What is happiness but the most beautiful way to live one’s life? Here’s a creative spin on what it might mean to live a happy life.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley
What Is Happiness?
There’s a burning desire to know the answer, but there probably is no one answer, because happiness tends to be based largely on our perception. I believe there are some fantastic answers out there that help shed light on the topic–some philosophical, some scientific, some religious, some biological, and many a combination of these approaches.
If we look to the dictionary, we’ll see words like contentment, joy, pleasure, and good fortune.
If we look to positive psychology for an explanation, we’ll learn that there’s a framework scientists use for studying happiness. Here are a few key ideas we can take away from their work:
- Happiness is more complex than fleeting, pleasant emotions.
- Happiness is made up of different parts, which include pleasure, engagement, and meaning.
- Related concepts are well-being, flourishing, and quality of life.
- Happiness involves both daily positive emotions and a global sense that life is worth living.
- Happiness can be accurately measured and self-reported.
- Our happiness relies upon the proactive use of our personal strengths and virtues.
Though I think it can also be a goal, happiness is definitely a journey.
For me, happiness is the spiritual experience of living each day with as much receptivity to love as possible. Happiness is another name for Love.
The following acronym was created with love, and I hope it inspires you to think of your own definition of happiness. Enjoy.
An Acronym for Happiness
Consciously committing to live from a place of love. Identifying and honoring expressions of fear–like anger, jealousy, loneliness, and impatience–and choosing a loving way instead; going back to love again and again. Treating ourselves and others with respect, compassion, acceptance, and a forgiving heart to the best of our ability.
Realizing that our mind is the source of our perception of happiness, and that we’re equipped with the magnificent ability to choose one thought over another, peace over argument, love over fear. Actively disputing negative thoughts and intentionally affirming to make the best of our experiences.
Living for today. Paying attention to the details of our present experience. Stringing together a growing mosaic of meaningful moments. Understanding that the small, daily joys create the masterpiece that is a happy life. Understanding deeply that our presence is our power to live an extraordinary life.
Believing in ourselves and our contribution to a greater power or purpose in life. Giving meaning to things we do daily, rather than waiting to find meaning in the perfect situation, job, or outcome. Generating positive energy on purpose. Bringing joy to our experiences instead of waiting for joy to come to us. Not relying on external happenings to begin the work of practicing happiness.
Discovering the “why” that fuels every action and being intentional about how we live our lives.
I: Internal intelligence.
Coming back to the world within when the outside world would tempt us to respond to unloving messages with anything but love. Staying true to what we know in our hearts to be right. Remembering that joy and love are our true nature, and that they’re powerful internal resources that we can and must nurture and employ every single day.
Following the path of love, and trusting where it would lead us, means to remember who we really are.
N: New beginnings.
Letting go of what no longer serves our happiness in order to make room for what does. Surrendering what needs to be transformed and then trusting that it will be transformed. Being willing to be a beginner, to grow, and to see each experience as a learning opportunity/spiritual assignment. Having an open mind and a soft heart so that we can invite the miracle of a new beginning into our lives.
E: Expressing appreciation.
Counting blessings rather than adding up burdens. Thanking everyone and everything for contributing to our growth and earthly experiences. Thinking, speaking, and acting with appreciation for what we have, while being excited for what lies ahead. Allowing the grace of gratitude to shed light on our joyful opportunities.
Recognizing that although our happiness begins with us, it is amplified when shared; a candle does not go out by sharing its flame. Making it a happy mission to contribute to the world around us, in big and small ways. It is happy work to shine our light, to spread peace on earth, and to offer loving acts of kindness. Every time we decide to love each other when it’s hard, it’s an act of great service.
S: Spiritual steps.
Practicing the art of living a happy life, one step at a time. Cultivating a patient attitude and nourishing our spiritual truth through consistent, positive patterns of thought, speech, and action. Celebrating each small victory with awareness that happiness is indeed a human journey that we’re on as spiritual beings.
- Did you like this acronym for happiness?
- What does happiness mean to you? What does it feel like and look like in your life?
- Are you willing to choose love, bring joy, and be the light today?
- How can you serve the world around you, and within you, today?
- What are you so grateful for that it brings tears to your eyes?
Please share your loving thoughts, helpful insights, spiritual practices, lessons learned, and any stories with me in the comments.
Share this with someone who might appreciate and enjoy the message.
What is happiness but a miraculous expression of love in this world?