Happiness. Sometimes we feel that we got it, but then it slips away from us.
We often claim that we know what makes us happy.
If you’re in your late twenties like me, you’re likely to have identified many things that would make you happy: to be precise, things that you don’t have or own yet but that will make you very happy once you do. In other words, you focus your happiness on solving for the lack of something in your life. If you take a small step back, you will be able to notice that you feel like this because of pressure from our external environment: our culture, our relationships and at last but not least the great job done by advertising agencies and marketing in general.
When we finally get to own that whatever-thing we were craving for so long, we are so happy. We are happy dancing all over the place. We are filled with joy. Then, time goes by and owning that thing has become part of our normality, and slowly but rapidly at the same time, our happiness fades away.
True and long lasting happiness comes from within. What this mantra means is that if you want to feel happy and create a life long happier living, you need to work on it. It will honestly not happen by miracle, overnight. The creation of a sustainable happy living is something that you cultivate and nourish, day after day.
Cultivate your happy living.
You need to be honest with yourself. Challenge yourself by pushing your thought barriers. Ask yourself these questions ‘What does happiness mean to me?’ , ‘Why does happiness mean X to me?’ ‘Why will Y contribute to me getting closer to X?’, ‘What makes me sure of that?’, ‘Could there be any other reason?’. The more specific your definition of happiness is, the better. If you’re not clear on what happiness means to you, or if thinking about happiness makes your mind spin towards zillions things, how could you possibly be happy? For example, could you really have a 7 figure and fulfilling job, the house you dreamt for all your life, the most supportive and passionate romantic relationship of your lifetime, 4 dogs, loving children, a Porsche and that classy outfit, all at the same time in your life? Quite unlikely. Why did you think this whole list could make you happy? Long lasting happiness is much more that ticking all the boxes of whatsoever bucket list. If you’re not used to self-reflection or self-questioning, I totally get that it is not trivial. I have designed a Happiness Activator workbook (it’s free) that will guide you through this process of mapping out precisely your definition of happiness and the elements associated with the state of happiness that matter the most to you.
Nourish your happy living.
With fast growing over-busy schedules, it is not easy to take the time to reflect, stop and breathe. We also have to retrain our brain so as it doesn’t focus on things we don’t have, but rather on things we have. For some people, this is easy to do, for some it takes longer. When you start focusing on the things you have (or own), that’s where you begin to be appreciative. Everything counts and that’s where the phrase ‘count your blessings’ start to make sense. Every moment is lived. There’s an important thing to mention here. Happy living doesn’t mean that you’ll feel happy every single day of the rest of your life. It will be foolish to assume this where there are so many things we can’ t control. Grief for example. As human beings, we don’t get to have only one feeling at a time: instead we can access a wide spectrum of emotions. It is fine to be sad, feel under the weather or cry. However, when you have created space for a happy living , you’ll have created a supportive environment for yourself, within yourself. You’ll be able to access resources to help you go through rough life patches, and when the time is right, you’ll go back to a happier living with the right balance on your spectrum of emotions.
Capture your happy – the learning phase.
My sight is the one of my five senses that I feel the most in touch with and it is the way I perceive things first. It has an impact on my learning style and in ways that I live too. For example, in my flat, I like to keep souvenirs of joyful moments (holidays with my partner for example). In the same manner, I love to remind visually myself of the things that I am appreciative for in my life: they are the eternal reminders that happiness comes from within and that you nourish your happiness by being appreciative of the moment. This is why I’ve created the 7 Days Happiness Challenge. I want to help you capture your happy. Accept my guidance and let me show you that if you take a few minutes a day to really look at things, you’ll see reminders of your true happiness all around you.
For 7 days, I’ll give you a short sentence to which you will respond by a picture you’ve taken during that day and that illustrates what the sentence means to you. For example, Day 1 could be “show me a picture of a type of food that makes you happy”. There’s no need to overthink it. Any response is perfect as long as it is true to you. The Happiness Photo Challenge is for you if you want to:
- Start noticing things you already have that could make you happy every day
- Be in a better mood
- Become more optimistic
- Become more compassionate
- Reconnect with the little happy kiddo you once were
- Feel surrounded by love and support