The journey to explore happiness is going to be a never ending one- I can see that- as there is so much great material out there- like the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin that I stumbled upon yesterday in NYC at the Anthropologie store. The author tells her story about how she decides to expand happiness without changing her life by moving away or quitting her job or anything- just working with the life she has to make it happier. I am looking forward to reading the full story.
I have noticed that there are many different theories- and it doesn’t matter what you believe- but what I take away from it all is that if we all focused a little on being happier ourselves, that would naturally extend to others and the world would just plain be a happier place to live!
Also, I think there is a bit of a tight rope to walk- so happiness is very purposeful. I agree with those in the camp of staying present and enjoying what is happening right now, in every moment no matter what it is, as much as possible. I believe this can be done more often than we think, even with things we do not ordinarily equate with happy times, just by actually looking to see what could be good. We may not be happy about the “thing” that we are doing, or what is happening, but we can decide to give it our best and to have gratitude for something. The other part of the balancing act is, I believe, to always have a tiny something to look forward to built into your days. Something that is a treat for you in some way. It also helps to have bigger things to look forward to, too, that are exciting to you. The challenge is that it is up to you to create. And the absolute blast is that it is up to you to create!
The balance is to have a good dose of both, I believe, things I look forward to and really paying attention to what is happening right now and pulling every morsel of happiness out of it. Worry and anxiety over what MIGHT happen or our PERCEPTION of what did happen is generally not useful. I love asking myself Byron Katie’s question “Is it true?” when ever the worries start to seep in, then I turn to what I am grateful for in my life. This line of thinking helps me to stay on the path to happiness and enjoying as many minutes of my days as I possibly can. It is a constant balancing act, but to me, it is well worth the effort!