We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. … ~ The United States Declaration of Independence.
Happiness is something most of us strive for, and in fact, feel we deserve to have. After all, our Declaration of Independence references “certain unalienable Rights, that among these … the pursuit of Happiness.”
So what does it mean to pursue happiness? When we think of pursuing something, we usually mean we’re going after something we don’t already have. In Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason, she says that in Thomas Jefferson’s time, “to pursue something meant to practice that activity, to do it regularly, to make a habit of it.” There’s a huge difference between chasing after happiness and practicing happiness. When we chase after happiness, we’re coming from a perspective of lack – we don’t have the thing that we want. But when we practice happiness, we’re active participants in making ourselves even happier.
So how can we practice happiness? In Bruce D. Schneider’s interview, “How to Be Unreasonably Happy,” he goes over 10 keys to happiness, which he also describes in more detail in iPEC’s Law of Being program.
The first key is to know that you can weather your moods. Like the weather, your moods are always changing. Recognizing and accepting your moods and knowing they will change is important to “being happiness.”
If you realize this, when you are up, you can fully appreciate the moments of pure pleasure. Instead of being disappointed when your great mood doesn’t last, you know not only won’t it last, but it’s not supposed to, and so you can appreciate it while it does.
When you are down, you also know it won’t last, and because of that, you can weather the low feelings. If you are really down, know that your natural balance will soon bring you up. From a very high level perspective, you can now appreciate the downs, for you’ll know each of life’s experiences are opportunities to appreciate the gifts life bring us.
So next time you have a great day – or a “bad” one – appreciate it for what it is, know it won’t last, and know that perspective will put you well on your way to pursuing happiness.
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. ~ Guillaume Apollinaire
For more information on leadership or the Law of Being program, call us at 682.200.1412 or Info@ApexLeadershipCoaching.com.