Elusive, future, not, past...words often used in connection to the word happiness.
It is a startling question to ask yourself seriously, Am I happy? It could bring to mind the bumpy road, an uncomfortable squirm or a sarcastic jibe -- as in, "yeah, right."
Taking it a step further and making it more than a passing wonderment will require other questions...i.e., what needs to take place in my thinking to change my happiness connectivity words from... elusive, future, not, past...to...within my possession, now, yes and now?
"You will always be you...figure out how to love who you are." -- DCR
I have a few simple ideas on the topic -- all solution-oriented. I'll share:
Consider reading The Happiness Project a book by Gretchin Rubin and her blog of the same name.
- Try different things -- challenges create new opportunities to learn, stretch and grow
- Surround yourself with positive people -- people who add to your sense of happiness
- Say goodbye to people/friends who constantly tell you that you should be a different person -- it usually has something to do with their agenda. Kick them to the curb -- (my version...wish them well and move on)
- Gratitude and Blessings -- make time to recognize these in your life, everyday, and express them
- Connect -- spend time with people you love or with those you enjoy
- Tolerance and Acceptance -- we cannot control the universe and everyone in it. If we all wore pink bowties it would be boring. Live and let live. Embrace our differences
- If you have a weakness, bad habit or trait that you allow to stop your happiness, change it or learn to live with it
- Slow down -- take a load off your schedule, calendar, activity list. Stop breezing through everything you do and ask yourself...Is this necessary? Do I enjoy this? How do I feel about this? Do I love this?
- Love yourself, Treat yourself -- can't say this one enough... You will always be you...figure out how to love who you are
- Realize there will always be critics -- unreservedly love yourself
- Run straight toward the fear...stomp it, kick it, master it, control it
- Acknowledge that you deserve to be happy. Feel it, recognize it, make it real
- Do stuff you love -- make time to DO the things that make you happy -- art, reading, sports, writing, walking the dog, gardening, museums, galleries, antiquing...
- Get over yourself -- uncomfortable, difficult and very sad things happen to every single one of us. Life also involves all of us. Each and every person has their own perspective -- honor that
- Laugh at yourself
- If you have children, love them with your whole being
- Be very, very kind
- Be gracious and teach graciousness -- it is a dying art
- Get up, look in the mirror and answer the questions you see there -- have courage, you are loved by the universe.
There's the long-running Harvard Study of Adult Development, (began in 1937) profiled in an interesting piece, "What Makes Us Happy?" June 2009 Atlantic Monthly. It appears achieving or explaining happiness can be as complex for men as for women.
Here's to you!
With happiness and respect,