Ask yourself this simple question (warning, it may lead to a complex answer): Are you happy? What’s stopping you from living your fullest, happiest life now? Is it money, health, or circumstances you were born into?
This eloquent TED talk by designer Stefan Sagmeister reviews 7 Rules for Making More Happiness. It gave me pause to think of all the things I’m grateful for, and I hope it inspires you to do the same. Sagmeister, whose clients including the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, offers a refreshing new look and some interesting stats on happiness indicators – many of which may surprise you!
I think this is fabulous, easily applicable advice. My takeaway from Sagmeister’s talk: Start simply. “Do more of the things I like to do, and less of the things I don’t like.”
His simple advice brings to mind a real life story that deeply resonated with me. I recently heard that a good friend’s cousin, Laura, passed away. Laura worked her whole life, saving every single penny for her retirement, according to her plans, at age 63, a time when she believed she could finally be happy, relaxed, and free. She was going to travel the world. Instead, sadly, Laura died at age 62.
Earlier in my career as a TV reporter, I always thought that if I got a job in a bigger market, earned a bigger paycheck, bought a better car, that I would be happy. I achieved all that, but didn’t feel much happier. My epiphany — that I was always happy — it was a state of mind that none of the materials goals could change.
As I get older, I‘ve stopped trying to be happy. I discovered that happiness is being grateful for what I have now, at this present moment. I realize that I choose to be in the state of happiness now.
You can experience this contentment, too. Keep a gratitude journal or look for at least 3 things you’re grateful for everyday. The future isn’t guaranteed; it’s just a dream. It doesn’t exist yet, nor is it promised to us. You have the power to be happy right now, so don’t wait for tomorrow. And if you’re still seeking happiness, here are some words to live happily ever after by…
”Don’t seek happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.” –Eckhart Tolle