Discovering Your Happiness with Inspiration, Inquiry, Exploration, and Action

mindset-series-happiness

The “Discovering Your Happiness” by Hustle to Paradise is a three part series.

Discovering Your Happiness – Part One

INSPIRATION

“I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.” – Willa Cather, My Antonia

INQUIRY

How do you know when you are happy? DO you know when you are happy? Or do you only know it later?

EXPLORATION

Happiness tends to be fleeting. And by that I do not mean short-lived or something you cannot grasp. I mean that it sneaks up on you, often when you aren’t even paying attention. You can be walking to work, and something catches your eye – those gorgeous yellow flowers blooming in early spring or the sun peeking through rain clouds. Or maybe you are pushing your cart through the grocery store, and suddenly you are filled with an odd but undeniable sense of comfort in the familiarity of knowing exactly where you will find your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Happiness fills you with a sense that all is right with the world. And the only thing to do is to stop and feel it. Don’t try to hold on to it. Don’t wonder why finding spaghetti sauce makes you happy. Just feel it. Let it be. And let it go when you turn the corner, sit down at your desk, place the bags in your car. Be grateful that happiness showed up. It will grace you with its presence again. Your job is to be alert and greet it when it does.

ACTION

This week, pay attention when the happiness shows up. That’s all. It is sneaky, so you will probably miss it. Frequently. When you catch it, do nothing. Just take a breath and be aware of it. Smile if you like. Sniffle if it triggers a tear. Then let it go. It will return.

Let me know down below in the comments section, what makes “YOU” happy!

Discovering Your Happiness – Part Two

INSPIRATION

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” – W.H. Sheldon

INQUIRY

Do you tend to question what you are doing? Do you wonder if you should be doing something different at the time? Do you second-guess yourself? Do you think a decision was a mistake? Does it hamper your happiness?

EXPLORATION

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is wisdom few of us follow. Every day – every single day – you will make a “wrong” choice. You will decide to hit the snooze alarm one too many times; take a route to work that leads to a traffic jam; order the wrong entrée; agree to take on a project you later regret. And every time you question your decision, you rob yourself of happiness. The antidote is to stop wondering about that decision. Just dive into it. Realize you may be late to work, and stop berating yourself. Sing along to a great song in the car while you sit in traffic. Take pleasure in the ravioli and be glad you didn’t settle for a salad. Immerse yourself in the project and see the glimmer of peace that results. When you immerse yourself in “what is,” happiness is the inevitable outcome.

ACTION

Look over your day and see how many small things you sweated. Review them. Were they really all that critical? Did it make such a difference that you did it “wrong?” Make a note to yourself to be aware of such inconsequential decisions tomorrow and see how it changes your outlook.

And realize you will probably blow this little exercise. No matter. Just try it for a week then.

Let me know what perhaps was bothering you this past week? How did you move forward from that issue?

Discovering Your Happiness – Part Three

INSPIRATION

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred “Mr.” Rogers

INQUIRY

Do you look around you and see all the things that are wrong with your world? Do you question the opportunity – even your right – to be happy, particularly because there seem to be so many unfortunate people living challenging lives? How does that make you feel?

EXPLORATION

In today’s 24-7 non-stop news feed, we can turn on the TV, check our online news sources, even eavesdrop on a conversation at the next table and hear about recent scary and devastating world events. But what if technology enables us to be aware of threats that we otherwise might not learn about? Tragic, even horrifying, stories of human suffering do not indicate that we are living in a more dangerous world. In most respects, we are living longer, better lives. Our chances of suffering a violent or premature death are very low. A dynamic economy has reduced poverty over the decades. Improved sanitation has enabled us to live healthier lives. And all these advancements have been created by heartfelt, caring people working in businesses and charities who are committed to furthering their own good and thereby the good of the world.

ACTION

Make a list of three disasters that made you sad. These might be damaging weather events, a devastating crash of an airliner, news of a child’s death. Investigate them and find the “helpers” who showed up to make the world just a little bit happier.

How can you be one of those helpers, too?

Let me know a “helper” that made a difference in your local community in recent times. What positive impact did they accomplish?