What's Your Secret To A Happy Life?

By Sunny Skyz • May 10, 2017

Someone asked "What's your "secret" to a happy life? What makes your days blissful?" on a forum. We thought this response was wonderful:

I'm not annoyinglyI think I've got a higher level of life satisfaction than a lot of my friends. There are four things that I can put my finger on that I think I do a little differently than them (and a lot of people). Hope they bring you some joy! chipper or anything, but 

1) I'm constantly and conscientiously focusing on being grateful for all the amazing and miraculous shit in my life. My dogs are great, my wife is a good human, I work with good people, I'm not sick right now, etc...Looking at the basic, mundane stuff around me and appreciating it really helps me feel like I'm a lucky person, and what lucky person isn't happy?

2) I'm always trying to find compassion for people - *especially* those that are pissing me off in one way or another. If you don't have compassion, you stop trying to find the truth behind people's actions and usually just chalk up their negative ones to that person being an asshole. Do that long enough, and the world is **filled** almost exclusively with assholes. If, instead, you really focus on getting past your initial frustration, to finding the pain/anger/misunderstanding that's motivating their actions, 9 times out of 10 you'll find a human being worthy of your pity and your help. That means that there's a way to not only make their life better, but also feel better about yourself, and the whole world, in the process; after all, this mindset puts a LOT fewer assholes in it, and a lot more good but fallible people...And bonus, you're demonstrably one of the latter for even attempting to re-categorize people from the former. Finally, that 1 time out of 10 that you do run into someone who really is just an asshole, you'll be able to walk away from them thankful that you were able to identify them and quarantine them from yourself. Also, being an asshole is kinda worthy of pity in its own way, I mean, imagine having to go through life with an attitude like that, right?

3) Tell people you love them, hug the shit out of your pets, be generous with your friends, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Approaching the world with honesty about the positive feelings you have is something that, at least in America, is looked at as naive or stupid or thirsty. Meanwhile, being jaded or edgy is at the heart of pretty much every "cool" stereotype you can think of. I don't think people realize until they've lost something or made a truly irrevocable mistake just how much loss hurts, and how much they'd give to just express their love for whatever it was that is now gone. So I don't wait until the right moment, anymore; the right moment is when I'm feeling love for someone or something. We're all constantly trying to show each other that we're worthy of love and respect, nobody doesn't like being told that they're loved and respected.

4) Always ask yourself if you could be wrong, and really be open to it. Being infallible would is a lot of responsibility, but it's kinda what we default to intellectually, leading us into terrible relationships, meaningless arguments, and numerous other forms of needless stress. Give yourself a break, and don't hold yourself to unreasonable standards on this count: as long as you're looking around your world with an open heart and an open mind, the pure intentions behind anything you're wrong about will shine through.

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