I think one of the most important factors to happiness is perspective and the ability to develop and nurture it before a long amount of time has passed.
Given time and distance we can see how the trail of bad things were leading us to something good. It changes our mind on whether the bad times were worth it and most of us submit to the age old truth that those things needed to happen to us. If we’re able to keep that mindset in the present it changes our reaction to negative events. We start to see them as brutal necessities that will lead us exactly were we need to go.
It’s a hard mindset to keep though, and it is always easier said than done. One thing that greatly helps us cultivate perspective in the present is gratitude.
Giving thanks daily keeps our mind centered on the good. It helps us maintain a positive outlook on the future by realizing if there is good hidden throughout our terrible day, there will be far more when the darkness starts to fade.
Gratitude is born from joy, it comes straight out of the soul as light. Being grateful is perhaps the second most beautiful emotion, second only to love. Gratitude is powerful, that’s why bloggers have been promoting gratitude journals left and right, or more importantly, it’s why its preached about endlessly in the Bible.
It’s not something that can only be practiced when there is a lot to be grateful for, it needs to be practiced when its hard, when it’s dark. It’s one of the tools we can use to lift ourselves out of hopelessness and it is also an important factor to happiness.
You’ll never hear of a happy person who is not grateful. They don’t exist, people are grateful for their happiness and for their good fortune. But what people have the tendency to overlook is that the same goes for the happy person who is facing troubling times. They are still grateful for their outlook for getting them through these times and they are happy for all the good fortune they have, no matter how little there may be.
I don’t think there is a key to happiness. We talk about it all the time, and everyone comes up with different answers. Nobody really knows, the formulas always seem to be different. But, I do know happy people are full of gratitude and perspective, so it would be logical for all of us to try and be gracious and have perspective.