I read a great article this morning by “John” about fifteen things to give up in order to be happy. Good stuff, but ‘giving up’ always seems so negative to me. So, I thought I’d write about fifteen things I can do to be happy. Thanks for the inspiration, John!

  1. Be human. And that means I am going to make mistakes. I can just hear that voice from my childhood, “You should know better.” Well, no I shouldn’t. I can relate so much better to people who are not perfect anyway. Show your warts!
  2. Remember that control is an illusion; the only thing I can control is myself and there are many times where that’s an illusion too! Going with the flow is much more fun and allows me to not take life so seriously.
  3. Take responsibility for your actions. If it’s your fault, own it! I no longer ‘awfulize’ everything. There just aren’t that many big deals and the world isn’t going to come to an end because I screwed up.
  4. Talk nicely to yourself. I’m pretty cool! There are enough people out there who’ll run us down for me to do that to myself. My actions reflect that I’m pretty cool, when I think it about myself.
  5. Broaden your belief system. Little surprises me anymore. When I believe that I can do something, I’ll take the steps to make it happen. Doubt is the big wall to progress.
  6. Look for the Good in life! Have fun! When I look for it, I find it! You know, there are miracles occurring all around us when our hearts are open to receiving them. I saw a Great American Bald Eagle on my bike ride this morning. Now that was a gift!
  7. Enjoy the luxury of compliments. When I look for the good in people, I can always find it. Try telling the clerk at the 7-11 that her long, painted fingernails are a work of art, and watch her face light up. It’s fun to brighten someone’s day by giving them a compliment.
  8. Remember that other’s opinion of me is none of my business. I want to impress myself! I no longer need anyone’s approval to feel good about myself. Perhaps that comes with age, but if you’re not a baby boomer, start now to look for the good in yourself!
  9. Embrace change. That’s the only thing that we can count on anyway! Life changes, and if I fight that, I’ll never be happy. If I anticipate change, when it comes, I can go with the flow and find the good in everything.

10. People are different. When I look for the differences, I can find them, but if I look for the similarities, they’re there too. I can relate to anyone, if I try. So who cares about what’s different? That’s the spice in life. The synonym to perfect is boring.

11. Be brave and courageous. I no longer allow fear to block me from taking action. When I draw on my inner strength, I see that it’s really there! I’m strong and invincible – I am woman!

12. Embrace who you are. I don’t need to make excuses for who I am today. People aren’t the results of cookie cutters. I like my little ideosyncrocies, because that’s what makes me special.

13. Stay in the present. When I worry about yesterday or dwell on what is yet to happen, I miss where I am. Life is so wonderful in the moment. I used to wish half my life away. Today is all I have and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.

14. Life an unencumbered life. Seems like I collected so much ‘stuff’ as life unfolded. And now I view that as clutter! I’m slowly cleaning out all that junk I don’t need. Give it to the kids for Christmas! Donate it! As my space becomes more free, so does my spirit. Amazing.

15. Take your time. My good friend, Cheryle Touchton  always asks if any babies are gonna die if we don’t do this right now. I no longer allow other’s sense of urgency dictate my actions. When I take my time, take decisions to prayer and talk to others, solutions I never considered pop up.

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