You can master the art of happiness. Art, as we are using it here, means the expression or application of your creative skill and imagination.
We will look at this in two wonderful ways:
First, you're going to apply your skill and imagination to the task of creating lasting happiness, and when you do, you are giving a gift beyond measure to yourself and everyone you love.
Establishing lasting happiness is like planting a tree. You need a healthy root system, a strong trunk and healthy growing branches and foliage.
Here is how you establish the art of being happy on an ongoing basis.
First, you lay a strong foundation (the root system) by:
Then you build skills and sustainable patterns of behavior (the trunk) that you will maintain and expand for the rest of your life, by:
Once these two steps are in place, you commit to constantly growing your skills and resources (the branches and leaves) for expanding happiness and fulfillment in all aspects of your life, by:
Are you thinking you don't have the self-discipline to do this? Don't worry. All you need is the desire. How much do you want to be happy? Think about it, remember it, and revisit it each and every day, and you will succeed in the art of happiness.
One of the best ways to activate the natural joy in your heart and soul is by experiencing art in its many forms. It's all around you, all of the time.
To the open and appreciative mind, art can be found almost anywhere. And since the Art of Appreciation is a big part of what we're trying to cultivate here, we're going to look for art in the obvious and not-so-obvious places.
The four categories of the art of happiness that we will explore here are:
Visual -- any and everything you observe that generates interest,
or brings joy, comfort and appreciation. The face of a child, a
beautiful painting or a wonderful film, to name just a few. This engages the power of your mental focus, where you have the choice to create the reality you want.
Auditory -- the many and varied sounds that fill
your moment, your day, and your life. Birds singing, your favorite music
or the sounds of silence can bring you joy and soothe your soul. Paying attention to the sounds in your life will help you enhance the quality of what you're hearing, adding to your joy.
Movement -- there is art in the way you walk across a room, pick
up a cup, or caress the face of your true love. Being mindful and aware
of your movement, it can become a form of artistic expression that makes
a mundane everyday experience into something quite enjoyable and surprisingly fulfilling.
Nature -- we will most certainly emphasize the art that occurs all around us all of the time in the flowers, the creatures and spontaneous occurrences in natural phenomena. Everyone has known the sense of awe in seeing a sunset, a mountaintop view, or the simple intricacies of a plant in bloom.
Your very life itself can become your work of art, if you choose. And in a way, it already is...the point is for you to appreciate the art you're creating. Dive deeper into your artful joy, by learning the true definition of happiness.
For more on this important topic, read the best selling book, The Art Of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama.