My happiness study commenced when I was well into adulthood, after finally realizing I was significantly happier than most other people. In fact, it was those other people who drew my attention this happy fact. I had innocently, obliviously been living my happy life when it dawned on me that people were always telling me how happy I am, what good company I am, how I make them feel good just by being around them (bear with me for a moment while I deflate my ego.....that's better). It must have been around that 'mature' age when you start wondering why you're here when I thought, "why?" "why am I the Happiest Person I Know?"
And so my happiness study commenced, and continues to this day. These are my findings so far, and are peculiar to me - you may well be different:
I was brought up dirt-poor, in an all-girl, no BS house by a strong Mum who calls a spade a bloody spade! No precious behavior or pandering to whims here. No chocolate biscuits, takeaway food, or soft drink. Clothing was strictly hand-me-down, luxuries scarce. We were so poor we didn't even have middle names! About the only thing in abundance in our family was laughter. We were four loud girls who laughed easily and often, and didn't care who heard us. Ok, I admit it didn't hinder my happiness level to be the lucky third-born and youngest, but these factors were out of my control. So yes.....I have to credit my lucky circumstances with at least some of my happiness.
We were happy even though we had nothing. Well we did have a home to live in and food on the table, and Mum always managed to fund our extra-curricular activities, which were numerous.
We were all busy playing sport, which led us to making many friends. Our home was always full of neighbourhood kids, or kids from any of walk of life. I don't think there was ever a Saturday night in which we didn't have some kind of hangers-on (usually multiple) sleeping over. We made our own fun, there was always something to do because we used our imaginations. No sitting in front of the box for us! We were out terrorizing the neighbourhood, or making up our own games at home.
I briefly mentioned above that I was busy playing sport. This is a vital component to my happiness study! I may have mentioned elsewhere (happy body) how fantastic it feels to be living in a fit body. I can't stress enough that feeling physically great has a huge bearing on your happiness, as conversely, does feeling physically blah! If you are reading this happiness study in the hope of elevating your own happiness level, rest assured that putting in the effort to achieve a fit body will go a HUGE distance towards putting a spring in your step, a smile on your dial, and a zing in your zang!
One thing my mother unconsciously taught me was not to give a flying fig about what other people think (within the realms of decency, of course!). This attitude is a precious gift. As my long-suffering children will unhappily attest, when it comes to a choice between making a stranger smile and saving face, my face will lose out every time! You see, I don't walk around with my spotlight shining on me, wondering how I appear to others, or what they think of me - that is none of my business. I shine my spotlight out into the world, onto other people. They (that's you!) fascinate me and I wonder what makes them tick - usually I'm not shy about asking, either, and I can always find something to love about a person. Show me Charles Manson and I'll find something to love about him!
I've always been interested in the spiritual realm. I followed my interest which soon developed into a passion as I learned more and more, particularly about myself and the world around me. My passion has since resulted in several life-changing events. My curiosity led me to learn to meditate, which put me on a path leading to you. You don't need to have an interest in the spiritual to learn meditation, everyone can realize the benefits of meditation regardless of age, race, religion, sex, or any other indicator. Meditation allows the happiness from within you to emerge. It creates a bubble of happiness separating you from the stresses of the world, enveloping you in peace.
This could be THE most important finding in my happiness study! What really sets me apart, and keeps me happy no matter what, is my spiritual happiness My knowing that I'm being looked after underpins every aspect of my life. When things go pear-shaped (yep! It even happens to The Happiest Person I Know) I trust that everything happens for a reason, and those reasons may or may not become apparent in due course. For more information on how I became spiritually happy, see The Path To Success
Bearing in mind my underprivileged childhood, it's probably easier for me than most to feel grateful for the gifts bestowed upon me. I believe gratitude to be the most under-utilized emotion available to us, and yet the second most powerful.
My happiness study has revealed gratitude to be the HUGE difference between my happy self and those more materialistic, less happy amongst us.
No matter which troughs life presents me, I always know I have so much to be grateful for, and the feeling rarely leaves me. Anyone who feels gratitude cannot help but be happy. I highly recommend that if gratitude is not a part of your life, you find it within you. It's so easy to be grateful, irrespective of your circumstances, and gratitude is the key to happiness.
If you find it difficult to feel grateful Gspot - the Ecstasy of Life Through Gratitude is a must-read for you. If you just can't quite find your happy place, gratitude just may be the missing link you need. This book will help you find it no matter where you are right now. My happiness study reveals gratitude is a must!
The key points revealed in my personal happiness study are:
That is more than enough about me. What about you? Are you ready, willing and able to integrate the above key points into your own life? Do you feel there's something stopping you? Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need. Let me guide you to your own happy place.