One of the first tweets I read a few days ago was Malcolm Levene’s “If you continually move the goal post, you deprive yourself from being potentially happy. ” Now, while I believe he is making a valid point and I know what he is saying, it got me thinking. Why do we assume that happiness will be achieved when we reach our goals? How often do we say “I will be happy when….. I am two stone lighter, have a boyfriend, have a Porsche, am successful, have a zillion pounds…..”? The list is endless.
I believe in goal setting and I know that I am my happiest when I have a mountain to climb and I know which mountain to climb, but why wait until the summit to feel happy? Happiness is not something attached to an aspiration. It is not something out there for you to achieve. It is a choice.
We choose what we pay attention to. We are all capable of happiness, it’s in us already. Watch any baby laughing at something silly like peek-a-boo and you know that happiness is something within. So how do we choose happiness?
Start noticing when you are happy. If you are feeling down, it might only be for a short fragment of time. It can be as simple as a smile when you see someone, enjoying a cup of tea, smelling a flower, hearing a song on the radio. Pay attention when you catch yourself feeling happy and notice what it feels like. There is a lot of truth is in the old saying “Count your blessings”. You might find it useful to write down things that have made you happy during the day, things that you have seen, heard and felt. After a while it will become easier to notice when you are happy. You can choose what you pay attention to and you never know, happiness might sneak up on you!