Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are you happy?


So are you? Happy? Big question, isn't it. Easy answer, though. You're either a happy person or you're not.

I think I'm a happy person, but that doesn't mean I'm happy 24/7. In fact sometimes I'm downright miserable. That's OK, though. Everyone has their ups and downs. If you're happy MOST of the time I think that qualifies you as happy.

Being happy is a good thing. No, it's a GREAT thing because happy people live longer. And not only do they have more years, they have healthier, more loving, more joyful, more productive years. The good news is, you can become a happier person. I recently found this article on the internet – 15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently and I agree with absolutely all of it. Take a look and see if you can apply them to your own life to make yourself happier. YOU CAN DO IT! (Thanks to The Purpose Fairy for some very wise words. You might also want to check out 15 Things You Should Give Up In Order To Be Happy.)


1. LOVE vs. FEAR. Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, FEAR less and LOVE a lot more.They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE.  Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it, knowing that this will make the situation even worse, but rather, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? and they go from there, focusing on the positive rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full no matter what happens to them.

3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to FORGIVE and FORGET, understanding that FORGIVENESS is  a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”Buddha

4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them. No matter if they talk to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a multi billion company, somehow they always seem make the person they are interacting with feel like there is something unique and special about them.
They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race. These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

5. MEANING vs. AMBITION.  They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because they get a sense of purpose by doing so. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” like Wayne Dyer puts it, and they care more about living a life full of meaning rather than, what in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.
The irony here is that most of the time they get both, success and meaning, just because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.

6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, but ratherevery time the behavior is present, even if it’s not that often, they know that by praising the person and the behavior, they will actually reinforce the positive behavior.
When a parent wants to make sure that his 7 years old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, he will make sure not to focus on the many times the child won’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but rather, every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent will praise him and his behavior and that is exactly how he will reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end geting the wanted results.

7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people will see PROBLEMS as CHALLENGES, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lies many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.

8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment and happiness in the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.
 ”Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”Buddha

9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.

10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. Theylove and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.
“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” Goethe

11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.

12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No no matter where they look, no matter where they are or with who, they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and theyexpress their gratitude for them all.

13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still having big dreams about the future.
“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.” Eckhart Tolle

14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.

15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMINGThey take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside forces for whatever it is that happens to you, you are in fact giving all your power away, and they choose to keep the power for themselves and taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.


If you're happy and you live in the neighbourhood I'd love to talk to you. I have an idea for a story featuring the 10 Happiest People in Muskoka and what makes them so darn happy. If you're a happy person, or you know someone who is, drop me a line. I'd love to chat.

39 comments:

  1. I think you can also define a 'happy' person as a 'contented' person.

    So many times I've thought how much easier life would be with a bit more money, a bit more time, a few more friends.....

    ...and yet, I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in. Add to this a loving family and friends I see regularly (and also not so much!) - yes, I think I can say I'm content.

    So many people (SO MANY!) don't have these things which we take for granted - we need to remember to count our blessings!

    And that new dress we fancied, or that swish car we coveted will one day be cast aside anyway - so being content with what you have seems to be one route to happiness!

    (and then there are the days when it's all rain and clouds and doom......! ;-p)

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    1. Counting our blessings ... I need to do more of it because I have been blessed in every way that is important. Yep, there's always more to entice us, there are always people with 'more', but being happy has nothing to do with that – thanks for the reminder, Sue!

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  2. It's too bad I don't live that close. But I AM one of the happiest people I know :-))

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    1. *checking to see where you live* Yep, the U.S. isn't exactly part of Muskoka! :) But I am thrilled that you're happy, Li! You know what I'm finding? That most bloggers are happy people. Are we just born happy or does blogging make us happy?

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  3. All good points....especially the one about resistance.

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    1. And that's one of my hardest points, Delores - I am never content to accept things that should be better. I always strive for the "best," and sometimes the striving wears me down. I'd be much happier if i could just say, "screw it," and carry on.

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  4. My husband yells at me (not really) because when I get up in the morning I am instantly awake and cheerful! He needs about thirty gallons of coffee mainlined into an artery before he can "wake up" and even then he is still a grump! But he mostly accepts my cheerfulness and joy because of a very good reason - I am alive and that is enough!

    Wow! That sounds way more exciting and cryptic than it is! About ten years ago I had a spot of "oh look at that, your lungs are dying due to those huge clots cutting off all of your oxygen!" Turns out my blood loves to gang up together for parties! It was close and the doctor's said had I waited any longer to come it, there might have not been anything they could have done.

    So I have my moments of not happy - as we all do time to time, but overall, since that experience, I wake happy and stay happy!!

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    1. Yay for YOU, Heather! I am SO GLAD that your blood party was cut short - I hope you're doing OK now! (Hugs!) I sincerely think none of us appreciate all that life has to offer until we're faced with death. Thank goodness you went to the doc in time!!!

      Stay happy! And keep the coffee put brewing for hubs!

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  5. Reading this list I believe I am happy!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D At least I am now that I changed my entire life last year and got a shot at a do-over.

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    1. OH! Sounds so intriguing! I LOVe hearing about life do-overs! I had one of my own and highly recommend it!

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  6. I think that GENERALLY, I am a happy person
    I only know this because I live with a pessimist!
    its a case of realisation by non association!

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    1. Poor Chris! Is he really that pessimistic? I don't know how he possibly can be living with a charming fellow like yourself.

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  7. If you're happy and you know it clap your hands... Sorry, couldn't resist. Yep, I pretty darned happy most of the time, though my family says I'm a grump. I think they just tend to focus on the 'not all the time' parts.
    ~jon

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    1. HAR! (And thanks for the ear worm, Jon!!!!)

