What makes you happy?

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Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

My daughter suggested that I talk about happiness. I’m not sure if she was sending me a message or just mentioned it innocently.

Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be, Abraham Lincoln once said. But can you make yourself happy? Some people always looking back at the negatives in their life and just can’t get over their traumas. Others are looking for that ideal state three years, five years, ten years from now.

Everyone is different. What takes one person to be happy is completely different from another person. Getting everything right so that you are happy is not always as easy as it sounds.

A careless driver or taxi may cut in front of you on the way to work.

You may have too many bills to pay and not enough money

In the race towards the end of the year, you may be tired and overworked – all stressed out.

Your plans to launch a new business or come up with a new idea for a product or service to grow additional income may not have panned out they way you wanted it to.

How do you break a pattern of being miserable or negative?

Sometimes all it takes is a brisk walk in the crisp cool of the morning with the birds twittering in the trees and the green leaves swaying in the wind.

Or it could be a wave and a smile from a small child bubbling with joy.

A customer may have just placed a large order with your business enabling you to reach your targets for the month.

Happiness sometimes seems illusory and fleeting.

Can you manufacturing your own states of happiness?

The writer Eckhart Tolle came out with “The Power of Now” a few years ago showing how to live in the moment. He must have struck a chord. He sold more than 30 million copies of the book. It’s a message that we have been told and been reminded about for thousands of years. Live each day as if it was your last… live each day as if it is your entire life.

It seems as though we have to remind ourselves to be constantly aware in the present. And we can’t always go around believing our cup is half empty or we’ll never be enough and will continue endlessly striving to improve and better ourselves. Why can’t we accept, as Tolle suggests, that we have everything we need right now in the present?

The happiest of people, some say, don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along the way.

The irony of not living in the moment is that we often have regret and guilt for the past which we cannot change, or live vicariously in the future fearing what might come next – bad health, financial distress or souring relationships. Again, we can’t do anything about the past or the future but can only live in the here and now.

Creative living, abundant living, requires being able to imaginatively create your own state of happiness at will. It also requires being able to recover quickly after your slips and falls.

Right now, in the warmth of the end of a sunny day with the small white clouds against the pale blue sky, sun reflecting orange at the tips of the stationery clouds, it is time to be grateful for the moment and to relax with friends and family after a long and hard week. At times like this one feels grateful to be alive and to be able to enjoy the present whatever disappointments happened in the past or rocks that may lie in the road up ahead.

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