The Happiness Connection  

Your purpose is to be happy

I’ve spent more time than I can count searching for purpose.

I started when I decided to embrace the life of an entrepreneur. I wanted to speak on stages, but I wasn’t sure what my message should be. Eventually, I landed on happiness, but I continued to hunt for this elusive thing called purpose.

I’d raised my children. I had a stable life. Now, I wanted to do something bigger that would serve a wider group of people. I wanted to make a difference. I was convinced everything would fall into place if I could just find my purpose.

What is purpose?

The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. — Oxford Dictionary

The definition seems simple enough. What was the problem? I guess you could say I was looking for a reason to be here, a bigger why for my life.

I know I’m not alone in this search. I’ve talked to many people who are on the same hunt.

My search led me into personal development at a much deeper level. All the while, I continued to look for my purpose. It was as if I had to be here to do something special and incredible, not just live a good life.

Last summer, I was introduced to two ideas that have transformed the way I think about purpose.

We aren’t here to find purpose, we’re here to live with purpose. It isn’t a thing to be discovered, it’s an attitude or way of being.

That made sense, until my brain asked an interesting question. Don’t I need to know my purpose before I can live with it?

Fortunately, the second idea answered that query.

The purpose of every person is to be happy.

If we’re here to live with purpose and our purpose is to be happy, that means we are meant to live with happiness.

Happiness isn’t about living up to a standard you’ve set for yourself or measuring up to the expectations of society or your family.

It’s a feeling that has nothing to do with what you’ve achieved or what you own. You don’t need a big house, two point five children, or the perfect partner in order to experience it.

I’ve been pondering these thoughts for the past four months. What does, living with happiness look like?

I went back to happiness basics.

You can only do so much to change your circumstances, so living with happiness probably isn’t about changing the world around you.

You have total control over your thoughts and feelings. If you don’t like the ones that arise you have the ability to choose new ones. I think living with happiness means making choices that make me happy.

I know for some people this idea will trigger thoughts of selfishness. Society has told us for a long time that we should put the welfare of others before our own.

If you find it difficult to put your own happiness first, here are a few things to help you navigate a new belief.

Your happiness can increase the happiness of others.

I’m sure you can think of a time when the mood of one person affected the atmosphere of an entire room. This happens with both positive and negative energy.

I knew without a doubt that my classroom was more fun to be in when I was in a good mood. If I were a little testy, my students could sense it. The same went with my family.

If you live with purpose and make choices that increase your happiness, the people you come in contact with will also be happier.

Happiness is the umbrella term for many positive emotions.

What do you think of when you hear the word happy? I imagine joy, smiles, and laughter.

Is this what happens every time I feel happy? Of course not. I can feel happy when there are no smiles, laughter, or feelings of joy in sight.

Happiness is an umbrella term for positivity. There are many intensities and ways of expressing it. If you’re experiencing a positive emotion, even if it’s a mild one, you’re happy.

You can be happy putting other people first.

It’s possible to put other people first and still be happy. Some how we’ve bought into the belief that happiness is a finite resource. Putting other people first doesn’t mean your own happiness with decrease.

As a mom, I wanted my kids to be happy and healthy. I put them first countless times and loved doing it. What was good for them was also good for me.

The problem of putting others ahead of yourself comes when you do it because you feel obligated. You don’t want to do it; you believe you have to. You don’t.

Rarely will you find yourself with no other options. You may be carrying guilt that makes you believe no one else can do what you’re doing. Releasing the guilt can help you release the obligation.

For many people, including myself, this new way of viewing purpose is radically different. It may take some time to get comfortable with, but I’m going to give it a try and see what happens.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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