“Happiness is a spiritual path. The more you learn about true happiness, the more you discover the truth of who you are, what is important, and what your life is for.” — Robert Holden, Author of Be Happy!
Happiness used to be one of those topics that not only I shied away from, but also believed that it just wasn’t going to be a part of my journey. Thankfully those self-fulfilling days of despair are over and I now know that happiness—just like anything else in life—is a malleable state of mind that can be learned.
Although some of us are born into the world smiling, others like myself have had to learn (and unlearn) certain techniques and habits so that happiness can be a part of our natural lives. As I understand more about my Self and discover who I really am I also recognize that happiness is mine for the choosing.
Below are a few of the attitudes and habits I’ve cultivated over the years that I believe are key to living a happy life.
Being authentic is about being who we really are with others. Authenticity is what helps us live life to our fullest potential. It is also an essential ingredient to finding happiness within ourselves.
Living an authentic life ultimately opens us up to being in harmony with our true Self so that we can ultimately discover who we really are. And, the more true you are to yourself, the happier you will be.
Knowledge doesn’t have to always resemble books and information. However, when it comes to being happy, knowing what makes you smile and light up is extremely important.
For me, being creative, spending quality time with close loved ones, and sharing what I’m learning with others makes me happy. What makes you happy could be something entirely different.
Ultimately it’s about finding the joy within yourself. According to happiness expert Dr. Robert Holden, director of The Happiness Project, you feel the happiest when you begin to know who you truly are. “The reason why we’re so interested in happiness is because we want to have an experience of our true self.”
“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.”— Frederick Keonig, Co-inventor of the Printing Press
As simple as it sounds, gratitude breeds happiness.
People who have an attitude of gratitude lead happier and healthier lives than those who don’t because gratitude forces us to overcome what psychologists call the “negativity bias”—the tendency to dwell on problems, annoyances, and life’s little injustices.
By focussing on the good parts of life—the things that we are thankful for—we are conditioning ourselves to fostering a positive attitude and a healthy sense of well-being which is what happiness is all about.
Anytime I think about happiness or compassion the first thought that comes to mind is the Dalai Lama.
Having had the chance to be taught by him while I was in Wisconsin a few years back and hear him speak on the importance of practicing compassion with ourselves and others, I was profoundly changed by the experience and have become more compassionate as a result. As the Dalai Lama teaches:
“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” — Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
It is true that by caring for the well-being of others, you automatically increase your own level of happiness.
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” — Robert Muller, World Peace and Happiness Guru
While the tools, techniques, and “be attitudes” for happiness are valuable, the most important of these is forgiveness. Continually being in a state of practicing forgiveness allows you to move past resentment, hate, fear, and inadequacy while stepping into the mind-frame of love.
Happy people learn from their experiences, pains, disappointments, and are able to fully experience all the joy life has to offer.
Forgiveness may not be an easy task—in fact, it’s one of the most difficult ones to practice—nonetheless, it is a simple one and one worth mastering.
Tips to Grow By
Happiness isn’t a reward, it’s part of the journey and it is completely attainable. Scientists and psychologists have even discovered that our brains have a certain level of plasticity which allow them to be completely transformable and capable of change if we so choose.
However, choosing to be happy is more that just a choice, it’s a conscious decision that only you can make for yourself. By being authentic, grateful, forgiving, and focusing on the positive things in life, you will be lead to greater happiness.
And as Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So, make up your mind to be happy and start living a happier life today.
About Aisha Quinece
“How am I making the world a better place?” is a question I ask myself almost on a daily basis. As a wife, mother, designer, writer, and teacher, actively enriching the lives of others is a responsibility that I take seriously. Supplying you with practical ways to “Create Your Life” is what my blog, www.AishaQuinece.com, is all about. So, check it out, visit me on Facebook, follow me Twitter, and get started creating your life today!