Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Take Charge of Your Happiness...

Sitting in a conference one day, I caught an alarming statistic:
Adults smile 15 times a day while
children smile 400 times a day.

What a stark contrast that is. We can come up with all kinds of reasons…or can I call them excuses…that adults would choose to smile less. Yet, if I am truthful with you, I would tell you that

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

In thinking about how to help people take charge of their own happiness, I thought I would share a few simple but profound points from an email I received from a friend and colleague. I’ve added some personal observations as well. Forgive me if you have read this before, but for those of you that haven’t, I encourage you to take some time to ponder.

1) Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Those numbers don’t tell the real story.

2) Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3) Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop & dull living’. Experience new things...get out.

4) Enjoy the simple things. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. Stop to smell the flowers. Get up to see the sun rise. Listen to a child giggle.

5) Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath...

6) The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. Life isn’t fair but it’s still good.

7) Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8) Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9) Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country if you must, but NOT to where the guilt is. No matter how you feel…get up, dress up and show up.

10) Tell the people you love that you love them…at every opportunity.

You’ve heard it said before…life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. What’s keeping you from smiling more and taking charge of your happiness? Start today by embracing one of the above suggestions and see if you feel better. Take charge of your happiness. Let me see you smile!

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