happiness sunshine

happiness sunshine

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way; something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness IS the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.

Happiness is a journey…not a destination.

So, stop waiting

until you finish school

until you go back to school

until you lose ten pounds

until you gain ten pounds

until you have kids

until your kids leave the house

until you start work

 until you retire

until you get married

until you get divorced

until Friday night

until Sunday morning

until you get a new car or home

until your car or home is paid off

until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter

until you are off welfare

until the first or fifteenth

until your song comes on

until you have had a drink

until you have sobered up

 until you die

until you are born again…

to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

The encouraging words above have been attributed to the late Australian philosopher Father Alfred D’Souza.

Do his words resonate with you? Have you said any – or all – of the things D’Souza listed? Have you been waiting for a certain event or milestone to arrive that will miraculously make you happy?

Only a small percentage of the variation in people’s reports of happiness can be explained by differences in their circumstances. It appears that most of what influences happiness is due to personality and – more importantly – thoughts and behaviors that can be changed.

So, yes, you can learn how to be happy – or at least happier.

A group of researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, led by Dr. Amit Sood, found that there are four steps to happiness. 

Dr. Sood says 40 to 50 percent of your happiness depends on the choices you make and where you place your focus each day.

“You can choose to live focusing on what is right and beautiful in your life,” said Dr. Sood, who is the author of a new book, The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness.

Here are the four simple steps to happiness:

  1. Train Your Attention: Learning to focus your attention enables you to command your thoughts and shift perspective. Dr. Sood recommends doing this by waking up with gratitude, being in nature, resisting judgment, and expressing kindness.
  2. Cultivate Emotional Resilience: Build inner emotional strength by making room for gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness. “When things go wrong,” Dr. Sood advises, “try to focus on what went right within what went wrong.”
  3. Start a Mind-Body Practice: Deepen your spiritual awareness through meditation, prayer, or any other mind-body practices that work for you. Activities could include reading, exercise, music, art, prayer, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
  4. Pick Healthy Habits: Direct your willpower to making positive, concrete changes to lead to a healthier you – eat well, exercise, worry less. You can do this by simplifying your life, exercising, picking your battles, and lightening up.


“Happiness is a habit,” he says. “Some of us are born with it; others have to choose it.”

What will YOU do – today – to start experiencing more happiness?

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