It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis. Margaret Bonnano
Snow White sings to the 7 dwarves, “Someday my prince will come. Some day we’ll meet again. And away to his castle we’ll go. To be happy forever I know.”
We all have our someday dreams. Someday something will happen or I’ll be something, and then I’ll be happy. But happiness doesn’t work that way.
Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. With a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University, she approaches the study of happiness with scientific rigor. In the How of Happiness, she summarizes what the happiest people in her studies do and think.
- They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.
- They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have.
- They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby.
- They practice optimism when imagining their future.
- They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.
- They are deeply committed to life long goals and ambitions (e.g., fighting fraud, building cabinets, or teaching their children their deeply held values).
- Last but not least, the happiest people do have their share of stresses, crises, and even tragedies. They may become just as distressed and emotional in such circumstances as you or I, but their secret weapon is the poise and strength they show in coping in the face of challenge.
The happiest people give something of themselves every single day. They give time to their families. They give thanks. They give help. They give their attention to what’s happening right now. They give their time and talents to accomplishing big goals that can only be accomplished by working towards it every single day.
Happily every after happens one day at a time by a daily habits of giving.