The Art of Happiness
By John Edmond
Here's a really simple way to bring happiness into your life.
A couple of years ago, when visiting friends Pete and Sandra, and Sally their 3 years old daughter, I was asked to babysit for a hour while they went to get some groceries.
Sally was playing happily on a playmat and I just watched her, happy in a world of her own. Watching her got me thinking about happiness and what, over time, I've come to refer as the art of happiness.
If you ask a young child what their dreams are, or what they want to do when they are older, they will paint wonderful pictures, will be truly excited and will have absolute faith in their dreams.
These dreams are not sleep dreams, they are our deepest hopes, wishes and desires. They are where we would like to be or what we wished we could do if we were able to do absolutely anything. As adults these dreams are long suppressed and we forget just how powerful they were, but they are the key to rediscovering happiness.
To be truly happy in your life, to accomplish your goals, and to truly obtain your heart's desire then you are going to have to become a child again and explore these dreams.
Children don't dream what might happen, their dreams relate to now, they have no concept of the future, and you must adopt the same approach.
In order to achieve your dreams you first have to see, feel and touch them in your mind. You are going to have live your dreams and this takes real mental effort.You have to imagine the sensations and only then will you re-discover the art of happiness.
It doesn't matter how you explore your dreams. Many people find they have to spend time really concentrating on what they really want. Others find that once they start the dreams just pour out without any effort. However you find your dreams they must be your own, something you really want for you, not what your partner, boss, mum or anyone else wants.
As you discover them write down your dreams, it solidifies them in your mind and turn them from dreams into goals. Setting the strongest goals is all about finding your deepest dreams so, no matter how silly or ridiculous your logical brain thinks they are, pretend you are a child once more and write them all down - no limits or boundaries.
Then expand the list with detail. If you want more money - how much this year, next year, in ten years? If you want a better car don't just put down "I want a bigger car" - which car, model, colour, engine size. Then go for a test drive and feel the thrill. Go into the fine details and make that dream tangible.
Many people dream of having more money, a bigger car, better holidays but they are vague desires and they fade and eventually they settle for the what they have and are disappointed and unhappy. Don't let that happen to your dreams.
Use your dreams, a list or pictures, as a screen saver on your computer. Keep a copy in your wallet and put it on your bedroom wall so it's the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning. Don't give up, and work towards it all the time.
Few real dreams can be achieved overnight but as you work towards your dreams enjoy the progress rather than get frustrated about not getting there yet. Enjoying the progress strengthens the desire and is part of the art of happiness.
If you get impatient, and you probably will at some point, don't feel frustrated for without the dream we would have no progress to what makes us happy.
Your excitement and joy in what you are doing is really the art of happiness.
About the Author
John has 4 grown up children recently obtained a degree in creative writing. He now writes on a number of topics including personal growth and self esteem. Go to Building Self Esteem for more info.
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