The Secret to Finding Happiness

Posted by in Career Success, Personal Development | 5 comments

You think about it all the time.

If you had it, you know you’d be a happy and well adjusted person.

Photo Credit: Alex via Compfight

You just know you’ll be happy when…

You get that job, find that spouse, have a child, get that car, that purse, fill in the blank.

It’s a dangerous game we all play.

The game of looking to things outside ourselves to make us happy.

What if we could be happy without even having to do anything, buy anything or go anywhere?

What’s the solution?

Stop looking for happiness.

Start looking for gratitude.

We all want something. That something changes as we grow and develop, but our desire to fulfill our needs and wants remains.

The key is to never lose sight of what is already good in your life. You can be content while you improve your life and your career.

Here are five ways to stop looking for happiness and start looking for gratitude:

1. Ask yourself, what am I grateful for right now? As part of that, ask yourself to Whom am I grateful? You may have some real difficulties in your life. Things that stifle any sort of positive outlook on life. However, my guess is you have at least one thing you are grateful for in your life right now.

2. Exercise. Don’t you hate it when people (me) say this? But it’s so true. If you exercise, even minimally, you will elevate your mood. The way you frame your life and your struggles changes when you exercise. You will have more energy to work through your struggles.

3. Embrace your struggles. Ask yourself, what do your current struggles make possible? Is there something you would not have been exposed to or learned if you had not struggled with a particular thing?

4. Create a gratitude journal. Research has shown that people who write down what they are grateful for will be happier as a result. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you write down that first item you’re grateful for. Most people experience a flood of items they are grateful for when they stop and write them down.

5. Look to the future. If you’re feeling down it is likely because you’re thinking about the present or the past. When we look towards the future we can see possibilities and have hope that our current reality will be changed for the better. We can get through anything when we have hope.

So the next time you find yourself thinking you’ll be happy when you get _____, start thinking about what you’re thankful for right now.

You’ll thank yourself later.

Question: What are you grateful for right now?

(If you liked the post [or not] leave a comment below.)


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  • Bill

    Adam, your message reminded me that I have a choice in how I feel today. My happiness today is something that I can control when I feel like there are things in my life that are out of me control. The choice is mine.

    • That’s right Bill. Ultimately we always have control over how we respond to our circumstances. Some circumstances are more difficult that others, but we always have the freedom to choose our attitude and response.

  • Whitney Sparks

    “In everything give thanks..”  This has been something weighing on my mind because it doesn’t say to just give thanks when things are looking up.  Even during the most stressful of times there is always something to be thankful for.  Great post to remind us of this! 

    • Yes, Whitney that can be a challenging verse to live when life’s circumstances are not going our way. Yet, even in our darkest hours there is always something to be thankful for no matter how small. If not in this life, then in the life to come. Thanks for your comment.

  • Thank… you!