Chasing Happiness

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I never thought I was one to chase happiness. I was always taught that happiness was just a by-product of your gratefulness towards life. When I think of where my life has taken me in this past year, I now realize that I was in fact one of the many people who chased goals and accomplishments down in an effort to  truly feel satisfied with my life. While the journey and all its ups and downs are what really help people to achieve a happy life, I like so many others, lost sight of the hours and days spent trying to achieve happiness and never allowed myself to just be. In my 28 years of life, I struggled to find happiness in all things. Whether it was in my academic career, my romantic relationships, or even my work life, my motivation was always to do great now so I can be even greater later. I never sat down to enjoy small success or minor victories. My actions were all a means to an end that in some respect were never later achieved. So what can we do when we realize we’ve been chasing happiness all along? I for one have decided to embrace choice and move forward. No longer worried about what will be, I look to embrace what is now. Like the quote states, “Happy people don’t have the best of everything; they made the best of everything.” Embrace each day for its limitless possibilities. Strive to be happy everyday and not “one day” soon. It is the moments we experience now that matter most. After 28 years of chasing my happy future, I have decided to allow happiness to finally catch up to me. It has been here all along just waiting to be acknowledged. I’m ready to embrace it and find it in all things around me. What will you decide?

Embrace Choice and Keep Moving Forward

10 Tips to Finding Happiness Now

1. Be Present

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Commit to living for the experience. It’s so easy to get caught up in our “future thinking” that we forget to embrace true moments of happiness as they happen. BE PRESENT! Commit to enjoy each day as it passes. Regardless if you are wondering what will come next embrace the now and allow its gifts to present themselves. There is so much learning and growth that can be experienced if we just permitted ourselves to be more present. “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca

2. Let Your Passions Be Your Guide

Regarding our daily activities or career meaningful is vital to living a happy life. As a tool for self exploration, I find it helpful to create a passion list. What are your passions? What have you always wanted to do but never went after? As children we change career ambitions like we change our underwear, but as we get older these early desires begin to fade for the more “realistic” path. Look to your inner child and ask them what they are still yearning to experience in life. As someone who once gave up my passion for writing, I have to tell you, its feel amazing to be back! I feel as though I have reconnected with an old friend and it’s as if we never skipped a beat. List your passions on paper and determine for yourself what it is you have been looking for all this time. It’s never too late to acknowledge that inner yearning. Cultivating your passion with commitment and enthusiastic curiosity will only bring you closer to experiencing true happiness. While it is hard to adopt this type of mindset, attention must be given to our passions. If your motivating factor is the paycheck, you may be depriving yourself of a chance to do your true life’s work. When you can attach purpose to your work, satisfaction and happiness are sure to follow. “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

3. Respect the Body

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The healthier you are, the more you exercise and eat right, the more likely you will lead a happy life. While it is so easy for us to take our bodies for granted, it is vital that we protect and preserve this beautiful shell we reside in. Take time to nourish the body. Be mindful of the things you put in it and be mindful of the messages our body regularly sends us. Only you can be responsible for the care of this fragile vessel. Be proactive and take the necessary preventive care measures. Your body will be so grateful to you and your mind will be all the more at peace. Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps to reduce ones stress level and has been known to increase ones overall energy towards life. If you intend on living a long life filled with wonder and exploration you must protect the vehicle that is vital in getting you where you want to go in life. “In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.” Flannery O’Connor

4. Nurture Relationships That Matter 

When it comes to wanting happiness for yourself it’s vital that you surround yourself with positive people who exude happiness themselves. There is no better feeling then the one you get when you cultivate a circle of like-minded, loving individuals that share in life’s special moments beside you. These people are with you during good times and bad. They build you up and share in your accomplishments and significant life experiences. They are honest and dedicated to nurturing the relationship you represent for them. Take care of these relationships as they bring meaning and clarity to your life. Nurture those people who matter to you most. Never take these invaluable people for granted. “The quality of life is the quality of your relationships.” Anthony Robbins

