Posted by Dr. Judy at 3:00 am
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Bet that line rings a bell.
If you’re my age it does, but wait till you hear about our young people.
I recently read an article about America’s young adults and how they
know almost zilch about American history. Sad, not to appreciate the
Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence. My freedom
value rings out like the Liberty Bell. Next, my gratitude value chimes in.
Hope, tenacity, and confidence values peal in next. All necessary to be
happy no matter what era you lived nor where you live.
To be happy in 1776. To be free to follow your dreams and forge ahead
into life. Can you imagine being a pioneer? The hardship journey to cross
the ocean and have no idea how you would traverse the unknown once
you reached distant shores? But these folks were courageous, yes, another
value, and they were happy amidst their hardship trials and tribulations.
Why? They had mission and a purpose. Opportunity they created for themselves!
One thing we know about happiness, after your basic needs are met, you’re
not much happier making more money if your goal is only to buy more stuff.
If you are, the happiness is fleeting. Buying happiness is a short term fix.
Pursuing it, “I want happiness now!” will get you nowhere. Yet most folks say,
“To be happy is what I want!” Like it was one entity and once you got it, it was
yours for keeps. Good news is if you share your moola in service of others,
happiness ensues. But you need to keep priming your pump to allow happiness
Good news is you can mindfully plan to DO activities and FEEL happier. Being
flexible and curious and challenging yourself to stretch out into your world is
the ticket. Not that you can have a joy ride all the time. How boring!
Were you raised to think happiness was a by-product that you received/achieved
after a job well done? After you saved your money, you could buy or do what you
wanted? Accomplishment. It is one of positive psychology’s Dr. Marty Seligman’s
Five elements of well-being he calls PERMA:
This isn’t to say you need to be a workaholic. It means happiness comes as a result
of you feeling fulfilled after a job well done, savoring a meaningful victory with
friends, and knowing your life has a purpose and meaning. You don’t TRY to be
happy. You notice it on your journey, are mindful of it, and better yet, you
gratefully share it with others.
So what IS happiness to you? I hope you know.(There I go with a value again!)
If not, I challenge you to sit a spell with yourself. Take out a piece of paper and
write down five times you felt happy. What the patterns do you notice? How
might you repeat them? When? You owe it to yourself to do, feel, and acknowledge
your life’s joyful gems.
Want a tip?
Use all your five senses to be aware of your world. Let “taste, touch, smell,
hear and see” be your happiness cheat sheet! Remember, if you write it
down, you will remember it better.
That is you I see getting out a piece of paper, right?
Want to discover how Cubans with almost no resources are happy?
You can see how in my new book ~
Photo Adventures in Cuba ~ Unlock Your Power of Positivity!
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I’d love to hear from you!
Just send me your questions, and I will answer in a future blog.
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