Happiness is a funny thing. We are lead to believe that one day we will experience it or that at some point in the future we will achieve it; when really, happiness is everywhere.
It’s not some big ‘a-ha!’ moment in our lives, but rather, it’s a tiny little spark of emotion that we can either choose to foster, or ignore.
Let me explain.
I sat down tonight and randomly decided to make a list. I don’t know why, but I just felt like I had to follow this instinct.
The list was to be of things that make me happy. And it began like this…
· Watching ‘Friends’ episode re-runs at every opportunity possible
· A glass of red wine with my love or my friends
· Soaking in the tub, listening to music
· The smell of coconut oil
· Watching cartoons or animation movies on Sunday’s
· Etc. etc. etc.
What I began to notice was that these things were in my control. And, yes, they may not be significant experiences that encourage an overwhelming sense of joy, but they are small occurrences that make me feel good.
So I asked myself, why am I just realizing this now? Why haven’t I ever thought about what inspires that little spark of positive emotion before? I thought, if I could just compile a decent list of these things, I could pick one when I was in need of a blissful boost.
So I continued making my list:
· A cup of herbal tea, lightly sweetened
· Knowing I can sleep in the next day
· Reading fitness magazines
· Watching babies make new discoveries
· Stars in the night sky
· Listening to the sounds of the waves
· Sun rises and sun sets
· Having my morning coffee
· Achieving a new personal record in the gym
· Etc. etc. etc.
This list making became super easy. I just kept writing and within minutes I had two hand-written pages of simple, controllable things that make me feel a sense of happiness. I literally had to stop myself or I wouldn’t have anything to write the next time I choose to do this – and I will.
What this task reminded me was that life is truly what you make of it. We can either focus on what’s stressing us out and what’s out of our reach, or we can step back and focus on controlling what we can – our emotions, our outlook and our actions.
It reminded me of the wise words written by one of my idols – Karen Sampson. As a child, this woman inspired me tremendously, and continues to every day of my life.
In a document stored on her laptop, found after passing from a long term battle with Cancer, Karen at age 37 had written:
“By some absolute miracle, I learned early on that in spite of what was happening inside my body, I could control my mind.” – Karen Sampson
Yes, we all have our bad days. And yes, we all face stressful situations. But if we can learn to be in command of that little spark of emotion, we can create our own joy during even some of our toughest encounters.
So I encourage you to self reflect. What makes you happy? What ignites that flicker of enjoyment in your life?
Literally make a list for yourself and make it a goal to do at least one of these things every day. I bet what you’ll quickly notice is that you already do –you probably just weren’t aware of it before.
Like I said previously, I believe that every day at least one thing makes us happy. We just need to learn to foster it and appreciate it more.