Happiness was something I chased for most of my adult life. I read the right books and listened to the right empowerment messages. I quoted affirmations, went to church and I certainly looked the part. Yet the feeling of true happiness continuously eluded me, regardless of how hard I tussled and tossed with it, I couldn’t keep it close to me—at least not for long.
And then, after decades of searching, praying and wandering, making more mistakes and even more missteps, I finally got it. What I learned was happiness wasn’t always an ocean of effervescent emotion that would wash over me on cue. Sometimes, most times, it was a subtle sense of joy in my spirit. It was the conscious ability to choose something else—grace, faith, peace—when life felt like a whirlwind. Happiness is knowing that despite all that is wrong, there is always something still very right.
Happiness is a state of mind.
The first step to finally finding happiness is a willingness to search the deepest desires of your heart. Happiness is a series of deliberate, intentional actions to get your life—literally—and at all costs.
1. Decide what’s most important to you and center your life on those things. If you’ve never asked yourself what you really want to do and be, now is the time. A happy life is one directed by your passion and the relentless pursuit of it. Write that book. Take the road trip with your girlfriends, hike in the mountains. Your happiness is what you make it.
2. Devote your time to your dreams and goals without distraction. Being intentional about your happiness takes focus. Once you determine what you want, put your energy there.
3. Live your life on your own terms. Refuse to compromise any part of yourself to fit into the mold someone created for you. Learn to say no!
4. Forgive yourself. Give yourself grace for everything. Happiness can’t find its way into your life if there’s no room. The mistakes from long ago, or even yesterday, that you are still holding yourself responsible for are taking up too much space. Clear it out. Having a happy life means freeing yourself from anything that keeps you stuck or bound to the past.