For the previous 26 days, you have read posts focused on a central theme, The Alphabet of Happiness. Each letter of the alphabet brought new words and suggestions for why you should pursue happiness in your life and how you can go about doing it. My hope is that you will find at least one suggestion to be helpful in your life right now.
What did the Alphabet Teach You?
Here are some things I learned about myself while blogging on the subject of happiness. These are in no particular order.
I learned that writing about happiness is a lot easier than actually doing it.
The concepts and principles are clear in my mind. However, it’s an entirely different challenge to take what you know and put it into practice.
I learned that there are more reasons to be happy than I first realized. I have struggled with depression on a daily basis throughout my entire adult life. There are many days, too many in fact, where my first inclination is to stay in bed all day.
So many times in life we are faced with what seems like an unpassable obstacle in life. Those feelings of overwhelm can easily consume us. But, when we can consciously choose to accept “what is,” then we can move forward to a happier ending. See the post regarding, Radical Acceptance.
I learned, once again, that happiness has to come within.
With each letter of the alphabet explored, I was reminded over and over again that happiness isn’t something you can buy, borrow, or steal. True happiness, the lasting kind, is found deep within ourselves.
No matter how much money you make, the size of your house, the type of car you drive, or the amount of money in your bank account, they don’t equate with inherent happiness. Those are like “surface” happiness sources. The question to ask yourself is, “If I take away all of those things, am I still happy?”
If the answer is no, then that is when you have to take a look at your values. When you are living your life in alignment with your personal values, you are walking along the path of true happiness as well as achieving a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
I learned that I can’t be truly happy in life without others.
Like millions of other people in the world, I suffer from a great deal of anxiety. Specifically, my struggle is social anxiety. As much as I want to be around other people and to be engaged with them, it’s just not that easy.
But, I have also learned that keeping myself completely isolated from other people isn’t ideal either. You have to find and create a balance between the two extremes. This means having courage and determination.
Socializing with others can provide you with an incredible amount of support and encouragement. They can help guide you and energize you to continue your journey towards happiness. They will enrich your life and compliment each success along the way.
I learned that happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Learning how to be happy in and with your life is a long-term commitment. In our world today, happiness is linked to “instant gratification,” as shown by social media. All you have to do is buy this, reach this, do this, get this, say this, act like this and you will be happy in your life. Well, that is NOT true.
Learning to be happy in your life is equivalent to finding the why in your life. Previously I wrote that if you don’t have a why to live for, then you won’t have a reason to keep living. This life-long journey of happiness is the why to live for. And all of this requires hope.
“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…” -Dalai Lama
Happiness and You!
I hope that you have found this 26-day journey through the alphabet to be as helpful to you as it has been for me. Just a reminder to go back and read from the very beginning if you haven’t been following along this journey.
Make up your mind to be happy and then put that thought into action. Just as when you are learning how to perform a new task, hobby or sport, practice is required. Well, the same can be said for learning new skills and putting those into action in your daily life.
I would love to hear from you in the comments section below as to what you have learned and what you might have added in this exploration.
Copyright © Julie Corbett 2017