Sustainable Happiness…3 easy to understand perspectives

 Recently, I asked my fellow LinkedIn connections and friends this simple question…Can happiness be sustainable?  Jonathan, Lisa and Matthew came back with simple yet profound ways to find and keep happiness.
Jonathan Ross

Jonathan Ross • On an important level, happiness is determined by one’s attitude and perspective.
If one is not physically healthy, this can clearly have a detrimental effect on one’s happiness, although there are countless instances of people living with serious, chronic or even fatal illnesses/conditions who appear to maintain an uplifting spirit even in the face of such daunting realities.
It’s easy in American culture especially to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others (particularly comparing what you either have or don’t have to what Madison Avenue tells you ought to have), and this can really wreak havoc with people’s sense of worth and self-esteem.
So long as one compares oneself to others, in times of abundance, one can always dwell on the fact that someone else has it even better; in times of scarcity, it may seem that the vast majority of others have it better which makes one’s situation seem even worse.
I think that if one can resist the temptation to define oneself by accumulation of things, but rather pursue experiences which are meaningful to one’s soul (and in my view, you know when an activity or experience meets this criteria on a very visceral level), one will be far happier.
Then again, I could be completely wrong… 😉

Lisa S. Brown, MA, LPC, NCC, GCDF, Speaker

Lisa S. Brown, MA, LPC, NCC, GCDF, Speaker • I think you are spot on Jonathon so just a few follow up points : ) The eternal question of what really makes people happy and also my favorite subject!
It would be easy to start off saying that SUSTAINABLE happiness does not necessarily exist in big cars, oversized houses, expensive jewelry, the latest, greatest smart phone, or name brand clothing in which most common people cannot even afford. These things can bring immediate joy and excitement, but just like any addiction the urge to continuously fulfill that “need” will remain constant until the underlying cause is fully addressed. This then brings people to keep spending more and more money without feeling “satisfied” which inevitably creates a host of other issues.
This is true that personal perception, showing gratitude, having strong interpersonal connections, and a well-balanced life are key components in achieving overall happiness. I often tell my clients to keep a gratitude journal detailing the smallest, simplest pleasure such as a sunset, a warm cup of coffee, food on the table, a smile, etc. These are things that are often taken for granted. When one is able to stop and think about how grateful they are to have even such basic needs then this can often shift the brain chemistry into thinking more positively.
Many people have unfortunately faced significant financial turmoil in the last few years however one would hope that some valuable lessons have resonated with American families. In my own household there have been changes including cooking dinner at home every night, taking leftovers for lunch the next day, eating out has become a luxury that is ENJOYED, not buying things until it is absolutely essential, saving the old-fashioned way for vacations or the “splurge items”. For entertainment a matinée show, a day at the park ($25.00 for an annual pass), picnics, beach volleyball, getting to know the neighbors via BBQs, bike rides, power walks, book clubs, farmer’s markets, and many more! I must say it has been an enjoyable experience going back to “simpler” times but most importantly sleeping peacefully at night is the greatest reward: )
More now then ever it is essential for people to plan, save, and be prepared for WHEN things go haywire. We have had many discussions and most of us have strong beliefs that the current economic situation is one that will remain for years to come therefore people in general need to be prepared.
There was a quote by Mother Teresa that really depicts the “epidemic” in Western culture but also in my opinion the core reasons for so much unhappiness in our society.
The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” Mother Teresa.

Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson • I teach my children that happiness is a choice. When my Son comes home from school and tells me he had a bad day we sit down and list all of the good things that happened today on one piece of paper and all of the bad things on another. Then we tear up the page with the bad things on it.

What helpful advice could you offer others in their quest for sustainable happiness?

Al Bagocius
The A & I Consulting Group
Creative Packaging Solutions
9838 Old Baymeadows Road # 387
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Voice Mail: 904.553.9539
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“We Package Your Message!”
Al Bagocius 

3 Responses to “Sustainable Happiness…3 easy to understand perspectives”

  1. Thank you all for sending out my very thougths about true happiness. AFter living well over a half of a centure now, I have come to the conclusion that “Your Attitude determines your Altitude” . After realizing my life would never be the same, now that I have almost every deadly disease of the Liver know to man. Sad part is, many of those earlier years would have been saved with just a better understanding of FOOD addictions.

    Forced to retire in 2007 after 40 years of straight working I was left with just two choices “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”. I decided to learn everything about my conditions as possible so I could become the Master of my own destiny, but without application the information became just that information. My past 15 years volunteering in the local jails has given me a purpose, My life is not my own, I own my entire life to my creator so for now, that is how I am going to spend the rest of my life.

    Every person I tried to form a permenant relationship has died, I figure now would be a good time to stay focused on the purpose. “To Save the World”.
    By saving I now believe means caring for people to the heart level.

    To share a kind word of encouragement EVERY DAY to EVERY One possible.
    The world is seriously lacking manners and good customer services skills. Its not that complicated how to help others find happiness, but not while we are divided in our personal beliefs of what our attitudes of ourself are and then how we view others.
    Lets just say, I feel more comfortable sitting in a locked room of hard core females who are PMSing. AT least I know what to expect. From the majority of those assigned to help others obtain services, or talk about bill statements or even how to make an appointment-there lies the problems, overworked staff with serious attitudes about working with such populations.

    Kindness needs to be redefined and then APPLIED and then FOLLOWED UP with monthly employee reviews on stress levels. Rotateing staff helps too, The burden of happiness lies in the MIddle of all those agencies we come in contact with.

    I say “Let the Work Begin At Home” and much will be changed or you can hire me to give motivation classes to those who are in serious need of a happiness adventure.

    I am now truly happy even though I know for me there can only be a cure of a magical kind.

    Thanks for being there for me and the others who count on you.

  2. I agree that perception and health are the main causes of being happy.

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