Color & Control:

Do You Shine Like a Diamond?

You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” Wise words from Charlie Chaplin, whose contribution to cinema has made people laugh for over a century. But you can’t buy a smile or find a rainbow when you’re looking in all the wrong places. Sure, it’s a wonderful feeling when you receive or purchase something special but experience tells us that a new piece of technology soon becomes outdated, that new-car smell wears off that fancy new car, and — all too quickly — your fabulous new shoes have a scuff on them. The excitement vanishes.

Glass is half full?
Possession-based happiness is ephemeral and fragile. No matter how much we have, it’s not enough, it seems. And, most likely while we’re worrying about acquiring things and keeping up with the Joneses, life’s rainbow moments with friends and family may be passing us by. “If, on the other hand,” mused the former news commentator Andy Rooney on the topic, “our happiness simply depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap … then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of it.”

Like a newlywed
Leo Tolstoy also captured my imagination with his suggestion that happiness just might be “living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” So, at the risk of making you much too happy, here are some ideas that will help you focus on the bright spots in every day:

  1. Capture your happy, positive moments every day. Keep a diary and describe how you feel rather than just what happened. Take photos when you’re inspired, or moved by something or somebody.
  1. Be meaningful, have goals and build relationships. Look for ways to connect, learn and contribute. Wasting time with negative people creates a sense of loss, disappointment and drains you. Explore! Be open to new friends, new ideas and new places.
  1. Think small. Broaden your idea of what makes you happy. Perhaps it’s not what’s in your bank account. Did you play a game of Scrabble with the next door neighbour, cook something nice for lunch or complete a task that’s been on your to-do list forever? By celebrating your accomplishments, even the smallest ones, every day can make you more satisfied.
  1. Spread playful, joyous energy. Let your smile change the world, not the world change your smile. Be that glass-half-full, positive person. After all, if you want to give and receive the best life has to offer, you just might have to glow yourself.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall

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