Since the beginning of mankind, the object and design of our existence has been happiness. Some find satisfaction in their pretty face, sculpted physique, athletic prowess, or the places they have visited, the money they have made or the media acclaim they have received. Sadly, these are all fleeting sources of happiness because people age and trends change.
Others find satisfaction in being the smartest attorney, the best plumber, the most powerful politician or, the most artistic, charismatic or intelligent person in their circle. These accomplishments are gratifying but they are poor substitutes for true happiness because they are all inwardly focused are not sustainable.
The happiest place on earth is not Disneyland. It can be a fun diversion but there is no permanence in diversions, no matter how fun. The happiest place on earth is wherever we are, if we have a life of enduring engagement and meaning.
In order to find true fulfillment or joy, we must do something and not just wish for it. It is a daily process that is available to all who are free to act.
The path to enduring joy includes doing each of these every day:
- Serve someone – Look for opportunities to lift someone else in a meaningful way. Dedicate yourself to a worthy cause that will give a continuing source of satisfaction for many years to come. Or, just continually do random acts of kindness.
“Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness,” according to Jenny Santi, author of The Giving Way to Happiness.
Smile – Be Kind – Help
- Learn Something –We can learn in many ways, including school, books, exploration, surrounding ourselves with thought provoking people, etc. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
According to Babbel Magazine (November 2017), “A review of multiple studies, conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, found “robust evidence that adult learning leads to increases in self-esteem and self-efficacy.”
Read – Listen – Discuss
3. Express gratitude – Remember this couplet: “Life is a show for you and for me, And what you look for is what you see.”
Look for joy in life. Laugh often. Surround yourself with positive people and then share that positivity. Do an inventory every night of how blessed you are. Then, thank God, family, friends, teachers, mentors and waitresses as often as you can.
Harvard Medical School reports in Harvard Health Publishing, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Say thank you – Pray – Ponder the positives of life
4. Exercise – A healthy body and mind crave exercise. Do something active 5 hours a week, even if it is just walking. If the activity is outside – even better – because you get a bonus dose of vitamin D.
In a study published in The Lancet, scientists at Yale and Oxford collected data about the physical behavior and mental mood of over 1.2 million Americans. The scientists found that those who exercised regularly tended to feel bad for 35 days a year while nonactive participants felt bad for 53 days, on average. That’s 51% less bad days for those who exercise. (Business Insider February 2020)
Play – Walk – Go to a gym
“The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin
If you serve someone, learn something, exercise and express gratitude every day, you will be better person and you will find that the happiest place on earth is wherever you are.