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Happiness: How Do You Know if You Are Truly Happy?

by Odette Laurie on April 24th, 2012

Happiness. Ba Hum bug. We all walk around saying we are ‘just fine’, ‘good’, ‘great’, ‘not bad’, ‘couldn’t be better’. But are we truly happy? There are lots of people who walk around with a perma-smile but that could just be their facial muscles in overdrive. Then there are those who scowl all the time. Is it fair to judge someone by the way they look? Jeez, just how do you know if someone is really happy? How do you know if you are truly happy?

Many say that they will be happy when…they have more money, more vacations, a bigger house, a nicer car, they lose that extra weight and so on. What we don’t realize is that these are just ‘things’ or ‘circumstances’ that may make our lives a little more comfortable but not necessarily increase our happiness. We have heard it all before; happiness comes from within, not from things. If you aren’t convinced then maybe this will.

I came across an article in Success Magazine, which, by the way, is an amazing read on and off the toilet. It’s about the “Wizard of Westwood”, one of UCLA’s basketball coaches, John Wooden. He is regarded as one of the best basketball coaches ever by leading the Bruins to an unprecedented 10 national championships over two decades. To many he was more than just a coach; he was a teacher, father figure, mentor and master motivator. He carried around with him, his father’s gift to him, a creed for life; Making the Most of Oneself. It goes like this:

  • Be True to yourself.
  • Make each day your masterpiece.
  • Help others.
  • Drink deeply from good books.
  • Make friendship a fine art.
  • Build shelter against a rainy day.
  • Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Wow, pretty simple yet powerful words. If we all did our best to follow this creed, think just how enriched our lives would be. Coach Wooden was a true leader in every sense of the word. He lived by this standard of excellence and code of conduct in his strategy for happiness. He made sure his players did as well. Coach Wooden said that happiness comes from living by 9 promises:

  • Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness and prosperity as often as possible.
  • Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special that you value.
  • Promise to think only of the best to work only for the best and to expect only the best in yourself and others.
  • Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on the greater achievements in the future.
  • Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  • Promise to give so much time improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

 Take to heart what you will but remember you are the maker of your happiness.

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