The purpose of “A Hundred Days to Happiness” is to share some of the key insights on happiness that I have learned (and am still learning) from my patients, family and friends. My 100 post blog is not a sequential path that will lead after three months to a place of bliss. Rather, each day’s post offers a window on how many have found lasting joy.
Though we can get a transient thrill from a new job, a raise, an award, a new car, fashionable clothes or the hottest Apple product, most grownups have discovered that lasting happiness cannot be found in things.
Happiness is not a distant destination where we hope to finally arrive. Happiness is not a place somewhere else, a time in the future or in the past where all is perfect. Most grownups realize that whenever the conditions of their lives seem perfect, they certainly won’t stay that way.
Happiness is not found in the perfect mate because there is none. Everyone of us is imperfect. Some of our imperfections can be funny, quirky, endearing or irritating – depending on the stage of our relationships.
And happiness cannot be found in words alone. As you read words that resonate with you, you are rediscovering the truth that you have already known, but for some reason, you weren’t fully conscious of it or you haven’t been putting it into practice.
Each day, I have challenged you with an exercise in happiness – trying out a different perspective or approach to the people and circumstances of your life. Words are not enough. To change the way we feel, we must change the way we see, think and act.
So happiness is not found in something outside of yourself. It is not a thing to be possessed, a destination where you will arrive, a perfect person or a perfect life. It is a way of seeing, being, believing, living, loving and letting go.
Happiness is being fully alive in the present, embracing the good of the past, present and potential future, giving forward, engaged in a meaningful life that is authentic, inspired, grounded in integrity and reaching for something greater than yourself.
A happiness exercise: How have you defined and redefined happiness in the past? Now reflect on your life so far, your own experiences and lessons learned. Take another look into others’ windows on happiness. What might you do differently to enjoy deeper happiness and create greater happiness in this world?