Could it be it’s what you DON’T DO that robs you of your happiness?

Could it be it’s what you DON’T DO that robs you of your happiness?

Here on The Happiness Institute's blog I focus, mainly, on things you can do to enhance your happiness. But as this thought provoking article from MarcAndAngel shows, for some people happiness, or lack of happiness, might be more about what you DON'T do…

by Marc Chernoff 

This morning, for some reason the register at our local quickie mart would not accept my credit card, which was the only form of payment I had on me.  It didn’t report my card was declined, but the transaction process just seemed to cycle in an infinite loop.  After trying twice, the cashier smiled, took a $10 bill out of her own pocket, used it to ring up the milk and eggs I was trying to buy, and handed me the change and receipt.  She said, “Honey, I’m not sure what’s wrong with the credit card machine at the moment, but I see you in here all the time.  Pay me back when you get the chance.”

I was blown away!  I couldn’t stop smiling, and neither could she.  Her gesture of kindness honestly made both of our mornings.

This afternoon when I sat down to write, I immediately thought about my joyful encounter this morning, and the first thing that came to mind was, “That wonderful lady really took a chance on me.”  Which got me thinking about all the chances we have to make our lives a little brighter and happier, and how many of these chances we never take.

So if you’ve been feeling a bit unhappy lately, it might be time to…

1.  Take a chance on others by giving them a hand.

The happiest and most successful people are always looking for ways to help others.  The unhappiest and most unsuccessful people are still asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Ultimately, your greatest successes in life will not be measured by how high you have climbed, but by how many people you have helped up with you.  This is how success leads to happiness.  What goes around comes around.  It’s impossible to not feel good when you are doing good for others.

Today, help those around you and celebrate their strengths.  Lift them up and help them thrive.  When you choose to see and support the best in others, you end up finding the best in yourself.

2.  Take a chance on your dignity and self-worth.

Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to fight for what you deserve.  Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before.  Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again.  Don’t settle.

Keep up your dignity and always be true to yourself.  Truly loving yourself involves faith and trust and belief in who you are, and a willingness to act upon it.  So stop daydreaming and start DOING.  Develop a backbone, not a wishbone.  Take full responsibility for your life – take control.  You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now, and the somebody the world needs is YOU.  (Angel and I cover this in more detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  Take a chance on imperfection.

If you always look for perfection, you’ll always look unhappy.  When you stop expecting people and situations to be perfect, you can start to appreciate them for who and what they are.  Imperfections are important, and so are mistakes.  We get to be good by learning from our mistakes and we get to be real by being imperfect.

Today, be tolerant of people’s mistakes.  Sometimes good people make bad choices.  It doesn’t mean they’re bad; it simply means they’re human.

Likewise, learn to walk in your own shoes imperfectly.  If you want to truly grow into your best self, let go of the notion of perfection and replace it with the notion of endless playful exploration.  It is better to live your own destiny honestly, joyfully and imperfectly, than to live up to one of society’s contrived expectations with perfection.

4.  Take a chance on the present moment.

Endless worry and rumination are the enemies to living in the present moment.  The search for happiness is sometimes the main reason for unhappiness.  Enjoy your life today; don’t wish it away by waiting for better days ahead.  Accept and appreciate things now, and you’ll find more happiness in every moment you live…

…keep reading HERE for the full & original article