Have you ever done it?
Ever fantasized about if your numbers were picking in the lottery?
I’ll admit, every time the Powerball gets up into the hundreds of millions, I find myself daydreaming a little…
Wouldn’t that be incredible?
Karen had the TV on HGTV the other day (I’ve gotten used to it) and I caught a few minutes of a show called “My Lottery Dream Home.” Everyone on there had just received a windfall, and now they’re shopping for a new home…
They sure did look happy.
But here’s the thing. They’ve actually studied this and compared regular folks with those who received the lottery, a year after the cash came rolling in.
Sure, the lottery folks are happier. But not by much.
Most of us will never get the lottery. But we do focus on the “I’ll be happy if…” constant chase.
A new car. A promotion. A new love. “When that happens, then I’ll finally be happy.”
And these things can bring happiness, you bet. But it’s a happiness that quickly flits away, if it’s wrapped around an event.
Real happiness is created. You either make it, or you don’t. And a lasting happiness comes from habits that foster good feelings.
The “really happy” people have developed habits that nurture their well-being. They smooth out the ups and downs, and find contentment that doesn’t fly out the window when life interferes.
What are these habits? Some I’ve spoken about before, like exercise.
Moving your body releases “feel good” hormones. A regular schedule of exercise is not only good for you, it’s going to make you happier. Trust me on this.
Sleep is another habit that boosts mood, focus and self-control. I talk about that a lot too.
But what else? For one thing, happy people slow down. They appreciate the little things. Who among us hasn’t rushed through a week and wondered where it all went. What did I even DO yesterday?
Savor a meal. Listen to music. Really listen. Step outside and take a breath. And start a conversation and go deep with someone you love.
Engaging people on that level creates connection, it helps you learn, and makes you grow. And if you can help someone with a problem, or just provide a sounding board, that’s even better.
Because helping others is not only good for the soul, it’s good for your body… and your wallet. A Harvard study showed people who helped others were 10 TIMES more focused, and 40% more likely to get a promotion. Not bad.
Doing small things, and spending dough on others, creates more happiness than doing things for yourself. Take the time to get that book your friend was talking about it, and you’ll be surprised how good you feel afterwards.
Getting a gift for someone doesn’t have to be lavish. In this case, “it’s the thought that counts” is really true.
The thing is, being happy is something that can be refined, like a muscle that strengthens when you move it regularly. Nobody wakes up happy every single day. The “happy people” don’t either.
But they try harder than most of us. They make decisions that boost their happiness, and surround themselves with the right people.
Think about it this way. If you can’t stand smoke, would you surround yourself with cigarette smokers? No, you’d probably walk away.
But second-hand negativity is probably just as bad as a lung full of tar and nicotine.
And sometimes as hard to quit. But to truly be happy, you’ve got to try.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.