Three Simple Truths About Happiness

Three Simple Truths About Happiness


You likely know that the subject of happiness is a hot topic. There’s good reason for that. Despite all the books and seminars on happiness, there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to happiness in life or in the workplace. If you read one book, it will tell you pursuing happiness only makes it more elusive, so don’t go down that path. Another book or speaker will tell you that happiness should be your top priority.

How can we make sense of it all without going crazy?

The way I make sense of things is to keep them as simple as possible, without being simplistic. When it comes to happiness there’s one thing I’ve  learned as a former psychotherapist turned executive coach and life coach:

Increasing our sense of happiness, fulfillment and living a more meaningful life doesn’t have to be  difficult as we often make it.

To simplify things, here are my three tips to a happier and more fulfilling life:


Happiness begins with a decision:
If you want to be happier, you have to decide to create more happiness for yourself. Yes, you have to actually make the conscious decision, “I am going to learn to be happier, starting today.” Then you have to keep affirming your decision to grow in your happiness. You have to be conscious about your happiness because you and you alone  are in charge of your happiness levels.

To get somewhere in life, especially to get to your happiness, you have to intentionally go there. Think about your last vacation—you didn’t get there by accident—you decided to go there. That’s the way happiness works too. You need to decide to go there and then follow through on that decision.

Happiness comes in small packages:
If you want to sabotage your happiness journey just tell yourself, “I’ll be happy when I lose thirty pounds” or “What would make me happy is to find true love”  or “I’ll be happier when I get that next promotion and raise that’s overdue.” Those are fine goals, but your happiness doesn’t have to wait until you cross the finish line on your  big goals.

You can experience more happiness now by allowing small, every-day things to bring a smile to your face. Make a list of ten things that are quick and easy that can boost your happiness now. You know, like savoring your favorite cup of coffee or tea, thinking of the family you go home to, taking a fifteen minute walk during lunch, receiving that email from a friend. Make your list and then use it to remind yourself of your decision to be happier.


Happiness begets happiness:
You’ve heard the phrase “success begets success,” haven’t you? It’s the same with happiness. Even a small amount of happiness makes it easier to create more of it. The (mental) trick is to recognize even the smallest moments of happiness—because what we give our attention to grows. You know that’s true with complaints, fears and worries–when we pay attention to our fears and annoyances, they take on a life of their own.

The same is  true of happiness. Pay attention to when you feel even slightly happy and confirm your happiness by telling yourself “I feel a little happier now.” Then acknowledge yourself for taking charge of your happiness and making yourself feel happy in the moment. The more you do that, the happier you will be on a more consistent basis.

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