For some time now, I have been practicing happiness. Did you know you can practice it? This winter, I even took this happiness course (from Yale!).
Some things I’ve learned…
- We’re usually wrong about what will actually make us happy (e.g., money)
- We’re also really, really certain we’re right (seriously, MONEY)
- Only TEN PERCENT of our happiness is based on circumstance
- The rest is hereditary and/or can be improved with practice
Some ways to practice…
- Gratitude journal (recalling positive things at the end of your day)
- Savoring (noticing positive things as they happen)
- Considering others (acts of kindness, friendship, love)
And here’s a bonus tip specific to me thanks to my Enneagram number (4) and its tendency (to wallow in my feelings)
- Do something. Especially something ordinary like the dishes.
See what I mean? It’s a practice. I especially love the savoring thing because a lot of wonderful things happen while we’re waiting for the big, important dreams.
I’ve wished on a lot of shooting stars lately when it comes to my writing dream, and the universe is giving me a lot of radio silence in return, along with outright rejection.
Weirdly: hope floats. So far, the silence is only giving me more space and room to believe. I wake up trusting something good may come. I go to sleep certain it will happen later if not now.
I woke up Monday morning wanting to write about this—how I keep believing despite all evidence against my wildest dreams. I wanted to write about how I’m probably wrong, anyway, about whether the things I think I want will make me happy and that therefore I’m looking for happiness in those better places: the journal, the savoring, the people who love me most. And I knew that I would write about it all….”AS LONG AS I HAVE NO CAVITIES AT MY DENTIST APPOINTMENT TODAY.”
Yep! That was my happiness bet with myself: If I don’t have cavities, I’ll feel like writing. Welcome to my reality.
I didn’t get the post finished Monday, but I started it because I did not have any cavities, and I COUNTED THIS A WIN. It hasn’t always gone that way for me at the dentist even though I floss every single day so help me God. And it hasn’t always gone the best or easiest way for me in other things, either.
We do everything we can. It doesn’t always turn out like we want.
The only thing that always works is practice. And noticing the happiness we already have.