A couple of years ago, coming home from a five-month trip around Asia (see my travel blog HERE), I believed I had found the key to happiness: being satisfied with what you have.I don’t remember what exactly it was in Asia that led me to that conclusion, but I was pretty sure I had it right.
When you see people who have next to nothing, who sit on a stool outside their shack, selling a pile of kumquats or durians for mere pennies, you notice how they laugh and smile as if they didn’t have a want in the world. They’re satisfied as long as their stomachs are full and they have a roof over their head and someone to call their darling. They leave the rat race to the actual rats.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. In Northern Europe where I grew up, the great majority of people are satisfied with what they have. The countries that always top the list of “happiness Country in the World” are Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden. But don’t people in socialist countries make less money, pay more taxes, and have government health care? Yes, they do. And they are still Happy with a capital H.
Shocking? Perhaps if you’re from the US. But if you grew up in Scandinavia and have lived in New York for 20 years, like me, then you can easily see why.
In Northern Europe, most people don’t yearn to keep up with the Kardashians or hang like the Hiltons. Bigger is not better. People don’t drive around in oversized SUVs or Hummers, they prefer small environmentally friendly cars. Even the rich and famous don’t live in huge palaces on 5 acres, they’re quite content to live in a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment.
“Just Right” is the ideal. There’s even a word for it in Swedish: lagom, and also in Estonian: paras.
But I was wrong—the Key to Happiness is Gratitude!
Being satisfied with what you have is good. But being grateful for what you have is better. In the last ten years or so, I’ve said thanks every night for what I have. I say thanks for my bed. my cleans sets, mob husband, mis isters, my job, etc. Anything I can think of. And my life is pretty fabulous. But then, a few weeks ago, I found a book called The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, and realized I can bring even more gratitude into my life. I can make it even more magical. When you regularly practice gratitude, you start thinking about all the good things in your life, and when you lift your vibration, the Universe listens and gives you more of the things for which you’re grateful. Because what you focus on expands. And what you resist persist.
The Magic provides a 28 day step-by-step program to bring more gratitude into your life. It’s easy, and doesn’t take much time out of your busy day. And little by little, magic is sprinkled over you and your life, and you’ll be amazed how things you thought were impossible become reality.
Thank you for reading this.
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Let me know if you agree. What are some things you do to bring more happiness into your life?