Ideas on being happy….

despite being imperfect.

Ask yourself this question:  does your self worth lie in your looks or does it lie in the way you connect with your children, your work or your talent/s?

And another one….  Have you noticed that happy people don’t necessarily have happier lives than everyone else?  Their days and the events are the same.  But happier people seem to find humour in moments others might miss.

Here are 10 thoughts on approaching life differently.

  1. Laugh at yourself.  When you are able to laugh at yourself nd not take yourself too seriously, it shows you accept the real  you, imperfections and all.  Once you get in the habit of laughing at yourself, it is amazing how easy it is.  Retrain your brain to reframe and think like an optimist and find something amusing to laugh at – even yourself, every day.
  2. Live in the moment.  Every morning, look in the mirror and ask yourself: ” If  this is my last day on earth  would I be happy doing what I am doing?”  We all have responsibilities and obligations but asking the above question can be a wake up call.  Make the decision to make the absolute most of every moment instead of rushing from one thing to the next.  Stop to admire the tiny blossoms on the bush beside the footpath and marvel in the delicacy of raindrops held almost suspended on a leaf after rain.  No matter how busy your day, take a moment to sit still and acknowledge this is the last chance you will get in this particular day.
  3. Find your own “good enough”.  Look at where your personal goals have come from and learn to define success according to your own terms.  You may have taken on a high paying, high stress job, deciding your value stems from the big salary.  Ask yourself: “When am I happiest?” Perhaps it is when you are meandering down a backstreet in the early morning aware of the kiss of air, and life burgeoning all around you…. maybe it is when you sit at a piano or keyboard and the music takes you somewhere else….. It doesn’t mean you should quit your job, but do you have to rive yourself into the ground at that job?  If it is a personal goal like losing weight, set your own “good enough” goal..  it could be as simple as drinking more water consistently, or cutting out sugary drinks or cutting down on sugars in coffees an teas… sometimes small changes add up over time to something big.
  4. Be open to change.  Naturally happy people seem to be better at accepting change.  Being adaptable  is a great asset.  In the workplace I often state that the two best abilities to have are adaptability and availability!. If you can be open to whatever life throws  at you, you are more likely to be happier.  Change, especially when unexpected can be scary, but try just rolling with the change instead of resisting.  Shocks like terminal illnesses out of nowhere ( seemingly) or redundancy can force us into reexamining everything we thought was solid but have you considered that letting go of expectations frees you to follow new and different dreams that may just be more fulfilling?  It may not feel right immediately because we like our comfort zone; but that comfort zone may not be the best for you – just what you know.
  5. Don’t let yourself be pigeonholed.  Challenge the idea you are less perfect as you grow older.  Never allow age to define you, either.  You want to learn to salsa or go on a yoga retreat?  What is stopping you?  Mastermind your own happiness plan and maybe it is time to begin to ignore the expectations of others.  This is a steep learning curve for those of us who for most of our lives, “others” have always come first second and third in our thoughts, feelings and lives.  Perhaps it is time to tweak those values?  Don’t put all your self esteem eggs in the beauty/youth basket.  Focus on your passions, talents and the wisdom you have acquired living.
  6. Pick your fights.   No matter how much people love each other, everyone has the odd bicker.  Have you gotten in the habit on picking up on all the little things?   Instead, address fundamentals.  Someone never does the dishes and that irks; ask yourself what the real issue is here.  Is it a lack of respect? Is it thoughtlessness?  Look for patterns and recurring themes, and then talk to that person about what is really bugging you.  Check what you heard is what was really meant/said or shown in what was done.  Reflect on what you hear.  Do they really have no interest in hearing you, or are they just plain tired?
  7. Don’t over analyse.   Whether it is your boss, a friend or a loved one who fires a killer insult at you, instead of dwelling on it give yourself a set amount of time to think about it ( for example 15 minutes).  Ask yourself if there is anything you can learn from this negative comment.  Ask yourself if you want to confront that person.  If nothing positive can come from it, then don’t let it take up headspace. Give your thoughts and time to happier healthier thoughts .  There are only two things to worry about: 1) Those you can fix – so fix them!! 2) Those you can’t fix – in which case, stop worrying about them!! So if for example your boss humiliates you in front of the whole team either say something then and there or let it wash over you.  The boss’s toxicity is his problem.  Don’t let it spoil your day!
  8. Be the unedited you.  No-one has the right to judge you. Accepting this fact is the first step to becoming the unedited you.  That doesn’t mean you can stop people judging you.  They are on their own journey learning ( or in some cases not learning) their own lessons in their own way or time.  You can’t control what others do – so stop trying.  Learn to break the habit of shaping your personality to fit those around you.  People pleasing does not bring happiness..  That also means you have to battle your own negative internal critic and learn to reshape your own self talk.
  9. See mistakes as a journey.   Yes. things go wrong sometimes.  Noone is supposed to be perfect.  Everything e do – right or wrong – is a journey towards understanding ourselves or life.  We all have an internal bully, but negative self talk is counter productive.  Focus on what you can learn from your error or mistake in judgement.  Then move on with that extra awareness, knowing your choice will be different net time.
  10. Forget the word MUST.  Next time you find yourself thinking “I MUST….” “I SHOULD…..” “I HAVE TO……..” stop and challenge that thought. As soon as those words enter our heads, life feels like a chore.  Our sense of control goes out the window, along with our sense of fun.  Reframe the way you see “musts” in your life so you feel like you are doing things on your own terms.  Be clear as to what the real “have to’s…” in your life are.  I mean really will it ruin  your holiday if you haven’t lost 4 kilos in the month before you go? Challenge the consequences of what will happen.  Decide which “musts” really matter

10 comments on “Ideas on being happy….

  1. Hi Petal, have been reclusive and “stoppered” of late but I see an end in site. Anniversaries tend to waylay me for a while.

  2. Hi Maggie, I hope all is well with you! 🙂

  3. Hi Maggie, I hope all is well for you!

  4. Wonderful list and my personal favorite ever since is number 8 — Be the unedited you. Oh yes! Hard to be happy when you’re a copy. Hard to be happy when you are edited beyond recognition 😉

  5. Always good to see signs of you B. :). I am thrilled you still occsionally pop by. Always welcome

  6. Hi Maggie!

    I haven’t been very active online for quite a while, but I still check in on you from time to time. You have always been intuitive and insightful, and I’m glad to say this post confirms that you haven’t changed. 🙂 You’ve given me a lot to think about, and even though I haven’t digested it all yet, I’ve already been restored by your words… thank you.

  7. Helps remind me as well.

  8. Me too Joan. Perspective and focus.

  9. I am always interested in why some people are happier than others. Hope you are doing well!

  10. Excellent list, Maggs. I’m going to print this out and re-read it regularly. 🙂


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