The Greatest Source of Happiness

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”

—Linus Pauling, 20th Century American Chemist and Author

Image of a boy curiosity

Image from Flickr by Mohammad Abdullah

Rate yourself from one (low) to ten (high) as to your general level of curiosity.

Virtually everyone I ask to do this exercise places themselves in the six to ten range. A few even go beyond ten, to see what happens when they break the rules.

We humans are seekers, always looking around the corner or over the hill to discover what lies beyond our own knowledge and view of the world.

Consider our historic and current explorers.

Examine the risks we as a species have been willing to take to feed this craving, the boost of dopamine, and the feeling of happiness it provides.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you boost your happiness index by becoming a more curious explorer?

Please reply to this post with the actions you plan to take.

 

A Happy Family is but an Early Heaven

“A happy family is but an early Heaven.”

—John Browning, 19th Century Firearms Designer

Image of a house under a rainbow

For many people – myself included – home and family represent a sanctuary of safety, peace, and happiness. It is a place we expect and usually find security, community, and the love we seek to give and receive.

How much time and attention do you actually give to your family during the work week, as well as on the weekend?

How often do you share meals together without phones, play board games, or engage in deep and meaningful discussions?

Far too many of us operate as ships that pass in the night. We only experience brief moments of togetherness, more often under the same roof, but not together.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you experience far more “Heaven on Earth” by making your family a more prominent priority each and every day?

To the Wrongs that Need Resistance

“To the wrongs that need resistance, to the rights that need assistance, to the future in the distance, give yourself.”

—Carrie Chapman Catt, 20th Century American Women’s Suffrage Leader

Image of Carrie Chapman Catt & her quote

I love the idea that time is the Coin of Life. How we spend this precious resource, and those with which we spend it, makes all the difference in the world.

Fundamental to living a happy life is the need for purpose and having a reason to leap out of bed each morning. In other words, what are we giving ourselves to each day?

EXERCISE:

Consider these questions as you create and pursue your future:

What “wrongs” in your world need resisting?
What “rights” or causes need your assistance?

Feel free to reply to this post regarding the areas of life you intend to give more of yourself.

Small Joys versus Big Happiness

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”

—Pearl S. Buck, 20th Century American Novelist

Happiness is big business. Whether it’s that new home, new car, or new body we want – or even that deal on Amazon Prime – we are bombarded with what the world suggests will make us happy.

Deep down, we all know the temporary boost we experience with these “happiness events” quickly fade, and it is more often the simple pleasures that make our lives far more joyful.

EXERCISE:

Please consider sending me a list of 5-10 of your simple pleasures, and do your best to incorporate them into your days.

If you would like a bit of prompting, consider review Andrea Reiser’s Huffington Post article titled 101 Simple Pleasures to Boost Happiness.

 

Happiness Lies in the Joy of Achievement

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Image of a man surrounded by bubbles

Image from Unsplash by Brandon Morgan

If I could go back in time, and Roosevelt had asked me for coaching on this statement, I would have encouraged a bit of editing.

What if it instead read, “Happiness lies in the joy of creative effort and the thrill of achievement”?

I suggest that the time we spend in our creative efforts could comprise the bulk of our days, whereas the thrill of achievement is often more finite and short-lived.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you use and apply your most creative and joyful efforts to realize the thrilling achievements and happiness you desire?

Seeking Happiness Outside Ourselves

“Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.”

—Tibetan Proverb

How would you like a 10% return on your investments year after year?

Most people would be pretty happy with those results, except, perhaps, for some venture capitalists!

How does that relate to today’s quote? 10% Happier by Dan Harris is a book I highly recommend. Working on himself through his meditation and mindfulness practice, Harris tamed the voice in his head, reduced stress, and still kept his edge.

Meditation has allowed me to create far more sunny skies, because I’ve realized that we create our own weather through mindful self-awareness.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up Dan’s book, or another resource on the value of daily meditation to help brighten your world.

I highly recommend the CALM app if you are just beginning this practice.

To Drift is to Be in Hell

“To drift is to be in Hell. To be in Heaven is to Steer.”

—George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright

Image of hands on the steering wheen

Image from Unsplash

Consider how you feel when you read these phrases:

  • I feel stuck
  • I’ve plateaued in my career
  • My life has no direction
  • I’m lost
  • I’m not getting anywhere
  • I’m bored

Try on these phrases instead:

  • I’m excited about the day ahead!
  • I can’t wait to get there!
  • I feel passionate and purposeful each day
  • I am working toward my goal of …
  • My focus and efforts will get me there!

EXERCISE:

Where do you feel adrift, personally or professionally?

How can you experience greater happiness by steering and guiding your life in a more heavenly direction?

Happier Days

“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”

—Ritu Ghatourey, East Indian Author

Image of Wayne Dyer

Image from Awaken.com

Wayne Dyer, who passed away on August 29, 2015, was an American philosopher, self-help author, and motivational speaker.

His life was a testament to his own journey of personal, professional, and spiritual growth. In many ways he was a true seeker of wisdom, and did more than many others in his field to pay forward his own lesson to millions of people, through various talk shows, countless speeches, and PBS specials.

One of his key teachings is that we are all connected to a divine source. By tapping into that divinity we can all live better and more richly rewarding lives.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom would giving more of your heart instead of your mind become the source of greater happiness, and perhaps make Wayne Dyer smile in his ongoing divine journey?

Some Cause Happiness

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

—Oscar Wilde, 19th Century Irish Playwright and Poet

Image of two women smiling

Image from Flickr by Christopher Connell

Who would you want to be with if you were stuck in an elevator for an hour or longer?

What one person would you want to be with if you were stranded on a deserted island?

If someone calls you at home just as you head to bed for the night, who would you most want that caller to be?

EXERCISE:

Examine the qualities and characteristics of the people you identified. How does your happiness index improve by the thought of their company?

What work may be needed on your part to have others put you on their list of special people?