This is Day 7 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days to an Authentic Life.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please CLICK HERE.
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It’s a word we each hope will describe our life.
Fortunately, happiness is within the reach of each one of us if we’ll but take hold of it and refuse to let it go, regardless of our current circumstances. I recall a time many years ago when I was going through a difficult time. Periodically, I’d call my mom to discuss with her my current set of challenges and express how unfairly life was treating me. She would listen patiently and then ask the question she always asked,
“Have you served anyone lately?“
I knew she was right, that serving someone else and focusing on their needs rather than my own would bring me closer to my authentic self and would provide the happiness I was seeking. I always chose to heed her counsel and, guess what? It worked!
Now, when I think back to that period of my life, the difficult moments I had during that time are surpassed by the countless happy memories that came from choosing to see the good in the world and reaching out to help another person in their time of need. My struggles didn’t disappear altogether, and I would eventually fall back into my old patterns of discouragement, but my mom was always there with her gentle reminder, “Have you served anyone lately?”
It’s the little things in life that seem to bring the most happiness.
Amy Spencer wrote a wonderful book entitled, Happy Life Checklist.
In the book, she includes Happy Life Checklists with simple activities that fall under the following categories:
Each activity listed has the potential to increase our level of happiness in this life. And our level of authenticity.
If you could use an extra dose of genuine happiness in your life, try out a few of her suggested activities that encourage authenticity and see if you don’t feel noticeably happier!
- Sing out loud
- Laugh out loud
- Be mindful
- Be adventurous
- Come up with your own unique tradition
- Be enthusiastic
- Live in the present
- Speak positively
- Take a step toward a “dream”
- Hug 2 seconds longer
- When you think of them, contact them
- Show compassion
- Build someone else up
- Praise a child
- Send a handwritten card
- Be curious. Ask questions.
- Accept help
- Master something
- Have courage
- Be content
- Don’t judge
- Make food to share with others
- Look people in the eye when you say thanks
- Leave your phone at home
- Stop and smell the roses
- Name a benefit you’ve gained from a difficulty you’ve faced
- Find your flow and get lost in the moment
- Use your gifts for good
- Show your vulnerability
If you’re encouraged by these ideas, you might enjoy reading the rest of her list HERE.
Living a happy, authentic life is a decision we face each day of our lives. Regardless of our current circumstances, let’s choose to be happy.
Day 7 Challenge: Choose a simple activity to incorporate into your day that will bring you an added measure of happiness. Make it a habit to incorporate such activities into your everyday life. Ask yourself, “Have I served anyone lately?”
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