Summing up Part One, we could say that Happiness is both a decision and a skill-set. And, we can actually develop the Habit of Happiness.
In this article, I’d like to quote several passages from one of my favorite books on this topic. Appropriately enough, it’s entitled Happiness. The author is my dear friend, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. He writes:
“We each have much to appreciate and enjoy every day of our lives. What stops us? It’s easy to take for granted that which we already have. We are excited with new things. We focus on the pleasure and feel good. After we get used to what we have, we tend not to focus on it any longer. We tend to focus instead on what we don’t have. The Sages taught, ‘He who has one hundred wants two hundred.’ Focusing on what you are missing makes you overlook what you have.”
He suggested the following exercise, which helped me a great deal in the days when I was not as appreciative of all my blessing as I should have been:
“Train your brain to become more mindfully aware of all that you can appreciate and enjoy. Be mindful of your ability to see. Be mindful of your ability to hear. Be mindful of your ability to talk. Be mindful of your ability to walk. Be mindful about your ability to move your hands, and to lift, pull, turn, press, and hold things with them. This alone will transform your life. The person who is mindful about these things will have a brain that is so full of appreciation and enjoyment that it will be free from many of the thoughts and pictures that create bad feelings.”
He then went on to list a large amount of other things, gifts and possessions that one might take for granted and suggesting:
“Imagine how appreciative you would feel if you were missing all that you have and then you obtained them one by one. This is a great exercise to practice when your mind is free and otherwise would focus on worries or on unhappiness-producing thoughts.”
It certainly helped me. Now, I was thinking this was going to be a two-part series but, would it be okay with you if we took it one step further?
Until next time, Be Happy (I know, I could have said “Don’t Worry Be Happy” but the younger readers probably don’t remember that hit song by Bobby McFerrin). 🙂