Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Sparks for a Happy Life

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.  
It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

The happy myth

Recently my wife asked me what my “happy sparks” are.  I had no idea what she was referring to so I asked “What are happy sparks?”  She replied, “a happy spark is that feeling you get when you think of something and get so full of happiness you want to do the happy dance or jump with joy.”  This got me thinking about what happiness is.  I believe many of us are deceiving ourselves about our personal happiness.  New jewelry, a promotion at work, a night on the town, a vacation home, fourteen day cruises to exotic ports, a new car or a new motor home are all things that can make you happy but, there in is the myth regarding happiness.  Yes, these things and many others create a feeling of happiness but, it is not a lasting happiness.  In other words, when you find happiness in material things true happiness becomes this elusive thing you desire but never seem to achieve.

What does it mean to be happy?

Becoming aware of the truth that not everything has to be perfect and that happiness is not achieved through the accumulation of material things is a total game-changer.  Being aware means you can choose happiness in the moment.  Falling into the trap that happiness will only come when everything in your life is exactly the way you think it should be is a dangerous trap to fall into.  When material things or conditions are needed to fill you up, validate your life or make you feel whole and complete it only takes a small change to bring an end to your happiness.  Contrary to what you may have been taught, happiness is as simple as a choosing to be happy.  Simply making the choice to be happy empowers you in any situation trumping any material thing or imposed condition.  The moment you choose to be happy you will begin to perceive things differently strengthening your capacity to feel happy.

What does it mean to be happy?  I believe happiness begins when you simply let life happen.  Rather than controlling and forcing things let go; in so doing you begin to become free.  When free you allow life’s imperfections to happen making happiness easier to find.  What defines happiness is different for everyone but I believe everyone can look back to moments in their life where they can say “that made me truly happy.”

My Happy Sparks

I have had many moments that have filled me with so much happiness I did the happy dance or jumped with joy.  Every time I think back to the moment each of my children were born; when I think of my grandchildren; my siblings, parents and growing up; many of my close friends; many of the beautiful places I have visited and photographed; my wife; my life; and so much more are my happy sparks.  Having these cherished memories reminds me that happiness is not found in material things rather in those moments of freedom when I let go and just hung on for the ride.

What is keeping you from letting go and truly being happy?  When you fill your happy spark bucket with life’s little pleasures you will realize how awesome being alive is.  Keeping life simple and in the moment will overflow your happy spark bucket.  What will fill your happy spark bucket?  
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