The best vitamin to be a happy person is B1. ~Author Unknown
I find it quite amusing that one of my dear friend’s hypotheses has indeed, despite my initial doubts, been proven correct – you really can feel a shift in yourself upon reaching 40. I didn’t feel the shift immediately on my actual birthday. Perhaps the passage has been a gradual build up. Perhaps I’ve caught on to the change in global consciousness. Maybe I’ve just been reading too much. I can’t say. But for the first time ever, I am making a conscious effort to change various facets of my life, starting with my happiness and here are some of the things I’ve started doing in my own personal Happiness Project a la Gretchen Rubin:
- In Gretchen Rubin’s book, she says that you have to stretch yourself in terms of your work, try something that’s related to your work but that you’ve never done before. Being a writer she started a blog. Being a singer, I’ve decided to start a choir. Just writing it down and thinking about it makes me happier already! Watch this space come September
- Even though some people may think it’s daft, but I’ve started keeping a happiness journal, writing down snippets of events that happened during the day that lifted my mood, from having a good practice session to holding my son’s hand while reading him a bedtime story.
- The source of a lot of unhappiness is my lack of time, something that I’m sure many of you will understand. So I’ve started waking up a bit earlier, writing lists of tasks that I have to complete during the day and next week I plan to write down every single thing I do so that I can see if there is any “loose change” time wise lying around. I already know where most of the loose change is – on the internet!
- Related to this, and to a previous post, I’m making a very conscious effort to stay in the present, to enjoy THIS moment and not think how a moment in the past was or a moment in the future could be enjoyable.
- Usually, when the kids started mucking up while we were doing something, I was more often than not a killjoy, shutting down any fun. Nowadays, I say if you can’t beat them, join them, which I do. The best fun I’ve had in the last few days was watching my daughter play the piano with her nose and foot and laughing along with her!
I’ve already seen changes in myself and my attitude because for the first time, even though I’ve always known it, I realise that I can change no one but myself and the only person that can make me happy is me. But a major aha moment was the discovery of this paradox: yes, you can’t change anyone except yourself but as you change yourself so too do you change others. Because, as the Dalai Lama says, “it is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” Here’s to happiness!