The Why and How of Happiness

The Why and How of Happiness

Category : Life Tips

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” – Dale Carnegie

“I just want to be happy.” Who has not heard someone say this? Who has not thought that the right circumstance, words, or person will make us happy?   Happiness sometimes seems to live just on the other side…usually on the side where the neighbors live or that one person for whom everything seems to go just right. You know the people I’m talking about –  the friend who always seems to have a great job, got the A’s in school, is always popular, the neighbours who seem to have it all together- perfect kids, nice house, stellar marriage, great vacations to exotic places or the people for whom there is no problem in the world and who just roll through life on a cloud.
The key to being happy is just to actually choose to be happy. Be happy with ourselves and with others around us. Happiness and likability go hand in hand.
When happiness goes around, comes back around in much greater measure. Anne Frank wrote ” Whoever is happy will make others happy” and that is so true. Often people will look to external things and people to bring them happiness. It seems that for them happiness can be found in buying that new car or house or even winning the lottery. Some people expect others to somehow fill their happiness tank. But we can not expect happiness; we need to choose it. We simply need to be happy.
When happiness goes around, comes back around in much greater measure. Anne Frank wrote ” Whoever is happy will make others happy” and that is so true. Often people will look to external things and people to bring them happiness. It seems that for them happiness can be found in buying that new car or house or even winning the lottery. Some people expect others to somehow fill their happiness tank. But we can not expect happiness; we need to choose it. We simply need to be happy.
A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness.” – Bernard de Fontelle
For me, happiness is found in the present. Each morning will come with its own set of problems and frustrations, but, by being proactive on a daily basis and adopting an ongoing course of action and developing a positive mindset, we can navigate the hazardous waters of life. There are many ways we can equip ourselves to be happy. Here are 8 ideas to begin a new path of Intentional Happiness.

Master Social Skills

Mastering social skills can make a huge difference in how we connect with ourselves and everyone around us as well as equips us to handle adversarial situations with grace. Skills such as asking open-ended questions, measuring our methods of communication and putting ourselves in the “shoes” of other people will draw people closer to us. They will naturally want to be around someone who makes them feel important and good about themselves.
Sometimes we are fearful of approaching people and talking to them because we are afraid of how we will be perceived. Sometimes we are afraid to bring up crucial talking points because of the fear of retaliation or defensiveness. But if we realize that everyone generally has the same fears, it is easier to overcome our own and just be ourselves. The benefits of developing healthy social are, among others:
  • Increased confidence
  • Better communication with others
  • New and better career opportunities
  • New friendships and relationships
  • Less time-wasting with negative associations
  • Improved physical health
  • Increased earning potential
  • Better networking skills

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

 Practice Gratitude

In a world where there is a so much complaining about rights and receiving what is due, having an attitude of gratitude as a lifestyle is refreshingly welcome. Gratitude, by its rarity, stands out like a beautiful flower in a garden filled with thorns. Being grateful for what we have can also simplify our life since we begin to desire much less and not get caught up in consumerism and busyness. Benefits of gratitude:
  • Better emotional health
  • Better mental health
  • Better physical health
  • People like us more
  • We are less self-centered
  • We are more optimistic
  • We are less focused on material possessions
  • We are more excited about exercising
  • Improves our career opportunities
Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over.”
Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Live in the Present

There is nothing like the present. In fact, the only thing we have is the present All too often we live with one foot in our past and the other foot in the present while worrying about the future. We can not change what is past and we do ourselves wrong by using it as an excuse or a crutch. We also have no control over the future, for tomorrow is not guaranteed. Since we can not control what will happen, we also shouldn’t worry about it. Worrying and fretting about possibilities will only rob us of our peace. Benefits of living in the present:

  • Helps us to focus and concentrate
  • Increases our productivity
  • Reduces sleep problems
  • Reduces destructive ways of thinking
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Gives us a positive outlook on life

“Even when all is known, the care of a man is not yet complete, because eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise. For food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet work together to produce health.” Hippocrates

Exercise Regularly

So much has already been said on the benefits of regular exercise that it would be difficult to add anything more. I will just say this: I think exercise should be viewed in the context of an active lifestyle as integral and not added an already busy life. It should be fun and satisfying and something to look forward to and not something that we dread doing and only do because it is “good for us”. Benefits of exercise:

  • Make it fun; do something you enjoy
  • Be realistic and give yourself time
  • Give yourself rewards for “sticking to it”
  • Make exercise a social event-exercise with a group
  • Work exercise into your daily life (walk to work, household chores)
  • Don’t listen to your excuses (too busy, too tired)
  • Think of the benefits you will gain
“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

Associate with Positive People

It is beneficial and healthy to get around people who know how to cultivate their own happiness. These people can help you to see the world differently. We tend to become like those with whom we spend the most time, so we should consider spending time around positive and inspiring people, people who have dreams, goals, and who don’t themselves or life seriously. Benefits of positive association:
  • For inspiration
  • For support
  • For laughter
  • For good advice
  • For adventure
  • For a positive influence
  • For a positive outlook

    “Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua Marine

Adopt a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset recognizes that there will be challenges and also, that with the right information and desire, these challenges can be met and overcome. Humans are always learning and growing. the question is, what are we learning and how are we growing? Are we learning destructive patterns? Are we going backward or are we improving and moving forward? A growth mindset is really being intentional about becoming better each day. Benefits of a growth mindset:

  • Believe that you can
  • Embrace failure as your teacher
  • Build existing skills and learn new ones
  • Get around people with a growth mindset
  • Don’t listen to the “naysayers”
  • Stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself
  • Read inspiring books

“Without service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.” Dr. Dorothy Height

Serve Others

Since we live in a world full of people, there are certainly more than enough people to serve. We can serve in many ways. For example, we can serve our colleagues at work by offering to help them with a task they are struggling with. we can serve friends by being there when they need someone to talk to. Serving others is really about putting other’s needs ahead of our own and being there when they need us. Benefits of serving others:

  • Influences others and impacts them to serve as well
  • Adds purpose to our life
  • Gives us an emotional and mental boost
  • Decreases stress
  • Connects us to a community
  • Increases our lifespan

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman

 Act on your Dreams and Goals

If we don’t act on our dreams and our goals, no one is going to do it for us. Life will still go on and one day, time will run out for us. We all have things we would like to do and accomplish, but too often we put these on the back burner of our overly busy lives and hope that one day we will eventually get around to doing them. The time is now. Tomorrow is not given. Benefits of acting on our dreams and goals;

  • Time will pass anyway whether you do or whether you don’t
  • No one is going to achieve your dreams or set your goals for you
  • There is a reason we have dreams of what we want to to do or accomplish
  • Our dreams and goals are what keep us alive
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline and this makes it achievable
  • Acting on our dreams is an act of self-love

The Takeaway

Happiness and likability are the results of being intentional about how we choose to relate to ourselves and others. We are responsible for our own happiness and for being a likable person. We can not feel sorry for ourselves or blame the world for being unhappy or not having any friends. It all comes down to the choices we make such as; honing social skills, being thankful for what we have, living in the present, being around people who are positive, learning and growing and serving those around us. We are who we choose to be.

Have a great day!

Related Posts

What Is the Happiness Factor?

Why Attitude Really Is Everything

We Don’t Have All the Time in the World

12 Simple Daily Habits to Change Your Life

10 Important Tips to Improve Communication

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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through

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