Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.
Don’t we strive for happiness every single day? From the moment we wake up until it’s time for bed, we take steps and make choices that will hopefully make us feel good.
We want it to last, but sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe the day starts off with not enough sleep. That alone can make us feel grumpy. So we have coffee to feel happier. A hot shower and favorite clothes laid out from the night before get us in a better mindset.
The choice is ours
Then we try to have a good attitude about work, but thoughts from yesterday’s frustrations seep in. Our bad attitude lingers for awhile but we look for somebody who makes us laugh because we want to feel good.
Our attitude fluctuates throughout the day, depending on our choices. Who we spend time with, and how we react towards a situation will determine how we feel.
Happiness may not last
Happiness won’t stick around unless we decide not to let things or people get in the way of it. That’s where peace comes in. A peaceful mind is going to help us feel calm and content no matter the situation.
Peace of mind is permanent and it comes in handy when we have questionable situations that need to be dealt with. It is what makes us resilient.
What does happiness mean to you? For me, it is mostly about feeling peaceful.
I am learning and creating
At 58 years old, I’m starting a new venture. I’m married 30 years to Ken, and my sons are now 28, 26, and 25.
I worked hard to overcome the difficulties of anxiety disorder, back pain, and have experienced the ups and downs that come with a growing family.
When my first son was born I was supposed to leave him and go back to work. But when he arrived, I knew I couldn’t.
My home day care business began soon after. It flourished for 11 years until I got my second degree in Elementary Education when my youngest was 9.
I did not become a full time teacher
I never applied for a full-time teaching position. As a perfectionist, I realized that I would need to spend nights and weekends planning and preparing lessons and pushing myself to the best of my abilities. I’m not capable of doing it any other way!
I didn’t do it because I wanted my energy for my family. So I became the permanent building substitute. This way I could teach, but not have the extra work on nights and weekends.
With anxiety disorder, we never feel good enough. I didn’t think I could be a good enough teacher and mother at the same time. So either way, I struggled. At the same time I wanted to always be there for my boys.
Later I became a Coaching Director for the Midwest Center For Stress and Anxiety. The company sold to Stresscenter.com and I have been helping others overcome their anxiety with their program for the last 10 years. And most recently I have been helping others declutter and organize their space.
Life is not easy, but it is good
It’s been a journey within myself, and it has taken me on paths I didn’t expect. It’s been difficult and at times, seemed impossible, but you have to keep going and learning, because it’s the most worthwhile path there is.
I have come to a place in my life where I am learning, creating, and excited about what I’m doing. I want to help you realize your passions and live a more peaceful, organized life.
What tipped the scale and helped me put all of this together? I completely and thoroughly decluttered my house. I learned more about myself. The benefits I have experienced are immeasurable. I suddenly felt like I had time to do what I wanted because everything else was done.
So, here are 58 lessons I have learned throughout my life that have helped me find happiness and peace of mind. I want to share – one for each year – with you, to help make your life just a little bit easier.
58 Lessons in happiness for my younger self (and hopefully, some shortcuts for you)
You cannot change anybody but yourself. If you are feeling negative or stressed, look towards yourself not at others
Ask the Universe for help with a question or a problem. Then go to sleep and wait for direction
Don’t let obstacles get in the way of living a happy life. What can you do now, so you can look back on them some day and realize they were opportunities to make you better?
When you’re stuck on a project or in a situation and you aren’t making progress, just stop what you are doing and go back to it later or tomorrow. You will see things differently.
Remind yourself that You. Are. Enough. You deserve happiness. Stop trying to earn it.
Only keep things in your life that bring you joy, and get rid of the rest.
Take a walk without your phone or music. The ideas will magically come. Don’t forget a small note pad and a pen so you don’t forget them.
Be grateful for the smallest things everyday – they will make a big difference in how you see life.
Don’t worry about the end result. It is the daily steps (the process) that make you successful.
Pay attention to where and when the sun shines the light into your rooms.
Frame and hang pictures of family vacations instead of keeping them in albums.
A good night’s sleep will make all the difference.
Write a quick daily plan to organize your day and get things done.
Leave your sneakers and work out clothes by the door to minimize excuses to skip exercising. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do feel better, especially if you have anxiety and depression.
Put your favorite books on a table to remind you why you love them.
Spend time with people who care about you and bring you up.
Don’t say yes when you want to say no.
Don’t worry what people think of you. Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter.
People are too caught up in themselves to be paying attention to what you are doing.
Let yourself feel your emotions, because it helps you release them. Otherwise you might feel pain or anxiety
Worrying about something does not give you control over it
Be your true self. Besides, everyone else is taken.
What you are good at? What can’t you stop talking about? Figure out how you can earn an income from doing something you love.
Keep striving – face your fears. Courage is having fear and doing it anyway.
Take a vacation from life for a week or 2 and commit to decluttering your house – Every day for 9 hours each day. You will get your time back in more ways than you know.
Know who you are and what you want, so you can figure out what makes you happy.
Your time is limited each day. Spend it with those who matter.
Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react. Find the good in every day.
Talk to yourself as if you were talking to your good friend (or your child).
When you’re mad, wait 24 hours before responding.
Don’t commit to something right away, if you’re not sure you want to do it, get back to them in a day so you can think about it.
Stop trying to be perfect. If people were – you couldn’t stand being around them.
Give your opinion – it matters as much as anybody else’s.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Money, looks, or education does not make anybody better than you. Just richer, prettier, or smarter. Not better.
You are unique, gifted, and special. There is nobody else like YOU. Be Yourself.
If you love the life you live, you will live a life of love.
Take time to be by yourself everyday so you can daydream. Being calm and quiet gives you a chance to enjoy your own good company. Make a pact with yourself to spend time alone.
Thoroughly declutter your house. Honestly, your life will change.
Stand up for yourself and value yourself because other people do this and you can too.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say. People will respect you more.
Listen more than you talk.
Guilt is supposed to be a tap on the shoulder to remind you of a mistake. It is not meant to be a life sentence. Forgive yourself!
People are not going to think better of you if you worry or choose to feel guilty about something. They are both a waste of time.
Don’t expect things to go a certain way because you spent so much time planning for it.
Don’t expect that all people will like you.
If you don’t use it, don’t have it. Here’s a sobering thought … “When I’m dead it will all be trash.”
The present is simply accepting who you are, just the way you are…right now.
Happiness is in simplicity – not for all the things you have because less stuff means less complications.
Create little rituals at home to make ordinary days more special. Like spreading a tablecloth and drinking coffee outside on your deck. Slice fresh fruit for breakfast. Light more fires.
Focus only on what you can control because worrying is your imagination creating things you don’t want.
The process of getting to your goal IS the goal. It’s creating what you want to do in your life every single day.
Never give a negative thought an inch or it will take a mile.
The best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all. It’s relationships, experiences, and meaningful work.
Worrying is ineffective problem solving
Don’t research the internet for symptoms! A cut finger can lead to cancer.
90% of what we worry about never happens
Take care of your body so your body will take care of you.
True happiness is possible.
And one for good luck… 😊 Organize your life around your dreams and watch them come true.
Once you figure out what you are good at, and what you can’t stop talking about, find out how you can earn an income doing what you love. Life can be overwhelming, especially when you struggle with anxiety and you don’t think you are good enough.
It is worth your time to do whatever it takes so you can deal with the things that come your way. We strive to feel happiness every day. Challenges and obstacles like anxiety, are opportunities to change so we can learn how to feel better. Meditate, exercise, and get control over your attitude. These are ways to not only feel happier, but more importantly give us peace of mind.
We are all good at something! What comes naturally to you?