Friday, February 17, 2017

Habits of Happy People

February has been a tough month for me.  Lots of doctor appointments, lots of stress, really busy, and at school, the kiddos have been a little bit crazy!   I have been trying really hard to keep remembering that camping, spring, creeks, greenery, outdoors - it's all right around the corner!  Next week we get a break from work and the kiddos for a week and it is much needed for sure.  However, it doesn't mean a break from "work" so to speak, because that will be when a really good spring cleaning and de-cluttering comes into play here.  Ah the joys!

But all in all, life is great!  What would it be without a little stress now and then right?  We all have our happy places that we can go, when stress gets to us, when life hits us hard in the face, when we just feel like we want to cry a little.  Sometimes it is really hard though, to remember that happy place when you don't feel like being happy.  Here are some of the habits that happy people try to implement in their lives, and I promise, they likely don't do all of these, but perhaps next time you are feeling like you just got slapped in the face again, or you want to cry, perhaps you could try one or more of these things and see how it makes you feel.  Even better, work on one or two each month and make it a habit in your life, and before you know it, you will find - voila!  You are a Happy Person!

This post is filled with Og Mandino quotes.  They make me happy.  They help me to ground myself in what is good for me.  They offer incredible insight, so please take time to read,  ponder and apply them in your life, and you may find meaning and understanding on happiness and who you are meant to be!  All of the quotes in big colorful letters are from Og Mandino!  What a brillant, happy, grounded man.

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.  Og Mandino

  • First off, happiness is a choice, just like being angry, sad, or excited.  You can choose to be happy.
Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.
  • Learn to be grateful for things.  Happy people recognize blessings in their lives and are grateful people
  • Learn to forgive others.  Let's face it, people are never as smart as we think they should be, and as a general rule, we do stupid stuff.  Learn to forgive stupid, mean, things, because guess what?  They, more often than not, don't know they are even being stupid.  Perhaps they need this list.  Regardless, forgive them, and you will find a burden lifted off your heart.
The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what the task may be. This is a habit followed by all successful people since the beginning of time. Therefore I saith the surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid.
  • Be a positive thinker.  Take care of your thoughts - do a little spring cleaning of your own and get rid of the negative thoughts that keep you going in that circle of woe.  Negative feeds off negative, and nobody likes a negative person, so train yourself to look for the positive in people, in life, and soon that is what you will see.   You will be able to look beyond the negative and see happy, positive.
  • Money isn't the end all, be all, and it really can't buy your happiness.  Ya, I will be the first one to admit that I would like a little more money in my life too, but I have learned through years and years of trials of money, that it doesn't buy happiness, in fact it usually does the opposite.  But..... learn to deal with your station in life, no matter what it is, you can be happy if you control it properly and accept it for what it is.  You can be happy with lots of money or with very little money, either way, you choose how you will be.  Learn to spend money on experiences and not things.  It is the things that will leave no lasting happiness, but experiences with family and friends, creating those happy memories, that is what will bring the lasting happiness.  Og Mandino said my all time favorite quote: 

    “I am convinced that the greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories: those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the white sand and placed in tiny boxes that lay undisturbed on tall shelves until one day they spill out and time repeats itself, with joy and sweet sadness, in the child now an adult.”

  • Create some good friendships that you can trust and fall back on time and time again.  One good friend is better than a hundred that drag you down into their pit of misery and negativity.  Good friendships will encourage you.  You can laugh when you feel like crying.  You can cry when you are laughing.  A good friend, a really true good friend, is worth more than anything.
Sooner or later all mankind will realize that the greatest cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrow and crimes of humanity rests solely in acts of love. Love is the greatest gift from God. It is the divine spark that everywhere produces and restores life. To each and every one of us, love gives us the power to work miracles with your own life and those we touch.
  • Make family your best friends.  Family will always be there when everyone else moves on, so fostering good family relationships, is a great habit happy people make.  Loving to be around your family, there really is nothing more satisfying, and joyful - real joy - than laughing and spending time with those you love.
  • Get outside more - so true.  When you are feeling down, go for a walk.  Sit in your back yard and soak in some sun, reading a good book, or better yet pulling a weed, or planting a seed or two.  When I need a good therapy session, I get my hands dirty in my garden and, without a doubt, it helps me be happy.  The sun offers us all that great vitamin D, our happy pills from nature, and fresh air, always helps to clear the brain fog leaving us with clarity and understanding of what is truly important in life
  • Serving others, doing things for others, always - always,  allows us to take our eyes off ourselves and see that others have problems too, and they are most often problems that make ours seem pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  Service, will make you happy, it will allow your heart to heal, and you may in the process, find a good friend.    
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
  • Smile even if you feel like crap.  There is enough research out there to scientifically support this, but I promise if you try it yourself, you will be able to emotionally feel the difference in your own happiness.  If you don't feel like smiling, that is when you need to straighten your shoulders and put a smile on your face the most.  It will make others smile, and in turn make you much happier.  Kind of the fake it till you make it theory, but you are faking it - while you make it happen.  Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.  Og Mandino
  • Meditation can go a long way to helping you find that inner peace.  Regardless of what faith you have, everyone needs a happy place, a peace within their soul, and meditation can help you find it there.  There are many, many free apps, and videos on you tube, etc that will help you with any meditation that suits your feelings, and even your beliefs.  It will help your brain calm down, and center you in life, with more clarity and purpose, more compassion, and understand.  Give it a whirl, slow down and meditate.

How do I change? If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labor. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.

I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.


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