What is happiness? 2.0

Is it a moment? Is it a destination? Is it a state of mind? Is it an automatic response? In my opinion it is none of these and it is all of them. In a much earlier postย I started the contemplation of what the definition is. This is more about what happiness is, in my view.

Said poorly but happiness is really just a way of life. A journey? The destination for all of our journeys through life is same – death and then whatever follows in accord with your own beliefs. But it is the journey that we cognitively experience. And as it is with all journeys, we get to choose our path, our way. If we don’t like our current path we can change it. It is just a choice.

Of course we often times forget that we can make choices. We get wrapped up in the busyness of life and stuff just happens. I have said it before and will say it again- choose to live on purpose. Don’t just drift. Don’t let the wake push you around, steer the boat and let the wake just be the trail left behind.

So how exactly do we live a life on purpose and is that really a part of being happy anyway? The first thing you need to consider is your why. Why do you think you are here? What is the legacy you believe you should/want to be remembered for? Write that down in a sentence or two at the most. You probably wrote that in the past tense. Rewrite it, but in the present tense if you can. Don’t sweat it if you can’t as long as it is clear to you and will serve as a beacon.

This is a bit like the eulogy exercise. I suggest you consider what your legacy would be if you died today. Why? The differences are gaps that you need to close on the way to your written statement from above. As you close the gaps and get closer to living your chosen reason, you can get closer to living a life in harmony.

So, yes it is a part of being happy anyway when you live your life on purpose. You will be choosing to do things that are in harmony with your why. All the rest of the stuff going on around that and around you will still happen but you will choose to consider the lessons to be learned, reflect on the good stuff and continue or return to living your life in harmony with your why.

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.๐Ÿ˜Ž

What’s your music?

What music do you listen to? ย Do you choose it or do you just listen to random music? Do you even listen to music or do you only listen to talk radio or the like? This is important! It is along the lines of GIGO.

You really can change your mood and move back to “happy”. Having a tough day? Nothing going quite right? Are you being “sharp” with people around you? As soon as you notice and acknowledge โ€“ take a “sanity break”. You need a bit of time to regain perspective.

Here is where most of us are told to meditate for a while and to unplug. But we can’t! We just don’t have the strength right now to calmly meditate. I have another suggestion that is based on neuroscience, works, and is easy to do. Just put on some music and listen to it for a while.

But, not just any music! Think about the music you listened to when you were happiest. This is trigger music and will trigger the emotions you felt and feel when that music is played. Prepare a playlist on your device that you can plug your earbuds or headphones into and walk around with. Be selective and positive here. Remember, GIGO.

OK โ€“ now when you recognize that you are really down, give yourself permission to take a “happiness break”, get your device with your “happy time” playlist, your earphones or earbuds and take a walk โ€“ listening to your music.

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. And, listen to your happy times music. ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ˜Ž

 

Bliss List

Throughout my life I have done a huge amount of research in the field of happiness. It interested me that it was a subject that underlies success writings and achievement writings and personal management (what we used to call time management). I wonder if you noticed this stuff along the way as well.

  • You become what you think about! (Earl Nightingale)
  • You reap what you sow.
  • What you focus on grows.
  • Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude … (Viktor Frankl)
  • You’re right about that dear. ๐Ÿ˜› (Wayne Dyer)
  • Decide!

You get the idea I think. I wrote earlier about simple pleasures and exhorted us to actually do things that we know will bring us happiness and pleasure. It strikes me that we need to take a few minutes and write down a bliss list (I wish I could recall who taught me that). What it is is simply a list of things that bring feelings of bliss when you just think about them. I just have to think about sitting here in my back yard and I feel at peace.

Take a few minutes and write down a list of the things that bring you feelings of bliss or happiness. For me this list includes things like outdoor patio dining, fresh toasted tomato sandwich, running, being near water, walking on a beach, raisins, nature areas of all sorts, dressing up(!), my special music playlist, being with grand kiddies, dining room meal at home with Luise… and so on, for three pages. It includes things I think I would love to do. I guarantee you that you will feel happy just thinking about these things as you write the list. It is not a gratitude list – it is a list of things that make you feel good. It’s okay to put indulgences here that you might feel a little guilty about – it is your bliss list!

Now what? Do you sit down and do this every time you want a lift in spirits? Not necessary. You have already done that. Rather, place this list in a convenient place where you can look at it regularly. I keep my list in my office which is where I sit down each week to review my past week and plan out my coming week. It is also where I review my day and plan my next day. I look over random parts of the list before I get started. You can keep your list in your sock drawer if you like. The important part is to look it over at least once a day. Just looking over the list will bring you feelings of happiness and even bliss. We should all have that in our days.

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! And remind yourself what brings feelings of joy into your life! ๐Ÿ™‚

Service

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. ย  ย  ย  ย Muhammad Ali 1942 to 2016

When you read that quote what do you think of as service? Is it your job? Your business? The charity you support? The “good works” that you do? Is service to others something you have to think about and plan into your week? Do you even believe that it is a requirement of us living in our society here on earth? I just love this thought espoused byย one of the “greatest” (yes I know he said he was the greatest!).

I am going to keep this fairly short today. Service to others is actually a life-style choice in my view. It is not something we do for credits or to just do our share. If service to others is to be the rent we pay, it needs to be constant and unthinking, just like “living” is. The act of living is pretty much unconscious. The way we live is a whole other thing.

Choose to live a life of service. Simply, to me, this means to help others to the level that you can help them and that they are willing and able to accept. Do not look for recognition or even thanks. Just do it.

Take a look back at something I wrote a while ago. Happiness is connected to what we do. It is not about service but it will help a bit to refocusing I think. We are responsible for what we do and especially how we react to what happens to us or around us. Remember, when it feels right or good you are doing the right thing. It feels great to serve others so – serve!