Monday, November 24, 2014

A Bowl of Cheerios

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” - Unknown

People tend to search daily for 'things' that will make them happy. We seek out money, diamonds, cars, clothing, food, people or any of a number of things. The ever elusive feeling if only we had this or could obtain that, then we would be happy. With the holidays fast approaching, is happiness what you are in search of; of perfection?

We will search for and gather things but still not find happiness!

An article in Psychology Today on happiness, Harvard social psychologist William McDougall wrote that people can be happy while in pain and unhappy while experiencing pleasure. He writes that to understand this, two kinds of happiness must be distinguished: feel-good and value-based.

Feel-good happiness is sensation-based pleasure. When we joke around or have sex, we experience feel-good happiness. Since feel-good happiness is ruled by the law of diminishing returns, the kicks get harder to come by. This type of happiness rarely lasts longer than a few hours at a time.

Value-based happiness is a sense that our lives have meaning and fulfill some larger purpose. It represents a spiritual source of satisfaction, stemming from our deeper purpose and values. We experience value-based happiness when we satisfy any of the 16 basic desires--the more desires we satisfy, the more value-based happiness we experience. Since this form of happiness is not ruled by the law of diminishing returns, there is no limit to how meaningful our lives can be.

So how can we live a happier life?

Here are ten ideas to help you try to live a happier life.

- Look for the positive side of every situation.

- At the end of each day, take a moment to think of things that were good about the day.
- Spend time with people you love, whether they're your friends or your family.
- Be active and get some exercise, even if it's just a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
- Rest, sleep and relaxation are vital elements in how to live a happy life.
- Identify goals both in your personal and working life and work towards achieving them.
- Be grateful for the little things.
- Don't wish your life away by counting hours to the weekend, or days to your next holiday.
- Keep away from people that bring you down.
- Don't be afraid to have fun.

Aristotle said "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence". There is more to life than merely gaining happiness, but happiness or contentment is a very large part of the quality of our life. Do not waste the holidays stressing for perfection or ultimate happiness in that perfection.

Simply choose to be happy within the moments, full of contentment. Doing so will free you to direct your energy towards creating a greater life. No moping about your condition, but happily moving towards your dreams. Happy as a bowl of Cheerios!

Stay inspired my friends.

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