Friday, November 13, 2009

Defining Happiness

Hello Optimists,

When we are asked what we'd like most in life, one common answer is "to be happy". So what exactly constitutes happiness? I suppose it's different for everybody. Some say having a lot of money, some say having a family, some say having a great career. These are all valid answers and really do make a lot of people happy. But often, happiness is defined by a long term goal that is very hard to reach or can never be satisfactorily achieved. It's good to dream and to set goals, but if we are unhappy while trying to get there, maybe we should reconsider our definition.

Sometimes in striving to reach that state of bliss we lose sight of what our present life consists of. We miss out on what great things are happening every day because we're so concentrated on making sure we will can satisfy that goal. We take for granted our current place in life because our view is too clouded with visions of our future euphoria. I'm certainly guilty of this- I often find myself thinking only about what lies ahead instead of making the most of my day, and sometimes I miss out on some important things. When I found today's quote, it really grounded me and allowed me to step back for a moment and take in everything that was going on at that instant, and I hope that it does the same for you.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." -Frederick Koeing

If you think about it, we work so hard to get the things we don't yet have but desperately want, only to get them and enjoy them for just a little bit until our happiness wanes and we set our sights on something else. It's all too easy to take the present for granted, but we really should stop and take the opportunity to acknowledge and find our happiness in the things we currently have. This is where true happiness comes from.

So give it a try today; take some time to identify the things in your state in life right now that can define your happiness. If we don't take time to appreciate the present, we won't be able to remember all of the great people, events and memories in our life...and forgetting about all of that certainly won't lead us to happiness.

Have a Great Weekend and Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

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