The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
As you probably know by now I believe that happiness is as much our subjective view of our daily life as it is what goes on around us. If we start with a positive outlook we are half way to having a great day for we can build on that foundation by choosing to focus on how we can make our day even better. Me, I expect every day to be a good one and they almost always are. In fact I have banked so many good days that an occasional unpleasant day becomes only a temporary glitch.
Some time ago Marc Chernoff wrote a piece on the traits of happy people, here are some excerpts from the article:
Effective Ways Happy People Think
Feeling privileged and satisfied to be alive.
Time spent living is time worth appreciating. You are able to see the sunrise and the sunset. You are able to hear birds sing and waves crash. You can walk outside and feel the breeze through your hair and the sun’s warmth on your skin. When you make the most out of what you have it turns out being a lot more than you ever imagined.
Believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow.
What you believe determines who you become. If the thoughts running through your mind are pure, positive and empowering, you will create positive and empowering beliefs about yourself and about life. In turn, your actions, habits and daily routines will be a reflection of these thoughts and beliefs.
You have to believe that hope is stronger than fear. That imagination is more influential than public opinion. That dreams are more powerful than today’s reality. That determination always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the best cure for grief. And above all, you have to believe that love is stronger than any negative force in the world.
Knowing deep down that every step is worth it.
Through every life experience, especially those that force you to look fear and adversity in the face, you will gain strength, courage and confidence. Stop when you must, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am living through this and I am still OK. I can take the next thing that comes my way.”
Every step and experience is what makes you the person you are now. Without this experience, you are an empty page, a blank journal, an unsung lyric. What makes you ALIVE is your willingness to live through today’s challenges and then hold your head up high tomorrow with hope and tenacity.
Appreciating the beauty in all the small things.
Rediscover the sensitivity of your childhood eyes. The eyes that saw life as it is – a beautiful compilation of tiny lives, each lived one at a time like snapshots in a family photo album. That saw beauty in flowers and rainbows and wild animals. That marveled at fireflies and sunsets and starry nights. That let you dream every instant with your eyes wide open.
Feeling good enough.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble and reasonable confidence in your own abilities you cannot be effective or happy. Know that you are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and strong enough. Do not derive your sense of self-worth from what you own, who you know, where you live or what you look like. Your self-worth is a reflection of who YOU are and how YOU choose to live.
Living a positive life hinges on your ability to accept the fact that everything is constantly moving forward, away from everything that previously existed. Not only do you have to emotionally detach from the past, but you also have to willingly thrust yourself forward into the unknown. You have to open yourself to trying new things, especially those that you may previously never have thought of doing, or had been too hesitant to attempt. This is how you open doors of opportunity for positive growth.
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
Myrddin had gotten a part time job at the Post Office and the supervisor there had been warned that he was somewhat of a dullard, but the supervisor took a liking to him and agreed to let Myrddin help him. If nothing else, he would be an extra set of hands. The supervisor gives Myrddin the job of sorting, and much to everyone’s surprise, Myrddin separated the letters so fast that his motions were literally a blur. Extremely pleased by this, the supervisor approached Myrddin at the end of the day.
“I just want you to know,” he said, “that we’re all very proud of you. You’re one of the fastest workers we have ever had.”
“Thank you,” said Myrddin, “and tomorrow I’ll try to do even better.”
“Better?” the supervisor asked with astonishment. “How can you possibly do better?”
Myrddin replied, “Tomorrow I am going to read the addresses.”
“Do You Want to Talk to the Man in Charge, or to the Woman Who Knows What’s Going On?”
“Take a pencil and paper,” the teacher said, “and write an essay with the title ‘If I Were a Millionaire.’ ”
Everyone but Philip, who leaned back with arms folded, began to write furiously.
“What’s the matter,” the teacher asked. “Why don’t you begin?”
“I’m waiting for my secretary,” he replied.
“The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is because they share a common enemy.”
I am a very nervous flyer. During a trip from California to Indiana, it didn’t help that my connecting flight from Denver was delayed twice because of mechanical problems. Then, after we were aloft, I noticed the lights began flickering. I mentioned this to a flight attendant. “I’ll take care of it,” she said. Moments later the lights went out. Clearly she had solved the problem by turning off all the lights.
A passenger across the aisle who had been watching me leaned over and said, “Whatever you do, please don’t ask about the engines.”
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
A friend of mine was visiting a college which had those security call boxes every few hundred feet. If you were wandering around the campus at night and felt uneasy about somebody following you, for instance, you could hit the button and have a security officer investigate immediately.
On one of these phones hung a sign that said, “Out of Order.”
Underneath it someone had scrawled, “Keep Running.”
Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.
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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