Docstoc

Seven Keys to Happiness

Document Sample
Seven Keys to Happiness Powered By Docstoc
					                         Seven Keys to Happiness

This article summarizes much of what I've learned thus far on my journey to self-discovery and
positive growth. Along the way, through many of life's ups and downs, with the help of many
awesome teachers and mentors, I now most often live in a state of happiness and contentment. I
still have lots to learn but I wanted to share with you what I've found most helpful thus far. I truly
believe that all people have the capacity to choose their mental attitude. Therefore, if happiness is
what you desire, then you must choose it. Here are some helpful ideas to help you do just that.

1. Self-Worth
Self-worth-without it, happiness will always be just beyond your grasp. Self-worth is, of course,
something that can be measured along a continuum. It isn't like you either have it or you don't. You
can possess varying degrees and those degrees can themselves vary depending on the circumstances
of your life.

Generally, the person who is happiest has a healthy amount of self-worth without an inflated view of
their own self-importance. This is the fine line that must be walked between confidence and
arrogance.

Confidence implies a certain sense of surety while recognizing that each of us is just a different cog
in a very big wheel. No one person is any more important than anyone else. Those with high self-
worth know their life's purpose. They are in tune with what their mission is and proceed to make it
their life's work. They also recognize the value of everyone else with whom they share space.

Those who are arrogant recognize their own self-worth but then proceed to look down upon those
they deem as unworthy. Then at the other end of the continuum, there are those who recognize the
importance of others but don't believe they are worthy to breathe air.

A healthy balance of self-worth is the key.

2. Gratitude
The second key to happiness is gratitude. It is human nature to enumerate the things that are NOT
the way we want them to be. We are programmed to notice when things are off, and not necessarily
appreciate when all is as we want it. This makes maintaining an attitude of gratitude a challenge but
nonetheless something we should strive for. I have mentioned before that Universal Law tells us that
we attract those things we think about most often. When we are grateful for what we have, more is
bestowed upon us.

I know someone who believes, "No good deed goes unpunished" and lives his life accordingly.
Another person I know always says, "I have the worst luck. Nothing good ever happens to me." And
you know what? They are right! The Universe delivers to them exactly what they expect. There are
others who have similar bad luck but who persevere or find the lesson in the situation. These people
find more happiness and contentment in return.
Another point about gratitude is to be thankful for what you have. I love the line in the song that
says, "It's not having what you want; it's about wanting what you got!" There's nothing wrong with
wanting to do better than you are as long as you are grateful along the way. Even when things are
bad, there is always good to be found in it. Life is in perfect balance and order. Anything with a great
deal of pain associated with it also has a tremendous positive side if we are of the mind to see it.

3. Positive Life Framing
The third key to happiness is positive life framing. There are three ways to view any piece of
information-positively, negatively or neutrally. Viewing information as neutral is the best way to go
through life. It allows us to accept everything as it comes and to stop resisting what actually is in any
given moment. However, many of us have great difficulty with that one.

As an incremental step, it is helpful to find a way to reframe life's negative events into positive ones.
Even in life's tragedies, there is a way to find something positive about the situation. Almost always,
in hindsight, we can see the benefit. The real benefit comes when we are able to see the benefit as
the tragedy unfolds, or at least stay open to the thought that there is a benefit even if you are
unable to see it in that moment. Just as in physics where there can be no neutron without a proton,
so it is with life where there can be no negative event without a corresponding positive one.

4. Internal Locus of Control
The fourth key to happiness is possessing an internal locus of control. People who have an internal
locus of control believe that they are responsible for their own behavior and its results based on
their own personal decisions and efforts. This is contrasted with those who have an external locus of
control. These individuals believe that their behavior is determined by external circumstances such
as other people, fate, luck or circumstances beyond their control. This article summarizes much of
what I've learned thus far on my journey to self-discovery and positive growth. Along the way,
through many of life's ups and downs, with the help of many awesome teachers and mentors, I now
most often live in a state of happiness and contentment. I still have lots to learn but I wanted to
share with you what I've found most helpful thus far. I truly believe that all people have the capacity
to choose their mental attitude. Therefore, if happiness is what you desire, then you must choose it.
Here are some helpful ideas to help you do just that.

1. Self-Worth
Self-worth-without it, happiness will always be just beyond your grasp. Self-worth is, of course,
something that can be measured along a continuum. It isn't like you either have it or you don't. You
can possess varying degrees and those degrees can themselves vary depending on the circumstances
of your life.

Generally, the person who is happiest has a healthy amount of self-worth without an inflated view of
their own self-importance. This is the fine line that must be walked between confidence and
arrogance.

Confidence implies a certain sense of surety while recognizing that each of us is just a different cog
in a very big wheel. No one person is any more important than anyone else. Those with high self-
worth know their life's purpose. They are in tune with what their mission is and proceed to make it
their life's work. They also recognize the value of everyone else with whom they share space.

Those who are arrogant recognize their own self-worth but then proceed to look down upon those
they deem as unworthy. Then at the other end of the continuum, there are those who recognize the
importance of others but don't believe they are worthy to breathe air.

A healthy balance of self-worth is the key.

