In honor of today being International Happiness Day, here are a few thoughts on this seemingly elusive, panacea we all strive for.
- Happiness isn’t the end goal. It’s not a light switch we turn on and off. It’s not like we accumulate so much experiences over time or reach some threshold and vuala, we’re happy. A triathlete/ultra-runner/coach I admire has said it best, that happiness is “waking up everyday knowing you wouldn’t change a thing.”
- Be grateful. Whether small or big, find a few minutes each day to reflect on the good things in your life. We all have them. It’s just a matter of setting aside the time to acknowledge them.
- Explore. Learn something new. Experiment. Try something different. Test yourself. Life’s about growing. And as Tony Robbins says, if we aren’t doing things that help us grow, we’re doing the opposite. Or, if you like your advice in the form of movie quotes, “get busy living, or get busy dying.” (Extra points to whoever names the movie in the comments.)
- Rest, sleep, and find time to be still. Be kind to your body. It’s the only one you have.
- Disconnect. Technology is a great thing. But it can quickly rob us of many of life’s beautiful gifts. Take a few moments in nature to watch a sunset, explore in a park, or sit next to a lake.
- Choose your relationships wisely, and for the most important ones, work to keep them alive. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Do these five people zap your energy leaving you down? Or do they empower you to dream and get after it? Find ways to connect with people who empower you, and then do whatever you can to keep these relationships thriving.
- Have a hobby. Do something for you. Life’s not all about work. Do you have play time too? Remember when you were a kid and how much fun it was to play? Remember how happy you were? Find that place. Whether a daily walk with your spouse or training for an IRONMAN, do something you enjoy and have fun with it.
- Don’t always take yourself or life too seriously.
- Be kind. Smile and say hello to a stranger.
- And lastly, dream. It’s okay to dream. We all should. Picture your ideal day, your ideal work arrangement, your ideal family situation. Whatever it is, it’s yours. Own it. Go big. Now go after it and don’t stop until you get there!