THE KEYS TO HAPPINESS
When I think about happiness, what it means & when I truly feel it, I don’t think about anything material. I don’t think about the things in my home that I love (although there are many), I don’t think; if I had a better car, a bigger home, huge bank account, clothes, jewellery or a glamourise lifestyle or 5 star holidays around the world (although I do love these things too).
I think about peace, of smiling for no reason at all just because you do, you want to as it naturally emerges & brightens your face.
I think about the things that really light me up, the joy & smiles on my children’s faces, the hugs & love from my partner, the people that I have helped. I think about my family, friends & people around the globe being happy, that they know what it truly means to be happy & that they experience it every day.
Some of the wealthiest & most beautiful people (in the eyes of the world) are so unhappy, some of the poorest & most challenged are so happy, so very happy. Harald Tietze, in his book HAPPYOLOGY, talks beautifully about this.
Happiness is one of those things we must choose, we must allow to well up & feel from deep within. It cannot be bought or given. It is already there, within each of us. But we get so consumed & focused in this life on having more, on the fact that we don’t have (add in a million different things here) on comparing ourselves, on focusing on all our past pain, all the drama - we miss the pure joy.
We miss it when we’re focused on lack, on judgement, on guilt, on shame, on what was but now isn’t & vica versa.
We live in a fast paced, must have, must do, must be, world & it’s easy if you don’t keep up, to feel like you’ve failed, your not good enough. It’s easy to get stuck worrying what everyone else will think or say & trying so hard just to catch up, keep up.
I have been blasted in & out over the years into the world of unhappiness, looking outside of myself, looking for more, trying to be more, wanting other people’s approval. Of being stuck in my own self pity & misery by focusing on the past, the failures, the comparisons - it is a horrible, self defeating merry go round & has no joy or benefit to you, those you love or to the world.
We have to choose to jump off, slow down, take the time to stop, to look within.
To really dig deep & discover what lights us up, what brings us pure joy. These are the things we then must do more off. Cutting back or removing all the things that truly waste our time & energy, that keep us stuck in a world of people pleasing, a world of not good enough, a world of struggle & misery.
I believe there are 5 great keys to happiness, to really feeling it & experiencing it, the very keys that will in turn bring you more joy, more love, more time & remove all the crap we burden ourselves with on a day to day basis.
The 5 Keys
- Working on the GREATEST RELATIONSHIP you will ever have, the one you can never hide from, the one that affects all others. That is the relationship you have with yourself. When you can truly accept, embrace, forgive & love you, you can truly accept, embrace, forgive & love others. We must, as the beautiful Niko Everett talks about in her YouTube video, meet ourselves. Our thoughts & judgements of ourselves are based on comparisons, on what (sadly) others have negatively said or done, on our perception of what we should be like, look like, do, be - these very things, even though they are often so ingrained, can be changed. We can change our perception, we can change how we feel about ourselves, we can look in the mirror every day & say GOOD MORNING BEAUTIFUL (or add your name) I LOVE YOU... HAVE AN AWESOME DAY. We can learn to change our thoughts, to remember that the harshness, the critics of this world are either trying to sell you something, using what ever marketing tool they can to get to you to buy by playing on people’s emotions or they are going through their own struggles. We can choose to send them love, not take any of it onboard & remove ourselves from their presence. Even family, work colleagues & bosses.
- GRATITUDE. Gratitude is one of the simplest most powerful ways to transform your life. There’s a great quote “interrupt anxiety with gratitude”. You cannot feel grateful & miserable at the same time. Gratitude will change your life, try practising it every day, whether you right it down, spend time in a gratitude meditation or walk, just completely focused on gratitude. Ask yourself right now what am I grateful for today. Sometimes when we’re struggling or in the midst of real troubles & pain or even feeling like a victim, we can’t see all that surrounds us that is beautiful, that is a blessing, we can’t see it because we’re not actively looking for it. Creating an attitude of gratitude is a must for a happier life. If you do struggle & I've been there & heard more times than you can count & find yourself thinking “I can’t think of anything to be grateful for” ask yourself “ what if I woke up with only the things I was grateful for yesterday”? & I have no doubt that a flood of faces & things will come to mind. We owe it to ourselves, our children, our families, our communities, the world to fill the air or the collective consciousness with constant thoughts of gratitude - it has the power to change the world.
- CONTINUED GROWTH. Whether it’s through courses, training, reading, listening to podcasts, meeting up regularly with like minded, supportive, positive, people or I’ll add encouragingly a combination of all of the above - when your growing, you feel happier, more alive, even if your not there yet, your making progress. You’ll gain the curiosity, the wisdom, inspiration & guidance to seek more & continue the beautiful, positive cycle of expanding your mind & making a difference.
- GIVING. Anthony Robbins brilliantly reminds us the secret of living is giving. And as the old quote goes the quickest way to forget your problems is to help someone else. There’s something magical, rewarding & uplifting with helping or giving to another, without expecting anything I return. It could be as simple as sharing a smile, letting someone know you care & are thinking of them, lending an ear, offering your time, your skills, donating, doing a chore or running an errand for someone who is struggling or unable to. It could be volunteering, fund raising, the list is endless as to how we can contribute & give to another fellow human being. Not only will it make your day, but the beautiful, positive impact it will have on the other person is priceless, it will fill you both with so much love & joy.
- AWARENESS & MINDFULLNESS. To live as consciously as you can in as many moments as you can each day is how you will ultimately bring about positive & productive changes & create a life of happiness. This is the perfect time to mention meditation, that quiet time you spend alone with your thoughts, just focused on your breathe, feeling your heart beat, life, focusing on a specific question or on gratitude or practising guided meditations all raising your awareness, to connect & feel your mind, body & spirit. If we aren’t aware, mindful or living consciously how will we know, how can we change anything. We can’t, we just continue living the same way, stuck in the same cycles & patterns. When you live consciously you become aware of what’s happening, of how precious each moment is, how much impact you can have to actually change what’s not so great. You become aware of your state of mind in those moments, how it affects your thoughts, your decisions & the lives of those around you. You will feel & fully experience the joys & you will feel & acknowledge when things aren’t so great so that you can stop it in its track & make a better choice or look to how you can improve it, change it, work through it, what ever it is for you.
With awareness comes the chance & choice to change & if your practising the other 4 key points
- Investing in yourself by working on the greatest relationship you’ll, ever have,
- Be focusing on gratitude every single day
- Through continued learning & growth &
- Through the gift of giving
You begin living in a greater state of mind & your choices, the decisions & changes you make will be much more positive & productive. Another great quote from Bashar is that your experiences do not create your state of being, your state of being creates your experiences.
Happiness is a choice, a simple choice, but we (yes I have too) have made it complicated, chasing things, wasting things, doing things we don’t want to or need to do & focusing our energy in all the wrong places.
There is nothing wrong with wanting beautiful things, a luxurious lifestyle, bigger homes, nicer cars, big trips around the world, more money, what ever it is you love or desire, no one should ever feel guilty for wanting those things in life & feeling happiness from them, but I believe the purest of happiness comes when we are focused on what truly matters, that is on connection, on people, peace & love.
The Keys to Happiness