Happiness isn’t something that just happens to us. We must create our own happiness.
I always thought that once I was skinny I would be happy. Or once I graduated from college and got a real job I would be happy. Or once I got a better job I would be happy. Or when I got a boyfriend I would be happy. Or when I was finally out of debt I would be happy.
Does this sound familiar? We often assume that there’s something physical or tangible that will create a lifetime of happiness. Or when we reach a certain level of success, we’ll be happy.
I’m not sure when I realized that grasping at things outside of myself would never make me happy, but that shift in my mindset changed everything.
I think this lesson came to me in pieces. I lost weight and I still hated my body. I got a job and I still felt unworthy. I got a new job and I still felt like I wasn’t good enough. I fell in love and someone loved me and I still grasped at things outside of myself to create a sense of fulfillment. I wondered if I was destined to be miserable.
Over the past few years, I’ve dived deep into self-reflection – reading personal development books, listening to podcasts, watching webinars, following spiritual leaders on social media. The one thing that always came up was how to create a life full of joy and happiness.
The same message came from so many people and from my own intuition (once I was able to connect to it)…
We have to choose – every single day – to create happiness. Even when life feels kind of shitty.
My life is far from perfect (whatever that looks like), but I’m happy.
I decided that I won’t spend my life waiting for some big change that may or may not come to be happy. There’s so much beauty in life’s messiness and in the journey…something I never realized before.
The one tool that has really helped me to find happiness, even when life feels chaotic and stressful, is keeping a gratitude journal.
Before my morning meditation, I write down three things I’m grateful for. Sometimes my gratitudes are profound, and sometimes I’m grateful for coffee. What you write down doesn’t matter. It just matters that you’re taking the time to notice that your life is full of abundance.
Try keeping a gratitude journal and see what happens.
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
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