In the previous article of the Get Happiness series, Be Happy Now, we learned that the momentum of happy people needs only a gentle nudge and steer to keep it going. In this fourth article we’ll explore what happy people do to start off in their happiness and how they get the momentum on a roll. What can you do, right now, to build you own momentum so that you can get happiness too?
It’s my life
- Happy people see life as their own master performance with themselves as the conductor. What’s more it’s a live gig and everything is ready for them. They believe that the time for contemplating, practicing, nerves and procrastination has passed. They have full control over how they interpret what they perceive and they act in the way they choose because they understand the power living right now. We all live in a reality of our own construction. The performance of your life is NOW, so are you going to make beautiful music, or settle for a terrible noise? Let’s get on with it; let’s get happiness.
- Happy people are life artists. They know that every performance will be different. They don’t believe there is a single way that the world is — no single reality that must exist. Instead, they know that they will create this reality, in this moment. They also know that it’s the improvisations, variations and even ‘flaws’ that make each performance unique and interesting. These variations change mere technique into an art form. So, if you want to get happiness, are you ready to be one of life’s artists?
I have Everything I need
- Happy people only have expectations of themselves. The world doesn’t owe them anything, instead, they owe the world something. They’ve stopped daydreaming and they’ve started DOING things, long ago. They take full responsibility and control of their own lives as the foundation of their own happiness. Surely it’s already too late to be sitting around and waiting for somebody to do something someday. ‘Someday’ is now and the ‘somebody’ the world needs is YOU. You are important and you are needed, so you need to mobilise. Ask yourself, have you developed a backbone yet, or are you still living with just a wishbone? You know in your heart that it takes some backbone to get happiness.
- Happy people work from an infinite toolbox. They make use of any and all resources that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort. They don’t limit themselves to working slavishly through Plan A as first intended to get happiness. Instead, they play from their intentions and goals and let the performance emerge as it moves on and as new resources present themselves. Their life is more like improvised jazz than a structured baroque orchestral piece by Bach. To get happiness, can you play from ear and set aside the sheet music?
- Happy people embrace change and growth. Far from avoiding change, happy people seek it out. Curiosity, inquisitiveness, inventiveness and restlessness are key drivers for happy people. Can you acknowledge this right now and start taking steps? Will you embrace the changes that are happening all around you and will you position yourself for lasting success?
- Happy people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They don’t avoid life’s ‘inconvenient truths’. We all know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. So, for example, they would rather have an uncomfortable conversation today than sweep it under the rug, putting ongoing trust at risk for the future. Life in a bad place is no comfort, especially compared to the joy that could be had by moving on. Are you ready to act and get happiness?
Just Do It
- Happy people know that life is short. We tend to think that we have more time than we do. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t. (Check out the Procrastinator’s Bible Series for ideas on how to break the cycle and get started)
- Happy individuals are busy being happy now. They know better than to wait to live perfectly in the lives they want to live. Life goes on whether you accept the fact, or not. How you live it in the moment determines how happy you are. Happy people live in the moment, but dream in the future. They have hopes, dreams and goals; they have wants and aspirations, too but they don’t allow themselves to get caught up and lost in them. You can’t live life if all you’re doing is looking towards the future. You’ll miss the only time that things actually matter or exist: the present. The present, the immediate moment is the only moment that you can actually live in. The rest are only memories and dream. They are NOT our reality.
- Happy people execute their plans today. It much better to get going, than to a great plan executed someday. Tomorrow may never come and there is infinite opportunity to be happy today. Don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, if these reactions are based on a fear of change. Erase sentences that begin with “I’ll be happy when…” Take action here, now, today because that’s where progress happens.
- Happy people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is the place where dreams go to die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort to get happiness, because they know that stretching themselves is essential for their success. Of course they do see the ‘scary things’, just like the rest of us, but don’t back away from them. They don’t let fear define their lives in their pursuit to get happiness.
- Happy people harness their fears. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be. Fear lives in the future and may well resonate with things from your past. But if you’re in the ‘now’, right here, right now, fear cannot exist. The future hasn’t happened, those dreaded outcomes that we fear are NOT present. So, why fear them right now? Cross those bridges if, and when, you encounter them. There is no benefit in living them out, now, in your imagination. Are you able to push through your discomfort to get happiness?
- Setbacks strengthen happy people. Everyone gets knocked down but eventually happy people stand up taller than ever were before. Like the old wisdom has it, ‘Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see what’s in front of you with a clearer vision.’ So, like happy people, don’t settle. If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. If you want to get happiness, you will need to bounce back and take action and keep on going.
- Happy people bounce (back). They know that all things are possible with creativity and they refuse to quit. They don’t agonise over setbacks but, instead, they focus on finding a solution. Happy people make use of whatever resources they have to get past obstacles and get on with living.
It’s all about Change
- The happiest people embrace life and don’t fear death. They don’t live their lives trying to avoid it. They see death as inevitable, as part of living and accept it with equanimity. They may not be able to control death, but they know they can control their current lives up until that point. They know they’re only mortal and having this knowledge and accepting it fuels their every step.
- Happy people embrace impermanence. They accept that ‘death’ can be physical but can also be conceptual in nature. They figure that if change is inevitable (and it is!), then endings, and new beginnings, are too. The ending of one phase is the natural beginning of another. Are you ready to cross the threshold into a happier life… to get happiness?
- Happy people are strong enough to let go of what’s not working for them and wise enough to aim for what’s right. Letting go does not need to depend upon the next thing coming along before letting go. If something is not right for you now, simply let it go. You know it’s serving you badly and ultimately it’s hindering your chances to get happiness. The right thing will come along soon enough you must let go of the old to make way for the new. Once the old way is gone let it be gone, never let it come back. The way ahead is forward.
- Happy people know every outcome is a ‘good’ one. There are no failures, just results, or outcomes. It all hangs on how you view those outcomes. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. Learn what you can from what has transpired and continue to move forward.
- Happy People’s Lives are an excursion, not a destination. None of us know what the future holds and where the road ahead is leading. Yet, here we are, on the road, taking the journey. So, we might as well enjoy where we are today and take it for what it’s worth. We can continue to advance one step at a time and we will win in the end. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to moments of glorious triumph and some disappointment. Nevertheless, there is only one real option… live life and get happiness.
So, are you ready to be dynamic and get happiness? Start with these three actions right now: