There are many ways to define happiness. And you are free to choose your own definition.
Emotions such as anger, hurt and sadness are temporary. Happiness is bigger and deeper. It doesn’t come from the outside. Happiness is an inside job.
Perspective certainly plays a role, but we can also take action to move us toward more happiness. Below are three steps to get you started. But first, a story.
A story that began 40 years ago
If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a fanatic about the power of storytelling. So I’m going to tell you a story that started about 40 years ago, and still isn’t finished.
Once upon a time I was a college student and I had a boyfriend. He was older and wiser (at least in my eyes) and I admired him a great deal. One day the boyfriend asked me a seemingly simple question: what did I want out of life. I thought for a while, and then I answered, “I want to be happy.”
He scoffed and told me that was a pretty shallow answer. I tried to protest, explaining that he didn’t know what being happy meant to me. He wasn’t interested. I guess he’d already decided I was “shallow”.
I remember thinking that the concept of happiness seemed vast to me, not shallow: mysterious, certainly intangible, and I wasn’t at all sure how to go about getting it.
I don’t remember what came next. Maybe we went out for pizza. Continue reading “How to be a little happier. Three things you can do today.”