Happiness is more than just a word to describe an emotional state – I believe it is life’s meaning. And, my life’s pursuit.
It affects all that we do and we should ask ourselves continuously what we can do to craft, inject and sustain more happiness into our lives.
2009 delivered a significant and unexpected change in my life. It made me realise that happiness involves ingredients that I can’t control, but with me as the chef I can control and create what I would like with whatever I have. With how little or how much I have in my ‘cupboard’ at any one time.
I like the following quote:
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ~David Brinkley
Something I like to remember as much in business as in life – things are always going to happen that we don’t ever expect to, but it how our unwritten contingency plans back up that reveal our true strength of character. And, happiness affects character.
I also think it’s important to differentiate between states of happiness: short- and long-term. If I were to chart my short-term happiness, it would look like the first graph below. Peaks of gratification, and troughs where I have to realign and be dynamic with my expectations.
If you haven’t watched the following TED Talk yet, it’s something for your weekend. Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness:
So, what is your version of happiness?
For me, I find my version every once in a while when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror… and smile back. A friend to myself. A literal visualisation of my happiness.