The Secret To Being Happy
Most people believe that more money, less body weight, more clothes, more friends will make them happy.
Yes, having more money can help make you happier (relieve stress by paying off bills, buy the house you wanted, put food on the table etc), but it isn’t the foundation of true HAPPINESS.
So what does define true happiness?
We believe this includes doing something you love, developing strong, healthy relationships and growing as a person. You can have all the money in the world and if you don’t enjoy what you do, love the people you are with, and/or you aren’t growing as a person, chances are you are not happy. To compound this, you will probably be lonely as well.
Much like the #1 secret to success, the #1 secret to happiness is attainable and achievable. Being successful, being happy are choices we make.
Each day we wake up and as we go about our day we choose how happy and how successful we want to be. You see, your thoughts create actions, which produce your results. How we choose to think will create the actions we take, which will produce the results in our lives. Think on that for a minute…
What separates happy people from others isn’t that they are doing something better, know more or are even more talented.
Happy people choose to be HAPPY which creates the results they want, that is happiness.
“Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be” – Abraham Lincoln.
Happy people are curious people, curious about their own thoughts, what they can learn from themselves and from others. Most people tell others what to do to be happy, or judge others for the choices that might make them happy.
Happy people will ask themselves: “What do I want?” “Who do I want to do it with?” “How can I achieve it?”
Their curious thoughts come from within and create new actions, which lead to endless possibilities.
Being happy at any given time is an option that is available to all of us. Just because we are happy does not mean we can’t feel other emotions. We need to experience all emotions as each one provides us with something. For example fear ensures we protect ourselves when necessary. Envision a continuum with happiness at one and along the continuum are all the emotions with lack of emotion or apathy at the other end. We can choose to be at any point on this continuum at any time. At times we will experience emotions because of loss, pain, disrespected values etc. As we work through this emotion, we have the choice of resuming our status quo anywhere along the continuum. Happy people choose to move back along this continuum towards happiness as their choice You can too.
Happiness isn’t one size fits all. What makes you happy may not make me happy. However, what is consistent for everyone is that without curiosity you will never know what happiness means to you. Or your partner/ spouse. Or your family.
The secret to real happiness: Get curious!
A curious approach to life allows you to dig deeper, get clear on what you want, and have a better understanding of others. Curiosity allows you to explore new possibilities and look at things differently. Curiosity is the key to your happiness.
1. Be present in your life:
Truly happy people choose to find opportunities in the moment when others aren’t curious to look. They think it is easier to be apathetic or perhaps move naturally towards an emotion that feels comfortable for them. Being present in the moment ensures we reflect on our emotions, how we are feeling at any given moment. Where on the continuum am I right now? Where do I want to be?
2. Listen to your self talk:
Truly happy people choose to define their happiness on their terms, not others. They reflect and explore what they want and then decide to how to achieve it.
3. Ask yourself open questions:
Reflection supports self awareness which leads to self regulation. Happiness comes as we explore our thoughts, develop our self awareness and discover strategies to self regulate. All this can lead towards the choice of happiness. When challenges arise, happy people look at challenges from different angles, listening to their self talk, reflecting on different options before choosing how they want to move forward. They use curiosity to support what they need to be happy.
In the silence of your thoughts, how happy are you? How could you use curiosity to understand your thoughts, which create your actions and lead to your results?
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Co-Founder of The Institute Of Curiosity
Kathy Taberner is a retired occupational therapist, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with a MA in leadership and training. With her daughter, she is a co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity and co-author of the ‘Power of Curiosity’. She is committed to supporting women to strive to become the dynamic and successful leaders they want to be. Her research project for her Masters explored the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of senior female leaders in BC.
She and her husband of many years, share their time between the Okanagan and Vancouver.