Find Your Happiness :-)

Don’t Stress. Stop your brain form thinking about loading the dishwasher or picking lint off the carpet or dusting your ceiling fan. Give yourself a moment to focus on you! Each day is a gift of time and opportunity. Where will you go today? What will you do this year? Which direction tugs at your heart, like a vast ocean shore stretching out as far as the eye can see? What footsteps do you want to leave behind as a marker between this year and the next?

Knowing what gives your life meaning and what gives you a sense of purpose is the path to finding your happiness. In a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, researchers found that people with high scores for having a sense of purpose in life also enjoy a strong sense of happiness and satisfaction. The people who ranked high in this characteristic, 1 of 6 measured by the Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being, had a sense of direction and were aware of the meaning of their lives.

Knowing your purpose may also help you live longer. Explorer and author Dan Buettner led a global study of populations who live the longest (in areas of the world he calls the blue zones). Buettner found that having what the Okinawans call ikigai and the Nicoyans of Costa Rica call plan de vida –which translates as “why I wake up in the morning” –is worth up to 7 extra years of life expectancy.

How do you find or rediscover yours? Over time, your purpose can change or even get lost. Try this: Think back to a period of your life when you felt satisfied and fulfilled. What were you doing? Whom were you with? Ask yourself what and who matter to you most. Philosopher Lao-tzu says, “At the center of your being you have the answer: You know who you are and you know what you want.”

The answers will program your personal GPS. The next step you take –with intent and purpose –will be on the true path to lasting happiness. 🙂

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