“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. — Groucho Marx”
I believe that in order to maintain state of mind, and in order to allow others to enter your life you need to be happy. I consider myself to be “genuinely” happy. I repeat this a great deal. It might be because of my value system or how I grew up. However, there’s a few reasons why I maintain this: I realized that I might not have ever came this far ( I came from almost nothing). My future could have been written for me (might still be) but I have the power to change a great deal of things. I appreciate the core things in my life such as: I have good health, I have had breakfast today, I have shelter, I have family, I have friends, I have talent and I have freedom of choice.
Can you imagine not being able to have any of these? Don’t you wonder sometimes: How do people in worse situations seem so content?
It’s quite simple really. Just making the best of a situation instead of focusing on the worse can greatly improve your life.
There’s a few rules that I follow while making myself happy. Maybe this will somehow explain to peers as to why I’m constantly smiling. I outlined it with a personal development website that I saw recently.
- Happiness is your decision. There’s no one else that can make you happy — just you. I often see people trying to find someone to make themselves happy. Guess what, you will be as miserable or depressed as you are now (if you’re are). Not only that, your friendships/relationships might not last without you dragging the person down with you. This is a situation where you’re allowed to be selfish because if you’re happy, people flock to you and you can spread that happiness. It’s really your choice. Allow life to hurt you a little but realize you have the power to change the situation — you will feel better when you reached that point.
- Be content with yourself. This is where I often ask the question, “How much do you really need?” Is a $10,000 watch going to make you happy? Is a lavish lifestyle going to make you content? I don’t think so. Why get yourself into debt by living a life you can’t afford or wishing you had what someone else has? Be absolutely content with your $20 watch from a cheaper store (that functions) — also no one will want to steal it. Don’t be a hoarder, things won’t make you happy. Basic necessities should have you absolutely content. Good food, good company and shelter. Also, this is the only body you have, appreciate it. Tall, short, skinny, fat, long hair, short hair, curly hair, straight hair… it’s yours accept it for what it is (if you need to lose weight, check the next rule” Make yourself better.”)
- Make yourself better. If you don’t have goals, you might as well be dead. Goals drive you to get better. If you have something in your life that you think you can do better at, sit and write steps you can do to improve them. Go to your library, surf the internet — do whatever it takes to educate yourself on the risks and course it would take to improve.
- Appreciate the simple things daily. I have been appreciating simple moments of life ever since my brother passed away. We don’t control the time that we die (unless it’s suicide — which is completely selfish). We have only one life to live and humans are so fragile. I guess that’s why I’m supportive of people who do radical things like: Choose a career they really like and marry whomever they want out of their parent’s decisions for them. Simply because we have a limited time to be happy (Unless you’re like my great grandmother who lived until she was 115). Always remember, in this life there’s always going to be heartbreak, sometimes you will feel like you can’t handle it — try to imagine what it would be like once you pass the unhappiness.
I did some surfing and found some really amazing Happiness tips and tried to consolidate them here. Be sure to check the resources linked. However here are my rules:
- Exercise (combats stress, fatigue and unwanted weight)
- Smile (it’s contagious)
- Compliment (I love seeing people’s faces light up when I do).
- Stop worrying ( I like saying to myself, “Not that thought!” — learned from a yoga/meditation class)
- Buy myself something (flowers, a new top, a pair of shoes)
- Be passionate about your career. (Doing what you love and being rewarded for it is a great feeling… it’s like you’re not really working).
- Go to a comedy show/laugh at yourself (I do both, life is funny. Make sure you get a chance to laugh until it hurts)
- Learn about other cultures/languages/dances etc (I get into random things like Salsa and I’m always happier because of it).
- Meditate (even if you’re not religious — just close your eyes, clear your mind and try to feel connected to everything around you).
- Don’t be jealous (you never know what someone did to get what they have. You’ll be very unhappy if you did something against your values to attain something)
- Reminisce on things that you loved in your life (However do not dwell on them — just appreciate them)
- Money isn’t everything (I’d take a pay cut to do what I love)
- Appreciate good food (try to make it yourself to feel accomplished or order at a really nice restaurant that you can afford and savor your meal).
- Be appreciative of other people’s talent (however, do not envy — everyone is good at something and it’s great to appreciate what someone else can do — #3).
Well there are more but that’s my list! What makes you happy? How do you remain happy? What prevents you from being happy?