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The Little Things in Life that Make it All Worth It

Updated on April 2, 2014

Develop and Strengthen the Skill of Happiness

What is Happiness?

Happiness is a difficult thing to describe - and it can be even harder to pinpoint the causes of our own personal happiness. Some people define happiness by the material possessions they can obtain. Others define happiness by only the intangible things in their lives - love, trust, joy, etc. While even more people associate happiness with hobbies, people, personal achievements and personal success.

Happiness is so much more than that. Not only is happiness is a fundamental right granted to us by our forefathers, happiness is essential for anyone who wants to truly enjoy their life here on earth.

Stress, busy schedules, money problems, relationship issues and more all move our focus from the things in life that should be making us happy, onto the things in life that bring us down. Every day, we each can find countless things to make us happy, but often we choose to focus on the negative aspects of our lives, allowing our own mind to cloud this beautiful thing called life.

Stop rushing through your day to take care of as many things as possible. Slow down. Take a moment to realize the preciousness of life, the temporary nature of life, and start to appreciate the little things around you that can bring you joy on a daily basis.

Figure Out What Makes YOU Happy

Little Things Every Day to Put a Smile on Your Face

Here is a list of some of the little things we encounter on a daily basis that COULD bring us a joy if only we APPRECIATED them:

  • Finding money while doing the laundry
  • The smile of a stranger
  • Naps
  • When you're flying and no one ends up in the seat next to you
  • Getting mail from an old friend
  • Popping bubble wrap (the bubblier the better!)
  • Tripping in public but no one sees you
  • Catching the first taxi you see when you're running late
  • Clean bed sheets
  • When you pull up to a parking meter and there's still time left
  • Any place that still offers free refills
  • Getting your ID checked when you are CLEARLY over the age
  • The way the sun feels on your skin after days of icky weather
  • Free samples of almost anything
  • A rainstorm that ends the second you leave the house
  • When every song on the radio while you're driving to work seems like you hand-picked them yourself
  • Hugs

Don't Let Other People Sap the Joy from Your Life

Common Misconceptions About Being Happy

There isn't much people can do to change how happy they are. Some people are just happier than others.

This couldn't be any larger of a misconception that is sapping joy from your life. Yes, we all have different temperaments and we all have unique personalities; but we are still all capable of achieving a happy, joyous life. Even people with a more melancholy temperament or difficult life circumstances can be happier with some effort.

Happiness is subjective and can’t be studied.

Also false. Happiness may be different for each one of us, but in this day and age, EVERYTHING can be studied. Researchers have been studying the source of joy and happiness for decades, and through collective research have been able to ascertain what parts of life make people the happiest, and what about life makes us sad. The results repeatedly found that the key to happiness lies within us - and our only limitation is our own mind.

Happy people aren’t very bright.

There is a reason people associate happiness with naivety, but that doesn't make those reasons just. In fact, research shows quite the opposite - showing that the happier someone is, the more successful the person is in their work life, as well as their personal life. It has even been proven that happier people live longer than those who are depressed.

Young people are happier than old people, and people get less happy over their lifetimes.

I don't know what young people you know, but the young people I know are NOT the people I would think of first when trying to name those in my life with the highest levels of happiness. Although there has been little research to show the correlation between happiness and age, older people have more life experience, and generally have the ability to appreciate things that those younger than them just can't do.

Money makes people happy.

Money does not make people happy - at least not in the truest sense of the word. Money gives the illusion of happiness - it may even help you afford things that you enjoy - but money is far from the key to happiness in life. More often than not, large amounts of money bring problems instead of joy. Just look at most large jackpot lottery winners.

People who think about their own happiness are self-indulgent and selfish.

This couldn't be further from the truth. Happy people are not selfish, they are self-nurturing. They value the little things in life and know what it means to appreciate what they have, rather than what they want. The happiest people are the most engaged with others and the least wrapped up in their own problems.

Learn to Appreciate the Little Joys in Life

A List of Things That Bring Us Joy

Here are a few more examples of the little things in life that are truly awesome:

  • Being able to sleep in
  • A short line for your favorite roller-coaster
  • Bubble baths
  • Not realizing it's Friday until you are halfway through the workday
  • Payday
  • Sweatpants
  • Peeing after you had to hold it for a REALLY long time
  • Campfires
  • Coming home to an excited pet
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Thunderstorms when you don't have anywhere to go
  • Movies that make you laugh so much your stomach hurts afterwards
  • Perfect silence
  • Getting to take a leisurely walk through a park on a sunny day
  • The first flowers of Spring
  • The first snowfall of Winter
  • Nailing an interview
  • Swing-sets
  • A long string of green lights on the way home from work

The True Nature of Happiness

The key to harnessing your own inner happiness lies in letting go of the notion that at any given moment in time, we are the most important person in the room. We all do it, whether you realize it or not. Sometimes it manifests as that nagging idea in the back of our minds obsessing about what other people are thinking. Other times it reveals itself as self-pity, feeling like the world has it out for us. This idea is false and we need to let go of it if we want to be truly happy.

We all have stuff on our plate, we all live chaotic hectic lives running from one place to another as if we were on auto-pilot. If you think about it, the notion that everyone around us is consumed with thoughts about how we look, how we're acting, or what we're doing is just vain and self-absorbed.

Let go of the self-doubt and the insecurity that is interfering with your ability to appreciate the joys in life. Let go of the misconceptions and embrace the things that will make you happy.

What Happiness Is, and What Happiness Isn't

Do you take time to appreciate the small things in life that can bring you joy?

See results

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