The morning after 4 days of walking up Mt. Everest to the breathtaking lookout point of Gokyo Ri a rage grew inside of me. For the first time since beginning the trek I did not wake up to a beautiful sunny day to the point where the fog was so bad I couldn’t see anything at all! The lookout, which is said to be one of the most spectacular on earth overlooking the Himalayas was the entire reason I ventured on this insane trek in the winter and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face!
I was extremely pissed off and began to make my way down the mountain as I still had to make my way over to Mt. Everest. I stayed righteously pissed off for an hour or so before I had a deep epiphany about the concept of happiness. Although it was super annoying I didn’t get to witness the unbelievably awesome, mind-blowing, insanely beautiful view I was ruining the rest of my trip and was gifted a deep realization about the power of perspective as soon as I decide to make the best of it. Most of us go through life as victims and feel unhappy for days, weeks or even months at a time due to external events. Yes there are horrible things that happen and all of will face difficult times, however here are 4 principles you can adopt to experience more happiness in your life.
1. Happiness is a Choice: It’s All Perspective
First and foremost you must realize that you choose how to feel at every moment of everyday. One so called “bad” experience for one person is a “learning” experience to another. You have the power at each and every moment to feel better. Whenever dealing with a difficult situation try to think “What is the most useful/powerful perspective I can have in this situation?”
2. Do More of What You Love
One the best sport psychologists in the world Michael Gervais once asked me “What activities, people, places and situations make me the happiest?” and he follow up with “What prevents those from happening?”
Answer those two questions for yourself, spend more time doing what you love with those you love and you’re energy and reality will shift. Have ever tried staying mad in a room full of puppies?
3. Live in the moment
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment.” Lao Tzu
So few of us even come remotely close to living in the moment. You’re concerned with your to do list, job, responsibilities and completely miss life as you stress it all away. Learn to take each moment as an opportunity to experience life fully. When you are eating, driving, waiting in traffic, speaking with a friend. Use all of these situations as an opportunity to be in the present moment and experience it fully.
4. It’s Just a Ride, Take it Easy!
As late comedian Bill Hicks once said “Life is just a ride.” One thing you know for sure is that you’re alive and life inevitably has ups and downs and how you respond to them is where your power lies, your power of choice! You don’t always have the power to control what happens but you always have the power to choose how to react and that choice will lead to liberation or suffering. Step into your real power and refuse to play the victim.
Life truly is one insane roller coaster and a true mystery. Happiness is fleeting and should not depend on external circumstances, true happiness comes from within, from deep connection with yourself and all things. You can get glimpses of this happiness through direct insight to “what is” by embracing the moment and slowing the mind down to experience the awe of the universe!
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be”
– Abraham Lincoln
May you live a life of joy, peace, love and compassion!