We routinely hear about people who are searching for happiness. We even talk about the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Does this mean that we have to find happiness? We might think that making a lot of money, finding the perfect mate, living in a fantastic house or perhaps losing weight will make us happy.
Or is happiness something that we can create within ourselves?
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book “The How of Happiness”, happiness is in our power to fashion for ourselves. Instead of chasing happiness, we can create it by changing our habits. She encourages us to look for happiness in how we behave, what we think, and the types of goals we set for ourselves.
There are several helpful quizzes included in the book designed to not only evaluate our current level of happiness, but also to help us start creating more happiness in our lives. I’m working on two of these goals for myself right now:
- Savoring special moments throughout the day, from noticing the pink sky at the very moment before dawn as I head out on an early morning run, to listening to the raindrops fall on my deck outside.
- Doing something for other people, sort of planned random acts of kindness. When we do something thoughtful for someone else, perhaps calling a friend, or bringing flowers from the garden to a neighbor, or even smiling and saying a cheery hello to a stranger on the street – it fosters our own happiness.
Believe it or not, it makes me happy to know that happiness is present within ourselves, just waiting to be noticed and appreciated. I’ll end with a quote that I love:
Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind. Alice Meynell