Archive for February, 2014

Happiness – nature or nurture?

February 18, 2014
It's all a journey

Where does happiness come from?

Some people naturally have a brighter outlook than others; they see the positive side in life’s opportunities. Others prefer to focus on life’s problems, seeing the negative possibilities first, even when they’re unlikely to occur.

Those with a negative orientation can alter their outlook by being aware of their internal dialogue, and questioning their immediate negative response. Some may say ‘assume the worst and you won’t be disappointed’ but we know that our thoughts direct our actions, so a negative mindset will not get the results we want.

A negative outlook may offer some protection against disappointment, but sometimes we just have to believe in ourselves. We may open ourselves to the possibility of some emotional pain but the upside is far better – being healthier, happier and having more ‘good luck’ come our way.

I believe it’s better to have a positive outlook and occasionally be disappointed than go through life under a dark cloud. If a negative outlook has become a habit then learn to internally challenge your fearful thoughts and negative assumptions.

We create our own world through our attitudes, perceptions and reactions. We do have the ability to choose. A positive outlook in life creates a sense of wellbeing and happiness.

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Are we happy yet?

February 6, 2014
Just want to be happy?

Just want to be happy?

What is happiness? Why do so many people say that they ‘just want to be happy’ but don’t do anything to achieve it or even understand what it means to them?

The most useful explanation of happiness is, in my opinion, centred on being satisfied, content and fulfilled rather than ‘happy’ in its elusive, bursting-with-excitement, highly-charged emotional sense. It has depth and deliberation to it. It encompasses living a meaningful life, utilising your talents and time, living with mindfulness and purpose.

Happiness is enhanced when you feel part of a community and when you love and feel loved. It offers resilience to minor setbacks, dealing with annoying people, and handling problems with a level head. Life can’t always be exciting and dealing with the mundane is easier when our days are filled with meaningful and purposeful activities that inspire us.

Happiness involves a willingness to learn and stretch and grow, which sometimes involves some uncertainty and doubt. It’s often not the easiest option, rarely ‘business as usual’. Happiness is deliberate. It requires acting on life, not merely reacting to it. It’s not a temporary exhilaration or a sensual rush, it’s far more enduring … although those who live by the maxim ‘Carpe diem’ (seize the day) will experience more of these emotions than those with a negative disposition.

Are you chasing life or are you sitting back waiting for it to find you?