Dedicated to my son Hudson who turns 1 today. Thank you for reminding me the value and importance of being happy. Happy Birthday! Love, DaDa.
The other day I noticed my 5 year old sitting in his room with a big smile on his face. I asked why he looked so happy. He responded, “because…”.
I thought for a moment and then asked if he could elaborate a bit and his response was: “why do I need a reason to be happy?”.
I paused and replied, “you’re right, you don’t need a reason” and that’s when it hit me (and the inspiration to write this article).
- When was the last time you were happy?
If you are still thinking about it, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
As we grow older, many things change and one of them is our level of happiness. For some it grows while for others it slowly fades and for the rest it’s a rough sea filled with highs and lows. No matter where you are on the happiness rainbow, I’ve got great news for you and it doesn’t involve coaching, an expensive course, or reading a book.
The secret to being happy lies in kids.
Yes, kids…you used to be one so I get it may take a moment to remember what that was like but trust me – at some point in time, you were happy. The key is to remember what that was like.
Here are 7 ways kids can teach adults on how to cultivate more happiness in our lives:
- LIVE IN THE PRESENT. We live in a world full of distractions, spending hours in front of technology and sometimes missing what’s happening in front of us, in real time.Void of cell phones, computers and tablets – kids find ways to simply “be” in the moment and notice their surroundings – watching life unfold in front of them. Start today by unplugging your internal human hard drive and be with how life presents itself in real time.
“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day.”
- BE FEARLESS. To many kids, everything is possible and the sky is the limit. They can show us how to be fearless in the face of the unknown. I’m not talking about being reckless but rather taking risks. Possibility and discovery lies outside our comfort zones and the only way to know what you’re capable of is to step outside of yours. It’s never too late, start today.
“The key to happiness is letting each situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be.”
- BE FULLY EXPRESSED. Ever marvel at how kids have little to no filter when they speak? Me too. Kids have an uncanny and unflappable way of expressing themselves. There is something incredibly liberating to share what’s going on inside to those on the outside. Proceed with caution, but proceed nonetheless.
“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.”
- LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. Kids are notorious for sharing their things without asking for anything in return. There is something selfless and special in doing so. Real unconditional love is all about learning to give without expecting anything in return. Think of this quote: If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness. Do more kindness.
“Don’t ever be afraid to show who you really are, because as long as you are happy with yourself, no one else’s opinion matters.”
- LEARN TO FORGIVE. Ever notice how kids don’t hold grudges? Well they typically don’t – even when they don’t get that special chocolate dessert, trust me. One minute they are irritated and the next they have forgotten about it. The moment we allow ourselves to let go of our angers, fears, doubts and regrets, we free up the space in our head and heart to get back to our essence and from their find happiness again.
“Happy mind. Happy life.”
- BE CREATIVE. Kids use their imagination as often as we look at our cell phones. Whether they are playing alone or with other kids, they pretend and play in a world unshackled by the realities that too often keep us from dreaming and aspiring for more. Remember, the world has plenty of information but not enough inspiration. Imagination is the seed of the feeling of joy, water yours today.
“Life is better when you’re laughing.”
- THEY ADMIT WHEN THEY ARE SCARED. Kids get scared from things that go bump in the night and what do they do about it? They cry out for help. By doing so, they are admitting they are afraid and are looking for support. They aren’t concerned about ego or pride. Sometimes it’s as simple as raising your hand and asking for assistance. There is no reason why you should be held captive by your ego. Remember, courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond imperfections.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: I find the people who are happiest, take life day by day, complain very little, and are grateful for the little things. In the end, happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life – a choice one makes.
The floor is yours: When are you happiest?
Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.
Joshua / www.JoshHMiller.com
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