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9 Things You Do NOT Need to Be Happy

inShare 225Email You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never truly live if you are forever looking for the meaning of life. ?Albert Camus Today, as I was walking to a coffee shop in downtown Austin, a school bus stoppe d in front of me and a little kid waved at me frantically through the bus window . I laughed and waved back. There was instantly a look of surprise and then ex treme happiness on the kid s face just because I waved back to him. This reminded me of how, as children, we need very little to make us happy. As adults we somehow grow into the belief that we need everything to be a certai n way in order to find and appreciate moments of happiness. But the truth is, t o be happy we need much less than we think we need. In fact, I believe one of t he best feelings comes when you realize that you can be perfectly OK and happy w ithout the things you once thought you needed. And that s precisely what this sho rt article is about the things you do NOT need to be happy: 1. Ideal circumstances. The happiest people do not live with a certain set of circumstances, but rather with a certain set of attitudes. Choosing to be positive and grateful for what you have now is going to determine how you re going to live the rest of your life. So look for something positive about today. Even if you have to look a little harder than usual, it still exists. Ultimately, your greatest achievements are moments in time when what you re doing allows you to see how wonderful your life already is. 2. Everyone s approval. The biggest prison you will likely ever live in is your fear of what other peopl e think. You cannot let other people tell you who you are or what you want. You have to decide that for yourself. When you re making big decisions, remember, what you th ink of yourself and your life is more important than what people think of you. Don t let others make you feel guilty for living your life. It s YOUR life. As lon g as you re not hurting anyone else, live it YOUR way. Fulfillment and success in life lie in your ability to use your entire mind to a chieve your goals, dreams and desires. Take sufficient time to spend with yours elf, without external interference. You re worth it. (Angel and I discuss this i n more detail in the Self-Love chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful Pe ople Do Differently.) 3. A perfect past. Do not let the shadows of your past darken the doorstep of your present and futu re. Let go, forgive and move forward. Just because the past didn t turn out like you had hoped, doesn t mean your future can t be better than you had envisioned. I n fact, we often grow stronger in the places we were once broken. Because it s no t until you re broken for a while that you truly learn what you re made of on the in side. And this insight gives you the ability to rebuild yourself, stronger than ever before.

Most of the time the only difference between long-term happiness and long-term d espair is not quitting on yourself. As long as you are breathing it s never too l ate. Today is a new beginning. 4. Full control of life s constant changes. Life is constantly changing and we re changing with it. We re not the same person w e were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. Life s cycle doesn t stop. Change i s what it s all about. But every ending is the beginning of something else. Ever y exit is an entry somewhere else. Live, learn, and let go. Don t hold yourself down with the changes you can t control. Although some forces are out of your control, you can control how you react to t hings. Everyone s life has positive and negative aspects whether you re happy or no t depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. The best thing you can do is t o let go of what you can t control, and invest your energy in the things you can. Live simply, love generously, speak truthfully, breathe deeply, do your best, a nd leave the rest to the powers above you. (Read The Road Less Traveled.) 5. A carefree, stress-free life. Great challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful. Don t wait until everything is just right; it will never be perfect. There will a lways be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what! Get started now! With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more skilled, more confident, and more successful. Say it: I am determined to live a happy life no matter my challenges! I will tu rn all my tales of fury into tales of glory! I will turn all of my tales of woe into tales of WOW! And no matter what happens, just do your best and appreciate what you re learning. You won t enjoy your life if you don t enjoy your challenges. 6. All the things you don t have. You are right here, right now, with what you have, breathing. Enjoy it. You ve g ot nothing to do today except to smile. Happiness is valuing what you have, and enjoying the people, places, objects and events in your life for what they are. It s not about changing and achieving all the time; sometimes it s about being and appreciating. And you can nearly always enjoy the things you have and the events happening around you if you make up yo ur mind firmly that you will. 7. A mountain of money. If we counted our blessings more often, instead of our money, we would be a lot richer. Keep money on your mind but out of your heart. Never get so busy makin g a living that you forget to make a life for yourself. Cultivate your spiritua l growth. The real measure of your wealth is how much you d be worth if you lost all your money. Happiness formula = Do your best and appreciate what you have. Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to others and the things they have. It s nice to have money and the things that money can buy, but it s also important t o make sure you haven t lost track of the things that money can t buy. You don t need a lot of money to lead a rich life. Good friends and a loving family are worth their weight in gold. It really is the little things that mean the most like a long hug at just the right time. (Read The Happiness Project.) 8. Any event happening in another time and place. Make your time count. Do not wish your moments away. Do not ruin today by focu sing on another time and place. There is only now; realize how rich you are in it.

Right now you are creating history your legacy. Don t let life slip by without be ing aware of it. Life works in a strange way: You want something and you work and wait and work and wait, and feel like it s taking forever to come. Then it ha ppens and it s over and all you want to do is relive all the great memories you ma de along the way. Happiness is the journey. Open your eyes. Don t miss it. 9. Constant happiness. The bottom line is that you can t be happy unless you re unhappy sometimes. Life is not always perfect, and the utopian world of constant happiness in not natural, nor should you expect it. In the short-term, your mood will fluctuate, but it is your ability to realize a nd deal with these fluctuations that allows you to maintain long-term happiness. Any fool can be happy when times are good. It takes a strong soul with real h eart to develop smiles out of situations that make most people weep. But it is possible. Live every day of your life in full. Experience the highs and the lows, the pos itives and the negatives, and all the moods present between the various extremes . Don t focus on simply being happy. Focus on living a well-rounded, seasoned li fe. Focus on achieving completeness. Yes, happiness is part of this completene ss, but so is sadness, difficulty, frustration, and failure. And overcoming the se latter points supports your personal growth far more than constant happiness. Next steps Choose happiness today by taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being thankful for the little things that mean a lot. Your turn What would you add to the list? What do we sometimes forget we do NOT need to b e happy? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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