Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cultivating Happiness

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Mahatma Ghandi

What is the meaning of happiness?  How will it find me?

I have searched high and low, did all sorts of crazy things, in pursuit of that one elusive thing called Happiness. As it turns out, I was wrong all along.  It doesn't come wrapped neatly with a ribbon on it.  It is something that we cultivate.  In this day and age, stress and restlessness (among many other) have become a huge factor to our unhappiness.   It takes deliberate attention to change that. When we practice happy thinking everyday, we develop a happiness habit and cultivate a merry heart.  Ultimately, it becomes a state of being.

The good news is, we have easy access to our own happiness switch.  Our thoughts and actions influence our level of joy.  When we consciously make changes in the way we see things, intuitively, we discover that happiness is indeed a sum of our life choices. 

I'm afraid I can't tell you what could make you happy.  All I know is that my life didn't begin to experience the true sense of joy until I made the decision to build my own happiness around these pillars:

  • quality time with family and friends
  • being kind to myself
  • having a positive outlook in life
  • being grateful for all the blessings I receive
  • having a sense of purpose
  • ability to inspire others and contribute in my own way
  • being content with what I have

As author Elizabeth Gilbert observed in her book, Eat Pray Love:  Happiness is the consequence of our personal effort.  You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.  You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.  You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.