“What is more important than being happy?” Andrew Matthews asked the audience in a seminar I attended 6 weeks back. He then started to draw funny little cartoons and continued “I learnt to draw in school during mathematics!”
Everyone bursted into laughter.
In case you don’t know who Andrew Matthews is, let me give you a little introduction. He is an international speaker on “attitude“, “being happy“, “success” and “prosperity” and the best-selling author of motivation and personal development classics like “Being Happy!” and “Follow your heart“.
Andrew is an extraordinary man and I would like to share with you what I learnt about happiness from him. Are you ready to know the 10 secrets to happiness? Listen up!
1) Be happy where you are now
Right now! Be thankful for what you have, instead of moaning about what you lack. Be satisfied with what you have when you are in pursuit of what you want.
2) Happiness, more than anything, is a choice we make every day
Happiness is a conscious decision. You choose to be happy today or you choose to be miserable. Your action/reaction is determined by how you choose to perceive a situation. Andrew gave an amusing illustration of a couple surrounded by a pack of crocodiles. The man thought “OMG Crocodiles!” while his wife thought “OMG Handbags!”
3) Happiness is understanding the things we can’t change yet and working on those we can
Some things are hard to change overnight. It’s unusual to change from a pauper into a millionaire in a day. Happiness is knowing that some things take more time. We can start by working on what we can change immediately.
4) Put a smile on your face. It changes how you think.
I was teaching a friend to ice-skate last Friday evening and there was this beautiful girl I met while getting a drink. She smiled as we both walked towards the vending machine. I smiled back and allowed her to buy her drink first.
While on the ice-skating rink, we passed each other a couple of times. I was trying to keep my friend on his feet while she was falling happily on the ice with hers. Our eyes met again. She smiled and I smiled back.
Then as she was making her way out of the rink, I smiled and waved goodbye. She smiled back. I could hear her friends asking “Is that your friend?” I didn’t catch her reply but I remembered her turning towards me with another smile. I returned the smile with a wave to her bewildered friends.
We didn’t exchange a single word. We didn’t need to. The smiles were enough to brighten up both our days.
5) Whatever you get, accept it and deal with it
All too often, when something bad happens, we are too quick to point fingers and start placing blame on everyone else. Happiness is about accepting responsibility and dealing with what comes your way. Blaming the whole world is not going to solve anything.
6) Problems = Catalyst to take Action
Andrew advises to see problems as a catalyst for us to take action. Problems are good teachers, so learn to love them. Next time, when you face a problem at work/in business, remember to run up to your boss/partner and say, “We have a huge opportunity!”
7) Learn from the elephants!
How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.
What did the elephant say to the naked man?
Answer: How do you breathe through that thing?
8) Put everything you have into whatever you are doing now
Do your best (100%) and life will support you!
9) It’s not what you get. It’s what you become that matters
Know what to expect – Expect a better you.
10) No one else is going to make you happier. Work on yourself.
A lot of people get things mixed up. A wife thinks about all the bad things her husband does while a widow remembers all the good stuff. That is the ultimate recipe for misery! Isn’t it better to switch the lists around?
Work on your mindset. See things from a positive light.
Happiness is in the way you think. No one can make you happy except yourself. To conclude this article on happiness, I would like to share with you a video of an extraordinary dog (Faith, the two legged dog). I hope Faith will teach you something about happiness that goes beyond words.