Let me ask you an important question today…
Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?
Thinking about the glass half full/half empty analogy is a great way to remember that there are two sides to every story and we each have a choice in how we choose to view things. And that choice, in turn, determines how happy you feel. Happiness becomes a choice you make every single day.
Let’s look at each of those choices for a second – if you choose to see the glass as half empty, you’re focusing on the fact that you’re almost done drinking that nice glass of ice tea. On the other hand, if you choose to see the glass as half full, you’re focusing on the fact that you still have plenty of yummy, ice cold tea to sip on. Choosing the latter improves your mood which, in turn, increases your happiness.
When you look at it that way, happiness really is a conscious choice you make, at least to a point. From what I’ve been reading, 40% off your happiness is directly affected by how you think and how you choose to feel.
I have made a conscious decision to be happier and create a new habit of having a more positive outlook. The first step to make that happen is to make a commitment to happiness. This holds true for any new habit you want to start. The first step is always to commit to it. From there, it’s a matter of daily practice until the new behavior or action has become a true habit. (A habit, by the way, is something you do without any conscious thought or effort.)
Our journey toward a happier version of ourselves is no different. We have to commit to happiness. Of course it isn’t as easy as saying to yourself that you will be happier from here on out. While that’s certainly helpful, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Before we can truly commit to happiness we have to define what makes us happy.
Let’s say, for example, curling up on the couch with a good book makes you happy. Think about why – is it because it gives you a chance to escape and forget about your own life for a while? If so, try to pin-point what you’re hiding from when you dive into a book and what you can do about that.
Now, let’s look at an example of something that makes you unhappy. Let’s say, in this case, that’s getting up at 6:00 AM to go to work and changing to a later schedule isn’t an option. Instead of focusing on that making you unhappy, think about the positive things about getting up early. You get to see the beautiful sun rise, you get to come home at a decent hour and have time to relax with your kids or spouse before bedtime. Something as simple as implementing a relaxing bed-time routine and going to bed a little earlier may make it much easier to get up at 6:00 AM and improve your whole outlook on workday mornings.
I challenge you to find your own personal definition of happiness and come up with at least 10 different things or people that make you happy. Then commit to using the coming days to work on becoming happier. You won’t regret it.