I am about to tell you how I have coached my employees to build and maintain an attitude of happiness. But first, I need to tell you an important story to help set the stage on this important topic. Here it is:
A 92-year-old delicate but well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and his face, shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making a move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
‘I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.
‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind.
I already decided to love it. ‘It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.’
‘Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life.’
‘Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.’
‘So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.’
Remember these five simple rules to be happy:
Free your heart from hatred
Free your mind from worries
Here is a checklist on simple reminders to improve your happiness each day. It certainly has been a big help to me:
Sharing is always caring. You can’t do enough sharing.
Show some kindness without expecting anything in return. If they ask what they can do for you, tell them to pay it forward.
Smiles matter. And they are so simple to execute.
Take long walks
Focus on the feel of the wind, sunshine or even rain …sights and sounds.
There are many strangers just waiting to make new friends. How many friends can you make today?
Meditate on inspirational quotes
Always keep a list handy.
You are the master of your destiny. Take charge and show your happiness.
Create some alone time
Sit in nature—under a tree, on a mountain—and let yourself simply be quiet.
Be nothing less than remarkable. It just takes a little more effort.
Share some fun with someone you love
Forget about everything that feels like a problem and do something that seems like fun. Have a good time spontaneously.
Play is always the centerpiece of work. Be happy and enjoy things you do.
Eliminate fears or doubts. Mistakes and failures are ok.
Photograph or picture beautiful things
Things that make you feel happy, like a tree with colorful autumn leaves. Have the file of these pictures always running on the computer.
Actively enjoy good things now
Be about the present instead of scheming to create a better future.
Volunteer your time
Volunteer your time to help a charity you believe in. Put all your energy into helping others, and you will find happiness without looking.
Serve someone else
Just because … just for them. That might mean helping them pursue their passion, or motivating them to reach their fitness goals. Whatever gives your life meaning, give it to someone freely.
The bottom line
There comes a time in life when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with individuals who make you laugh, forget the bad and focus on the good, and keep your peace of mind very intact.