I’ve done an enormous amount of research on happiness over the
years and it is a subject I am continually fascinated by. Human
beings are already such incredibly complex creatures. Add on the
ever-evolving technological and materialistic age we live in, and
happiness seems to become more and more elusive. So what can we
do to create more bliss in our busy lives? Here are three happiness
nuggets I’ve discovered over the years.
Build happy memories
On vacation a few years ago, we packed the kids into the car and
drove down to Cape Cod. It was cold, wet and miserable. After a
few days the sun broke through the rain clouds, and we headed off
to the beach in Chatham. Far off in the distance, we saw a strange
black mass. Rocks? What was it? We kept on walking. As we neared
that big black mass, we discovered, much to our surprise, a huge
group of over two hundred seals playfully lollygagging on a sandbar,
one hundred feet in front of us! The kids fell madly in love with
the cute, plump baby seals gazing at us with huge, moist brown eyes.
We parked ourselves on the beach, sitting in awe of the wonderful
scene, enjoying it for hours on end.
Do you think that the kids are happy when I bring up that memory?
Absolutely! It lights up their faces (and mine) every time. Do they
think about their discarded video games the same way? Heck, no!
Memories like that last a lifetime. And it doesn’t have to be cute
baby seals. How about a hike in the mountains? Or a trip to the
zoo? Happy memories last a lifetime, “stuff “doesn’t.
A great attitude is only one thought away.
How many times have you asked someone at work, at the grocery store,
or even friends, “How’s it going,” only to be met with a mumbled,
“Not too bad”? I’ve come across plenty of unhappy people, especially
in the service industry, to the point where I try to avoid any scowling,
grumbling or just plain mean people who seem to be living their
lives in a perpetual funk. But there’s a particular lady at my grocery
store who always has a bright smile on her face, a cheery hello
and will go the extra mile to happily clip out coupons for me! I
always try to pass through her cash because she makes my day that
much happier. She expresses herself in such an unabashedly joyful
manner that I highly doubt she comes into work with that “It’s not
going too bad” that we all hear time and time again.
Not going too bad?? That just saddens me. So, choose your mannerisms,
body language and words carefully. How about “It’s going great”?
Along with a great big smile, of course! You’ll have people doing
a quick double take and maybe you’ll even pass your mood along to
others. The power of attitude is simply amazing.
Old ladies in Italy probably don’t worship the Internet and have
During a trip to Florence, Italy, I peered out my window one morning
and was struck by a scene of older Italian ladies amicably chatting
together. Adding to the charm was all the washed, white bed sheets
flapping on clotheslines over the street the sort of scene out
of an old movie. These ladies certainly don’t sit in front of a
computer and chat over the Internet! And that’s what’s scary about
our supposedly technologically superior culture. It was supposed
to bring us closer together. Remember global community and all that
jazz? But has it brought us closer together?
We seem to spend more time hunkered down in front of computers
or video games, oblivious to our neighbours in our cocoon of electronics
and suburbia. Connecting with friends, neighbours and your kids
can be deeply satisfying when all the technological clutter is pushed
aside. And those connections are the most genuine and will probably
be the happiest you have. Those Italian ladies were really enjoying
their face-to-face time. Maybe it’s time for a little less e-mail
and chat sites and a little more authentic communication in order
to reconnect with our humanness. We’ll be that much happier for
Let’s make a little happiness recipe.
One brimming cup of ever lasting wonderful memories,
One packed cup of positive attitude,
One overflowing cup of authentic communication.
Makes many delightful servings.
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About The Author
Terry Vermeylen is one of those rare people that is passionately
driven to help others unlock their own barriers toward fulfillment,
meaning and purpose. He is the founder of http://www.mylifechanges.com/,
an Internet value identification and goal setting enterprise.