The Pursuit of Happiness
With the 4th of July just around the corner, now is a wonderful time to remind yourself to pursue happiness.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, now is a wonderful time to remind yourself to pursue happiness. At Choice, we truly believe that the happy employee is the successful employee. Throughout my 23-year career of bringing out the best in professionals, I have seen the evidence time and time again.
Unfortunately, most people have it backwards. They think that they will be happy once they are successful. That kind of happiness is typically short-lived and limiting. The truth is, you will find success once you are happy. If you have ever heard yourself say or think the following statements: “I’ll be happy when…” or “if only…”, this article is for you.
Happiness really is a choice. There is a reason this quote hangs on the walls in our office. It’s also the reason we chose the name “choice” for our business. It is something you can choose to actively cultivate. And, when you realize you have a choice, you become empowered. Here are a few ideas on how to pursue happiness this summer:
Practice gratitude. The positive psychology movement is based on the incredible impact gratitude can have on our lives. Jotting down 3 things a day you are thankful for can become life-changing. Or, just take out your phone and text a thank you message to someone who means a lot to you. There’s no better way to make a co-worker or associate feel valued than a well-timed word of appreciation and you will benefit as well. Now is a great time to stop and thank a member of our armed forces for their service.
Stop ignoring or judging your feelings. It’s important to realize that no matter how far we run from them, we can’t escape our feelings. In addition, they often provide us with an important message, one we need to hear. Try to be with your emotions instead of qualifying them as good/bad or right/wrong. Then, you can process them and get to a place of acceptance.
Practice mindfulness or meditation. Mindfulness means being in the present moment in a non-judgmental way and meditation is a way to get you there. Staying present wards off regret and sadness from the past and worry and anxiety about the future. The most successful people in any industry have some sort of mindfulness practice because they know it helps them stay happy, perform better, make stronger decisions, be a more inspirational leader, focus, fight disease, and sleep well. We can’t recommend it enough!
Manage your stress. Know your warning signs and what your triggers for stress are. Instead of ignoring the early signs, start implementing stress management strategies (self-care, mindfulness/meditation, humor, music, nature, etc.) that will work best for you. Truly happy and successful individuals know their warning signs of stress and what to do to get back to being centered and calm.
Do something kind. According to Nataly Kogan, author of “Happier Now”, intentional kindness is a terrific way to choose happiness. Pay for the next person in line’s coffee, take your bag off the empty seat next to you on a crowded train, or simply hold the door for someone and see how you feel after.
Spend time with loved ones or friends. Make sure to keep this important activity on your calendar. I just had lunch with my husband and son and am still smiling as I finish this email