2. Gratitude
The second key to happiness is gratitude. It is human nature to enumerate the things that are NOT
the way we want them to be. We are programmed to notice when things are off, and not necessarily
appreciate when all is as we want it. This makes maintaining an attitude of gratitude a challenge but
nonetheless something we should strive for. I have mentioned before that Universal Law tells us that
we attract those things we think about most often. When we are grateful for what we have, more is
bestowed upon us.

I know someone who believes, "No good deed goes unpunished" and lives his life accordingly.
Another person I know always says, "I have the worst luck. Nothing good ever happens to me." And
you know what? They are right! The Universe delivers to them exactly what they expect. There are
others who have similar bad luck but who persevere or find the lesson in the situation. These people
find more happiness and contentment in return.

Another point about gratitude is to be thankful for what you have. I love the line in the song that
says, "It's not having what you want; it's about wanting what you got!" There's nothing wrong with
wanting to do better than you are as long as you are grateful along the way. Even when things are
bad, there is always good to be found in it. Life is in perfect balance and order. Anything with a great
deal of pain associated with it also has a tremendous positive side if we are of the mind to see it.

3. Positive Life Framing
The third key to happiness is positive life framing. There are three ways to view any piece of
information-positively, negatively or neutrally. Viewing information as neutral is the best way to go
through life. It allows us to accept everything as it comes and to stop resisting what actually is in any
given moment. However, many of us have great difficulty with that one.

As an incremental step, it is helpful to find a way to reframe life's negative events into positive ones.
Even in life's tragedies, there is a way to find something positive about the situation. Almost always,
in hindsight, we can see the benefit. The real benefit comes when we are able to see the benefit as
the tragedy unfolds, or at least stay open to the thought that there is a benefit even if you are
unable to see it in that moment. Just as in physics where there can be no neutron without a proton,
so it is with life where there can be no negative event without a corresponding positive one.

4. Internal Locus of Control
The fourth key to happiness is possessing an internal locus of control. People who have an internal
locus of control believe that they are responsible for their own behavior and its results based on
their own personal decisions and efforts. This is contrasted with those who have an external locus of
control. These individuals believe that their behavior is determined by external circumstances such
as other people, fate, luck or circumstances beyond their control.

Having an internal locus of control produces a "can do" attitude. An external locus of control
generally results in a helpless attitude. Even though people with an internal locus of control still have
situations that occur that are beyond their control, they will seek some action that can be taken by
them to improve the situation. They do not spend time bemoaning the fact that something bad
happened to them. They look for decisive action opportunities to turn things around.

In this way, a person is more in charge of their own destiny. They can reject the role of victim and
take definitive action to create greater life satisfaction.

5. Lifelong Learning
The fifth key to happiness is to adopt an attitude of lifelong learning. Your goal each day should be to
learn something new. As you encounter new people and situations, look for the wisdom that can be
extracted from them. Particularly in areas where we believe we made a "mistake", seek to uncover
the lesson. There is always a lesson to be learned.

When we believe we know all there is to know, that is when we are in dangerous territory. When we
think we know all, then we stop learning from the people and situations in our path. When we stop
looking for the lessons, we begin to blame things external to ourselves for the pain we experience
instead of seeking to learn whatever we need to know for our life's journey.

6. Love
Love is the sixth key to happiness. I am not talking about having a significant other in your life who
loves you. I'm talking about having love inside of you that is just bursting out of you to touch others.
Unconditional love is a concept we all strive for-unfortunately, most of us are looking to receive it
rather than give it. You are truly fortunate and blessed when you have the unconditional love of
someone-whether it's your life partner, your mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather,
foster parent, friend or puppy!

Truly unconditional love is rare and a gift to be cherished. However, ask yourself the question, how
many times have you extended unconditional love? Do you have unconditional love for your fellow
human beings? This is the kind of love that will lead to happiness. It doesn't matter if that special
someone doesn't love you back, it's what's in YOUR heart that matters. Are you someone who only
loves as much as you feel you are being loved in returned? That certainly isn't unconditional! If you
are seeking love in your life, then you must be loving in order to attract the love you seek. This will
lead to the ultimate happiness-loving, expecting nothing in return. Try it.

7. Contribution
The last key to happiness is contribution. This is a combination of knowing and following one's life
purpose. When people understand their divine purpose in this life and then go about fulfilling that
purpose, they are making an awesome contribution to the good of mankind. Having meaningful
work and leaving a legacy is an important key to happiness. When we do the work we were meant to
do, we touch lives. It doesn't matter whether one's purpose is to clean the public restrooms or to
find the cure for AIDS, following your divine purpose will bring about a strong life fulfillment that
cannot be experienced any other way. Contribution is critical to happiness.

Implementing these seven keys to happiness in one's life is not an easy task. Personal coaching can
be helpful as you are attempting to change some old, harmful habits into more productive,
happiness-inducing ones. Jack Canfield says, "Of all the things successful people do to accelerate
their trip down the path to success, participating in some kind of coaching program is at the top of
the list. A coach will help you clarify your vision and goals, support you through your fears, keep you
focused, confront your unconscious behaviors and old patterns, expect you to do your best, help you
live by your values, show you how to earn more while working less, and keep you focused on your
core genius." Why not give it a try?

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:11
posted:5/28/2012
language:English
pages:5