If You Want to Be Happy, Be –Leo Tolstoy
One of the biggest shifts in my own perception came about when a friend pointed out once upon a time that I was chasing happiness as a by-product of success. In other words, I was not happy because I had not decided to be happy.
He put it simply as this. Most people mistakenly assume that if they have the money, then they can do the things they want. They will finally be happy.
He changed it around: If you are happy, then you will do the things you want. You will finally have the money.
The change in perception was so radical that I would think about it even now, years later.
Too often, we do think of happiness as something we seek rather than a state of being. We think that if we have a well-paying job, a house, a luxury car, and a family that happiness will somehow enters our lives. We spend what sometimes amounts to a lifetime chasing after happiness, only to find it never materializing in our lives. Or, when it does, it is quite fleeting.
So stop chasing happiness. Instead, turn it around. Decide right now that you will be happy.
And of course, here are a few things you can start doing right now to put you in harmony with happiness.
Be happy with where you currently are in life.
Another way to put this is that you are exactly where you need to be. You are reading this article because something attracted you to it. You know that there’s more to life, and you are seeking the answers. Accept your circumstances as they are. They are neither good nor bad. How you look at them, how you call them, determines the power they have over you. Perhaps, these things happened for a reason, and you are to learn something from it.
Too often, we think that life is all about getting to that station, that destination, where happiness waits. But when you do get there, you end up disappointed that it is far from what you expected. Anticipation was always more fun. Think of the anticipation of receiving a gift rather than the actual gift itself.
The joy of chasing after that goal or making that dream come true is not found in the final destination but in the person we become on our journey. The journey then is where we should place our enjoyment.
Be grateful, both for what you currently have and what you lack but want.
Gratefulness is reframing your mind from one of lack and scarcity to one of abundance. By being grateful, you are opening yourself to greater awareness of the possibilities that were once closed to you. This narrowness of mind is a product of lack and scarcity, for lack and scarcity cause us to contract our viewpoints and preserve what we currently have. It’s quite simple why this is happening: Taking risks could mean losing what we already have.
Write down the things for which you are grateful. This expands your awareness and allows you to see even better opportunities. This shift in thinking puts you in harmony with your desires. Take for instance the money you find in your pockets or even just spare change dropped in between the cushions of a couch. Be thankful and grateful when you find that quarter or that dollar, for that opens your awareness to and strengthens your relation with money. A perception change here as a result of your increased awareness would be that you now believe money is in abundance and that it serves you.
This also applies to what you don’t currently have but want. The gratitude expands your awareness. Your perceptions change from, “I can’t do this because I’m…” to “what can I do to make this happen?” In other words, you go from the reactive to the proactive.
Meditate to Improve Your Focus.
Meditation quiets the mind demons that often fill us with negative thoughts. We learn to push these thoughts out of our minds and become nonjudgmental to them. Our thoughts only have power over us because of the associations, whether positive or negative, we attribute to them. So, learn to become nonjudgmental in whatever thoughts may enter your mind as a result of your conditioning.
Spend 5 or 10 minutes every day meditating, quieting your mind and finding inner peace. Nothing relaxes the nerves or calms stress like meditation. If work is causing you a lot of stress, find the time whether in your car or in the privacy of a conference room to meditate and re-center yourself.
While affirmation may sound like cultist, new-age nonsense, it’s just replacing all those negative recordings your parents, friends, and well-meaning teachers placed in your mind when you were growing up. The main difference between an affirmation and all the other noises in your mind is that affirmations strengthen your resolve, give you reasons why you should do the thing you fear, and help you get what you want out of life.
Put it this way: Would you rather think of all the reasons you can or all the reasons you can’t? Because you know, either way you are right.
When you first practice affirmations, it will be the hardest thing in the world, because your old scripts and negative thoughts will do everything in their power to maintain control over you. With time and constant conscious effort to recite your affirmations, you will find yourself playing a new set of empowering records.
Visualize Your Desires Fulfilled.
Visualize the fulfillment of the success or goal that you desire. When you visualize, integrate all five senses (see, touch, hear, taste, and smell) into your visions in order to make them that much more vivid and real to you. Feel the happiness, passion, anticipation, bliss, and joy in your visions, for when you feel positive emotions you are in harmony with the good that you desire. You are coming from the place of your dreams. When you can do that, when you can believe in your dreams, then you will one day see them fulfilled.
How often should you visualize? I’d do it daily. Besides, it’s a lot of fun and puts you in a good mood. Another way to visualize is to write out your story in as much detail as you can. That way, you start imagining ways of getting what you want. Or, journal your day as if your goals are already fulfilled. What kind of person are you? What do you do in the mornings? Who do you associate with? What do you do for a living?
Incorporate these things, and you can start being happy today rather than chase after something that is fleeting or may never come to fruition. First, be happy with where you currently are. You are exactly where you need to be. Begin the daily practice of gratitude, finding things in your life for which you are grateful. Write it down. Even write down your gratitude for the things you want but are currently lacking, but write it out as if you already have it, associating with it all the positive emotions. That way, you put yourself in harmony with those things, which aids in your practice of visualization. Meditation is complimentary and helps focus your mind with laser precision. All these things can and will help you to become a happier person, but only if you use them dutifully and deliberately.
If you are sick and tired of not getting what you want, feeling burnt out from work, and in general just believing you were put on this earth to have, do, and be so much more, then I invited you to claim this blueprint on increasing your confidence and success. Start working on getting what you really want.