Do you want happiness, but aren’t sure how to get it? Studies have shown that you have complete control of more than 40% of your happiness. Just like building muscles by lifting weights on a continuous basis, you can build your happiness muscles with repetition and perseverance. This means that all you have to do to claim your share of happiness is make it a practice and stay committed.
We’ve talked before about the importance of taking action and being persistent. These two things apply to happiness just like they apply to success. Making the decision to cultivate joy through practice is the key to bringing happiness into your life.
Now… imagine that you want to get healthier, so you decide to drink a green smoothie each morning. Yet, for the rest of the day you eat fast-food and drink sugary drinks. No matter how much goodness you drink for breakfast, you’re greatly diminishing any benefits you’ll reap by following that meal up with junk food. What you want is better health, but you’re keeping yourself from reaching that goal because health isn’t your focus throughout the day.
Surrounding yourself with positive things while also feeding into negativity is similar to slightly improved, but still destructive eating habits. No matter how much goodness you ingest (how many vegies you eat) the unhealthy fats, carbs and sugars are going to keep you stuck.
You may think there is little harm in watching the news day in and day out, checking into social media on an hourly basis and getting Google alerts every time there’s breaking celebrity news, but how much of what you’re filling your brain with is positive? Being in the know is one thing… saturating your day with one negative thing after another is something entirely different. You know as well as I do that breaking news is rarely ever good news and that you’re bound to run across something unsettling every time you read your news feed.
Can you filter your social medias to show you good things and only good things? Sure! But unless you’ve committed to having a strictly positive Facebook feed you’re still drudging through a negative pile of mess on a daily (or rather, hourly) basis.
Can we be 100% negativity free? No, unfortunately we can’t. Social media is one thing, but you’ll run into negative people at the grocery store, you’ll get yelled at by an angry driver, your relationships will go through ups and downs and someone at work will say something hurtful. It’s inevitable that negativity will rear its ugly head now and again. However, don’t let the unavoidable keep you from eliminating the large chunk of doom and gloom that you do have control over.
Remember that 40% of your happiness is completely up to you. For argument’s sake, what if you could raise that percentage to 50% or 60%? Commitment will help you achieve it.
Not only does your level of happiness dictate the life you live, it also rubs off on others. If you want someone close to you to be happier, start with yourself. We are an accumulation of the people we spend the most time with. When we exude happiness others feed off our positive energy. This is true for parents, partners and peers (anyone really). The happier you are, the more likely those around you will be too.
William Feather once said, “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” I believe this applies to surrounding yourself with positive things and ridding your life of negative ones. If you don’t do this you will miss your share of happiness simply because you didn’t make room for it in your life. What a sad thing that would be.
Stay committed to happiness! Give it room.
Tell me… what can you commit to getting rid of to make room for more happiness?