Don’t you just love Pharrell Williams song? Every time I hear it I can’t help but smile… Is it because I’m happy? Or does hearing the song bring on feelings of happiness? Who knows!
I recently read a great book titled ‘Happiness – A guide to developing life’s most important skill‘ by Matthieu Ricard. He is a Buddhist monk and believes happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill that can be developed. And in this fascinating book, he provides exercises to train the mind to pursue lasting happiness.
So is happiness more about how you choose to look at the world?
Let’s face it, two people can look at the same situation and see very different things.
I look at life and even with all its challenges, I see it as a gift. Yet I speak to people who see life as a bind, a painful daily ‘have to do’. And it’s not just because we’ve experienced life differently. I’ve had my share of pain, of hardship, of disappointments and mistakes but I choose not to dwell on them or let them dictate the direction of the rest of my life. I am very much the ‘and this too shall pass‘ thinker, believing events are temporary. Good times inevitably follow bad times however my perception of good and bad are my own.
How can we get more happy in our lives?
1 Choice – as with most things, we can choose to be happy. That doesn’t mean being naively optimistic (feel what you feel but always be ready to move into a better state of being)
2. Deciding to remove hatred from our minds. As Matthieu puts it ‘the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred and obsession, that literally poison the mind’.
3. Gaining an understanding of how the mind works – and how some of our hard wiring stops us from seeing what is reality.
I choose to be happy because it feels good to be in that state and it also helps me to put difficult situations into perspective.
Grab a copy of the book; it’s a great read and who knows, it may lift your happiness to another level regardless of where it currently is. But for a quick fix just listen to Happy below, grab your dancing shoes & have some fun… and sing after me ‘Because I’m Happy‘!