Keys to Happier Living

It is difficult to pick out just one characteristic that exemplifies happiness. There are many facets of happiness that vary with each individual. Each one of us potentially has our own unique ideas on what happiness is, and therefore, how to implement a life full of contentment.

There has been a lot of research on the pitfalls of seeking externally for joy. While fortune, fame, and successful careers can complement well-being, depending on them for authentic happiness is a lost cause.

Genuine happiness comes from within. It is important to remember that whenever we ponder over the idea of our own happiness. We have the tools to seek happiness internally and create it for ourselves. There are naturally going to be external factors that add to it, but quite often these factors are more based on momentary pleasures and not the cultivation of long-lasting contentment.

These keys are focused on the capabilities we have within ourselves to create contentment. We are the key to the happiest life we can live. We will need to include others as well, but it starts with us!

1. Consciousness

consciousness

Being Happy Every Day

The idea of consciousness incorporates mindfulness, awareness, presence, and attention. Being in a conscious state means that one is not dreaming, rather is completely present in the moment.

Much of the suffering we experience is a result of events that have occurred in the past or have yet to occur in the future. We carry scars and pain from the past, unable and unwilling to let them go. We also fret about imagined scenarios that have yet to take place.

Being conscious, aware, mindful, and present is the only way to enjoy each moment to the fullest. It is the only way to breed contentment with the lives we lead. Conscious living is not reactive, rather it is proactive.

2. Respect

respect

 

In order to be completely content with life we must respect ourselves as well as other people. Acceptance for ourselves and others is crucial. When we reject ourselves and other people we open up the possibility of a pessimistic perspective. This kind of perspective is counter-productive to being happy, and it is difficult to uproot this kind of perspective once it has been firmly planted.

3. Endurance

endurance

Knowing your Limits

To endure is to persevere. It encompasses both persistence as well as patience. Endurance is imperative for those inevitable adverse situations that we will encounter in life.

By skillfully accepting these roadblocks and being with them in the present moment (patience) we are enabling ourselves to pursue ways in which to overcome them as opposed to allowing them to conquer us (persistence).

In this way happiness isn’t dependent upon obstructing negative baggage from occurring. It behooves us to experience these hardships, accept them, and endure. This solidifies the ability to be genuinely content both in optimal and imperfect situations.

4. Attitude

attitude

Overcome Negative Thinking

Our attitudes determine how we will approach each day. They affect our perspectives and our outlooks in life.

We have a choice of whether or not we want to view life from an attitude of optimism, enthusiasm, and trust or from an attitude of pessimism, fear, and doubt. Situations don’t dictate the attitude we adopt; we are in control.

5. Teach

teach

Quotes for Teachers

We all have the ability to advise and share with others. We don’t need a formal teacher’s education to educate other people in our lives.

If we desire authentic happiness then we have a responsibility to be a leader in our communities. This doesn’t require us to orate from a podium and lead masses of people on a world-changing crusade. It compels us to lead by example. Show family members, friends, co-workers, youth, and people in our communities how to be kind, how to be compassionate, and how to love.

We will be a lot happier, and the world will be a lot better place when we take the time to share our knowledge with others. Even if it only influences one person it can have a lasting impact on our connected contentment.

6. Interconnect

interconnect

Positive Thinking

Whether we want to believe it or not we are all interconnected. Everything we do has the potential of influencing other people in our communities and often all over the world.

Because of this it is necessary that we reach out to other people and establish social connections. Our happiness thrives with social connection. We have plenty of opportunities to engage with others on a daily basis. We should take advantage of these moments because what we have to share with others is important. A simple friendly gesture such as a smile or “Hello” can have an enormous impact.

It is important to remember that interconnection isn’t predicated on boosting the ego. Interconnection is bigger than that. It is about being altruistic to our fellow beings.

7. Nurture

nurture

Knowing your Limits

After forming relationships we need to nurture them. We do this by being a support system for the people we care about. By nurturing the relationships we have with the people we love and care about we are solidifying the well-being inside of us.

We also have a duty to serve others in our communities. We don’t merely look out for the people we have relationships with, but also for strangers and people who need help. There are always ways in which we can serve others. There is no reason for us to hesitate lending someone a helping hand, no matter how big or small the deed.

8. Gratitude

gratitude

Practice Gratitude

If we really want to be happier than all we need to do is show more gratitude. There are so many things we can be grateful for. The options are limitless if we take the time to reflect on what we have.

Not only should each of us take the time to be thankful for the people in our lives and the items we have accumulated, but we also need to take time to appreciate ourselves. It doesn’t mean we need to compare ourselves to others, but we can relish the fact that we are all doing the best we can.

9. Jump

jump

Positive Thoughts

This key isn’t limited to jumping, rather it implies that we have to be active in some capacity if we want to experience complete contentment. We aren’t meant to sit around all day in a state of idleness. Finding time each day to be active is the essential for our happiness!

10. Objectives

objectives

Set Smart Goals

What is our intention each day? What are our goals? What is our purpose? These aren’t questions that require concrete answers, but we should have an idea of what our objectives are in life. It could be as simple as being happy each day. After we determine what we want, then we can take steps to reach our targets.

An important side note is that goal setting doesn’t impede our ability to live presently. We will set goals and then plan accordingly to achieve them, but we won’t live unconsciously in the future alongside them.

Yes- Saying yes doesn’t imply we will become yes men and women. Saying yes entails opening up our minds and bodies to the possibilities that present themselves to us. It encompasses all of the keys on this list. We won’t agree with everyone we meet or every circumstance we face. This would be too much to ask.

But we can accept the lives we have created for ourselves. We can also find strength in ourselves to tolerate the difficulties we confront. We can and should adjust our lots in life when transformations are necessary to our well-being. This paradigm shift begins with saying yes to the present moment and then moving forward when it is time.

What happens when we are Conscious, when we Recognize, when we Endure, when we focus on our Attitudes, when we Teach, when we Interconnect, when we Nurture, when we show Gratitude, when we Jump, when we set clear Objectives, and when we say Yes? Then we are simply CREATING JOY for ourselves and the world around us!

ByMike Oppland

Mike Oppland is a professional basketball player, basketball coach, life coach, teacher, and writer. He currently lives and works in Luxembourg. Mike is co-founder and co-director of xpertcoaching.com along with his twin brother Dan. He loves spending time with his family, friends, girlfriend Vera, and their dog Donald.

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