One of our favourite family vacation destinations has been Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. I’ve told my kids to notice the transformation in the families around us as we walked through the gates and entered the Magic Kingdom.
Of course, they noticed that a lot of kids were still crying, some teens still looked bored and grown-ups were still arguing just as they had been a moment ago.
But as a family we were determined to have fun and make the most of each day together – even after we left the park.
The lesson to my kids was to ask themselves, “If I can’t be happy in the happiest place on earth, where can I find happiness?”
Since they were toddlers, I’ve been teaching my kids to appreciate the people in their lives, enjoy the joys of the present, and to seize each day. They have taught me the same things.
Happiness is not found in a place far away, in the past or in the future, and it we won’t find lasting happiness if we are always looking outside of ourselves.
Happiness is part of the art of living. It requires an attitude: an intention to be as happy as you can be, to appreciate what you’ve been given, to accept the challenges before you and to enjoy what you have today.
Happiness requires action. Sometimes the best in life can come to you out of luck and grace, but you can miss out on your potential for happiness by not doing what you love to do.
We each have a calling – what we were meant to do in this life. It’s your personal gift to the world. Don’t let everyone down, and don’t disappoint yourself.
Happiness requires living fully: living in the present, living mindfully, living graciously and living for something greater than yourself.
Your happiness exercise for today: Think about your home, school or workplace. What can you do or change through your own attitude and actions to make each of them the happiest place on earth for yourself and everyone else?
Tomorrow, ask your family, your partner, your friends, coworkers and classmates, what you can do together to create the happiest place on earth right here and right now.