Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, Today I want to talk to you about happiness and joy. What it is, why it’s important, and most importantly how to find it and keep it in your life.
First, what is happiness? It’s a peculiar question isn’t it? Everyone talks about finding happiness or being happy, but no one ever stops to define what it is for themselves. And make no mistake, happiness means something different to everyone.
The dictionary defines happiness as “the quality or state of being happy and good fortune, pleasure, contentment, and joy.” I love the last one – joy. To me “joy” is a different type of state. When you have true joy, you almost feel like you are surrounded by goodness. Maybe that is where the old phrase “feeling like you are on cloud 9 comes from.” At any rate, you must define what happiness or joy is for yourself. My joy comes in multiple forms. It comes in the love of our family for each other. It comes in the incredible blessings in all areas of our lives from God. It even comes at mile 18 of a marathon. The way I keep my feeling of joy is to remind myself of it every day through gratitude and taking the time to be grateful for this amazing life and chance we have to make our impact on this world.
But, I can tell you this. After many years of studying the mind, how it works, our conditioning, and how we become who we are, I can say this for certain - I cannot make you a happy person.
It's simply not possible for someone else to make you a happy person. Oh, someone might be able to make you happy for a short time or in a moment, but true happiness, lasting joy must be found within.
It is up to you to decide whether you are happy or not. Every day I get up and do that by reminding myself of how blessed I am and to show gratitude for it.
There are several things that affect our ability to be and remain happy. And I just showed with my example of my daily gratitude routine above, they are all within our control. Everything from our mindset, to how we react to the things that happen to us, to what we tell ourselves is all in our control.
Let's start with what we tell ourselves. What we say to ourselves and about ourselves both internally and externally has a profound impact on us. Literally, what we think about ourselves becomes our reality.
Consider this. The person you talk to more than any other in your life and throughout your whole life is yourself. What are you saying?
If you believe you are not worthy of things in life like success or not worthy of being happy or say things like "I'm not good enough..." or "I’m terrible" or "Nothing ever goes right for me..." guess what is going to happen in your life. Exactly that. This happens because our beliefs are what manifest in our lives. If you believe in your mind that "Nothing ever goes right for me," then your mind will make sure things do not go right and look for everything that happens or can happen to back that up. Always remember that what you tell yourself becomes reality. And you have control of what you believe and tell yourself. It is your choice. So, if you want to be happier or find lasting joy, start by believing and speaking truth to power in your life to yourself.
The next thing we have control over is the way we react to the events that happen in our lives. No matter what happens, we have the ability to control how we react to it and choose to perceive it the way we want. The trick is stopping ourselves from just reacting and making the choice. When something does not go your way or goes against you, you can choose to allow it to make you unhappy and ruin aspects of your life, or you can choose not to let it do so. You can even choose to perceive it as a great opportunity to better yourself, learn, and grow. It is up to you, but how you deal with the challenges that come your way affects your happiness, and you have the power to choose how you respond to them.
Lastly, my personal belief is that the things that happen to us actually happen FOR us. Everything we go through gives us an opportunity to grow as an individual and become a better version of ourselves. Even the things that seem and feel absolutely terrible when we go through them help us to become stronger, give us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our capacity to endure, and bring about meaningful changes, if we look for them. Tragedies give us this opportunity as well. It is how we respond to tragedy that defines how we move on from it. Make no mistake, the hardest thing to do is find happiness and gratitude in the darkest of times, but it is there if you want to find it.
Regret is a terrible thing and waste of your focus, thought, and emotions. Everything that has had to happen to get you where you are right now had to happen exactly as it did. Everything that happened in our lives up until we held you in our arms in that moment in China had to happen exactly as it did or we may not be a family.
In fact, the chances of you, or any of us, even being alive at this moment in time are so infinitely small; it is almost impossible to even fathom the number. And for you to have life at this moment in time, means that trillions of people that could have been, are not. Instead, you are here in their place. Cherish it. Make the most of it. Let go of regret and embrace the incredible opportunity you have to choose to be happy, to fill your life with joy - and then make it so.
Hannah, and anyone listening, it comes down to this. You have a choice every day to be happy and find joy or deny it in your life. My hope is that you choose to find the happiness and joy that exists all around you every day - the world will be brighter for you having done so.
I love you,
Best Quote: You have a choice every day to be happy and find joy or deny it in your life. My hope is that you choose to find the happiness and joy that exists all around you every day - the world will be brighter for you having done so.