We have to be aware that a great deal of our happiness is in our area of influence not only in our area of concern. This means that our happiness level depend a lot on what we are thinking and doing. That even if our happiness is determined 50% by our genetics and 10% by life circumstances, we have 40% in our control. This 40% means our freedom and here we must concentrate our energy and time.
Here is a list of intentional activities that are in our power and control. Focus on them and live them daily:
Detach from outside conditions. If your mood is always changing because outside conditions changed you are vulnerable. This means that outer world have the whole power on you. We can’t deny that what happens in our environment affect us. But there are degrees of influence. We can lower the degree in which outside conditions affect us. There may be three levels of external influence: positive, neutral and negative.
The point is not to let a negative event to take you from a positive state to a negative one. There may be three levels of self-control: a negative event takes you from a positive state to a neutral one; a negative event has no power over you, you remain in the same state of joy and happiness whatever happens around you.
The key here is not to react immediately but to detach from the event for a short time, analyze it from a larger perspective, identify your options and choose consciously how you respond.
Set achievable goals. You may dream to whatever you desire. Dreaming to what you want is a good way to set you on the track of achieving them, even if not at this moment. When set goals be realistic and chose those that are achievable now. There we have dreams that are not achievable now, but there will come a time when they will be.
Dream on, but set achievable goals. If you set goals that you can’t achieve in a certain amount of time, they will stay on your mind annoying you until you reach them. Instead even achievements of simple and easy goals make you happy.
Don’t think happiness as a result but as a process. We have been taught to think in terms of results and not in terms of enjoying the process itself. We think the single thing worth to enjoy is only the result of our efforts. But this is a trap. If you get the result you planned, your time to enjoy it is very short because other goals and projects come in your mind.
On the other hand we always find ourselves in an activity or process. To enjoy the process or activity in itself is a wise option, indifferent of its results. This doesn’t mean not to enjoy the results or not to set goals, but to focus primarily on the process.
This remember me the Myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus was happy not because of the results of his efforts (his work produce no results at all) but because of his activity.