Written for Stilorama - The concepts of success and happiness from fresh perspectives…
People have this idea that happiness issomething you find and then have forever. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Littered throughout social media are posts about finding happiness, workshops on how to be happy. Happiness isn’t something you find. It’s something you create…constantly.
The downside to all this talk about happinessis that it fails to recognize the glory in the counterpart to happiness-sadness…angst, worry, woes. Without the negative parts of our life experience, we could never truly appreciate the happy moments, the times where we experience elation and pure joy.
True happiness comes from knowing your truthand speaking it with grace, tapping into grit and resiliency and knowing thatwe have to enjoy happiness when we experience it. As in, stop and smell the roses. Because at any time, we could get a phone call or a text that steals our happiness from us, and the pure joy we were experiencing is a distant spot in the rear-view mirror.
So how do we create success and happiness?
To succeed at something by definition means you had to attempt it. Meaning, you more than likely had to go outside your comfort zone, train orgain skills and take a risk. The fear of failure is what holds most people back from achieving true success.
When we shift our mind from end result to focus on theexperience we gain in doing something, we are more likely to take the risksinvolved to try something new in life, or tackle something that we thought was daunting.
A tangible way to achieve this is to simply ask yourself a few questions…
Why am I doing this? – When we understand our why, weare far more likely to push through when times get tough. We are more likely tomaintain a certain level of passionate perseverance. Especially when our “why” is intrinsic. What does intrinsic mean? It means motivated internally. We know at our core that we are doing it for ourselves. What do I want my experience to be? – When we reframe goals from this perspective they become more about the journey andless about the end-game. The benefit to this is that we no longer have to put as much weight on the final result. If our goal is to lose 10 pounds, and we want to experience better sleep daily (removing that soda before bed), and a more energy (that twenty-minute hike every day) we can feel our achievements as we go along. Likewise, we can feel our setbacks and make adjustments as needed.
Creating happiness is a simple process of knowing what feels good to us. Does that morning cup of coffee in silence before the kids wakeup bring you happiness? Then embrace it. Acknowledge that the day might fallapart but you experienced peace and happiness today. It can be helpful to actually journal or write down things that bring you happiness. It’s amazing what happens when we take floating concepts and see them in tangible form. Suddenly, we realize that while things are difficult or times are tough, there are tremendous opportunities to create happiness.
Create your joy by carving out time to do the things you love. People love to get stuck in a victim mentality of “I’m just too busy for self-care.”No one is too busy. If you take a look at your daily activities, and your week, you’ll quickly see places to insert things that lighten your mood or bring you happiness.
Remember that happiness is a constant reset. That cup of coffeeyou just got at the drive-thru might be making you smile, but there’s a goodchance traffic is going to upset your mood and put you late for work. Use those moments to tap into a space of grit and resiliency and notice the way the clouds are moving in the sky, or the giggly baby in the backseat of the car next to you, or even better, the screaming child and be grateful for the peace and quiet in yours.
Each day is an opportunity to create happiness, there’s no magic solution, but there are simple ways to experience it. Creation of happiness comes from being able to switch from fixed mindset to a growth mindset. How you look at the life in front of you determines how happy your life can become, and how much success you achieve.
If all else fails tap into a space of gratitude, dig deep if you have to, to find something grateful for, it might simply befresh water from the tap, where in some foreign countries they don’t have that. Or perhaps it’s for a friend you can call anytime. Maybe it’s just simply for a beautiful sunny day.
Michaela Renee Johnson is a licensed psychotherapist, host ofthe top iTunes podcast Be You Find Happy and best-selling author of Empowered aMotivational Journal for Women. Look for Michaela’s new book due out this fall on Growth.