The Declaration of Independence grants us the right to pursue the experience of happiness. And based upon the growing number of self-help books that are designed to provide guidance to readers who are pursuing this goal, vast numbers of our countrymen and women, are on this quest.
We humans seem to be hard-wired to value and seek positive feelings such as happiness and well-being. It seems to be genetically programmed into us, perhaps because well-being doesn’t just feel good, it is good. It’s good for our emotional health, our physical health, our intellect, our relationships and our overall quality of life.
However, what isn’t written into the Declaration of Independence, is a prescription for fulfilling that desire. Consequently, we decided to include in this newsletter, some suggestions of ways in which you can raise your WBQ (Well Being Quotient) to a higher level.
You may be familiar with some of our suggestions, or even be practicing them already. If so, good for you! Keep up the good work! You may even have some that aren’t even on this list. If you do, let us know and send them in to us, if you’re so inclined. We may even include them in a future blog or newsletter.
So rather than prologue the agony of waiting, here’s the list:
1. Gratitude: Frequently remind yourself of at least one of your blessings.
2. Physical Exercise: Stay active! Ride bike, walk, climb, swim, and/or lift weights. Bottom line: Stay active!
3. Family: Spend time connecting with family and loved ones. Take the time to really Show up!
4. Friends: Cultivate a network of trusted companions. Nurture your connections with frequent doses of loving attention.
5. Support: In times of difficulty and challenge, reach out to ask for help and allow others to help you when you need it, rather than struggling by yourself.
6. Handle Incompletions: Get complete with people and unfinished business from the past that leave you feeling heavy and drag you down.
7. Forgiveness: Seek to let go of resentments that you’re holding on to. Staying attached to grudges is like swallowing poison and expecting it to kill someone else. Forgive yourself if you are not yet ready to forgive.
8. Practice Mindfulness: Be here now.
9. Needs: Know what your needs are and take responsibility for seeing to it that they get met. Needs have to be fulfilled in order for us to thrive. Wants and desires do not. Learn to distinguish between them.
10. Play: It’s not just for kids.
11. Practice Generosity: It feels good to give. Contribute to others in the form of volunteer work, good deeds, random acts of kindness, or just giving them your full attention when you’re together.
12. Enhance your strengths: Seek to fulfill your potential, by developing your signature strengths.
13. Responsible risk-taking allows you to grow in self-reliance, courage and resourcefulness.
14. Redefine success in a way that is specific to your unique values. Don’t just automatically default to the prevailing cultural view of money, fame. and power if those are not your highest values.
15. Practice Compassionate Self-care: Take responsibility for fulfilling your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
16. Break the habit of worrying both on the job and in your personal life. Resist the temptation to obsess about future imagined catastrophes.
17. Kindness: Practice acts of kindness to others and to yourself.
18. Savoring helps you to feel more deeply into the present moment and to more thoroughly enjoy pleasurable experiences.
19. Pleasure: see #18
20. Presence: Show up! That’s where life is happening.
21. Values: Know what yours are and live in accordance with them.
22. Body: Listen to your body and pay attention to the messages that it sends you, particularly those that relate to rest and relaxation. Slow down and take more frequent rest-stops and mini-breaks.
23. Integrity: Align what you say, think, feel, and do. Embody your core values in your actions and interactions. Walk your talk. Enough said.
24. Passions: Pursue your passions and keep your soul tank filled. Know what your soul’s favorite foods are and devour lots of it. Be creative. 25. Spirituality: Consider putting more emphasis on the spiritual and less on the material.
26. Beauty: Create it, appreciate it, and be amazed at how much of it is around you when you begin to look for it.
27. Openness: Live with a flexible mind. Avoid creating a hardening of the attitudes.
28. Optimism: Intentionally choose to recognize possibilities even under circumstances in which they are not obviously apparent. Refuse to succumb to the impulse to see things through the lens of hopelessness or despair.
29. Intention: Utilize the power of your intention by identifying it when you make choices.
30. Purpose: Seek to discover your life purpose and live in accordance with it.
Of the above practices, you will see that some are strong and highly integrated into your life, while others, not so much. Congratulate yourself for those that are well established, and then zero in on those that need more attention. They are the areas that constitute your growing edge and that will boost your WBQ. When you take on the pursuit of happiness with intentionality and commitment, you are likely to see your score go up as a result of your efforts. Enjoy the journey!