Happiness is not a destination, but a way of travel. We’re all on a human journey, so let’s make it a priority to enjoy this road while we’re on it. These next 7 laws of happiness can help us with that.
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” – Paul H. Dunn
This is a three-part series. Before you continue with this series (or once you’ve finished), be sure to read Part 1 which covers the first seven laws of happiness:
- Happiness is a state of mind.
- Being is as important as doing.
- Integrity is important.
- Giving is receiving.
- Negative thoughts are only persuasive if you allow them to be.
- You don’t change who you are; you grow into who you really are.
- Be flexible so that you don’t break.
Let’s continue on our journey of bringing more joy to life…
21 Laws of Happiness: #8-14
8. Face your fears.
We are born fearless. We learn fear.
I’m not talking about not being afraid of lions, tigers, and bears. I’m talking about being afraid of being ourselves, of expressing our creativity, of being silly and weird and different, of being loving in an unloving situation, of being soft and vulnerable in a tough world.
Fear is the deadliest of all emotions. It shows up in many forms, such as resentment, jealousy, greed, worry, doubt, anxiety, and stress.
Loosening the grip of fear is an essential part of happiness, and the only way to do that is to meet that fear with courage, and be willing to place our faith in love instead. When we do this, we’ll find that fear is not here to scare us, but to guide us away from what does not serve our joy.
9. Forgiveness gives.
This may be one of the toughest laws of happiness to practice. This is the Golden Rule applied; it’s compassion in action.
Carrying around internal hurt is self-destructive and often controls you more than the person you haven’t forgiven. Keeping bitterness in your heart limits your ability to experience the fullness of life. Forgiveness thus gives life to you, the giver.
When you’re truly able to forgive another person (or yourself) you are blessed with a wave of relief and happiness. If you’re not ready to forgive someone, practice saying, “I am willing to forgive.” Your willingness opens the gates.
Life is too short for stored fear, hurt, and hate.
10. Gratitude is King.
Gratitude is the King of Happiness. Gratitude means harboring a deep appreciation for it all—the big love, the small moments, the good and the bad, for the simple yet profound fact that you’re alive and breathing on this planet.
Gratitude is an attitude and a way of living. It’s the act of appreciating blessings rather than counting burdens. Happy people are the ones who are deeply grateful for what they have—they do not let what they do not have distract them from what they do have.
There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. If you keep a gratitude journal, you’ll quickly realize this is true.
11. Dwell in the present moment.
Focus on this moment, because this moment is your life. The present is the only time you have and the only place where positive change can be catalyzed. In a finite and imperfect world, the present moment—when rightfully perceived—remains infinite, timeless, and perfect.
12. Seek inspiration.
This life is meant to be lived fully, vibrantly, and joyously. Staying in touch with your creativity is one way to experience life as the gift that it is.
Spend time each day being inspired by the beauty of the ordinary and the amazing. Search for sources of inspiration to fuel your creativity. Go outside and look at the world around you with curious eyes. Feel deeply. Look at the stars and imagine the unimaginable. Leave room in your life for spontaneous expression.
If you look into the eyes of children, you can literally see their imagination at play. It is a tragedy that people grow up and forget their own creative nature. If you have forgotten, remember again that you are a creative being.
13. Accept all that is.
To quote Swami Prajnanpad: “First of all, accept yourself. When you do not accept yourself and imagine yourself to be someone different, a conflict arises between what you believe you are and what you really are.”
Wishing you were something or someone else is a waste of the person you are. We are all different for a reason; this world would be pretty boring if we all looked, walked, talked, thought, and acted the same. We are all different expressions of the same source, and it’s why life is beautiful.
Accept yourself and accept those around you. It doesn’t mean we need to like every personality we encounter, but we can choose to accept that deep down we are all humans walking the same earth underneath the same sky. We can choose to love above all else.
Practice acceptance with all people, situations, circumstances, and events. Wishing something were different than it is creates anxiety and needless frustration. Peace of mind comes from trusting life and knowing that things happen as they should, and only can.
14. Mistakes are for learning.
Mistakes are for learning, not for lingering on. A lesson will repeat itself over and over again until we have learned the lesson and have overcome our biggest obstacle to learning—our own resistance to the lesson.
Do not beat yourself up for making mistakes. Mistakes are signals that something needs to be changed — nothing more, nothing less. Remember that you have a choice to make: sit in your suffering, or move forward.
Be brave enough to realize your mistakes with an open mind. Be strong enough to face your mistakes with a forgiving heart. Be wise enough to learn the lesson and make a change.
Read part 3 of this series, which covers the remaining seven laws of happiness.
- What’s one priceless lessons you’ve learned on your own happiness journey?
- How do you define happiness, and how do you make it a priority in your life?
- What’s one thing that leads you away from joy, contentment, and peace, and how do you overcome it?
Please share your thoughts, lessons learned in living a happy life, personal practices that keep you in communication with joy, and any helpful or inspiring stories with me in the comments.
Share these laws of happiness with someone who might appreciate them.
Honor the journey; there is joy in it.