This idea of cultivating happiness is revolutionizing to me. I’ve never heard those two words together until this last month. I’m sure this idea has been around a long time but I’m just now catching on. To cultivate means to foster the growth of X according to Merriam Webster dictionary, and Dictonary.com states that it means to promote or improve the growth of (x) by labor and attention. I looked up a few synonyms of happiness and my favorites: pleasure, contentment, delight, joy, satisfaction, and bliss.
Why is no one teaching this?!
How many of us walk around with the expectation that happiness will fall in our laps? We look for it in people, in food, in our possessions, and always we are left disappointed. We redouble our efforts and seem to just miss happiness. It stares us down, but we are so busy looking for it we can’t see it. We make excuses for our lack of happiness, and blame everyone else for our misfortune. We are jealous of those people who seem to be genuinely happy and fear that happiness is not in our cards.
We have been given so much yet we are so unhappy and miserable.
Who is to blame? No one but myself. No one may have ever taught me that I have to create my own happiness, but I neglected to ask if maybe there was a different, better way. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We have just taken society’s happiness formula at face value without ever having examined it. I think a lot of times we just take what we have been told as fact but in reality, it couldn’t be further than the truth. We often trade the truth for a lie without even realizing it. Lies, although cheap at first, always end up costing far us more than the truth in the end. We have been sold a defective idea, and we have been informed it’s a user error and there are no refunds.
But the truth?
Happiness is yours for the taking. I’m not saying it will fall in your lap, in fact, it will take time, energy, and commitment. Just like a garden, you will have to tend to it in the spring and in the hot summer months. You will have to water it and pull the weeds, but the end product is so satisfying and can be shared with others. The first step is knowing what you want to plant. If you are satisfied with anything, you won’t know the difference between a weed and a vegetable. Do you know what makes you happy? I’m guessing you’ve never just sat down and asked yourself that question( don’t worry I didn’t know either ). For me, spending quality time with my favorite people brings me so much joy. One of my favorite things to do is to turn on my favorite songs and dance like no one is watching (in my house, of course, I’m not brave enough to do it in public…yet). I schedule myself in my to-do list because if I don’t I will never make time for happiness.
Below is a list of things that bring happiness into my life:
- spending time with my family
- snuggling with my dog
- taking a nice, long bubble bath
- having deep conversations with my friends
- reading a book snuggled up
- helping others succeed
- making delicious snacks
- being silly
- picking wildflowers
- having fresh flowers in my house
- wearing a cute outfit
- being in nature
- eating fruits and veggies
- spending time with my sisters and nieces
- laughing so hard my stomach hurts
- being kind
Make your own list, see how you feel at the end of the month.
Choose to create happiness in your life and it will overflow to others around you. We all know that the world could use more happiness and it is up to us to create it. Let me end by saying, that you alone are responsible for your own happiness. It is not your significant other’s job, or your job’s job, or anyone else’s job. You cannot blame anyone else for your own unhappiness.
P.S You can no longer pretend you didn’t know, the choice is yours 🙂
A very happy twenty-two year old