This comes from an article I just read on LinkedIn by their CEO Jeff Wiener. He talks about what his mentor Ray Chamber taught him were the 5 keys to happiness. I thought these 5 keys to happiness would be something we could all embrace. I’ve added a bit of my own qualifications if you will to each of these keys to happiness.
- Live in the moment – No not tomorrow, not yesterday, not next week, but NOW! Face it there is no point living in the past, and little benefit to always thinking about the future. Living in the moment allows us to do our best right now and makes us the most available to those other humans that we live on this earth with.
- It’s better to be loving than to be right – Thinking you are smarter than everyone else makes you a real pain in the ass, and when you do it to people you love or like it makes you even a bigger pain in the ass. This key to happiness is not so easy to pull off, especially for those of us who want to tell everyone the right way to do something; not teach them but tell them.
- Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional – Have you ever got all worked up and written one of those long winded emails only to hit the Cancel button as it begins to occur to you that your emotions have got the best of you? Do you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about someone or some organization, that are probably more than a bit ill founded? Having some ability to analyze your thoughts when they become less than calm and tranquil can help you get back some sense of happiness, or you can continue to fall into the pain in the ass category as in #2.
- Be grateful for at least one thing every day – So even on those days where you think the wheels are coming off, think of one thing you are grateful for. I used to write once a week all the things I was grateful for, but found that is not a frequent enough of a reminder to make a difference on a daily basis. So if you journal or blog or just meditate each day, think of that one thing you are grateful for. For example traffic was pretty good today, lunch was very good, I felt great after or during my workout, I had a great meeting at work today, I helped someone with their work, I showed someone appreciation for what they do, and the list goes on and on; pick one.
- Help others every chance you get – In this self serving, me oriented planet we spend our time focused on our own goals often at the exclusion of everything and everyone around us. I am as guilty of this as the next person, but fortunately I know other people that have taken this to heart and helping others seems very effortless to them. In fact they seem quite happy about it, so I am trying to emulate them and see if it makes me happier too. When you do allow your mind to wander back to the past you find those times you spend mentoring, teaching, and doing something nice for others is what you remember fondly.
What are your keys to happiness?