Most of us strive to be happy. We’re not likely to sit around asking ourselves, “how can I make myself more miserable today?”
It’s that one thing we strive for, but always seems so elusive. Oftentimes, we rely on our happiness to come from other people, food, money, circumstances, etc…
I can guarantee you one thing: If you always seek for your happiness to come from outside sources, then you will never find it.
The things that happen in our lives cannot necessarily be controlled.
We cannot make that person love us.
We cannot make our boss like us.
We cannot make our children skip the rebellious stage.
We cannot force the weather outside to change to suit our needs.
We cannot go back and time and eliminate our regrets.
We cannot control life.
The only thing that we can control, is our own reactions to our circumstances. Heck, we can’t even control our own bodies half of the time, BUT we can control our minds.
Last year I went on a journey of gratefulness. I decided that I would practice gratitude for 30 days by writing out three things each day that I’m grateful for.
I had no idea that this simple act would have such a profound effect on me, because something magical happened – I changed. I became happier, more focused, and things like my productivity improved. If you’d like to read about how much I changed, you can go back and read my article here.
But when Christmas came around last year, I had no idea that I would rely so heavily on this practice I had built up.
My family went through one of the worst trauma’s that it has ever gone through. Unfortunately, I cannot speak of the details due to the legalities of the situation, but I can say that I have never grieved more in my life. It was the darkest period of my life, and I went through a full spectrum of dark emotions.
I hid from the world for a while. The grief overtook me, and at times I didn’t want to go on living.
But I can say this with all confidence: If I had not been practicing gratitude daily for almost 2 months, that situation probably would have killed me.
Because my mind was healthily focused on positive thinking, my grief did not overtake me and eventually I came through stronger than I was prior.
These days I still grieve, and experience much pain. As I head into the Christmas season, I do have trepidation. But I can truly say that I still have joy and am happy, because I have discovered that my happiness is not dependent on what life throws at me.
True happiness comes from us focusing on the things we are grateful for. A thankful heart truly is a happy heart.
So no matter what it is that you are going through or have been through, I encourage you to challenge yourself to start practicing gratitude. As we head into the Thanksgiving season, it is the perfect time remind ourselves of all of the things that we have to be grateful for.
Some friends of mine and I have a saying: “Take Happy.” It means that you can make your own happiness by reaching out and grabbing it yourself, instead of waiting on other things to bring you happiness.
Change your mind, and you change your world. Change your world, and you will change THE world.
#TakeHappy my friends.