Women, life, happiness
  • “I’m just not a happy person.”

    December 23rd, 2010Keryl PesceLife in general

    "I hear all this stuff about the power of positive thinking and how important a good attitude is. But what I wonder is, if being happy is something you either are or you aren't. Maybe some people are born happier than others. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just not one of those "happy" people."

    I love that you wonder this! For starters, it gives me the opportunity to talk about one of the fundamental beliefs I have about happiness, which I'll get to in just a second. But even more important for you, it tells me you are at a stage of reflecting on your life and happiness, and that is good news. It means doors are about to open and new and exciting things could be in store for you. So let's get you rolling.

    First, a question.Is there anything you are really good at? Say, drawing, dancing, cooking maybe? There's got to be something you consider yourself to be above average at doing.

    Second question. Whatever this something is, have you always been good at it or was it something you learned to do and got better at over time?

    Much like driving a car or any other acquired skill, happiness is something we can learn to do. Are some people born with a better disposition than others? Sure. I don't doubt it. But it doesn't mean a person can't learn to get better at being happy. Think of it this way. Have you ever seen two siblings, both who pulled decent grades at math, but one hardly studied and the other had to really work at it? Happiness is just like that.

    So regardless of how you currently feel or have had the tendency to feel in the past, you absolutely can become a happier person. Yes, you can be one of "those" people.

    Here is what I suggest you do:

    1 – Decide to make living a happier life one of your priorities. Actually, let me rephrase that. Decide to make being a happier person one of your priorities. What's the difference? The first could be interpreted as being external – dependent on your life circumstances. And that is not so easy to do. Choosing to look to yourself and how you can change how you view and respond to what's happening in your life is a lot easier and a heck of a lot more effective. What a perfect time of year to be thinking about new goals and priorities.

    2 – Commit to some practice and persistence. For some of us, being a bitch is easier. Everyone knows how to complain and resent people and circumstances. Many people feed on negativity, like some sort of addiction. They're under the twisted notion that putting others down makes them feel superior. Hmmm, then why are they so unhappy most of the time? So be patient. It's a lot like when you learned to ride a bike. Chances are, you bit the dust the first time out. Then the next few times you rode, it took all your concentration to stay upright. Now, you ride without thinking about the countless decisions and adjustments you make every minute to navigate the bicycle. It's easy. You enjoy the ride without thinking about what you need to do.

    3 - Also, much like when we first learned how to ride a bike, read or write, we had people to guide us and tools to support us. Look to spend more time with people who lift you up and who are a little better at doing happy than you are right now. Tap into resources. Read books on happiness (Got a great one I can suggest!). Seriously, invest in yourself. Learn how to think better, expand your mind and perspective. The more your mind grows, the more your world grows, and the more resources you have to be happier.

    4 – Resist the urge to plan your life out perfectly. Have an idea of where you are headed, but be open to things not always going according to plan. They never do exactly, and if you let life unfold for you rather than forcing it into a pre-determined set of circumstances, you just might enjoy the surprises life has in store for you.

    5 – Shift your focus from you and your problems to doing for and being thoughtful of others. That's a sure-fire mood enhancer. Next time you feel sorry for yourself or resent the situation or circumstances you are in, quit mulling it over and look around you. Do something kind for someone else – whether they know about it or not. The payoff for both of you is huge.

    Make no mistake. Miserable is out. Happy is in. Today's woman is no longer a bitch. She's a Happy Bitch!

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