What conditions are necessary for you to create in order to have optimal happiness? Better yet, do you know what makes you happy? Right now, pull out a piece of paper, set a timer for 1 minute and see how many items you can list that make you happy. (I did it and had 32 items but I find I write slow these days)
Though happiness is different for each of us, there are four conditions that each of us can create that will help us be happier.
- Acceptance: you can’t change someone else. They have their own journey and it’s not yours to direct. This isn’t to say excuse bad behavior. Just know others have different values, priorities, and life lessons. Surrender the expectations of that person being the way you want them to be, the happier you’ll be.
- Focus: energy flows where your attention goes. Focus on what’s not working and you’ll not be too happy. Focus on what is working and you’ll be much happier. Pretty simple.
- Gratitude: an attitude of gratitude can turn your world around. What are you grateful for? Everyone always has something they can be grateful for, most of us have a lot. If you focus on what you’re grateful for, you’ll find yourself in a place of abundance.
- Generosity: give and you shall receive. Be generous in your relationships, with your time and talents, with your love. Volunteers almost always say they feel they get more out of the experience than those they are helping and they tend to be healthier and (big surprise) happier.
Remember that list I asked you to create? See if you can add 25 more things- you may not have even tried the things but you think it would make you happy- and hang the list somewhere visible. Whenever someone helps you do something on that list, write, “Thank you, (their name)” to infuse your happy list with gratitude. I call this healthy supersizing- all the pleasure with none of the added calories.
Set an intention daily to practice the four conditions. I made this image you can save as a screensaver for your phone so you can be reminded regularly.