Rule #4: Be Deeply Grateful

(This is the fouth post explaining my Rules for Happiness. Check it out to see all the rest!)

In a way that makes me feel kind of like a broken record, I’ve been saying recently, “I am grateful for every day I get.” I am. For every moment actually. It’s been a wonderful world I live in lately.

It wasn’t always like that. I was sick, devastatingly so. I was angry and disappointed and my marriage disintegrated – and I’m not sure which one precipitated the other there, even looking back. I used to hold on to the one thing that I had. I was alive. I was breathing. The sun had risen on another day.

But I was determined to be grateful for it.

And that changed my life.

I’m fairly certain it was always a wonderful world. Today is even more so; I am currently exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do, solidly on the path to where I want to go. I am surrounded by people who love me deeply, who I feel the same way about, and who I’m certain would take the world apart piece by piece to protect me. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

But the interesting thing about being deeply grateful is that it requires that you go deep. Deep into yourself and your past. It demands happiness for the good things in your life, all the way back.

I am grateful for all the good & bad things that have happened that have made me who I am. I am grateful for all the mistakes I made and learned from. I am grateful for the mistakes other people made that led them to share their lives with me in this wonderful city. I am grateful for how much I miss my family, because it means I love them. I am grateful for my fear because it pushes me to excel and work harder.

Take the world, find the silver lining in everything, and wrap it up around yourself.

Life is a wonderful place to be. Be grateful for it.

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Rule #2: Eat Good Food

(This is the second post explaining my Rules for Happiness. Check it out to see all the rest!)

You are what you eat.

Literally, your body is built out of the things you consume. The eye balls your looking at this with? Built from the same molecules that used to be in a carrot. Or something.

So if you eat crap (fried foods, fast foods, etc) then your body will be built out of those sources. You feel sluggish and heavy? Maybe you should cut down on those trans fats.

I’ve hear all sorts of excuses on this one… good food is expensive, hard to find, etc. That’s the easy story people tell themselves as to why they don’t do a little looking.

Regarding price: if you eat better food, the less of it you need. Really. I love food – I do. I am willing to spend resources on good food because I know I need it to be healthy.

I used to have health issues that crippled me – I was “completely disabled” for over three years. Nearly bedridden for a while.

You know what the biggest change I made was to improve my health? I changed my diet to as much local and organic products as possible. I
cut out processed sugar, artificial colors and flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, as well as reduced my dairy & gluten intake.

My friend Natalie has a saying, “Cheap food is neither.” If it’s cheap, it’s probably lacking nutrition and thus depriving you of the reason you’re eating it. I’m of the mind that if everyone ate good, healthy food – as much local and organic as possible, we’d spend a whole lot less on medical costs.

Think of it this way: if you want to be healthy, and health is a big part of happiness, you have to eat good food so your body has all the nutrients it needs to be happy.

Eat Good Food. Just do it. You’ll be happier. I promise.

Rule #1: Love People

(This is the first post explaining my Rules for Happiness. Check it out to see all the rest!)

Years ago I have this fantastic conversation with my friend Scott. (He’s one of those people who just knows me, and I have been always grateful for that.) We were talking & blogging about love and what it means. His definition was this:

Love is finding joy in another person’s existance.

How amazingly simple is that? This is how you love everyone.

Love as an act of joy is easy. People bring us different kinds of joy, as we find different kinds of joy in each person. But this attitude is the key to loving people, not just a person. Of course, it’s an applicable attitude to use in deeper relationships too.

Look at each person you meet. Where can you find joy in their existence?