The best feeling in the world is realizing that you’re perfectly happy without the thing you thought you needed.
As I sat with friends yesterday I complimented one of them on his lifestyle choices. You see my friend works nights for Federal Express on a labor intensive job that provides him a reasonable income and benefits. He was a senior corporate executive in the past; you know one of those jobs filled by people who covet the medals awarded to folks for doing what they don’t like to do. My friend decided, like Henry David Thoreau, that he preferred his own version of Walden Pond. He now spends his days doing humanitarian work, having fun with grandchildren and doing things meaningful to him. Others may not see how successful in life he really is but I do. His wealth is in his self-satisfaction and my community wins because of his choices.
I recently received a piece written by Angel Chernoff where she shared her thoughts on personal happiness; here in part are her thoughts:
Are you happy?
It is our CHOICES that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. You know this is true. So… I want to ask you a simple question: Are you happy? If you answered “no,” then I want to ask you another question: Do you feel you deserve happiness?
Heartache can get the better of us. Struggles—with our work, in our family, in pursuit of our dreams—can weigh us down and trick us into thinking that we aren’t worthy of true happiness.
Happiness is a course of action, a way of being, a mindset as well as a method. True happiness results from the ongoing commitment to making positive choices. These choices need not be complicated. Here are two simple changes you can begin today.
Treat Yourself with Kindness
We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. In the wake of such mistakes, however, there’s a shocking difference between how we treat ourselves versus how we treat those we love.
The next time you make a mistake, I want you to listen to the way you talk to yourself. What words do you use? Does any of it sound like this? “You are so stupid! What were you thinking? You screw this up every time!” This is the clean version; I know many of us use harsher words—even profanity—with ourselves.
Now picture a person whom you love dearly—your spouse, your mother, perhaps your best friend. If she came to you and admitted to making a mistake, what language would you use? Would your words be ones of anger, or would they be words of kindness?
It’s easy to overlook the effects of our own negative self-talk, but over time these harsh words erode our confidence and eat away at our happiness. The next time you make a mistake, be mindful to treat yourself as you would treat your loved ones. Interrupt your automatic negative thoughts, replacing “You are so stupid,” with “You are going to be okay.”
Take Time for Gratitude
Research by positive psychologists has found a clear link between gratitude and happiness. People who take time each day to express gratitude live happier lives—but in the busyness of our day, it can be easy to forget to take the time. Here’s a great trick that will help you remember to make gratitude a daily practice: do it while you brush your teeth.It sounds silly, I know—but it works. As you pick up your toothbrush, say to yourself, “Today, I feel grateful for…” and as you brush, think of as many things as you can.
“Today, I feel grateful for my morning workout.”
“Today, I feel grateful for the chance to meet with this new client.”
“Today, I feel grateful that my kid passed his math test.”
“Today, I feel grateful that my mom and I talked without fighting.”
Nothing is too simple to make the list. The longer you practice expressing gratitude, the faster examples will pop into your mind. And as a bonus, you’ll spend more time brushing your teeth!
“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
A young attorney who had taken over his father’s practice rushed home elated one night. “Dad, listen,” he shouted, “I’ve finally settled that old McKinney suit.”
“Settled it!?!” cried his astonished father. “Why, I gave that to you as an annuity for life.”
“Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can’t see anything wrong with each other.”
A manager has to take on some sport by his doctor so he decides to play tennis. After a couple of weeks his secretary asks him how he’s doing. “It’s going fine”, the manager says, “When I’m on the court and I see the ball speeding towards me my brain immediately says: To the corner! Back hand! To the net! Smash! Go back!”
“Really? What happens then?” the girl asks enthusiastic.
“Then my body says: Who? Me? Don’t talk nonsense!”
Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.
What does love mean?”
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8-year-olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl – age 5
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” Chrissy – age 6
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” Terri – age 4
“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” Danny – age 7
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” Tommy – age 6
“John, I can see that all your buttons are sewed on perfectly. You must be married!”
“That’s right. Sewing on buttons was the first thing my wife taught me on our honeymoon.”
Congratulating a friend after her son and daughter got married within a month of each other, a woman asked, “What kind of boy did your daughter marry?”
“Oh, he’s wonderful,” gushed the mother. “He lets her sleep late, wants her to go to the beauty parlor regularly, and insists on taking her out to dinner every night.”
“That’s nice,” said the woman. “What about your son?”
“I’m not so happy about that,” the mother sighed. “His wife sleeps late, spends all her time in the beauty parlor, and makes them eat take-out meals!”
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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