As the year comes to an end, I want to share some insights that may help you be happier in 2019. These tips have worked for me.
• Find and become immersed in positive energy in people, places and things.
“Birds of a feather flock together” really rings true for me. Finding people whose behavior, values and insights inspire us helps to shape our thinking and our actions.
• Honor others by giving them respect. When we understand others’ points of view, it broadens our own viewpoint. When we “get into someone’s head,” and see things from their vantage point, it gives us an opportunity to see and appreciate their gifts – and gain insight into our own thinking.
• Be in the precious present. The special, positive moments in our lives only happen once in that exact way. They are snapshots in time. Those moments bring us love and comfort in our moments of fear, despair, loneliness and pain. They are always with us and we use them to create, weave and spin our memories together. When we imprint them in our mind, like an affirmation, we are creating a blueprint of what we want in our daily life. Thinking and talking about those precious moments, being grateful for them and counting our blessings really works. It can bring us many more.
• Believe in miracles. There are no coincidences. We’ve all experienced those “coincidences” when someone we have just been thinking about calls us, we bump into the person we really need to talk to, we find the right thing at exactly the right time, or we miss a mishap by seconds. I believe that those are miracles, and that giving thanks for those little miracles when they happen opens the door to big miracles.
Rabbi Noah Weinberg writes in “The Secret of Happiness,” posted on aish.com, “People often think happiness is based on what you achieve and acquire. My whole life would improve if I had a new car ... I just need a better job and then I can relax and be happy ... If only I met the right girl ....
“You get the car and what happens? For a whole week, you’re walking on air. Then you go right back to being unhappy. Happiness comes from mastering the art of appreciating. Happiness is not a happening; it’s a state of mind. You can have everything in the world and still be miserable. Or you can have relatively little and feel unbounded joy.”
Rabbi Weinberg continues, “As the Talmud says, ‘Who is rich? The one who appreciates what he has’ (Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1). That’s why the morning prayers begin with a series of blessings thanking God for the simple and obvious: Thank you, God, for giving me life. Thank God I can see, that I can use my hands and feet, that I can think. Happiness comes from mastering the art of appreciating and consciously enjoying what you already have.”
PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin Show,” a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.