“Happiness cannot be owned, earned, worn or consumed.
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute
with love, grace, and gratitude.”
So says one of my favourite authors – Denis Waitley, (born 1933), American motivational speaker and writer.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep this definition of happiness with us at all times? It seems that in this 21st Century we are all striving for something; something that we think will bring us happiness. Is it a new job, more money, a new or old love or do we want to remove something such as excess weight. But do we ever stop to ask ‘what is happiness?’
“Being happy is something you have to learn.
I often surprise myself by saying “Wow, this is it. I guess I’m happy.
I’ve got a home I love. A career that I love.
I’m even feeling more and more at peace with myself.
If there’s something else to happiness, let me know. I’m ambitious for that, too. ”
Harrison Ford, (born July 13, 1942) American film actor and producer.
I have noticed in my life that happiness is different things to different people
- The love of a mother for her new-born infant
- Coming in out of the cold and/or rain
- Being welcomed home with a roaring fire and a hot meal waiting
- Seeing family members whom you haven’t seen for a while
- Catching up with old friends
- Catching the look in a small child’s eye at the first glimpse of snow and all the other ‘firsts’ with children
- Children just being children
- The smile on my grandsons’ faces when they see me
The list is endless and we all know what makes us happy.
And the road to ‘happiness’ is something we travel along each day. Each little thing that makes us happy on our journey contributes to our overall happiness. Happiness is not one thing it is made up of a series of often unrelated happenings that contribute to our happiness.
If the sages are to be believed happiness is a mental state of well-being characterised by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.
In my life coaching practice, I come across people who are convinced that they would be happy if only.. And I tell them that the authors of their happiness is themselves. We all need to look inside ourselves and most of all we do need to remember all the things for which we are grateful. Reading my Gratitude List makes me happy.
And one last quote from Groucho Marx, 1890 – 1977. American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit.
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself:
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be.
Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet.
I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
Apologies for all the quotes today. They all seemed so appropriate.