What is happiness?
Can you always be happy?
Happiness seems to come easily for some and is in short supply for others. It is a constantly changing and yet frustratingly temporary emotion. Would it surprise you that a recent poll reported that only one-third of Americans call themselves happy? Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill you can take daily to make yourself happy. People who are happy must work at being happy. Happiness is a required mindset change; a happy person’s life is not full of singing cartoon birds or perfect hair. Happiness comes from how a person chooses to respond to the world around them, the good and the bad. Happy people focus more on the positive, and that’s quite a powerful mindset when the world is perpetually a glass half full.
So, what does it take to see the world through rose-colored glasses?
Happy people realize that perfection doesn’t exist.
Humans are perfectly imperfect. Learning to embrace our flaws and traits is a secret to happiness. How much mental energy is wasted over our weight or hair or other physical trait we wish we could change? Constantly striving for perfection is like waiting for a unicorn – a big waste of time. Happy people don’t obsess about things out of their control or strive to look like the perfectly Photoshopped humans on magazine covers. They are comforted in life’s contours, not its glossy surface.
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Happy people surround themselves with happy people.
Positivity is contagious. It’s hard not to smile at someone when they smile at you. On the other hand, negativity is tiresome and draining. Remember the last time you were around someone complaining about his or her terrible day? Didn’t it make you want to run for the hills? Those who spend too much time focusing on everything that is wrong or bad can tend to suck up all the energy around them and leave nothing for anyone else. Happy people can open your eyes to the world while unhappy people can shut them.
Happy people pursue their passion.
Life is simply more fulfilling when you are doing what you want. Happy people have figured out if you are doing something you love to do, happiness is a natural by-product. Whether this means taking up painting or opening a coffee shop, the minute we start pursuing our passions is the minute we start living more authentic lives.
Happy people see no fear in the unknown, only steps they have not yet walked.
Happy people see challenges as growth opportunities.
Happy people embrace the twists and turns of life. They know that if they are not challenged, they cannot unlock their full potential. Obstacles are opportunities for growth. Experiencing the ups as well as the downs in life and surviving them adds fullness to their life. A happy person knows that failure is a life lesson and keeps trying and striving despite the outcome. Happiness comes from the trying, not necessarily the end result.