5. Lend a Hand keep-calm-and-help-others-16

It feels so good when you can help your fellow-man/woman. I have often heard it said that when you lend a hand to others you are filled with feelings of joy, appreciation, and inner goodness. Seek opportunities to help others. Not only will you make someone’s day, week, or life, you will bring joy and happiness into your own heart and that’s a beautiful thing. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes

6. Look to the World around You 

Whenever you come to a crossroads in your life look to those around you for strength and inspiration.  Happiness and the courage to change your situation can come when we see others around us who have overcome similar struggles. While no two people are the same we can pull valuable lessons from others stories of courage and perseverance. It is possible to change your course at a moments notice. We see people do it everyday. Why go through life on autopilot when you can take back that control and be the steward of your journey. Transformation occurs when we allow ourselves to be inspired. Listen to others stories of change and allow yourself to see that we too can be transformed when we are open to it. Look to these stories to awaken your inner curiosity and creativity. The possibilities for change and transformation are limitless if you open to uncovering them. I admire people who open themselves up to experience what I like to call an awakening. While once they would consider themselves unhappy and dissatisfied with life, they now have complete control and are happily moving forward on the course they were destined to travel all along. Look to others for inspiration and empowerment. You too can decide to make a change to be happy now. “Change is the end result of all true learning.” Leo Buscaglia

7. Keep Love Alive hands_in_shape_of_heart

A huge part of the journey to achieving true happiness consists of giving and receiving love. To have love in your life requires that you practice having both an open heart and an open mind. Love is an emotion when embraced can really help you to become the person you always knew you were meant to be. Love and happiness easily go hand in hand. Love can lift you up during the darkest times and can motivate you during the best of times. When we feel loved we feel secure in our lives and as a result are empowered to do and be better. Sky’s the limit when you have love in your life. Open your mind to accepting love and watch as your perception of the world shifts. You will be more likely to love and happier because of it. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coelho

8. Give Value to Experiences

I live for experiences! Memorable experiences make me feel alive and they make me feel connected to the people that matter most to me. Happiness is long-lasting when we take time to place value on the experiences we have and share with others. You can get so much more from an intimate dinner with friends or loved ones than you can from a new expensive purse that will probably go out of style in 6 months. When it comes to happiness create opportunities that will having meaning for you. Plan a romantic vacation with your significant other. Send a handmade heartfelt card to someone close to you that needs it. The emotions that emerge during these moments are powerful and everlasting. While the accumulation of possessions can be nice, these things only provide temporary happiness. “Life is about experience…You can’t hold on to everything.” Sarah Addison Allen It’s the experience and the moments you create that you remember the most. Allow yourself to experience these moments fully. A happy memory can be tapped into at anytime and can result in the recharging of your happiness levels. Live for the experience and keeping making memories. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt 

9. Get Out There! 

Building community is a vital component to achieving inner happiness.  Whether you are part of a religious community or a friendly reading group, being a part of a greater whole can bring joy and purpose to one’s life. Spend time reviewing your passion list and see if any of those interests you identified can connect you with like-minded people. Get out there and build relationships. Joining a group can not only help you to cultivate your interests but it can also aid you in your search for authenticity and true happiness. “Interest and enthusiasm are the wellspring of continually evolving community life: they create bonds which unite us whether we are young or old, nearby or far from each other; they allow human warmth and love to be the formative forces in personal and community life and striving.” Henning Hansmann

10. Know When to Ask for Help helping-hand

When times are tough and you feel stuck seek guidance without fear of judgment. Look to your close friends or family members with whom you can confide in. Listen to your inner voice as it tells you that you need more and that something needs to change. If family or friends just don’t seem to get it, you might come to realize that a coach or therapist is the more suitable person to hear you out. There is no shame in asking for help and there is definitely no shame in loving yourself enough to take charge of your own happiness. Seek out the help of someone who will empower you to see your true potential and inner strength.  Get to know yourself again by identifying those things you love and are passionate about. As your coach challenges you and champions your efforts you will begin to see that happiness, clarity, and a new outlook on life are sure to follow. “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” Deepak Chopra

“Happiness is the highest form of self-respect. A person who allows himself to be happy shows his self-respect.” Maery Rubin

Ambition In The City 

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