False. WHen things change, I will be happy. True. When I am happy, things will change. Kyle CeaseTrue or false: If I’m successful, then I’ll have happiness.

If you answer true, you have chosen – and it is a choice – to allow your circumstances to dictate when and if you’ll ever be happy. And let’s face it, there’s a lot that can go wrong or simply off track in a day. If you’re waiting for everything to be perfect, you may find yourself waiting a long time. You are giving away your power and essentially, your joy, because you’ve made SUCCESS the cause and HAPPINESS the effect. This quickly turns into a belief system where happiness is dependent on our circumstances. We start thinking and believing “I’ll be happy WHEN… I get married. I get divorced. My partner is happy. The kids are older. I earn a 6 figure income. I lose 20 lbs. I graduate. I buy a home. I have a child. I move. Etc.” The problem is, sometimes those  “when” statements never happen.

What if we turn it around: If I’m happy, then I’ll be successful.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot more empowering! When you choose HAPPINESS as the cause, you empower yourself to be happy regardless of the circumstances or your environment. You put the power in your own hands to change your world and the world around you. You are giving yourself permission to be happy first, which in turn, causes the effect you desire: success!

We all think we want success but what we truly want is happiness.  Charles F. Haanel breaks it down simply in The Master Key System:

What you and I desire, what we all desire, what everyone is seeking, is Happiness and Harmony. If we can be truly happy we shall have everything the world can give. If we are happy ourselves we can make others happy.  (Charles F Haanel)

The key to happinessWhat is Happiness

But what is happiness? And what can you do daily to increase happiness in your life? Shawn Achor, one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success, defines happiness as “…the joy you feel moving towards your potential.”

Achor’s research showed that your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed. Furthermore, happy people are:

  • Less Stressed 23%
  • Better Health 39%
  • More Productive 31%
  • Positive Social Interaction 34%
  • Salespeople increase their performance by 37%

Achor’s research also showed that there are small, simple habits that we can do daily to bring about more happiness and success.

To begin with, happiness is a choice and a mindset. It takes practice and training your brain, just like you would your body. The 21-day Mental diet is a great practice of focusing on the positive using the law of substitution: We cannot think about 2 things at the same time. If a negative thought enters your mind ~ try to think about God instead. If that is too big a reach at the time, use any fond memory or other pleasant thought. Jesus, the Master Teacher, said, “Resist not evil” ~ meaning turn from it and think about something else instead.

Increase happiness with five daily tasks

Here are five things to increase your happiness and ultimately, your success:

  1. Gratitude.
    List at least three NEW things daily you are grateful for. It could be a loved one, a job, a vehicle, or simply opening your eyes in the morning to live another day.
  2. Kindness Consciousness.
    As you notice kindness in the world, the world seems more kind. And don’t wait to see kindness, practice kindness daily. Pay for someone’s toll, or coffee, do the dishes at work, send an email of gratitude, or sing someone’s praises on social media.
  3. Sit.
    Meditation helps you slow down, get still, and undo the negative effects of multitasking. As we focus on our body and breath, we learn to be present and do one thing at a time. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time. It also decreases stress and raises happiness.
  4. Exercise.
    MOVE. There is a mind-body connection that improves learning when we move our bodies!
  5. Relive good memories through journaling.
    As you think back over the last 24 hours to describe one positive experience, you stop thinking of your productivity and “to do” list and begin to focus on meaningful experiences, relationships, and interactions.

I’ve been doing these five things with daily consistency for several weeks now. The results have been amazing in my life! I had a friend recently commented on how happy I seem. And I was able to tell her that I truly am happy. My relationships have improved. I’m seeing more kindness in the world. I’m relaxed. AND, I’m more productive. I find tasks getting done with ease and almost effortlessly.  I’m quicker to smile and to laugh. I’m making eye contact and have great conversations.

If you’re happy and you know it

I leave you with a song I remember singing with ENTHUSIASM as a child. Here are the base concepts:

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)

If you are happy and you know it LYRICS https://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/happy.html

If you are happy and you know it  VIDEO: https://youtu.be/13wd8KvOt58

May your face show your happiness and may your day be filled with clapping, stomping, and shouting! Hurray!

With love, kindness, and gratitude,

Lori Ann