Did you sing the song "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands!" as a child? I know I did. Well if I were to follow the words of that song I would be clapping non-stop. And I would have been for at least the past couple of months.
Or have you seen the app that displays on Facebook your percentage happiness? I see it coming up all the time for one of my friends showing numbers well below 100%. I don't have the app myself, and I have no idea whether it has any basis in reality or is just a gimmick, but if it works and if I had it installed on my mobile I would be displaying 100% every day.
On the basis that madness is defined by deviation from normal I guess I should have been put in an asylum months ago. I am quite sure it cannot be regarded as "normal" to be happy all day every day. Fortunately the men in white coats haven't spotted me yet!
But why am I happy? Not ecstatically happy, which would be rather exhausting after a while, but pleasantly happy. Comfortably happy. All the time. Where does this happiness come from?
Perhaps you feel it is because I am wealthy. Well I am not. Depending on how you define wealth of course. I have enough to get by. Not as much as I would like. Not enough to allow me to do all the things I would like to do by a long stretch. I am working on that, but how I am doing it should be the subject of a different blog. Wealth is relative anyway. To someone living on the street and who doesn't have enough to feed their children, let alone themselves, a person who has a house, a job, and food in the fridge is wealthy. By that definition I am wealthy. But to someone who has a 10 bedroom house, a holiday home on a nice white beach that is warm all year round, and the money and time to flit between the two whenever he likes I am definitely not wealthy. Again, I am working on it, but that is certainly not me right now.
Maybe you feel it is because I am in perfect health. Well I am not. I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. I have been treated very successfully for it, but once you have had cancer you can never really say it is gone for good. And the treatment itself left a few side effects. So I certainly don't have perfect health. In fact just after I originally wrote this article I suffered a viral throat infection. Nothing very serious, but it did leave me with a very sore throat, unable to swallow without great difficulty, fever, and lethargy. I did not ignore the signals my body was giving me. I visited the doctor to make sure I was doing the right things to deal with the infection, took some paracetamol to deal with the pain, and had plenty of rest. I have almost recovered now. I was not pleased to be ill, but I was still happy. And now I am even happier, knowing the infection has almost gone.
So why on earth am I happy all the time? And is this something you can copy too?
Firstly, I recognize that happiness comes from within. It is not something you are given. It is not something that happens to you because of what is happening around you. Look at some wealthy people who still seem to be miserable and you will see the truth of this. Happiness comes from your frame of mind, nowhere else. As long as you are looking for happiness to come from outside it will always be elusive.
Secondly, I am very grateful for what I have. It may not be much to a lot of people, but when I look around me and see what some people have to suffer I know I can be very thankful. Think about your own situation for a few minutes. I challenge you to tell me that there is absolutely nothing for which you can be thankful. The mere fact that you have the resources to be able to read this blog means you are in a better position than many people in this world. Even the mere fact that you are alive! When you practice thankfulness you will soon find it makes you happy too.
Finally, I took a coaching course from a good, reputable company called "Frame of Mind Coaching". They didn't show me anything radically new, but that is not really surprising. In fact I guess I would have been worried if they had. What they got me to focus on were things I already knew, but which perhaps I had forgotten to ensure remained fully grounded in my life. I am quite sure my permanent change in state is very much down to the way they got me to dig deep into myself and get properly grounded again. To me, this was what coaching should be all about and it certainly got impressive results. If you would like to try them out, be my guest. You can even get some free, no obligation coaching from them so you can see whether or not what they do is right for you.
Here is the link to get those free coaching sessions: