"My mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life."
In the movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness" (intentional misspelling) Will Smith's character is pummeled with one tragedy after another. His marriage is on the rocks, he's having financial problems, he's a salesman that can't sale, and he has a young son that he's having trouble caring for.
We've all been there; maybe not as extreme, maybe so. Happiness is like a commodity. It is a physical object that you must work at obtaining. Here are my five (5) sure fire ways to being happy.
1. You must first define what is happiness to you. Some people are workaholics and make the excuse that work makes them happy. It may give you purpose or offer you a sense of security but there is more to life than work and you must seek beyond the 9-to-5. The best way to find out what makes you happy is to explore. Try new things. Take up an activity you've always said you wanted to do. Say YES more often. Like Jim Carrey in the movie, "Yes Man" by saying YES you open yourself to new opportunities.
2. Now that you've found what makes you happy it is important to schedule time to have fun doing it. Like me you may have a calender where you schedule meetings and such. Well make your fun time like a meeting you can't miss. Make an appointment to have fun and don't you dare miss that meeting!
3. Love yourself. Believe me this is a biggie. In running my own business I often say I'm my own worse boss. The things I demand from myself I would never accept if I worked for someone else. I don't always eat right or exercise enough. I forget to put my seat belt on and I try and make that yellow light. Part of happiness is protecting you. When I was working with inmates at the correctional facility, "correctional," now that's truly Orwellian, I would ask these prisoners if they would recommend to there little sister or little brother that they follow in their footsteps? Most would say, never! I would then ask them if that's true then why did you do this? "Don't you love yourselves?" I would ask. How easy it is to be self-abusive. Instead of berating try rewarding yourself now and then. Now when's the last time you've done that.
4. Socialise and interact with others as much as possible. Happy people have both more and better quality relationships. So as well as working to improve the quality of your relationships it’s also worthwhile working to improve the number of your relationships.
5. Get away from miserable people. Do you have a friend like the SNL character "Debbie Downer?" This person always seems to focus on the worst aspects of life. Even worse are YOU this type of person. Going though life as if it is a punishment. This is a sure way to destroy happiness, so avoid it at all cost.
Try these five suggestions and watch your life become richer and more fulfilled.