Are we born happy or do we create our happiness? According to research, happiness is determined more by our actions and reactions to situations than to life’s experiences themselves. In other words, how we perceive and approach life determines a great portion of our satisfaction and wellbeing.
Expect No More; this is Happiness. An expression I read on a napkin at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach Florida has stuck with me. Could such a simple statement guide me? Expectations drive satisfaction much more so than reality. This simple statement reminded me that if I believe that what I have and who I am is NOT enough – I am locked into perpetual dissatisfaction, always trying to do and be more. The message is not about lowering expectations, but about appreciating what currently exists.
WHAT if who I am and what I have were enough? What if I didn’t need to change or be better? Better takes energy and perfect is, as I am often reminded, the enemy of good. What if I was content with my world and myself, and see the good in them and me? Would it allow me to enjoy more people, places and experiences? What if moment to moment I emphasized what is working, instead what is not working in my home, my family, and my job? Would this refocusing bring more joy?
What if I didn't want more? Ironically Miami Beach is a location where “MORE” is the flavor, (except when it comes to bathing suits) more money, more cars, more shoes, more homes, more music, more tattoos, and more jewelry. More in these cases is external. Does this limit MORE happiness internally?
As I re-read the paper napkin can I believe that...
Is in me
Of being free
Free to be me
Free to live in the space between past and future
Free from fear, guilt and judgment
Free to blossom and do what I do best
Illuminate the good in all
Travel on any itinerary
Let life happen
Let go of the perfect
Let go of the “right”
Observe the world
View all as family
Forgive the past
Live in the now
Build the future
Catherine Florio Pipas