I used to be a very grumpy person. OK, I still am sometimes, but it used to be a whole lot worse. Until I discovered the power of something so simple, it almost seemed too good to be true. I learned how to smile more.
In today’s episode I’ll share with you:
- How I learned how to smile. (Yes, for some of us this takes learning)
- The positive effects of smiling more on your mind, body, and performance.
- The secret to smiling more.
- 6 ways you can get in the habit of smiling more.
This episode is literally guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, so listen carefully and you’ll reap the benefits of smiling more.
From the moment I met my wife, Tara, I gave her an impossible task. I gave her the responsibility of making me happy. The result was disappointment for me, frustration for her, and a relationship that neither of us expected or wanted.
I’d love to write a redemption story here and tell you that Tara and I have the model marriage today, but the reality is that like any marriage, ours is messy, often broken, and too often unfulfilling. And the reason is very simple:
I gave her the responsibility of making me happy rather than living to make her happy. Rather than living to serve her, I placed an unfair burden on her that no human being can live up to…and I didn’t even tell her.
I’ll admit it. The title of this post is deceptive. Many of you read it and probably did a double take. Did I really just tell you that you’ll never be happy? No…I told you that you will never find happiness.
The pursuit of happiness
Seven years ago, I was pursuing Tara, who is now my wife. Every day was a new adventure. One day I sent her flowers, the next I wrote her a poem, the next I’d surprise her at her house when she got off work. Every single day I did something intentionally to deepen our relationship.
I never expected for her to just accidentally fall in love with me. I never expected for her to just find love in her heart.
The same is true for happiness. You will never just find it. It must be created intentionally. It must be worked for.
Imagine having everything you’ve ever wanted within reach. In fact, everyone is already congratulating you on your achievement. You’ve done it. You’ve reached the rarified air of the truly elite. Now what?
If you’re Ted Williams in 1941, you put it all on the line. That’s why he is one of the greats. I’ll share his story in a moment.
Your big goal
What’s your biggest goal? The one overarching thing you want to achieve in life? The one thing that wakes you up in the morning and keeps you up at night?
Imagine hitting the goal. Imagine the feeling of success. Imagine the satisfaction that comes with achieving it.
Now, go find out what you are truly capable of.
There is a book that has been a surprising source of happiness in my life over the past three years.
It’s a children’s book that has condensed hundreds of years of psychological research into a book that can be read in less than five minutes.
Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
It’s called Let’s Be Happy by P.K. Hallinan and it sums up all that has been said by William James, Martin Seligman, and decades of positive psychologists and other gurus.
As far as impact on my life and ability to inspire, I rank it right up there with Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss in the “Must-Read Children’s Books” category.
In today’s episode I share what this book has meant to me and how you can apply its principles in your life.
Could it be that a 2000-year old Bible verse actually contains the secret to happiness?
What about a longer, more fulfilling life? Or even influence and purpose?
“The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” – George Vaillant (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Nearly 2000 years ago, the apostle Paul wrote about the secret.
The one thing we need to live the kind of life that others admire. The one key to happiness, health, and living a life that has meaning and influences and impacts others.
I’ll be happy when _________.
Go ahead, fill in the blank. That blank is your definition of “success.”
Don’t be happy *when.* Be happy *now.* Then…success will come. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
That is your goal. It’s what you are striving for. It’s what you think will make you happy. Or will it?
The Happiness-Success Paradox
Here is a surprising paradox for some: To achieve authentic success, you must be happy first. Happiness leads to success, which leads to more happiness, which leads to…and thus the cycle is born. Round and round you go on a positive cycle that seems to self-contain itself in an impenetrable bubble. The same principle works in effect for negativity and unhappiness. Negativity leads to failure, which leads to more negativity and unhappiness, which…and the self-containing bubble grows bigger and stronger and seemingly unbreakable.
Happy people simply get more “breaks.” Happy people find jobs easier, they find mates easier, and they find help from others easier. All because they made a choice to be happy.
Listen to this post
Two-year olds have a way of making everything simple.
As I was holding our daughter, Aracelli, in my arms to bless her for the night, we had the following conversation. She was not yet thirty months old at the time.
Aracelli: Some people sleep in the streets and that makes me sad.
Me: Why does that make you sad?
Aracelli: Because they don’t have homes. We can make a lot of money to buy them homes. We need to help them.
And I realized that life really is that simple.
To help others.
To use our gifts and make money doing so.
To be blessed so that we can be a blessing.
If you are anything like me, you have to be reminded of this every 6-8 minutes.
I vacillate between wanting to change the world and wanting to be independently wealthy by the end of next Tuesday. It’s often a confusing place to be.
The thing that I finally realized as I pondered this quote for some time was that the word “rich” might have nothing to do with money. Oh, if you make a difference in a commercial way (Apple, Google, and Dave Ramsey come to mind), you will be rewarded financially.
But I also have to remember daily how rich I am when I come home to a smiling and running toddler yelling my name. Or when it seems my world is crashing around me and I have a wife who is right there with me. Or when I break the heart of the One who created me only to remember that He redeemed me nearly 2000 years ago.
When you serve your family, you are making a difference. When you honor your marriage or a business contract, you are making a difference. And when you receive grace, refuse to wallow in self-pity, and go out and show others how to do the same, you are making a difference.
There is a children’s book that has condensed hundreds of years of psychological research into a book that can be read in one potty training trip. It’s called Let’s Be Happy by P.K. Hallinan and it sums up all that has been said by William James, Martin Seligman, and decades of positive psychologists and other gurus. […]