"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." -Henry David Thoreau
I’ll be so happy when__________. I’ve probably filled in that blank space with hundreds of words, ideas, dreams, goals, and intentions, that I believed would lead to my ultimate happiness. So, for years I chased it; only to realize that my choice to experience happiness is purely an inside job and not the responsibility of other people, things or circumstances.
I wish I could say this understanding of happiness came quickly, but it did not. It took years of learning lessons and changing my perspective. So here are 7 lessons that literally changed my life and hopefully won’t take years for you to learn and/or share with others.
I AM SOMEBODY.
There is nothing that I have to achieve or change in my life that makes me “Somebody” because I was born 100% complete and amazing. Although I will continue to grow and change, I now realize that I am enough. I am worthy to be loved and respected for who I am and not who I aspire to be personally or professionally. I hope you feel the same way about yourself, because I believe happiness begins with this belief.
2. I OWN MY SMILE AND I WILL NOT ALLOW UNFORGIVENESS TO TAKE IT AWAY.
Holding grudges has a negative effect. It makes both our faces and our attitudes wear a frown even if we aren’t aware. The truth is, forgiveness is not about welcoming toxic people back into your life or giving an “Okay Pass” to the pain they caused. It is about letting go of the invisible rope that keeps you tied to that pain. Forgiveness creates a powerful freedom that can only be experienced when the mission is complete.
3. TODAY IS A PRESENT, SO ENJOY THE GIFT.
Being intentional about appreciating the “Now” in every day has really helped me to enjoy moments in life that I previously rushed passed and took for granted. Taking time to smell the roses is more than a common phrase, it is wise instruction on how to enjoy the gift of today.
4. SAY YES!
It is important to be open to new people, places and opportunities that cause you to stretch your comfort zone. Saying yes to learning new things, meeting new people, visiting new places, and accomplishing new goals, can be nourishment for your soul. When you brighten up your life with new experiences, you create opportunities to enjoy more happiness.
5. STOP COMPLAINING. START CREATING.
Let’s face it, there are some irritating moments in life you can’t change, you just have to ride them out. Instead of worrying and complaining about things you can’t change, use those moments to remind yourself to be the change we want to see in the world by creating opportunities to help others. Knowing that no matter what you’re going through, you can still be of value to another person, community, or cause, can bring about a deep feeling of happiness and hopefully encourage you to share that happiness with others.
6. ENJOY YOUR ALONE TIME.
There is so much fun, creativity, and self-care that can be gained when you purposely take the time to rest and recharge yourself. It can be anything from moments of quiet and meditation to singing and dancing to your favorite songs. Spending time alone, while doing things you enjoy, helps you to stay connected to your dreams and refreshed enough to accomplish them.
7. BE GRATEFUL
Although there are days that may leave you feeling like there’s nothing for which to be grateful. I’ve learned that a little time spent reflecting on each day will help to you appreciate the many things that deserve your gratitude. Regularly focusing on what you do have creates a positive mind shift that grows happiness and sustains joy.
Angela Spring is a wife and mother of 4 amazing children ages 10 – 29 years old. She is also a Professional Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, and Certified Professional Coach. Angela is the owner of SUCCESS BY DESIGN PROFESSIONAL COACHING, LLC. Her company helps entrepreneurs, career professionals, and community leaders create effective strategies to create their desired success. Check her out at www.successbydesigncoach.com