Friday, January 3, 2014

Let's Maximize Happiness in 2014

Okay. So it's a new year, and as my wife pointed out to me, I of all people, "Mr. English Major", "Mr. Symbolism", ought to recognize the power of the new year to inspire renewal. So I'm taking a crack at the resolution game with a smile on my face.

I have one resolution this year: Maximize Happiness

First off, I would encourage everyone in the world to begin 2014 with this video:

I think if I managed to keep the spirit of this video in mind throughout 2014, I would have done everything I need to do to make life happy. My three takeaways? Disconnect More, Wonder and Explore, and Cultivate Gratitude.

I'm a pretty happy guy to begin with, so in some ways I just want to remind myself of what makes me happy and to Do More of That. For me, that means the pleasures of spending time with my friends and family, cooking, traveling, and reading for pleasure. It's easy to let days pass without prioritizing what we love, and I know I have room to work on that.

Even so, there are things we all can do to be happier, as I was reminded of in this video:

My takeaways here are: Connect with Those I Love, Smile More, and Practice Empathy.

Part of increasing happiness is bringing that happiness with me to the places I go. This blog post from Edutopia is a great read if you are interested in bringing more happiness to the classroom, for example. If at all possible, I want to Create Happiness for Others.

A big takeaway from that article is it's emphasis on physical activities. So I intend to Move More, and reap the mental benefits listed here as a result.

Also, I recognize that part of my happiness comes from my ability to see the world through an optimistic lens. I realize that the only thing I can control in the world is my own reaction to it, so I hope that I will always remember to see my situation the way the young man in this commercial does, and Look For The Good.

Finally, Walt Disney once said, "Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."

Because I believe (like Walt Disney) in the power of people to make a difference through positive thought and action, I resolve to Do My Part to Inspire Others and to Change the World for the Better.

I hope this post is one way that I can achieve my goal to Maximize Happiness. I wish you all a happy 2014.


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