Do You Really Want to Be Happy?What would it take for you to be happy? What work do you have to do? What is stopping you from being happy? Do you even want to be happy? While that might seem harsh or even idiotic, there are a few people I have known over the years that quite frankly don’t want to be happy. You might label it the victim complex or the martyr complex or something else. Yet, there are people who will not allow themselves to be happy. They do exist. Trust me. I hope you are not one of them. And just to be clear, when I ask what makes you happy, I am hoping to God that you are healthy enough that the things that make you happy do not include revenge, harming others, wishing ill on others, or other such horrible things because if that is the case then you are not healthy in my opinion. That is the antithesis of wellness in my view. Since it is my assertion that generating your own happiness is a skill, I am going to lay out what I believe are the most important components to acquiring that skill. This is not the end-all, be-all list, but a starting place for growing this skill. As with learning any new skill or practice, you start where you are and learn as you go. You practice. You fail. You try again. You keep trying until you arrive at the place where you know that you have mastered it. Copyright 2019 Original Watercolor painting by Me. This makes me happy.
Components to Generating Happiness
- Self-acceptance, self-love: Love who you are right now. I don’t mean in a narcissistic, self-righteous kind of way. Love yourself and your imperfections. We are all works in progress. Have compassion for wherever you are in your journey right now. Believe that everything is happening for your good.
- Be grateful. If you can’t muster feelings of gratitude I don’t know how you will ever be happy. There is so much to be grateful for in life no matter how bad things are. I say that from my heart starting over at age 58 with pretty much nothing and a few other hardships that I could never write about. Yet, life is so beautiful if you can open your eyes. Even in very difficult times you can find love, peace, beauty, friendship, laughter, and so much more. Be grateful.
- Have a PLAN. You are either driving your ship, someone else is driving your ship, or you are moored to a dock that you don’t like to use an analogy. Create a plan for your life so that YOU are driving your ship! When you have a plan, and your actions are in alignment with your plan – you will have an amazing sense of satisfaction because you know where you are headed. You know what you are up to. You know what you are creating. You KNOW! When you have a plan, you are not floating around aimlessly at sea – you are moving full steam ahead. It’s all hands-on deck when you have a plan that you are executing. If you don’t have a plan now, that is fine. You can start to create one. Go back to the beginning of my blog posts and start reading from there. I take you through the steps or at least enough to get you started.
- Know what makes you happy! What lights you up? What inspires you? The things that make you happy, light you up and inspire you are the very things that you want to incorporate into your life in one way or another.
- Understand that you can be suffering greatly due to circumstances and still be happy. If you disconnect the dependence of your happiness to people and circumstances, then you most certainly can be happy when times are tough or when you are suffering. Obviously, it’s always easier to be happy when times are easy or good. Nobody needs to generate happiness when life is great. That comes with the territory. It’s when things are tough that generating your own happiness is the priceless skill worth having and using.
- Work on yourself: growth and development. What are the practices and habits that will help you grow the skill of generating your own happiness? I have written all about them in many of my blog posts. There’s quite a few. The more you work on yourself the more freedom and power you will have in life. This is the subject of a blog post titled Top 45 Ways that Personal Growth & Development Will Help You Have a Life You Love, just in case you want to get the full flavor of the power of doing the work.
- Deal with your issues. FOR EXAMPLE: Trust issues. Letting go issues. Having to please everyone else. I don’t know what life would be like if I had trust issues. Quite frankly, I can’t image it. Yet, it’s extremely common or so it seems. Whatever your issues are – just deal with them. Like Nike says, just do it.
- Find your purpose or mission – and get on it. It’s fine if you don’t know what your purpose or mission is at this point. You can either make it up for the time being or you could, just for now, have your purpose to be feeling happy. I am a big fan of having a sense of purpose or a mission. I believe that it’s both powerful and helpful to human beings.
- LIVE in the NOW. You are alive right now. In this moment. Be here. Be present. Be in the moment. Right now. The past is over and done. The future is yet to come. If you are working with a plan, then you know what future is coming because you are actively engaged in creating and causing it.
- Identify any negative roadblocks to happiness. While you might not be able to change some negative things, people or circumstances in your life right now, identifying the negative things, people and circumstances can be very helpful because then you can work to what I call “counter-balance” the negativity. There have been several significant negative things, people, and circumstances in my life over the past 25 years and I was able to counter-balance the negative things that I could not change with positive activities, people, and things. Figure out what it will take to off-set negativity and then put those self-affirming, positive, life-giving things into your life.
Concluding ThoughtsLife can be very difficult. We all know that. Being able to generate your own happiness is a powerful, life-giving skill that anyone can learn, grow and master over time. It will take something to acquire that skill. Anything in life that is worthwhile often involves some effort. It feels good to be happy. To be able to be happy when life is challenging is deeply satisfying and rewarding and possible for anyone willing to do the work to get there. Life is a journey. Can you enjoy the ride? Are you willing to do what it takes to have a LIFE that you LOVE? What can I do to empower and support you in your life? I wish you all good things. I wish you love and peace.