Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
This week, we in the US of A will celebrate our independence. The declaration penned by our government’s founders thought happiness was so innate to our humanity that they included it among the reasons for revolution. But here’s the thing, it wasn’t a guarantee. The Declaration of Independence specifically states, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” If I could make the word “pursuit” jump out on your screen in flashing colors and lights and spin around to get you to notice it I would. You may have the right to pursue happiness, but you have to want it. You have to go after it. You have to take action. It comes from within you and is solely within your power to achieve.
But let me be clear. Happiness is not a gold ribbon, nor a certain salary, a vacation home, or that person you hope to marry. Happiness is not a destination, nor a circumstance; it is a state of being. It is mindset. You choose to be happy. Yes, there are going to be moments in your life when you feel the emotions of sadness, frustration, or anger. That doesn’t mean that on the whole you can’t also be living, be “being” happy.
Research shows that 50% of happiness is in our genes, how our DNA lends to our natural state of happy and psychology. But that isn’t controlling interest. You may think that a lot of happiness is related to circumstance – our things, our family and friends, our money, our lot in life. Actually, that only accounts for 10% of happiness. That’s why researchers have found that some of the monetarily poorest people in the world are often some of the happiest. It has nothing to do with having the latest smart phone, greatest number of Facebook likes, or a bigger house.
It is the remaining 40% that in some ways has the biggest influence. That 40% of happiness comes from intentional activity. Those activities are literally what you would list if I asked you what makes you happy. They are activities such as playing with your kids, knowing you did an awesome job on that project you just finished, hanging out with friends, being out in nature on a nice day, being grateful, being of service to others, pursuing a goal. (There’s that word pursue again.) Those activities generate happiness.
You aren’t guaranteed happiness because no one can give it to you, nor take it away. It is your mindset, and specific, intentional actions and ways of being that you choose that form your happiness. You have the freedom to pursue happiness – embrace it!
….Want more inspiration and information? Check out my radio show this month (July 2014). My guests will all be discussing aspects of living a happy and healthy life. You can listen LIVE on Tuesdays at 1:00pm Central HERE. If you miss a show you can find shows archived HERE.
July’s Happy Guests:
July 1 – Dr. Lynn Johnson – Positive Psychologist
July 8 – Mike Robbins – Author of several books including, “Focus on the Good Stuff” and “Nothing Changes Until You Do”
July 15 – Dr. Bowen White – Speaker and author of “Why Normal Isn’t Healthy”
July 22 – Mika Kim – Place of the Future (happiness in work and community); recently elected to a city position in the Los Angeles area on a platform of happiness
Originally posted on June 29, 2014