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Have you noticed how often someone else is telling you what it takes to be happy?  Telling you the who, what, when, where, and even why about what you need to do to attain personal happiness?  How many “happiness gurus” have you listened to?  How many times have you spent weeks, months, or even years pursuing their plan of happiness for you?

Maybe you should stop.

With over seven billion people on the planet, surely there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to what makes us happy.

Can you look back and see frustrated efforts chasing someone else’s grand happiness plan?

A few years back, as part of a business I had, I frequently found myself in the homes of Hispanic families.  In almost every home, I couldn’t help but notice a calm and contented energy.  I noticed because it was foreign to my distinctly white middle class upbringing and life experience.  In these usually modest homes, there was a very obviously different set of priorities.  And they were happy.  Contented.  Something besides just having more money, more stuff, was driving their happiness.

Stop The Madness!

If you think I’m going to lay out the keys to happiness, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I can’t tell you what will make you happy.  Only you can do that.

What I can do is share my observations of what seems to be common elements in most people’s perspective on happiness.  From those Hispanic homes to the life stories I’ve personally listened to from those at the end of their life, here’s what I’ve noticed.

Possessions

Measure your possessions only as they, and the efforts you expend to attain them, provide an acceptable return.  If your efforts are not paying dividends of happiness, reconsider your priorities.  Like everything in life, the law of diminishing returns will devalue the attainment of more “stuff” at an ever-increasing rate.  Figure out what your own definition of “enough” is, and let that be  your guide.

Relationships

I’m sure you’ve heard that the only thing you really possess at the end of life is your relationships.  However true that may be, what is indisputable is the truth that at your last breath, relationships are all you’ll be treasuring.  They’re the only thing you’ll be missing as you contemplate leaving this world.

Good Will

If you think that good will is a part of a business evaluation or the charitable thrift store down the road, you may want to spend next weekend reading The Power of Reputation.  But good will is much more than just reputation, and yet quite simple to relate.

Think of someone whose image conjures up pleasant memories and feelings.  There’s probably a smile on your face as you think about how that person has shown up in your life or how they’ve inspired you.  They live an admirable life of teaching, sharing, caring, and making the world a better place.  They’re dependable, reliable, and honest.  They are purveyors of good will.

Now think of someone quite the opposite.  Thoughts of this person may cause reactions of anxiety, distrust, frustration, or even disgust.  You don’t aspire to be like them.  The biblical tenet “you will know them by their fruits” applies, and their lives are typically full of conflict and upset.

Adopting a policy of cultivating good will pays dividends throughout one’s life, and after.  No matter how you define your personal happiness, good will and reputation will enhance it.

What Path To Personal Happiness Are You On?

Too often, it seems, we get so busy in the business of life and the elusive pursuit of happiness that we forget to check the map to see where we’re headed.  Maybe it’s time to ask yourself –

How happy am I, right now? Am I on a path that allows and creates happiness by my own definition, or on a path someone else has designed? Does my path lead to increasing happiness, or perpetual lack of enough and longing for more? Need More Insights on Happiness?  Check These Out . . .

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  Joseph Addison

I read to plant new seeds in my mind and soul.  And to feed and water those already there.  Here’s a couple of recently published books that I’m sure will help you find more happiness in your own life.

Mastering Affluence

There’s an old song titled “What’s It All About.”  What really matters?  Is the whole of life just a roll of the dice?

Imagine your six-sided dice, not numbered but with each side reading an element of the totality of human riches.  All possible outcomes are contained on your dice.  But you only get a limited number of rolls.  And the outcome of each roll is all up to you.

Author Carol Tuttle’s “Mastering Affluence” shows you how to choose your own happiness by addressing – and balancing your life – in terms of  –

Spiritual Mental Emotional Physical Financial Relationships

She shows you how to replace the struggle to find joy and happiness with the ease of allowing yourself to choose your own happiness.   Your dice, your life.  You’ll be truly affluent, truly happy when the grand plan is all yours.

The Burn Zone

If you are a seeker of truth, on a quest for the meaning of life, or just chasing the elusive butterfly of happiness, you’ve got to pick up a copy of Renee Linnell’s “The Burn Zone.”

From gurus trying to implant their version of happiness in you, to the moments filled with self-doubt, the story of her journey to finding and accepting herself and her own truth will resonate with you.  Renee gives you a bird’s eye view, and you’ll find yourself embracing yourself and your version of happiness in a whole new way.

The post Living Your Own Version of Personal Happiness appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

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