happy child

Just how happy are you with your life? Are you always wishing for more?

And are you waiting to start living your life to the fullest before you are truly happy?

Many people think and wish that “if only I had so-and-so, then I will be happy, then I can start enjoying my life”.

However, once they achieve that goal, the next desire manifests. And of course there is no end to human desires.

A desire is like a bottomless pit which can never be filled, resulting in our unhappiness, jealousy and maybe even some sleepless nights.

So what is the solution for being happy right now?

Being content with what you have is one of the best ways to achieve happiness in our lives.

โ€œWhen you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.โ€ Lao Tzu

There are various ways to be content.

Now this does not mean not having goals or not wanting to do your best. It is more about being content with what you already have.

This is the way I see it – goals are for improving yourselves and your life, whereasย  desires are mostly about wanting more stuff.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits covered this subject really well when he talked about the incredible power of contentment.

For some people, the grass is always greener on the other side – this type of mentality will keep them from truly enjoying both their grass and life. I know, I myself have been there before.

Here are a few lessons that I have learned along the way to find joy in my life again, which I want to share with you.

1. Choose to be Happy

Some of you may wonder at this statement – yes, you have a choice be happy or sad. It is totally up to you. While it is easier said than done, it is possible.

Sometimes when I have to do something I am not fond of and I cannot seem to get out of, I tell myself I am going to have fun no matter what happens.

And sure enough it happens that I end up having a great time, despite the adverse task.

Try it once, you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Also, check out these 17 tips to become happy!

2. Volunteer and Help Others

In my early days of volunteering, I got to meet many wonderful people and children from all walks of life – many of whom were far happier than I was, despite not having had enough to eat for the whole day.

As I became aware of the zest for life in these people, I realized that it was not I who helped them, rather they helped me find my own self, my lost happiness!

Whenever I travel to India, I see happiness on human faces even in the harshest living conditions. I see dreams and hopes and most of all, I see them smiling while working in extreme conditions.

Seeing their smiling faces, my complaints for silly things vanished, and instead, fresh inspiration and a new energy emerged.

3. Feel Gratitude

No matter how bad your condition might be, there are still many things going great for you.

Counting your blessings and feeling gratitude from the heart can do wonders for your perspective!

Why wait until the next thanksgiving holiday to be thankful – instead be thankful, each and every day!

Live with an attitude of gratitude.

Right now, my partner Zenguy is between projects – and instead of being sad about this situation, I can count my blessings for having him more at home to spend time with me and the kids.

I also feel thankful for having simplified our life, where we can survive with our little savings until another job prospect comes along.

Ups and downs are part of life, it is our attitude towards them that makes the difference.

And you can always do the gratitude dance!

I challenge you to look at the video clip below and NOT smile!

From now onwards, instead of focusing on what your life is missing, be grateful for what you DO have and do the Gratitude Dance!

4. Up the Positivity

Even when things are looking bad, I am sure there are still lots of positives in your life.

Look at what you already have and what’s going great for you already.

Many of us call to complain when a product or a service were not the best, but how many of us actually call to compliment someone for a great product and exceptional service? Sadly, we don’t do so very often.

Why not?

This is because most of us tend to focus on the negative – we simply need to learn how to be more positive to live a happier life.

5. Do Something you Enjoy Today

Even if you do not have job, business or blog going your way, you can still do something you can enjoy in smaller chunks.

For example, when I am having a bad day, I read my favourite book yet again or cook something, and that really cheers me up.

Sometimes, just taking a walk outside for 15 minutes will recharge you to tackle life’s issues. Sometimes all one needs is a little nap or to drink a hot chai tea, like I do.

There are many simple ways you can be happier in your daily life.

Check out these 10 simple things that make me happy.

Have goals to improve yourself and your life, and not gather more material possessions.

Be compassionate towards others, be thankful for what you have and enjoy yourself today.

Do not wait another day for your life to start some day, one day.

You are happy today because you are free and alive today!

Now, let me ask you, what makes you happy? Please do share below.

This is a guest post from Preeti Bhatt, also known as a Zengirl, from Heart and Mind

Read more inspiring articles from Preeti also known as Zengirl at Happy Heart and Mind, where she writes about life improvement by focussing on finding a simple harmony between your heart and your mind. You can subscribe to Preeti’s posts at Subscribe Heart and Mind.

Image courtesy of Mike Baird