The Happiness Formula
What does it mean to you to be happy? There's a lot of searching these days for the elusive experience of "being happy" — where to get it, how to produce it, and even what it is.
But I'd like to let you in on a bit of a secret: happiness isn't reserved for a select few who are born with it. Happiness, you see, isn't something you can reach out and touch or store in the fridge and take a sip of when you need it. You cannot find happiness on a Hawaiian beach (indeed!) or in a flawless body. Even in the movies, Tom Cruise tries to sell us the idea of a perfect relationship. Yet, with images hitting you every day, it's tempting to believe that pleasure will come knocking when you have the latest automobile, the nicest clothes, and a fancy home. It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you only find the proper person, they will arrive with a box of happiness connected to their hip. But all of this accomplishes is persuade you that you can find happiness outside of yourself. And this is where you deviate. Because the truth is that happiness is just a byproduct of designing and living a life that works for you, a life that you enjoy – whatever that may be. Happiness is derived from doing what you want, where you want to do it, and with people, you want to do it.
You see, happiness begins with believing you have control over your life and expands as you make decisions that offer you a sense of well-being and contentment. Happiness comes from deciding that you *will* go to school for the next eight years if that's what it takes. That you *will* order your life till you can afford to relocate. And that YOU, not Bill and Hillary, decide who you hug, how much you smile, what music you listen to, and who you hang out with.
Happiness is about making the most significant decisions possible about who you spend your time with, how you make a living, how much you learn, and what you put into your body. Because happiness will show through when you feel good about the space you're in when you're among people you admire and respect, and they admire and respect you when you're working on a project that's meaningful to you. That is not a secret.
Decide today to quit seeking happiness and instead choose three things you enjoy doing to contribute to your sense of well-being and fulfillment. Make time for them every day if feasible, and at the very least once a week. It doesn't have to be for a long time; only 10 minutes a day can help you achieve the happiness you want. Guaranteed.
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