It seems like most of the people I know are happy—sometimes. I know very few people who claim to be happy all the time. Those who are always happy are often criticized for not paying attention to the world. There’s sickness and poverty and war. How can anyone be happy with all of the world’s problems? And everyone has his or her own problems, too.
Is real happiness only an illusion, something that we can grasp at for a few moment but never really hold?
I don’t think so. It is possible to be both aware and happy. So why are so many people unhappy? I think there is one reason for this. It’s their inability to accept a simple truth:
What is, is.
To be happy, all we have to do is accept the reality of things. Does this mean that to be happy we need to simply accept our lot in life and not work to change things? Absolutely not! What it means is that we can accept that things are as they are and we can work to make things even better. Let me give you some practical examples.
1. Imagine you are an employer looking to hire a new person. Two people have all the qualification for the job. Both are unemployed and for both, things are tough. Who would you hire: The person who is happy about being alive, happy about having an opportunity to get a job and happy about using her skills for you, or someone who is unhappy, angry and surly over his situation?
You’d hire the happy person, of course.
2. Your boyfriend is late for your date. Would you have a better time with him if you’re happy that he’s there or if you’re angry that he’s late? Of course you’d both have a better time if you’re happy.
3. You see a co-worker treated unfairly at work. You can get angry and complain or you can be happy to suggest a system that can result in more fairness for everyone. The latter is far more effective.
Being angry, filled with stress, and feeling unhappy has been shown to negatively affect the body, mind, and spirit. Feeling happy and being filled with good cheer has a positive effect. The “bottom line” is that happier is better.
Ways to Accept What Is
There are some things you can do to learn to live a happy life. Here are some suggestions:
Laugh every day. Find something to have a big belly laugh about every day. Famed author and journalist Norman Cousins liked to watch Marx brothers movies.
1. Communicate your needs. Some people get angry when someone doesn’t do something even though they didn’t tell that person what is desired. Don’t expect your children, friends, family, lover or spouse to do something—tell them. If you don’t tell them they won’t know.
2. Accept people as they are. Don’t try to change people into something they aren’t. If you want them to do something differently, let them know what you want and need. Give them the opportunity to do things that will please you.
3. Treat yourself well! Be kind to yourself. You deserve it. Give yourself a treat from time to time. Be as accepting of yourself as you are of others.
4. Work for change with love. Don’t try to change something you feel is unfair because you hate the unfairness. Work for change because you love what can be.
5. Share your smiles. People smile and are happy with people who give smiles. However, it’s important to really mean it when you smile. People instinctively know when you’re honest.
6. Don’t expect instant change. People—including you—take time to change. Compliment people when they change in ways you’ve told them you’d like. Laugh if they don’t.
Whether you’re often angry and unhappy or usually a happy person, it’s not a long distance to being happy every day. If you want it, you can have it. It’s just accepting that what is, is.
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy, and has become a certified hypnotherapist and Master NLP practitioner. His book, Modern Magick, is the most popular step-by-step course in real magick ever published.