Saturday, December 22, 2012

Does 2013 Hold The Key To Your Happiness?

After reflecting on the ups and downs of 2012, begin thinking about 2013 and the potential it holds. This may be the year to increase knowledge, learn a new skill, or start a legitimate home business working online. It may be time to reconnect with estranged family members or get back in touch with your faith. Whatever changes you plan for the coming year, make them good ones. We only have one shot at life and each day is a new opportunity.

Every morning that we wake up is a good day. We have one more chance to change our thinking and actions. Each day offers the potential for each person to set him or herself apart from other people in the world. Most people want to be satisfied and fulfilled and many of us strive to be happy on a regular basis. Though people search for satisfaction and happiness, few achieve these states.

The ironic thing is that we may be our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving happiness. Our failure to be grateful for what we have not only makes us unhappy but also causes stress and reduces productivity. This outlook can even overtake our emotions, affecting family, work, relationships, and finances. It leads us to indulge in excessive and even unethical behaviors and it perpetuates itself.

The reality is that we do not need “things” to be happy. Many inhabitants of third-world countries are satisfied with the bare necessities. Their houses may be made from sticks and mud and they may not have cars but they smile, laugh, and express appreciation for others. We, on the other hand, have all we could ever want and are still miserable. We focus on getting more of what we see but somehow, we still are not happy.

CBS News reports that less than half of all Americans are satisfied with their work. This affects them personally and influences the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of this country. Many people believe that they have fewer or less-satisfactory opportunities than members of the previous generation. Looking at all the possibilities, one questions this perception. Therein lies the key: perception becomes reality even if it is far from the truth. Our focus limits us because we concentrate on the wrong things.

We are limited by what we cannot see. The new year is the time to stop complaining, being ungrateful, and feeling unsatisfied. Happiness will not come calling—we need to make it happen. When we are thankful for what we have, we open our minds to receive additional positive things. We can then shift our focus to achieve more at work and enrich our personal lives.

Begin each day by focusing on what you are grateful for and what provides satisfaction in your life. Decide which positive changes to make in 2013 and start making them now. Focus on what is going well and more things will begin moving in a positive direction. Choose to be grateful and you will achieve happiness.

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