“Happiness removes all obstacles”, Paul Theroux writes in his most recent travel diary, The Last Train to Zona Verde (2018). It really does, and that is precisely why we should strive to bring happiness into our lives and keep it at our side at all times.
Reflecting on my own journey, here are five suggestions on how to lock happiness into your life.
1. Never Regret
We alł have an inseparable and unavoidable past we cannot change. To make mistakes is human. Those who have not made any either have not done much or have been incredibly lucky. Either way, they have missed out on much of what life has to offer and was meant to be.
To grow as a human being, you have to move out of your comfort zone and take risks. If you made mistakes doing so, do not dwell on them. Just reflect on them as they nearly always contain lessons that will make your life so much richer going forward.
None of us should ever let shadows of the past cloud our outlook on the future and obscure the inspiring path of discovery and growth that lays ahead for each and everyone of us.
2. Stay Curious
Read, travel, explore. They are all compost for the mind, heart, and spirit. Keep asking questions. Take every opportunity that comes along as none are likely to come around again. You will find that in doing so, more will come your way. You want to be the magnet for the experiences you need to live a fulfilling life.
Reach for the horizon, and do so in all directions.
3. Live Your Own Life
Live your own life and not somebody else’s. Neither surrender nor try to be somebody you are not or cannot be. Live your life with all your senses and in all colors. You’ve only got one so make it worth it.
Don’t make bucket lists; if you want to do something, go Nike. Never postpone anything because you might not get another chance to do it. And do not waste time watching reality shows where people live lives that are anything but real. Just go out and live your own life the way you always wanted to.
You are the only obstacle between where you are now and where your magic carpet can take you. Just go for it and enjoy the ride.
4. Dream Big
With a strong will, we can all carve out more than one future. Just go for it all. Keep dreaming as it will inspire you to do great things.
Nothing is impossible. All you need to remember is that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But it is in the process of accomplishing something worthwhile that true happiness resides.
Remember that at the end of any trip you made, you never really dwelled on the challenges you faced or the setbacks you encountered. You simply relish in the gratifying moments you experienced and that joy pushes you on to your next adventure.
5. Keep Perspective
Life is an elevator that goes up and down. We all have bad days, but there are plenty more to make up for the bad ones. And we need the bad ones to truly know and appreciate the good ones when they bring sunshine into our lives.
When you do feel down, just remember these facts: first, time only moves in one direction; and second, there is always someone who is far worse off than you are.
Just keep everything in perspective. You are never going to appreciate Leonardo Da Vince’s Mona Lisa by putting your nose to the canvas. Its beauty will only reveal itself when you take a step back and let the light fall on it from alł angles.
There is a silver lining in everything. Beauty arises from ashes, success is built on failure. Rome was not built in one day, but Pompeii was destroyed in less than one. Still, both places captivate us when we discover the many secrets they hold.
Go out and live your life. Be happy when you do and stay happy. Make it a habit, and stay the course.