These days, there is a lot of talk about happiness: who can find it, how to keep it and where to get more of it. Most of us want to be happy, but somehow end up waiting, hoping and wishing for it to come our way. Contrary to popular belief, happiness isn’t a limited commodity available to only the fortunate few.
We each have the ability to produce our own joy.
Research suggests our happiness is determined by a combination of genetics (50%), circumstances (10%) and intentional activity (40%). You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your genes.
And while you may think “I’ll be happy when…” the happiness gains from various life changes (e.g. a blossoming romantic relationship, a move to a new location, a promotion, etc.) often fade over time.
The real opportunity lies in the things that you purposely do to shape your happiness day-to-day. Make the choice to take specific, focused action to create your own bliss. Here’s how you can get your happy on right now:
1. Adopt an optimistic mindset: Celebrate the positive things when they happen and cultivate resilience to rebound from the negative. Express gratitude for the people, experiences and opportunities that foster personal growth. Believe in your capability to succeed on your own terms. What could happen for you in the best case?
2. Clarify what matters most: Get clear about your highest priorities. Invest your time and energy in the areas that are most important to you. Reassess throughout the year as you make progress. What does happiness ideally look like to you?
3. Connect with a supportive tribe: Surround yourself with people who share similar goals and bring out the best in you. Find a like-minded community of allies who will both encourage and challenge you. Who can you mutually engage with going forward?
4. Create anticipation: Make periodic plans so you have something to look forward to in the days ahead. This might be as simple as lunch with a friend or as extravagant as an exotic vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to explore. An investment in experiences in lieu of things will also provide you with more of a happiness boost. What is booked on your calendar?
5. Enjoy the now: Take specific steps to appreciate this very moment. If you can savor even the smallest of details (e.g. a smile from a stranger, a beautiful sunset or a delicious cup of coffee), you can fuel your mindset and intentionally reflect on the grace in your world. How can you be more present?
You have everything that you need to seed your life with the attitudes, knowledge and practices that can create more happiness. Make choices that build your bliss everyday.
Engineer Your Bliss Challenge: Which one of the actions above will you focus on in the near term? Let me know on Facebook.
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