When I was in my first semester of college at the University of Kansas, I was so homesick. I remember telling my roommate that everything would be so much better if I were home. She looked at me and said, “Well, you take you with you wherever you go”. All of these years later, the moment is still so vivid in my mind. What a brilliant observation!
I hear so many people say, “If only I had a better job, home, spouse, etc., I’d be so much happier”. Unfortunately, if we’re not happy where we are, there’s a very good chance we won’t be happy where we’re going. The same “issues” seem to surface wherever we are and whomever we’re with. We are the common denominator.
While it’s certainly easier said than done, the secret is finding a way to be happy where we are, who we’re with, and with what we have before looking for more. Whether you follow an actual “happiness program” or do it on your own, here are five tips to get you started:
1. Make happiness a priority. We make time for what is important to us. It’s easy to get bogged down in life, only to realize ten-years have gone by. Make happiness something you work on every day. You can even start by taking a happiness quiz!
2. Stop waiting. You will never have the “perfect” life. It doesn’t exist. Instead, look for and enjoy perfect moments.
3. Change your thoughts, not just your behaviors. You might be “doing” all of the right things, but if your attitudes and thoughts aren’t supporting your actions, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Changing results requires a mental shift, as well as a shift in behavior.
4. Practice happiness. Practice makes perfect. Find small things to be happy about each day and enjoy them! I love to catch myself dancing and singing in my car to a great song. (Try this while waiting at a red light. If you don’t get happy doing it, at least the people around you will get a good laugh!)
5. Take a risk! We all end up in a rut at times. Just be careful not to stay there too long. It’s like the old saying, “A rut is a grave with no ends”. Life is short. Live it!
Remember, wherever you are, or whomever you’re with, you take you with you wherever you go!