The Secrets to Happiness: Lessons from a Toddler
“Happiness is the absence of the struggle for happiness.” ~ Chuang Tzu
My nephew is nineteen months old and the most present person I have ever had. If you have children or are close to them, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I know you want more happiness, health, and lasting happiness in your life, we all do.
Could it be that instead of teaching our children only health lessons we should probably let them teach us fun lessons?
I don't live in the same town as my nephew so time with him is very important and most of it is spent watching and playing. It made me think of her great joy and how I should take these lessons to heart.
Here is what he taught me about the secrets of happiness:
Don’t think about play; just play.
My nephew doesn’t think about playing or playing, he just plays. Like a straw that does not intend to grow, it simply grows. But we get so caught up in the thought of doing something that we think imagining is an action, but it wouldn't be far from it.
Are you so used to making changes in your life that you forget to make a change? One of my mottoos says “Ready, fire, aim,” because if I think about it for a long time, I will speak for myself without taking action. Don't think about playing, just play.
Stop and listen to the birds.
One of my nieces' favorite is listening to birds in the morning. When was the last time you listened to birds in the morning? When was the last time you smelled a rose? When did you last take over an hour to eat, to taste each bite?
This is considerate and very good at building happiness. Part of the idea is to make a thank you note. It’s hard to be thankful if you don’t stop and realize all the good things in your day. Stop and listen to the birds.
Check above, below, and everything below.
Like most children, my niece is curious. Everything is new to him, so naturally it should be checked. He should check every aspect of something new, no matter what the chalk, the sound of the metal, or what the ice cream is. His whole day is a great test of life.
As an adult I am determined in my ways; isn't it? We are so content with our ways that we forget new ideas, new ideas and new ways of doing things.
When was the last time you took a new route to work, tried a different restaurant, jumped into a pool, or danced? Happiness is temporary, and there is no greater way to have fun than to explore new things. Check above, below, and below all.
Bath time is a cause for great celebration.
For my nephew there is no greater task than bathing. Perfect happiness comes when he is placed in his bathtub. Everything about bathing is full of joy - water, watering, foaming, and time with her parents.
When was the last time you had fun with something like a bath or even a hot shower? Instead, we go in to clean up and spend all our time rushing through the list of things to do in our heads. Use your bath or shower to clean your mind and enjoy the experience. Bath time is a cause for celebration.
If it's funny, stupid, or fun, then laugh.
The child laughs an average of 40 times a day. An adult laughs an average of fifteen times a day. If something is funny, crazy, or fun, then my nephew is laughing. Some giggle a little while others have a deep stomach. They are both full of present joy and happiness.
There is so much to laugh about. Don't worry about looking silly or laughing too much. Laughter is contagious and changes your emotions quickly. If it's funny, stupid, or fun, then laugh.
Above all else my nineteen-month-old niece taught me to be happy to be there and to enjoy the beauty of life. There is so much to be thankful for and to enjoy.
Instead, like many, I can easily be overwhelmed at set times, feeling bad about my body, relationship drama, or fear of failure. All of these are created by themselves.
When I stop I just notice the world around me at that moment, I see trees and hear birds. I enjoy sunrise and sit with friends. No worries without anticipation. And you can't wait for the present moment; you can only be in it.