It is my belief that there is never a bad time to ask yourself ‘what does happiness mean to me and what will help me have more happy moments in my life?’
This curious question offers a chance to focus life’s lenses and then to become attracted to those things that make you smile, add more and create joy in your life.
One response to the question of what does happiness mean to you, in a coaching session gave an interesting response. ‘Happiness sits on the periphery of your vision. It’s not tangible or easy to grasp and when you try to connect with it… puff it’s gone’.
Whilst to me this view felt defeatist and fear fuelled, it helped me to clarify my feelings on this subject. The feisty character within me wanted to respond with…boldly choose to grab happiness by the horns, look it in eyes and demand its presence every day.
I was recently inspired by the author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book Big Magic she describes ‘entering into a contract with creativity’. I decided that I wanted to strike a deal with happiness.
I decided to give my full attention to discovering the mindset that I would need to adopt, the activities that I need to get involved in and the moments to cherish in order to nurture the presence of happiness. This has helped my happiness have the confidence to shine even in the face of worry, doubt, and fatigue. Since making this decision, happiness and I have began to collaborate, we co-created a plan and shook hands on it!
If thinking about happiness feels intangible to you, I strongly advise you to take advice from my dear pal Ali Turner. Having been an avid adventurer and creator of joy in her own life, Ali gave birth to a daughter with complex challenging needs. From this moment her life changed and so did her perspective on happiness.
Ali learned over time, and she taught me, that when facing adversity, every day magic moments continue to be all around you. It is your job to notice, magnify and embrace them. It could be a warm smile that lightens a dark day, a stimulating conversation with a stranger, a sunrise that takes your breath away, the discovery of a beautiful outdoor space, an inspiring book, planning small but regular micro -adventures and learning something new.
Another great friend Janice described her happiness stemming from her decision to teach herself a new skill. She learned how to build a Canadian canoe with another fabulous friend Scott. This resulted in a creative and fun project in collaboration. Since then there have been many happy moments canoeing on the lochs of Bonny Scotland with their families.
A more simplified measure of happiness came from Joe, an 80 years old with a wicked sense of humour and a great attitude to life. In order to measure happiness, Joe does the ‘timber test’. He told me ‘Today I am very happy…I did the timber test. I woke this morning with my arms by my side and felt around the sides of my whole body. I concluded that there was no timber, therefore I am alive and I am happy’ This struck me as a simple and effective measure of happiness & gratitude.
Perhaps having more happiness will mean noticing the magic moments all around you, expressing gratitude more, doing activities that you love or even learning something new.
As part of the process of choosing more happiness in your life I encourage you to become a keen and curious observer of the moments that happiness shows up in your life. Pay attention to what it looks and feels like for you.
If you feel up for a challenge, why not take this a step further. I propose that you prioritise one thing this week that brings joy and do it more. Then choose something that doesn’t serve you well and avoid it this week.
Why… because the place to be happy is here, the time to be happy is now! Commit, set an intention and make it happen… I dare you
#100% Pure Polly – Living Life’s Adventure…
I plan to dedicate my next blog to a surprise topic.. Keep watching!