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  8. So how would one be defined if they are selfless, kind of doubtful about the genuine-ness of members of a certain gender (lol!!!), loving, snarky and sassy, open-minded and willing to see the glass as half-full while realizing work has to be done to get things above that mark?

    Hmmmm...

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    1. Happy! Angela, you strike me as being totally happy! I don't think happy means walking around with a stupid grin on your face all the time and being blind to realities. Everyone struggles. Hell, I take an anti-depressant every night before bed but that's a chemical thing. I'm happy in spite of depression, if that makes sense. People tell me I'm one of the happiest people they know - and I do believe I am, depression or no.

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  9. Great post. I used to be called Chuckles in high school cause I was always laughing at something...maybe I should have been listening more though. Anyway, I'm pretty happy!

    Love the Buddha quote.

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    1. "Chuckles." What a great nickname! Every morning on my way to work I stop at Oliver's Coffee drive-through for a cup of joe and the lady who works there, Jan, calls me "Chipper" because, well, I guess I'm chipper! I can't begin to tell you how happy this makes me!

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  10. Nice article. Now I know why I'm happy. It was so easy before I had to think about it. And, I endorse number fifteen for president of anything.

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    1. I KNOW! I can't believe more politicians don't take responsibility for their actions. There was a company in Canada, Maple Leaf Meats, that had a huge Listeria outbreak that killed several people and made others sick. The president of the company did the BEST thing – he came out immediately and TOOK RESPONSIBILITY for the problem and apologized profusely and did his level best to be make amends without being pressured by anyone to do so. The man is now a poster child for doing the right thing and not only has he survived in his job, the company is stronger than ever. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, PEOPLE!!!!

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  11. I am, I believe, both happy and contented. I'm living my dream lifestyle, I'm healthy (okay, could be in better shape but I'm good), bills get paid, I have minimal stress and, well, I'm ALIVE. Yep, life is good and I'm a happy camper!

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    1. Texas, as I've said before, you are living my dream. I SO WANT to be retired and living in our trailer and camping and fishing and canoeing and enjoying the outdoors. In the meantime I enjoy outdoor life to the very maximum and am hoping to do a little more of it this weekend, weather permitting!

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  12. Well, I think I'm happy but I'm definitely not happy, happy, happy like waking up in the morning all full of energy. I like my life and am overall content. Really, who could ask for anything more?

    Happy is as happy does!

    This is a great post.

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    1. You can't ask for more! Contentedness is happiness. :)

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  13. I think I may be out of your neighborhood. Just sayin'

    But I'm one of the happiest frickin' people around. Honest. Just ask all my doctors. They even gave me a special white jacket that lets me hug myself for hours on end. ;)

    All kidding aside... You have a happy family there. The upside down crown is a dead give away.

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    1. *smiling a big happy smile right now* The upside down crown.... I know... my Sam is such a happy guy. He's one of the funniest people I know and he is always cracking us up.

      I'm gonna ask my doctor for one of those hugging coats..

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  14. I wouldn't say I'm always a happy person, though I try to be. I think I often seek out sadness and depression for no reason. However, you give a good reason to be happy--for my health!

    I like your list of differences between positive and negative.

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    1. Yes, not my list - The Purpose Fairy came up with those... (you should totally check out her blog - the whole thing is inspiring)... Clarissa, I find I can't be around too much sadness for too long because I'm like a giant sponge that absorbs whatever is in the air around me. I find negativity drains me so I avoid it whenever I possibly can. Part of it is my own struggle with depression - I'm just so susceptible to falling down its dark well. So I try very hard to seek out the happy in every moment of my life and it works!

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  15. I think my Mommeh would be happier if she weren't such a worrywart!

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    1. She's just worried about you, lovely Daisy!

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  16. Without question there are things I would like to change, and that I believe would make me happier (releasing my partner from depression's iron grip) but on the whole I am happy. And it is the small things (small things for small minds?) which do it for me. Sunrise, sunset, clouds drifting by, birds visiting us, the antics of the cats, a stranger's smile...

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    1. Absolutely.... the small things. Sometimes I get too caught up in the "next thing, the next thing" but when I'm honest with myself nothing makes me happier than sitting out on the dock listening to the birds, or getting immersed in a good book, or diving into cool waters on a hot day. And yes, the cats.... they always crack me up.

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  17. I've been married to my very best friend for 33 years. I look forward to coming home to him every night. He still makes my heart skip a beat. Well, sometimes the heart thing is from a little too much caffeine, lol, but you know what I mean....Yes, I'm very happy. I wouldn't change a thing in my life.
    karen

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    1. My heart's being doing that caffeine thing lately! I have to stop drinking so much of the darned stuff... Karen, I am SO happy that you have a fabulous man who is your very best friend, and that your heart still skips a beat after 33 years! You are very lucky and I am thrilled that you know it!

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    2. Karen! Would you be willing to be featured in an article about the happiest people in Muskoka? Let me know!

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  18. Powerful stuff. This is spooky, because I went to a seminar today specifically about #12 - the attitude of gratitude. Many good things can flow just from that one alone.

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    1. The attitude of gratitude! Ha! Good advice AND it rhymes!!! (That IS spooky!)

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  19. I don't live in the neighbourhood, but I'm super happy. Disgustingly happy, even. YOu know that song from the Muppets movie - Life's a Happy Song? That's me. :)

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    1. And that, dear Laurita, is why we all love you so.

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