Happiness & When Living Gets In The Way Of Feeling Alive
Every day, many of us forget what it is like to truly be alive because we are so busy living. We waste time wondering when the other ball is going to drop, living in the past, or worrying about the future, that we lose complete sight of what we have in the moment. Many of us lose great things or people in our life because we are too busy detaching or living in any moment other than the one we are in right now. If you take a moment to think back on experiences you felt the most connected, loved, accepted, joyful, content, and/or at peace, they are likely times when you were solely present and connected. Now, if you think about times when you have felt the most anxiety, pain, sadness, and/or fear, they were likely moments when you were too busy being caught up in the past or future – which we do not have control over. Often we live our daily lives with regret. We wish things were different or that we did this instead of that. Regret, in my opinion, in many ways is the sibling of shame – and it can also result or pop up when we step into our vulnerability to live a courageous and authentic life. That may seem like a bad trade off. Meaning, in order to live happier and healthier life that you may experience some regret of what you left behind – but it’s true. Regret pops up because sometimes we feel shame around what we left behind in order to get to where we are – but there is a reason why we left it in the first place. I have more to say about regret and how it plays out in our life, but will save that for my next post.
What truly makes you happy in life? Who do you feel happy around? These may seem like simple questions, but they actually carry with them a lot of depth. Karl Moore wrote an article on happiness where he outlines 15 ways we can rediscover lost happiness in our life. I have decided to share the article below as it can be really easy to detach from ourselves at times, especially when in a state of anxiety, depression, and/or sadness, but it can also be easy and possible to re-connect with ourselves also. Please read on…
By Karl Moore
Every day, most of us focus on the grey clouds in the sky. Life is dim and gloomy, and showers are just minutes away. But we forget something. We don’t remember that just behind those clouds, the sun is beaming brightly – every single minute of every single day. These are 15 rules designed to shift your perspective, helping you to rediscover the happiness you may have forgotten.
Rule #1 – Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself! It’s not going to help the situation. It’ll only help you to wallow in a state of apathy, playing the victim. The kind of person that things happen to, but that can’t do anything about it. By stopping feeling sorry for yourself, you can actually get on and DO something about it. If you want to be happy – stop feeling sorry for yourself. “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” -Helen Keller
Rule #2 – Be Grateful. Think of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for right now. It could be your family. Or your health. Maybe your home. Your friends. Your brain. Your heart. Your spirit. We’ve all got amazing things in our own lives that make us smile with joy. And if we can count these blessings every day, we’ll discover a greater appreciation of the beautiful world we surround ourselves with. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” -Meister Eckhardt
Rule #3 – Say Yes More. We fight against what happens to us in life, rather than allowing it to be as it is. We resist it, rather than accepting it. We say “No!” rather than saying “Yes” – or even just “Okay.” By saying “Yes!” more to life, we go with the flow. Things become more enjoyable and positive, less stressful and anxious, and often the situation turns out for the better regardless.
Rule #4 – Follow Your Bliss. Bliss is what you’re doing when you’re wrapped up in the moment. When you’re so thrilled just to be doing it, it ceases even to be work anymore. Your bliss occurs when you’re living in the moment, and time doesn’t really matter anymore. It’s not for the money, it’s for the pleasure. “When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” –Joseph Campbell
Rule #5 – Learn to Let Go. Remember, letting go doesn’t mean you “forgive” the person at the grocery store, or you “allow” that kind of behavior. It just means that you release the negative emotion inside of you. By releasing negative emotions, you’ll not only enjoy much more freedom in your life – you’ll also become more emotionally stable and less stressed too. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.” –Lao Tzu
Rule #6 – Do Random Acts of Kindness. The more we give, the more we receive. A Random Acts of Kindness or RAK is a small act of kindness that you grant to someone else in the world – for absolutely no reason whatsoever, without expecting anything in return. Just throw a little extra kindness out to the world – and watch how you find greater happiness starting to flood back into your own life. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama
Rule #7 – Happiness Is Only Ever Now. We spend so much time waiting to be happy in the future, or worrying about the past, that we forget to live in the moment. But here’s the thing: Life is transient. The past has gone. The future is just a dream. The only time that truly exists ever is RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW is the ONLY time you can do or change ANYTHING in your life. And NOW is the only time you have. “Few of us ever live in the present, we are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” -Louis L Armor
Rule #8 – Experience, Don’t Hoard! Investing in experiences rather than material goods created greater lasting happiness. It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be expensive. And you can always do it on your own, too. By living, and truly experiencing life, we feel more whole, fulfilled and authentic. So, experience – don’t hoard – and you will be happy. “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” –Walt Disney
Rule #9 – Appreciate Both Sides of the Coin. The truth is that in order for you to experience true happiness in your life, you must experience sadness. Without sadness, we really can’t even understand what happiness is. Just enjoy and embrace all your life adventures. And when seemingly negative things happen, remember that it’s just the duality of life. It’s just the other side of the coin. It’s required. It’s part of the equation. “You don’t know when you’ve hit a peak until you’re coming down. And you don’t know when you’ve hit a trough until you’re climbing out. It’s all good.” –David Brent
Rule #10 – Be More Social. Countless studies on the science of happiness have turned up one single characteristic of the happiest and most successful people in society. They have a large social network! Don’t just wait for interesting people to stumble into your life. Keep going and going. Expand your social circle as far as you can. Be the person that walks through town and bumps into a dozen friends. “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -Marcel Proust
Rule #11 – Love More! We must realize that we feel the most happy in life – when we are the one giving the love! The more we love others, the happier he became. The more we love the world around us, the happier we become. The more we love even our enemies, the happier we become. And best of all, WE can control the amount of love we give – and thereby control the amount of happiness we experience. “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” –Barbara De Angelis
Rule #12 – Have a Dream. Dream are critical. They light up life. Without them, we become bored, and tired, and apathetic. So, take this opportunity to really clarify your dreams. Take a pen and paper and spend an hour figuring out what you really dream about. But whatever you do, make sure you have a dream. They’re incredibly important. Dreams are the spark plugs of the spirit. Make sure yours are ready for action. “A person starts dying when they stop dreaming.” –Brian Williams
Rule #13 – Intention Sets Direction. Decide on where you’re going and how it’ll be for you – and it’ll happen. set your intention first. Make it clear that you’re going to have a great time, you’ll meet some fantastic people, and that it’s going to be wonderful. Set your general intention every morning and every night, too. The brighter and more positive, the better. Set your sunny intention – and you will be happy. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford
Rule #14 – Enjoy Simple Pleasures. It’s an attitude. The ability to appreciate the happiness, the beauty, the pleasure in the simple things around us. Remember the simple things that you truly enjoy. Then take time out to experience them again. Or even better, turn them into little daily or weekly rituals, filling your life with sunshine. Quite simply, enjoy simple pleasures and rituals – and you will be happy. “Simplicity is the essence of happiness.” -Cedric Bledsoe
Rule #15 – Accept What Is. By accepting, welcoming, embracing what is, you clear all of your emotions. Your thoughts gain more clarity. You become happier. You experience more freedom. If you can change things, after accepting them, you’ll have a sharper mind and more energy to do so. Pointless worrying – there’s nothing you can do about it. Shrug and smile about it, that’s life. “Happiness is a function of accepting what is.” –Werner Erhard