Keys to Finding Happy Video Series Part 1 of 5
Good afternoon everyone. This is Katie Wheeler coming to you live today to talk about my keys to finding happy.
One of the questions I get asked is how am I always so happy. The answer is a combination of factors which can’t be summed up in one post, so I’m breaking this into a five part video series on my keys to finding happy in the midst of an ordinary life. This is part one containing the first key, perspective.
Before we begin, I feel the need to clarify something. I am not happy 100% of the time. I experience a full range of emotion just like the rest of you, yet I do tend to lean toward the positive spectrum, or so people have told me. In thinking about what makes me an optimist, I decided it’s five major themes, perspective, choices, the theory of less, the subtle art of selfishness, and gratitude. Over the next five weeks, I’ll go over each theme. If you’re looking at a glass as half empty and wondering how to see it as half full, I invite you to join me. I hope you find this helpful.
A common misperception about happiness is that it is largely based on circumstances. That can’t be farther from the truth. If happiness were based on circumstances, then every suburban housewife would be considered a positive person, yet we know that’s not the case. Each of us are looking at our lives through the lenses of our perspective. To illustrate this point, I’d like to share one of my favorite stories about something we all have, dirty laundry.
The Dirty Laundry Story: A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the laundry outside. “That laundry is not very clean”, she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her washing to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
Some time later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean laundry on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”
The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
So it is with our experiences, what we see is tainted by the windows we’re looking through. If we’re looking through eyes of envy, bitterness or anger, this clouds our happiness. If we, instead look through eyes of gratitude, humility and a learning mindset, we see things completely differently, and feel differently as a result.
When I find myself in a situation that has me unhappy and I can’t change my circumstances, then I might need to look at it differently. I’ll ask, what can I do about this? If nothing, then how can I look at this differently? And then I wait. Usually, I’ll get an answer within a day or two when I ask the right question. If my question is focused on changing the circumstance, I get stuck. However, if my question is what can I learn or how can I see this differently, the answer always comes.
Sometimes all it takes is a small change in my perspective to shift the clouds of negativity from my view. So, if you find yourself stuck, maybe you’re asking the wrong question. Instead of spinning your wheels trying to change something external, change what you can, your perspective.
I challenge you to find the good in whatever situation you’re in. Maybe it is simply a lesson you’re meant to learn, so ask what’s the lesson and listen for the answer.
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a thought about “Finding Happy Part 1, Perspective” in the comments section of this post. Tune in next week for part 2 on choices.
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Copyright © 2016 Katherine J. Wheeler. All rights reserved.