Happiness is not likely waiting for you at the end of a rainbow or just past the current challenge you face in life. Happiness happens along the journey — if you let it.
Here are three ways that you can find greater happiness:
That attitude impacts your happiness is little more than a cliché. You can, however, learn specific skills to help you become more positive and optimistic, allowing you to beat back the blues that inevitably infect everyone.
Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman provides readers with ample evidence that we do learn — and quickly — to feel helpless and depressed unless we are empowered with a script to help us feel confident and optimistic. By learning to dispute mental arguments from adversity that are personal, pervasive and permanent, you can see challenges as being external, temporary and focused. It is easier to overcome an obstacle that is external to you that is temporary and narrow. Such challenges are like hurdles on the track, designed to be cleared or easily give way to your weight.
Your family should be the source of your happiness in life. If that isn’t how you feel, you can change that without changing your family. It starts with you. You can set the tone in your home, to define interactions. First, understand that it is not your family’s job to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness. Now, recognizing that it is not their job to make you happy, think what you can do to make them happy. How can you change your behavior toward your family members to change the way the family feels?
Start with your spouse. Nothing will change the mood in your home faster than changing the way parents get along with each other. For the next 30 days, try doing for your spouse everything you can possibly do to be the best spouse you can be. Watch to see if that doesn’t slowly begin to change the mood in your home. Don’t expect too much too soon. If things have been bad, it could take the whole 30 days just to get your home cleansed from the worst toxins that fighting and arguing have brought into the home.
Many people find their greatest happiness comes from serving others. Find ways to regularly give of your time in service to others. This can begin with random acts of kindness to strangers or include scheduled volunteer shifts at a local school, homeless shelter or food bank.
There is no shortage of need in the world. Despite having ample food available for everyone, nearly 1 in 7 people on the planet are hungry. Even though, effective vaccines for polio exists, there are a handful of poor countries still battling the disease. You can’t solve all of the world’s problems. Accept that you can’t do it all, but recognize that you can do something. Give of your time to make the world a better place and when you’re not looking, you may just find yourself being happy.
Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.