Happiness — the often elusive, but always desired state of being. The reason why we’re not always happy is simply because we aren’t always present to the miracle of life. Millions of years after the creation of the Universe, and then the earth, after Homo sapien evolved out of monkeys, our sperm had to jump through hoops in order to be the one out of millions. That’s one reason to always be happy.

I know, I know, thinking about our creation isn’t always the most practical way for us to get happy. I’m all about being practical as well, and besides learning the ability to switch happiness on whenever I want, there are other things I do that put me into a much happier state.

“Happiness is being the creator of your experience, choosing to take pleasure in what you have, right now, regardless of the circumstances, while being the best you that you can be.”
~Alex Shalman

1. Define Happiness.

To come up with the definition above, I’ve interviewed nearly 100 people in a series that I called the Happiness Project. I read books on happiness, and I attended self-improvement seminars on happiness. The distilled version that you see now seems like a no-brainer, but ask yourself a simple question — are you following it?

2. Appreciate Now.

Whenever I’m in the moment, and I’m really present to what I’m feeling, seeing, hearing, or doing, I experience a sense of euphoria. It isn’t often that in our fast paced society we are able to stop ourselves from thinking about the future, or dwelling over the past, so a nice dose of now is a refreshing change.

3. Improve Yourself.

Did you know that a shark must constantly be moving forward to circulate water through it’s gills in order to stay alive? They even move forward while they’re sleeping. Metaphorically speaking, we humans have a similar problem. If we don’t move forward physically, mentally, and spiritually, we become weak, stupid, or broken. Our obligation to ourselves is to improve.

4. Become Accountable.

“I don’t have to answer to no one.” — Have you ever heard someone proudly state that phrase? It may be true, you might only have to be accountable to yourself and no one else, but it may not be the best way to live, not necessarily. When you make yourself accountable to someone else, by telling them your goals and desires, they can keep on top of you and make sure you get things done. This will enable you to get to your goals more efficiently, raise your self-esteem, and create joy in your accomplishments.

5. Don’t Become, Just Be.

If your constantly thinking into some future where you can be happy, you’ll be in the habit of trying to be happy. If you are trying to do something, you are doing it, you’re trying to do it. Instead, if you just become happy with your current situation, you can be happy any time and place.

“When you’re working on being happy, you are the type of person that created the possibility that you are not currently happy.”
~Roger Smith (Landmark Education)

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