Jul 11 2013

rules for happiness

‘Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.’ -Abraham Lincoln

I consider myself to be a happy guy. But I can honestly say that I’m not the happiest guy all the time.  You are given emotions for a reason, but it’s up to you to choose which emotion you want to have most of the time.

There are many self help, self development, and positive thinking stuff out there talking about how you must be happy and positive ALL the time.  Zig Ziglar said it the best way, “If you are feeling ‘on’ all of the time, then you must be on something.”

I remember when there was a moment in my life when I wasn’t very happy.  It wasn’t because the world around me was falling, I’ve always been blessed with great family and friends.  Basically, it was because I wasn’t happy with myself which then affected other aspects of my life.

Over time and even during the time I started The Aipa Project, I focused on bettering myself. As I did I was able to make a much more positive effect on my life.

Today, I can say that I have summed up Happiness in 3 Simple Rules , from the lessons I learned growing up in Hawaii.

It’s not some earth shattering finding but these are simple ways to bring happiness in your life.  There are three facts about happiness.

1.  Happiness comes from perspective.

2.  Happiness comes from doing certain activities you enjoy.

3.  Incorporate these two things in your life on a regular basis, and you’ll be happy most of the time.

Sounds good? Sounds good, shoots.

3 Simple Rules to Happiness: Hawaiian Style

Incorporate these 3 simple rules in to your life and see what sort of happiness comes:

1. Manawale’a. Simply translated, this means giving .  But Hawaiian words always go deeper than the surface.  When I was going through a rough time and wasn’t proud of myself, I ended up helping others since I felt like I couldn’t help myself.  But then something changed, I started feeling better.  Some think money is the only way to show giving.  That is just one way. There are hundreds of others, I even made a list of 32 ways of showing Aloha .  You can give your time to help, show gratitude, make someone’s day, show ho’okipa , and that’s just naming a few.

My dad shared this quote with me by Osumi which sums it up, “Some give under constraint. Some give because they are expected to. Some give because they ought to. But, they all miss the joy of true giving–giving voluntarily and sacrificially. To make the most of life, you must give it away. To live is to give.”

2. Le’ale’a. Main thing is to have fun.  There are a few activities that brings joy to me.  Two of them are hanging out with family and working out.  Hanging out with my family and friends brings happiness because, well, we know how to have a good time.  You know you have a close knit family when everyone at the table is eating and already talking about what to eat/cook for the next meal.

Working out is an activity that I consider ‘me time’.  I train alone and with other people, but every time I step into the gym, I’m happy.  It has really become my sanctuary.  Call me a gym rat, meathead, or whatever, I don’t care.  I’m happy.  On the plus side, exercise naturally makes your happier in the first place.  There are many health benefits of exercise and happiness is one of them.

Find something you enjoy doing for fun, and do it on a regular basis.  Some people have different things they like doing, I’m not here to judge, just make sure it has a positive impact.

3.  Ho’omana. I consider my family to be very spiritual.  It’s hard not to when my mom and I would walk into a room and she instantly smiles and says, “ Aloha ,” then looks at me, “this room is crowded with all kind of kupuna (elders or ancestors),” and of course the room is completely empty.  But aside from feeling spirits, I was brought up being mindful of nature. Every so often you can lose ground.  You can forget where you came from or who you are.  Being away from the islands for 10 years, at one point I lost my footing and no longer felt grounded.  But after I reconnected with my culture and realized my purpose, the skies became much clearer and the roots pa’a.

It is important you reconnect with what is meaningful to you.  It could be your culture, family, friends, meditation, an activity you felt mindful doing, or anything that creates movement in your soul.

Final Thoughts

There are many others ways to bring happiness in your life, but I feel these 3 rules for happiness are essential.  I mean, breakfast foods make me happy and even the rays of the morning sun shining through my window gets me stoked about life.  I’m easily entertained as you can see.

Being back in Hawaii, I definitely feel more grounded.  I’m still on my job search and keeping high hopes.  These 3 simple rules for happiness have helped me keep a positive perspective today and I believe they can help bring happiness to you.  Place these rules on your fridge, desktop, bulletin board, or wherever you pass by frequent as a contant reminder.  You’ll be surprised at the results. They’re pretty awesome.

Found this helpful? or Maybe thought it was a waste of your time? Please, let me know in the comments below and share this with EVERYONE you know.  I mean it.  EVERYONE.

Aloha.

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