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We all strive to be happy in life but few ever reach the milestone. We smile on the outside while we are wondering where true happiness lies on the inside. Why do people struggle with a concept that should be easy to accomplish and a better question is why do people fake it?
The old saying "fake it till you make it" really does not apply to happiness. Pretending to be happy when we are really not does not lead to bliss. Instead of putting on a fake smile we need to discover why the real one is not there to shine. The lack of a smile could be our attitude, our wants, or our expectations.
We need to begin our journey by adjusting our attitude. We need to learn to be kind to others, form patience, and be honest. We need to realize we are not special beings and superior to others. We need to learn that what we want may not happen over night. Sometimes the best things are those we wait for and work toward slowly. Stop telling yourself you are fat, ugly, lazy, or dumb. Treat yourself with respect and know that you are a wonderful individual.
We have formed an attitude that we need more to be happy. We need more money, a big house, a nice car, to be the perfect parent, and to be the perfect spouse. More is not always better and humans are never perfect. Learn what means the most in life and grab it. The extra ten minutes walking to the mailbox enjoying the day, the game shared with your child, or the movie with your spouse can be worth much more than an expensive dinner and a movie when you are on a tight budget. If you have a comfortable roof over your head and transportation to work and the store be proud with what you have. The size of a house and the furnishings do not make a home and the plush leather seats and sunroof does not make the perfect car.
Make your expectations reasonable and able to be accomplished. This is not to say you can not dream big but plan to reach that dream in a reasonable manner. Set goals for yourself. Set those goals in a time frame that is possible to accomplish. Work toward your short term goals to reach those long term. Every milestone passed is one step closer to that big dream and you have the feeling of accomplishment and reward as you go. Realize you are human and you will make mistakes and have bad days. Learn from your mistakes and offer an apology to those you hurt on your bad days.
The best advice anyone can ever give you to be happy is to find what makes you honestly smile. Set time aside to enjoy a hobby if it is only 15 minutes a day. Drop the hope of being perfect and never fake who you are. Be yourself and associate with the people who are real enough to accept you for who you are. Do things to make you feel good and offers a feeling of pride. Help a little old lady put her groceries in her car, take a moment to help a lost tourist find their destination, or take an extra minute to offer the cashier a smile and ask how her day is instead of complaining the line is long and you are in a hurry. In no time you will develop new ways of approaching others and the smile you wear will be genuine.
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