Are you happy? I bet you had to stop and think about that for a second – or two. Being “happy” is a shape-shifting emotional state that can change – well, in the time it takes you to read this. The real question is “do you have a happy life?” Whether we cloak it in phrases like “attaining professional success” or “being emotionally fulfilled”, most of us are really just in pursuit of a happy life.
The good news is that about 37% of folks do say they have happy lives. And, they have a few things in common.
Have a routine. Want to know which folks say their lives are “very happy”? Surprise – it’s often the folks we probably would describe as having boring lives. They are actually pretty darn happy! Although epic adventures, dangerous exploits, and frequent plot twists make for awesome movies, they don’t translate so well in real life.
Whether it’s a daily work-out or a weekly date night, creating and following a regular routine lets you prioritize and take action on the things that are important to you.
Don’t be afraid to take emotional risks. Whether it’s personal or professional, no one enjoys being disappointed, rejected, or failing. It sucks being turned down for a promotion, having a relationship go south or being on the losing end of a competition.
But, what sucks even more is when fear of being disappointed, rejected or failing keeps us from even trying to achieve our dreams. Having a happy life doesn’t mean never having unhappy experiences.
Leave your expectations, good and bad, at the door. A lot of us think of happy people as folks who walk around with nothing but positive expectations. No. Those folks are called naive. Sometimes, it’s important to carry the lessons learned from the past into new situations.
The key is to not let your feelings, good or bad, about what you assume is going to happen override your pleasure in what actually is happening.
We may not be “happy” all the time…but having a “happy life” is very much within our reach.