"It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come." - Dalai Lama
It can be very difficult to have a good attitude when you’re not happy. And, it is very difficult to be happy when you feel like nothing is going right in your life. If your child is very sick, your spouse filed for divorce, or you've lost your job and worry about making your mortgage payments, it can be very hard to pretend to be happy when you’re not. It all comes down to these questions: Do you want to be happy? And, how badly do you want it? If you answered yes and very badly, then read on.
Believe it or not, happiness is a choice. People complain about being unhappy, but they aren’t willing to do anything about it. They are not choosing to be happy. They are merely expecting it.
If you don’t like something about your life or yourself, it is your sole responsibility to do something about it. Happiness is an inside job. It takes work. Happiness is not a destination; it's a journey. It is not something that happens to you or for you. It is not given to you, nor is it something you earn. It is not even something you can find. It is something you create with all the steps you take on your journey.
The only true path to happiness is through aloha. If you cultivate aloha - love, kindness, and compassion - in your heart and in everything you think, feel, say, and do, you can create your own happiness. Cultivating aloha opens the door to invite happiness in. It can create an ocean of love to dive into and it can move you forward with mountains of courage.
If you don't know how to cultivate love, kindness, and compassion, a great place to start is with gratitude. You might have heard the phrase, "adopt an attitude of gratitude." What does that mean? Peace, positivity, love, and happiness are just on the other side of this wall of negative emotions you might feel right now. But, gratitude is the bridge that leads you there. Be willing to pay the toll.
There is always a reason to be grateful. You just might need some time to think about it to see it clearly. You can start by reviewing everything in your day from morning until night. You could also start by looking at every single person you encounter in your life from work, home, school, or extracurricular activities. You might also start with the basic areas of your life, such as health, food, home, and job.
By expressing gratitude for all the good things in your life right now, you invite opportunities for more good things to come. In other words, by showing gratitude, you make room to invite more of the same. Expressing gratitude pushes positive vibes into the world, which creates harmony with others and nature. Positive energy has a boomerang effect. When you push positive energy out, positive energy comes back to you. Therefore, if you show gratitude for the things you have, the people who make your life better, and everything else that truly matters to you, you will create a portal of positivity that attracts more of the same.
By expressing gratitude, you help reset your mindset with positivity. This creates an open space in your mind to accept life as it is as well as to make room for more of what you want. Think about what makes you happy now and what would make you happy next. What do you truly want? What do you want to have, do, or be in your life? What would that look like to you? Describe it. Be as specific as possible. Then, frame it in the form of a gratitude.
When writing your gratitudes, first focus on the things you already have. Then, you can focus on the things you do not yet have. To write your gratitudes, use the phrase, “I am so happy and grateful for.” Then, finish the phrase with something or someone in your life right now that deserves your gratitude. The more you can describe it, or express it, the more powerful your gratitude. For example, if you’re grateful for your family: “I am so happy and grateful for the love and support of my family.” An even better gratitude would be to name the members of your family and to give examples of why you’re so grateful for them. For example, “I am so happy and grateful that my father has recovered from his illness.” Or, “I am so happy and grateful my brother, Jack, loaned me money for my car payment.” If you’re grateful for your home: “I am so happy and grateful to live in a safe neighborhood and to have a beautiful home where all the kids have their own rooms and a back yard for playing and barbecues.”
Repeat this process for the things you do not yet have in your life, but wish to attract. As a suggestion, you could use one side of a sheet of paper for present gratitudes and the other side for future gratitudes.
Over time, repeating this exercise helps to cultivate a more positive mindset. When you are more positive, your mind is more open to creative and problem-solving processes. In other words, when you’re positive, you start thinking outside the box. Instead of thinking in terms of can’t, you think in terms of can. Instead of asking why, you ask why not. When you think outside the box, you move outside the box. That is, you are more willing to step outside of your comfort zone and take healthy risks. It is in this realm, where the magic of bringing and inviting all that you want happens. Your positive attitudes and actions invite more people, places, and things into your life that create a life of happiness.
Gratitude journaling is an easy practice for cultivating positivity and happiness. I’m much happier when I’m writing gratitudes. That is, I enjoy what I’m writing because the things I write about make me happy. As a result, I look forward to this exercise because it always puts me in a better mood.
Your actions mirror your attitudes. Your results reflect your actions. To be happy, you have to be willing to take actions that create happiness. Start with an attitude of gratitude and your attitude will improve. Be grateful for everything that makes you happy now and soon you will have more of it to make you happy.
Become the master of your own destiny, my Pineapple. Create your own happiness.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.