How to make yourself happy

No, not that, you sicko…

I was reading an article about being happy. It’s one of those things that I’ve always struggled with, so the article really sucked me in. I’ve been across the gamut when it comes to finances. Well, OK, I’ve been across the lower end of that gamut. I make around $40,000 — which should be very comfortable. I’ve noticed that in my life, I’m no more happier now (in general) than when we were financially struggling following a devastating car accident. In fact, I recall more happiness back then. Odd, no?

Here’s a quick list from the article that I’m going to try to adopt:

  • Make lists of things for which you’re grateful in your life
  • practice random acts of kindness
  • forgive your enemies
  • notice life’s small pleasures
  • take care of your health
  • practice positive thinking
  • invest time and energy into friendships and family.

On a related note — I really suck at financial responsibility. More money hasn’t helped. Maybe if I live a little happier, I’ll be more likely to make wise decisions. I say that, because it seems as though a lot of the poor financial decisions I/we make are to make us happy. Even when it works, the happiness surely isn’t sustainable.

I’ll close with 2 things. One, I am constantly telling people, “If this is the worst thing that happens today, it’s a GREAT day!” — I need to heed my own wisdom.

Secondly, here’s one of life’s small pleasures that I noticed today. It reminds me of how much our dog enjoys playing with this, one of his only toys. All the “things” I have don’t bring me the pleasure this simple, beaten up toy brings Tigger. Which of us is smarter?

Tigger's Mouse

2 thoughts on “How to make yourself happy

  1. Oh Shawn. You have no idea how I can relate to this post. I seem to struggle with financial responsibility as well. I don’t think as an adult, I’ve ever been debt free & I don’t feel like I have anything to show for my 20+ years of working. *sigh* Now I’m depressed. I’m going to go and read that happy article now.

  2. Hey Carrie.

    I have a mountain of debt, and it seems like we should be living quite well on the money we make (with Donna’s income from volleyball coaching, we made close to $48,000!!!) I don’t understand why we seem to always be paycheck-to-paycheck.

    I really think I’ve gotten the happiness factor backwards all these years. I don’t think happiness is based on financial security, but rather financial security comes from happiness. If I’m happy, I don’t need to take the family out to Burger King in an attempt to “buy” happiness. (Not buying love, but trying to make my kids smile) Happiness and contentment go hand in hand. I find I spend much less when I’m content with what I have.

    If we (read: I) make an effort to follow the list above, I think it might make the financial things fall into place. I know that I’ve had 2 great days at work, even though the stress level was actually HIGHER than normal!

    I went out of my way to be nice to a teacher that has given me nothing but grief for years. I did it knowing I would not get sincere thanks, and that I’d be blamed for some other wrongdoing. I did it just because. And I felt great for it. 🙂

    Noticing the little joys in life is more difficult than it sounds, but also more fulfilling than you think too. I got to pop bubble wrap today, and it was GREAT. I hope your day is filled with bubble wrap as well!

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