.
Happy people invest in nurturing and growing their social circle. They are likable due to their kindness. Hence they attract the right people into their circle. It’s not in the number of actual relationships but they quality. And happy people have a lot of quality friends. Why be a loner when a few friends could make you become the best version of yourself.
Also Read: 10 Commandments of Social Media Posting.
7. Invest in productive experiences.
When a runner crosses the finish line, he feels ecstatic. That experience cannot be taken away from him even if he came last. Experiences design our perceptions of life. Negative experiences influence us negatively while positive ones groom us beautifully. Due to reasons beyond our control, some of us did not have a healthy childhood. However, remaining in the past and assigning blame wouldn’t make things better.
The pursuit of happiness requires a proactive effort and this includes investing in productive experiences. You could volunteer for an outreach program at church. You could volunteer for an NGO and partake in their activities. These experiences reorient our mindset and make us happier.
8. Filter news consumption.
The deluge of pessimism and fear disseminated through the news we’re bombarded with on the daily basis is overwhelming. Every channel has something they think is missing from your life: money, cars, fitness, and power. The information we receive from the news impacts our lives and we must filter what comes in.
Melancholy breeds more melancholy. I know I’ve been depressed from just watching the headlines. I’m easily infuriated by news about corruption and injustice and I tend to misdirect the anger. It’s good to stay up-to-date. However, happy people know the power of negative suggestions and would prefer to stay away from irrelevant news.
Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, and through the day and night—there is only one path to happiness, and that is in giving up all outside of your sphere of choice, regarding nothing else as your possession, surrendering all else to God and Fortune.—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.4.39
9. They are constantly learning.
How many new skills have you learned this year? Probably none. Yet we always complain of being bored. Happy people have learned to fill their idle time with productive hobbies.
It could be as simple as learning a tutorial on creating videos with canva or intricate as developing a mobile application. You will be surprised at what your mind could do. No one is too old to learn.
Also Read: 10 Commandments of Social Media Posting
10. Prioritize their health.
I watched my grandma change from a chirpy old woman to unrecognizable and blue because of her sickness. It was awful. Poor health can change a person’s view of life which could make one unhappy.
Happy people ensure that their mental, emotional and physical well-being is excellent. They can’t spread happiness if you’re sick so they take care of themselves first. By eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you would stay healthy which would make you happy.
Happiness is available to everyone. The habits above could help you create the missing spark in your life. Be happy and share happy.