Choose to see the good, the fair, the beauty, the grace, the Divine, and you will forever be adding to the body of evidence and reasons you already have to choose “happy.” - Mike Dooley
There’s no more important thing to understand in the entire Universe, nor in your entire life, than your happiness.
Happiness is the reason for everything, everything. Why do people want to lose weight, improve their health, or live pain-free, but to be happy? Why do people want more money, more friends, more laughter? The car, the career, the vacations, the house, and a family are all sought for one reason: happiness.
Your adventures are the variable, and each adventure is led by your quest for joy. Your greatest revelation will come on the day you realize that happiness is not found, but chosen, and then, within it, you can move in ever-widening circles to encompass more and more of it, and live your life with greater ease.
Here are six steps to help you choose happiness:
1. Drop the contingences.
Not giving yourself permission to be happy is a showstopper. Three common contingencies that get in the way of happiness now are: waiting to hit the big home run, waiting to feel more “complete,” and waiting to feel more worthy.
2. Choose it.
To state the obvious, there are people right now who would very much like to work, but they can’t get a job; who want kids but for any number of reasons can’t have them; who would love the kinds of problems that come with having money, a busy social calendar, or a modicum of free time. There are people right now, the world over, who would do nearly anything to have your life.
Life is an exercise in perspectives, all of which are chosen. Choose to see the good, the fair, the beauty, the grace, the Divine, and you will forever be adding to the body of evidence and reasons you already have to choose “happy.”
3. Express gratitude and appreciation.
Gratitude and appreciation, like all thoughts and feelings, attract similar thoughts and, ultimately, circumstances, which manifest those feelings within you all over again. Gratitude and appreciation rearrange your life, giving you more reasons to be grateful and appreciative.
Authentic gratitude and appreciation, verbally or silently feeling “thank you,” are tantamount to saying, “I have received.” And accordingly, in a world where your thoughts and words become things, the only way “I have received” can be actualized is if you do, later, receive. By putting these feelings out there for what you have already received, you will receive more of the same, and by putting them out there for what you have not yet received, but as if you had, you will, and your reasons to be happy shall increase.
4. Die to the illusions.
The ultimate “test” to living in the jungles of time and space is learning to move with your dreams, even as they are contradicted, 24/7, by the illusions of time, space, and matter. Thinking, speaking, and behaving as if your desired vision for the future was more real than earlier manifestations that still surround you, even as you have to consider and live among them each day. You’re an infinite being, now voluntarily “trapped” in an illusionary world that your physical senses tell you is real. Yet thinking so means you also believe that you are small, ineffective, and unimportant. You can beat this. You know life rocks and you’re important. You wouldn’t have played along if you couldn’t ultimately make sense of this and uncover the truth amid a world of lies.
5. Visualize happiness.
Most often, creative visualization is used for getting a new car, house, or relationship, but it works for more happiness too, which, as noted, can also accelerate the arrival of a new car, house, or relationship, without you even thinking of those things. For all of the reasons already given when talking about gratitude and appreciation, visualizing more happiness will beget more happiness.
Try this: instead of visualizing things you feel joy over, just visualize joy. Smile wide across your face, laughing, high-fiving friends, receiving congratulations, pats on the back, and slow-motion fist bumps, with a sense of delirium and celebration.
6. Be gentle with yourself.
The last point for getting your happiness on is to be gentle with yourself. In an instant-gratification society, you too quickly turn against yourself when you feel impatient with change. Labeling yourself, blaming yourself, putting yourself into a tiny little box of condemnation, all of which further removes you from being happy and, worse, attracts more ideas of your feared inadequacies. Be kind to yourself. You’re doing your very best, and always have. You’re going to get it right, and faster, when you relax.
I talk more in depth about HAPPINESS in my new book, A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, which is now available!
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