Written by: Annette J. Morris MA, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Many people don’t realize happiness is their birthright therefore they don’t pursue it. Many individuals, due to their life circumstances feel as though happiness isn’t attainable. The Declaration of Independence clearly states the pursuit of happiness is our right to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes us happy (within the law)!! This is an indication to me that I should not only desire to be happy but that happiness is my birthright which is why I’m in relentless pursuit of it. One of the reasons people miss attaining happiness is because they associate happiness to things therefore if you don’t have things you can’t be happy and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Happiness is not derived from external stimulants but is an inside job that requires the inner work, self-assessing and elimination of the negatives to tap into. Others are unhappy simply because they don’t have a clue of what makes them happy and are missing one of the five keys to happiness.
Step 1: Determine that you want to be happy The first and most important key to your personal happiness is determining that you want to be happy. For many people, their personal happiness is entangled with the happiness of others. Some believe it’s their spouse’s responsibility to make them happy, parents say they’re happy if their kids are happy, but are you really. Too often we allow our own happiness to take a back seat to that of others. Your happiness should never be sacrificed for others no matter who they are. The entire family can and should experience happiness. Others can contribute to (while some may deduct from) your happiness and can not be the source of your happiness.
Step 2: Determine what makes you happy Once you have determined to make your pursuit of happiness a priority you need, the second step is to determine just what it is that makes you happy. I can recall years ago my Therapist asking me what made me happy and I said my work. She asked what else and I could not answer that question. I work in my passion and it brought me tons of joy but that wasn’t enough for her. Therefore she gave me a homework assignment to make a list of 10 things that made me 😂 happy. That homework assignment was harder than High School Algebra and after a week I still did not have a list of 10 items but I did have more than 1.
Over the years I’ve been able to determine a lot that makes me happy such as:
Laughing with the kids
Traveling anywhere that requires me to get on a plane
Fresh roses and sunflowers
Random acts of kindness
Solo lunch dates
Watching a funny movie
Getting a mani and pedi
Singing my favorite song as loud as I can
Dancing like nobody is watching (in most instances no one is).
Eating/baking my favorite dessert
And the list goes on. As I evolve I discover more and more things that make me happy and I make it a point to grab something from the list often and do. I even did 21 days of happiness challenge for myself and encouraged others to join me and each day I did something from the list. I recommend making a list of some things that make you happy and get started on your own individual pursuit of happiness.
Step 3: Stay connected to positive people However true happiness for most of us is not dependent solely on that one key. For most of us, we also require Step 3 which is special people in our lives to enhance our happiness. No, they can’t make us happy but they can certainly contribute to your happiness. Make time for loved ones in and out of your home. Our lives can get quite hectic so do date night with your spouse, family movie night as a family to include the kids, do lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Stay connected to the people that matter the most to you.
Step 4: Give
Another essential to living in true happiness is Step 4—Giving to others. Helping others, especially those that are less fortunate tends to help us in counting our blessings and appreciating all that we have. Researchers have said that “giving activates an area of the brain linked with contentment and the reward cycle.” Find a cause that you align with and give of your time and resources in an effort to make the lives of those less fortunate than you a tad better.
Step 5: Goal attainment increase confidence and happiness
Finally, Step 5 make it a goal to accomplish something everyday no matter if its large or small. Accomplishing goals help us to feel confident with ourselves. Confidence enhances happiness. The goal can be as minor as doing 3 things on your to-do list or something as big as purchasing a house or car.
Whatever it may be, find a way to win everyday!!!
The pursuit of happiness does not have to be challenging and you shouldn’t feel like it's a task to incorporate happiness it should be natural and consistent. You’re simply 5 steps away from living in true happiness. #dontworrybehappy
Annette J. Morris MA, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Annette J. Morris, M.A., is the owner of Goal Getter, LLC and movement maker for The CEO Therapist. Annette has a knack for developing the goals and visions of other movement makers. She helps female entrepreneurs discover their divine gifts and skills while positioning them to create profitable businesses and Therapists to generate more income while making an impact in the same manner.
Annette is committed to her own development as a leader, Mental Health Therapist, Master Certified Life, Mindset and Business Coach, Best selling author and Speaker. As a first-generation college graduate and entrepreneur holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the Southern University of New Orleans and a Master's of Arts Degree from Xavier University of Louisiana ‒ seeing the elevation of women globally excel is at the forefront of Annette's mission.
Annette, also an author, has published 11 books 6 of which were co-author projects and three of the books made it to Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. Annette was also recently recognized as Brainz Magazine’s Top 500 Global Leaders.
In addition to being a phenomenal speaker, author and life-changing Coach, Annette’s also a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.