“Happiness is a habit,” said American writer/philosopher Elbert Hubbard, “cultivate it.” “Happiness depends upon ourselves,” Aristotle wrote. I believe he and Hubbard were on to something.
Researchers have shown that 48% of our happiness is hard-wired into our genes. The University of Minnesota studied twins separated at birth to determine this.
To me, this is good news. That means we can control 52% of our happiness.
How do we do this? I have developed a six-step plan that helps you change your habits so that you can become happier a little at a time. You’ll find the whole plan in my book, Get Glad: Your Practical Guide To A Happier Life.
Today, I’m giving you the secret sauce — the Cliffs Notes of happiness, as it were.
Gratitude is the shortest path to happiness. When you are grateful for what you have, not grasping for what you don’t, your life is happier.
We’re going to prime the happiness pump by finding three things each day for which to be grateful. Write them down. The physical act of writing makes a greater impression upon your impressionable brain. Look beyond the obvious and go for something specific. Don’t just be grateful for your mother. Be grateful for her laugh. The more specific the better, science tells us.
Happiness is your decision. Commit to it daily.
You decide to be happy or not. No one else, no outside influence controls your level of happiness. It is all in the way you choose to view life. And what you choose affects your performance in all areas of your life.
That is why it is so important to make the decision to be happy, to commit to happiness daily.
Your brain is a remarkable instrument that is open to suggestions. Feed your brain a few positive thoughts each morning and it produces neurotransmitters to assure your happiness. It knows you are fooling it, but goes along for the ride anyway.
Now, I recommend that you follow all six steps of my plan. But, if you are impatient, do these two and start getting happier now.