I challenge you to ask your friends or family what they would like most out of life and the answer will invariably be ‘to be happy’. I wonder if they would know ‘happy’ if it slapped them in their face.
Happy: Feeling or showing pleasure, contentment or joy. Feeling satisfied that something is right or has been done right
"If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator." W. Beran Wolfe
Now this is an interesting quote because it illustrates the illusiveness of that yearned for concept. I would like you to take a day, any day, break it up into moments and file each moment in a different box according to emotions felt. How full would your ‘happy’ box be? Your ‘frustrated’ box? Your ‘sad’ box? Your ‘disappointed’ box? Your ‘too busy to care’ box? Your ‘exhausted’ box? Your ‘serene’ box? Your ‘hate’ box? Your ‘revenge’ box?
We experience a range of emotions through every day but have you actively gone out to BE happy? How do you just go and BE happy? It seems to me that so often we realise we are happy when we are in the midst of something and we are amazed to find ourselves smiling and laughing just by the by. Or someone says something that lifts our spirit and we fall into a state of ‘happy’ and we then say ‘I'm happy”. I have yet to meet the person who actively knows where that box of happiness is stored and who can take enough of that drug to keep him or her on a high for an ever extended period of time.
It is easy to see, say and feel negativity; it comes as second nature to most of us sadly. Something doesn’t go your way, watch how easy it is for you to stand up, protest and complain. Somebody says something you don’t like, is it not second nature for you to take it up the wrong way and experience sadness and sorrow? Something you value is broken or cracked; you seek revenge or compensation for your loss. Somebody embarrasses you in public (intentional or not) aren’t you quick to seek justice and slap a lawyers letter in the post? You react to these emotions in this way mainly because you feel you need to keep the equilibrium, you have vented and feel so much better but can you say ‘NOW I'm happy’?
So what is your definition of Happy? I am sure you have a list of things you think will make you happy: a new home, a luxury car, a furry puppy or kitten or a new outfit. Perhaps your list contains a bunch of ‘if onlys’: If only my husband or wife would... I would be happy, if only I won the lottery, if only I had studied, if only I were thinner, prettier, younger etc. Where do you think your box of happiness lies? When you ask yourself what makes you happy, I can almost guarantee you will find it easier to tell me what makes you unhappy!
Why is this? I’ll tell you – it is because you do not actively decide to take every experience and put a positive spin on it. There are no good or bad experiences, they are just experiences – it is your attitude towards them that makes them seem good or bad. If you could just get on with the business of living with a positive attitude you will find that happiness creeps upon you in the most unexpected manner. You can be happy even if your emotional state is shaken for a bit, your expectations are not met, your boss calls us in for a moan, if your wife doesn’t cook well and if the dog barks at night!
If your state of happiness seems to elude you at times, I suggest you immerse yourself in your favourite hobby, listen to your favourite music or even watch a comedy movie just to jolt you out of that negative state so that you can concentrate on moving forward with positivity – and I promise you, your box of ‘happy’ will be overflowing and your moments of feeling happy will run into each other and before you know it, there will be weeks then months and years of happiness that you will be enjoying.
The more you feed yourself with happy thoughts and feelings the more hungry you become for more of the same. Why don’t we all decide to grab our box of happiness and overeat! Stuff our hearts and minds with the good taste of positivity!