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To Live Younger Longer, Cultivate Happiness

It’s the beginning of the new year, or a new month or a new day.  You are ready to rock and roll….but the question you may be asking yourself is, What should I do first?

What will be the most effective use of my time? How can I reach the most people or get the most done with what I choose

How can I make this year the happiest ever?

How can I make this year the happiest ever?

to do in the next minute, or hour or day?   What can I do that will make this year the happiest ever?

Notice how all of these questions are about doing something.  There’s an implicit assumption that if you just do something, anything it will bring you closer to having what you want in life….which for most people ultimately is happiness.

But sometimes action is just a way to stay busy and may actually distract us from being happy.  Those are the times when we do something, anything to …well…be doing something….like scrolling down our Facebook page or sending a few tweets. Or maybe you just surf the net or watch a video about the latest way to become wildly rich by next week…who knows maybe you’ll find the one deal that isn’t a scam.  Or maybe you clean your house or do your laundry or watch a movie.  There’s nothing wrong with any of these activities unless they are a distraction from the main event..being happy.

Unfortunately when we engage in mindless activity just to have something to do, it tends to be unfocused.  While this  may help us feel busy, in my experience, at the end of the day I am tired and frustrated because although I was busily doing something all day, I didn’t accomplish anything worthwhile and my goals are still out there in the future somewhere, unrealized. This kind of activity for its own sake is a little like being a rat on a treadmill.

Why do we do this?

It’s easy to buy into the idea that if we just do enough with enough intensity that we will have what we want or need and then we will be happy.

And if we aren’t happy then the solution is to do more, or work harder or find a different job, or have multiple streams of income or whatever.  Somehow more is the answer to having and then being happy.

thich Nhat Hanh

“If you want happiness to bloom within you…simply cultivate the seeds.”

Oddly enough (or maybe not) when I was thinking about this post I opened a piece of mail which turned out to be a solicitation to subscribe to a spiritually oriented magazine.  There was a flyer in the envelope with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known Buddhist monk who is originally from Viet Nam .  The quote said, “If you want happiness to bloom within you…simply water the seeds.”  He goes on to explain that “Our emotions and perceptions are like seeds in the garden of our minds…When we water the seeds of joy in ourselves, they will grow and flower without struggle or effort.  This is one of the simplest and most wonderful of miracles.”

In other words, if you want more joy or happiness in your life,  focus on the joy in yourself.  What do you have in your life right now that brings you joy?  Your spouse, your children, your job?  What about your home, a good book, some music?  A fire in the fireplace on a cold night?  When your focus is on cultivating joy in yourself you will automatically be,  a happier person with a lot less struggle.

This concept can be expressed in another way.  Rather than the do more, have stuff, be happy model we discussed above, switch to the be (happy, joyful, grateful), do in an inspired way, have enough of whatever you need or want approach. 

This means, focus first on your inner state of being and from this will flow inspiration about what to do next, which in turn will allow you to have or manifest whatever it is you want.  But it all flows from your state of being rather than from mindlessly doing.

And if as Thich Nhat Hanh explains you can experience joy without struggle and effort, then you will for sure live younger longer.  Give it a try.

Share ways that you have found to nurture the happiness that naturally lives inside of you.

Celeste

PS…Part of nurturing your yourself is taking good care of your physical body.  CLICK HERE for information about a breakthrough anti-aging product that will change your life forever.

 

7 Responses to To Live Younger Longer, Cultivate Happiness

  1. Sadie-Michaela Harris January 18, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    I think happiness comes for me from doing what a please when I please and whilst sometimes the constraints and responsibilities we have in life can sometimes become a barrier or obstabcle to our own happiness. People often speak of stress, I think stress is another word for life ie what isn’t working for us in our life… when this impacts us we should be mindful to make changes to get our mojo back! :)
    Sadie-Michaela Harris recently posted..Will The UK Embrace Making Payments Mobile Phone in 2013?My Profile

    • Celeste Smucker January 18, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Hi Sadie-Michaela. Yes stress is definitely tied to what isn’t working…and I think more specifically our resistance to it. Ultimately it is the resistance which creates the stress. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Donna Merrill January 19, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Celeste,

    I like the way you used the analogy of growing flowers from seeds. Cultivating them until they bloom and give us joy. Happiness is the same way.

    Whatever makes us happy, we need the time to cultivate that. Instead of immersing ourselves into our business which makes us happy too, we do need to balance our time for all those things that make us happy.

    If we are not happy, it shows through in every aspect of our lives.

    Great Point,
    Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Balancing Act Of An Online EntrepreneurMy Profile

  3. Holly January 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    So important to feel joy and be happy.. As much as things can get in the way, it just takes a little bit of effort to look at what brings joy to one’s heart and dwell in that than in the stresses of what is going on.. Today, I looked out at the sun setting and marvelled in that.. So nice to just enjoy the littles pleasures in life! Fantastic post, Celeste!
    Holly recently posted..10 Simple Ideas To Get More MOVE In Your DayMy Profile

  4. marquita herald January 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Excellent advice. I strongly believe that the first step to greater happiness is to take the time to define what happiness means to you – what will true happiness look like. Otherwise we’re searching in the dark for some vague ideal. Thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald recently posted..Two Simple Ways to be HappierMy Profile

  5. Steve Hughes January 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    So all I have to do is water the seeds? :) Seems simple enough. I think identify what makes you happy is key, and I’m not sure that is always obvious to all. I know I feel good right now after reading your post, and usually do after reading health and wellness posts. Thanks for making me think and bringing a smile to my face.
    Steve Hughes recently posted..Google Plus: “What’s Hot” and the Power of SharingMy Profile

  6. Adrienne January 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    It’s odd how so many people don’t look at the simple things we already have and those are what brings us happiness. It’s like anything else when we dwell on other things we aren’t really looking at what we already have.

    Just like your example of cultivating a seed that grows into a flower. I know for me it’s the simple things that make me happy.

    Love your post Celeste, thanks for sharing.

    ~Adrienne

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